D is for Defining – Preparing for a Badass Retirement #AtoZChallenge

D is for defining what retirement means to you (and only you!).

What constitutes “retirement”?

How does one define retirement? If you retire from your job and then pick up some part-time work, are you still retired? If you go back to full-time work for a contract position are you still retired? If you take up other work, or a hobby becomes a paid gig, are you still retired?

This argument discussion is played out brilliantly here, at Our Next Life – a delightful blog I came across recently. Mr. and Ms. Our Next Life are a young couple who are planning on retiring early – later this year in fact, at the tender ages of 38 and 41.

It is definitely worth a read. Go ahead, I’ll be here when you come back:


I like Ms. ONL’s definition of retirement: I define retirement not as playing shuffleboard or any other tired old images, but as leaving your primary career to do the things you’d rather be doing.

And really, why are we arguing about this? Who the hell cares what constitutes retirement, and who are these retirement police anyways?!

I’m retired if and when I say so, no matter what I happen to be doing at the time. So long as it’s not what I have been doing full-time for the past 30+ years for my career. If we don’t agree, what are you gonna do about it? Fire me???

Wait, you can’t…because I. WILL. BE. RETIRED.

Rock on,

The WB

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  • I’m really having a hard time leaving comments. I’m not sure why … hoping this next attempt is a keeper.

    This post reminded me of a conversation I had a few years ago with a man I considered somewhat of a mentor.
    At the time he was in his 90s and he said he considered retirement to be when you die. Everything prior to that is pre-retirement. This is a man who had reinvented himself several times post-career / pre-retirement.
    I think they were very wise words 🙂

    • Thanks Joanne. Our family has a similar saying – Mom always said the day she stops learning is the day she dies. It’s something her grandfather said and she took it to heart. And it guides me as well. Sounds like your mentor had a definition of retirement that meant staying at home in a rocking chair and watching TV all day, instead of remaining engaged with the world and pursuing his passions. Small wonder then, that he felt it began with death.
      Re: comments – I’ve had a similar problem replying – I get a white screen and no comment posted. When I am commenting from inside the blog! I thought it was only me. And last night a friend told me this was happening to her too. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll look into this.

      • I enjoy the odd lazy day binge-watching Netflix or HBO, but I can’t imagine doing it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! Kill me now.

        • I’m with you Joanne. I binged on Grace and Frankie and now I’m good till next year. 🙂

  • Thanks for the mention! Glad you found us. 🙂 And I got a hilarious comment along these lines on one of my posts today: “You need to share your numbers so we can see if you’re really retired or if you’re just lying to us!” Hahaha. Like it’s this guy’s job to determine if I’m retired. Um, pretty sure I get to decide when I’m retired, sir. 😉

    • Seriously? Sheesh, people! Yes, you get to define it and thus decide it!!!
      Yeah, glad I found you too! Although some of the stuff you talk about doesn’t apply to us Canucks (healthcare concerns for one), I think the majority of it does and you do a great job of covering the issues!
      When I started this blogging challenge couple of days ago I had no idea that Retirement Blogs were a thing. Or FIRE either for that matter. All I knew was that I couldn’t stop wondering about retiring earlier than 65 (I’m 57 now) so I thought it best to explore my thoughts and feelings on ye olde blogge. My eyes have been opened, Ms.ONL. Oh, YES!

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