Born in South Korea in 1948 and orphaned in the Korean War sometime around the age of three, Jet Vertz overcame extraordinary circumstances to create a remarkable life. He vaguely remembers wandering the streets of Seoul in search of food and shelter. However, he eventually, wound up in one, then a second, orphanage during the next ten years. When adopted by an American GI, Jet was thrilled to come to the United States and quickly demonstrated his commitment to excel at life.
Study and hard work led Jet to an outstanding career in engineering, and then, management with Pratt & Whitney, an aircraft engine manufacturer. Though still full of energy and creative ideas, Jet decided to retire as soon as he was 65 to make room for younger employees.
At first, Jet wasn’t sure what he would do in retirement. He had been too busy working to think about leisure. His first activity that kept him busy was a move back to Rhode Island, his wife’s childhood home. However, once the boxes were unpacked and the pictures hung, he craved structure in his life. This led to his creating two challenging, but achievable goals.
Jet’s first goal, to snowboard in 50 resorts on 5 continents in 5 years, defines his passion for the sport and his ability to set interesting goals. He choose Vail Ski Resort as his first spot this winter. In June, he will head south of the equator to Chile for snow in their winter.
As excited as Jet is about his boarding goal, he is equally animated by his plan to help others. He recently helped a friend see how he could hasten the recovery from a serious illness by setting a date when he would be able to resume normal activities. Since this approach succeeded for his friend, Jet sensed that his compunction to set goals could be put to good use. As a result he developed a course on Purposeful Retirement and offers it at a local Life Long Learning Program. Retirees find the course both stimulating and helpful which is exactly what Jet hoped for when he set the goal.
As for as traveling around the world in search of perfect snow, especially if you’re a passionate snowboarder, it looks as if Jet has found his Bliss!
Where do you find your bliss? Please share your thoughts on what make retirement noteworthy and exciting for you. Your comments will fuel great ideas for others.
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