Charles Phillips worked in the stockroom of an engineering firm in Rockford, Ill. When he retired five years ago, he and his wife stayed in Rockford: "I worked for the same company for 28 1/2 years -- it didn't seem like a day over 29 years."

"I don't know where the time has gone since."

"When I first thought of retirement, I made up my mind I'd go into volunteer work. I saw a piece in the paper -- RSVP [Retired Senior Volunteer Program] was looking for volunteers. Now I'm an officer on the advisory council of RSVP. For the past four years I've worked as a teacher's helper at the William Dennis School, tutoring in math, reading, and spelling. I work two days a week, five hours a day."

"The kids call me Charlie. They call my wife Mrs. Charlie."

"My wife is a separate person -- She's had here own life to lead. Why should I come home one day after 40 years or so and say, 'Here I am. I'm retired. Entertain me.'?"

"People can make of retirement what they want. If they want to sit in a rocking chair they can do it. If they want to be active, there are so many things to do."

"I read anything with print on it -- even a can of tomatoes. I've read "Caine Mutiny' eight times."

"Every morning I take a walk -- 3 1/2 miles in 38 minutes. I'm out making friends with the birds. But I don't stop to smell the flowers."

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.