Muscle memory, genetics, caloric intake, daily activities would all play a role in this. It's not JUST genetics, just like it's not just caloric intake.
These guys must eat enough to retain their muscle mass, whether they accumulated it 10 weeks ago or 10 years ago. You mention they are sedentary... What did they do for work, if they don't anymore?
Also consider that there are two types of hypertrophy. Myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic. The first being that of central nervous system, deep down strength. Think Arm-Wrestling strength. Sarcoplasmic strength is just for looks, it creates an environment where more water flows to the muscles making people look big, think body building.
Also consider an individuals body type: endomorph, ectomorph, mesomorph, i knwo i'm forgetting one...these all play factors in metabolism, weight gain, muscle retention, etc.