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View Poll Results: What does it mean to be retired? You can call yourself retired only if...
You do not work at all, no volunteer work and no paid work 8 5.80%
Volunteer work is ok, but no paid work at all 56 40.58%
Volunteer work or part time paid work is ok 18 13.04%
Any amount of volunteer or paid work is ok if you want to do it and you are financially independent 56 40.58%
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What does it mean to be "retired"?
Old 05-24-2016, 03:19 PM   #1
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What does it mean to be "retired"?

People often use the word "retired" as if everyone knows what that means, but I have come to learn that different people have different definitions of that word. So I am curious, what does it mean to you to be retired?
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:25 PM   #2
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I see it as a spectrum.

Retirement, full stop, is 100% no longer working for pay in my book. (But, some volunteers might as well be fully employed!).

Retirement, variations, is common (indeed, maybe a majority of people at some point). Full time grind is finished, but keep a toe (or full leg or two) in the water for fun/fulfillment/extra_money.

E.T.A.: People often use the word ["beauty"] as if everyone knows what that means, but I have come to learn that different people have different definitions of that word. So I am curious, what does it mean to you to be [beautiful]?
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:36 PM   #3
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If someone defines being retired as "any amount of work is ok so long as you want to do it and you are financially independent" then the "RE" part of "FIRE" is superfluous.

I think that being financially independent is different than being retired or being retired early. You can be financially independent (FI) but not be retired (RE). Likewise, you can retire (RE) but not be financially independent (FI). So, if you define retirement as being financially independent and you can work as much as you want, then the whole concept of retirement itself is superfluous because it adds nothing to the concept of being financially independent.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:39 PM   #4
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'Retired', to me, is being unencumbered by the drudgery of employment.....gainful or otherwise.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:48 PM   #5
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I view it as no longer working for a W2 wage. I have 25 rentals that I manage and maintain, some would consider that not retired.

I need to do something to fill up my day, and I can handle 20 hours a month.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nemo2 View Post
'Retired', to me, is being unencumbered by the drudgery of employment.....gainful or otherwise.
+1 That sounds good to me.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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Retired - Being in a state where your time is truly yours. Any claims on your time are accepted by you in a fully voluntary manner, whether or not $$ are attached.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:53 PM   #8
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Retired? I know it when I see it.

Quote:
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of [situations] I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["retired"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it...
Someone who is clearly working significant hours per week because they have to in order to keep food on the table and a roof over their head (and/or a mistress in bed) isn't retired. All other cases - it's less clear.

I've been told I'm not retired because my wife worked (when she used to work). Then she retired and I did too. Thank god she didn't decide to keep working well past the point we were FI because I'd never be able to "retire" in some eyes!

Others said having kids at home bar one from being retired. Add another 15 years to my sentence then! Oh no!

Yet others say spending time on a hobby or project that ends up producing some income (any income!) bars one from entering the pearly gates of retirement. I knew a guy once that thought he was retired for nearly 20 years, then he picked up photography as a hobby, charged a friend $100 to shoot pics at the friend's daughter's wedding and this poor guy got unretired for the past 20 years! Imagine that! They took back his gold watch and everything! It's a tough world out there for the unwitting retiree trying to maintain membership in the club.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
re·tired
rəˈtī(ə)rd/
adjective
1.
having left one's job and ceased to work.
"a retired teacher"
synonyms: former, ex-, past, in retirement, superannuated More
2.
archaic
(of a place) quiet and secluded; not seen or frequented by many people.
"this retired corner of the world"
Both 'work' for me
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Old 05-24-2016, 04:08 PM   #10
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Yes, I have left my job and ceased to work.

Now I work at trying to have as much fun as possible -
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:49 PM   #11
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JustCurious View Post
If someone defines being retired as "any amount of work is ok so long as you want to do it and you are financially independent" then the "RE" part of "FIRE" is superfluous.
There is a difference when you are retired. To me, being retired is when you make a choice to do something, whether it is volunteer or for pay. Am I not retired because I prepare a few tax returns for friends and get paid? I put in about 10 hours and collect about $1600. I don't do it because I need the $$, but because I like it and I want to help. It also keeps my mind sharper. I may choose to volunteer at VITA or at the soup kitchen, neither will pay me $$, but I will be compensated with the good feeling I'll get.

If I am doing the w*rk for the $$ and have to put up with the BS that goes with it, then I am not retired.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:34 PM   #13
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+1

Being retired means waking up in the morning thinking about how you are going to play that day, instead of work. And what is play, and what is work?


"Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do." -- Mark Twain
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Old 05-24-2016, 07:42 PM   #14
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I'm not worried about how others might define "retired." FI was my overriding goal - after that whatever path one chooses is fine, the term/definition isn't very important.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:24 AM   #15
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I can tell you that for me there is a certain freedom from time commitments and freedom from stressors that defines retirement. By contrast non-retirement includes Stressors

1. financial - needing to exchange work for money and then exchanging that money for goods services in order to survive and thrive.

2. Time. Deadline pressure and inability to fully control free time.

3. Being committed to a required schedule to the point of ones personal discomfort - the inability for what ever reason to not be able to walk away from something

For me, I'm finding that being retired is as much about being in control as it is about being financially independent


I'm financially independent. But I also have a part time gig that requires me to give my time to that activity and I am exchanging that for tuition.

Do I feel retired ? Nope.

Being a student is a stressor. It requires huge time commitment and a schedule that I no longer totally control.

Having a side gig and my own self motivation prevent me from just walking away / doing something half-assed. (Sorry can't think of better word to describe that). I feel committed to doing the role well. Same could come from volunteer work too. Few successful people suddenly have a new found ability to be slackers.

Anyway, Life feels different from working but also very different from initial FIRE period when I wasn't working NOR have any commitments.

It's definitely not same as mega Corp stressors but there is some stress.

I believe low doses of stress help us get out of bed every day and meet life challenges head on.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:33 AM   #16
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It means having recess and it never ends.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:58 AM   #17
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Yep, I left my job on April 2, 2014 and ceased to work. I'd say I'm retired, but I have worked about 40 hours over the past 2 years on a project that has lingered since my working days.

I don't feel retired. I'm constantly doing something - busier than in my working days. Just none of it is for $.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:23 AM   #18
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'Retired', to me, is being unencumbered by the drudgery of employment.....gainful or otherwise.
LOL and even that is subject to interpretation. My BFF retired from the Police dept and followed a long held dream to be an interior designer. at 50 she purchased a 12000 sq ft home/office and now does that. she is happy as a pig in slop so for her NOT working would be drudgery.

for me it's freedom from the necessity to have to work to survive.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:52 AM   #19
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Maybe it means having the time to sit around and debate the meaning of being retired.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:57 AM   #20
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Reading all these posts about retirement is making me sleepy. I think I'll go for a leisurely walk, have a little more coffee, read another paper, browse some more websites. Then I'll go work out.
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