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May 18, 2022, 5:00 a.m. EDT

Is there a better word than ‘retire?’ Some boomers took offense at my quest to redefine their badge of honor.

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By Lazetta Rainey Braxton

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Yet not everyone had such an optimistic view. A few dropped the word “dead” with no disclaimer or explanation. I found myself in this category — either working or dead. Not very inspiring, I know.

Why would anyone, including me, think this way?

The “aha moment” came to me when I saw the term, “rewire.” In the book “Rewirement: Rewiring The Way You Think About Retirement,” author  Jamie P. Hopkins  suggests that anchoring — believing your life will mirror the experience of someone you know — can serve as a stumbling block to envisioning your own retirement.

“How can you know what retirement will be like for you if you haven’t experienced it before?” says Hopkins. “We have to remember that our experience will be unique to us and not the same as those who came before us.”

His statement resonates with me. I felt that momentary distaste for the word retire when I was reminded of a beloved family member who died two years after a dedicated 40+ year career. It was a bittersweet moment that lasted longer than mentally warranted.

Read : Millennials and Generation X: This is why you’re having such a hard time saving for retirement

My social project confirms that we are empowered to define seasons in our lives, such as retirement, based on our hopes and aspirations — as well as our fears and phobias, if we let them. We can embrace traditional words or create new terms to serve as guideposts for preparing and planning for our future.

I am pleased with my new collection of words and phrases that will serve me well on my road to…[ fill in the blank ].

Lazetta Rainey Braxton Certified Financial Planner Lazetta Rainey Braxton is co-CEO and co-founder of 2050 Wealth Partners and CEO and founder of  . She is passionate about amplifying diversity, inclusion, equality and belonging in the financial planning profession and does so through financial planning, public speaking, writing, consulting and coaching. She was named a 2021 Crain’s New York Business Notable Black Leader and Executive as well as one of the Top 10 of Investopedia’s 100 Top Financial Advisors in 2020 and 2021. In all her endeavors, she is on a mission to create wealth for the common good. 

This article is reprinted by permission from  , © 2022 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

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