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Insights for living a truly prosperous life

This 83-Year-Old Retiree Started an Organization to Rebuild the Country’s Electrical Grid

What do you want to accomplish in retirement?

If someone had asked Bob Galvin that, they would have gotten a really strange answer.

Galvin was born in 1922. His father was Paul Galvin, the co-founder of The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. Before Bob Galvin assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer from his father in 1958, The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation would be renamed Motorola.

After taking the reins from his father, Galvin grew Motorola from a successful domestic small electronics manufacturer to a leading global innovator in a wide range of technology.

Under Galvin’s leadership Motorola ushered in the modern communications age when it developed the first cell phone. In 1973, a Motorola engineer used a 4.5-pound prototype to make the world’s first cell phone call.

(Who did that engineer call? A competitor, to tell him what Motorola had created.)

Whatever you choose to do, retirement is the beginning of an exciting new future, a future you have the power to create.

During Galvin’s tenure, Motorola wasn’t just known for technical achievement. Driven by his Christian faith, Galvin created a company culture that valued its employees. Motorola was an early pioneer in employee profit-sharing, and had a reputation for treating workers well.

In the 1980s, Motorola also developed Six Sigma, a system for process improvement that influenced manufacturers across the world. Former GE CEO Jack Welch once famously said, “Six Sigma changed the DNA of GE.”

So once you’ve helped invent the cell phone, revolutionized manufacturing, and built one of the world’s largest companies, what do you do in retirement?

At age 83, Bob Galvin started the Galvin Electricity Initiative, an organization focused on modernizing the nation’s electricity grid.

In other words, while politicians have talked for decades about modernizing our country’s infrastructure, including the electrical grid, Bob Galvin was out there doing it—in his 80s. Though Galvin has since passed away, the Galvin Electricity Initiative continues its work to improve the nation’s electrical system.

Bob Galvin had significant wealth when he retired. That’s part of why he was able to focus on the issues he was passionate about in his retirement. Freedom—particularly the freedom to do the things you truly love—requires financial security.

We tell our clients that every day.

But Bob Galvin also understood something else we tell our clients: retirement isn’t an end.

It’s the beginning of your next chapter.

It’s the start of your next big act.

Chances are, your next big act probably won’t include trying to modernize the country’s infrastructure.

I can definitively say we’ve never heard a client say that.

But whatever your goals are for retirement—spending more time with your grandchildren, diving into the causes you love, seeing the world with your spouse, or simply enjoying life—you need a plan to make it happen.

And if you do want to do start something new, you aren’t alone.

Research by the Kauffman Foundation shows the percentage of new businesses started by seniors has grown from less than 15% in 1997 to more than 25% in 2015.

Harlan Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 62, funding his new venture with a Social Security check. Charles Flint started the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, which later became IBM, when he was 61.

And Bob Galvin started the Galvin Electricity Initiative at 83.

Whatever you choose to do, retirement is the beginning of an exciting new future, a future you have the power to create.

So, start planning for that future—today.

Jim Matush

Jim Matush is a 5-Star Rated Wealth Advisor and a seasoned strategic wealth advisor. With more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, he is also the founding partner of Trinity Wealth Advisors in Kirkwood, Missouri.