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Money & Career

How I Began My Retirement

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The secret to a happy post-job life, many say, is not only retiring from something but also retiring to new activities, interests, and passions.

Here are some members of the GetOld community sharing how they began their own happy and thriving life in retirement:

“I retired as a daily newspaper editor in November 2018. I have only one regret – that I didn't retire sooner! Since retirement, I have been as busy as ever, and enjoying it far more than working because I set my own schedule and choose my own projects to pursue on my own terms. 

My wife is also retired, and we operate Faded Banner Publications, a small publishing house that specializes in regional and Civil war history, true crime, and paranormal titles. We also work with Sauder Historic Village, an incredible living history destination that happens to be in our own back yard. We work both as living history interpreters and assist with interpretive overviews for the site's pioneer village. 

I can't say it any better than this: retirement has been an incredible ride.” 
Don Allison; Bryan, Ohio

“At the age of 60, I sustained a broken neck in an accident and was forced to retire from my successful self-employed business as an accountant. Wanting to try something different, I studied a writing course and discovered I had an aptitude for writing fiction. My husband and I retired to a Greek island, and, at the grand age of 76, I have had a novel published and am working on book number two. Apart from some residual disabilities from my accident, I’m also amazingly healthy and love to swim in the warm Aegean Sea.” 
Patricia Cole; Symi, Greece

“My wife, Eddie, and I retired on the same day eight years ago. Since then, we have sold our Southern California beach home and moved to a small Gold Rush town in the Sierra foothills between Lake Tahoe and Sacramento. 

We both became Master Gardeners through a certification program sponsored by the University of California, Davis. Last year, Eddie was the president of this local organization. We both help with public education classes and provide guidance to the community residents. 

I learned blacksmithing and became a tour guide at a historic gold mine. For the last five years, I’ve been president of the nonprofit that helps preserve and protect the mines. I also use my career skills to manage and coordinate the mine’s web page, advertising, and public relations. I'm a member of the El Dorado County Tourism Advisory Council and was recognized for my achievements in tourism by the county's Chamber of Commerce director of tourism.  

We learned snowshoeing and love to explore places around Lake Tahoe and throughout the Sierras. We kayak and stand-up paddle board in the Sierra lakes in the summer months, and we’re both currently training for an annual walking half marathon race in Sacramento. Last year, on my 67th birthday, I finished first in my age group and took 10th overall!  

Eddie and I are truly blessed to have our health, our well-planned financial security, and the ability to enjoy the fun and interesting things retirement life has to offer.” 

Charlie Basham; Placerville, California


“I retired from the PR and advertising business and started a blog about the humorous side of senior living called Older and Better with Shelly. I decided to look at what is happening in society today and the challenges it can bring about for seniors. Many of us in our late 60s and 70s try to keep up with all the happenings of the crazy digital world so we can better communicate with our kids and grandkids.”

Shelly Solomon; St. Louis, Missouri

“I retired early from a career as an artist manager in the entertainment industry, in order to pursue other interests, like writing, traveling, and spending time with my grandson. At age 60, I ran my very first Boston Marathon – Heartbreak Hill and all! I had taken up running only two years earlier. I found my athletic passion, one I could be good at. I am now 66 and have run several marathons, as well as ultra-marathons. Most recently, I ran the Hartford [Connecticut] Half Marathon, finishing 15 minutes ahead of my target time!

I am living, breathing proof that you can do anything you set your mind to.”

Tom Ingrassia; Worcester, Massachusetts


“Upon retiring at age 60 from my 37-year career as a probation officer, I took a senior acting class with my 85-year-old father just for fun. I went on to become a professional actress and author, as well as a public speaker and blogger on the subject of reinventing yourself in your retirement. My goal was to help retirees, and those soon to retire, find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement.  My memoir Adventures with Dad: A Father & Daughter's Journey Through a Senior Acting Class was published in 2013.”

 Lee Gale Gruen; Walnut Creek, California

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