Successful people, who are used to running things, to being applauded, to just being there, often view retirement as a kind of obliteration. But the example of Tom Brokaw, who vacated his anchor chair at NBC at the age of 64, demonstrates that when you get out gracefully, you can make occasional appearances as an elder statesman and still be welcome. This is not a call for mandatory retirement. Many people, such as George Will, 69, Barbara Walters, 81, and Betty White, 89, are still performing undiminished. It's a call for selective retirement. For some who should go, the problem is they're producing work of such an inferior quality that they risk destroying their reputations. For others, the sad fact of the depredations of time means they can't discharge their duties effectively. Then there are those who have declared—uncollegially—they plan to go when they are found slumped over their desks. Here is a slide show of worthy candidates, along with a plea. Please send your retiree suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or write them in the comments below. We'll run a follow-up with your best ideas.
Correction, Jan. 25, 2011: Brett Favre's name was originally misspelled.
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