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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Who Loves Working Resents Talk of Retirement

DEAR ABBY: I'm in my mid-60s and still work full-time. I love my work, not only because it pays well, but also for the good times I have with co-workers and the intellectual stimulation I get from solving problems. I also feel younger than my age. That may be because I have a purpose in life -- to get up early every morning, take my shower, put on my makeup and hurry to the office. At the end of the day, I feel fulfilled because I know I have done something worthwhile.

My problem is the tactless people who ask me when I'm going to retire. Sometimes I tell them that they will be the first to know if I decide to do so. Someone even told me that I should retire now "so I can begin to enjoy my life"! I told her I don't have to retire to enjoy my life because I enjoy my life every day.

I don't know what their motives are in asking. At times I become so annoyed that I just look at the person and give a sweet smile -- just to shut him/her up. I don't want to be rude, but now and then I feel like telling them that it's none of their business. Abby, what is the best response to give these busybodies? -- IRRITATED OUT WEST

DEAR IRRITATED: Give the person your standard "sweet smile" and say: "To me, retirement is a dirty word. Please don't use it in front of me again."