Has ageism made retirement a dirty word? Do some of us reject the ‘retired’ label, lest others (mistakenly) perceive us as ‘done’? Euphemisms (e.g. transitioning) seem a bit like denial, yet traditional definitions no longer apply. We need to actively challenge age-related stereotypes and confront the outdated notions of ageing and retirement head on so that we stop shying away from a term which we have the ability to actively redefine, not just rename.

Shift is taking place. Retirement has become a period of continued exploration, fulfillment and engagement rather than a hard stop. Those who are stepping away from successful careers often feel that being labeled ‘retired’ feels like less in some way. Others reject the term because they don’t want to be defined by their age, their work status or cultural stereotypes. For many it is a reminder of lost identity, community and purpose. Still others embrace it as a reward for a lifetime of hard work. Retirement is all of these things and still evolving.

As a society, we need to proactively reframe and not just re-name retirement as an evolution (positive) versus a hard stop (negative). We need to promote age-friendly workplaces that offer flexible work options, encourage lifelong learning and foster intergenerational interactions that keep people contributing and connecting. Doing so would also leave the door open to those who want to stay in the workplace as long as possible without fear of ageism.

Can we really redefine what it means to be retired? We’ll get there — if only because the tsunami-level wave of people who are now grappling with this issue will redefine it as a generation … #ageism #dei #genderedageism #ageing #retirement #unretirement #labels #stereotypes #culturalshift #workfore #smallbusiness #purpose #multigenerational #inclusion #demographics #purpose #consulting #success #leadership #mentors #volunteers #mygeneration #Boomers #retirementplanning Read the original piece on Medium

Lori Martinek