Retirement Doesn’t Have to Mean Living a Life of Leisure
Retirement is commonly known as the end of your career, and the beginning of a life of leisure. Retirement for many, however, means to expand one’s knowledge and continue to have an impact on things that are important to them. This is the route I took
Two years ago, I retired from my 35 year career as a service operations executive for major health care and disability insurance companies. My life entailed traveling all over the world managing claims and call center teams. There were some aspects of my job that I enjoyed like traveling to beautiful places around the world, but I did not enjoy dealing with flight delays, 60 hour work weeks, corporate politics, or the daily drama that came with managing hundreds of employees.
I left my corporate career a few years earlier than I planned, and four years after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The uncertainty of my future altered my thought processes on my priorities including my career. I felt a strong desire to do something that helped those less fortunate.
I started working a flexible role as a licensing specialist for foster parents, and in early 2020, I decided to create a 501c3 non profit “Kristi’s Klimbers Foundation” which provides free mammograms to uninsured women, and other support to the cancer community. This is an “event based” non profit which allows our team the flexibility to focus on a few key fundraising events each year. Thanks to an organization called “Non Profit Elite”, I was able to set the non profit up for under $1000. We do not have any overhead costs as our Board of Directors and Officers are all volunteers so a majority of our proceeds go to beneficiaries of Kristi’s Klimbers.
I love my stress free life now and feel very fulfilled spending my days focused on helping those in need.I am also an active hiker and now have more time to enjoy magnificent waterfall hikes in Arizona with friends and family members.
I do not think I will ever completely retire to a life of pure leisure as I enjoy having some structured activities helping those in need during the day, as these activities make me appreciate my leisure time that much more.