Like Google CFO, Patrick Pichette, most of us baby boomers have worked 30 years or more. We’ve contributed to society, raised families and made sacrifices. Now, as we approach retirement age, many of us are starting to rethink our place in society. We are asking ourselves how much longer we want to work, who we want in our lives and which passions we want to explore. This is a good thing.
Today, I read a letter that Patrick Pichette wrote when he announced his retirement from Google. His words are important – not because he has decided to retire – but, because they remind us to take the time to choose our future, rather than letting it happen to us.
In the letter, Pichette described a conversation that he had with his wife on a recent trip to Africa. His wife asked him, “Hey, why don’t we just keep on going?” He responded that it wasn’t time yet. She replied, “So when is it going to be time? Our time? My time?”
Pichette went on to describe a situation that many, if not most, of us can relate to. He said that his kids had left the house, he’s been married for 25 years and he has worked for 20-30 years. If not now, then when?
I want to be clear on one point. I am sensitive to the fact that not everyone is in the fortunate position of being able to retire in their 50s – or 60s for that matter! But, I do think that every baby boomer should be proactive about their future.
With our social circumstances changing, now is the time to decide how we want to live the next 30+ years of our lives.
Only we can answer the important questions: What do I want to accomplish? What passions do I want to explore? Do I want to continue to work for someone else? Or, do I want to start a business? Do I want to move to another location to save money or enjoy a better climate? What shared dreams do I want to explore with my partner?
One thing is for sure. The future is coming, whether we like it or not. Every one of us has a choice to make. Will we let the future happen to us? Or, will we choose our future?
Read Patrick’s letter below and please join us in the comments:
What did you think of Pichette’s letter? Do you agree or disagree that now is the time to start planning for your future, whether you plan on retiring or not? What dreams to you plan on exploring in the coming decades? Please join the conversation.