Parting Words: Retire at 55—I Was Wrong!
As I write this last blog I must admit that I was wrong in one of my previous blogs when I wrote that retiring at 55 is an outdated concept. As of this month, I am now 100 percent retired, and this will be my last blog for "Today on PIworld" and Printing's Best Blogs. I can now say that I am enjoying this new phase of my life. For me, it is time. But then I am 16 years past 55.
This is not to say that early retirement or even partial retirement is right for everyone. I have known some people who were totally miserable after they retired early. Others soon faded into medical problems of one kind or another. I have also know some who retired at a much younger age than me and have been very happy and fulfilled ever since. Of course the message is that this is one topic where one size does not fit all. What is right for one may not be right for another.
I share the following checklist of things to consider.
- Have you created a succession plan for your business and/or position so that the company can continue successfully without your direct involvement?
- Do you have your financial plan in order to allow you to retire comfortably? As my friend Tom Crouser is fond of saying, will you be able retire to “a beach house” or “a house at the beach”? There is a difference.
- Is your family prepared to deal with you if you no longer go to work each day?
- Have you developed other interests that will keep your mind and body stimulated?
- Life expectancy and financial realities will dictate that most of us will work long beyond the age we originally planned for retirement. Plan accordingly.
I have been fortunate to be able to phase into full retirement, gradually turning over responsibilities to the next generation of leaders. I loved what I was doing and didn’t consider retiring early. Be honest with yourself and do a lot of self-analysis as you make your future retirement plans. Do what is right for you, your family and your colleagues.
Carl and his wife, Judy, owned and operated their own successful Allegra franchise for nearly 20 years before selling the $2.3 million operation in 2003. He is a PrintImage International/NAQP Honorary Lifetime Member and was inducted into NAPL’s prestigious Soderstrom Society in 2010 in recognition of his contribution to the industry.