Retirement Evolves. Here Are Some Of The Steps We Took To Move It Along.
By Karen and Erica
Retirement is a strange state. It is freighted with peculiar expectations, largely because it was invented in a different era. It causes uneasy introspection. Who were we, and who are we now? Did we disappear when we left our jobs behind? Why are remedies for failing bodies and minds the only products advertised for women older than 50? Why do only men get the fast cars after their hair turns silver? Are we destined to be invisible for thirty years?
After we thought about it for a while, and did some research, we realized the odd assumptions originated in outdated constructs of a time long gone--the 1950s, when retirees were mostly men, men who had retired from hard jobs they held during hard times, men who would live only a few years after retirement, men who looked forward to a couple of years of fun in the sun with people like themselves. Great for them, but no precedent for us. We began to realize we had to create our own vision. That’s a place we’ve been before, a place that energized us when we we started working, and ever since.
Where to go with that insight? We began to realize we could design the retirement we want. And we could do it with lots of other women who took the same route we did--women who were in the first large group to work in careers until retirement, women who changed the working world. There are few boundaries. We can design how we spend our time, what we wear, how we shop. And because as a group we have financial clout, thatks to working all those years, people will do what we want if we make sure they know what that is.
So we founded Lustre and started blogging. And did more talking, and thinking, and observing. We got people to help us build our website and create our social media presence. We will soon launch a podcast series about the women who worked like we did., talking about how they did it and what they are doing now. And we began to feel the stirrings of a movement--the logical continuation of the movement started as we entered the workforce.
We have a long way to go until our vision becomes reality for anyone who wants it. But we are way farther along than we pictured when first we retired. It is all very exciting, and being part of change is one of the best things about our new status.