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August 27, 1973

Retirement: Be Prepared

JAMA. 1973;225(9):1115. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220370053018

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For some people, retirement comes easily. Remember the play in which a young man, having made a fortune, falls in love with the beautiful daughter of an aristocratic family and proposes marriage, but intends that they spend their youth having a good time instead of settling down to the usual husband-works-wife-keeps-house pattern. There was also a lady school teacher whose story never merited a play but is nonetheless a case in point. For all practical purposes, she retired when she married in her 20s. In the course of time there were three pregnancies—after all, mainly woman's work—but such things as housework and cooking were not for her. Not to say that she was idle; she read endlessly, enjoyed bridge if the players were up to her high standards of play, and participated in church affairs and in women's club activities.

For others, retirement from a working career never happens even