The first generation of two-income couples is starting to retire. Now she works, and he doesn't

Betty Polston and her husband Bernie were finishing dinner at their kitchen table one night in 1990 when Bernie announced that after 30 years, he was retiring from his law practice. Betty's reaction was physical: her throat tightened and her stomach churned. "I knew that financially we'd be fine," Betty says. "But that didn't mean I was ready for my husband--Bernie the Attorney--to retire. He didn't have any hobbies. He's very laid back. I had visions of him napping, reading newspapers and lying around the patio for the rest of his life."

In addition to the knowledge she'd gleaned from 27...

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