Well, thanks for your kind words. I hope I've helped you. It's been a wonderful experience I've had these last 4 years. I had outgrown my job 15 years before I was laid off and I have fully enjoyed the challenges that I have had on my own.
As far as being retired, I must admit I don't feel retired. I get up early, exercise, and then spend most of the day studying investments. I treat my investing as my own small business. I never really got into golf, and travel gets boring unless I combine it with investing. I don't think that I will ever do the "classical" retirement thing. I'm as busy as I was working, only I work for myself. Most of my friends now are other fulltime investors and self-employed small business people. I don't think my "retirement" is what most people think about for their retirement.
As far as your corporate execs coming back in their 70's, I bet I could match 10,000 un-employed/under-employed, above 45 year old engineers (including BS, MS, PhD, and MBA engineers) for every employed CsomethingO you can produce. It has always been harder for older professionals to find empoyment, but the combination of older worker with the tech bust, wtc plane bombing and subsequent recession, offshoring jobs, and imigration and there is now a whole sub-culture of highly technically trained and skilled people selling tools at Sears, Home Depot, and Lowes for 10 bucks an hour or they've joined the ranks of realtors.