Talking about Retirement

This unit is about retirement. When people get old and have worked in their profession for a long time, they retire. A lot of my friends have already retired form their jobs. In this unit you will…
  • learn the vocabulary you need for talking about retirement,
  • learn about general questions that come up when talking about this topic,
  • get prepared for having interesting conversations about or with people retiring.
Take a look at the table! Memorise the new words! You will need them for a reading exercise on the next page.
The portion of one's life after retiring from one's career.
The work or occupation for which one is used, and often paid.
suitable; meeting the conditions; worthy of being chosen
A gratuity paid regularly as benefit due to a person in consideration of past services; notably to one retired from service, on account of retirement age, disability or similar cause; especially, a regular stipend paid by a government to retired public officers, disabled soldiers; sometimes passed on to the heirs, or even specifically for them, as to the families of soldiers killed in service.
The act of legislating; preparation and enactment of laws; the laws enacted.
to provide
To give what is needed or desired, especially basic needs.
to sponsor
The act of paying something for somebody else.
A person, firm or other entity which pays for or hires the services of another person.
The formal or informal system of primary principles and laws that regulates a government or other institutions.
Let's start this unit with some reading. Take a look at the text below. It is taken from Wikipedia, and it explains the basic idea of retirement. Don't worry if you cannot understand all the words. Use the dictionary in the bottom right corner of your screen to look up words.
Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.
Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when physical conditions no longer allow the person to work anymore (by illness or accident) or as a result of legislation concerning their position. In most countries, the idea of retirement is of recent origin, being introduced during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Nowadays most developed countries have systems to provide pensions on retirement in old age, which may be sponsored by employers and/or the state. In many poorer countries, support for the old is still mainly provided through the family. Today, retirement with a pension is considered a right of the worker in many societies, and hard ideological, social, cultural and political battles have been fought over whether this is a right. In many western countries this right is mentioned in national constitutions.
Now we're going to work with a video. Listen to this conversation about retirement and try to find headlines for the different subjects that they talk about.
In the video, one person asks a lot of questions and the other one gives the answers. Can you match questions and answers?
  • 3/4.
  • 67.
  • 30.
  • For how many years did the grandfather work in the company?
  • How much of a pension will he receive compared to his former pay?
  • At what age should the grandfather normally have retired?
Now watch the second part of the video!
What was going on in the video? Answer the questions!
    • What does he want to do now?
      • He wants to travel with his wife.
      • He wants to start building toy trains.
      • He wants to go to Africa with his grandson.
    • Does he have problems with his health?
      • Yes, he has trouble with his back.
      • No, he is still perfectly healthy and can go travelling.
      • Yes, he had trouble with his eyes.
    • Will he move into a retirement home?
      • He can still take care of himself, but he wants to move into a retirement home nevertheless.
      • No, he can still take care of himself.
      • Yes, he would like that.
    • What else will he do with his extra time?
      • He wants to go back to his company.
      • He plans to start a hobby.
      • He plans to build toy trains.
Now that you have seen the new words in different contexts, practise them with our vocabulary trainer!
Can you think of things you would do after your retirement? Write a short text about what you would like to do. Before, take a look at the example sentences below. You might want to use them in your text.
  • When I have worked for my employer long enough…
  • As soon as I retire…
  • When I don't have to work for my employer anymore one day…
  • I would like to go to… (countries, places…)
  • I would like to finally see…
  • I have always dreamt of…
  • I am looking forward to my retirement, because…
  • I am not looking forward to my retirement, because…
  • I am not sure what I will do with all that free time, but I could…
  • I already know lots of things I would like to do with my free time, like…
Once I am retired, I want to do a lot of things. I have always wanted to see the pyramids in Egypt and this would be my first travel destination. But I would like to visit a lot of countries. I would take photos everywhere I go and send them to my grandchildren. I am not worried at all that I won't have enough ideas about what to do with all my free time. I have to catch up on so much reading! I want to read all the Russian classics.

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