Rick Atkinson believes that the financial planning industry has done a great job of frightening people about the prospect of retirement and a terrible job helping them face it with anticipation and enthusiasm.
The epitome of enthusiasm himself, Rick is doing his very best to change the situation. Through his writing, speaking engagements, workshops and personal coaching, Rick is on a mission to help those facing retirement or already retired (and not enjoying it much). His modus operandi is to help individuals start an honest conversation – with themselves and their loved ones – about what it takes to create a happy retirement. Spoiler alert: it has very little to do with money!
Rick set up his own happy retirement project, RA Retirement Advisors, following a 35-year career as a Human Resources executive for government and corporate organizations. He developed expertise in labour relations and capped his career as a corporate trainer — two practices which have served his new enterprise well. He notes that his vocation was very much informed by his studies at UBC, where he earned a degree in Commerce (specializing in HR) and Psychology.
It was his experience working with many retiring employees coupled with the memory of his unhappily retired father, which convinced Rick there was good work to be done and that he was the man for the job. Beginning with his first, self-published book, ‘Don’t Just Retire – Live It! Love It!’ Rick began the hard work of marketing and promotion. It was, in his words, a labour of love, describing the many hours spent driving to chilly church halls with a trunkful of books. He confides becoming so discouraged at one point that he contacted his role-model, the Wealthy Barber, David Chilton, for advice.
David counselled persistence, which Rick took to heart. He is now planning a third book and his services are in demand as his reputation as a compassionate, holistic and wise retirement advisor continues to grow.