When did retirement become a dirty word?
It used to be the goal for working Americans. Work hard at your job, do your best and then enjoy the pleasures of retirement. This might not be the case anymore based on the reaction I got from coworkers, friends and family when I recently announced I was planning to retire after almost 40 years in the workplace.
I was expecting congratulations, best wishes and even some jealousy on my happy news. Finally, at age 62 I would have all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted. Pursue new interests, rediscover neglected passions, create interesting experiences. No more meetings, deadlines, office politics. After all, if you could stop working tomorrow, wouldn't you want to?
Apparently not these days.
Most people seemed surprised and disappointed that I no longer wanted to work. Why leave the workforce? Aren't you going to miss it? What are you going to do all day? It was almost as if I became less worthy in their eyes, somehow flawed for wanting to call it quits.
What's going on here? What am I missing? I actually started to feel a little guilty.