There is good news and bad news for those playing the back-nine of life.

The good news is that, physically, we are living longer, healthier lives. The bad news is that, economically, some anticipated retirement plans are having to be adjusted.

In casual conversations over the last couple of weeks, friends have told of postponing plans to retire next year or looking for work following a recent retirement.

I thought about my retirement-age friends when I spotted the Delta Queen tied up to the north shore of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga. The legendary stern-wheel steamboat will become a floating hotel there this spring.

At 82, the Delta Queen is transitioning into a new career. No longer will the Cincinnati-based vessel cruise the Mighty Mississippi or Ohio rivers. And her Navy career is but a distant memory.

She is not finished yet, however, and her new location is a great place to slow down while remaining productive. Here people enjoy gathering in Coolidge Park to picnic, hear concerts, play in sprinklers or ride the restored carousel. Just across the pedestrian Walnut Street Bridge is the Tennessee Aquarium and other attractions in downtown Chattanooga.

While the Delta Queen no longer meets the strict requirements needed in a cruise vessel, she still has some life left in her. And she is not the only senior looking beyond typical retirement age for a new vocational track.

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