Retired Americans and pre-retirees have a new outlook on the word “retirement,” and it pushes back against the conventional images in financial brochures and other media.

Both groups want the idea of retirement redefined, according to a report by Empower Institute. In fact, two-thirds of the respondents in a survey of more than 1,300 retirees and more than 600 pre-retirees from ages 45 to around 75 said they don’t care for the word, and 80% of both groups said retirement is more a mindset than an age.

A majority of both retirees and pre-retirees believe retirement is about opportunities and lifestyle choices, not moving into the slow lane. They believe their post-career life is a new phase of personal growth and control over their own identity.

Eighty-three percent of pre-retirees said they expect to live their best life in retirement, while 65% of retirees said they are living their best life.

Retirees, the report noted, live in big cities, volunteer for nonprofits, frequent trendy restaurants and read Vogue, where grey-haired models are all the rage. As for pre-retirees, they envision engaging in part-time work to boost late-life income on their own terms, as well as pursue another passion.

So, it’s no wonder they view retirement as “second act,” “next act,” “next chapter” or even “going off the clock.” 

Seventy-five percent of retirees and 81% of pre-retirees said there are more opportunities now than 20 years ago to have a second career, start a business or work in the gig economy. More than 60% of pre-retirees said they plan to continue to work or join the gig economy, citing freelancing and consulting as their top choice for work.

“People are no longer looking at retirement as the end of something, but rather the beginning of something new,” said Edmund F. Murphy III, president and CEO of Empower Retirement, in a statement. “This important shift has changed the way people save for retirement, or what they now consider their second act.”

With roughly half of pre-retirees expecting their second act to be “active” and “freeing,” the report data suggests that financial advisors and plan sponsors have an opportunity to capitalize on that by positioning retirement savings as working toward a tangible goal. It further suggests that advisors could promote more excitement around saving money by helping clients map out their second acts.

Employers could add more flexible positions for employees nearing retirement, said the report. As an example, it said that could include a discussion about the gig economy with realistic expectations about income.

While more than 50% of both groups expressed confidence in having enough money in retirement, the top financial worries cited by respondents are unexpected expenses and being unsure when to start collecting Social Security. Pre-retirees are more concerned about how to maximize their retirement savings and how much they need to save before they can retire.

Additionally, the survey suggests that younger retirees and pre-retirees want more tools to help them make their own decisions. They cited tools such as apps and platforms that account for second-act careers; investment products that assume an “agile” withdrawal from full-time work; user-friendly resources that guide consumers who want to do it themselves; and more engaging presentation formats that help predict gaps in Social Security and Medicare, as well as how to handle unexpected bills.