upper waypoint

Stewart Florsheim: On Retirement

Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

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.


Now — five months into retirement — I’m privileged to be on the boards of a couple excellent non‐profits. I’m also mentoring a first‐generation college student and just completed a new collection of poetry. I miss the people and projects at work, but I also miss my role. Everyday, I knew what I needed to do, and I was held accountable for my team’s success.

Even though I’m still out of my comfort zone, I know how fortunate I am to be doing the things I want to do. With the current hot job market, I receive a couple emails each week from recruiters and colleagues about potential contracts. I’m happy to say that — at this point — I’m too busy to even consider applying.

With a Perspective, I’m Stewart Florsheim.

Stewart Florsheim is a writer and content strategist living in the East Bay.

lower waypoint
next waypoint