That’s a big word, retirement. My post on Wednesday mentioned retirement as a conversation starter between you and your spouse. That’s a great exercise, but retirement can mean so many things to so many people. What does it mean to you?
I think the most common understanding of retirement is: a time in your life when you stop working.
That’s a good definition but not great, and it doesn’t cover, in my mind, the most important thing. We would do well as life architects to consider what we want for retirement.
Do you want to stop working entirely? Do you just want to stop working for someone else? Do you want to work until you die? What if you love your job so much you never want to leave, what about your retirement then?
I propose a better definition of retirement is reaching a financial level where you can decide what to do with your time, not because of your needs, but because of your desires.
If you want to stop working, fine. You’ve got the resources to do so. If you want to continue working? Also fine. I’m not there yet, but I can imagine how choosing to work when you don’t need to work would feel entirely different.
I don’t know that I’ll ever stop working, I like creating too much for that. But I can absolutely imagine a day when I’ll be able to choose to work, rather than need to work. What a sweet day that will be.