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David Squires

Try This Idea: The One-Year Retirement

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MOST OF US have similar career arcs — we spend the first 25 years of our lives learning, the next 40 or so working, and then the final 25 in retirement.

Designer Stefan Sagmeister suggests eliminating five years from your retirement and scattering those years throughout your working career. So, every seven years, he closes his design business and does something different — travels, lives in a new place, experiments with new projects.

Could you do the same? Obviously, shutting down completely isn’t an option for most jewelers. But it may be possible for more jewelers than you imagine. Could you perhaps serve just your best customers by appointment for a year? Could you train and build the skills of a manager to the point where your business could run without your presence for a year?

Think about it. It could change your life.

(Anybody ever do anything like this? Share.)

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David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers.

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Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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