Weekend Reading: Why Do We Retire?

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

The retirement you’re living today isn’t the same “traditional” retirement of years’ past.


An outdated outlook: The concept of retirement originated as a government-supported program in the late 1800s with the introduction of Social Security, followed by the 401(k) in the 20th century. It was initially designed for a different era when people had shorter lifespans, jobs were more physically demanding and decades were spent with one company.

Blending retirement and life: So what does retirement mean to you today? Instead of dividing life into a “pre-retirement” and “post-retirement” phase, author Owen Stoneking suggests creating a life that blends work and leisure, finding purpose-driven endeavors and taking periodic breaks throughout your career. He emphasizes the importance of meaningful work and relationships over accumulating wealth for early retirement; that a fulfilling life should be your ultimate goal, rather than a specific retirement age.

When you create a life that doesn’t require retirement as an escape from work, that’s when you’ve truly embraced what it means to “Retire With Purpose.” That’s when you’ve found your “why.”