Chapter 1. Flunking Retirement


I hate the word retirement. My dad retired; I won’t retire.

 --Nick, 50, CPA

Traditional retirement isn’t for everyone. Take, for example, Dan and Arlene, a couple we’ve known for years and bumped into recently. Dan had had a very successful career as an attorney in New York City, and Arlene had been an accountant. They had retired a year before and moved to the south of France, to a beautiful spot they had visited on four prior dream vacations. In France, they planned to live out their perfect vision of retirement: museum hopping to do some sketching and painting, visiting with friends, cooking with the freshest herbs and ingredients.

“What are you doing here?” I said. “We heard you retired to France.”

“It was horrible,” ...

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