If You Work In Retirement, Are You Still Considered Retired?

Retirement is something that we all strive to achieve. It symbolizes the end of a long career and is the point where you can relax and reap the rewards of life. However, many individuals these days are not prepared financially for retirement. Either they did not save enough or they had unusual circumstances that required them to retire prematurely. This typically means that they need to become extremely frugal (living solely on Social Security) or continuing to work. I’ve always wondered about the later. If you work in retirement, are you still considered retired?

What is Retirement to You?

What does retirement mean to you? Merriam-Webster defines retirement as:

withdrawal from one’s position or occupation or from active working life

With that definition, you can say that after you stop working your primary occupation, you are officially retired. What happens if you decide to go back to work after a few months of retirement? Does that mean that you are no longer retired?

Taking Any Work Possible In Retirement

I feel that if you go back to work in retirement because you need money, you are no longer retired. The ideal retirement for me does not have me greeting customers coming in the front door of a department store. When I retire I want to do the things that I always wanted to do but did not have the time to do it. I want to travel the world but because of work, I cannot do that right now. However, in retirement, I will have the time and resources to complete this dream.

Doing a Job That You Always Dreamed of In Retirement

What if you are set financially but choose to work? Many people choose to work in retirement because there has always been something that they longed to do. Have you always wanted to start a charitable foundation or non-profit company? I feel that if you are working in retirement doing something you are passionate about, you are still considered retired. Isn’t that what retirement is supposed to be all about, doing stuff you love?

In conclusion, I think that retirement is what you make of it. However, if you cannot fully retire for financial reasons, I don’t think you are officially retired. However, if you have a job just to stimulate your brain or get to know members of your community, I think that is an ideal retirement because you are doing what you are passionate about or what keeps you ticking. I just do not think you can officially be retired if you dread going to work at the local grocery store at the age of 75 just so you can eat.

What is your definition of retirement? Do you agree with my reasonings or am I way off base?