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‘When do you plan to retire and what do you want to do then?’

Interviews by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

“I don’t think I’m going to retire as soon as I’d hoped. After I retire, I’m hoping to travel. And of course, I want to spend more time with my grandchildren. I’m going to have to work a few more years than I had thought because I can’t find enough people to work since the pandemic happened. I have people calling wanting cleaning all the time, but I can’t have my staff work any more hours and I can’t find people to hire.”
Janet Yuckel
Owner, Done Right Cleaning, West Monroe.

“I’m probably not going to retire for a while. I’ll probably travel when I do.”
Jennifer Wakefield
Baker, Cakes Galore & More, Oswego.

“I love what I do and I feel like it matters. What could be more fun? I like to help people. I’m in the best job in the world where it doesn’t really matter what my age is to do it. I have a lot of experience so there’s no reason for me to give up what I love to retire. When you’re happy with what you do, why would you change it? It’s good for you to be active and out and talking with folks. I have been in the real estate business since the 1980s, and most of my business — 95% of it, in fact — is referrals from people who were pleased with my work and want to give that same real estate experience to their friends, family, coworkers and neighbors.”
Judy M. Winslow
Real estate broker, Hunt Real Estate ERA, Manlius.

“I have no retirement plans. I so enjoy what I do that I can’t see any reason to stop. That may change or slow down, I imagine. However, life is good! I’d like to travel a bit more and if I had the time, I’d only open a bakery anyway. Too many passions!”
Tony Pauldine
Owner of Anthony M. Pauldine General Contractors Inc. and several other businesses in Oswego.

“My retirement plan is to, over the next few years, bring a junior accountant on that would like to take over the business. I would love to retire in about seven years. My goal is then to work part-time for the person that takes over my business for a few years to assist them, then retire completely and enjoy whatever I decide to do. My passions would be to help in children and animal centers as a volunteer.”
Brenda Weissenberg
Owner and accountant, Affordable Business Solutions, West Monroe.

“I’d like to work until I’m 70. After that, I’ll be a snowbird and do some golfing. Maybe I’ll live on the West Coast of Florida.”
Charles Handley,
Owner, Burke’s Home Center, Oswego and Fulton

“I am semi-retired. I don’t plan to quit. I am doing more things I like. I go to Florida for the winter and come up here in the summer. We have a place in the Adirondacks. I’m involved in Rotary. I’ve been getting to know the area in Florida and getting to know some new people. I like to kayak and go out on nice long walks.”
Sadieann Z. Spear
Owner, A Strong And Healthy You, New Hartford.

“Retirement is an interesting question when you’re in the real estate field. I believe I will ease into retirement in the next five years. I believe I will always be involved in the real estate business but will take a step back. I plan on enjoying golfing and warm weather when I retire.”
William R. Galloway
Broker/owner, Century 21 Galloway Realty, Oswego

“I’m semi-retired and don’t plan on totally retiring. I like working part-time and depending on the season, enjoying lakes in the summer, walks in the fall and spring and in the winter, walking and watching the snow fall.”
Donna Glassberg
Owner, Orange Housing, Syracuse.

“I’ve been thinking about it. My generation is different. We don’t see 65 or 67 as being the time to retire. I work a full-time job and am an entrepreneur. I want to retire at 55. That is 10 years away for me. I have a plan in place I’m working on. I’m hoping to get my money to work for me and start the LEKIA Foundation, which stands for ‘Loving Every Kid in America.’ I want to use my own means and funds and not rely on others for the foundation. Now I consult for other companies, but I want to retire to build my foundation and helps moms and underserved youth. I had a very young mother and was raised by grandparents. If it weren’t for them stepping up and raising me, who knows what my life would be like now? I’m not sure how I’ll do that, in what way I’ll help youth, but that is my passion.”
Lekia K. Hill
Owner, Powerful Voices App, Syracuse.

“I just started a new business and I’m thinking not until my late 60s or early 70s because it’s something I can do anywhere. I teach clients how to get self-care, self-love and self-compassion into their lives. I think I may want to incorporate more writing about self-care and my experiences as I go into retirement.”
Renee L. Hagar-Smith
Owner, Mindfulness-Based Wellness Coaching, Fayetteville.

“I’m nowhere near retirement. I’m not a person who will sit around. I have no retirement plans, so I’ll work until I die. Or I’d have to marry well, but I’d rather be single.
Julie Avery
Owner, Beacon Hotel, Oswego

“I would like to retire tomorrow, but it isn’t possible. I’m 72 and have 13 years to go on my mortgage. That doesn’t make it possible. I work full-time and run a business at home. The full-time job keeps me in benefits, which are important because I get vacation, sick and personal time. I recently got on Medicare, which is cutting my medical expenses. I don’t know about retiring from my bridal and gift business. I might like to move south, where the climate is more aging-friendly. But I don’t know that I can take the business with me. I’d have to have an enormous inventory sell-off. I don’t want to pack over 200 gowns to move. I’d want that to be part of the retirement if I could. I might like to live by the beach, take a hot-air balloon ride and visit a lot of places. I’d like to go to Charleston, and do more trips to the Caribbean Islands, like Jamaica and Barbados. I have a sister in Florida that I’d like to spend a month with. I’d like to spend more time in my garden. I’d like to spend more time with my husband traveling, given the resources to do it.”
Linda Ruckdeschel
Owner, The Bridal Connection, and L’Emporeia, Syracuse.

“I hope to retire in 10 years and I would like to transition to becoming a restaurant consultant. I feel like when people start businesses like this who don’t have a lot of experience, they make a lot of missteps. ‘If only they know about this or that,’ I think to myself. As a consultant, I think I could help them avoid mistakes. I think that might be a good move.”
Bill Wadsworth
Partner Bistro 197, Oswego

“I am only 38, so I have a while until I retire, but my plan is to maybe live in the area and do some traveling.”
Jonathan Shaver
Senior staff engineer at Nine Mile Point, Scriba