www.stevesavage.com ι January 2010

Last month I turned 69. Some folks have asked me what I plan to do when I retire.

Answer: more of the same!

Lots of fun with my wife, kids, grandkids, family, friends, business associates and clients!

Business associates? Clients? Fun? Yup!! They are fun. I love what I do and don’t want to quit. It is irresistible to speak in public, consult, coach, write and run my real estate appraisal business. Why quit? This is fun!

A few years before he died, my Dad had dinner with my sons and me. He told us his goal was to “Keep Climbing.” And he did. Although cancer finally got him, he was preaching, singing and lifting people’s spirits right up until he died.

My goal is the same: to Keep Climbing!

Many folks look forward to retirement so they can travel. Well, my wife and I have been traveling all our lives. We have visited 39 countries, in depth, and have been enriched by each one. We still travel, but mostly on business.

Yes, business travel is fun. Consulting and speaking make our work so much fun. We speak in wonderful locations and feel affection for the people we meet. I spent my childhood in Ecuador and find appealing the opportunity to return to Latin America and give speeches in Spanish. But I also go to exotic places like Angola and Dubai, where I have spoken at conferences and then had marvelous extra days of sightseeing.

So why retire? Do something you adore and you won’t want to retire.

I had a good friend who loved to go fishing on the weekends. He looked forward to retirement so he could fish all the time. He retired at age 65 and went fishing full time. Two years later he was dead.

I have seen many retired people go downhill after retiring. I want to stay vibrant. Naturally, there are some things out of our control, like some diseases, and our days are numbered. But we can keep ourselves healthy both mentally and physically by keeping busy with activities that challenge our minds and souls.

Dad said, “Longevity is not my goal. My goal is to keep climbing for each day that God has given me on this planet. If you catch me complaining, then it’s time for the Good Lord to take me home.” Well, he never complained and he kept on climbing.

I intend to do the same. However, on the longevity issue, I’d like to shoot for 100. If I can stay healthy and vibrant, I’d like to go for it. I don’t fear death, but I do fear Alzheimer’s or some other disabling disease. I think that staying in business will help fend off those incapacitating diseases. Let’s all stay alive, alert and well.

I still get up every morning and repeat a phrase that Spencer Hays of Southwestern Company fame taught me 40 years ago: “I feel healthy. I feel happy. I feel terrific.” Yes, it sounds a little corny, but it works!

© Copyright 2010, Stephen Savage