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October 12, 2010


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Matt Baxter

Clear and cogent thoughts on the issue. On Friday someone said, "Oh, I heard you are retired" and I stammered a response about what I was doing and why. One of these days I'll figure it out. But it is great not using an alarm clock (unless I really want a 6 a.m. bicycle ride so I can be back in time to make breakfast for the high schoolers in the house) and I often laugh when someone asks me what day it is. I have to start counting backward to whatever day I can actually identify. Sometimes it is nearly a week!

Thanks again for an interesting post.


I worked part-time for 7 years but never considered myself retired, only semi-retired (being that I was halfway to working my desired zero hours, or being fully retired).

While I liked having some weekdays off, I still hated those trips to my office in New Jersey. I still had all the horrors of commuting, just not 5 days a week (only 1 or 2 or 3).

I have still earned about $200 this year working. $100 of it was making two airport trips for some friends, and the other $100 was ridding a neighbor's PC of spyware and other stuff which was slowing it to a crawl. But that was 3 hours of work all year long, so I still consider myself fully retired.

Every day still feels like a weekend for me, as I can eat breakfast at 9:30 AM and lunch at 2 PM. I come and go as I please, and continue to enjoy my volunteer work and hobbies. I go to sleep as late as I like.

Life is good. :)


I work part time 20-30 hours a month during tourist season (Oct-April) as a tour guide for visiting business groups. It is often fun, I enjoy dealing with different people, and it is a nice source of extra pocket change for not much effort. As an added bonus my daughter works for the same company as an executive, so she gets to be my "boss," something she says she enjoys.

Am I retired? You bet.

fred doe

i've been retired 2 1/2 years. i still work but my jobs are on call basis. i don't do it for something to do or for need of income. i'm just greedy. right now with unemployment at 10 to 15% it sound a little unbelievable but in years as the economy straightens out boomers will be a commodity in the labor market. this year 75% of people who turned 62 put in for social security their reasons where their own. if greed drives the economy then get ready for those gray headed boomers coming to a work place near you. myself i take all my extra cash and bury it in my crawl space or spread on my bed and roll around in it. :)


You may believe "you're retired" when you are still working. Everyone else knows you're NOT retired if you are still working.

Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely (or decides to leave the labor force if he or she is unemployed).

Retired Syd

@fred doe. I love the comment "i'm just greedy." I'll tell you what I've learned about myself through this gig. I admitted it to my new boss last week: "I'm an appreciation whore." I too, am greedy--greedy for appreciation. Better than money . . .


RE: Jack's comment,

Isn't it possible to be retired from one life and start a new one? My part time work has nothing to do with my previous career. I remain retired from that portion of my life.

While the common definition may be "no longer working," that is much too limiting for today's world. If you are working for fun and appreciation and the money is a side perk, I contend you are retired.

Retired Syd

On the subject of "really being retired" I used to care what it was called--now all I care about is the end result, being happy. And since I was never this happy before I retired, and that is the big change that resulted in all the extra happiness, I'll be content to just continue relishing it without worrying about whether everyone really agrees what it's called.

How's that for evolving?

Bill Birnbaum

Hi, Syd... I really identify with your list of factors indicating that a person is retired.... even if working part time. As a "retired" management consultant who still works with an occasional client, I love eating a full breakfast, I often lose track of the day of the week, and I've forgotten how to set the clock's alarm. Bill

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