Retirement Rebels: Bob Hall

by | Jan 20, 2020

Welcome to my brand-new, monthly Retirement Rebels series: quick-fire interviews with some of the fascinating people I’ve met on my journey. They have one thing in common: the fact that in later life, they’ve all chosen not to take the well-trodden path, and instead found a life of purpose at retirement age: something that I can help you do too.

Robert Hall, Retirement RebelTo kick off the series, we have Bob Hall, the perfect example of what Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, was talking about when he advised, Choose a work that you love and you won’t have to work another day.”

Enjoy Bob’s interview – and if you’d like to be part of this series yourself, email me at [email protected].

Do you consider yourself retired – and if not, why not?

I might be at what some consider to be retirement age, but at 68 years old, I’m still not retired and am in fact very active professionally while continuing to thrive in the insurance/financial services business.

How do your thoughts on retirement differ from most people? In other words, what makes you a retirement rebel?

There’s an old joke: What’s the difference between a new retiree and a new puppy? The wife is still glad to see the dog come in the door a year later!

I think that after working for 45 years in the same professional space, with much of that time spent travelling, there will be an adjustment for my wife and me equally if I were around the house every day with nothing scheduled in my Outlook calendar.

I still have great passion for my work and helping clients. I like what I do: If I remain in good health, I intend to work indefinitely.

Do you have a typical day? What does it look like?

I have cut back on the time I spend in the office. For 13 years before moving back to Paris in 2015, I was an owner/founder of a UK financial services company. I went to the office every day and often stayed late. I managed an office with employees and was expected to bring in my share of revenue to the partnership I enjoyed with another founding partner. My wife was in Paris, so I commuted from London to Paris most every weekend on the Eurostar: it was a gruelling schedule.

Today, I spend less time in the office and more time in front of clients and developing relationships with legal, tax and wealth planning professionals who have the capacity to refer new clients, but I still travel extensively with five to six business trips to the US per year. I possess a work discipline that I acquired while serving in the US military that allows me to stay focused and delegate administrative and marketing duties to those better qualified, freeing me to concentrate on business priorities and continuing personal professional development.

My clients are concentrated in the UK, Europe and the US.  My workday hours change according to where the client and I am located. I have become proficient at prioritising and time allocation, resulting in a less stressful work environment and freeing me for quality time with my family and to complete projects like this one for my good friend, George Jerjian.

What’s been your proudest moment since you turned 50?

Creating Hall International Insurance Strategies LLC in 2015 (at age 64) after selling the UK company and watching it thrive and grow to the success that it is today.

Do you have a favourite quote that inspires you?

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it  Henry David Thoreau.

What’s your favourite social media channel, and what was the last thing you posted on it?

LinkedIn. My most recent post was “Private Placement Life Insurance and Annuities, An Alternative Wealth Planning Strategy”.

If you could tell your 18-year-old self one thing, what would it be?

Quitting is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

When did you last belly-laugh – and what was it about?

It was at a joke. Donald Trump asked Rudy Giuliani “Where should I be buried when I die?”  Giuliani suggested Arlington National Cemetery and Mount Vernon, VA, both rejected by President Trump. Giuliani comes back the following day with a proposal from Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, suggesting that the President might be buried in Jesus’ tomb. “Interesting”, says Trump. “How much does Israel want for this option?” “$500M” replies Giuliani. Trump replies “FOR THREE DAYS?”

Do you have any regrets?

Not really. I have made and continue to make mistakes, but I have learned from them.

What are your aspirations for retirement – and above all, what do you wish to be remembered for?

I don’t have a full retirement age objective. Until I do, I will strive to continue to excel professionally and maintain the respect of my clients and fellow professionals while working hard to be a better spouse, father and grandfather.

I wish to be remembered as having succeeded at both with grace and good humour.

George Jerjian
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