Dr. Richard Wendel looks at retirement and sees what many people don’t: opportunity. The trick, says the 1997 XMBA grad, lies in the planning. That’s how Wendel came to write Retire With a Mission, published by Sourcebooks early this year. “I think a lot of people go into retirement without adequate planning,” he says, “and they don’t realize how many options they have.”
Written in conversational, reader-friendly style, Retire With a Mission takes a global look at planning a successful retirement. There are chapters on building a smooth transition, writing a personal mission statement, building on past pleasures, making life inventories, psychological perspectives, sexual intimacy, drawing on family support, estate planning and more. The last two sections of the book include multiple chapters addressing retirement activities and ways to protect your retirement money. The book is off to a strong start, selling more than 5,000 copies in its first month.
A practicing urologist for 31 years, Wendel was always “a bit entrepreneurial.” He is also a certified gemologist—“an avocation that got out of hand”—and for a time operated a jewelry business alongside his medical duties. He graduated from the XMBA program at age 60, and following retirement from medical practice, he wrote a book on medical practice management, published by the American College of Physician Executives.
Now a full-time volunteer with organizations such as the Global Affairs Council, Leadership Cincinnati, SCORE and others, Wendel’s own retirement reflects the upbeat tone of his book. “My life right now is perhaps as happy as it’s ever been,” he says with a chuckle. “The downside is, I don’t have a secretary. I have to be my own gofer.”