I was listening to the radio this afternoon, and the host (sports talk) was discussing how he never wants to retire. He even questioned why anyone (except people with physical jobs that break them down physically) would really want to retire. This got me thinking what I would do after I retire, and I do not have a perfectly clear, or particularly honest answer. I think people plan for retirement in a financial sense, but do not necessarily plan for life after retirement.

 

So, what are your plans for retirement? I am not talking about hobbies like golfing or fishing. I mean what will be your purpose once you retire.

 

Is it manly to work until the day you die, or does retirement serve a greater purpose (family, Church, society)?

 

I am not looking for advice as much as I want to see how others have answered these questions for themselves.

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My goal is to set my wife and I up in a financial way so we can travel to many countries once we are done working. Work now, play later. If one of us is physically unable to go, or dead at an early age, pass it on to the kids. You don't get to take it with you.

In between trips I envision working in some random sporting place (taking tickets, ushering, etc...) just to be close to the game(s) that I love.
My work isn't my purpose, I only work becuase that is how I make money to do the things that fulfill me. I would think that the vast majority of people would quit their jobs if they won the lottery, as the money would set them free to find their purpose, rather then be defined simply by the work that they do.
i dont like the concept of retirement that most people go by. i think that you should experience life, and the rewards of leisure throughout your life. it would be terrible, like Eric said, "if one of us is physically unable to go, or dead at an early age" without getting the benefits of retired life. that is why i try to take advantage of my youth as much as possible. i want to do the things now that i wont be able to do as an old person - climb mountains, motorcyle trips across the country, mardi gras with friends, etc.
I haven't read The 4-Hour Work-week, yet (I have the new revised edition sitting on my desk in a stack of 12 new books just bought), but I understand one of the concepts Tim Ferriss advises is to take 'mini retirements' throughout life and keep working;

I had always envisioned retiring at an early enough age (55'ish) that I could enjoy life but I now know that, due to certain circumstances, I'll probably be working into my 70s (if not 80s). I need to find something that makes me happy (my current situation does not) that I won't mind doing for the next 40 years, and that offers me the flexibility to take these extended vacations/mini retirements.
I used to think of retirement in such a way when I was younger. When I got to my military retirement I realized that there comes a point in your life when you simply need a change of scenery. I once viewed retirement as an ending, now I see it as a way to have a new begining and a way to redefine my life to better suit me. One day you just wake up and feel that you are "done" with whatever it is you are doing- that is when you retire and do something else.
Retirement opens the door to pursue other avenues of endeavor that you have always wanted to do but haven't had the time or resources to do. I'm doing some writing (fiction as well as technical theological works) and was talking to a publisher last night about beginning to publish a couple of things. I can also travel a bit now without having to be back to work at any given time. I also have time to contribute (and irritate) here at AoM. I can sleep as late as I want ... but seldom do because I've always got things on my mind that I want to do. Retirement also has allowed me to be a part of my son Dave's business and I have been blessed to be able to contribute there. Additional income from that enterprise has made my retirement a great deal more comfortable as well. So, retirement is not just fishing and golfing, but if that's what lights your fire, so be it. "To each his own said the little ole lady as she kissed the cow."
Retirement started in the medieval period of Europe when wealthy landowners gave the church some or all of their holdings in return for a house and stipend of food, fule and clothing. The idea was that you would have the last 5 years of your life tended to by the monks in return for the land and the wealth it generated. When retirements where set they were not indexed to life expectancy. I’m young and in my 30s but I have a hard time with the idea of retiring at 55-65 if I expect to live till am 80+. What truly would I do with my days? How would I keep my mind active and be of service to society?
I think the philosophy behind retirement will differ greatly based on exactly what you're retiring from, and who you're retiring to. (Sorry to end those phrases with prepositions, all you English majors.)

If you are doing something that you truly love, where you wouldn't even utilize the term "work", why would you hang 'em up voluntarily? Unless your skills eroded to the point of mediocrity, you'd keep humming along. Now, on the other hand, if your work is drudgery and you have beautiful grandchildren to dote upon, that's another matter altogether.
I think you are missing the point. Retirement isn't the END of anything, it's the BEGINNING of the rest of your life. I once thought retirement was the end of something myself, but when the time came I found myself looking forward to it. I hung up my spurs and burned my uniform and awards- then I went on with my life. I am the same person I was 5 years ago, I have not changed in my beliefs or ethics only now I can do as I please. I went to work for the railroad, that is what I've always wanted to do and it's something I enjoy greatly. Even though I am "retired" I never have a free moment, either I am enjoying work (it's far more enjoyable when you are working because you want to, not because you have to) or engaging in a number of hobbies or traveling or whatever.

When your time comes to retire it will be a natural decision for you and won't feel odd at all. So yes, retirement does serve a greater purpose in the fact that it allows you to finaly live as the fully developed mature man that you've been working your whole life to become. And that, my friend, is the manliest thing of all.
Since I already enjoy fishing and golfing and that will continue in my retirement. I will be even more active in my church and my community. I now volunteer with the animal shelter and have been involved with Habitat For Humanity and want to devote some time to both of them.
There are some people (I am one) who never find anything at which they excel. I went to college and was an average student. In graduate school I was average, so after my Master's degree I felt that getting a PhD would only perpetuate mediocrity, so decided against it. I worked quite hard at various jobs and was competent but not exceptional at anything.
I finally settled on a job that made pretty good money and that I could do well enough. I did it for 37 years. When retirement came at 66 I walked away with ease. Every day I get up at 6:30 and do what needs doing, then I do what I want to do. I still have not found anything at which I excel, so I continue to do tidy, adequate, helpful jobs and hobbies. Strangely, I enjoy my accomplishment-free retirement. I've discovered an interesting thing about time, the days seem to drag by while the months and years pass very rapidly. I'm in very good health (vigorous exercise every day) and yet I realize that I'm in the "departure lounge." I've tended to do what I can and accept what I must, no bitching and moaning.
I might want to go part-time at that age. I don't really know. I'm pretty good at coming up with interesting things to do, and might have a lot of projects I want to finish.

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