Retiring in Paradise

By: John A Thomas

I have to admit that I'm starting to slow down a bit. I amdefinitely in my final career - and quite comfortable working a40 hour schedule. I even take a day off here and there to golf/bike/ ski, although I'm thinking of selling my windsurfingequipment .

For the past two years I have been looking for a spot inparadise to retire to in five years or so - and I think I foundit!

I have been traveling all over the Western US looking for theperfect spot to retire. But my idea of retiring is not the sameas my Dad's - and then again, maybe it is. Let me explain.

My Dad had a pre-WWII high school education. He worked ingovernment service for 30 years. He grumbled about his job thewhole time - that is until the last few years. In his lastassignment, he finally found a role that made him happy.

He was mentoring a group of programmers as they built a newsystem for the state of Pennsylvania. They were clueless aboutHealth and Human Services. They really needed somebody that newhow the system should work - he loved it. Then he hit mandatoryretirement age and they kicked him out.

My Dad wasn't a dummy. He knew that he had a good deal, but hereally missed his job. He never moved from Harrisburg, PA. Foryears, he made a monthly visit to his old department, to visitthe folks he trained.

Now - I never did anything the same way as my Dad. I went toCarnegie Mellon. I spent some time as an over educated ski bumand I traveled a lot before I settled down. As a managementconsultant, I worked all over the world. I moved from company tocompany and even started a few, but I made a mountain top on thecoast of California my home base.

But, guess what? My dad and I ended up in just about the sameplace after all.

I now own my own business and I work with a solid network ofbusiness professional. I spend most of my time mentoring andconsulting with entrepreneurs and business owners. My role isremarkably similar to my Dads - but there is nobody that cankick me out.

I just returned from two weeks in Kauai. My bride and I had agreat time in one of the loveliest places in the world. Buttoward the end, I was really ready to get back to my office.Unlike my Dad - I am looking forward to my working retirement inparadise - doing more of the same that is.

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