As our plane landed at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, applause broke out among a group of airline employees. I thought this was a bit unusual, until I was told that the pilot had just completed the last flight of his career. He would retire the next day, and his colleagues were expressing their happiness for him.

For many people, retirement means doing what they have always wanted to do—fish, golf, travel. Others work hard to retire early so they can enjoy the fruit of their labor while still young and healthy.