Retirement: Now what?!

Think you know what will make you happy when you call it quits? Learn from those who've been there, done that.

Gene Cross
Gene Cross on the Grand Isle, with co-captain, Teddy.
Gene Cross
Previous occupation: Senior vice president, Mitre Corp.
Age at retirement: 65
New retirees can sometimes make the error of thinking retirement is synonymous with golf or one of any number of recreational activities. Part of the exploration process is balance: "You need both leisure and meaningful pursuits," says Sally Hass, a retirement planning educator for Weyerhaeuser.

Gene Cross understands this concept. The man loves sailing his 40-foot cutter rigGrand Isle. So you'd imagine that when he retired in 2005, he simply glided into the sunset. Not so.

Just as Cross has diversified his investment portfolio, he has been vigilant about diversifying the portfolio of his life. Mondays and Tuesdays, he consults at his former employer, a nonprofit company that manages federally funded R&D centers. Wednesdays he immerses himself in French lessons. Thursdays he dons 1850s garb and plays docent at Arlington House, the home of Robert E. Lee.

Fridays are reserved for sailing. "The last thing I'd ever want to do is sail all the time," says Cross. "I need to do more."
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