Don't Retire - Renew

The Book

Boat Pilot on a French Canal

In the introduction to Don't Retire - Renew, Lou Kaufmann explains his motivation in writing the book:

Retirement can be something wonderful or it can be sad. It can be the beginning of a new phase in your life or it can be the end of a great or mediocre career.

In April 2006, my wife, who at that time was an accountant for a local public accounting firm, had decided she would retire at the end of tax season on April 15th. She had been a CPA in Texas for many years. When she moved to Arkansas, she decided to work as an accountant. We had discussed her retirement and how she would then work with me in the real estate business handling all the financial aspects of our company.

She came home the night of April 14th, crying. I asked her what the problem was and she just said that the idea of leaving the accounting business in the manner that she knew was leaving her sad. She had been doing this for some time thirty years and did enjoy her career. I told her that she really wasn't retiring but starting a new career working with me in real estate. The word retirement caused her great anguish as if it was the end instead of going in a new direction.

As we talked about it over our cocktails, it dawned on me that it was the word "retirement' that was causing her great concern. We then decided we needed to come up with a different word that was more positive and upbeat, one that could have the same meaning but still give direction toward the intent.

We mentioned a few words and then came to the word "renew" and I went to the Webster's Dictionary and looked up the word. Right off the bat, it came at us immediately that it was a tremendous word to use as a replacement and from that moment on she went into "renewalment". According to Webster, renew means "to begin or take up again, to restore or replenish, to revive, re-establish, make new as if new again, to be resored to a former state."

On a Cruise

Renewal means, "The act of renewing."

We then looked up the word retire and retirement in Webster's Dictionary and retire means "to withdraw or go away, to a place of abode, shelter or seclusion, to fall back or retreat in an orderly fashion and according to plan, as from battle." And retirement means "withdrawal into privacy or seclusion."

It was at that point and at that moment in our lives that we immediately replaced "retirement" with "renewalment" and began to look at life after work in a totally different way. Our defination of "renewalment" is "when one career ends and you decide to renew your life in a new and exciting direction."