Retirement is typically thought of in financial terms as the point when a person is able to quit working and live off of their savings. Why are we waiting to retire to enjoy life? We may never see the day.
In the history of our industrialized world retirement was a way to keep people around until they were too old to be productive. Traditionally, retirement is intended to be a reward for years of hard work and loyalty to a job. But why would you want to give loyalty and work hard at something that you don’t love?
Retirement gives us a false sense of security or false hope and permission to go on auto-pilot. You should try not to become complacent in a job that you don’t love because, if you’re lucky, you can retire someday. That doesn’t sound like fun to me.
People can dwindle to the point of death not long after retirement and job loss. They seem to lose hope and purpose. We identify with our work and when our work is no longer there or no longer meaningful then we’re in trouble.
I want to enjoy my work and never have the need to technically retire because I’m looking forward to not doing anything. As long as we’re able then we should do something that we love to persist our sense of mission and drive to live.
I see retirement, in the sense that most think, as a cliff. When we go off of the cliff then we’re killing ourselves. We must find meaning to keep from falling.
Please take a minute to think about your definition of retirement. Do you plan on retiring and driving off into the sunset or living your life now? If you are retired in the traditional sense then I hope that you’ve found purpose after work or you’re still doing something that you love.