Please Join Us In Congratulating Holly On This Exciting Transition To ‘Next!’ We Can’t Wait To See All Of The Wonderful Things You Will Do And We Are So Grateful That Working With Lifelaunch To Help Others Find Their ‘Next’ With Purpose And Intention Is Part Of Your Future! Cheers To You!
Please Join Us In Congratulating Holly On This Exciting Transition To ‘Next!’ We Can’t Wait To See All Of The Wonderful Things You Will Do And We Are So Grateful That Working With Lifelaunch To Help Others Find Their ‘Next’ With Purpose And Intention Is Part Of Your Future! Cheers To You!
My Name:Elaine Roberts
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:Playing golf and bridge, boating, developing friendships in a new community, travel and serving on two corporate boards.
What I love most about retirement:The freedom to decide each day what I want to do without the pressure of a rigid schedule. I don’t miss all the meetings and sitting in an office.
My biggest challenge with retirement:Time seems to fly by. There are some things I haven’t done that I need to do. i.e., finish unpacking all of the boxes in storage from a recent move. It is more fun to be outdoors playing!
What I did to prepare for retirement:I met with a financial advisor a couple of years ahead of my desired retirement date to make sure it was affordable. I mentally and emotionally started enjoying and grieving the “last time I’ll do…” on the job. It prepared me for the transition. I bought property for a future retirement home five years in advance of retirement, then timed construction of the home to coincide within a few months of my retirement date. This gave me something to work toward and made the move very rewarding. I think it would have been much harder to finish the house two or three years early and not be able to enjoy it full time. While not everyone will relocate after retirement, I did find this to be helpful in dealing with the separation of the work.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:I joined a women’s golf league and am looking forward to a bucket list trip to the Galapagos and Peru.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:John Leland and Gracious Leadership, Lead Like You’ve Never Led Before by Janet Smith Meeks (former President of Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital in Westerville).
My future:I have an active lifestyle and am optimistic about getting in better physical shape so I can continue to enjoy hiking, playing golf and boating. I hadn’t played bridge in 20 years and now am active in a weekly group that stimulates my brain. I’m developing new relationships that have been very rewarding. Two of those new friends are traveling to the Galapagos with me. I am starting to engage in volunteer activities in the community, which I expect to increase with time.
My advice for future retirees:Don’t let yourself be defined by just your career and work. Find other interest and hobbies before you retire to help with the transition. Embrace change, new relationships and the future. You’ve worked hard to earn retirement, so enjoy it!
Question #1 – What haven’t you done that you would like to do before your life is over?This question is the most important because everything else is based on it. All of us came into this life with no money and will leave this life with no money. Money is nothing more than a vehicle to do things, have things and hopefully make the world a better place while you are here. Whenever I sit down with people over age 50 one of the comments I typically make is, “I think it is safe to say that you and I (me too!) have lived over half to two-thirds of our lives.” I don’t say this to alarm people, but to create a sense of urgency so that people get out there and live their best life NOW! One of the reasons I like collaborating with Lifelaunch is because they are good at helping people determine what their best life looks like.
Question #2 – How do you feel about the amount of money you have saved for the next phase of your life or retirement?Most people I talk to want to know one thing. Will I have enough? If you think about it, your retirement income can only come from 2 main sources. The 1st source is INCOME. This includes pensions, Social Security and possibly earned income if you choose to continue to work in some capacity. The 2nd source is the income generated from your investment ASSETS. How much income will need to be generated to supplement your INCOME sources and maintain your retirement lifestyle? The main thing you must figure out is what will your retirement lifestyle look like. Once you know this then it is easy to know if you are on track or not.
Question #3 – What is the process you use to currently manage your financial investments?Whether you do it yourself or pay someone to do it, there are 3 things that matter. The 1st is COST. You want to make sure that your investment costs are reasonable and as low as possible. The 2nd is RISK. Although everyone wants high returns with no risk, that is not reality. It is important that you are consistently paying attention to your RISK/REWARD profile. Why take any more RISK than you need to take? The 3rd is PROCESS. You should have a solid investment process in place that works in all economic circumstances. Ultimately, the GOAL is to generate investment returns that are in alignment with your needs based on taking the least amount of risk.
Question #4 – How do you feel about the amount of income taxes that you currently pay and will pay in the future?Although it is important to get an acceptable rate of return on your money, it is even more important how much you keep in your pocket after income taxes. If you think about it, money can only be taxed 3 ways, NOW, LATER OR NEVER AGAIN. Whenever I ask people which way they prefer, they usually say, “Never again”. The reality is most people have a lot of their money in the TAX LATER bucket because they have chosen to defer taxes through the years. Although tax rates could easily be higher in the future, nobody really knows what is going to happen. Therefore, it is in your best interests to have a robust tax diversification strategy in place with your money. Part of a great strategy is not only looking at the current year but looking out into the future in a more holistic way. As I like to say, “Sometimes it’s ok to lose the battle to win the war.”
Question #5 – What would happen to your wealth if you experienced an extended chronic illness and needed custodial care later in life?Although health care in general is a big concern for everyone in retirement, the bigger concern is how will you pay for custodial care if you need it later in life. Whether someone cares for you in your home or some other type of facility, the costs are high and will probably get higher over time. Everyone has basically 2 options. The 1st option is to self-insure. This means if something happens to you, you will just write a check and pay for your own care. The 2nd option is you transfer some or all the risk to an insurance company via long-term care insurance or some type of hybrid long-term care policy. Many people choose to insure themselves and many do a combination of the 2 options. Some people say their kids will take care of them. I always chuckle inside when I hear this because I have heard of custody battles over kids but I have never heard of custody battles over parents!
Question #6 – When you are gone, what kind of legacy will you leave behind?Everyone leaves a legacy which includes both tangible and intangible components. What kind of legacy will you leave behind? For what do you most want to be remembered? What I have discovered over the years is that most people just want to know that their life has mattered. I think most of what we are remembered for centers around relationships and what we did with our lives. Although you can’t change the past, you can change the future so that your legacy ultimately reflects your desires.
Question #7 – What are your plans for your wealth when you are no longer here, and is the next generation prepared to receive it?If you think about it, your money can only go 3 places when you’re gone. It can go to your family, charity or the government. Most people would prefer to cut the government out. The goal for your family should be to maximize value to them. Every family defines it their own way. One question that comes up is should you treat each member of your family uniquely or equally? Is the next generation ready to receive what is coming their way? If they’re not, it can cause some challenges. To make sure they’re ready, many families hold family meetings to communicate their plans to their heirs. Also, should you give money to your family while you are still alive? Many people want to see their families enjoy it while they’re here. If you want money to go to your favorite charities, then there are many strategies available that can help you optimize your giving. Once you have answered the above questions then you can be rest assured that you are well on your way to having a great retirement phase of life. It really is about leveraging your wealth to create your best life for the rest of the journey. Although return on investment (ROI) is important for your retirement assets, the most important thing is ROL, which is return on life! That should be the goal!!! ************************************************************************** Lifelaunch Consulting is thrilled to welcome Michael Perez as a guest author. Michael is one of the founding partners of The Schumacher Group, a large full-service financial consulting firm in Columbus, Ohio. Michael specializes in helping people over the age of 50 leverage their wealth to determine what they want to do with the rest of their lives.
My pre-retirement career:I have always worked in the Rubber Polymer Industry. I started a rubber trading company with 3 other partners after 17 years working for one. Then after two years we sold this business to a competitor. I worked for them for 7 years then my son and I started rubber polymer compounding business that we owned the majority of. After 13 years we sold this business to the largest rubber polymer compounding company in the world. I worked for them for 2 and ½ years before I semi-retired.
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:I am now investing in businesses with younger 30 something year old’s (with experience) that have the vision, work ethic and drive to succeed long term. I work with them on a limited basis to strategize, mentor, and in a sales and finance capacity. I do this because early in my career I had 4 mentors that work with me and believed in me and our team at the time. These 4 men taught us everything they knew. They asked me many years ago to give back and pay it forward to others once I reached a point in my growth that I could do so. This is very rewarding for me. I am involved in 3 different things now so that counts I guess as my 3. Hopefully more to come.
What I love most about retirement:The freedom everyday to do what I want to do when I want to do it. The focus is on spiritual, mental, and physical growth with in myself. Having the time to spend more quality time with my family is very important as well. I am also an old rock and roll drummer. I bought a new drum set and now practice several times a week in my basement. I think that this also keeps me mentally and physically alert and it is just a lot of fun for me to do. Maybe some day I will play in a band again. We will see!
My biggest challenge with retirement:Is maybe still not having the time to do everything I still want to do. Choices are many and you need to choose wisely. You just can not do everything you want to do.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Watching and talking to others! Some retired early and did nothing. They either died early or their health started to fail. Some were just very bored with nothing to do. They watched too much TV in my opinion. Others seemed to have less time than before, were always happy, and keeping busy doing things they like to do.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:I went on a 10 day trip to Israel with my son. He is now a pastor and living his dream. I plan to take more trips like this with my children and grandkids as they grow older. In the past vacations always seemed to be in a rush. Now I do not want to rush life and just enjoy every minute I can.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:My best friend I grew up with almost died from a very rare cancer. He survived more from his own will power than anything else. I am very happy to say that he is doing great now. He has been sharing many things on his view of the universe and life after this one on earth. I find this fascinating and I am reading books and articles in this regard. It is probably more about science than it is about religion. I read a lot of rock and roll history and music history in general. I do read more than I have in the past. When something crosses my path that sounds interesting I take the time to check it out. In the past, I really thought that I did not have time for this.
My future:Keep doing what I am doing. My wife and I are going to Hawaii for our anniversary this October. I can’t wait! I failed to mention that I try to work out 2 or 3 times per week. Swim when I can as well, walk the dog, ride a bike, play golf, and so on. Staying active physically is the key to a long healthy life. It is great for the mind and the body. This is very important!
My advice for future retirees:Most importantly stay active physically, mentally, doing what YOU want to do. You need to have fun no matter what you are doing.
My pre-retirement career:Founder of Mid Ohio Tempering, an architectural glass manufacturing company in Columbus, Ohio.
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:1.) Spending more time on personal activities, golf, exercise, family, personal planning. 2.) Reviewing opportunities/options for further financial investments and personal investments. 3.) Devoting more energy to philanthropic and educational activities.
What I love most about retirement:The flexibility of time management for a variety of activities.
My biggest challenge with retirement:Assimilating into a slower and less hectic lifestyle outside of business daily decision making.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Retired at age 59 and was totally unprepared for entry into a different pace of life. However like the loss of a friend, a true acceptance and realization of the joys of a new chapter was a very positive reward for 50 years of work life activities.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:Snowshoeing in the woodlands of Northern Michigan.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:“Origin”, Dan Brown, “The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien
My future:Spending time with children, grandchildren in their activities. Taking additional educational classes and continuing development of educational philanthropic issues.
My advice for future retirees:Focus on the NOW, not the past. Only use the experiences of the past to further current and future pursuits in the interest of doing positive things for ones self, family and others. Make things joyful for others. Use one’s life skills to aide, enable, encourage others. Quality time spent with children is better than spending money on children.
My pre-retirement career:Vice President Manufacturing for a national steel processing plant after getting bored during my first retirement, missing the regular interaction with people and the challenge of business.
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:1. Moved with my wife to Vienna, Austria as she took a new step in her professional career for three years. 2. Worked with young professionals to help their professional development and their Excel skills. Did a lot of volunteer small business counseling with SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). 3. Took advantage of the opportunity to travel more of Europe.
What I love most about retirement:A more relaxed schedule for myself and forcibly getting more exercise by getting groceries and running errands by bicycle and subway, as well as regular biking excursions through the vineyards along the foothills of the Alps in Austria.
My biggest challenge with retirement:Keeping up with projects assigned by my wife and giving up trying to transfer all my years of management skills to her.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Maxed retirement savings and worked hard to the end which better prepared my retirement and maintained a high level of activity and challenge – important to physical and psychological health through retirement.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:Live life by the day rather than the schedule.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:Malta Spitfire Pilot, Denis Barnham. The Problem with Socialism, DiLorenzo. Heaven, Randy Alcorn.
My future:Keep active physically and mentally. Continue to travel. Be alert for opportunities to stay involved. Does it need to be done? Can I (or learn to) do it? Then I will do it.
My advice for future retirees:Keep active physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. Be more attentive, gentle and forgiving than you were with people in a busy workplace.
Name:Dr. Steve Iseman, APR, Fellow PRSA
My Pre-Retirement Career:I spent the first half of my career working in public relations – primarily but not exclusively for colleges and universities – and operating several small family owned businesses. The second half of my career was spent as a professor. First at a large research-based public institution and then at a smaller student-focused private university where I headed up the academic program, provided course advising and career counseling and taught full time.
Three Ways I Spend My Time In Retirement:1) I spend some time in Ohio every year looking after several rental properties and a small farm. I live on the farm in southern Ohio and enjoy the physical work and the satisfaction of doing things myself. 2) I also spend some time each year at my house in Key West. Life goes at a slower pace in Key West. I try to ride my bicycle around the island each morning with a stop at the White Street Pier to watch the sunrise where I generally see some friends – an interesting group of people who are always up to date with what’s going on in town and in the world outside of Key West. I belong to the Key West Art & Historical Society and also try to keep up on the music/theatre/art scene in town. 3) In both places I keep active with what’s going on in the public relations field. Part of this comes through heading-up and serving on site-visit teams for certification/accrediation/program reviews at colleges and universities both in this country and abroad. Part of this comes through giving lectures/programs on campus and for professional organizations. And part it comes from reading and serving as an editorial reviewer for academic journals in the communicaiton field.
What I Love Most About Retirement:During the second half of my career, as a college professor, I was very self-directed, doing what I thought served students, organizations I worked with, and the public relations profession best – other than for fixed administrative and scheduled classroom responsibilities. My life in retirement still allows me to contribute to the field in meaningful ways, working with students, academic and professional organizations but without the fixed administrative or regularly scheduled classroom responsibilities. I’ve got time now to spend with my grown children and with my grandsons. My wife Sue and I are able to come and go as we like and can be there for them when they need us.
My Biggest Challenge With Retirement:I suppose everyone worries to some extent about the organization/company that they are leaving behind – will it survive and prosper once we’re gone, and I knew going in that the biggest retirement challenge for me was going to be letting loose. I’d built an academic program, been the public face of it in the professional community and the program’s lead professor for a long time. To say that I was vested in it would be an understatement. In my case I was fortunate in that I was able to hire a competent replacement and work with her for a couple of years before I retired. Knowing that someone who shared my understanding of the value of what we did and who would be able to keep the program strong made me a lot more comfortable leaving. As it turned out, making myself stay out of the way had been important to her success and the continued success of the program. In many ways many academics seem to have an easier transition to retirement because so much of what they do everyday is reading, writing, counseling and advising and they are still able to do all of that once formal working days end.
What I Did To Prepare For Retirement:In addition to paying attention to good financial management/planning, in the years leading up to retirement I thought a lot about what I enjoyed, about what I did, and what I would do more of if I had the time. At the same time I didn’t want to rush into anything before I’d had a chance to really exhale and clear my thinking. For the first six months I was careful not to commit to much of anything new. I continued some board/committee commitments I’d made but didn’t try to extend or expand what I’d agreed to do. I wanted to experience life with some open time before I got myself involved with other things and I think that has worked well for me.
Something I’ve Recently Done For The First Time:I’ve long been a fan of wilderness travel and over the last 50+ years done a lot of backpacking and canoe travel with family and friends. As a general rule organizing and leading the trips has always been up to me. The roles recently switch though when my youngest son who had taken trips with me since he was in single digits, invited me to join him on a canoe trip that he was going to organize for the two of us. He was 34 (half my age at the time) and stepping back and letting him handle things was an enjoyable and gratifying experience that I’m hoping to repeat again soon.
Most Recent Book/Article I’ve Read:I just finished reading “Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey Into the Heart of Russia” by David Greene and it was a wonderful book that offered an insightful look into the thinking of the average Russian. Next on the shelf is David McCullough’s “The Wright Brothers,” and I’m looking forward to starting it. I read a lot of other stuff too – articles in the popular press and some lighter books.
My Future:With any luck at all I’ll be able to continue to split my time between the farm and the place in Key West in the coming years and I’ll be able to continue as an advisor and resource to others. Of course allowing ample time to spend with family, friends and former students who are all doing exciting things is important.
My Advice For Future Retirees:1) Remember to take care of yourself – as long as you’re in good shape you can continue to do the things that you love. 2) If you are fortunate enough to have children and grandchildren spend as much time with them as you can – they are the greatest legacy you can leave. If you don’t have children and grandchildren, find ways to get involved with other young people and help them, by example, to learn and to live good lives. 3) Sitting in a chair and doing nothing is the quickest way I know of to get old. Don’t do that.
My pre-retirement career:Employee Benefits Consultant
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:#1: Enjoying every day; the peace, calm and beauty of living as a human being rather than a human doing. #2: Finishing my second book, “How to Succeed in the 21st Century: Focus on the Things over which You have Input, Impact and Control.” (It should be “out” very shortly.) #3: Making the time to perform random acts of kindness. It’s actually quite a lot of fun!
What I love most about retirement:See the answer to above question!
My biggest challenge with retirement:Making it last.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Honestly, nothing special. Welcomed it when it arrived and have embraced it ever since.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:Took a course in adult education, if you consider “Baseball: A Business or a Sport” adult “education.’
Most recent book/article I’ve read:Thomas Friedman’s “Thank You for Being Late.”
My future:To be determined.
My advice for future retirees:Embrace it passionately; enjoy it enthusiastically; hope it lasts indefinitely!
My pre-retirement career:Executive Vice President, Time Warner Cable
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:Spending time with God & family, charity work and lots of traveling.
What I love most about retirement:Stress free living! I now have the time I need for my post-retirement passion which is aiding the operation and fundraising efforts for Star House, a 24×7 homeless youth drop-in center located in Columbus, Ohio. Star House serves homeless young people ages 14-24. Yes, 14-24 year old homeless youth right here in our back yard!
My biggest challenge with retirement:No question, finding enough time to do everything! There are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I’d like to do.
What I did to prepare for retirement:I worked hard to leave my operation in good financial shape for the exceptional group of executives on our team. I also did everything possible to make sure those great executives were as well positioned as they could be in an environment of major companywide restructuring.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:Ha! I just had a knee replacement! No fun, but necessary. Also, I am planning a month long trip to Italy this September…beginning in Sicily, then Rome and the Vatican ending for two weeks in Tuscany. Can’t wait
Most recent book/article I’ve read:Thank You for Being Late, by Thomas Friedman
My future:Continue to support the Star House, travel, enjoy my time with my wife, adult children and our two grand daughters, Maeve and Maren.
My advice for future retirees:Retire as soon as you can. Life is short, you never know what tomorrow will bring, especially about that which so many take for granted, good health! Remember, at a certain age, everyday you continue working is the last best physical day of your life. Find a new challenge to occupy your new found freedom. Giving back in some way does wonders for the soul.
Name:Sandra J. Anderson
My pre-retirement career:In 2010, I retired as a partner from the Columbus law firm, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, where I was a trial attorney for 33 years. I took four days off and then started working again, as Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel with The Ohio State University Office of Legal Affairs. OSU was one of my very favorite clients when I served as Special Counsel for the University on a number of fascinating cases during my years (decades) at the Vorys firm. After three years as in-house counsel at OSU, I retired a second time. This time, I succeeded in staying retired (at least so far).
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:I get to pick only three? Okay, here goes. (1) Non-profit board service and community service. In other words, I am actually still working – just not for compensation. Current examples: Chair of the Equality Ohio Education Fund Board; Vice-Chair of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio board; Steering Committee member, The Matriots PAC; Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation board; Ohio State Legal Services board; Ohio University Foundation board; and working on or supporting political campaigns. (2) Enjoying my family, such as traveling with my wife (our big trip last year was biking and river-cruising from Prague to Budapest), visiting Mom at her nursing home at least once a week (she is very happy there, which is a blessing), walking the dogs (they are family too, of course), and spoiling nieces and nephews (including the great-nieces and great-nephew, with more on the way). (3) Planting and harvesting from my front yard garden in Dublin, Ohio, and posting pictures on Facebook to document (brag about?) the progress and produce throughout spring, summer and fall. Speaking of “three ways,” my life philosophy (which I borrowed from another source somewhere along the way) has evolved to this: Life should be lived in thirds: One-third learning, one-third earning and one-third serving. Not necessarily in that order, but in that proportion. I never stop learning. My earning years are mostly behind me. And now, my focus is on the service part.
What I love most about retirement:So many things. Freedom and flexibility. Wearing blue jeans much of the time. Being well rested. Very rarely do I set an alarm. If I’m not awake of my own accord, one of our dogs (the one with the ravenous appetite) usually serves the purpose of rousing me up at breakfast time.
My biggest challenge with retirement:Before I became a “retiree,” my fear was that I would become invisible and irrelevant, since I had spent so much of my life being (or thinking I was) identified by my profession and place of employment. That fear did not materialize, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that folks still wanted to meet me for coffee, lunch or adult beverages, and that they wanted me to serve on boards and campaigns and such. The challenge then has become managing my schedule and trying not to overcommit. Also, I really, really miss having an assistant. And an IT department.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Probably the best thing I did to prepare was to diligently save for retirement, starting early during my earning years. That advice about maxing out your 401K contributions? I followed that. I also started planning and saving in other ways early on, such as purchasing a Long Term Care policy and investing in non-retirement accounts, too.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:In March 2017, I did something that happened to me only once before, when I was born. I spent the night in a hospital. I received a new right hip.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:Lynn and I belong to two Book Clubs, both dating back 20-plus years and populated by the dearest of friends. I usually have two or three books under way, on my bed stand, at any one time. Right now, I’m in the midst of “Radium Girls” by Kate Moore and “Y is for Yesterday” by the recently-departed Sue Grafton. Favorite books recently include “Lab Girls” by Hope Jahren and “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande. Also, after my dog wakes me up each morning, I pour myself a cup of coffee and leisurely review The Washington Post, The Columbus Dispatch, The New York Times, and any interesting articles posted by my Facebook friends. Plus, a stack of magazines await: the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Time, AARP (increasingly a favorite), etc. It’s important to invest in the First Amendment.
My future:Continuing to work on boards, causes and political campaigns that have the promise of making the world a better place. And adjusting to whatever life will be like when my currently-working spouse retires. I think it will be fantastic!
My advice for future retirees:Save some money. Seek financial planning advice. Be kind and attentive to family, friends and strangers. Take care of your own health (physical and mental). Plant a garden. Adopt some dogs. Find a good place to board the dogs, so you can travel sometimes. And be eternally grateful for your opportunities!
My pre-retirement career:Communications and Investor Relations executive (Wendy’s, L Brands and Cardinal Health) and consultant in healthcare and retail.
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:I took several months off to totally decompress, walk the beach and get a Florida cottage remodel off the ground. Most recently, I’ve been developing my next business, working more with my nonprofit interests, and attempting to be more in the moment with family and leisure interests.
What I love most about retirement:I love the flexibility, getting to say yes to more unplanned opportunities like travel and not having that Sunday night “school night” feeling anymore.
My biggest challenge with retirement:I’ve found that when I retired from Cardinal Health, the overall label of retiree seemed to stick. I didn’t think about that happening, when I saw it as really just a shift to the next stage of my life. So it’s dealing with the word retirement and people’s traditional perception of it. Also, I did have to remind myself that it was OK to actually take some time off and go with the flow for a few months after being so highly regimented for so long.
What I did to prepare for retirement:My financial planning was well in hand and I had started to think about how I was going to shift the hours allotted to “work” time and what specifically I wanted that work to be. That said, it has been and will continue to be a journey. I continue to explore and redefine priorities and my vision for the coming years.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:I joined an angel investing organization, climbed the 300 steps to the Sacre Coeur (pouring rain at that time), helped a small sea turtle that was stranded on the beach, and took a hot yoga class (now that was a lesson learned).
Most recent book/article I’ve read:I’ve read What Color is Your Retirement, Thank you for Being Late, and A Gentleman in Moscow. I read lots of articles on a variety of topics – too much content, too little time!
My future:I’d really like to coach others to define and realize their objectives and dreams, live life in the present with my family and volunteerism, and keep exploring and learning new things now instead of waiting. My husband and I will be spending more time in Florida and traveling as well.
My advice for future retirees:It is never too early to plan your next stage in life. Retirement is not just about finances, it’s about rediscovering what will really give you a sense of fulfillment.
Pre-retirement career:Clinical Dietitian and Educator
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:I joined an exercise group, a knitting group, a book club and we’ve started traveling to bucket list destinations! I also volunteer regularly at a local hospital, which allows me to continue to help others and remain connected to the world of health care.
What I love most about retirement:I am free to take advantage of great opportunities that happen during normal working hours. Travel when the opportunity arises and extend vacations just because we can!
My biggest challenge with retirement:I miss the relationships I developed in the workplace. Also, accepting that I am not in the inner circle of the latest trends in healthcare has been a challenge.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Throughout my career I took advantage of employer sponsored saving plans for retirement and practiced good financial discipline. I also sought the advice of financial planner. I didn’t have a definite social plan but always listened to other retirees and their experiences. I attended a few seminars on how to adjust to retirement. The best thing I did was to go back to work part time in the same role. This kept me active, allowed me to maintain many of my work relationships and helped me manage my free time better.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:I changed my state residency! I left behind snow for sunshine.
Most recent book I’ve read:Since retiring I’ve been able to read for pleasure more often. Recently I read Honolulu, Before We were Yours, Small Great Things, A Piece of the World to name a few.
My Future:I would like to be able to see my grandchildren more frequently, become more involved in our new community and enjoy the next chapter of my life.
My advice for those preparing to transition from ‘now’ to ‘next’:Have a plan in place. Free time is difficult to manage when you don’t have the structure and demands of a work environment. Have a good idea of what your first six months of ‘next’ will look like, but be flexible. You will have the freedom to change your mind and jump on new opportunities – be open to that! And, if you having trouble putting a plan together, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
My pre-retirement career:I served as an educator for 43 years, and for 37 of those years I was a school administrator.
Three ways I spend my time in my ‘next’ chapter:I successfully ran for City Council in my community which has given me a real sense of purpose in helping craft and implement a vision for a better and more vibrant city. I helped a contractor renovate a “fixer up” property near Lake Erie and we spend a great deal of time there walking along the water, gardening and reading. True relaxation in an environment that gives us more emotional intimacy than I ever dreamed of while I was working full time. And, I have always tried to take care of my self by working out on a regular basis, but I now can make the time to work out longer without feeling rushed.
What I love most about retirement:I can now give more focus to the things that matter most, and I can more easily say “no” to the stressors in life. I can also be more of the person I want to be, and be more of a risk taker, because I don’t have to fit into the behavioral expectations that accompany many jobs.
My biggest challenge with retirement:Managing time in the day that is not structured has been challenging. I find that I waste a lot of time because I do not have every minute pre-planned as I did when I was working full time. However, not having to be on schedule all the time has also liberated me, but dealing with time has been a challenge.
What I did to prepare for retirement:First, I made sure that we had enough money saved to live comfortably. I then took an inventory of what gave me satisfaction in life, and I came to the realization that I need to have a sense of meaningful purpose in my every day being.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:I traveled to Europe.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:“Hamilton” and it gave me an appreciation of the man’s intellect and vision.
My future:I was just re-elected to City Council and I plan to seek the presidency of the Council. From this position, I hope to organize extensive community outreach to build a vision for the development of one of the primary corridors into our city and to also build a consensus on what we want our community to be like in ten years.
My advice for those preparing for the transition from ‘now’ to ‘next’:It was crucial for me to have a financial plan in place so that I could take some risks in the next phase of my life. Even more importantly, I needed to explore numerous options that might give me purpose. I’ve found that a plan gives me a sense of purpose.
My pre-retirement career:14 years as VPHR for Ohio State University (CHRO for the university and all entities); 5 years as VP Health Innovation for the OSU Medical Center.
Three ways I spend my time in my ‘next’ chapter:(I have included four!) – As a member of the Registry, a Massachusetts company which deploys previous university executives as interim university leaders upon request. The interim leader assignments are as independent contractor/consultant status to make difficult changes, bring new ideas, and truly be independent; bringing a seasoned executive in from outside to fill interim needs is a quickly growing trend in higher education. – As a principal of Optimized Care Network, a digital health care company bringing high-immersion 3-D telehealth clinics to senior living centers, employer campuses, and population health based solutions for multi-employer industries; I primarily do business development with employer as well as leveraging contacts in health care systems, payer and broker firms to form partnership-based strategies. – Home renovations, doing major renovation of large bathrooms upstairs and building a room addition on the back of the house. I have a 1 person part-time contractor working with me, and we share the work – I’m a hard core cyclist (bicycles) and love to ride in organized charity rides and to organize training rides for interested cyclists in the New Albany area. Cycling has become a major networking activity, a huge social connector and a social “equalizer”–on rides, there are CEOs, college students, people of all occupations and levels, all riding together without distinction of class or status. Very awesome!!
What I love most about retirement:I love two things the most: 1. Flexibility—flexibility of time, of choices, of commitment level–if you stay in control (its easy to get out of control!!), you can make significant contribution but dispense with the old structures of 8-5 hours or needing to be “in on everything”. Its tempting when getting involved with an activity to agree to be in on every meeting, follow every chain of emails; if you can decide where and how you want to contribute and stay true to that, you can be effective and still have a flexible life. 2. Constructive intolerance–when involved in consulting assignments, business development, charity activities, at this stage of life there is even much more freedom to be intolerant of silly rules, lack of honesty, self-serving agendas, and even of mediocrity. I believe this provides an even clearer role model for those still within active careers, and helps teach organizations that senior talent and millennial talent have the same expectations and together will reform the work environment.
My biggest challenge with retirement:My biggest frustration is with the label of “retirement”! Even though I am quite involved with leadership consulting assignments, healthcare business development, and other involvements, I have people ask me “how does it feel to be retired?” My usual answer is “If I understand what you mean by the word ‘retirement’, I’ll let you know when I get there! I am admittedly over-sensitive to that question!
What I did to prepare for retirement:I had a long career in Human Resources, but a friend helped me understand that I should work on developing some interest or capability while in my career that would become my focus in retirement. I evaluated quite a few options, but eventually settled on the fact that health is my greatest passion, and would want to work in the field of health, wellness and healthcare (a continuum) when I move to retirement. I shared this with a couple of very close colleagues and inappropriately….but luckily….one of them leaked my intentions to the CEO of the Medical Center. He called me over for a meeting, told me what he’d heard, and asked if I would come work for him to (my paraphrasing) help push innovation as a top-line growth strategy for the medical center. I accepted, and that experience has done wonders for my ability to pursue health ventures in retirement.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:I did my first interim leadership consulting assignment in 2016-2017 as interim VPHR of the University of Maine. I had never been in the New England area at all, the opportunities for biking, hiking and motorcycling were unbelievable!!! But, this was my first time of walking into a university of leaders I had never met, and inspiring them to adopt a leadership initiative to improve their individual and collective leadership abilities. The University of Maine is led by the most amazing, experienced, values-centered group of leaders I have ever met. The fact that I could help them think more deeply about leadership aspirations and the never-ending journey of learning and development at any level, was an extremely fulfilling time for me.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:I have read this before, but recently re-read the book: The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni. I love all of his books, but this one focuses on the tremendous value of Organizational Health….not necessarily meaning the individual wellness form of health, but rather organizational health which includes key factors such as clarity, cohesion of leadership, just the right amount of structure, etc. Lack of clarity from top to bottom and division to division, feuding leaders and bureaucracies are heavy anchors on the path to success.
My future:My wife and I have committed to continue our ventures in 2018, and then to “unhook” for the year of 2019 and travel across the country, possibly in an RV, with our bicycles. Years ago I rode my bicycle down the west coast and she accompanied me in an RV. That was a tremendous experience for us as a couple and we want to build on that experience and try unhooking from professional ventures for a year. We will then decide what the next year will be at that time, taking it a year at a time!!!!
My advice for those preparing for the transition from ‘now’ to ‘next’:a. Prepare in advance, so that you can develop some expertise, skills, connections in the venture you will want in retirement. If honest with ourselves, our retirement passion often may be an area that is unrelated to our current career and life experience; plan ahead to develop involvement in that passion!! b. Have a plan that is directional and tangible, but not too detailed. You should remain open to new discoveries, connections, experiences, rather than be overly tied to working a plan. c. Prepare for a potentially closer and deeper relationship with your spouse or life partner…..relationships can become somewhat superficial by necessity when both are challenged to the hilt by career and family, and “going deep” again can be exciting or scary, or both!
My pre-retirement career:I spent 3+ decades as an entrepreneurial, community-based, non-profit leader, creating opportunities of people and communities to thrive, both in the world of urban at-risk youth (Greater Columbus Youth for Christ), as well as highly successful business, professional and government leaders (The Gathering/Columbus & Rela Leadership). Those opportunities allowed me to engage and deliver best practices people across the entire spectrum of socio-economic, education, religious, political and ethnic categories.
Three ways I spend my time in my ‘next’ chapter:#1 – I am not retiring. My new full time pursuit is pursuing my new full time pursuit. My entire career has been “doing what I love,” so there’s a sense in which I’ve never had a real job. I’ve always pursued my passion and my purpose through my work. I am pursuing those opportunities that will allow me to leverage my extensive background in community engagement, philanthropic advocacy and leadership development. #2 – I’m reading and reflecting on the writings of, community development expert and apostle, Dr. John M. Perkins, “Let Justice Roll Down,” in addition to the contemplative writings of Richard Rohr, “Falling Upward.” #3 – I’m listening to God, family, friends and trusted advisors, and talking to scores of people in pursuit of my “What’s Next.”
What I love most about retirement:I have time at the moment to fully focus on myself, in the most positive of ways. I am using it to continue to grow and learn as a person, husband and father.
My biggest challenge with retirement:Being one of “those type A personalities,” not knowing what my next career looks like is my biggest challenge. I want to be able to give all of myself to something much larger than my capacities, which will allow me to leverage the time, talent and resources of others in order to create opportunities for people and communities to thrive.
What I did to prepare for retirement:I’ve been a good listener most of my life. Therefore I prepared for this transition by having a good understanding of my identity apart from any job or career. Plus, a large part of life is about living out one’s purpose, and retirement, in that sense, is never an option.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:I spent 30 minutes reading to my 18 month old grandson, and realized there is nothing better in life than spending simple, quiet time with those you love most.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:My most recent book: “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,” by Richard Rohr.
My future:The future is unknown, and yet the future really is the present. The present is all we ever have, so I am attempting to experience each moment and each relationship to the fullest right here, right now. Now that being said, I am pursuing new career opportunities that will allow me to thrive in the areas of my purpose, passion, gifting and relationships.
My advice for those preparing for the transition from ‘now’ to ‘next’:Do one “healthy” thing for yourself each day. Do 10 loving things for those you know and those you don’t know, every day as well. The only way we get and remain healthy is to give ourselves away in service to others. And remember, “Seek first the Kingdom of God……and all things…..all things will be added to you.”
My pre-retirement career:I worked at AT&T where I had opportunities working in sales, sales management, training & development and human resources. At the time of departure from AT&T, my job was supporting a global sales force in the area of human resources, whose clients were large corporations headquartered in Ohio. I was fortunate in that at the age of 42, I was pension and benefits eligible due to my 25 year tenure, so a part of my retirement package was a stipend to start my own business (which I took full advantage of). Post-AT&T retirement, I worked for Saks Fifth Avenue for almost five years, as Talent Development Director. As Founder of WhenYouNeedHR, my focus today is in establishing and maintaining the HR responsibilities for smaller companies. These small business owners are actively trying to run all aspects of their business, so there is no time to read up on the ever-changing employment laws. I offer a unique service via a monthly retainer in support of all-things HR for them, taking that monkey off their back so they can stay passionate about what they do best…growing their business!
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:1. A good amount of my time is spent focusing on my business. I work with a really fun employment attorney (Mindi Wells) who has a significant amount of hands-on HR experience. Together we facilitate monthly lunch & learn workshops with topics that were requested by our audience and have a focus of continuous learning for HR folks. Additionally, we have developed a “Supervisor Success Series”, a three-part learning workshop, highly attended by newly promoted managers and experienced managers who work for businesses in Columbus and the surrounding communities. We have established a really cool following of businesses who have adopted our series of workshops as part of their on-boarding and developmental best practices for managers. 2. I am called on to give career advice to young people who are starting out, so I have had more frequent requests in this area, it seems. Many times it’s to coach them for an upcoming interview or to review their resume. I find it interesting when more often than not I hear the words “I just don’t know what I want to do the rest of my life”. My advice is always to cut themselves some slack for not knowing, give thought to and then pursue things they have an interest in. It can’t just be all about the money and the title at this point; that will come. Sometimes we just need to give permission. What’s that phrase? Something like “You will never work a day in your life if you love what you do.” 3. In my spare time I travel whenever the opportunity presents itself, I hang with my adult children and my 3 parents, I hang with girlfriends, love to cook, love to garden, I walk, I listen to live jazz bands, I listen to Audible books, I meditate and so so so much more. I am living the dream! “Retiring” has been life-changing and I highly recommend it. It’s nowhere close to being “the end” at all – it’s simply the beginning of something new! And it’s great, BTW!
What I love most about retirement:Not having to follow such a rigid schedule. Listening to the traffic report on TV and knowing I will not have to fight traffic to get to work at 8:00 a.m. Not having to answer to someone who is the boss of me on the org chart. Choosing how my day plays out. Surrounding myself with people who bring out my best. I realize I am incredibly fortunate, but I chose this path and have deliberately made my way. This alone continues to empower me throughout my life.
My biggest challenge with retirement:I am not sure I have had any significant challenges up to this point…things play out and things work out for the most part again, because I know I am in control of this in every way.
What I did to prepare for retirement:I began to network like crazy, discovering what changes small business owners were feeling with the upturn in the economy. I came up with a creative name for my business and created a logo and a website. I subscribed to Business First and took notice of the many goings-on around Columbus. And the reality of this is that I did nothing to really “prepare” for what we have always felt “retirement” is, but prepared for what I could achieve in this next phase of my life. Big difference and much more rewarding!
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:I am learning how to paint with oils! One of my clients has an employee who is also an incredibly talented artist; she offers lessons each week to anyone who wants to learn. It is a blast and it’s something I never thought I would be good at. But she helps me become better with each passing week and for that, I am grateful. No doubt, the wine selection on paint nights is also helping me become better. 😊
Most recent book/article I’ve read:“Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty. Soooooooo good in print! Netflix series was excellent, but the book is way better.
My future:I would like to believe the following words will describe my future: gratefulness, certain, authentic, joyous, untroubled, positive, assured, secure, steady, content, indebted, fulfilled, unworried
My pre-retirement career:Spanish Instructor at the Ohio State University
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:As a Spiritual Director (in one-on-one sessions and as a group spiritual process), writing (poetry, fiction, children’s stories, memoir), watercolor painting, gardening, playing music (organ, piano, dulcimer), practicing yoga and ballet. (Sorry, that is way more than three!)
What I love most about retirement:Waking up every day excited to dive into activities that bring me joy.
My biggest challenge with retirement:Slowing down and not jumping into every exciting option that I am offered.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Trained to become a spiritual director, established an exercise routine that I enjoy and will stick with, bought watercolor paints and instructional videos and began to practice.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:Acquired a hammered dulcimer, yet another instrument I will learn to play! And, I submitted a fiction short story to a contest for unpublished writers.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, not the most recent, but one of the most helpful. I also read Anything by Richard Rohr and Cynthia Bourgeault, also Diana Butler Bass and Mark Nepo.
My future:Stay alive as in active, alert and energized physically, mentally and spiritually. Keep giving myself away to causes and opportunities that spread love and peace, understanding and kindness.
My advice for future retirees:There is no “formula” for doing this. Slow down at least once a year and take a week to yourself for discernment about where you are and where you are headed. I have to leave town to do this, but I always come back renewed and revitalized.
My career:My business, High Point Transitions, was founded to support people through change and transition. I started by coaching people in mid-life career transitions, advanced into coaching and leadership development, and now include coaching pre-retirees to plan for the next life chapter. Prior to that, I worked as a lawyer in public policy.
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:Work, volunteer activities, and creative pursuits.
What I love most about retirement:Having a lifetime of experience and wisdom and using it to make a difference.
My biggest challenge with retirement:So many choices.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Self-reflection, reading about aging, conversations with friends, and experimenting with new activities.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:Joined Urban Sketchers to explore creativity with others.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:Smart Women Don’t Retire—They Break Free.
My future:Continuing meaningful work and volunteer opportunities, spiritual deepening, lifelong learning, writing, and engaging in communities of care.
My advice for future retirees:Take your time, explore a wide range of options, find meaning and connectedness, experiment, and enjoy the journey.
My pre-retirement career:Chief Human Resources Officer, Cardinal Health
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:More time with family, more focus on exercise and diet, serving on boards and focus on volunteer work.
What I love most about retirement:Getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night. I truly did not know how wonderful this is!
My biggest challenge with retirement:Saying no. I get calls for consulting and help. Since I had dedicated a good part of my career in doing this work and helping others be successful, I found it hard to say no. Once I learned to say no, it was freeing and I found I could do so without hurting relationships.
What I did to prepare for retirement:First, I made sure the transition to the leader that took my place was smooth and the she would continue to focus on development of my team. This gave me comfort and allowed me to let go easier. I also promised myself and my family and closest friends that I would take at least the first 9 months to a year to focus on us and finding things to fill my day that bring me joy! I also told my husband that he should not come home from work and ask me “what did you do today” as he might imply no judgement, but I would only hear judgement. So instead he can ask “how was your day”!
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:Took my daughter to Greece – because I could and neither of us had ever been!
Most recent book/article I’ve read:The New Retirement and Hillbilly Elegy.
My future:Is so exciting! We are downsizing our home here in Columbus and building a home in Florida
My advice for future retirees:Don’t overplan. Allow yourself time to settle into your new normal. Instead of thinking about “retirement” in the old sense, think about repurposing your time on things, activities and people you care most about and that bring you joy! Do you know someone who is Celebrating Next? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Name:Mark Stewart
Pre-retirement Career:Human Resources Executive
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:Filmmaker, Volunteer, Family.
What I love most about retirement:Flexibility and the ability to flex my creative muscles.
My biggest challenge with retirement:Time management.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Researched second chapters.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:Completed the feature film “Mock & Roll” and entered the film festival circuit.
My future:Continue to make films and volunteer.
My advice for future retirees:Explore areas of interest and jump in with both feet!