Great Advice From My Retired Client That We Can All Learn From

I’m still in quarantine mode at the Jersey shore, and while here, I had an interesting revelation. I was talking to my brother the other day (he’s also quarantining down here) and he pointed out a really interesting phenomenon.  “Little bro,” he said, “did you notice when you’re on the beach, what people aren’t doing?” 

Any guesses folks? 

He mentioned that not a single person on the fairly busy beach was on their cell phone. There were no children on iPads, no parents on social media, and no one conducting business deals. I’m not sure there are many places left where you can make the same statement.

Not only was he correct, but he’s changed my view on the beach forever (which was never my favorite place).

I’m glad my blogs have grown in readership over the years. It’s something for which I’m very thankful and I often get feedback. Sometimes it’s corrections on my grammar, and sometimes it’s about other things. Nevertheless, I love all the feedback and ask that you keep it coming.

My favorite type of feedback, however, is one that inspires and teaches me. It so happens that one of those teaching moments will be the motivation for this week’s writing.

I got a note from a longtime client who referenced a recent blog of mine on happiness in retirement. This client, who I’ll call Eminem (no, not the rapper), has been retired for some time. Recently, he told me two things about retirement—and I haven’t stopped thinking about them since. I think his advice gives some real perspective that one can’t get without living through. And so, I feel it’s my duty to be a conduit of the things I’ve learned and seen vicariously. By letting you know, I’m hopeful that it can help enrich your lives and the lives of others around you as much as possible.

Eminem’s two pearls of wisdom are:

If there’s something you want to do, do it now! I absolutely love this and let me tell you, it’s 100% accurate. It’s a modern-day interpretation of the old Thomas Jefferson quote: “Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” This resonates with me. By in large, no one regrets the things they do, just the things they didn’t do. I regret never going through my dad’s record collection with him, for instance. I’ve seen tons of clients talk about that big trip they want to take, only to be thwarted by a sickness or extenuating circumstance. What is it you really want to do and for some reason haven’t? Why? If we’ve learned anything from this Covid mess, it’s that man plans and God laughs. So, take Eminem’s advice. Start making plans and stop procrastinating. Just start doing. You’ll be thankful you did.

Retirement friends don’t care what you did in your career, and they don’t want to hear about it. They only want to know who you are and what you really value. Yes! There is no doubt about this one. This is a lesson for all you working stiffs like myself. I’m guilty as charged in this category, for sure. Our client is right and I can tell you how I know. I meet with new prospective clients all the time. Some are in the midst of retiring, and some have already retired. You know how long we discuss their 40-year working career? About two minutes. You know how long we talk about their character, what makes them happy, and what they want to achieve in retirement? About the other 88 minutes of our meeting. It doesn’t matter if you were the president of a fortune 500 company or swept the floors of that same company. When you’re in our office and/or living your retirement lifestyle, nobody cares. Why? Because truthfully, it’s generally unimportant. People don’t care about your former job. They care about who you are. That’s how people determine who they want to surround themselves with. To paraphrase the late Dr. Martin Luther King, judge people only by the content of their character. I can’t think of a better time in my life than now to be reminded of such a great message.

Retired or Not

There you have it, some inspiring and thought-provoking notions for you to ponder from our friend and client Eminem. We’re all busy and take pride in what we do. At the end of the day, try to remember what’s truly important. I hope this blog can help give some perspective.

Oh, and if all else fails, go to the beach and relax.

Related: What Has This Pandemic Taught You About Spending?