There are several definitions of retirement that I found in searching Google. One definition is the withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from active working life. Another definition is the stage in life when one choses to leave the work force and live off sources of income or savings that do not require active work. Another definition states that retirement is when one leave the workforce for good. Retirement means different things for each of us. Some can fully retire from the workforce but choose not to and stay in their active working life until they can no longer physically perform the work. Some retire from a full time career but take up part time work and thus are not fully retired by the last definition. Some can never fully leave the work force due to lack of a pension or adequate savings.
I met a man a few months ago that was painting a house in our neighborhood. He had just come down off a ladder and was at his truck when I had a short conversation with him. This young man of 76 had been painting houses for 40 years. He said he still loves the satisfaction of a paint job well done. He was still getting up and down the ladder even though he had fallen off the ladder into an empty hot tub on a recent job and hurt his shoulder. He said it still hurts and he was to have a MRI soon to see if surgery is needed. I jokingly said that maybe he should hire a younger man for the ladder work and he agreed. This 76 year old looked to be in great shape and I'm sure his work helped keep him that way. I don't think "retirement" was in his vocabulary. In his opinion he was doing something he enjoyed and would continue doing so as long as he could.
We all know or have seen people who work late in their life. We see politicians that work into their 80's and sometimes die while holding office. I can't imagine that being an enjoyable position and imagine it to be very stressful with the travel and the bickering that happens in the political arena. We see actors and singers who love their profession and also perform as long as they can. I heard the other day that Indiana Jones will be back this Summer! There are many old bands that still tour the country with the members in their 70's and 80's. You would think after 40+ years on the road they would want to retire and settle down!
We each have our own expectation of retirement and what that life looks like. I guess some have the mindset to retire as soon as possible and pursue other activities while some never think about retirement because they enjoy what they do so much. I guess I can't say I'm retired as I do a little part time work, only about 5 hours this last year but by the last definition I have not left the work force for good. In my opinion I'm retired. For some, retirement is a beach house in Florida. For some, retirement is travel around the country in an RV. And, for some, retirement is sitting in a recliner and watching TV all day.
What is your version of retirement. Do you have a "pie in the sky" vision of retirement where you and your spouse are super fit and walking hand in hand on a white sand beach everyday? Or, is your vision of retirement more reality based? Is there an age where you think you should give up your working life or are you an old rock star that will rock until you die?