Retiring Retirement

I’m just going to say it:

‘Retirement’ is a horrible way to brand “life after work”.

Who in their right mind wants to be associated with a word like retire when it hangs around with synonyms like: resign, quit, vacate, and retreat? Even if the idea of retirement had some grandeur back in the good ol’ days as 65 became the new 50 and leaders envisioned lifestyles that were devoid of worry and full of golf…somewhere along the way it lost its luster. Most business owners I know who are nearing traditional retirement age hear that word retirement now, and it conjures up thoughts of moth balls, rocking chairs, and ‘nursing homes’.

Its origin derives from the French word ‘retirer’: To draw back. At the end of a long and successful career, maybe you want to draw back, but not into moth balls and rocking chairs! We surely can do better than retire! I am calling for a re-brand! I want everyone to strive towards that next chapter in their life that will evoke a sense of pride, respect, and accomplishment. A time to enjoy the fruits of their labor -- the hero’s welcome from a career that was well fought for and won!

There will indeed come a day when we all will stop working, but we should never stop living because we have reached ‘a particular age.’ I assure you, it should be one of the most active and exciting times of our lives!

The only thing that needs to retire here is the word itself.

How do you define retirement?