The Joys of Being Retired

More freedom, being able to give back, and time to deepen relationships are common themes in your e-mails.

Several months ago, I wrote that one of my simple pleasures in retirement is having the freedom to run errands at noon on a Tuesday, with little traffic, lots of parking and ’60s music playing on the car radio. That prompted an e-mail from reader Bob Swahlen, who also experiences “the joy of having freedom and time,” with one exception: “I find Bo Diddley to be a good companion on the ’50s channel.”

Musical preferences aside, enjoying more freedom and time is a common theme running through reader responses to the question I asked about your greatest pleasures (or disappointments) in retirement. Having time on your hands takes some getting used to. But after making the transition, readers wax eloquent about their new circumstances.

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Janet Bodnar

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.