The Hands Achieved: a comfortable retirement
By Joan Caplin

(MONEY Magazine) – Think 1950s TV: Edward and Marjorie Hand leave the Midwest for California. Ed works at IBM while Marge raises their three girls. Mom and Dad help send the kids to college. Emptynester Marge gets a job. Today Ed, 75, is retired after 36 years with IBM and Marge, 69, works part time. They are the proud grandparents of six. And they're debt-free.

It wasn't easy. They bought nothing on credit--living with sheets in their windows until they could afford to pay cash for drapes--and even today, the 50-mile trip from their home in Los Gatos to San Francisco for a show is considered a treat. They live comfortably on Social Security, Ed's $1,200-a-month pension and Marge's $27,000 salary. Their home, bought in 1965 for $35,600, is now worth more than $1 million. But they have no intention of selling. "Our tax bill would be humongous," says Marge, "and where else could we live the way we do now?" --J.C.