Last week the death of Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard Funds and father of the modern investment theory regarding index funds, was announced. His philosophy on investing was widely regarded as industry-changing– imagining that reasonable fees, little or none, would mean more money growing in your account! But in 2009 he published a book called Enough: True Measures of Money, Business and Life. This idea of considering and appreciating how much is enough is as revolutionary as his investment strategy was, but it wasn’t or isn’t easily embraced in our American culture.
I recently had a 777 Captain jumpseating to work on my plane from Miami, and he was headed to Singapore the next day. A pleasant, happy and fit pilot, I was surprised when he told me he had 6 months until retirement meaning he was 64 1/2 years old. I asked him how he felt about retirement, was he looking forward to it? And his response reflected his good-nature. He said that as a 727 second officer 40 years ago, a captain said there are two questions you have to ask yourself about retirement: Have you had enough? and Do you have enough?
Those are pretty pointed questions and still exactly right on for our times. My 777 Captain said his answer was yes to both questions, as a matter of fact, he couldn’t have asked for more in terms of experiences, rewards, his colleagues, and a career he loved. He also said knowing the two questions and his answers clearly allowed him to appreciate and revel in the last few years of work.
Amazing! Often for pilots the retirement sneaks up on them, and there is either a push to the end or a slow psychological separation from the job they’ve worked at and identified with for so long. In my experience with impending retirees, I’ve seen and heard angst, regret, fear and a deep melancholy over the loss of the past and little or no vision for the future.
So I’m asking everyone I know to reflect on these 2 questions–Have I had enough–enough of those experiences, places and people I enjoy, and can I make the most of this time until retirement? And do I have enough–not only financial resources but also the life resources you need to thrive in retirement–good health, great personal relationships and a vision of what you’ll do with your time and energy towards your purpose in life, post-career?
A fantastic resource is the book, The Retirement Challenge, a compilation of articles on all these topics and more, to help you figure out the best retirement transition possible. It’s available on Amazon in ebook or hard copy, and the first 10 people who reach out to me will get the link to the ebook version. Start figuring out what is your enough today!