Watch Out for the Baby Boomers
I’m a member at the heart of the baby boom generation. Boomers are now entering our 60s, and in many cases winding down our professional careers. An issue on many of our minds is: how are we going to avoid boredom in retirement?
A recent Wall Street Journal article tackled this question, and distilled three points of excellent advice for avoiding boredom: stay in good health, have a sound financial plan and have a purpose. Having a purpose is the topic of this post.
There are waves of us baby boomers coming ashore. I am not reconciled with a day’s signature event being a trip to Costco, Walgreens or the doctor’s office. These chores are unavoidable, but surely I can find a transcendent purpose.
My Moment on the Damascus Road
A few years ago, on a five-hour drive returning from a fishing trip with long-time friends, I mused as to how we could do a better job staying in touch with one another. Many of us were not Facebook users. We wanted to share our stories in a private environment. An occasional phone call, e-mail or text message didn’t adequately do the job. And surely we can do better than writing long, single-spaced letters and stuffing them in with Christmas cards. There must be a better solution for sharing photos and family records on-line.
From this drive emerged the idea that became Families Connect. I wanted to see if I could create a tool that would better enable friends and families to stay connected in a private, user-defined network.You can learn more on the home page, where you also can sign up for the application.
Up until that time, most of my career had been in various financial services businesses. I knew next to nothing about starting and building a digital business such as Families Connect. But, the idea seemed a good one, and it promoted a value important to me: relationships are critical. Ultimately, relationships are the source of lasting value. A tool that promoted healthy relationships among friends and family could be an important contribution.
I didn’t recognize it at the time, but I was looking for a purpose and I found it.
How I Chose to Avoid Boredom in Retirement
Need a purpose to avoid boredom in retirement? Start a business in a field about which you know next to nothing. You may not succeed, and you will encounter frustrations and obstacles. But you won’t be bored.
In Families Connect, I’ve found a purpose. There is the obvious purpose of trying to succeed with a start-up business, most of which fail.
Not to put too grandiose a spin on it, but there is the purpose of participating in what I think is a pivotal moment in human cultural evolution. Never before has information been available ubiquitously to anyone who owns a smart phone, notebook or computer. Never before have people been able to communicate, share and cooperate quickly, easily, inexpensively and around the globe. I firmly believe that we have no idea what the implications are for this down the road, but I think they are civilization-altering. Through Families Connect, I have more than a ring-side seat to watch and learn. I’m in the game.
There is the purpose of working with my Millennial colleagues, and coming to know them and how they work and think–and to build a great respect for them.
There is the purpose of working on a business whose core values and mission are consistent with my own deep beliefs.
Yep. Sometimes frustrated and confused. But never bored.
Rick Bryant is the founder of Families Connect, LLC. He is also a husband, father of three adult children,
and a grandfather to two. Before Families Connect, Rick founded and built an investment advisory business; co-founded and served as a partner in a private equity investment business; worked in investment banking; and practiced securities and corporate law. Rick reads widely; enjoys hunting and fishing; and has great ambitions for bees and his vegetable garden.