Retirement is a reward of sorts after a lifetime of career-building and hard work. It is a substantial goal for the later years of life. It stands as a period of time where one can fall back a bit and forget about the deadlines, the meetings, the expectations, and the responsibilities that come from workdays.
There are also those, however, who don’t exactly know what to do when conversation about retirement starts to come to the fore. Those whose lives are defined by their careers and work, and others who aren’t quite secure enough about their finances to be able to sit back and wait for retirement to come, don’t see it as such an obviously positive rite of passage.
Tony Hixon, Chair of University of Findlay’s College of Business Advisory Board and Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Hixon Zuercher Capital Management in Findlay, OH, works with this often, and saw it firsthand when, in 2010, his parents approached him about taking a look at their own retirement plan. His mother, the director of a hospice care agency in Putnam County, OH, was set to retire. According to Hixon, while she had a heart for helping people, “the daily wear and tear of agency bureaucracy and changing regulations was becoming a challenge for her.”
Quickly after her retirement, there was an obvious change in Hixon’s mother. She became despondent, feeling, after retirement, as many do, that her life no longer had a clear purpose. Despite constant reassurance from her family, she began to regret her decision to retire as she lost meaning and purpose that came from a lifelong career in the health care industry. It became too overwhelming for her and, six months after retiring, she took her own life. “As her son, I was devastated. She had been the light of my life, and of the lives of so many,” said Hixon.
As a result of the heartache he and his family experienced, Hixon knew that his approach to financially advising people nearing retirement needed to change from one of only analytics and numbers to that of incorporating well-being and long-term satisfaction. Helping his clients transition from success to significance became his life’s mission. This holistic approach to retirement planning has resulted in Hixon writing a book titled “Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with Purpose, Leave a Legacy.” Proceeds from the book will go toward the Pamela M. Hixon Memorial Nursing Scholarship Endowment Fund at University of Findlay that Hixon and his wife, Keri, set up in 2017 to honor the legacy of his mom. The scholarship is awarded annually to a nursing major who displays financial need and good grades. Hixon has the opportunity to meet with the scholarship recipient and tell them Pam’s story, encouraging them as they launch into a career within the health care industry. He will also tell the recipient that their “career will revolve mainly around helping others,” and that they “must learn self-care as well in order to be truly successful.”
The book, according to Hixon, will help ensure that one’s retirement brings them pleasure, serenity of mind, and the enjoyment of a life well-lived. “If finances are the only thing we consider, we overlook the well-being of our clients and the long-term satisfaction they’ll receive from having a financial plan in place,” he added.
The book will be released on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021. To purchase a copy on or after that date, please visit any online book retailer, or purchase from Hixon’s website at www.tonyhixon.com/book. To continue the conversation, subscribe to Tony’s weekly blog at www.tonyhixon.com/blog.