Retirement - What's That?

by Jane Smith
(Wolverhampton)

Me enjoying a walk with my dogs

Me enjoying a walk with my dogs

Where did it come from, this strange word retirement? I was looking at some census data in 1841 and 1851 and then at the end of the century on 1891. In the first part of the nineteenth century retirement as an "occupation" did not exist. People worked until they died. Perhaps less than when they were young but needs must. But by 1891 there it was, this strange word "retired." Goodness knows where it came from but I don't like it. It smacks too much of a horse being put out to grass, waiting to die, useless and invisible.
Needless to say my dream of retirement is to live life to the full for as long as I can. So I cram far too much into my day, still working (I started a new business this year), play tennis at least 3 times a week, walk twice a day and write, write, write.Oh yes, and I am in my third year of a history course. Of course there are downsides of getting to 64, of course, but there are downsides of any age. I am a widow and had to move to a smaller house and both of these have had an effect on my mental health, but hey we are a resilient lot so we bounce (ah yes, there is another downside of getting older) back.

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Apr 04, 2011
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Retirement - not for me either!
by: Pat

Jane you're a girl after my own heart. The Oxford dictionary interprets retire as "retreat, seek seclusion or shelter, be uncommunicative. None of which I'm ready to do or be. The older generation quite often state that they feel invisible as they get older. Is that because they have no focus, no challenge in life any longer?

Plenty of time to sit around when our health dictates but while I'm healthy and able, like you, I want to be contributing to life, not watching from the sidelines.

Hope your business is an enormous success.
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