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AARP Bulletin

Retirement Guide

Ready, Set, Retire

Here’s what retirement looks like for some boomers

Redefining Retirement

En español | Every day, an estimated 10,000 baby boomers turn 65, an age often associated with stepping into retirement. Today’s new retirees and near-retirees are inclined to work part-time, volunteer, travel for a cause, go back to school or turn a hobby into a business.

Eli Meir Kaplan, Catherine Ledner, Sheila Fairley

Smooth Sailing

Who: Dick Cooper

Age: 67

Retired: 2005

What he’s doing now: The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist took a buyout from
the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper and never looked back. “I don’t regret a single minute,” he says. He now divides his time between sailing his 40-foot boat on the Chesapeake Bay and tending to his business as a writer and media consultant.

Eli Meir Kaplan

Making Things Sparkle

Who: Sheila Fairley

Age: 65

Retired: 2014

What she’s doing now: Immediately after retiring, the former social worker signed on with the Internet store Etsy to sell her handmade jewelry. Her earrings, necklaces and bracelets are also on display at local boutiques around
Columbus, Ohio. “Initially it was a hobby, but it’s grown a lot larger.”

Catherine Ledner (Makeup Stylist, Hair and Wardrobe Stylist: Candace Corey)

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Writing About Retirement

Who: Sylvia Solomon

Age: 65

Retired: 2008

What she’s doing now: On her first day of retirement, Solomon says she slept in like a teenager, a respite from years of long hours at the Ministry of Education in Ontario. Two weeks later, she and her then-husband took off for Antarctica for nearly a month. Now she blogs about retirement.

Courtesy of Sylvia Solomon

Bohemian Spirits

Who: Bill and Wendy Birnbaum

Ages: 72 and 65

Retired: 2005

What they’re doing now: After retiring, the couple sold their California home and drove around the nation visiting with friends. Then they continued their adventure overseas, backpacking around South America and volunteering in poor communities. Today they volunteer closer to home in Oregon.

Courtesy of Bill and Wendy Birnbaum

Plans to Volunteer

Who: Elaine Papp

Age: 66

Expected retirement: December 2014

What she plans to do: Papp, a registered nurse who lives in Baltimore, plans to do part-time consulting work and may fill in as a clinic nurse. She also wants to volunteer and teach retirees how to work with children in anger management and conflict resolution in elementary schools. “Being retired is like being 21 again and having all these choices and freedom, only this time you’re wiser and have more money than you did then.”

Catherine Ledner

Learning to Fly

Who: Kenneth Senn

Age: 62

Expected retirement: February 2015

What he plans to do: Senn is retiring from his federal government job in Washington and plans to get his private pilot’s license. “I’ve been taking lessons on and off since I was 16. It’s just one of those things I want to do.”

Catherine Ledner

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