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Senior Correspondent

Retirement is a subject about which most people have an opinion — often a strong opinion. With this in mind, I went searching “here and there” on the Internet and found a number of clever sayings about retirement. Here’s a sampling — along with some commentary from yours truly.

"A retired husband is often a wife’s full-time job." — Ella Harris

A friend of mine told me that, when he retired, he began to drive his wife crazy. Seems that he spent his days sitting on the couch, watching business news on TV, following his stock prices.

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"Retirement has been a discovery of beauty for me. I never had the time before to notice the beauty of my grandkids, my wife, the tree outside my very own front door. And, the beauty of time itself." — Hartman Jule

I think that one of the most significant things about retirement is that we simply have more time — for whatever. It’s up to us to figure out how to use that time wisely.

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"There are some who start their retirement long before they stop working." — Robert Half

And Robert Half ought to know. He built the world’s first and largest (with 35 offices worldwide) specialized staffing agency.

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"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."  — J. Lubbock

I certainly agree. Most of us would call this “smelling the roses.”

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"Retirement means no pressure, no stress, no heartache…unless you play golf." — Gene Perret

Though I’m not a golfer, I have played perhaps a dozen times in my life. On one (unfortunate) occasion, I played with a fellow who became so upset with his poor performance that he actually threw his golf club. I remember asking myself, “What in the world am I doing here?”

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"Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to."  — Harry Emerson Fosdick

This is great advice. It’s important for all of us to look forward to waking up in the morning.

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"Age is only a number, a cipher for the records. A man can’t retire his experience. He must use it." — Bernard Baruch

Yes, I know. I frequently thirst for intellectual challenge. I need to be working on a project.

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"I enjoy waking up and not having to go to work. So I do it three or four times a day." — Gene Perret

Actually, I’ve largely gotten out of the habit of napping in the afternoon — on orders from my sleep doctor.

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"Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money." — Jonathan Clements

Yes, all but the richest among us need to watch our finances.

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"If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt." — Dean Martin

Yeah, I know. This saying isn’t exactly about retirement. But I wanted to tell you something about Dean Martin, so I “snuck it in.” Old Dino sure played up his role as a big drinker. I’ve heard though that it was mainly an act. That he really didn’t drink all that much. Who knows? Interestingly, I once found myself feeling sorry for Dean Martin. In the casino of the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, he and his wife were playing blackjack. Surrounding them were some 300 admirers. I remember thinking, “The poor guy can’t go anywhere and be alone.”

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"Retirement kills more people than hard work ever did." — Malcolm Forbes

Oh, I’m not so sure about this one. But I do think that Malcolm Forbes was an interesting fellow. As publisher of Forbes magazine, he was a flamboyant adventurer. He enjoyed both balloon and motorcycle riding. He also owned a private Boeing 727 which he named “Capitalist Tool.”

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  — Mark Twain

Yes sir! In fact, I think that Mark Twain, who certainly lived what he preached, is a great model for all of us.

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"Retirement takes all the meaning out of weekends." — Unknown retired person

This is interesting. Sometimes I find myself wondering, “What day is today?” Generally, I keep track of the day by “garbage day,” “recycling day,” “volunteer meeting day,” etc.

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"When I retire I’m going to spend my evenings by the fireplace going through those boxes. There are things in there that ought to be burned." — Richard Milhous Nixon 

I can certainly identify with President Nixon. There’s a whole bunch of stuff in boxes in our garage. We ought to burn most of it.

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"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." — Vince Lombardi

Retirement isn’t for everyone. Workaholics should probably keep on working — right up until the end.

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"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is really an insightful thought. It’s what lies within us that molds our entire life — including our retirement.

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"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great." — Mark Twain

Again Mark Twain hits the nail on the head. Way back in July 2011, I wrote a post called, “The Power of Positive People,” about this very subject.

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“The first thing we have to do is to answer some basic questions that confront millions of retirees…what (are) our assets and abilities? What (are) the dependable factors in a good life, and how can we recognize and develop them? (What will make) it possible for us to be…satisfied in the future? Do we have anything…to offer to others in the years ahead?” — Jimmy Carter

Though I didn’t vote for Jimmy Carter, I’ve always thought that he was a fine person. In fact, I liked him from the very first time I saw him. I remember thinking, “I’d like to be his neighbor.”

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"The company accountant is shy and retiring. He’s shy a quarter of a million dollars. That’s why he’s retiring." — Milton Berle

Yeah, that’s a cute joke. Thanks Uncle Miltie. Say, what percentage of Americans, do you think, could correctly answer the question, “Who was Milton Berle?”

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"Slow down and enjoy life [in retirement]. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why." — Eddie Cantor

The first part of this statement, about missing scenery, is pretty straight forward. The second part, about missing the sense of where you’re going and why, is a whole lot deeper.  It’s worthy of some reflection. And again, what percentage of Americans, do you think, could correctly answer the question, “Who was Eddie Cantor?”

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