I'm a little confused by all of the articles about retirement. To me, and a majority of my friends, the word "retire" is not anywhere near our reality. The Dictionary explains the word as any of the following: give up work, stop working, step down, be pensioned off and my favorite, "be put out to pasture."
A majority of the middle and lower classes are working harder at retirement age than they have previously. We live from paycheck to paycheck, paying mortgages, buying groceries, helping our kids by paying off college loans so they will have a decent education... the list seems never-ending. And we're the lucky ones. Others can't do any of the above on the minimum wage they earn in this country, but that's another story, and a disgraceful one at that.
The dream of owning your own home so that once you hit retirement age, you can harvest your hefty little nest egg has turned into a nightmare. The media can talk about housing prices creeping up and becoming stronger, but it will take years for many of our homes to get anywhere near the value they were a few years ago, the value our mortgages were built on. So, that little nest egg is scrambled.
Personally, the thought of retirement is odd, and not so much because of the financial aspect but because it doesn't interest me. There are so many occupations and challenges in the world that I want to attempt, so many places I want to live and people I want to work with. Some of the wealthiest people in the world, who could obviously retire if they so chose, instead opt to continue doing virtuous work, finding ways to help the less fortunate and make the world a better place. They are my role models.
But maybe I'm the minority. I dropped out of college and chose travel and work experience over a regular job and a balanced budget. I can see how retirement would be appealing to one who has worked in the same job for years and years, they're tired and want to relax or have the time to do things they've put off doing. But for me, I'm just getting started figuring out what I want to do when I "grow up," and I have no intention of slowing down. As one of my brothers says, "I'll rest when I'm dead." Then you can put me out to pasture.
Please share your thoughts on retirement, I'd love to hear them.