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Working Until You Drop

October 30, 2014

Many entrepreneurs love what they do and rarely think about retiring.  However, unless they plan on working until they drop, they need to consider what they really want for themselves.

I never try to push or lead clients into retiring since it is a major life-altering event and needs to be made personally and wholeheartedly.  However, I do offer some comments to consider when making that decision.

Retiring doesn’t mean retiring from life.  It is entering the next stage of your life.  Assuming good health, regardless of age, someone retiring can look forward to at least fifteen to twenty or more productive years in which to pursue another interest devoid of the need of having to make a living.  The pressure is gone and the only concern is the desire to follow a path that could create a benefit, fuel interest and lead to involvement with new people, ideas and causes.  It will also enable you to extricate yourself from any problems when running a business, having people depend on you for too much and being forced to make decisions many times under stress and without adequate information.

Running a business is work.  Work is done to earn a living and acquire sufficient funds to live securely when no longer needing to work.  It would seem work should end when the security is obtained, based on anticipated future needs.  

Many people are conflicted on what they would be doing after giving up running their business.  Each has their own interests.  Rarely does someone have any other interests.  They may have no hobby oroverwhelming desire to accomplish something or they may be afraid they will sit around doing nothing.  We all hear stories about people dying soon after retiring because they lost their passion, feeling of importance or identity.  I do not know if this is so, since neither have I or anyone I know ever spoken to one of these people.  Life itself is a passion and should be enjoyed.  If someone lost their passion for living because they gave up work, well, how exciting was the life they lived?

When talking about retiring, I always think about Benjamin Franklin who retired at age 42 by selling his business for half of its earnings for 18 years.  By surrendering half of his income for all of his time, he was able to spend the remaining 42 years of his life developing the theory of electricity, helping found the United States of America, inventing bifocals and watching the first manned balloon ascend and descend in Paris, among a great many other things.  He did not go mad as many in business assume they will if they retired.

Retiring is a very personal decision and no one can make that decision for you, but it is certainly something to consider.  While considering it, think about deciding how you want to spend the rest of your life knowing you do not have to work Otherwise, work until you drop.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2014 9:59 am

    Ed, Great food for thought and serious contemplation.Many postpone retiring due to fear of the unknown. Great Blog.

  2. October 30, 2014 4:33 pm

    This was emailed to me from a friend.
    I think you intended to say,

    “Rarely does someone not have any other interests.”

    From one who will probably be found slumped over his desk, fingers on his keyboard, retirement plans on a “to do” list.

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