Like many, Stewart Florsheim struggled with the decision of when to retire. Now, he’s taken the plunge.
I had a hard time deciding to retire. I had been working in high tech for over 40 years and loved the work I did — leading teams to build online customer communities. I was fortunate to work at pioneering companies, including a couple of start‐ups that did well and one that didn’t, but each company gave me lessons I still treasure.
The underside is I was working at least 60 hours each week and it was difficult to take uninterrupted breaks. Most of my friends had already retired and I was pushing 70. The prevalence of COVID made me — and many others — acutely aware of how precious our time is.
Sure, I could have kept working. But I didn’t have the time or energy to pursue the other activities I’m also passionate about — like writing and volunteering for my favorite non‐profits. My wife and I also want to travel — preferably without my work computer in tow.
I tried to retire twice over the last few years. The first time, my boss appeared at my doorstep and said I was too young. The CEO told me about all the opportunities I still had. Each time I succumbed — due, at least partly, to my own ambivalence.