Stories of Retirement Success and Regret

I try to read retirement stories told by others, successes, regrets, and failures alike. Those that have retired before us have much to teach us about things they did right and wrong in preparing for and living in retirement. I need to do a better job of referencing those stories here, so that I and other readers can benefit from them.

Finding people who will talk honestly and openly about retirement success and failure is not easy. Recently, Business Week published an article called Smart Choices, Dumb Moves in which three retired couples comment on the outcomes of their retirement experiences and preparations. Two of the couples are baby boomers which makes their stories even more compelling.

The success I found intriguing but not surprising was the retiree who lost her husband but found a social life by trading her suburban home for a downtown condo. Change can be good for the soul, if you can overcome lifestyle inertia.

I was somewhat surprised by the success of the Ecolab executive who retired at 59, completely separating from all work activities with no problems or regrets. That is different from my objective of a phased retirement. I’m glad that going cold turkey on work activities can work for some people. I think it helps that he and his wife have homes in Arizona and Chicago. This creates opportunities for more diverse retirement life experiences.

I will keep up my search for more stories of retirement success and failure and share them here when I find them.


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