“Early Retirement,” the headline in LIFE blared in February of 1957. Accompanied by photographs by Alfred Eisenstaedt — some of which, including unpublished outtakes, are seen here — the article promised to share the secrets of men in their 40s who had managed the impressive feat of retiring while they still had the energy to enjoy the extra time.
And, though the dollar figures they provided may be shockingly low 60 years later, when retirement experts tell potential retirees that they should expect to need 70% of their pre-retirement income and when more Americans than ever think they will need $1 million to be ready for that milestone, some of the wisdom of those young retirees stands the test of time.
Perhaps the most noticeable thing about the men featured in LIFE’s story is that all of them continued to make money even after they gave up their traditional jobs.
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