Should you retire early?


September 23, 1991|By Julius Westheimer

Although many people wonder about accepting early retirement, the question is a highly personal one. National Business Employment Weekly, dated today, runs a helpful story on the topic. Excerpts: "Retirement planning must begin at least 10 years in advance. . . . Be sure you have hobbies and other leisure interests. . . . Work is the essence of life. . . . Six months of daily golf got boring. . . . My wife didn't want me in the kitchen or her garden." And here's a shocker: "Historically, people have died not many years following retirement." The story includes an excellent personal retirement quiz.

WORKPLACE WARNING: "Did you know that too many inquiries for your credit report can harm your credit rating? Reason: it looks like you're applying for credit from too many sources and overextending yourself. Advice: avoid applying for a lot of credit at once and don't give sellers personal information they need to make a credit check unless you're serious about buying." (BankCard Holders of America).

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "Print names on front and back of conference table place cards so attendees can see who is facing them as well as who's sitting next to them." (Communications Briefings). . . . "Have trouble remembering names of people you're introduced to? Look at the person and imagine his/her name stamped on their forehead. Or repeat names aloud in your first conversation." (Men's Health, October). . . . "Ever feel like telling a good customer to shove it? If you're smart, you'll do that before a mirror and then settle down and negotiate." (Letting Both Sides Win, Forbes, Sept. 30).

WORKPLACE WISDOM: "Most dangerous decision-making traps are: Plunging in without first thinking the problem through; overconfidence, leading to failure to collect key facts; shortcuts, such as trusting the most readily available information; ego protection that prevents honest interpretation of results of past decisions." (Decision Traps, by J. Edward Russo, $9.95). . . . "Best service companies can't prevent an occasional late flight, burned steak or missed delivery. Key is to resolve complaints so you win a customer for life. Make sure front-line employees are equipped to solve a customer's problem. In relation to cost of losing a customer, few recovery efforts are too extreme." (Success, September).

AROUND TOWN: In the Back Fin Bar, Pikesville, weekend talk centered around jobs, and how hard it is to get employment. At the Poplar Inn, Dundalk, two men worried about the threat Russian auto imports might be to domestic car sales. . . . At North Oaks Retirement Community, Owings Mills, three elderly women complained about how low CD and T-bill rates have fallen. . . . At the Center Club, a private downtown eatery, one luncheon table topic was, "Why is the stock market so high in the face of continuing recession?" The most frequently heard answer was that with interest rates so low, stocks provide the best place for money these days.

SEPTEMBER SONGS: Exaggeration? On my wife's parking meter violation ticket: "This charges you with the commission of a crime." . . . "It may not be the most exciting way to spend a lunch break but devoting a half-hour to brisk walking is worth the effort; studies show exercise will lower your cholesterol." (Working Woman, October) . . . "In business, general intentions stay general; get group commitments for major actions affecting everyone." (The Time Trap, by Alec Mackenzie) .

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