Are they pretty much left alone? Are they respected for their having been elders at one time? Are they treated like crap?
Depends, for what I remember. In the congregation where I grew up the elders hated each other and they were constantly involved in political fights over who was the most stuck up righteous hardcore JW. When one of them lost their "privilege" over something stupid like their son/daughter participating in some kind of extracurricular activity, the others were completely vicious.
In other congregations the process was handled as if it was the disclosure of the nation's nuclear codes. In others it was more a laid back, careless event.