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A Swan Song

Inside NAPA

As you have (hopefully) heard by now, as of tomorrow (March 1), I am entering a new phase of life, one still affectionately referred to as “retirement.” 

Not retirement in the traditional sense, though I do hope to work less hours, forego trips to the office, and spend more time doing the things I want, rather than the things I must. In recent months much has been made of how difficult it is for younger workers to grasp the reality of retirement—but the reality is that retirement “myopia” is not limited to younger workers. Indeed, the reality is that I am not 100% certain what that will be like, though I have described my vision of mine as being akin to Saturday mornings—no alarm, no commute, no meetings, and a much-reduced volume of email to read/respond.  Here’s hoping.

I’ve done the math (lots of times), so the finances are fine. COVID gave me and my wife plenty of time together, so I’m not worried that I’ll drive her nuts by being around all the time—quite the contrary, even after nearly 37 years of marriage. We’ve got family to visit, a short, but growing bucket list of places we want to see—and a book I want to write. I’ll still have the opportunity to write for NAPA (at least until the plaintiffs’ bar moves on to other things and/or we actually manage to close the coverage gap!), to be involved in the NAPA 401(k) Summit, and to continue my podcast series with Fred Reish.  Indeed, for those of you on the “outside” it may not look like I have retired at all.

That said, a big part of being able to “retire” (at least in good conscience) is to know that you’re leaving things in good hands, and I am blessed to be able to do so. Not just to hand the “keys” (so to speak) to John Sullivan, who is already a known force for good in this industry, but the capable hands that have long comprised the editorial team here—Ted Godbout & John Iekel—as well as Tony Descipio who manages our ad placements, Brandon Avent, who preps and publishes our newsletters every day, and perhaps most importantly here, Ethan Durant who, despite the ridiculously short timeframes he’s given to work with, manages to help our important content look so very good. Oh, and just wait till you meet Joey Santos-Jones, our new Director of Editorial Content—the newest member of the editorial team!  

So this post is not really a “swan song,” at least not in the traditional sense. Swan songs tend to be thought of as sad things—after all, it’s the music playing as background for a dying swan that gives us that reference point. But the reality is that “retirement” in all its many forms, is what “we” do—and what I have been committed to my entire working career—it’s what “this” has all been about—to (help) provide the opportunity for working Americans to be able to step aside from the labor of a lifetime and to be able to relax and “smell the roses.” It has long been my aspiration to help make that a reality for as many as I could—and though my ministrations over the past couple of decades may have been indirect, I draw great pride and pleasure from hearing from so many of you the positive impact that my work—our work—here has done. 

I’m thankful for the opportunity I have been given throughout my career, and especially here—to have a chance to not just explain, but to shape retirement policy with your support, and that of the incredible team here at the American Retirement Association. I treasure what I have learned and continue to learn, as well as the people it has been my great joy to work with and learn from over the years—including each and every one of you. 

More importantly, I look forward with great anticipation to this next phase of my career…as we all continue… working for America’s retirement.


All comments
Michael Perry
6 months 3 weeks ago
Thank you for your service to ASPA, the ARA and NAPA. You have made a difference in the private pension system
Lawrence Kavanaugh
6 months 3 weeks ago
Congratulations Nevin. Youve always served as a beacon of light in a sea of fog. I've read and relied on your comments and opinions for years and have never been let down. Good luck and enjoy a well deserved retirement. really!