In the year 1890, according to census records, my great-great-grandfather was spending the final years of his life living with one of his children on a farm in Choctaw County, Oklahoma.
I’ve spent most of the last twenty years doing some hardcore research into my family history– and I’ve identified records going all the way back to 1250 in England.
And one common theme that I’ve noticed: when people reached a certain age, they almost invariably moved in with their kids and grandkids.
This is what ‘retirement’ used to mean; it was simply expected that younger generations would look after older generations.
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And back then, since households were quite large, there were usually 4-6 other people in the home to look after great-great-grandpa.
This arrangement might sound quaint and outdated. But it’s still the fundamental premise behind many retirement plans, including Social Security in the Land of the Free.