Letters to the Editor: How I got rid of my post-retirement guilt


To the editor: I have mixed feelings about Steve Lopez’s musings on retirement.

As a former nurse of 35 years who started working at age 15, I was lucky to find a career late in life that made me proud. But after nursing my mother through pancreatic cancer for almost a year, I reexamined my life and decided to retire.

It took me two years to become comfortable with my new status, so I thought of volunteering, taking up new hobbies and traveling. What I really was struggling with was the guilt of not feeling productive anymore.


With the help of my therapist and my husband, I realized it was OK to embrace retirement, which I have since done wholeheartedly. I don’t feel useless. I have friends and family who I support and who support me. I indulge in my passion for traveling. I am still open to learning and living each day as fully as I can.

Retirement is glorious.

Cynthia Kokawa Lerner, Los Angeles


To the editor: Lopez as usual brings clarity to his subject. As I have for about 45 years, I meet with a group of men every Thursday. Only two of us are not retired. I’ve noticed that some seem to be searching for meaning, and others have found volunteering jobs or hobbies that fill their time.

Though she keeps busy visiting and serving people confined to their homes, my wife had been after me to retire after she did 15 years ago. Then the pandemic changed her mind and she urged me to go back to my office.

I’m still trying to get it right at 81.

Ken Martinet, Los Angeles


To the editor: Lopez’s excellent musings on retirement bring to mind William Carlos Williams’ line: “I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” Sure hope Lopez never does.


Chris Erskine, La Cañada Flintridge

The writer is a former Times columnist and editor.