Beverly Schultz, Age 72
Am enjoying your blog. At about age 65, I joined with about 9 women from The Boston Club [all Presidents or VPs of companies in and around Boston] and we have met about once a month for the last 7 years or so. We’ve struggled with so many things that we share as part of what we call the Third Age Group.
I retired from a position as Senior Vice President of Engineering at a company that was about to be bought by GE. I loved technology, and would not have retired at that time if my husband wasn’t ready to retire and travel. I thought we should retire at the same time, and we have, and for over 10 years we’ve just taken such advantage of life! My husband had a quadruple bypass at age 55, and so that was his motivation to “retire early”.
Women over 70 who have had responsible positions and exacting careers have a hard time retiring. We worked HARD to get where we were. We thrived on the challenges and we were seen as successful and competent and responsible. When I quit my job my biggest regret was losing my administrative assistant. She had made my plane reservations and travel plans, handled every minuscule job that I needed done so I could concentrate on the work I was hired to do. I managed over 300 engineers for probably 20 years. Retiring to play golf or cook or teach English to those who need help or take up new hobbies does NOT feel good to someone who worked so hard to be a leader in industry.
So we’re like other retirees, we need time with our grandchildren, and our spouses, and we want companionship and fun, but we also don’t want to waste this time of retirement. With my husband, travel was a highlight over the past 10 years, and making our own explorations….like taking 3 months off and driving to Alaska!….and we work to be with interesting people. We are always interested in what others are doing in their retirement.