Post sale – retirement bridge or cliff?


People have been selling businesses and retiring forever, so why is this important? Well, after nearly 30 years in healthcare, I’ve seen a startling trend that must be addressed. Let’s walk through two scenarios, and you pick the one that reflects your future desires.

Retirement Scenario 1 – The Cliff

It is not uncommon for people, especially very successful men, to become defined by their work. It is their source of fulfillment, accolades, confidence, social engagement, power, notoriety, and significance.

The years or months leading to retirement are filled with final goals, succession planning, financial projections, and a whirlwind of activity related to the retirement itself.

Then Monday arrives. He has no agenda for the day, no one waiting in line with questions, no ringing phones, no fires to put out, and no expectations for his time. This might even be fun and relaxing for a short time. He might have some trips to take and some family time to enjoy. But then what? If he has no longer-term plan or defined purpose, retirement can feel like falling off a cliff. I have seen this happen in so many men, even those with well-developed hobbies or even nonprofit roles.

When there is no plan, health can decline rapidly. All of the stress, disappointment, anxiety, loss of self, loss of purpose can lead to decline in physical health. Depression, increased blood pressure, increased weight, increased blood sugar, disrupted sleep, and more can quickly put him at risk of stroke, heart attack, or other future-limiting event. Then, add the impact on relationships that is a key part of the rapid rise in divorce. That can further increase stress, depression, and health risks.

Retirement Scenario 2 – crossing the bridge

Prior to retirement day, the successful man designed and starts to activate his plan for a retirement that is

–      Meaningful – He has found his purpose for this next phase of life

–      Active – He has a plan to get or stay fit to maintain his health; he has a clear understanding of how relationships and social activity will change.

–      Sustained – While on his pre-retirement insurance he has a clear picture of current health status, risk factors, and a detailed plan to mitigate those risks long term.

–      Healthy – He has confidence his current health choices are appropriate at this time and that his entire healthcare team is fully informed prior to making any decisions about his care.

In this scenario, this man understands the direct relationship between finding and living his purpose and his overall health. He took the time to put in place the important details that lead to a long and active life even after the end of his primary career.

Again, after nearly 3 decades of healthcare, I saw the need to help men find the bridge! Learn more here. Schedule a FREE call to learn more and see if this four-part secure online process is right for you or your client.  Peruse our website at for a personal, expert-guided process.   If your client prefers a self-guided model, we have just launched that option at

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

About the author
Michelle Fritsch of Retirement Wellness Strategies is a member of XPX Maryland

Business leadership is nearing the sale of company and needs to plan for long-term health and new purpose in the next phase of life.