Today is my birthday. I am 67 years old. It is purely coincidental that this piece is being posted today. I would have liked to have had the time to have written and posted this a week or two ago. I couldn’t. I was too busy. Busy is great. Too busy is not so great. And I have been too busy for quite a while.
Jeff Bogart and I have shared an office for most of the last 26 years. That is about to end as Jeff retires. Sure he is older than me (three hours, his birthday is also today) but I admit that I was surprised by his announcement. He will be winding down his business over the next month or so. Not having him around will be strange.
So many of my clients, the people who run or own businesses, have asked me when I was going to retire. These conversations often took place while we were discussing their pending retirements. My stock answer was that I had to be dead three years before I can retire. My friend Larry asked me a different question in December while we were having lunch at Pacific East on Coventry. He asked me when I planned to slow down. I told him that I had no idea, that I had no concept of how to slow down. I immediately regretted the answer. If I could figure out how to ramp us this business, I should be able to find a way to pull back. That was the start of my personal transition. The answer was to look at my small group clients, health insurance policies tied to small businesses.
I put into place a succession plan after my little health adventure in 2016. My letterhead has a red State of Ohio, the logo of our agency Ohio Health Insurance Partners. Two of my partners are sisters Carol Fyffe and Angela Elias. They will be taking over as the servicing agents of my group clients.
The process has been, for the most part, a positive experience. The clients have been supportive. Most of the insurance companies have been very helpful. There are, of course, some challenges. Most of them are mine to solve. None of us are irreplaceable. Understanding that is the first step. Moving from working to acquire new clients to introducing my clients to a new agent is a huge step. There are other changes that will impact how I run my agency and, more importantly, who I will insure in the future.
Will this free up some time? We’ll see. I am not retiring. I will still be working with my non-group clients, Medicare, and life insurance clients. This is a first step. An important step. It is the beginning of my transition.
Picture – 15 Years – David L Cunix