I’m reading a magazine article on a plane right now about money discussions between couples. It says you should write down your goals and categorize your them like this: “work, children, retirement.”

But what if I never plan on retiring?

To me, retirement says “thank God I’m out of that hellhole.” It says, “finally I can relax and do the things I really want,” and “now I can stop sacrificing.” I mean, seriously.

Wasn’t retirement basically invented by the government sometime last century to make the old people get out of the workforce early? Didn’t social security come out around the same time and, considering it’s been gutted by President Bush, shouldn’t we all collectively regain our sanity? And besides which, after a lifetime of sacrificing, do you really think you’ll be able to suddenly go and do everything you love in the wrecked, emaciated shell that is your body? Or is it more likely you’ll have such a habit of sacrifice that you simply won’t know what to do when work is gone?

Ok, I admit I’m leading you to the answer I think is right, but seriously, what are you looking forward to? Do you plan or retiring? I’m all about “a lifetime of service” and all that, but is really this the way we want to serve?





7 responses to “Retirement”

  1. Derrick Kwa Avatar

    Definitely, I think retirement shouldn’t be a default.

    Retirement is only necessary if you’re not doing something you enjoy. If you’re doing what you love, you shouldn’t need or want to retire. And maybe it’s just me being idealistic, but I think that in today’s world, especially, there’s no reason not to be doing what you love.

  2. Clyde Smith Avatar

    I don’t plan for retirement but I am looking more seriously at ways to make sure I don’t get f*cked over in my old age.

    Part of that involves making sure I don’t end up with a “wrecked, emaciated shell that is your body”.

    For many people that, too, is a choice.

  3. Nico Avatar

    To me, retirement says “thank God I’m out of that hellhole.” It says, “finally I can relax and do the things I really want,”

    What if I’m already doing the things I really want? Then retirement becomes more of what Clyde said than “screw you all, I’m off!”

    But then again, I’m 26 so ask me again in 40 years 🙂

  4. Amber Naslund Avatar

    I can’t abide the idea of “retirement”. I may not work 80 hour weeks forever, but if I’ve found my passion (and I think I’ve found at least one to keep me busy and happy and earn money), I can’t imagine that it doesn’t get totally intertwined with who I am.

    The luxury I’ll have in retirement is that I’ll worry less about paying the mortgage, and more about why I’m doing what I’m doing in the first place. I’ll have the freedom to pursue passion projects with abandon. Is that retirement? I don’t think so. It’s redirection. 🙂

  5. Andrea Hill Avatar

    Your thoughts remind me of Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week. His premise is that retirement is a flawed idea: either you wait until you are too old to really enjoy life, OR you’re the sort of person who saves enough to really enjoy it, but your personality is such that you can’t NOT work. His recommendation is that you enjoy life now, rather than slave now with your eye on the future.

  6. James Dean Avatar

    I like this quote from “Firefly”:

    “Money like that and I could retire. Not that I would. What’s life without work?”

    And you’re right, social security was part of a measure during the Great Depression designed to get old people out of the workforce so that younger people could have their jobs.

    But speaking of retirement, what happened to your emaciated shell of a podcast?

  7. Harold Cabezas Avatar

    Great post! I just came to your blog after reading one of Chris Brogan’s posts. I am really enjoying it…

    This is so true, and I appreciate your thoughts. Why would we think of retirement if we are happy w/ what we do? Simple logic, I will ascribe to that. 😉

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