Is Retirement Really an Option Anymore?

Writing at Clutch magazine, Danielle C. Belton wonders, in response to reading that Janet Jackson may have retired from showbiz since her secret marriage to a billionaire, when she'll ever be done with the rat race.

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In the years since the Great Recession, many 30-somethings have had to rely on their 401(k)s to keep them afloat. Danielle C. Belton, writing for Clutch magazine, points out that the idea of being "done" with the rat race might be reserved for superstars like Janet Jackson and her billionaire boo. 

How many of us have fantasized about being "done" while we're still young enough to appreciate it?

Thanks to today's "new" economy where we've all be turned into contractors and freelancers without benefits, job security is a dream and retirement quickly becoming something no one can afford, being “done” seems more elusive than ever. My father, thanks to more than thirty stable, profitable years with the same aerospace company and a pension, was able to retire at 57. The world I live in is full of 30-somethings who've already cashed in their meager 401k's in order to survive being unemployed thanks to the "Great Recession." Savings? What savings? Retirement? Ha. All we see is work and more work and work and then a hope that Social Security isn't completely dead before we are.

Don't get me wrong. I love my job. And I'm sure a lot of you love you line of work as well. But the fantasy of someone just showing up and "Calgon, take me away-ing" your life is seductive. I have friends with corporate careers who still dream of being housewives. It's not that they aren't proud of their doctorate degrees or their resumes. But their mothers worked and their grandmothers worked and every woman they know works and, as black women, they can't help but wonder what it's like to be the woman who doesn't sometimes. That if it was the right situation and the right man, they'd be willing to stay at home if it mean they got to pass the burden of expectation and work onto their husbands in exchange for dinner on the table and a clean house.

Read Danielle C. Belton's entire piece at Clutch magazine.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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Danielle C. Belton is a Washington, D.C.-based satirist and blogger. Follow her on Twitter.

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