After earning recognition as the leader behind the push that got a personal computer in every home in America, Bill Gates retired from his career at Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) - Get Report a living legend.
At 62 years old, Gates is still tremendously active in his "retirement." Here's what you can learn from Gates, should you squirm at the idea of playing golf and sipping lemonade for the bulk of your later years.
Consider Phasing Out of Work
For many nearing retirement, the prospect of quitting a career cold turkey can be daunting. After decades working hard, it could be tough for those who loved their jobs to simply stop doing them.
Gates signed off from his day-to-day role at Microsoft in the summer of 2008 after stepping down from the CEO position eight years earlier. He still serves as a member of the company's board, though, 18 years after leaving the helm.
Gates stayed on at Microsoft in that daily role for nearly a decade after handing over the reins to friend and Microsoft veteran Steve Ballmer in 2000. His motive in stepping down from the top spot at age 44 was to focus on software strategy, a position that at the time would allow Gates to "spend almost 100%" of his time on new software technology development.
In his new role, he wasn't to be bothered with what was at the time an impending Justice Department antitrust case or the druthers of his shareholders. Instead, he could focus on what he really loved from the start: the technology.
Following his retirement (second retirement?) in 2008, Gates turned the bulk of his time and attention to his charitable pursuits with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. While many retirees may choose to focus their money management on, well, making more of it, those in Gates' position can spend some time figuring out how to best give it away.
The Gates Foundation manages an endowment measured as large as $44.3 billion most recently. At the end of 2016, the Foundation disclosed it had given away $41.3 billion in grants since its inception.
"We have fun doing it. Both of us love digging into the science behind our work," Gates wrote in the Foundation's annual letter released last month. "I'll spend hours talking to a crop researcher or an HIV expert, and then I'll go home, dying to tell Melinda what I've learned. It's rare to have a job where you get to have both a big impact and a lot of fun. I had it with Microsoft, and I have it with the foundation," wrote Gates. "I can't imagine a better way to spend the bulk of my time."
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