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When I first started meeting with people for Brunch & Budgets, I used to ask them what retirement meant to them. The answers I got were so unexpected that I eventually stopped asking the question. Most people said “it doesn’t mean much to me,” or wrote something vague they had read about online.The real kicker for me, though, was when I started seeing clients write things like, “I just plan to figure out what I love doing and do that forever.”

That’s when I turned the question around on myself. What did retirement even mean to ME, someone who had spent over half a decade running retirement scenarios and talking to clients in their 40’s and 50’s about “retiring early”?

A recent Bondfire Radio show was on why retirement is a thing of the past, where we dig in on where America’s obsesssion with retirement began, how retirement planning and savings has become an industry, and how the Gen X/Gen Y/Millennials are choosing a different path than our parents. We also talk about how to transition from thinking about retirement to thinking instead about financial independence and what that could look like.

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The days of working for a company for 40 years and getting your gold watch and pension are dying quickly. Job security is an oxymoron.

Today, it’s about doing what you value and what adds value for other people. Today, it’s about distilling what you really care about down to it’s purest form and building you life around that. When you choose this life, the need for distractions and constant consuming seem to matter less and less and planning for this future becomes all the more clear.

When you choose this life, there’s nothing to retire from.

Pamela Capalad is a Certified Financial Planner™ and the owner of Brunch & Budget. She worked in private wealth management for 7 years and wanted to find a way to help the average person with their finances. She loves helping freelancers and small business owners feel confident about their finances so they can focus on growing their businesses.