Retirement is a really bad, bankrupt, industrial age idea that was never a good idea in the first place. It was invented by big businesses to steal the best 40 years of our lives so they could discard us when our good years were all behind us.
What makes it so wrong? A few very important ideas:
1) A goal realized is no longer motivating.
Retirement is a goal that can be realized, and once it is realized, it’s not what we were promised. In the Industrial Age, the average life expectancy for men after retirement was 18 months. No longer motivated. Out to pasture. Stick a fork in them – they were done.
Men are beginning to live longer after retirement, but for reasons connected to Lifetime Goals – they’re finding meaningful things to do after they stop going to work every day (or choosing to continue going to work).
2) The very concept of retirement teaches us to put off doing anything really meaningful and substantial with our lives.
I heard it hundreds of times growing up from future pasture-geezers still in their 40’s – “When I retire, I’m going to….[fill in the blank.] What a horrible way to live – always hoping for a future time when you’re actually free to do something with your life.
3) The other really bad notion of retirement is that you’re supposed to work until your 65, then begin enjoying life.
The not so subtle message here is that work and play do not mix, and that you are really supposed to live two lives – your work life, and your meaningful life (shouldn’t work be meaningful, too?). And the ideal way to do it is to live your work life first, and hope you have time left to live your meaningful life afterwards, when you have no energy left to do so.
Wealth is the freedom and the ability to choose what to do with my time.
The retirement game teaches us you won’t be free until you retire. What a load of crap. Stop living for a future that never arrives. Don’t be that guy who, when you’re gone, others say “Too bad he didn’t get to enjoy his retirement.”
Lifetime Goals give us something to begin to enjoy today that we find meaning in, the rest of our lives. Do you have Lifetime Goals that you’re already living, without any need to be retired to get after them? Life should be meaningful, fulfilling, and satisfying today.
Tomorrow never comes. Carpe freaking diem already.