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Old 02-12-2016, 07:36 AM
 
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"I have strong feelings about this topic, because it used to be a term that recognized and honored a person for a lifetime accomplishment. I think in recent years, the term has been hijacked and has lost it's meaning."


THIS.


It represents a sentiment - increasingly prevalent these days - that you shouldn't have to delay gratification, but should get what you want when you want it without having to work (or "pay your dues," as we used to say) to get it. Including the honorific "retired" status.


That said, I've always maintained that we should work from 20-40 (most higher education is a waste of time and money); "retire" from 40-60 to enjoy life when our health is at its peak and also when, coincidentally, we're likely to be needed to care for our elderly parents at home, outside of an institution; and then return to work from 60 on so we don't get bored or feel useless once our knees are shot. But no one ever listens to me.


Nonetheless, if you haven't qualified for a "retirement plan," be that employer-based or a private 401k/IRA, and also have health insurance in place -- in other words, you have what you were working in order to have, but now without having to work to have it, and you have it through your own efforts (not as a government freebie) -- you're not "retired" in my book.


I get tired of hearing it! Upstarts.

Last edited by otterhere; 02-12-2016 at 07:44 AM..
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Default No, sorry, but our past is not meaningless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post
Most people do not have a need to be "recognized or honored." I also do not consider having to work for a long period of time a " lifetime accomplishment." I live in a 55+. No one mentions what they USED to do. Life is about what you are doing now. Even when I worked it was something I had to do and was never the most important thing in my life. Recognized, honored, lifetime accomplishment?
I find your first sentence, which I took the liberty of bolding, bizarre. The concept of what most people need might be easier to understand if we were to say "appreciated" rather than "recognized or honored", as the latter terms have a rather formal ring to them. To be appreciated by others for what we do or have done is to be validated as human beings; it is what makes the doing worthwhile and gratifying, and it is more powerful than money.

Also, your statement, "Life is about what you are doing now" is incomplete at best, because life is about not just what we are doing now, but also about what we have done in the past and what we have hopes to do in the future. Our past is not meaningless; it is what has formed us as human beings and it is a source of continuing satisfaction in the sense of the pleasure we derive from our experience of life as a whole.

I lived and worked in Europe when I was younger, and that experience enriched me. I haven't been to Europe in over four decades, but I still wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I enjoyed skiing even though I wasn't ever real good at it. I no longer ski because of back problems, but I'm so glad I had the personal experience of skiing, which is part of our exploration of life. Multiply those two examples by the total of my experiences and I have my past, rich and meaningful. Our accomplishments at a lifetime of work are also part of the satisfaction that we feel about ourselves; they do not become irrelevant simply because we no longer work in that career - quite the contrary.

To look backward and feel that nothing significant was done would be to face emptiness, just as having nothing worthwhile to do in the present is a another type of emptiness. The title of one of Sartre's books is "L'Etre et le Néant" (Being and Nothingness). Our being is redeemed to the extent that we have transcended the nothingness.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:32 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
I frequently hear people stating that they "retired" at 30 or 40; well, usually that means that they're on disability or just quit working and are living off the government. By my definition, you have to have worked long enough to qualify for some sort of retirement package/benefits such as SS, if not an actual pension with health care coverage until Medicare kicks in. Has "retirement" become a euphemism?
I retired from the U.S. Military after 22 years of active duty. Zero disability. Military retirement can start at 20 years service, you start drawing your retirement when you retire, and includes medical coverage. After that i landed a good paying consulting job where I worked to what resulted in 10 to 12 hour days, 10 days per month for 10 years... At age 51, I pulled the plug and retired while my wife continued to work (which she liked). I became a house-husband... I am also now drawing Social Security. Yes military personnel contribute to Social Security.

I was drafted at age 19.

A lot of Police Departments and Fire Departments alsp have 20 year retirement.

A euphemism? No...

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 02-13-2016 at 10:03 PM..
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
MMM is essentially a self-employed handyman and craftsman, and also a landlord. While he's indeed from of a conventional paycheck and corporate-life, I wouldn't call his lifestyle "retirement".



To me, "retirement" means attaining the stage of life where (1) income from one's passive investments substantially overtakes one's salary, and (2) one's vocation and avocation become closely united. So a college professor who works 70-hour weeks, but for whom the job is less of a job than a genteel (if formalized) hobby - who earns more from a company started with former students and sold to a tech giant, than he does from his university salary - is retired. Meanwhile, a person who was forced to leave gainful employment due to poor health, and now relies mainly on Social Security, is not retired - even if not working.

Day-trading at home for multiple hours a day is not, by my reckoning, retirement. Instead, by passive-income I mean a more or less steady stream of money that one receives without having to pay attention to any financial news, and without any direct engagement. It is simply money that one receives as a reward for already having money. And this can happen relatively early if, perhaps decades before officially quitting one's day-job.

In MMM's case, I would have kept the day-job. Personally I don't in the least mind working long hours at the office. But what I absolutely detest is mowing the yard and housework in general, meal-preparation, and all of that various little schemes of self-reliance that MMM practices. In short, I'm quite happy to serve my employer, as long as I have servants (so to speak) for my daily needs... and that's the exact reverse of MMM.
Ugh - yeah all that household work - double yuck. I went through a phase of cooking from scratch, cleaning every single day, even bought a reel mower to get back to the land. That ended a couple of years ago. I still grow my own tomatoes and other veggies because you just can't beat the taste. But I keep it simple with raised beds. No weeding.

I see my older sister - late 60s - still mowing and weed eating and wonder how they can stand it. I do get all itchy from grass clippings. I've hired a cousin to do the lawn work since my roommate is incapacitated.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:44 AM
 
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I wouldn't call a college professor who works 70 hours a week "retired". Retirement to me involves voluntarily leaving a long term, full time career, focusing on something other than your prior career, and not putting in full time hours anymore. If you're still working 70 hours at your career then you're not "retired". Perhaps you're putting in 70 hours because you love doing that and you don't consider it "working" but to me it's still not retirement.

I agree with dmills. It's rare that someone under 55 acquired enough wealth to voluntarily leave a job.

BTW, almost none of us are going to look forward to a pension when we retire. It's only going to be SS (if we're lucky) plus whatever savings we may have.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:46 AM
 
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"I retired from the U.S. Military after 22 continuous years of active duty. Zero disability. Military retirement can start at 20 years service, you start drawing your retirement when you retire, and includes medical coverage."


That would be: RETIREMENT. Bona fide! Same for any 20-years-and-out profession.


"It's rare that someone under 55 acquired enough wealth to voluntarily leave a job."


It certainly IS rare, given that -- according to studies -- MOST Americans have little or nothing in savings and are, in fact, up to their ears in student and personal debt. But it can be done (I'm debt-freeeeeeeeee). Rarer, though, is saving enough to pay for health insurance premiums out of pocket; that's prohibitively expensive for all but the wealthiest. I suspect that many young "retirees" are covered by disability, Welfare, SSI, or just going without. Which, again, isn't "retired," in my vocabulary.


Words matter.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,687 posts, read 49,469,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
I frequently hear people stating that they "retired" at 30 or 40; well, usually that means that they're on disability or just quit working and are living off the government. By my definition, you have to have worked long enough to qualify for some sort of retirement package/benefits such as SS, if not an actual pension with health care coverage until Medicare kicks in. Has "retirement" become a euphemism?
I served on Active Duty for 20 years, I was transferred to the 'Fleet Reserve' and given a pension when I was 42.

During my career I did a lot of investing in apartment complexes. When I went on pension I was able to use my investment capital to buy land and to start a farm.

I do not see it as a euphemism.
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:10 AM
 
Location: middle tennessee
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Until I started reading this forum, I thought of retirement as aging out of work life. SS and Medicare start in the mid 60's for that reason. My father retired when he could no longer work. I never considered my mother retired because she died in the kitchen.

I knew people retired from some jobs at a relatively young age but they were the minority. The exception to the norm. Most people I know depend on SS as a good part of their income. You may know different people or live in a place where this is not true.

But I think the concept of retirement is changing. Not as much for my generation as for the one coming along.

I do admit that "retiring" at 30 something sounds ridiculous to me. I wasn't even fully grown in my thirties
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
Never heard of such a thing. Well, except military that are medically retired due to severe injuries that will never allow them to work. Which is different from VA disability compensation.
NYPD/NYFD, Railroad employees. The system is filled with people out on "disability", ie 90% of their salary vs 65% they'd be getting on a normal pension. There are certain doctors who vouch for you (you pay them off) and you are suddenly "disabled".
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:21 PM
 
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Exactly! Pretty sweet deal, especially now that you can just say you're depressed, anxious, or tired... And no one can disprove it.
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