Monday, April 17, 2017

What does retirement mean?

We can use the dictionary definition of Retirement and we see many different views but the main thrust of the definition is the withdrawal from work due to age.  If one is older and in poor health, the reasons for withdrawing from work is not seen as the illness but is seen as retiring early.
Retirement is defined as seclusion or privacy, or withdrawal from work due to age.
An example of retirement is going into a back bedroom and taking a nap.
An example of retirement is a 65-year-old person deciding to permanently leave his job.
Retiring or being retired; specif., withdrawal from work, business, etc. because of age
privacy; seclusion
a place of privacy or seclusion
of, having to do with, or for retirement or retired persons: a retirement community
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Retirement noun
a. Withdrawal from one's occupation or position, especially upon reaching a certain age.
b. The age at which one withdraws from work or activity: On reaching retirement, he took up woodworking.
The act of retiring or the state of being retired: the retirement of debt.
Privacy or seclusion: in the retirement of your own home.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition Copyright © 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Retirement Noun
An act of retiring; withdrawal.
(uncountable) The state of being retired; seclusion.
The portion of one's life after retiring from one's career.
Origin: From French, from retirer (“withdraw", often used reflexively retire"), from re- + tirer (draw, tear away") + English suffix -ment (movement, placement). English Wiktionary. Available under CC-BY-SA license.
retirement - Legal Definition
The voluntary termination of employment upon reaching a certain age

The Old Age Pension came from Germany. Germany became the first nation in the world to adopt an old-age social insurance program in 1889, designed by Germany's Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. The idea was first put forward, at Bismarck's behest, in 1881 by Germany's Emperor, William the First, in a ground-breaking letter to the German Parliament. William wrote: ". . .those who are disabled from work by age and invalidity have a well-grounded claim to care from the state."

The German system provided contributory retirement benefits and disability benefits as well. Participation was mandatory and contributions were taken from the employee, the employer and the government. Coupled with the workers' compensation program established in 1884 and the "sickness" insurance enacted the year before, this gave the Germans a comprehensive system of income security based on social insurance principles. (They would add unemployment insurance in 1927, making their system complete.)

Germany was one of the models America looked to in designing its own Social Security plan; and the myth is that America adopted age 65 as the age for retirement benefits because this was the age adopted by Germany when they created their program. In fact, Germany initially set age 70 as the retirement age and it was not until 27 years later (in 1916) that the age was lowered to 65.

Bismarck was motivated to introduce social insurance in Germany both in order to promote the well-being of workers in order to keep the German economy operating at maximum efficiency and to stave off calls for more radical socialist alternatives.

Today the face of retirement Is changing. We live longer, in the 1920’s the life span in Canada for men 59 and for women 61. There were very few people that made it to 65, so the Old Age Security was only for those who lived longer. In the 1960’s we had a life expectancy for men of 69 and for women 76. We worked until we were 65 and then retired, and died about four years later. Retirement was seen by many as a time waiting for the end. Today we have a life expectancy of 77 for men and 82 for women. So, the realities of retirement have changed, we are no longer sitting around waiting for the end. 

Many of us are in good health and we want to be active.  Many of my friends are working. The difference is that they are working doing more of what they love and not what they have to do. I and my friends are early boomers, which means that what we do, the majority of boomers will do as they reach our age. So, a trend that is starting is that more people will work, albeit part time when they retire.

In retirement, it is important to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Although money is important, retirement is about more than just money. Today, retirement is about being happy. Today, as you plan for retirement think differently. Think about life and what life means to you when you are retired. It's not easy, and it may require some soul searching so you can determine your priorities. When thinking about retirement you need to think about what you are going to do with your time, how you are going to maintain your health and who is going to be part of your retirement in terms of friends, family and other social groups.

Retirement today is busier and full of more choice because we are living longer and we are healthier than are parents and grandparents. Your success at retirement is really dependent on you and the choices you make. The more you plan and think ahead, the more likely you are to enjoy a happy retirement. After all, retirement today will last more than 20 years, and hopefully will be the best years of your life.

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