This Active Retiree Shares His 3 Keys to Retirement Success

This Active Retiree Shares His 3 Keys to Retirement Success

Imagine you are in the peak of your career, in the top pack, and with a change of the head honcho, you are suddenly packing your personal things and bringing them home to stay. ‘Retired’ at age 53 was not in this ambitious guy’s game plan, yet he discovered whole new possibilities and is living a rich and fulfilling retirement life.  What’s his secret?  Read on!


A Guy You Can Count On

I first met Pierre-Yves, known as P-Y, at a community meeting over three years ago. He was the first person to volunteer when I asked for help on a community project, and he is still dependably committed to the project.  He’s that type of guy. You can count on him. Disciplined. I guess that’s what 33 years of RCMP life will do to you.

He’s the president of his neighbourhood association, captain of his tennis roster, plays hockey in his son’s league, goes to the gym regularly, volunteers in an entrepreneurial  behaviour intervention youth program, calls his 91-year-old Mum every morning, convenes large family gatherings AND has a thriving consulting business.  Not to mention, he also earned a master’s degree in retirement.

 “People tend to sell themselves short once they retire.”


Health First

Some people play hockey to stay in shape, P-Y stays in shape so he can play hockey, ski with his grandkids and do all the other things he loves. Taking care of your health is the first key to a successful retirement for P-Y.  Staying fit and maintaining a good energy level were a priority for P-Y throughout his career and still are now.  He scheduled gym time in his busy first career and continues in his retirement.

“Once you leave work, the most important asset you have is your health, and the second is your network.”


The Perfect Segue

Key number 2. Build your network. P-Y likes meeting new people and learning new things.  He has grown his network both purposely and serendipitously.  One consulting project led to another, which led to collaboration with academics at an international level, which broadened his circle, and now he’s the go-to-guy on public safety topics for top-tier journalists. His world changed from one of structure and hierarchy to one full of possibilities beyond his imagination.  How?  He nurtured and expanded his network.

“Your network can translate into a lot of growth in your second career. Even now, after 10 years, it’s still paying off.” 


It’s more than having lunch with your past work buddies. P-Y invests time and money to attend relevant conferences, nationally and internationally. “The more opportunity to meet people, the more opportunity you have.” He seeks out face time with new leaders in his field and keeps abreast of the current issues facing his potential clients. Which leads us to his third key.


Maintain Your Relevancy

This is the antidote to the old notion of retirement where you retreat from life. “Relevancy is healthy for retirement.”  Finding and being open to opportunities to contribute, being relevant, is the common denominator for P-Y in retirement.  Not only for his clients, but also for his community, family, relationships and future generations.  Hence his community involvement, daily Mum calls, family gatherings, youth mentorship and continued learning.

“I will never actually retire, I will always look for opportunities to grow personally and to help the community.  It’s been fun so far.”


P-Y has seen colleagues walk aimlessly through retirement and believes that the earlier you plan your retirement lifestyle the more fulfilling it will be.  “Relevancy is the key and you need to have the tools in the toolbox to keep this relevancy alive.”  Relevancy brings connectivity, something that can be easily lost in retirement. To me, P-Y is a good example for ‘self-directedness”, an important retirement trait shared in my last post.


Words of Wisdom


 “Remain relevant and have the physical and mental means to do so.  In all aspects of your life.”


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