Retirement Rebels: John Rick

by | Jul 10, 2020

It’s time for me to introduce a new Retirement Rebel to you. He’s the latest in my series of interviews with rebels I’ve met along the way. And this one, I”ve known for a particularly long time! My ‘rebels’ all answer the same quick-fire questions, and we’re getting some really interesting responses.

Retirement Rebel John RickThis month I talk to John Rick, from St Louis, Missouri, where he is currently in lock-down, but his home is generally on a plane travelling between New York and London.

He wears two ‘hats’: he is an Episcopal minister and a top league fundraiser, whose client list in the US have included Harvard University and in the UK, the Victoria & Albert Museum.

I met John ten years ago when I was a school governor at my daughters’ school – we struck a friendship and he taught me all I know about how to nurture an alumnae society as well as learning the rudiments of fundraising. Less than two years ago, he became my client.

If you’re a rebel like John, and 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?

No, self-employed. Using my long-time developed/honed professional skills and experiences I am always on the search for potential users, a.k.a. clients. Whether to do a short-term project, or to undertake a longer-term client relationship, it’s exciting and energizing to identify, approach and secure clients. The word ‘retirement’ is not in my lexicon.

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

God gave me talents, and over the decades I have used them to develop skills.   Exercising these skills and talents has been extremely rewarding, on many levels. Why would I ‘give up being rewarded’ to sit in a rocker, or search for balls that went astray on the golf course?

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

Early to rise, often to Church, light breakfast, read (emails, snail mail), client work, two mile walk (with prayer along the way), light dinner, reading, retire.

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

At age 76, and not of my doing: to have survived open-heart surgery that physicians said I’d not likely achieve.

Do you have a favourite quote that inspires you?

The Golden rule: do unto others as you would like done to you.

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

NONE: I can’t stand social media!

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

Persist, keep trying, but always seek the counsel of others who might have travelled that same path before you. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

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

Recently, sharing dinner with a fraternity brother… We reminisced scores of college pranks that the two of us precipitated.

Do you have any regrets?

Yes, there are occasions when I should have listened to others; and didn’t.

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

There’s no such word in my lexicon as ‘retirement.’  I’m hoping to keep in and foster good health so that I am able to continue counselling clients; travelling the globe to serve clientele. Along the way I hope to have many discoveries, have unique experiences, enjoy the company of people and the beauty of the earth.

George Jerjian
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