When I first got out of college and was bright-eyed over the idea of compounding interest I decided I wanted to be able to retire before 60 and set up a savings plan to get there. But almost as quickly as I set up my first 401k plan I found I really liked working, especially in environments that were intellectually stimulating.
Today I still hope to have enough funds to be able to retire when I want, I no longer consider retirement an actual goal. Instead, I want to get to a point in life where I can dictate my own schedule while still facing challenges and get paid to do it.
Part of the reason behind this is the knowledge that Social Security as it exists today just won’t exist when it comes time for me to draw on it. Not that it would provide enough income to support me anyway. Retirement is no longer about busting your ass for 30-40 years and then quitting cold turkey to deteriorate for the next 10-20.
What I want my retirement to look like is the slowly winding down of activity. It could mean leaving my current role or just lessening my workload. Companies don’t offer this kind of flexibility today, but they might in the future. More and more people work from home or on more flexible schedules. Expect this to continue in any industry or business that can support such structure.
Overall we should expect our definition of retirement to be much different in the coming decades compared to what it looks like today. Just like in decades prior it was different. According to an opinion piece in the UK’s Guardian the first pension in that country started 20 years AFTER the average life expectancy.
So if you are still more than a decade away from retirement instead of planning an end to working every day, be thinking about a transition away from the typical demands if your current job. But if you like your work, ask yourself why you even want to retire.
Strongly recommended reading below:
Read: Let’s abolish retirement