Every Retirement Needs a Plan


 “A Costly Personal Mistake”

A good friend of mine was the president and CEO of a large manufacturing company.  While in his 50s, he sold his business to a large multinational company.  He continued to work for them until he finally became frustrated with “Big Business.”

He was old enough to retire, but he didn’t want to stop working altogether.  He wanted to remain active.

So he leased an office in a suburban office park, large enough to accommodate a secretary and files, a personal office and a conference room. He had a multi-line phone installed, purchased some basic office equipment and had the space professionally decorated. He arranged for delivery of the daily Wall Street Journal.

When all this was completed, he “went to the office.”  He read the paper, opened his mail and waited for the phone to ring.  Alas, since he was no longer part of an established business, his professional business contacts no longer called.  There were no decisions to make. No conferences to chair.  He was not needed.

Eventually he found a job as an executive for a similar business in trouble and was able to find satisfaction and rewards in that experience.  He also started volunteering with a local non-profit and eventually worked up to a paid staff position.  So the story has a happy ending.

But, as he said to me when he was beginning to plan his next step, he could have been fore-armed with information about his psychological journey and expectations.  He wasn’t.

And the sad part is, many people find themselves in a similar situation as they approach retirement. Especially if they hope to continue working in a different capacity.

The lesson here is: planning for retirement is just as important as planning for your career.

*** Bill Ronay is President of Third Wind, a retirement resource network that provides personalized, comprehensive information, guidance and resources to help people make a successful transition into retirement.  Third Wind uses a holistic approach to help adults facing retirement discover new opportunities and purpose as they make the transition into the third phase of life; their Third Wind.

You can contact Bill at 502 895-3693 or go to mythirdwind.com for more information.