The word “retirement” has the image of sitting around doing nothing and living off a portion of what you used to have. It can also refer to being forced into retirement because you no longer have any marketable skills or at least no one is willing to hire you. Retirement can also refer to having enough money to not have to work, but staying active.
When I think of long term planning, I try not to put it into terms of retirement. I try and look at it as to how I anticipate the last decades of my life playing out. This is what I am planning for. Quite frankly, I have no idea when I am going to stop working. It may come down to finances, health, or simply desire. What this means is that I look at what I want to be doing and the quality of life I want, which may or may not include working.
As an Elder Law Attorney, I work on having my clients focus on life and not specific events. Money is the means to live their life. Once we get the big picture, then we can focus in on the details to achieve the big picture. Life is more than retirement and planning requires more than focusing on money.