Retirement now is seen as a reward for being productive and working hard your whole life – a bright light at the end of the tunnel. However, ageing and eventually ‘handing the torch’ over has not always been perceived this way by people.

When retirement was first introduced, it was considered a way of forcing people to get out of the workforce and permanently stay unemployed. It was the way industries forced out people who were no longer ‘useful’ or ‘productive’ to their employers.

The connotation now is much more of a celebration, something adults can look forward to. However, as life trudge’s on for retirees, the harsh truth is retirement can in itself become a punishment.

Eric Brotman, author of Retire Wealthy and Debt-free for Life, believes true fulfillment in retirement comes from understanding it’s a ‘graduation’ rather than a retirement from life.

He says understanding that retirement is not an ‘end’ to working but a ‘graduation’ from having to work.

“Working because you have to make ends meet and working because it fulfils you are two very different concepts,” he wrote in Forbes.

The author explains retirement is an opportunity to ask yourself what you want to be “when you grow up”.

“Retiring does not mean it’s too late to decide or change your mind; it means you now have the financial independence and time to find and pursue the true answer,” he explained.

For those looking for a successful and healthy retirement, Mr Brotman encourages people to reconsider how they want to live out the next phase of their life.

“Maintain your talents and skills, continue pursuing your passions and never stop figuring out what you want to be after you graduate.

“Because if you don’t continue to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning, eventually you’ll stop getting out of bed in the morning,” the author wrote.

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