11 of the Best Quotes on Retirement

July 13, 2023

People have their take on retirement, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. With planning, hard work, and a little luck, your retirement can be a dream come true (at least according to these pundits).

Here are some of our favorite quotes about retirement!

  1. The American writer and humorist Mark Twain warned us about retirement (and life in general): “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do.”
  2. William Shakespeare, the English playwright, poet, and actor, waxed poetically about aging: “Forever, and forever farewell Cassius! ‘Tis our fast intent to shake all cares and business from our age, conferring them on younger strengths, while we unburdened crawl toward death.”
  3. Louis Armstrong was an American jazz icon, trumpeter, and musician. Music was his lifeline throughout his long and illustrious career until the end: “Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music.”
  4. Jean Chatzley, the American journalist, financial columnist, and consultant, advises listeners to her podcast to plan early for a happy retirement: “Whether it’s fly fishing, taking your camper to the Everglades, or just traveling, everyone has got a little retirement dream.”1
  5. Fred Rogers, better known as Mr. Rogers, hosted the popular children’s show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. His quote speaks to his caring and optimistic approach to life: “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
  6. Betty White, the comedic TV actress who stole our hearts after starring in radio and television for over seven decades: “Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren’t going to get rid of me that way.”
  7. Ruby Dee, an American actress, screenwriter, and Civil Rights activist who died at 91 in 2014, had a funny thing to say about retirement: “Well, I didn’t grow up with that word ‘retirement’ as part of my consciousness. I didn’t grow up with professionals that retired. I thought retiring was when you are tired and go to bed.”
  8. Benjamin Franklin was a diplomat, printer, publisher, and writer/philosopher. He accumulated some wealth and retired at the ripe old age of 42 to work on his passions. During his retirement, he conducted his famous kite experiment, helped write the Declaration of Independence, wrote his autobiography, and invented bifocal glasses and the lightning rod. This quote attests to his lifelong frugality and simple needs: “Many a little makes a nickel; beware of little expense, for a small leak will sink a great ship.”2
  9. Dwight L. Moody was an evangelist who founded his own church and publishing house. He says, “Preparation for old age should begin not later than one’s teens. A life which is empty of purpose until sixty-five will not suddenly become filled on retirement.”3
  10. Leave it to Jerry Seinfeld, a world-famous comedian, to joke about retirement: “My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty, and that’s the law.”
  11. And the last quote is from Betty Davis, an American singer, songwriter, and model: “I will not retire while I’ve still got my legs and my makeup box.”4

According to the Poor Richards Almanack, written by the original early retiree, Benjamin Franklin, a happy retirement is simple. He suggests: “Know how much is enough, build assets, and cultivate passions.”2 These are age-old lessons that we can still put into practice today.

  1. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/jean_chatzky_724817?src=t_everglades
  2. https://medium.com/@GZiadi/benjamin-franklin-the-original-early-retiree-430f8b214cd0#
  3. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/dwight_l_moody_119367#
  4. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/382648-i-will-not-retire-while-i-ve-still-got-my-legs

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