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Generating retirement income by semi-retiring

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Susan S., age 61
Charles City, Iowa
Married, three children, four grandchildren
"We're hoping our investments will pay for the fun stuff."

Susan's tips

  • Going into business with your spouse lets you generate income together.
  • Diversifying your investments helps to reduce risk.


  • Supports her husband’s art—and their income—by helping to sell his work.
  • Invested in her workplace retirement plan as soon as it became available.

Susan retired from teaching and created a cottage industry with her husband.

“My husband is an accomplished fine artist. His work is sold in galleries, art shows, and fairs. When he retired, we saw it as a way to go into business together. He built a studio with a kiln, and I became his manager.”

Retraining to become a better business person and investor.

“I’ve been taking business management classes so I can better support his work and help contribute to our income at the same time. We’re making actual money and spending time together that’s not in front of the TV.

“About four years before I retired, my school set up a 401(k), so I contributed aggressively. We hired a financial planner who diversified us into five or six different funds. We’re hoping our investments will pay for the fun stuff.”

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