Retirement Rebels: Ross MacPhail

by | May 4, 2021

Retirement Rebels: Ross MacPhail on why life over 50 is filled with so many possibilities

Welcome back to my monthly ‘Retirement Rebel’ interview series. This month I talk to Ross MacPhail, who attended one of my webinars and loved my DARE process. Based in Ontario, Canada, he is the consummate retirement rebel, relishing his work in business relations promoting mental wealth.

I look forward to sharing what Ross has to say with you: I think you will especially enjoy his Dylan Thomas quote! In the meantime, if you’re a rebel too, 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. I enjoy the challenge of creating new ideas on how to be alive and productive. When I think about all the times I have been asked if I am retired, I typically say retirement is not something I even think about. Retirement seems to be something I am supposed to do, not want I want to do.

Ross MacPhail Retirement RebelHow do your thoughts on retirement differ from most people – in other words, what makes you a retirement rebel?

Retirement is an age thing. When I work, play or exercise I do not give a lot of thought to how old I am. Too many people retire to get away from having to answer to someone or working at something that does not excite or inspire them. My drive to uncover, discover, or create new ideas driving to do more. The end of learning is the end of being. I see myself as someone who will always want to make a difference in people’s lives not someone who accepts the status quo. Especially when it comes to aging.

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

I do not have what I refer to as typical days. I am too busy trying to rage against the night. If there is something that is typical, it is continuous learning.

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

I struggle with the term – proudest moment. Everyone should have many moments after 50.

– I received an eagle feather for my work at the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission event.
– In January my family put together a book on my life. It included messages from my family and friends. I felt so honoured.
 – I am so proud of the connection and disconnection with my children and my wife.

Do you have a favourite quote that inspires you?

Dylan Thomas – “Do not go gentle into that good night. Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light”.

Keep the light burning as bright and as long can through the passion of being you.

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

Probably Linkedin. I commented about the new law in New Zealand that provides women time off after a miscarriage. I appealed that law while saying it a shame that organizational leaders need to have a law instead of their policies.

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

Act on your passions.

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

It is a little disturbing that I am struggling to come up with an answer. I enjoyed watching and laughing during episodes of Schitt’s Creek. 

Do you have any regrets?

While I have many regrets, I do not tend to dwell on them.

– I wish I had gone to university.
– I regret the hurt I caused leaving some relationships.
– I wish I had been more diligent in saving monies. I always felt I would make more.
– I should have my book finished by now.

What are your aspirations for retirement – how would you like to see the way the world thinks about life over 50 change?

Life over 50 is filled with so many possibilities. It is a time to dream and act. A time to control your own destiny. A time to create a life that you are proud to be living and eventually to have lived. A time to rage into the night.



George Jerjian
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