I also know the king of the alternative to waiting for retirement to kick in. Fritz is a very good violinist, concertmaster for a very capable semi-professional orchestra and leader of a very competent string quartet. He made the conscious decision while still in high school that he didn’t ever want to become jaded and bored with music like some of the professional musicians he had met.
He studied mathematics and became a very competent mathematician – he has made a very satisfactory mark applying his mathematics to computer algorithms. He has the remarkable and admirable ability to throw a mental switch into the “mathematics” position or the “musician” position – to completely focus on one or the other.
This approach didn’t work well for me. Before retirement kicked in I was just as likely to waken in the wee hours thinking of software or of art. This led to a certain amount of cognitive dissonance, as they say.