- Location: Boston, MA
- Age: 64
- Retired At: 59, un-retired at 62, now semi-retired
- Marital Status: Married
- Profession: Marketing
Nan retired early in 2017 but now considers herself semi-retired. For 27 years, she held various leadership roles in the marketing and HR industry at a large financial services company in Boston. In 2021, she started a company called The Future of You alongside a former colleague, friend, and retiree. They help people find the same sense of fulfillment and purpose during retirement while still enjoying all the perks of being retired. We talked to Nan about her retirement.
Retirement Awaits: What does a day in retirement look like for you?
Nan: I’ve found in this chapter I need to keep my mind engaged. I ended up in the world of entrepreneurship and have learned so much. I’ve always been a lifelong learner so jumping to figure something out is in my DNA. It has made me jazzed about my life in this next chapter. And the great news is: I haven’t given up the perks of retirement. For me, a great day in retirement has an excellent balance of exercise or golf, spending time with family and friends, business, and learning.
Your Retirement Plan
Retirement Awaits: Did you have a solid plan going into retirement?
Nan: Financial? Yes. Life? No.
I was burnt out from Corporate America and longed for a change. And then, I was offered a super sweet reward from my long-term employer: early retirement. I couldn’t turn it down. Six months after I said yes, I was thrust into retirement. At first, it was terrific, with no alarm clocks, endless meetings, and bad bosses. And lots of fun. It was also a bit of a roller coaster ride as I searched for more meaning and contribution.
Best Part About Retirement
Retirement Awaits: What’s the best part about retirement?
Nan: Freedom and flexibility. After being on a scheduled train ride into Boston for 30-plus years and working at a big corporate job in a structured environment, it was like before kindergarten, but without parents! You get to set your schedule and do what you want to do.
Challenges In Retirement
Retirement Awaits: What’s the biggest challenge in retirement?
Nan: The biggest challenge is finding purpose and meaning. Retirement can be super fun, but just playing all the time didn’t cut it for me. I wanted to do something different, but I had no roadmap for how to figure that out. My former colleague was also feeling the same, so we decided to go out to talk to people who had retired to see if other people felt the same way. We were amazed to learn that some people had figured out transformation and others seemed stuck. It was a considerable diversity of experiences.
Cost Of Retirement
Retirement Awaits: We want people to understand how much retirement really costs. How do you manage your money now? Do you have a budget, meet with your advisor on a regular basis, etc?
Nan: After working in financial services for almost 30 years, I understand the importance of planning for the financial part of retirement. I can’t articulate retirement costs because it depends on your lifestyle. I suggest you work with an advisor to help you if you don’t have the knowledge or chops to do it alone. I check in a couple of times a year with my RIA to review our portfolio and rebalance it as needed.
Retirement Awaits: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give someone about to retire?
Nan: Retirement is so much more about money and fun. I think it’s time to transform and do something meaningful and purposeful. You want to have the right balance and do all the things you love to do, but I do think you need to go out and find something that fills your soul. But the question is, how do you do that?
After we interviewed 50-plus people about retirement life and created The Future of You, we found to transition into retirement successfully, people need to:
- Reflect: Look back before you look forward; inventory your skills and experiences. Think about your purpose (gifts and passions) and what lights you up. Where do you want to spend your time? Who do you want to spend your time with?
- Imagine: Once you have reflected on your life, open your mind to new possibilities. Think outside the box and generate many ideas to consider. You don’t have to pursue them, but a little dreaming can take you a long way.
- Explore: Set yourself on a journey of exploration. Take small steps in different directions to see what you want and don’t want to do.
- Transform: Create a life plan for how you want to live your life and do periodic check-ins. If it’s working, what needs to change or stay the same?
Things I Wish I Would Have Known
Retirement Awaits: What are a few things you wish someone would have told you about retirement/this season of life/transition?
Nan: Be ready for a significant change. Retirement is a “life quake” because it’s a huge transition. We’ve all been led to believe that retirement life is Nirvana, and in some ways, it is. However, there’s a lot of free time. You can probably get busy, but I was looking for my purpose. That’s a different animal. We always say, “Are you going to fill your time or live your life?” Filling your time means you are busy. Living your time is deliberate. And it’s exciting.
Best Retirement Vacation
Retirement Awaits: What Is your favorite vacation or vacation spot?
Nan: I own a vacation home on Cape Cod, and even after going 25-plus years as an adult and as a kid, it never gets old. I love to travel internationally, but there’s something about that Patti Page song, Old Cape Cod, that my dad played all the time that warms my heart — if you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air. Quaint little villages here and there. You’re sure to fall in love with Old Cape Cod. I sure do love it!
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