When I worked in communications, it used to drive me crazy when people made up words. Especially when they changed nouns into verbs, like:

  • I googled that information.
  • We strategized a solution.
  • She friended me.
  • He actioned that last week . . .

You get the idea. Sometimes a new word could provide clarity, but often it was just ridiculous jargon that served to obscure more than enlighten the listener/reader’s understanding.

I raise this now because I am watching people struggle to describe the phase of life that we’ve traditionally called retirement. Many Baby Boomers don’t want to be associated with the current connotations of that word (see my previous post on ageism), and there are multiple efforts to ‘re-brand’ it by creating a new word for it.

I recently stumbled upon one such effort – retiresition – a combination of the words retirement and transition. It’s odd looking I know, and probably more of a concept than an actual word, but it captures a model of retirement that more and more people are adopting.

Retiresition is about confronting any fear or anxiety you might have about retirement by ‘trying it on for size’ to see what it would be like.

The idea is to test before you leap, so that when you do decide to retire, you have a really good idea of what you want your retirement to look like.

It turns retirement from a binary event – you either work or you don’t – into a series of incremental transitions where you phase out of your work life into your new retirement life.

From the work perspective it can entail everything from working out an agreement with your employer to work part-time or job-share, becoming a contractor, starting a small business on the side, changing careers, mentoring or becoming a volunteer. But it also involves trying out new hobbies and activities, joining new groups, taking courses for interest or to reskill, vacationing/renting in places where you could potentially relocate, etc. — all while you’re still in the workforce.

The idea is to test before you leap, so that when you do decide to retire, you have a really good idea of what you want your retirement to look like.

Taking a phased approach that allows you to explore that vision will create a much smoother transition as you learn to adjust to your changing finances, time commitments and relationships. It will also help you to reinvent yourself and derive meaning and purpose from things other than your job, making that leap to retirement far more enticing.

Retiresition just may be my new favorite word!




One thought on “Retiresition

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s