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Is it time to 'retire retirement'?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

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It is high time that the world “retires its definition of retirement”, one of the most influential and powerful women in media has said.

Arianna Huffington explained that retirement is no longer a reality for many people. Where once it meant the end of a working life for one that was marked by a slower, quieter pace, today that is no longer the case.

Writing in her column for The Huffington Post, of which she is editor-in-chief, she observed that if we were to choose a word for “what life looks like as we hit our mid-60s, 70s and 80s,” it’s very unlikely that it would be retirement.

“While these years bring many changes, for a growing number of people, this time of life is about anything but withdrawal or retreat,” she elaborated.

As LV= found in a recent survey, more and more people are now approaching retirement gradually and working beyond the state pension age. This is leading to a new demographic known as ‘part-time pensioners’.

Ms Huffington picks up on this in her article, saying that retirement is no longer synonymous with ending a long career. She is a case in point, as at 64, she does not plan on winding down anytime soon. This is because to her, work is one of the most fulfilling aspects of her life.

“The same principles that allow us to thrive in our daily work lives can also help us thrive in retirement, or whatever we call it,” she went on to say.

“Just as a productive workday depends on how we prepare ourselves for it (for example, by getting enough sleep and taking time to recharge ourselves in our off-hours), a productive, meaningful and purposeful retirement depends on what we put into it.”

For Ms Huffington, retirement, at least in her understanding of the word in a modern context, can be just as busy, rewarding and challenging as life prior to it. The sooner we appreciate this, the better. It’s about changing the conversation and talking about retirement as a thriving chapter in someone’s life. There’s plenty to do, and much to be achieved.

Age is just a number.

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