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If an area is attractive to retirees…

…does it automatically follow that the resulting influx makes a city and surroundings more conservative politically?

Retirement: Last day at work

My husband retired yesterday.  He is one of 10,000 baby boomers who retire each day in our country. He had 10 people who reported to him and they loved him. At lunch yesterday, a few of the guys started saying numbers “six,” “three.” When my husband asked what they were talking about, one answered:  “We are betting how many months until you get bored and want to find another job.”                                                                                  

What they have been told, but may not believe: it is not the work my husband will miss, but the incredible friendships. The workplace becomes our daytime home and often colleagues feel like members of our extended family. These people work together, but also offer each other comfort, support, laughter and kindness when tragedy or unexpected life events occur. Tasks get done and the list continues, but what people remember most are the relationships. My husband wrote in his final email:

“…the people you lead give you the honor of being their leader.  I was given that honor by a great group of people.  We have worked closely; we sometimes argued, but in the end we were always striving to have fun while we work…Thank you for being candid with me.  Thank you for telling me when you disagree and working to find a better way.  Thank you for making me proud of our work.  Thank you for making me laugh.  I will remember you always…”

My husband turned in his “company car” and waited for me to pick him up. He was joined by ten people who hugged him, joked with him and carried his belongings. They slipped a silly photo in among his things. They confessed a few stories, “Now that you are no longer our supervisor…” They told him nothing he didn’t already know. They all laughed. As my husband climbed into the car, he was given the best send-off of all: “Remember, we are meeting on Saturday in a few weeks. Beer and chicken wings!”

The job is over, but the friendships - the best retirement gift of all - continue.

(S-R archive photo)

One more week

My husband retires in one more week. The journey has been looonnnnggg. Mostly, his commute on that freeway has been miserable. Soon, he will commute to the mailbox, golf course and woodworking store, when he likes.  

We will manage new routines, expectations and activities. I have listened to others along the way and am working on my fantasies – I mean realistic expectations. I am quite confident ballroom dancing is not in my future – although I wish it were. I can give that one up. I am hoping for morning walks - I know, not every day. And some yard work, please.

Writer Nancy Anderson suggests retirees make a 100-day plan – like a newly elected president writes. Seems such a plan may smooth the transition process.

My husband certainly has a plan, I suspect. His only request so far: allow him to sleep as long as he likes for one month. Seems reasonable.

One week…and one month…and counting.

(S-R archive photo)

CPD Honors Retiring Chief Longo

Except for bad guys who've had him at their heels in a foot pursuit, Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo comes across as about the nicest guy in town. On Tuesday at the Coeur d'Alene Police Department headquarters, Longo, 60, was celebrated by his peers on the eve of his retirement. His last day in office is Friday. Wiping away a tear or two here and there, Longo said being the chief the past six years was the crowning achievement of his career. "I've always felt like I've been one of you, working side-by-side with you," Longo told a conference room full of officers, department support staff and volunteers. "I never felt like I was any better." He added: "I couldn't think of any better way to end my career than working with all of you"/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust CdA Press photo: Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo is emotional during a presentation by Sgt. Christie Wood on Tuesday during a retirement celebration)

Question: I wouldn't want to be the Coeur d'Alene police chief to try to fill Wayne Longo's shoes, would you?

Retired good health

The report is out once again on where the healthiest places are in the country to live once one is retired.

Washington state is among the better places to live during retirement. Lifestyle choices along the way - what we eat and our activity level - determine our fate, but also factors like poverty and education influence those choices (or lack of).

What healthy habits are you forming to make your later years healthy ones?

(S-R archives photo)

Steady Work Best Policy Nearing 90

Joyce Stefanoff is retiring at the end of summer, although she’ll concede to anyone who asks that she’s not sure if she’s quite ready to hang it up. The problem is that Stefanoff loves her job and all it entails. She loves driving her candy-apple red Lexus downtown each day from her home on the South Hill. She loves riding one of the Lincoln Building elevators up to her office on the fourth floor. She even loves getting the coffee brewing for Berge Borrevik, her employer. And if that doesn’t sound all that newsworthy, consider this. Stefanoff turns 90 on Aug. 10. This trim woman has worked for New York Life Insurance Co. agents in Spokane since 1955, back when Eisenhower was president and some guy named Willard Taft was mayor/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: How do/did you know when it was time to retire?

Nun Leaves Behind Big Shoes To Fill

For 25 years Our Place Community Ministries has reached out to the poorest of the poor in the West Central neighborhood. And for the past seven years the organization has been led by Sister Ann Pizelo. Her recent retirement leaves some big shoes to fill. “Someone took a look at her job description and said, ‘There’s no way one person can do all this!’ ” said longtime volunteer Susan Smith/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: When do you plan to retire?

To retire…or not?

 Boomers may work longer than their parents for many reasons. But interestingly, perhaps the US economy needs you at work just as much as you need to be working.

A colleague tells me that his retirement simply meant that he was allowed to choose where and when he could work. Of course, he has a very portable career. So, what choices are there for you?  Change jobs? Leave fast-paced  office for easier work and friendlier environment? Less stress?  Take a chance and start that business?   

What plans or choices have you made about retirement?

Ex-SR Editor Peck Retires In Memphis

Chris Peck is retiring as editor of The Commercial Appeal, the newspaper’s newsroom staff was told Thursday afternoon. Mizell Stewart III, vice president of content for Scripps newspapers, the parent company of The Commercial Appeal, said managing editor Louis Graham will serve as interim editor. He said a national search for Peck’s replacement — both in and out of Scripps — will take place with hope that a replacement will be selected in 90 days. Peck, 62, has overseen operations of The Commercial Appeal’s newsroom since he was hired in 2002 to replace the retiring Angus McEachran/Memphis Commercial Appeal. More here.

DFO: Chris Peck was the editor who hired me away from the Lewiston Tribune in 1982. He was also responsible for moving me to the Editorial Board in 1993 for a 13-year run. So I owe him a lot. Good editor. Good man. I wish him well in retirement.

Question: Do you remember Chris Peck?

The politics of retirement

If you have ever considered retiring to another part of the country, how much did it matter to you that the destination state in question is red or blue politically? 

Labrador: Up Retirement Age To 70

Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador wants to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70, cut a third of the staff at the Pentagon and ban all abortions other than those to save the life of the mother. The freshman congressman took all three stands during a debate broadcast live Thursday night on Idaho Public Television. His Democratic challenger, Jimmy Farris, differed sharply on the retirement age and abortion, but found common ground with Labrador on trimming military spending. “I think there are a number of places that we would agree and admit that we can find savings,” Farris said. “If Pentagon staff is one of them, I’d certainly like to look at it.” The two faced off in the “Idaho Debates,” a three-decade-plus tradition in Idaho political races/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Would you support raising the retirement age to 70?

Coeur d’Alene: Great Place To Retire

It was 15 years ago that Nola Lagg's son brought her from Florida to Coeur d'Alene, she recalled, because of an illness she was facing. She grew rather attached to the place. "I never went back," the 85-year-old said with a chuckle on Thursday, while eating with friends at the Lake City Center. Although the winters took getting used to, she said she has still preferred her retirement years in Coeur d'Alene, where shopping, beautiful scenery and delicious eateries are abundant. "I've been to them all," Lagg said of restaurants she toured with her son. She even prefers the clouds. "In Florida, they're flat and boring," Lagg said. "Here, they're big and puffy. I'm absolutely fascinated with the clouds." Take a back seat, Miami. Arizona? Forget it. CNN Money has just given Coeur d'Alene some publicity it doesn't seem to need/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Why aren't winters in the Inland Northwest a deal-breaker for retirees seeking to relocate?

Retirees Flocking To Lake City

Coeur d'Alene is mentioned among the best retirement communities in the nation as come retirees eschew Florida, California and southern states for cooler weather climes:

The idea of people who uproot and move when they retire conjures up images of warm, sunny Florida or Arizona. But some of the older members of the baby boom generation, the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, are looking elsewhere, and a number of towns in cooler climates from Maine to Washington have become popular retirement destinations. Camden is frequently cited in lists of best places for retirees. Others that have merited mention include Asheville, N.C.; Ruidoso, N.M.; Durango, Colo.; the San Juan Islands in Washington’s Puget Sound; St. George, Utah; Medford, Ore.; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Kalispell, Mont.; and towns along lakes Superior and Michigan in northern Michigan. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: David Spoelstra canoes with his dogs across Fernan Lake, near Coeur d'Alene)

Question: Why would retirees want to fight the snow & cold of the Coeur d'Alene area, when a lot of locals express how tired they are of the winters here?

A theory

We aren't always in control of the circumstances, of course.

But I think some people put off retiring as long as possible because they do not look forward to being asked "How's retirement?" over and over. And over.

Boomers Change Work Demographics

Connie and Scott Brunell were living the early-retirement dream shared by many baby boomers once upon a time. They left telephone company jobs in the Seattle area to work for an oil company in Saudi Arabia. They stayed 12 years, making and saving good money. Connie (shown in Colin Mulvany SR photo) retired in 1996 at 45. Scott retired a year later at 51. They kept busy. They remodeled their home outside Spangle. Connie spent time showing dogs, her hobby and passion. The couple traveled and volunteered. In 2009, after two snowy winters, both felt trapped at home. So they returned to work. Scott, 66, works for the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department. Connie, 61, works for Staff Pro, the company that provides event employees for the Spokane Public Facilities District. The Brunells, who work part time, are part of an aging baby boomer labor trend predicted to accelerate in the near future as boomers stay in the workforce past retirement age. This trend could help rev the economy and ease worries about Social Security solvency/Rebecca Nappi, SR. More here.

Question: Do you plan to work beyond retirement age?

How Tim Gaines knows what day it is

"Thought you might like my way of telling what day of the week it is," wrote Slice reader Tim Gaines. "I retired two and a half years ago at age 53 (yes, I planned it right). After a while I started to lose track of what day it was until I started using the newspaper as a guide. Not the dates printed on the paper but the paper itself."

Here's his system.

Sunday: Needs a wheelbarrow to bring it in. (Well, at certain times of year anyway.)

Monday: Paper seems to consist of about four pages.

Tuesday: No advertising inserts.

Wednesday: Grocery store advertising inserts.

Thursday: Hardware store advertising inserts.

Friday: (Gaines suggested I invite readers to weigh in on this one.)

Saturday: "I know it's Saturday because my still-working wife is still in the house when I get out of bed."

House Rev & Tax Chair Lake To Retire

Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, chairman of the House Revenue & Taxation Committee, won't run for re-election, reports Clark Corbin, reporter for the Idaho Falls Post-Register. Corbin tweeted, “He will not seek re-election. Formal announcement coming today.” Lake, 74, is in his 8th term in the House; he's an agribusinessman and former school board member who holds an accounting degree from Brigham Young University/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: Which member of the North Idaho delegation would you like to see retire?

Hammes: It Just Doesn’t Add Up

But while the newspaper coverage of (Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick's) resignation was thorough, there was one item that did not receive the attention it merits. Her age. The lady is 52. She decided it was time to retire at the ripe old age of 52. There was another telling report in the same newspaper a couple of weeks earlier that is also worth a mention. In this case it was a sports report about a very successful high school volleyball coach. The woman …  has coached for many years. Given that, the reporter asked how much longer she planned to coach. While she deflected the question, she did mention that she is eligible to retire anytime she chose. She is all of 53 years old. So the question begs. How many folks working outside of the government could even consider retirement at that age?/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: At what age can you afford to retire?

Crump: Work Is For Those With Jobs

Some years back, I was talking to my retired college professor father-in-law about a book he was writing. A historian, Ken described its prospective contents in great deal. “Sounds like a lot of work,” I said. “Do you have a deadline?”  “Hell, no,” he replied. “I’m retired. Same here. After 36 years in the workplace, I’m now retired — and contemplating all the excellent reasons for doing nothing. Not that there’s nothing to do: My wife has a 5-gallon job-jar that formerly held pickles from Costco. It’s nearly full — and getting fuller. Victoria is still working for a living, so when she comes home each night she asks if I’ve accomplished anything that day. “Accomplished anything?” I say. “Hell no. I’m retired”/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times News. More here.

Question: Some retirees tell me that they're busier than ever, since they stopped punching the clock. I don't think that's the norm. Do you plan to remain busy when you retired? Or kick back?

St. Louis Manager LaRussa Retires

Tony La Russa retired as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals today, three days after winning a dramatic, seven-game World Series against the Texas Rangers. The 67-year-old La Russa announced his retirement at a news conference at Busch Stadium. The World Series win over Texas was the third of La Russa’s 33-year career. The manager guided the Cardinals to the championship despite being 10 1/2 games behind Atlanta on Aug. 25 for the final playoff spot in the National League. La Russa retires third on the all-time wins list, 35 behind John McGraw. In addition to this season, he won championships in Oakland in 1989 and St. Louis in 2006/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you know someone else who quit while s/he was on top of her/his game?

Way back before he was a fixture on TV


I was thinking about some colleagues who will be leaving the newspaper in the next few months and recalled the "Retirement Party" routine on this album. I wonder if anyone else remembers it.

Crump Retiring From Twin Falls Paper

A writer who chronicled the Magic Valley’s triumphs, foibles and transformations for almost three decades will retire Aug. 31. Times-News Opinion Editor Steve Crump, 59, started at the newspaper as sports editor in 1983, later serving as city editor, features editor and features writer. He has penned most of the newspaper’s editorials and edited its Opinion pages since 2007. His “Don’t Ask Me” column has appeared in the Times-News since 1990, and its “You Don’t Say” counterpart since 2008. Why call it quits now? Crump was married six years ago to a woman whose joint-custody arrangement ties her to Boise, and the couple has commuted between Twin Falls and Boise since then. “We decided the time is right to actually move in together,” Crump said/Virginia Hutchins, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

  • DFO: I'm a huge fan of Steve Crump's columns. He is a fountain of info re: the history and historical people of the Magic Valley and Idaho. His retirement creates a huge hole in the institutional knowledge of Idaho newspapers.

Question: How many newspaper columnists have you followed for decades, if any?

2011 social calendar: Retirement parties

I was trying to remember the last time I got drunk. It must have been almost 30 years ago. But I make no guarantees about the rest of this year.

Yes, of course, I'll call you if I need a ride. 


Say it all now

Doug Floyd, who had a 42-year newspaper career, at the Spokane Daily Chronicle and The Spokesman-Review, retired Thursday. His send-off ceremony was standing-room only and people said kind and funny things. There were also some tears.

Associate editor Gary Crooks wrote about him in his Sunday column. (See excerpt below). And Milt Priggee, freelance cartoonist who once worked with Doug, sent along the perfect caricature.

The ceremony was one more reminder of the importance of telling people close to us, whether in our work life or personal life, what they mean to us. By funeral time, it's too late for them to hear it all.

Not that Doug's going anywhere in the funeral arena soon!

From Gary's column:

Doug’s last day on the job was Thursday, capping an illustrious 42-year newspaper career. No, he wasn’t one of Gutenberg’s interns, but his journalism arc did cover “hot type,” Teletypes and typewriters. He had the great fortune of working when ink-on-paper journalism ruled the day. His younger colleagues, which is to say all of us, are envious as we grapple with the uncertainty that lies ahead… Typically, he ate lunch at his desk. He did all of this with humility, humor and hardly any food stuck between his teeth. On his final day, he wrote two editorials and wrapped up that in-depth interview on the opposite page. Nobody found this odd. On a personal level, Doug is a great guy. When I was struck with family tragedy, he was steadfast in his support and flexible upon my return to work. I will never forget that compassion, or the everyday examples on how to be a better journalist and a better man. All the best, my friend, and enjoy those symbolic strolls to the ballot box. Just be sure to read our endorsements first.

(Milt Priggee cartoon courtesy of Milt. Contact him at www.miltpriggee.com)

Priggee Observes Floyd Retirement

After 42 years in the service of the Cowles Publishing Company, long-time Editorial Page Editor Doug Floyd is memorialized by a Milt Priggee cartoon at his retirement celebration last Thursday. Milt Priggee, of course, was the long-time political cartoonist for The Spokesman-Review. You can see more of Milt Priggee's cartoons here.

Hunting, fishing and fleeing diversity

Before my junior year of high school in Vermont, I spent part of the summer out in California with my older sister and her horse's ass husband. They lived in the other Inland Empire.

One day, when my brother-in-law had something to do at UCLA, I rode into Los Angeles with him. We brought his bike along so I could explore while he was busy doing whatever it was he was there to do.

Well, the bike promptly got stolen while I was in a gas station restroom. But as luck would have it, I quickly found a couple of LAPD officers sitting in a patrol car nearby.

They could not possibly have been less interested in my predicament.

I guess I couldn't blame them. What's a stolen bike in the greater scheme of things?

Anyway, I thought of that incident the other day and found myself wondering if one or both of those cops wound up moving to the Inland Northwest when they retired.


Bell To Retire After 2011-12 Year

North Idaho College President Priscilla Bell announced Wednesday she will retire in June 2012 at the end of her current contract. Bell was hired in February 2007 as an interim president after then-president Michael Burke stepped down, according to an NIC news release. Bell was selected in July 2007 to permanently fill the position. Bell led the college during a time of unprecedented enrollment growth and declining state revenue support, the news release said. She also led the college during the purchase of the former DeArmond Mill site and land on the Rathdrum Prairie for professional-technical expansion/Chelsea Bannach, SR. More here. (And: Official North Idaho College press release/Stacy Hudson, Press Room.

Question: What will be President Priscilla Bell's legacy at North Idaho College?

Statesman’s Woodward To Retire

Cheers … to Tim Woodward. It's hard to imagine, but after nearly 40 years as a columnist for the Idaho Statesman, Woodward is retiring June 1. If you want to sample one of Woodward's best pieces, read the column he wrote in March describing the devastation mental illness had caused his family and how Medicaid programs have helped. It was a gutsy thing to do, but Woodward wanted Idahoans to recognize who gets hurt when the Legislature batters health care programs for the poor. Medicaid, he wrote, is "what an enlightened society does for those who weren't born as lucky as the rest of us. It doesn't just apply to 'other people.' It helps us all"/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did you follow Tim Woodward's columns in the Idaho Statesman?

New charges in senior home break-ins

A Spokane man suspected of burglarizing South Hill retirement homes has been charged with burglarizing another center in Spokane Valley.

Pavel V. Altukhov, 23, faces three counts of residential burglary and one count of second-degree burglary for break-ins at apartments at the Park Place Retirement Community, 511 N. Park Road, on Nov. 19.

He's already charged with five counts of burglary and one count of first-degree trafficking in stolen property for burglaries at the Waterford and Rockwood retirement communities about the same time.

Police say they found more than 1,000 pieces of jewelery in a Altukhov's car when they arrested him in December.

More than 50 victims had reported thefts from their apartments at just Waterford and Rockwood, police say.

Altukhov has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail. He's to be arraigned on the four new felonies within the next two weeks after making his first court appearance on Monday.

Lieberman Won’t Seek Re-election

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., introduced by his wife, Hadassah, right, acknowledges a gathering before he announced that he has decided to retire and not seek a fifth term in 2012 in Stamford, Conn., Wednesday. At center is Maddy Wisse, Lieberman's granddaughter, and Rebecca Liberman-Wisse, one of his daughters. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Question: How will Lieberman be remembered for his years of service in the U.S. Senate?