First name: Mike
Age: 80 or older
Children: 3 children: a son and two daughters, plus 4 grandchildren
Highest school level: College/University degree
Social background: Semi-retired living in the mountains in western North Carolina. Married 47yrs to high school sweetheart. Both of us grew up in southeastern Wisconsin, but with job transfers lived in Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and our last stop Massachusetts. We decided to retire here because of the comfortable climate and to be closer to our children and grandchildren.
Career: Have a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Had a fulfilling career developing critical care medical devices and complex drug products. Worked for a number of companies including J&J, DuPont and several small startups. Currently working part time as a consultant assisting small startups on developing drug products.
Retirement plans: Plan to wholly retire
Describe typical day: Spend several hours in the morning working on client projects. In the afternoon work on home or woodworking projects, Sometimes play golf. Also included is a 2 mile walk with the dog.
Look forward to retirement: I had mixed feelings. We had planned for it. We built a home in NC and had target date for quitting work and relocating. Yet I really enjoyed working.
Expectations: Not sure I knew what to expect. I set up a consulting practice which has worked out well. Now that I am away from full time employment, I really appreciate the freedom. I am trying to identify a volunteer opportunity that could use my skill set.
Hobbies: Woodworking, activities with grandkids, some golf.
Continue to work: Yes
Encounter ageism: At my last position, I was the oldest and most experienced employee in a small company. Most employees and management were my kid’s age or younger. Acceptance issue was probably two-sided: I was never utilized for the experience I could offer but I also had difficulty embracing the company culture (i.e. I’ve seen all this before). At that point I knew it was time to move on.
Live near family: Yes
Advice for others: Plan well financially and have something to do to keep busy.