Retirement has a different definition to different people.
A Google search defines it as:
"the action or fact of leaving one's job and ceasing to work."
Investopedia defines it like this:
When a person chooses to leave the workforce. The concept of full retirement – being able to permanently leave the workforce in old age – is relatively new, and for the most part only culturally-widespread in first-world countries.
The concept of retiring and stopping all productive work and just relaxing is a dream to many, but the reality of this type of retirement is that it is counterintuitive to the way humans have lived for millennia.
As humans, we are individually designed to do things to feel useful either to ourselves, our families, or our communities. The moment we no longer do something useful, we lose a sense of who we are because who we are is often defined as what we do.
According to Wikipedia, until the 18th century, the average person lived to between 26 and 40 years old. Few people reached ages where their physical health was an obstacle to work.
By the 19th century, Germany introduced retirement at age 65 when few were expected to live this long. Implying most people should work until they die.
Today, people are getting to old age and realizing the government and society have not taken care of them as much as they had expected. They are expecting to work in their "retirement" just to survive.
So why retire?
We define retirement a little bit differently.
It's not an age. You could be 25 or 80, it doesn't matter.
It's not about "leaving one's job and ceasing to work". You should never stop using your brain. You should never stop doing some kind of "work".
Retirement is leaving a job you do JUST FOR THE MONEY so you can take on work you do FOR MORE THAN THE MONEY.
To be honest, most people don't know how to take on work other than what they do for a day job. Most people don't have the entrepreneurial skill or the mentorship to take those steps, to do what they love.
There are classes.
When I was doing my Master's of finance one of my classmates was a very accomplished lawyer who worked as the former head of compliance at BlackRock Financial (The world's largest financial asset manager), he was in his 50's. He wanted to learn a new skill in his retirement, so he took classes, the same classes I was taking as a 25-year-old to start my career.
Age is only a number. You can do whatever you want at whatever age you are. It's never too late to start something new.
Saving money is the best strategy I know to change your life. If you have a steady job now, then use that as a springboard to save money so you can start to change your life.
Save Money Retire Early is written by Jon Lo, a barely 30 something change optimist, and personal finance guy. I believe anyone can be rich or poor, it's what you save that makes the difference.