Posted by Tim Stobbs on July 13, 2011
A long standing problem on this blog and many others is based in terminology around that damn ‘R’ word: retirement. While we typically use it fairly flexibility on this blog to mean several different but similar states of being, yet for other people the word is very firmly locked up with their own idea that once you are retired you shouldn’t work.
The issue arises about the fact that retirement is a broadly used word that the majority of people recognize to indicate the basic idea of several possible states of being: in a nut shell you are free to do what you want within the capacity of your savings. While that general statement is correct the exact definition doesn’t just have to be either black (working) or white (not working). As in most things there are many shades of grey between the two states.
If you really want to be technical I suppose the correct term for what Robert has done is financial independence. He has enough income from his savings that he don’t have to work, but still has an interest in doing some work in a different field.
In my case my dream is likely best described as semi-retirement. I may alter my plans enough that I won’t be fully financially independent as Robert, but instead may have to do some work for a number of years prior to full retirement. This is completely fine with me as I have always planned to have some degree of work after 45.
The point of the matter is the two states of being are very close to each other and frankly rather than getting bogged down in terminology issues we both tend to just use the word retirement. Yes it might not be completely correct, but since I keep flipping back and forth on my plans between the two states it makes things easier for anyone who happens to read the blog.
Heck even at one point I tossed out the idea of: Life 2.o to explain what I’m doing. The point is there isn’t a great term for it, so we make do with what we got and keep things simple with: retirement.
So what do you call what you are trying to do? Why do you pick that term?