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Is "working in retirement" an oxymoron?

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    Is "working in retirement" an oxymoron?

    I know, I know... retirement is changing. The baby boomers are different. But I've got to say I'm getting tired of hearing it.

    This month's Kiplinger's has, as one of the cover stories, "Retire to your Dream Job." Something about that just strikes me as wrong. Retire used to mean that you stopped working. If you are leaving one job just to start another, that isn't retiring. That is a career change.

    I understand the whole concept of leaving a high-stress "have to" job and replacing it with an enjoyable "want to" job, but ultimately, work is work. If you are working, you aren't retired. Am I the only one bothered by this?
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    #2
    Yes DS, I've heard you rant about this before. I agree. Retired means not working.
    Could people perhaps use some other term? Maybe semi-retired?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Daylily View Post
      Yes DS, I've heard you rant about this before. I agree. Retired means not working.
      Could people perhaps use some other term? Maybe semi-retired?
      Oops. I don't remember doing this before. Still an interesting topic, though.
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

      Comment


        #4
        This month's Kiplinger's has, as one of the cover stories, "Retire to your Dream Job." Something about that just strikes me as wrong. Retire used to mean that you stopped working. If you are leaving one job just to start another, that isn't retiring. That is a career change.
        Disneysteve,
        It is a career change along with retirement income--in a two income family, it becomes like a third income for which you don't need an emergency fund to cover.

        My own DH has told me he enjoys working and he plans to work longer than I do by about 9 yrs He is in his mid 50's and he is the "kid". The other folks in his office are in their 70's.

        I don't see a thing wrong with continuing to work, if you enjoy it. I plan to retire in less than 3 years (not that I'm counting ). I do not want to have another job--I want to devote myself to travel agent duties for DH and me.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
          Oops. I don't remember doing this before. Still an interesting topic, though.
          Maybe 'rant' was a strong word but yes, you have mentioned this topic before at least one time that I can recall. I think it was a couple months ago when Money magazine featured couples in their 40's and 50's who had 'retired.' But in the very next sentence, these people were reported to be working! I think one couple was living on a boat in Wisconsin - if that helps jog your memory.

          I have an overseas relative who was a detective/police officer for most of his life. He officially retired from that service. Now, he works about one or two weeks out of the month traveling within his country and to some nearby countries to give training sessions on topics related to being a detective. WHAT name would YOU call him? Is semi-retired okay or is there a better word to describe this type of person?

          Comment


            #6
            It depends on how you define work.

            I expect that I'll be working until I am no longer able to, tho it won't necessarily be for money. Long after I've turned 65, meals will still need to be cooked, dishes washed, laundry done, beds made, and toilets scrubbed. Please don't say that "doesn't count" because it sure feels like work to me!

            I'll still volunteer, and isn't that another form of unpaid work? [Tho granted when you are a volunteer you have much more control than a paid employee.]

            What would you call a guy who joins the senior golf tour and makes a bit of money at it? Is he retired? Getting paid to have fun? Is he "working" just because he gets paid?

            I don't know the answer to how to define work, but I know I don't have a problem with "working" in some capacity until I die. It means I'm being a productive member of society. The difference is that as I get older I have a bit more control about what sort of work I want to do, I guess.

            P.S. - This got me thinking about my 90-plus YO great uncle. On top of caring for my aunt who is wheelchair-bound following a stroke about 10 years ago, he volunteers at his church and runs the canteen at his retirement center. He is one of the hardest working men I know, happy, still physically fit & sharp as a tack.
            Last edited by scfr; 03-08-2008, 05:45 PM. Reason: Added P.S.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Like2Plan View Post
              I don't see a thing wrong with continuing to work, if you enjoy it.
              Absolutely. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. If people have a job they love and want to keep working, that's terrific - but then they aren't retired. They're still working.

              I was just commenting on how the definition of the term "retired" has changed. It used to mean someone who no longer worked. Now, it is increasingly used to describe a person who left their career but now works in some other field. If it is on a part-time basis, then I think "semi-retired" would apply. But if they are working a full work week (or more as the folks in some of these stories), I don't think they are retired at all. Not saying they shouldn't do it. They apparently are quite happy doing what they do. They're just not retired in my mind.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


                #8
                I think the term needed to be added is Financially independant. Retirement might imply financial independance (from a job), sick of working, or collecting SS.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jIM_Ohio View Post
                  I think the term needed to be added is Financially independant. Retirement might imply financial independance (from a job), sick of working, or collecting SS.
                  In Judaism (at least in Reform Judaism), we have a term for people who have converted to Judaism: Jew by choice. Perhaps we need to calls these folks Employed by choice.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Interesting topic.... so what is retirement really then?

                    Some people work beyond retirement so that they can keep a greater insurance coverage "just-in-case" something happens. Or to keep earning money for real needs.

                    Some people work beyond retirement just because they don't really have anything else interesting enough to keep them busy.

                    I would hope that most people retire have something to keep themselves busy.... and mentally active.... but I reconize too that some people "enjoy" the challenge of working.

                    I envision myself as sort of a Grandma Moses type of person -- although she was not able to continue her real work because of arthritis, what she is known for is her art and paintings that she began creating in her 70's.

                    I hope that "Retirement" for me will give me more time to do the art that I love to do.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      My FIL is 'retired' from his job, and now works almost as many hours at a different job, but man is he happier.

                      While my FIL could stop working (and had planned on it) and be financially secure...he would go crazy

                      I imagine I would be the same...while I do not get paid now, I do have plans for when my 'job' has mostly moved on.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by PrincessPerky View Post
                        My FIL is 'retired' from his job, and now works almost as many hours at a different job
                        When someone asks him what he does for a living, does he say he is retired? Or does he say whatever his current job is?
                        Steve

                        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I remember reading an insightful article that suggested that retirement means different things to different people. Some may welcome it as a chance to finally get away from their daily grind. Others may actually abhor it because their sense of identity and self-worth have become tied to their careers.

                          Perhaps retirement implies freedom. Freedom to choose what you wish to do with the rest of your life, rather than what you have had to do to get by. Whether that means to continue working is up to the individual retirees to decide.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            This is a good topic. I have read books on this subject and I believe YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE speaks alot about this very subject.

                            There are those that do jobs that they don't necessary like in order to support their families and yes to become as Jim above titled it FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT. The idea is to get yourself to a point of being able to quit a job and start doing something that you've always wanted to do but couldn't because of the lower pay for instance.

                            There are some who will continue working for money but maybe not fulltime. They will continue contributing to the social security system which is a good thing.

                            And yes, SCFR is right about women continuing to do the same jobs where they aren't considered paying jobs, but are jobs any way. Some women's jobs never change even though their husband's do.

                            For instance, my husband would love to work in a zoo with animals. That would be a job that he could be paid or unpaid and still contribute financially or voluntarily to society.

                            I think it's more of a technical term today. Just my thoughts.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Maybe some are embarrased that they did not save enough for retirment and tell people that they are retired even though working still?

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