Retirement: When you have given so much
of yourself while you were working for the Company so that you don't have
anything left that the company can use.
- Wise Unknown Retired Person
NOTE: This article is by Mark Rieke and is used with his permission.
Before I was retired I liked the word "retire." However now
that I am retired, I have come to dislike the term. Unfortunately, the word "retirement" sounds like you
are tired again or are close to death.
However, as everyone knows, baby boomer's are living significantly longer than previous generations and the
majority of us continue to work differently in our current roles, pursue new career opportunities in
completely different capacities, volunteer with non-profit
organizations, or "relax full time."
The best word I have been able to come up with instead of retirement is
"reincarnated." Of course most people think of this exclusively in religious terms. But I prefer to think
of it as being reborn as a new person while I am still alive.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines reincarnation
"1a) rebirth of the soul in another body.
b. Belief in this rebirth;
2) A rebirth in another form; a new embodiment."
Whatever meaning you choose, I think that "reincarnated" seems better than
"retired." Although retiring can be difficult for some people, it is also challenging and hopefully fun. It
forces us to reexamine ourselves and think extensively about our past lives, in addition to carefully
considering what is most important to us.
The old saying "one door opens and another door closes" certainly applies to
retirement. Similar to caterpillars who spend most of their time constantly eating, before we retire we
spend most of our time working.
Don't think of retiring from the world until
the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or
laziness drive into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let
him come out as I do, and bark.
- Samuel Johnson
Then, like the caterpillar we are reborn or reincarnated as butterflies and
no longer have to eat at all; we can spend most of our time flying around and playing. Butterflies can
never become caterpillars again and we typically cannot resume our old lives. On the one hand, this is
disappointing and can even be depressing. On the other hand, this is quite exciting and hopefully
The "stages of grief" model by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross also applies to
retirement. Specifically, these
stages are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and finally Acceptance. It is important to keep in
mind that we do not pass through these stages in strict order. In fact, we tend to bounce around between
two at a time before we finally completely reach acceptance.
Ernie was fired from his engineering job in his late twenties for taking too
long of a vacation and never returned to his career. He has a wonderful sense of humor, along with
providing extensive and insightful advice.
Like other great authors on retirement, Ernie writes about how throughout history the primary objective of most civilizations was
leisure. Unfortunately, due to the Puritan work ethic, we have come to revere work and often look down upon
leisure. In fact, many people do not even know how to really enjoy themselves.
We have become obsessed with and pacified by vicarious entertainment, like
TV, the Internet, and spectator sports.
I was recently reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau and he supported himself
by working approximately 6 weeks a year for five years. His conclusion was that the bible had it backward.
That is we should work one day a week and rest for the remaining six. Perhaps we should start the American
Association of Reincarnated People!
Retirement: When you quit working just before
your heart does.
- Anonymous person in fear of retirement
What Sort of
Legacy Will You Leave to Your Children and Grandchildren?
Will Any of These Be Your Retirement
- Retired at 60 and vegetated until he died
- Retired at 65 and watched 10 hours of TV
every day for the rest of her extremely boring
- Took early retirement and lost all her
retirement savings at the casino because she didn't know what else to do with her
- Retired early, got extremely bored, and
then tried to return to his old job that he hated, couldn't get it
back, found a job that he hated even more, and had to retire again
because of poor health!
It Doesn't Have to Be That
#1 Trick for How to Retire
I was unhappy being
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