Thoughts on retirement.


New Member
First off I'd like to say hello. I'm not a pilot, but I'm fascinated with flight. These forums have been eye opening. Thank you Doug for running this terrific site.

I have a question: How do you all feel about retirement. I know 60 is the limit, and I want to there life after 60?

Are there options before you at 60? Instructing? Flying for fun? Working for an overseas airline? What is there to do after 60?

I know what ever I commit to as a career, I'll not want to stop at 60... it's just how I am. Your insights will be helpful.

Yeah we have an 80 year old that flies our Citation part time and is still sharper then the rest of our pilots, but after 30,000 hours he better be.
OMG 80!! And he's still a revenue Pilot! wow. So it seems the 60 limit only applies to the airlines I guess huh?
Citationkid, does your family own the business or all the planes your mother and father fly?

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Man I wished our family owned the business. My mom flies the Citation and the Navajo and my dad flies helicopters and king airs for the state police and a charter company and a CE560XL for a rich guy.
Heh- speaking of retirement...My boss is 77. He still flies around single pilot IFR in a C-T210 all the time. Sure, its slower than a Citation, but still...

And he is an accident waiting to happen too- flies in terrible weather (read: The "I" word), does not communicate well with ATC, isn't a particularly good stick, and the list goes on. Its only a matter of time. I can only hope he decides to hang up the headset before he kills himself and others.
Thanks for the responces, but I want your thoughts on the 60 year retierment limit.

I'm sure there are pilots on this board who want to fly does it feel you may have only x number of years to fly and save for retirement.

thank you.
There is life after 60, but for some it's unfortunately pretty short. There are lots of obits on the wall in the pilot lounge of retired captains that expired at 63, 65, etc.
Trust me, after 23 years of flying around the world , with 15 more to go (until 60), I will be glad to stop being gone from home two (or more) weeks every month, and confine my flying to recreational pursuits. This stuff gets way old, way quick. Not that I don't enjoy flying, it's the baggage its' wrapped in that is tiring. In a way, this furlough has been a blessing, it's given me a chance to be at home every night and enjoy my family.
MDPilot, I'm curious about your sentiments. If you could go back and do something else with your carrer would you? Is flying becoming a chore? I do aggree two weeks out of a month is quite a lot. How do furloughs work? Do you still get paid some?

I'm investigating what it's like to be an airline pilot, and these issues seem important to me.
I just got off of vacation and mid-week during it, I look over at my wife and thought, "she's a cool chick, we've gotta hang out more often!"

But yes, this profession can be like a big syringe on your family life.
Sounds hard. I imagine with kids it's even harder. Though when your home, your home. I imagine that must be nice durning summer with the kids...

Seems impossible for your singnificant other to have a job too when there's kids around...Unless a nanny is involved I guess.

Oh well, there's always flying as a hobby I guess, but it's not a cheap thing to do.
I'm sure after 38 years of flying, 60 won't come soon enough. Just hoping to have a small fortune to get my boat with!
MDPilot, I'm curious about your sentiments. If you could go back and do something else with your carrer would you? Is flying becoming a chore? I do aggree two weeks out of a month is quite a lot. How do furloughs work? Do you still get paid some?

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Would I change anything? Heck No!!! I have wanted to fly (military) since I was 3 years old, never considered anything else. And being on furlough for this short while has taught me that I really do miss it (the flying, not the BS and time away from home).
As far as furloughs, I got paid a reduced rate for the first two months of furlough, after that it was selling cars, and now, database administration. Listen to the folks who tell you to get a degree in something other than aviation. I made absolutely zero headway trying to get a job with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and a MS in Aeronautical Science.
How long do furloughs normally last? Sounds rough out terms of jobs for pilots. I'm thinking avation isn't the most practical career out there....How right am I about this?
Furloughs normally last until they are over. Maybe a flippant answer, but they can be as short as a few months, or until your company needs new pilots again. Measure that one in the years to maybe never range. I don't know how long it will take the estimated 8000 or so pilots furloughed from the likes of USAir/United/AA/Northwest/Delta to be recalled. For the ones first furloughed(last recalled), the time frame may be 4 to 10 years. I don't know, and no one else does either. Should those guys try and get hired by another carrier, and resign their seniority number from their former carrier, or wait it out and do something else in the meantime? Again, I don't know, everyone has to decide for themselves. Just realize that this is a volatile industry, it has boom and bust cycles. Plan to experience both in your career.