A Retirement, Well Done

Today Is My Last Day Of Work.
I’m punching these words into my iPhone with my thumbs.  I’m soaring at 35,000 feet over some anonymous flyover state. I’m en route from Chicago on my final flight as an employee.

I’m going home. 

The Final Minute, Of The Final Day. June 7, 2018

A Retirement, Well Done

I’m contemplative as the plane flies South. I’m thinking about the past month. My final month before retirement.

6 Weeks Ago…

…one of my sisters started texting a quote to me each Monday.  I’m sharing a few of them with you today. Those weekly texts were motivating and started me thinking about the importance of the final month of my working career.  I wanted to make the transition into retirement the right way.  I wanted…
A Retirement,  Well Done.

A Month Ago…

I flew to Zurich to say farewell to the European team I’ve worked with for the past decade. I met an old friend while there, who had retired the week prior. We talked about retirement. We talked about life.  On the way home, I met The Veteran and talked about what really matters in life.  I had meaningful conversations, with meaningful people, and I realized that “relationship” was a huge element to….

A Retirement, Well Done.


 3 Weeks Ago…

...I had my “formal” retirement party, and I gave my retirement speech. The CEO stopped by unannounced and pulled me aside before he left. I will forever treasure the words he said to me. Sincere, heartfelt words.  Appreciation from the Big Boss, for a job well done.
A Retirement, Well Done.

Mutual respect.

2 Weeks Ago…

….I flew to Quebec and was honored by a surprise retirement dinner hosted by the company I was visiting. They had a dear old friend of mine drive two hours to meet us. I had no idea he was coming, and was floored when he walked into the restaurant. He read the post I had written for his retirement back in 2015, and told me how much it meant to him at the time.  Then, he proceeded to read a post he decided to write for MY retirement.  It meant more to me than words can describe.   Deep, mutual respect.
A Retirement, Well Done.

Friends from decades in the business. Time to say farewell.

This week…

…I flew to Chicago and attending the largest conference held in “my” industry.  Over 600 folks from every corner of the globe attended.  I knew almost all of them from my decades in the business.  It was a chance to say goodbye.  It was a chance to reminisce.  It was a time to celebrate the achievement of a milestone.

A Retirement, Well Done.


Last night…

…Was the most special dinner I’ve ever attended.  My VERY LAST NIGHT OF WORK, and my boss “Did It Right”.  He hosted a small, intimate dinner with 10 of my best friends from the industry.  It was the perfect night.  A small, quiet setting in a private room at one of the best restaurants in Chicago.  Hour after hour of storytelling, laughter, and bittersweet smiles.  I can think of no better way to end my career.  Pure Class, with the co-workers I respect and cherish the most.
A Retirement, Well Done.

Today…

…I sent the tweet shown above, and my Social Media exploded.   The friendships I’ve built through this blog were, appropriately, the final group of friends to celebrate my retirement.  My work days are within hours of ending as I type these words on this plane, but my “new” friends will still be around.  I love the friends I’ve made in the blogging and FIRE communities, and I know I have deep friendships to enjoy in retirement.  Don’t wait until retirement to build your retirement life.  Do it right.
A Retirement, Well Done.

Conclusion

When this plane lands, I’ll be retired.  When you read these words, my wife and I will be living Day 1 in Retirement.  Don’t be surprised if I don’t engage as much with your comments on today’s post.  I’m going to unplug a bit on Day 1,  maybe even on Day 2.  Heck, I may even keep my computer turned off for a whole week.

After 33 years in an office, it’s time to go outside for a bit.

I’m sure you understand.  

A Retirement, Well Done.

59 comments

  1. Congrats, Fritz, and Jackie! Certainly well done! Enjoy the next chapter. I can’t help but think about future retirees, and whether they will have the similar experience, it not common to have such a run at a single company these days.

    1. Thx, Friend, I plan on it!

      BTW, for all my friends who commented below, apologies in advance for a lack of individual responses. I’m reducing my screen time a bit, but can assure you I’m reading (and appreciating) every comment! Thank You!!

  2. Gene and I are so happy for you!! You and Jackie are going to truly love your new life – a much deserved new life! Can we celebrate with you in Blue Ridge soon?
    Christine & Gene

    1. We would love it, Christine! It’s been too long since we have seen you two. Let us know the next time you are up to Blue Ridge.

  3. Having read your blog for quite sometime, i expected you to have lead a quiet normal office life. Only now, i realize you have lead your office life in leading edge with so many connections and responsibilities. Have a great retirement life.

  4. Congratulations Fritz! Reading your blog has been so helpful as I countdown to my own last day of work on 8/1/18. Take a well deserved break but come back to post about life after the 9-5. I’m sure your tales will be even more inspirational on the outside!

  5. Fritz, you’ve set the bar pretty high for Retirement Done Right!
    Thank you for sharing your journey and leading the way.
    Enjoy your newfound freedom!
    And here’s to your First Summer in Retirement—Done Right!

  6. Fritz:

    Congrats! You do not know me personally but I know you and based on your blogs you write like you have known me and so many others forever! Thank you so much for mentoring so many.

    All the best with your encore career!

  7. Fritz, you really bring back some memories from my last month about three years ago. Dinners, parties, speeches and a lot of heart warming personal messages. I spent 38 years at the same company and spent the last 20 years as the boss and the face of the company so just about every one of our 700 employees knew me. Most were jealous though some were confused about why I’d retire years earlier than “normal”. I could only say I don’t need any more money and I’d like to do some different things. I I started some very part time consulting the next week to keep my brand alive and it has been a lot of fun over the last three years working two days a week and taking five day weekends. Of course when I add in blogging and a lot of volunteer work it almost seems like I’m still working full time some weeks. I wondered if I would miss work because I did enjoy my job a lot. Nope, not for a second so far. I miss the people but this is a small town and I can’t go anywhere without seeing my old work friends and so far every one of them has told me nice things about the past. It is a very good life, I’m glad you are getting to experience this new and best chapter and appreciate all you do. I don’t know you except from your blog but I think we all feel like we do have you as a friend.

  8. Congrats to you! and the CAPS! (sorry had to put that in there, if I was retiring today and my hockey team just won the Stanley Cup that would be magnificent icing on a retirement well done!)

  9. Wow! That post gave me all of the feels and you sir, did it right. A Retirement. Well Done, indeed. Congratulations!

  10. Welcome to the retired life Fritz. Remember to keep work to a minimum or you lose the title of “RETIRED”.

  11. It looks like you had a great last few months. EVERYTHING was done right! You are very lucky man. Not everyone gets treated like that.

    I know someone who spent their entire working career of 41 years at one place. He did a lot for the business often going above and beyond the call of duty. He was the last employee out of the building before the demolition team started to tear the building down during the Great Recession. He never got the retirement party he deserved. But on a good note, he did manage to handle the financial journey to retirement correctly so he has no worries on that part.

  12. Congratulations Fritz!
    I too, retired this week (June 6, 2018) after 35 years as an engineer designing communication systems for the storage industry.
    I have read and find your ideas very good and reassuring.
    I’m mostly hesitant about the emotional adjustment that I’m of the financial part. I’m sure I’ll be OK, the lord is my shepherd.
    Let’s enjoy this planet while we can.
    -O

  13. Congrats Fritz. I am sure it is a great feeling. I’m in my 34th year in the aluminum business (30 working at same company as you), so I know what the “itch” feels like. Enjoy your retirement. Somehow I don’t think you will miss the metals industry all that much.

  14. Well done.
    Well done.
    Well done.
    (I like saying thing three times for good luck.)
    I’m so happy your last weeks of work were filled with great times. You’ll have fond memories forever.

    I hope you’re outside airing out those brain neurons.

  15. WOW! 33 years in one office. That alone is a monumental achievement. I only hope you’ll be as happy in retirement as you think you will be. But knowing you, you’ll make it grand indeed. Yes. A retirement well done. Congrats and cheers to you!

  16. I’m so glad that you enjoyed your last day.
    It’s not often in life that we know without a doubt that we’ll be experiencing something for the last time.
    When we DO know, it’s good to savour every last moment.
    Enjoy your freedom!

  17. Welcome to the other side Fritz! I have really enjoyed the countdown to this day, and I’m “almost” sorry that I missed your actual last day as we were off the grid, on a trailer trip and hiking adventure in Yosemite. My dream is to see you and Jackie in your gigantic 5th wheel parked in the next camp. It just might happen.

    All the best to you. Your blog is a true journey and I can tell that your work life was also an amazing path, filled with stories, friendships, and contribution. You are such a fine example for all of us. Cheers to you!

  18. Congrats Fritz! Looking forward to your stories post retirement. Hope to catch up with you one day for a swim, mtn bike, and a good beer.

  19. Congratulations Fritz! This is the benefit of retiring from a company where you spent most of your career. It often feels like leaving one family to spend more time with another (your own) family. I remember when I attended my Boss’s retirement party, to celebrate his retirement after 30 years in a company that he saw transform from a small cap to a large cap company! The tears shed, the genuine feelings expressed, and the words from the heart from his colleagues and subordinates (not induced by the free flowing wine and champagne!) impressed on me what an impact one man can make in a long satisfying career with one employer. Reading your post reminded me that’s what you probably had in your fulfilling career! Retirement, well done indeed!

  20. Congratulations, Fritz, and welcome to your own Encore Voyage!!! We have found that the enjoyment only gets better! You are correct that the friends you have made while blogging will be with you on this next stage of your voyage, but so will friends you’ve made on the journey thus far – you will just need to be a bit more intentional about keeping those connections. Enjoy your next (first) week of relaxation! ~ Lynn

  21. Best of luck to you and Jackie! Your name comes up frequently at our home here in Florida. When heading our way, be sure to phone and stop for a visit, we are just a few miles off of I-95 and would love to show you our beautiful Flagler Beach area.

    David and Kathy Cox
    Palm Coast Florida

  22. Congratulations! That’s quite an accomplishment. It’s nice to see your boss and team planned it well. Enjoy this new phase in life! 👍

  23. Thanks to each and every one of you for the heartfelt comments. As promised, I’m working at disconnecting a bit, so will leave this as a general comment instead of my “normal” practice of personal replies. Thanks again, it’s been a great run and I appreciate having each of you along for the ride!!

  24. Congrats!! You deserve it. It looks like you planned it very well. But you will go through a decompression period and you may have some highs and lows. Good luck!!

  25. Well done. Funny and maybe even prophetic that I found this blog as I was starting on my withdrawal planning strategy this weekend toward a June 2020 target retirement date. This was by far the best resource I have come across. I will be using this resource as my guide toward planning a great retirement. Thanks again and cheers to the next chapter. Bob

  26. Congratulations on a well-deserved retirement Fritz! Your blog has immensely inspired me in my journey towards retirement as I’m only 7 months away. Exciting times lie ahead and I wish you best!

  27. Nice round of farewells. I suspect my company will help me to the curb with my box and lock my computer access even before the day ends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.