November 2, 2019

Emancipation


Every day I think more and more that the term retirement is wrong. I understand that if you work hard in your younger years and make some intelligent and responsible decisions that you will hopefully reach an age when your decisions will pay off and you can quit working. What society calls retiring. But there is much more that happens once you have walked out of your office with your box of knickknacks and into the Social Security office. It's a strange and rather terrifying period, that time of retiring, but then you move on. Time goes by and you find yourself emotionally miles from that day you left your job and you're in a completely new phase of life. Does age matter? It shouldn't. The word retirement ought to change I think, at least after the first year. The dictionary defines retirement as: "to withdraw or relinquish", meaning it's about giving something up. But what about what you have gained? That ought to be worth something. Maybe even something more.

When you marry you're considered honeymooners for a year and then you're simply married. As a retiree, I think you should move on to another phase as well. There ought to be a word like rejuvenated or emancipated or something. Something positive.

Imagine this: You leave a lifelong job or career in which you invested most of your youth and time and energy. You take whatever savings you have put away and any investments and spend a year learning how to adjust and move onto the next "phase" in your life. You tell people you are retired. Then, after that year, when someone asks you what you do for a living, you reply that you are emancipated. Then it's: "No, I don't work anymore, I am emancipated." "Well, congratulations! I'll be done working in June and I plan to be emancipated too."

I'd very much like to say that myself because I don't feel retired, I feel emancipated!


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