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17 Retirement Quotes for This Excellent New Chapter

“Retirement, I feel, means a new adventure in living—not a stopping.”

Abbey Slattery
Contributor

Retired woman riding a moped

Ah, retirement. No stressing about your email inbox, no late-night work commitments, no anxiety from office politics—you’ve put in the time, and now your time is your own.

Of course, retirement means different things to different people, so while you’re likely leaving behind the 9-to-5 grind, you might still occupy yourself with part-time work or pursue the passion you never had time to pursue before. Or maybe you’ll say goodbye to work altogether and spend your days taking mid-morning walks and chatting at the coffee shop. 

No matter how you choose to write your retirement story, here are 19 quotes—and 19 perspectives—that’ll get you ready to take your next big life step. 

Read more: 40 Things to Do Before You Retire

1. “Retirement, I feel, means a new adventure in living—not a stopping.” 

—Anna Marion Hilliard, Canadian physician who helped develop a simplified Pap test

2. “Retirement, a time to enjoy all the things you never had time to do when you worked.”

—Catherine Pulsifer, author

3. “Retirement means doing whatever I want to do. It means choice.”

—Dianne Nahirny, author

4. “Do I miss the challenge of the workplace that had once been so much a part of my persona? Heavens, no. My days are filled with healthy activities...swimming, working out at the gym, shopping, bicycling, taking classes such as writing, art, and yoga. In the evenings there are movies, concerts, dining, and dancing. Soon, I may do a little traveling. And you know what? If I don't feel like doing anything at all except lounge around my apartment, I'll do that too. There is a whole new kind of life ahead, full of experiences just waiting to happen. Some call it ‘retirement.’ I call it ‘bliss.’” 

—Betty Sullivan, featured in My Retirement Dreams on PBS

5. “The key to retirement is to find joy in the little things.” 

—Susan Miller, author

6. “I need to retire from retirement.” 

—Sandra Day O’Connor, retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

7. “Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren’t going to get rid of me that way.” 

—Betty White, actress and comedian 

8. “Just because you are getting older and have retired doesn’t mean that you should have less confidence in your abilities. Think about the experience and knowledge that you have gained by all the years you have worked” 

—Theodore W. Higginsworth, minister, author, abolitionist, and soldier

Read more: How to Practice Self-Care in Every Decade of Your Career

9. “What does retirement mean now that there are so many opportunities for learning, for caring, for serving? We can redefine aging.” 

—Rachel Cowan, author

10. “Retire the word ‘retirement’ from your vocabulary. Look it up: it means to ‘withdraw’ or ‘retreat.’ Words can shape reality, and it’s time for this one to go. Doesn’t ‘renaissance’ or ‘graduation’ or ‘transition’ better describe your post-career life?” 

—Marika Stone, author

11. “On the positive side, retirement can be an opportunity to enjoy life in a new way, the right to stop work and do the 1,001 things you’ve always wanted to do but never had time for, and a chance to give yourself over to new challenges and adventures.” 

—Sara Yogev, Ph.D., author and clinical psychologist

12. “Retirement’s the most wonderful thing. I get to enjoy all the things I never stopped to notice on the way up. After an extraordinary life, it’s time to enjoy my retirement.” 

—Patrick Macnee, actor

13. “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” 

—Sophia Loren, actress

14. "Retirement is wonderful. It's doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it." 

—Gene Perret, screenwriter

15. “Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap.” 

—Simone de Beauvoir, writer, philosopher, an activis

16. “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” 

—J. Lubbock, banker, scientist, and politician

17. “There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”

—Bill Waterson, cartoonist and writer of Calvin and Hobbes

Read more: 38 Powerful Quotes from Women Who Don't Mess Around

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