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Loving the retired life

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

Last month, I wrote about a MetLife study that said boomers were rushing toward retirement, with 45 percent of 65-year-old boomers fully retired and another 14 percent only working part time or seasonally. Of those people older than 65 and still working, 37 percent say they plan to retire in 2012.

This post has attracted 134 comments from people who either explained why they retired or plan to retire soon -- or who laid out the case for staying on the job.

Earlier this week, I featured some of the responses from people who continue to work and are happy about it. Now I'm going to share responses from people who retired and are glad they made that retirement planning decision.

Nuffer: I was able to retire this year at the age of 63. I love it! I'm taking care of my new grandson while his mother goes back to work. She has no worries about her baby. She can return to work and stay focused on her job knowing that old granny will take good care of her boy. My Social Security pays me what I was making full time minus the $200 that I was using for gas. Now I hardly drive at all because I'm able to walk into town to run errands with the baby buggy or with his Radio Flyer red wagon.

Ernesto Mendiola: I worked for the U.S. Air Force for 26 years, then for an airport for another eight. I saved and planned for my retirement. I'm now living my dream in Panama in Central America. I built a great house on 4 acres, and I'm having a ball! Planting lots of fruit trees and veggies. All I can say is: You reap what you sow. Sow lots, and you'll reap lots. Leave things 'til the end, and all you'll get is the "end." Don't let that happen to you!

Don: I just retired this past February at 65. I decided I had the financial cushion that I needed, including a well stocked 401(k), my annuity from my job and Social Security. I inherited some money and a co-owned home on the water with my brother. My brother bought out my half of the house, and that was the icing on the cake. I used to get up at 5:15 a.m. to get to work early to beat the traffic. Now I'm able to stay up later, sleep later, and generally do whatever comes to mind. I have numerous hobbies plus three grandchildren, so my time seems to fly by. I'm a happy retired camper!

George The Pope: When I reached 52, I had spent a little over 30 years on the clock, but the state agency where I worked retired me as if I were age 65 -- giving me credit as if I had worked 47 years. At first, I felt guilty about that, but I wasn't just a loafing state employee. I put in over eight hours' work every day that I was on the job. I am more creative now than any other time in my life. I've become a fairly good writer of short stories, which I consider my hobby. My granddaughter lives with me, and I home-school her. I also spend time counseling people at no charge. I'm a magnet for people experiencing difficulties in life. I feel much better about myself and work every day to stay healthy and not cost the current taxpayers loads of money by letting my old age get the best of me. I am living a second life that is wonderful.

Mike: It is a darned good thing I decided to take retirement at 62. Two years were good, then arthritis set in. I can't stand to chase the grandkids any more, so I'm grateful for those few years when I could. If you wait to retire at age 70, you might have a bit more money but think of the years lost.

You can read all the comments here.

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