Retirement Is . . . A 4 Second Transition

One of the big surprises to me is how easy and fast it was to transition into retirement.  Several who have gone before me told me this was going to be the case, but I guess I did not quite believe it for myself.  They were right!

For me, the transition has gone smoothly, because I knew myself well enough to know that I had to have a plan.  So, on my first week of retirement, I knew that I had several activities lined up so that I would not be looking at myself in the mirror wondering what to do now.

Specific things that have been an easier transition than I imagined:

* Going from having a lot of responsibility and in a high level leadership position to being in charge of the dog.  A few people did tell me that this was a little bit of a transition for them; it was not an issue for me at all and probably was an indicator that my identity was not completely wrapped up in my job.

* Going from putting money in our portfolio for 30 plus years to taking money out of the portfolio to live on.  I was certain this was going to be a transition for me.  I thought maybe there would be a tendency for me to more frugal or less generous with money.  The opposite has been true.  I feel more generous and I am no more frugal than before (however, some would say that it was likely not possible for me to be more frugal).

* Starting a lot of new things, like teaching every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 am.  Once again, this turned out to be an easier transition than what I expected and I am really enjoying my 30 students!


A Boomer in Transition

Retirement Is . . . Classroom Time!

On Friday night of this past week, my classroom looked like this:


This was cooking class in Stillwater.  I learned how to prepare four different fish meals.  It was a lot of fun and something that I have been talking about doing for a long time.  One of my stated goals in retirement was to do more cooking and to learn how to cook healthy meals.  I am now armed with some new fish recipes to add to my new Good Housekeeping 400 Healthy Meals cookbook and have no excuses!

Tomorrow my classroom will be at Bethel University, where I will have 30 students in my Investments Class.  I have spent the better part of January getting ready to teach this class and am ready to go!  Next week sometime, I will post a picture of that classroom.

I have always considered myself a lifelong learner and just a month into retirement, I am finding myself to be in the roles of both student and teacher.

Ok, I suppose I better watch a few minutes of the Super Bowl, yawn – strike that, there was just an interception . . . and here comes the commercials!


A Boomer In Transition (and in the classroom)

Retirement Is . . . Going Where God Calls

I had an amazing thing happen today that I cannot go into details on because of confidentiality.  What I can say is that I believe God has put me in a situation where I am uniquely qualified to be able to pour into another person going through a challenging time.  I was so moved by this when I found out the situation that I cried for about 5 minutes,

A couple of things to note here – I am half-German, fairly stoic and rarely cry for that long.  In addition, I am an introvert and I just mentioned being “able to pour into another person”, hello?  that is scary language for an introvert.

I believe this is happening because I am really trying to follow God’s plan for my life and not my own.  A series of things had to happen to put me in this person’s life and i believe every one of them has been God in control.  Amazing.  And only possible because I followed God’s plan to retire at the peak of my career and do other things with my life.


A Boomer In Transition

Retirement Is . . . Trying New Things

Almost everything I am doing now is new.  Preparing to teach a new class, getting cancer support group launched, leading financial literacy course at our church, new board work, and learning to cook!  Oh, and I forgot to mention, rock climbing.


Speaking of forgetting, you can add this one to my list, yesterday I was working on my class curriculum using post-it notes to mark pages and eventually I lost track of my post-it note pack.  Last night, I found them in the back pocket of the jeans I was wearing!  This is relatively new, I used to be able to keep track of all my stuff quite well!  Not a big problem in the scope of life, I will admit.

As I mentioned in my last post, I also have the time for people.  The last two Wednesday nights, I was able to participate in Community Life dinners at our church, something that was difficult to do when I was on the road at least half of all Wednesday’s.  Spending time with my parents has been a huge blessing and now that my Dad has appropriate workout gear, I am posting this picture of him working out at the gym.


You can tell that he is enjoying being more active and is off to a great start with his new workout routine, adding time or machines to his workout almost every time we go.

So far, I really have a nice variety of new things I am doing, and it is stretching me in different ways that I never took time or had time for before retirement.


A Boomer In Transition

First Day of Retirement

Happy New Year!

Today is my first day of retirement and my plans are simple:

1) See if it is possible for me to watch 5 hours of football.  I don’t normally watch much football on TV, but hey, let’s see if I can do it.

2) Start the year off right with a fun spinning/cycle class.  The instructor today has really good music and studies show that good music can improve your workout.

3) Take a nap.

4) Take a nap.  Because I am retired and if I want to take two naps, I can and will.

So, my last day at work yesterday was weird.  A new experience, since I have never retired before. I think all the emotions of what I call “The Long Goodbye” finally came out.  There was crying.  Let me explain “The Long Goodbye” first.

I decided to retire at the end of 2014 in March of 2014.  I told my bosses in April, believing that if I know my plan, I should let them know pretty much right away.  After being blessed with a great career, it was really important to me to end well. I have seen too many people in the business world have what I would consider a good or even a great career and then not end well and that is not how I wanted to do this.  I wanted a long transition to get my replacements ready, to make sure everything in the transition would go smoothly.  There is no part of me that would take any joy in seeing the transition go poorly.  I left work for the last time yesterday feeling very confident that this goal has been accomplished. the price being some emotional draining of my energy.  Over the last several weeks, I have been asked to speak on many calls, in many meetings to share parting thoughts, words of wisdom, lessons learned and so on.  While I was humbled to be asked to do this, it took a lot out of me emotionally, so when I left work yesterday I was really spent.

Janet, my HR partner, who I have worked with for many years   together making a lot of decisions on our people resources gave me a big hug and we both cried.  Sally, my longtime executive assistant, who was instrumental in helping me manage my work life, gave me a big hug and we both cried.  I had great phone conversations with my bosses and while it is hard to count tears over the phone, they were emotional goodbyes as well.  Then I drove home in this strange kind of fog, walked in the front door and my wife met me, gave me a big hug, and we both cried.

Last night my family went out to eat to celebrate this big event and when my daughter and son-in-law gave me a card, I teared up again.

BTW, these are all tears of joy, after a career in which I leave with no regrets.  So today, on the first day of my retirement, I take it easy for the most part and then tomorrow launch into my second chapter, one that I am looking forward to with anticipation for the many activities that are already planned and for those that only God knows.



A Boomer in Transition