Financial planning tools and services to put you on the path to the future you want
Your guide to financial planning and retirement
Connect with peers and experts
Get to know the people behind the company and the mission behind the work
Offer financial wellness to the people at the heart of your business
July 24, 2019
When Social Security was first enacted in 1935, the age of retirement was set at 65. At that time, the average life expectancy was 61! Yes. Most people died before they even started to collect Social Security.
Today, average life expectancy is just under 80 years and many of us live longer. Much longer! And, the percentage of the workforce representing workers over 65 has doubled since 1992. And that trend is expected to continue unabated.
Historically, the word retirement made sense. However, it just doesn’t mean what we experience now. If you “retire” in your sixties, you have 20-30 or more years to fill. That is too much time for withdrawing.
Side Note: Historically it did make sense to start collecting Social Security as early as possible. However, nowadays it is a good idea to delay the start of benefits until at least your full retirement age in order to maximize your lifetime payout. Learn more about the best time to start Social Security: Easy steps to the right Social Security decision.
Below are a few options we and the Internet have come up with for another word for retirement.
Email us your vote for one of these or send us another word you think better describes this time of life!
Financial advisor Robert Laura wrote a piece for Forbes that suggests that adding an “s” to retirement more accurately reflects the transition into a new kind of life rather than a hard stop at work. He writes, “By acknowledging the idea that each of us may have multiple retirements during our lifetime, the burden is removed from making this huge, one-time, make or break decision. This new mindset says, “What’s next?” instead of “I am no longer a productive part of society.” It fosters positive thinking and gives boomers permission to be proactive as they transition from one role or situation into the next.”
NewRetirement Newsletter subscriber, Chris Castellano has suggested transitions — transitioning out of one phase of life to another — rather than ‘making it’ or ‘arriving at.’
He says, “Life is a series of transitions from one phase to another, with new understanding of ourselves and the world, traveling with that knowledge in and out of those phases. In a sense, one never becomes ‘retired.’ The train never stops rolling on…”
Whether you are still working or completely without any external paychecks, retirement is generally a time when someone has achieved financial independence. You know what resources you have now and what you will need to fund your life.
Are you not yet sure about your finances? Use the NewRetirement Retirement Planner to create and maintain a comprehensive and reliable plan for your future.
Encore.org is an organization devoted to helping people of retirement age make an impact. They write: “The decades of life beyond 50 become a time of social contribution and impact — and we leave the world better than we found it.”
Lawrence R. Samuel, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today, “Rather than embrace their parents’ model of seniority defined by retirement, baby boomers are now considering or pursuing many different options, a version of life I call Boomers 3.0. Instead of heading en masse to retirement communities much like “Del Boca Vista” (the fictional condominium complex in Florida of Seinfeld fame), 60-somethings are going back to school, starting new relationships, exploring their creativity, taking new spiritual paths, embarking on “encore” careers, forming new communities, fighting for causes in which they believe, giving their time and money away, and yes, bucket listing. For financial and other reasons, a good number are working and staying in their current homes as long as possible, seeing no compelling reason to do otherwise.”
Spanish speaking countries might just have the right word. Retirement translates into Spanish as “jubalacion.” The word jubalacion (jubilation in English) originally meant making a joyful noise. It comes from Latin jubilant- ‘calling, hallooing’, from the verb jubilare. Wooohoooo! Happy Jubalacion!
Maybe we could call retirement: Happyment. Yahooment. Yipeement. Joyfulment…
Here are 50 tips for a happy, healthy and wealthy future.
Up until retirement age we are either under the control of someone — a parent or a boss — or we are responsible for someone — our children and employees. Maybe retirement really means a time that is all our own when responsibilities are minimized.
However, don’t forget that having a purpose and a reason for being is critical to your emotional welfare. Prepare for life after retirement: 4 ways to find meaning and purpose for this phase of life.
Maybe we shouldn’t shy away from age in retirement. Why not call ourselves Very Old People (VOP) or Rather Old People (ROP).
Age is one thing that most retired people do have in common despite varied interests and activities. We can turn the negative associations with age on their head and own the age. Explore how to combat ageism.
The noun adolescence comes from the Latin word adolescere, which means “to ripen” or “to grow up.” So, it makes sense that we use adolescence to describe the phase when transition into adulthood.
However, let’s face it, do we ever really “grow up?” We just keep learning and growing. Retirement age feels a lot more ripe than being a teenager ever did! Maybe we need to claim this word.
Maturation is an excellent candidate to replace the word retirement.
Maturation comes from Latin maturare “to ripen, bring to maturity,” from maturus “ripe, timely, early,” related to manus “good” and mane “early, of the morning,” from PIE root *ma- “good,” with derivatives meaning “occurring at a good moment, timely, seasonable, early.”
Maturation also mean the time when debts or financial obligations come due. So, this word reflects both the financial and psychological aspects of this time of life. It is an honest but flattering description of getting older.
For many people, retirement is a time when your values become more important than money. Even if work is involved, then you are working at something you love, not just working.
Maybe the problem with finding a word for retirement is that it is not just one thing.
As noted above, retirement can last 30 or more years and a lot is going to happen in that time. And, most experts agree that we go through many different phases in retirement — going from the transition out of working for money to an active and engaged time to finally a time of withdrawal.
Maybe we need to define these phases. Something like:
And don’t forget that, when creating a retirement plan, you need to think about how your income and expenses will evolve over the rest of your life. (You probably won’t be spending or earning the same amounts in 10 years as you are now.)
No matter what you call it, what you are going to do or how you think retirement should be defined, you do need a financial plan.
The Retirement Planner is award winning software and the best way to feel secure about your retirement. This tool takes a complicated process usually done by expensive financial advisors and make it easy to do for yourself. No embarrassing face to face meetings with someone telling you that you should have saved more or looking askance at how much money you want to spend every month.
NewRetirement doesn’t offer any shouldas, couldas or wouldas. We simply help you feel confident about your finances.
Do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable
Take financial wellness into your own hands and do it yourself retirement planning: easy,
Share this post:
Our weekly newsletter full of inspiration, podcasts, trends and news.
© 2023 NewRetirement, Inc. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: The content, calculators, and tools on NewRetirement.com are for informational and educational purposes
only and are not investment advice. They apply financial concepts in a general manner and include
hypotheticals based on information you provide. For retirement planning, you should consider other
assets, income, and investments such as equity in a home or savings accounts in addition to your
retirement savings in an IRA or qualified plan such as a 401(k). Among other things, NewRetirement
provides you with a way to estimate your future retirement income needs and assess the impact of
different scenarios on retirement income. NewRetirement Planner and PlannerPlus are tools that
individuals can use on their own behalf to help think through their future plans, but should not be
acted upon as a complete financial plan. We strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a financial
services professional who has a fiduciary relationship with you before making any type of investment or
significant financial decision. NewRetirement strives to keep its information and tools accurate and up
to date. The information presented is based on objective analysis, but it may not be the same that you
find on a particular financial institution, service provider or specific product's site. All content,
tools, financial products, calculations, estimates, forecasts, comparison shopping products and services
are presented without warranty.