Today's article on MSN Money by Liz Pulliam Weston Retired By 50. Where Are They Now? is an interesting follow-up on four couples she's profiled in September, 2007.
It's a good read and inspirational in terms of where frugality, savings and good planning will take you.
However, it's a bit of a cheat to say that these folks RETIRED.
Most just left their prior jobs, (some with a pension, some without) and moved on to different careers. That's hardly my definition of retirement.
Some downshifted to less stressful lives, moved onto a houseboat, cool things like that. But again, that's NOT retirement. It may just be changing to a better lifestyle.
As it turns out, only one couple truly is retired. They are living off of investments and doing well even during the recession, which is reassuring.
I don't understand Liz' definition of retirement. If I leave the job I'm currently in to, say, open a bookstore (one of those impossible dreams that always sounds better as a fantasy than it plays out in real life), I haven't retired. I've just changed fields. If I move to a cabin in the woods to write books, I haven't retired if I intend to make my living doing so.
At least to me, retirement means not working or at least not working fulltime and not working at anything particularly remunerative. It means volunteering. It means traveling. It may even mean writing books, but having tried that in the past (the publishing world was unmoved!), I would never expect to live on those royalties.
In Grace's world, retired means RETIRED!