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A Satisfying Retirement Re-Vision

Retirement is a poor word to describe what happens to many of us after our working days are over. It implies ceasing to do much of value, withdrawing, concluding something. It means the end of something but not the beginning of something else. It suggests leaving an active life behind for one of leisure.

While that depiction of retirement was probably a better fit for earlier generations, today nothing could be further from the truth. With a decent commitment to healthy living, using our financial resources wisely, and filling our days with activities that motivate and please us, this stage of life can easily last twenty or even thirty years. That is much too long for us to be content with simply filling our days with golf or reading, TV, naps, and having dinner at 4pm!

Along with everyone else who has been blogging, writing books, producing TV shows, or otherwise being involved with this stage of life, I have been searching for a word to replace retirement. Retread, reboot, and reimagine have been used by others. While clever, none seem to express exactly what I think retirement should become.

As I thought about this problem during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, another word came to mind. I'd like to have you think about it, and give me your feedback. If I am on to something, I would modify the name of this blog to incorporate this new word and keep it front and center as a way of talking about this time of our life.

The word that might better describe this phase of life has some of these definitions:

  • alteration
  • adaption
  • different edition or form of something
  • modification
  • refashioning
  • remaking
  • revamping

The word is revision (the post title gave it away!).

What is important is the presentation of the word. As commonly used, you may think of revision  as something an author does to a book, a screen writer does to a movie or TV show, a teacher does to her course syllabus for the new semester. Something is revised, freshened or improved.

But, if I add a hyphen, the word becomes re-vision, or a new, revised, and different vision of something, in this case, a life. A re-vision of this part of my life means I am altering, adapting, remaking, refashioning myself to take advantage of the freedom and time I now have. I am forming a new vision, a re-vision of what has been up till now. 

Unless I am off base and had too much eggnog over the holidays, the word re-vision seems much more accurate than retirement for how we live.

Okay, so changing a word may not strike you as a big deal, and you may be correct. What we name something is simply a convenient way to identify something. But, in the case of retirement is it possible this outdated word defines how others see us, or we see ourselves?

A Satisfying Retirement Re-Vision...yes or no?


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