To Retire or Not to Retire? Retirement Sayings About the Pros and Cons of Retirement

To Retire or Not to Retire? Retirement Sayings About the Pros and Cons of Retirement


Is retirement really so great? Some of these famous retirement quotes indicate yes others disagree. It may surprise you to learn that we have collected more retirement sayings that argue against retirement than those in favor of retirement.

Of course, more and more people retiring these days are transitioning to retirement – retiring from one job in order to actively pursue another interest.  If that is you, then you’ll probably relate to all of the opinions below.

NOTE: If these are not the retirement quotes you are after, try: “Famous Retirement Quotes” or “Funny and Inspirational Quotes About Aging and Retirement.


Why Retire? Famous Quotations on the Merits of Retirement

Do these famous quotes give you the desire to retire?

I’m not just retiring from the company, I’m also retiring from my stress, my commute, my alarm clock, and my iron.

  • Hartman Jule

The company gave me an aptitude test and I found out the best work I was best suited for was retirement.

  • Author Unknown

Retirement means no pressure, no stress, no heartache… unless you play golf.

  • Gene Perret

There is a whole new kind of life ahead, full of experiences just waiting to happen. Some call it “retirement.” I call it bliss.

  • Betty Sullivan

 Never lose sight of this important truth, that no one can be truly great until he has gained a knowledge of himself, a knowledge which can only be acquired by occasional retirement.

  • Johann Georg von Zimmerman

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.

  • James M. Barrie

 Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

  • Oscar Wilde

Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good.

  • Soren Kierkegaard

I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves.

  • Bruce Grocott

 Work is not always required… there is such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.

  • George McDonald


Why Not to Retire? The Disadvantages of Retirement

What do Hugh Hefner, Benjamin Franklin and these other notable personalities have in common?  They all seem to think that retirement is a bad word… (However, if you are looking forward to retirement, perhaps put these quotes in the context of thinking about how you want to spend your time in retirement.  Maybe you are not retiring from something, but rather beginning something new.)

Retirement is the ugliest word in the language.

  • Ernest Hemingway

A man ought to work. That’s what he is here for. That’s how he contributes to the welfare of the community.

  • W. Somerset Maugham

 Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.

  • Voltaire

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if retirement is a reward for a lifetime of hard work or a punishment.

  • Terri Guillemets

 It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.

  • Benjamin Franklin

 In retirement, I look for days off from my days off.

  • Mason Cooley

Retirement kills more people than hard work ever did.

  • Malcolm Forbes

Don’t think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drive into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.

  • Samuel Johnson

Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.

  • Douglas MacArthur

Men and women approaching retirement age should be recycled for public service work, and their companies should foot the bill. We can no longer afford to scrap-pile people.

  • Maggie Kuhn

 A person is known not by the company he keeps, but by the company that keeps him on after retirement age.

  • Unknown Author

 Planning to play: that’s what saving for retirement is today – and it is antithetical to the nature of play, fully within the definition of work, and blissfully ignorant of the reality of death.

  • John Thorn

I think that retirement is the first step towards the grave.

  • Hugh Hefner

 People who refuse to rest honorably on their laurels when they reach retirement age seem very admirable to me.

  • Helen Hayes

 To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization , and at present very few people have reached this level.

  • Bertrand Russell

 The boomers’ biggest impact will be on eliminating the term ‘retirement’ and inventing a new stage of life… the new career arc.

  • Rosabeth Moss Kanter

 There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it.

  • Henry Moore

 Retirement is a one-way trip to insignificance.

  • Mason Cooley

 ‘Tis our fast intent

To shake all cares and business from our age,

Conferring them on younger strengths, while we

Unburdened crawl toward death.

  • William Shakespeare

 Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music in them.

  • Louis Armstrong

Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.

  • Benjamin Franklin

 We rarely find anyone who can say he has lived a happy life, and who, content with his life, can retire from the world like a satisfied guest.

  • Horace

The human race is faced with a cruel choice: work or daytime television.

  • Unknown

 Age to me means nothing. I can’t get old; I’m working. I was old when I was twenty-one and out of work. As long as you’re working, you stay young.

  • George Burns

If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work.

  • William Shakespeare


More Retirement Sayings…