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An Ordinary Life

Ken Cutler  |  Apr 11, 2024

MY GRANDFATHER FALLS into the category of folks who are “not long remembered.” He died more than 75 years ago. None of his children or their spouses is alive. The one grandchild alive at the time of his death was only a few months old. It’s safe to say his memory has been all but erased, and yet his story offers a glimpse into what working life was like in the first half of the 1900s.

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Back to Work

James Kerr  |  Apr 3, 2024

CALL IT THE GREAT unretirement. Hit by rising living costs and unexpected feelings of boredom, one out of eight retirees plan to return to work this year, according to a recent survey.
I’m one of them. Two and a half years after retiring from the corporate world, I’m headed back to work. I’ve accepted a position as lead writer for the CEO of a Fortune 200 technology company. I’ll be writing the CEO’s speeches,

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Against the Odds

Steve Abramowitz  |  Mar 31, 2024

MARCH MADNESS HAS descended on my family. I’m not just referring to the hoopla surrounding the annual NCAA college basketball tournament that runs from late March through early April. I mean the reckoning for our 36-year-old son, and his decision to switch careers and pursue his dream of becoming a professional sports bettor.   
For the 10 years after college graduation, Ryan taught high school math and coached basketball. But in between planning lectures,

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Not Wired to Retire

Kathleen M. Rehl  |  Mar 26, 2024

MY HUSBAND SAYS I’LL never retire. He’s right. Now in my 78th year, I have no intention of stopping work altogether to devote myself to round-the-clock leisure. That sounds unappealing, especially since I plan to live well into my 90s, just like my great-grandmother.
Most of my friends opted to retire in their 60s. That includes my husband, Charlie. He retired at age 61 after 38 years as a nuclear engineer, all that time with the same company.

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Retirement Dreams

Andrew Forsythe  |  Feb 20, 2024

THIS ISN’T ANOTHER article about dreaming of retirement. Rather, it’s about dreaming in retirement.
I retired in 2017 after practicing criminal law in central Texas for almost four decades. It could be stressful at times. Before that, there were long years in college and law school.
College was relatively easygoing and enjoyable in the laid-back Austin of the 1970s, plus my major was sociology—a world apart from those in pre-med,

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Death by Retirement

Mike Drak  |  Feb 16, 2024

I LED A RETIREMENT seminar some years ago at a large manufacturing company. During the question-and-answer session that followed my presentation, a 60-something welder told the group he’d never retire. I asked why. His response: All his friends who’d retired before him were already dead, and he didn’t want to follow in their footsteps.
What he said resonated with me—because I knew someone who suffered a similar fate. Gino was a client back in my banking days.

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First Things First

David Gartland  |  Feb 1, 2024

THE FIRST TIME I GOT laid off, I was working in an insurance company’s training and development department. I’d been working in another department at the company when I saw a job posting for the position. The training department was looking for someone with subject matter expertise and experience in teaching.
At that point, I’d been working in property and casualty underwriting for 14 years. On top of that, I was a certified instructor for the Dale Carnegie course in public speaking.

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Friends After All

Steve Abramowitz  |  Jan 30, 2024

FLAPJACKS IS LITERALLY on the other side of the tracks. The place is a throwback to the diners of the 1950s, when waitresses wore white aprons and took orders on little green pads, and where the red vinyl seats were cracked.
Charlie and me. I’ve been meeting Charlie at Flapjacks for weekly pancake breakfasts since I partially retired seven years ago. I spot him in our back booth and slide in across from him.

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Words to Remember

Gary Kelly  |  Jan 29, 2024

“WE CANNOT GET RICH doing dentistry, but we can get rich investing what we make in dentistry.” A nationally recognized lecturer on dental-practice management shared that piece of advice with me some 40 years ago.
I’d been out of dental school for a year when Dr. Dick Klein spoke at our local dental society’s annual meeting. The meeting’s organizer was a friend. He asked if my wife and I would take Klein and his wife out to dinner after his presentation.

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Twin Peeks

Catherine Horiuchi  |  Jan 12, 2024

CAN IT REALLY BE TWO years since I wrote about sending my twins off to college? One is a chemistry major, midway through her junior year. Meanwhile, for her twin sister, the artist, there have been big changes in her college trajectory.
My initial criteria for college selections included published statistics on cost, likelihood of admission, timely graduation and low rates of loan default. I took this last stat as a reasonable proxy for post-college success.

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Final Chapter

Sanjib Saha  |  Jan 8, 2024

SIX YEARS AGO, I MADE a big life decision: I opted to scale back my work week with an eye to easing into early retirement.
I stayed in the same role, but reduced my hours and responsibilities, took a proportional pay cut, and bid farewell to potential future promotions. Essentially, my human capital shifted from a growth investment to an immediate-fixed annuity for the remainder of my part-time employment.
The change turned out to be far more fulfilling than I’d anticipated.

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Not Long Remembered

Ken Cutler  |  Nov 27, 2023

AFTER MY COLLEGE freshman year in engineering, I was hired for a part-time summer job by a civil engineering firm in my home town. The office was in an upscale building where a lot of respectable businesses were headquartered. The company had an impressive name. But after starting, I discovered it was just a one-man show. Mr. Jones was the owner. I became his sole employee.
Jones was probably in his mid-70s. He’d headed up his own company for decades.

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A Glass Act

Jeffrey K. Actor  |  Nov 24, 2023

MY WIFE RECENTLY GOT the chance to showcase her artistic talents at a cultural festival in Kansas City, Kansas. Lori’s craft is stained glass, and this was the first time she’d displayed her creations in public.
She began working with glass five years ago, shortly after she retired. We’ve discussed the possibility of turning her hobby into a business. She’s dreamed of selling her artwork so she could at least cover the cost of her craft.

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Late Bloomers

Mike Drak  |  Nov 17, 2023

A MAN DIED AND MET Saint Peter at the gates of heaven. “Saint Peter,” the man said, “I’ve been interested in military history for many years. Tell me, who was the greatest general of all times?”
“Oh, that’s simple. It’s the man right over there.”
The man looked where Peter was pointing and said, “You must be mistaken. I knew that man on earth, and he was just a common laborer.”
“That’s right,” Peter remarked,

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Forever Calling

Tom Scott  |  Oct 28, 2023

MY FIRST ACT IN retirement was to turn off my phone at night. The second was to change my socks. More about the socks in a moment.
I’m an Episcopal priest. My decades of fulltime active service were spent leading several parishes. Upon retirement, turning off my phone at night meant I was no longer readying myself for emergencies and crises. My wife—and our children in the early years—would no longer have me leaving suddenly because something awful was unfolding in the lives of others.

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