Is retirement a concept that has outlived its usefulness? Is it time to retire retirement? Does retirement kill more people than hard work ever did? Is retirement a one-way trip to insignificance? Some people think the answer is “yes” to all of these questions.
Today, we’ll explore these questions and a few more as we take a look at what other people are saying about retirement and whether we think they’re correct…or just misguided.
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Surprisingly, some research (but not all) suggests that not working can be harmful to your health. Now, we’re not suggesting you keep working until you pass way, but staying active and engaged when you’re retired is definitely important.
For today’s episode, we did some research and pulled a few quotes about retirement and retirement-related issues. These quotes run the gamut from serious, solid insight to laugh out loud funny. Here’s our take on quotes about this important subject and whether it is time to retire retirement.
Five Quotes NOT From Bill Keen That We Explore in This Episode
1. The concept of retirement was a short-sighted political machination and social manipulation which is no longer relevant and is hopelessly out of touch with our times. Mitch Anthony
Those are some pretty strong words from Mitch Anthony, a bestselling author and leading expert on retirement. We thought we’d lead with that quote as a bit of a tease because Mitch will be a guest on an upcoming episode of Keen On Retirement. It turns out that our concept of retirement dates back to the late 1800s when Chancellor Otto Von Bismark of Germany decreed he was going to pay a pension to non-working Germans over the age of 70 (later lowered to 65). It was a political and social maneuver that our country picked up in 1935 with the Social Security Act. Based on the people we work with at Keen Wealth Advisors, I agree with Mitch. The traditional idea of retirement as a time to kick back and relax all day is not typically what I see. My clients are often quite active, socially engaged, and giving back to society in various ways.
2. Don’t simply retire from something, have something to retire to. Harry Emerson Fosdick
This is so key. We always tell people to start planning for retirement as early as you can, but really get focused on it when you’re about five years out. Also, think about the type of lifestyle you want to retire to. The first few weeks might feel like a vacation but eventually, you’ll want to have things to do, people to see, and places to visit to maintain meaning in your life. If you’re not retired yet, do you have a clear vision of what your days and weeks will look like?
3. Retirement kills more people than working ever did. Malcom Forbes
Forbes, the flamboyant entrepreneur and publisher of Forbes Magazine, definitely did not believe in the idea of retirement. He worked and played until he died in his sleep at age 70. I always enjoy sitting down with clients who are in their 60s as we talk about how they have a 20-year life expectancy (See: How would you use the gift of 10 extra healthy years?). We talk about how quickly that can pass and how important each day becomes. And I can tell you, it’s really empowering. It’s an honor for us to sit with clients and watch them design what’s most important to them and what they’re going to do with those precious days that lie ahead. By being intentional about how you invest your time, you’ll be energized and have a reason to get up every day. When you retire retirement, you replace it with a new vision that is compelling and allows you to do what you want to do, not what you have to do.
4. Retirement is a one-way trip to insignificance. Mason Cooley
Well, I certainly disagree with this quote. Unfortunately, I think the natural state of our culture is somewhat negative. I think you have to work to stay positive. With our clients, we see some clear patterns among those who are thriving in retirement (See: Happiness in Retirement? You bet and here’s how). And here’s one of their secrets–they always have something exciting and fun out on the horizon to look forward to. It could be a trip to visit their kids and grandkids or a vacation–and the vacation doesn’t have to be exotic. It could be something simple like a local event, a special dinner, a theater show, or an opening reception at the art museum. How does your calendar look? Do you have a variety of things to look forward to?
5. Retirement: the best is yet to come. Thomas Klobucher
I truly believe that for most people, this quote can be true. One way to make retirement a wonderful time is to, as we say in the aviation world, “stay current.” For example, would you rather fly with somebody who has 500 hours of flying time and who’s flown 100 of those hours in the last year, or, would you rather fly with somebody who has 3,000 hours, but hasn’t flown at all in the last year? I would always choose the person who was more current in that situation. Similarly, seeing people have the time to stay current in retirement on the things that are most important to them, and to let all the things that were distractions and time wasters drop away, that, to me, lays the framework for, yes, the best is yet to come in retirement.
Bill Keen on time…
Time is the great equalizer. No one has more time than anyone else. You can’t slow time down, you can’t speed it up. You can’t even save it. The only thing you can do with time is invest it.
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