6/6/2018

Perspective on Possessions and Time from a Semi–Retired Executive

“Mildly Retired” Executive Recommends Financial Literacy

By Dena Zocher
Freelance Writer

“I got into the corporate world by both luck and need, at a time when I needed a job to support my family,” says former telecom executive Richard Gannon.

With degrees in chemical engineering and environmental planning, Gannon had worked for various federal government entities, including the U.S. Forest Service.

A chance encounter with an old friend who needed someone with a chemical engineering background to do marketing for a photochemical enterprise led to marketing and selling computer products, which led to a career as a telecommunications executive.

Gannon's passions aren't solely work–related. A life–long skier, Gannon has skied competitively and traveled to the wilds of Alaska for helicopter skiing. His younger son has been a trainer for the U.S. Olympic Ski Team and works in the industry.

Gannon is one of those classic “works hard, plays hard” kind of guys, but he's also enjoying the relaxed pace of post–corporate life. These days, he takes the back bowls on two new titanium knees, in between family time and his part–time consulting business.

“It's essential to build your financial literacy throughout your life. Develop a vision of how you want your life to be and go there.”
– Richard Gannon

Taking the “tired” out of “retired”
“I'm stingier with my time because I can be,” says Gannon. “I'm acutely aware that I have more flexibility, and I'm conscious of using that time responsibly – more altruistically.”

Gannon reflects on how his life is simpler now: “All that freedom to reflect on things. You realize you don't need ‘stuff.’”

“I'm a family man. I love staying connected with my two sons and four grandsons. A lot of that revolves around skiing and bar mitzvahs,” says Gannon. “I love DIY home improvement projects. And socializing in the right proportion,” he says. “But, I'm a homebody. I love my castle.”

“I don't miss (corporate life) at all. I thought I would. I went back to a corporate gig for eight months, and it was a reality check.”

About his business, Gannon says, “I can push that as much or as little as I want. It's nice to have more money, but that creates more work. The same way more ‘stuff’ creates more work.”

If I knew then what I know now
If there's one piece of advice he'd like to pass along, it's this: “It's essential to build your financial literacy throughout your life. Develop a vision of how you want your life to be and go there.”

“You get a new idea of what's really important.” What's most important to Richard Gannon? “Be happy!”

Experience the #retirementyouwant – find out more at Jackson.com

The opinions and forecasts expressed are those of the author and individuals quoted and should not be construed as a recommendation or as complete. Dena Zocher is not affiliated with Jackson National Life Distributors LLC.

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