My Definition of Retirement
I don't have the same definition of retirement that most people have, and I must say that I'm very glad of that.
My definition is a bit odd, but I consider it to be quite rational and practical. It has served me well as a target to shoot for, and a credo to live by now that I'm in it.
Everyone will have their own definition, and that's fine because everyone has to live with themselves. Nevertheless, I offer my definition as a reference point for others out there.
I know darn well that there are other people that have a similarly defiant and self reliant attitude, and I'll bet they have an off-beat definition too.
To me, I define retirement as...
...doing what I want, when I want, where I want, for whom I want, for how much I want, and for how often and how long I want.
In other words, I'm calling all the shots, or at least I'm going to try. I told you my definition of retirement was a bit odd, but it works well for me.
You should also know that I view that definition of retirement in light of four key assumptions:
- Social Security will not be available for me (I turned 52 in April, 2009).
- I'll never stop working - I'll never retire in the traditional sense.
- My sources of income will always be self generated, some from investments and some from my own enterprises.
- The older I get, the more self sufficient I should become.
To some folks, this may sound a bit backwards. Many count on Social Security and retirement/pension programs. Others imagine travel, golf, fishing, shuffle board, checkers, and a life of leisure. Still others think that retirement means an end of work, achievement, adventure, learning and growth.
There are those that believe retirement income should all come from investments made during the "working years." And, it's not uncommon for people to envision retirement as requiring dependency on others.
I'd say that I step to a different drummer. And, I have since I retired from regular work at age 49. It's taken me a while to get used to it, but I really like my own drum beat.
I encourage you to create your own definition of what retirement means to you and then start working towards it. Something can always come along and goof up your plans, but it's better to have your own plans. It's better to know where you're headed. It's better to make dust than it is to eat dust.
You don't necessarily have to be out in front of the pack, just make certain you're not simply mindlessly following the pack. Stay on point. Play your game and be successful. Don't allow others to "play" you.
Done with Definition of Retirement, back to How to Become Debt Free
Done with Definition of Retirement, back to Are You Frugal?