Retirement is still is a relatively new concept.
In the past, most people simply worked until they died, with little time for leisure in their later years. In the year 1870, for those who lived past age 65, the labor force participation ratio for males was close to 90%. Today it’s less than 20%. Well into the nineteenth century, about 50% of all 80-year-old men in America were still working to support themselves or their families.