I reckon one doesn't retire from life, only from the job. The good thing about retirement is the removal of constraint on one's time. I was governed by the bell as a teacher, and after I left teaching I could allot my time as I wished. I immediately travelled to W Africa outside of school holiday periods, and spent longer there than I was able to before. Their dry season is during our winter, so I could escape the cold weather for quite long stretches at a time. I went everywhere to Morris events, and gardening weekends. It's bliss to be retired if you fill your time. But just sitting there moping is the way to an early grave IMO. A very hard thing to do was leaving my colleagues still toiling at the chalk face. We were such a lovely team, and it was hard to go. You say you'll keep in touch, but of course, life moves on. Many of them are now marking books in the school in the sky, bless them!