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Different meaning of retirement
Old 01-11-2013, 10:15 PM   #1
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Different meaning of retirement

I am not sure this is original or pithy but it came out of my mouth tonight talking to someone about ER and I thought it might be appreciated here.

Some people think of retirement as something you do when you are not able to work anymore , while others think of retirement as something you do when you are able to not work anymore.

I think this difference in basic assumptions creates the "tensions" recounted in many threads on these forums from those making comments about being too young to retire,etc.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by urn2bfree View Post
Some people think of retirement as something you do when you are not able to work anymore , while others think of retirement as something you do when you are able to not work anymore.
How very true! "Not able to work anymore" could be due to health issues, or to a mandatory retirement age, where that is still legal. I recall one physician who kept on working, albeit at a slow pace, until he became dangerous and had to be "encouraged" to leave in his late 80s. I think he feared retirement because he just didn't know what else to do with himself.

I have found that the attitudes to "able to not work anymore" are quite different in North America and Europe. The puritan work ethic in the US, in particular, frowns on this lack of "making oneself useful". European society (at least some of it) may be a little more relaxed about this.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by urn2bfree View Post
Some people think of retirement as something you do when you are not able to work anymore , while others think of retirement as something you do when you are able to not work anymore.
I posted something similar a couple of days ago - that we're currently viewing specifically early retirement as a back-up plan.

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Originally Posted by urn2bfree View Post
I think this difference in basic assumptions creates the "tensions" recounted in many threads on these forums from those making comments about being too young to retire,etc.
I think making judgments about retirement based on age, instead of based on net worth, is silly.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:33 AM   #4
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I think making judgments about retirement based on age, instead of based on net worth, is silly.
You may think it is silly. But you are enlightened because you contribute here.

Things I hear from the other side:
  • But you won't have social security yet!
  • What will you do with all your time? You need to be doing something!
  • How is that possible?
  • But you have no pension!
I guess I need to start sharing my balance sheet with these folks.

--

By the way, my dad is pushing 90. His doctor is (was) his same age. We had to get dad to stop going to that doctor at 84. Dad's care was getting really sketchy.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:04 AM   #5
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Thoughts on this impertinent question:

If people at work are asking, then it's all about them...their fears of not being able to retire because of no pension.

If non-workmates are asking...how the heck do they know you don't have a pension? And why hang around such nosey folks?

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Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
You may think it is silly. But you are enlightened because you contribute here.

Things I hear from the other side:
  • But you have no pension!

.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:23 AM   #6
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Sister in law said. "What will he do all day?" to my wife. Sister in law has been a stay at home housewife most of her life.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:00 AM   #7
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I think it's a great question. While I never hated my job, and later, enjoyed being in business for myself, the difference that retirement brought was Freedom.

For all of that, not all of my retired friends are happy. The most common reasons seem to be:
1. A lack of curiosity or imagination
2. Loss of the identity they had while working
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
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At my company, I get the what are going to do with your time from the higher ups, and from my peers and below, boy are you lucky to be retiring.

Its funny, I took this job after spending the bulk of my career in a high pressure Director's position at my former mega corp, and it makes me laugh a little about how my cohorts feel the present company is such a tough work environment. Nevertheless, I don't like the commute and am glad to be leaving soon.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:35 AM   #9
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I think my reply to the "what are you going to do with your time?" question will be
"If the biggest stress I have for the rest of my life is answering that question, I think I will be just fine, thanks."
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #10
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I'm thinking that I'm going to have enough to do just working to recover the health forty years of working in the rat race cost me!
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Thoughts on this impertinent question:

If people at work are asking, then it's all about them...their fears of not being able to retire because of no pension.

If non-workmates are asking...how the heck do they know you don't have a pension? And why hang around such nosey folks?
Pension comes from the coworkers. I learned my lesson a few years back and stopped talking about retirement.

The other things are obvious. I try to not talk about retirement. Had a moment of weakness with some friends this holiday season after some wine and the subject came up. I was sorry I mentioned the desire to ER. For that crowd, it was all about "What will you do with your life?"

The "how is this possible?" question is very impertinent. I mean, some people start probing about inheritance and what have you. Very rude, and people we don't hang with anymore.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:12 PM   #12
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When you retire early you may lose some friends. They can't stand to see you not work while they are. Forces them to face the fact that they can't.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:55 PM   #13
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Other folks don"t pay my bills,so I don"t care what they think.We use to have a 25yr. anniversary dinner where I use to w--k.Some were E.R. I never heard one of them say man,I wish I was back here.Yes,many looked much more healthier and happy.People who care count.People who don"t care don"t count.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:26 PM   #14
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I never heard one of them say man,I wish I was back here.
What's the old saying? A businessman on his deathbed never says, "I wish I worked more hours." Or something like that.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:06 PM   #15
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This applies to everyone, not to businessmen only :-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWras

What's the old saying? A businessman on his deathbed never says, "I wish I worked more hours." Or something like that.
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