Plowing In The Rear View Mirror…

He does not want to plow any longer. For the sake of this story, we’ll call him Frank. Frank was born and raised in Wisconsin and for the past 20 years, he has been responsible for plowing various public school district parking lots in Kenosha County. Because of this responsibility, it’s extremely important the parking lots are cleared and cleaned by the time teachers and staff started to arrive in the morning.

He’s just tired of the work. He’s tired of the lack of sleep in the winter, especially with a lot of snow. He’s tired of looking at snow as a burden — he has not been able to enjoy the beauty of snow — there’s too much work and responsibility associated with the white stuff. At age 62, he wants to retire and have more flexibility in his life. He just cannot stomach getting up at 4 am to plow school parking lots any longer. With a stormy forecast, he just can’t stomach getting up every 60 to 90 minutes in the middle of the night to check the weather. This routine has gotten old and makes him feel old too. Over the last 4 years or so, his area has averaged about 70 inches of snow per season which means there were many nights where he was on pins and needles not knowing what old man winter would bring.

Sometime last year, his financial advisor did his financial numbers and he could retire if he did not change his spending habits too dramatically. It came as a surprise to Frank and his wife that they had the flexibility to retire. They tried to be as frugal as possible over the years trying to put away what they could so some day this day would come. Frank did not have to hear that retirement statement more than once, he knew what he wanted to do. Another chapter of his life would begin. His wife was happy for Frank but she still enjoyed her job in health care so she would continue to work.

Frank wants to spend more time with his grandchildren. I’m sure he has projects to tackle around the house and in the yard when the weather cooperates. He also wants to appreciate the white stuff that falls in winter. Who knows, he may want begin to like winter sports again. He’ll have options now and plenty of flexibility with retirement. While his wife continues to work, he’ll be responsible for household duties. He does not mind this; this new lifestyle will be a welcome change of pace for him.

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.