Thursday, October 8, 2009

Early Retiree Follow-Up

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!


Anonymous said...

Grace, I'm with you. Retired means RETIRED. But unfortunately, in this new economic world, retirement means today, quitting a 9-5 job you hate and doing something you love instead, only what you love pays less than what you hated so you have to downsize, save and do with less so you can finally get to enjoy yourself.

Say what?

Anonymous said...

Retired, and loving it. Doing what ever moves me. Today it's just reading a few blogs, baking bread, and making my favorite "potatoe soup". Tomorrow....who knows. The MH may look for cooler temps... 92 today in paradise.

My it as soon as possible!

Barb said...

To me, retired means doing the things you want. Many people do not WANT to be doing "nothing", they cannot imagine it. so they leav e their employment and do what they have dreamed of. Often that is working or doing some kind of business that they like where they may or may not make money. I would consider that retiremen. My sister in laws father retired after thirty years in the advertising business. He know works part time in a retail store, and LOVES it. I would personally consider him retired.

Anonymous said...

Welp, I'm still about 20-30 years out from retirement...but I'm with you on the fantasy of owning a bookstore. I fear, however, that I'd be less interested in customers and more into spending the work day surrounded by books. (Heaven!)