The Complete Retirement

When you stop working, have you thought about how youll fill your days?

a new community, pursue a new activity such as an artistic endeavor or a volunteer role, etc. “The next step is to take a ‘field test’ to see whether it’s something you’d really like to do,” says Manheimer. “Take a class like ‘Life Drawing 101,’ for instance. Interview the local coordinator of the volunteer center or do background interviews with HR directors of the types of companies where you might seek re-employment.”

“I have not yet done any teaching to test the waters,” says Burrell, but notes that he’s in discussions to possibly teach an evening business or psychology course at Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey, this fall. And just what are his credentials to stand in front of the classroom? Earlier in his career, Burrell spent more than 30 years with CYRO Industries, a producer of acrylic products, ultimately serving as its international sales manager. “I feel I’d be qualified to teach college-level business courses.” Burrell also believes he can teach psychology courses, as he is now working on a Ph.D. dissertation in that field from California Coast University, a nationally accredited online degree program.

No matter what route he ultimately takes, when Burrell begins his job search, he knows where his focus will be. “Our two sons live in New Jersey and our daughter is in Virginia,” he says. “We’ll want to live somewhere not too far from our children and grandchildren.” As for Reba, she says she’d like to do volunteer work with senior citizens, as well as spend time with their two grandchildren, “take care of my health, read, and relax.” She says they’ve always spent time on separate activities as well as spending time together. “This pattern has worked for us for 41 years,” she says, “so we won’t change it now.”

Even if the Burrells end up retiring in a high-cost area on the East Coast, finances may not be a strain. “I have my pension from my former employer and my military service will help me get another pension from the state of New Jersey,” says Burrell. “My wife also will get a pension, and we’ll both collect Social Security.” The couple also owns two condo apartments besides their home and says that they have steadily contributed to their retirement plans as well, amassing a total of approximately $850,000. Estimating that their retirement income should be about 10% to 15% less than their current earnings, Burrell says they “should be financially comfortable as long as we’re not wasteful with our money.”

If there is one lesson to be learned about planning for a fulfilling retirement, it’s that lessons can make a difference. Just as undergraduate and graduate education are vital for a successful career in your 20s and 30s, ongoing schooling can give you an edge when you’re looking for post-retirement pursuits later in life.

For instance, Burrell enrolled in an online education program that offered enough flexibility to fit into his busy schedule and may enable him to teach psychology. In Latham, New

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