Retirement Meditation #3: What is Retirement?

Insights | Retirement Meditation #3: What is Retirement?
Family on fishing

Author: Paul A. Carl, CHSA, CPFA​Vice President, Retirement Plan Consulting, Registered Representative

Me: What is retirement? 
My teenage child: That’s easy. It’s when you stop working.
Me: Then why do I meet people every day who are working but say they are retired.
My teenage child: Huh?
Me: That’s right. I meet retired people who are working. How can that be?
My teenage child: They didn’t save enough money?
Me: Maybe. But there’s other reasons too.

For some individuals, like my father and my uncle, retirement did mean not working. My father and mother became snowbirds for parts of February and March because of baseball spring training. My uncle and my aunt permanently moved south to play a bit more golf. 

Some individuals, like my friend’s mom and another friend’s dad, retirement was temporary as each found further employment. My friend’s mom retired from a law firm. Because she always loved the outdoors, she found a part-time job that kept her outside in good weather. 

As for my other friend, his dad retired from one office position and landed a similar role with another employer. He worked about 10 more years before permanently retiring. While I was never privy to their financial situation, there were occasionally some awkward moments when his parents would argue in front of my friend and me—often about money and spending. I suspect my friend’s dad’s post retirement job was one of necessity.

Have you thought about what your situation may be like in retirement?

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