“Raison de vivre” @ 60

Around 1995, I was an executive of Rogers & Co, active and moving across the continents building an international network of companies and joint venture partnerships for the growth of the company. I was then 48 years old and one day a thought occurred to me: how long will I have and sustain the same energy, will and health to be out of my home base 180 days per year traveling overseas on business trips of 3-4 days almost every other week? I reflected and pondered over the question for a while and made a decision.

A few months after, I went to see my CEO for two requests.

Joseph: Mr. CEO, I would like you to grant me an additional 2 weeks leave to my normal contract for the next 5 years?

CEO: Why do you want an extra 2 weeks to your month entitlement of yearly leave?

Joseph: With the extra 2 weeks of leave , I shall put in 2 weeks of mine to total up 4 weeks which I shall use to go back to study for every year for 5 years.

CEO: Study what and what for?

Joseph: I imagine by age 55 one does not have the same energy and drive that one has at 40! I would like to prepare myself to be ready to alter my function within the company. My wish is to be at age 55, to be moved from a line job and to be fully trained to be a professional business coach and mentor to the younger upcoming highly energized mangers to replace the ageing executives, thus giving the younger generation a better chance to grow & perform better with the youth’s energy combined with the experience of the elders.

CEO: Hmm sounds interesting. Looks like you are carving yourself a new position. Anyway as an executive and as you administer your own leave, I grant you the extra weeks on condition that it does not interfere with your performance. As for the new position, I shall not guarantee anything.

Joseph: I have a second request? I wish the company to budget an annual amount of 10000 US dollars for the cost of the fees and expenses.

CEO: Well since you are responsible for your performance and budget, I leave you to include the sum in your annual budget. As you are aware, you have to be within the agreed yearly ROI and PBIT determined by the board. If the amount is within the limit, well and good. Any how, I would not be the CEO forever; it will be the duty of the new CEO to decide for the coming years.

For the following four years, I went back to study a month per year to rig myself to become a professional business coach and mentor.

Not only this allowed me to re-engineer my carrier it opened the possibility to prolong my working life beyond the age 60 year limit of the company by being a freelancer self employed.

The course of events eventually did not happen as planned.

This will be related at a later stage.


Dear Friends,

Have you planned your retirement? In terms of finance? In terms of activities? In terms of family relationship? In terms of the new balance in the “retiree” condition brought with your relationships at work or socially outside? What new hobby do you have to bring in? What older occupations do you have to forgo? A renewed “raison de vivre” over and above work?

Your comments are most welcome!