What is the most memorable concert you have ever attended? For me it was numerous performances of the Cleveland Orchestra that ended and left me wanting more. If I was particularly moved, I’d stand up, clap loudly, and cheer “Bravo! Encore!” to express my appreciation and to encourage the performers to keep going. I wanted more of what was already delightful. This is the feeling I want (and what most people want) in retirement. Getting there, though, doesn’t happen automatically. It requires a plan and a specific strategy. One part of that strategy is based on the power of words and reframing.

Some people hear the word “retirement” and immediately think of slowing down. But life doesn’t end at retirement. It begins again. For many, it becomes THE most fulfilling stage of their lives in part because they know themselves better than ever before. They know what they want and what they don’t want. The first step towards a happy and fulfilling retirement is getting rid of the outdated word “retirement.” Because words have power, both in our thoughts and in our spoken and written language, we need to retire the words “retirement” and “retiree.”

To replace retirement, get inspired by these terms:

    • 3rd life
    • 3rd age
    • 3rd act
    • Post-career life
    • Better half of life
    • 2nd adulthood
    • Next season
    • Renaissance
    • Time of deepening
    • Time to pursue what I want
    • Time of deeper intimacy with life
    • Time of significance
    • Refirement (not a typo)

To replace retiree, get inspired by these terms:

  • Encore
  • 3rd lifer
  • 3rd ager
  • Refiree (not a typo)
  • Post career individual
  • Renaissance man/ woman

What language would best capture what you want most out of your next life stage?

I invite you to not only make your choice now, but also to use your terms in casual conversation. If people listen up and ask you about it, you have a great opportunity to help others discover how much freedom and choice you are stepping into right now. You will inspire them, help disrupt cultural stereotypes around retirement at the same time and reconfirm your refreshed stand on the rest of your life. Win – Win.