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Ready, Set, Retire

Here’s what retirement looks like for some boomers

  • Dick Cooper, Elaine Papp, and Catherine Ledner, first day of retirement
    Eli Meir Kaplan, Catherine Ledner, Sheila Fairley

    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.

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  • Dick Cooper and sails through retirement dreams on boat
    Eli Meir Kaplan

    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.

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  • Sheila Fairley, First Day of Retirement
    Catherine Ledner (Makeup Stylist, Hair and Wardrobe Stylist: Candace Corey)

    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.”

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  • Sylvia Solomon, First Day of Retirement
    Courtesy of Sylvia Solomon

    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.

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  • Discover Yourself Through Your Work

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  • Bill and Wendy Birnbaum, First Day of Retirement
    Courtesy of Bill and Wendy Birnbaum

    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.

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  • Elaine Papp, First Day of Retirement
    Catherine Ledner

    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.”

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  • Kenneth Senn, First Day of Retirement
    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.”

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  • Retirement, social security, careers, spending money
    Getty Images/Corbis
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