McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Retired? Here’s some advice from the book “How to Love Your Retirement” (Hundreds of Heads Books,, $13.95). It comes straight from people who’ve done it.

Party time

Every rite of passage deserves celebration. Including retirement. You deserve to be rewarded for all those years of hard work (and celebrate the fact that you’ll no longer be doing it). Here’s how one person made the most of his newfound freedom:

When the subject of my retirement party came up, I told people in my department that if I had to choose, I would choose not to have one. People in the department said, “We don’t care whether you come or not. We’re having one.” Just take it all in and enjoy it. My retirement party had about 100 people. The secretaries in the department were the primary organizers. They wrote to several colleagues and asked for letters, which were included in the book that was given to me. They had pictures of me over time that showed that we do, indeed, get older. They invited all of my children and stepchildren. They all said nice things. My wife was there to greet people with me. The department gave me some small gifts. There were snacks and a cake and punch. It was a very nice affair.

— Robert L. Zimdahl, Fort Collins, Colo.

Watch out for yourself

Don’t travel by yourself in a car long-distance because you are likely to kill yourself. The craziest thing I ever did since retiring was to drive from Norman, Okla., to Palm Beach, Fla., in one stretch by myself. I only stopped to get gasoline because I wanted to get home. I couldn’t stay awake for the last hundred or so miles, and I was numb when I got there. It was a stupid thing to do.

— Stan, Norman, Okla.

I realized within the first week of retirement that taking care of myself in the morning — brushing my teeth, washing up, getting dressed — was important, not just something to rush through because I had to get to work. It was important to honor myself enough to do those things. And when I did, it made things more normal and pleasant.

— Michael, Sayville, N.Y.