Previous occupation: Chief technology architect, Lockheed Martin
Age at retirement: 62A little work staves off money shortages and boredom; it can also prevent identity crises. Ajit Kapoor spent the past 30 years climbing his way up the corporate ladder at companies like Xerox, AlliedSignal, General Motors and finally Lockheed Martin. His wife, Sarah, had long been telling him that he needed to find an identity outside work. He paid no heed - until one of his friends introduced him as "a big shot at Lockheed."
"Actually I'm not," Kapoor replied. "I just retired." The remark and his own response threw Kapoor for a loop. "My whole life I was Ajit Kapoor, VP of something," he says. "Suddenly people were like, 'Who are you?' And I had to think about it."
So he took up some hobbies, like golf and cooking. He visited his children in Boston and Phoenix. He read novels. Time helped heal the identity wound. Still, he hasn't completely found a sense of self outside work. He recently started a business, Kapoor Group, that consults with small companies in India.