When Mary Lloyd left the natural gas industry, she thought she had it all figured out. The financial pieces were in place and the 65-mile one-way commute was starting to get to her. So in 1993, at the age of 47, she left a job as division manager for a Fortune 200 company intending to “retire” and become a commercially successful fiction writer. She’d already gained a reputation for handling tough situations well. This next phase of life would be a piece of cake.
Fifteen years later, she is on an entirely different mission. After trying everything from a multi-month world cruise to deploying to Texas with the Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita, she is out to alert her baby boom brethren to a startling discovery: The current model of “retirement” doesn’t work.
She’s learned a lot on her circuitous path to finding this purpose in life. She shares it in her book Supercharged Retirement: Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love . She offers more on her website, www.mining-silver.com and in the Living Silver seminar series she began offering in early 2008. And she is willing to do a lot more to get the word out. “This is nuts,” she says insistently. “We have to do this better.”
Lloyd on a bike ride with friends.
At age 61, she is tall, blonde and indefatigable. Her favorite activity is hiking–eight or more miles in the Pacific Northwest whenever she has the chance. She also bikes, skis and is learning doubles tennis. But her more energetic performances are in conversations with anyone who’s interested about making the years after work “better than retirement.”
She brings PhD level training in psychology, executive level experience in accomplishing complex projects, and the determination of a two-year old looking for the hidden cookies to this mission. And she goes about it with a both compassion and wit.
“The RV model might work for some,” she admits, “but most of us need a goal to work toward to feel worthwhile. To retire well, we need to learn how to include that and still relax and have fun.”