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Retiring? It's A Challenge...

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Since I quite my professional career, as a VP of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for a high tech semiconductor company in San Jose, California, in 2000, I, considered myself temporarily retired and in search of a 2nd career.  While on Maui, I obtained my real estate broker's license and worked for the remaining six years we were on the island.  I find real estate an interesting challenge to do well and quite different from my career in industry.  However, the business model was based on issuing anyone a real estate license who took a 6 day course and passed a state exam.  That's it, no educational or experience prerequisite and no other formal training required. Needless to say, dealing with agents is the biggest challenge of the job all too often.  I must still find it an interesting challenge though, since the first thing I did after we moved to Oregon was get my Oregon broker's license.

During this first year in Oregon though, I've done some sole searching.  I now realize the benefits I got from my vp/cfo positions, i.e., the prestige and respect from within the company as a result of the job I did, the power and control that comes with a senior vp position, a good salary that reinforced my sense of self worth, the great feelings that came from helping others succeed and achieve their career goals and the simple social exposure that being in an organization involves, to name a few.  I now see that retiring early from ones initial career has some down side; which is where the concept of retiring being a challenge came from.

If I had it to do over again...well, I get into that in Retiring- What I've Learned.  So, if you are considering early retirement, my advice, even if you've acquired a relatively large nest egg , is to carefully consider the benefits from your current career and position, then weigh them against a realistic assessment of what you will get out of "retiring".

By relaying some of my experiences and thoughts I hoped to be of some help to a few other baby boomers pondering whether retiring early is really what they want to do.  If at all possible, I would suggest a slower transition from current career to a radically new situation.  I can definitely say, in my case, that having the cash balance to retire comfortably, whatever level that might be for you, may not replace the less obvious benefits you will leave behind.  On the other hand, if you have a plan, such as starting a small business, or becoming a writer, or consulting, or being a realtor (??) and the plan is well thought out with tangible steps/actions to accomplish the desire result, than go for it.

And I am, a new web site with time to ponder the past, present and future.  Part of my blogging will concern topics relating to retiring or launching a second, possibly third, career; the various financial concerns that develop from major changes, how others are protecting their nest eggs, and more...  I hope others will participate and a continuing dialogue will develop.