Have you thought about how you will retire? To many people, “retirement” means leaving work permanently, but others choose a gradual approach, phasing work out of their lives over a period of years.

According to Forbes.com, formal phased retirement programs are uncommon in the corporate world, so some design their own phased-in retirements, perhaps leaving full-time employment for part-time work, then shifting to a seasonal job for one or maybe two portions of the year, then not working at all.

There are numerous benefits to the gradual approach, including minimizing the loss of social interactions and routine that work provides. It allows people to keep their options open economically. And, it provides time for the retiree-to-be to develop new or latent hobbies and to begin meeting like-minded people.

Founders Hall is open two evenings a week — Tuesdays and Thursdays until 8:30 p.m. — to accommodate people who are working but are getting close to retirement. These extended hours give them the opportunity to take a class or two, attend events and meet people who are in a similar phase of life. Founders Hall membership is free to all Ridgefield residents age 60 and over, and their spouses. Visit founders-hall.org for more information.