Mack and Constance Schwab retired to Columbia, Md., nine years ago from Oregon, where Mack had been a television producer with the state Department of Higher Education and Constance had taught special education in the public schools.

"We're busier than ever," Mack Schwab says.

At 75, he is on the board of his church and edits a biweekly church newsletter. He jogs regularly, has run four Marine marathons (finishing twice) and leads a group in Swedish exercise-walking, four laps around the Columbia Mall three mornings a week.

At 79, Constance Schwab is on the board of the Howard County League of Women Voters. She tutors Taiwanese students in English four afternoons a week. As a self-described "frustrated gardener," she helps out with the landscaping at church.

Together, the Schwabs are studying Russian at the University of Maryland's Baltimore County campus, in preparation for a trip to Moscow to celebrate Constance's 80th birthday.

Mack and Constance Schwab have adjusted to retirement, they say, because they never really retired.

"The key is to have a parachute," Constance says.

She remembers how angry she was in 1976, when she was forced to retire at 65 from her teaching job in Oregon: "My skills were as high as they ever were, and now I was being cut off."

Retirement, she said, can be like "jumping off a precipice," and a friend counseled her to find a parachute. She did -- teaching parents to teach their children to talk, almost from infancy, to prevent speech disorders.

"I didn't stop at all," she says. "If you're doing work you really enjoy, it's a terrible thing to stop."