Have you ever thought about retirement? Did you know that it’s pretty much a modern custom? Of course, that might be because most people used to die before they hit retirement age, but that’s really another matter entirely. I looked at my 401K today (yes, I have a 401K… for shame…) and there’s a whopping $3500 in there. Needless to say, that isn’t particularly impressive. I kept thinking, ‘don’t worry, it’ll grow….’ However, I have to ask myself, do I really want/need it to? Last week I asked you to write about why we work. I wanted you to consider whether you’re simply working to make a living, working to pay off debt, working because you’re bored, etc; if you’re working because you love it, or because you find meaning in what you do; or perhaps working to build something that matters to you. I’m sure some of you came up with other reasons, but I wanted those ideas in your mind for this week. Consider: in many ways we are simply made to work. Most of what we do on a daily basis is work (depending on how you define work anyway). Whether you’re out in your shop building a new dining room table for your wife, painting miniatures, or beating Demon Souls for the fifth time; regardless of whether you’re getting paid, when we put our time and effort into actions to build skills, character, or produce physical results, we are working. So, what does this mean for the concept of retirement? What is retirement? Are you simply going to sit around doing nothing? Are you just moving from one job to another job? Are you perhaps transferring from a paid profession to an unpaid profession?
So, you know the drill. I want you to write a story of 1000 words answering the question: what does it mean to ‘retire’? Make sure that you provide a clear support for your answer to the question, and give it some good thought first. Don’t settle for an easy answer. Also consider this question (which is generally dependent on the first): should we plan to retire at all?