We have known each other for a long time. From the beginning, we knew we were kindred souls—in those early years, nobody else was wearing leather to work. When we first realized we were retiring at roughly the same time, we started talking about what it would look like for us. We couldn't think of any real role models. And the more we talked, the more it become increasingly clear to us that once again we are members of a group that is at the forefront of something. Reinventing, styling retirement is turning out to be an exciting journey.
We are both lawyers who married and had children while we worked. We made those choices because they suited us. The lives we led as career women made us different from men who worked and women whose work was mainly in the home. Retirement for us is also different. We started this project to address issues of image, identity and value that arise from those differences.
All of the posts are jointly authored, except those that have an "E" or "K" or other identifier under the title.
I am a mother, wife (second marriage), lawyer and the eldest of six siblings. My life and career have exceeded my wildest expectations. Undoubtedly a lot of luck was involved. However it happened, I am grateful.
After law school in New York City, working as a litigator at a mid-sized Park Avenue law firm, and giving birth to my daughter, it was time to slow down the travel, stop reviewing endless documents, and pile on another change. I was the first woman hired in the General Counsel’s office of one of the then Big 8 accounting firms, ultimately the first female partner in that office, and worked for that same firm for 29 years. I loved (most of) the people I worked with and my job. I ran to fires, not away from them. Mentoring and promoting extremely talented women, and networking, were and remain passions.
We worked as a team, did some bold things, and lost a lot of sleep, but we laughed, didn’t take ourselves too seriously and had a really good time. I wore 3+ inch heels, red and black leather, orange suits, short(ish) skirts, high boots—and they made life at work even more interesting. Thankfully, accountants really are tolerant, forgiving and have a sense of humor!
My work was consuming and important; my family was and is equally consuming and even more important. Family, and particularly my daughter, always won when the choice was clear—and I have to say that nobody I ever worked with questioned that. It was a given. The harder times were when there was no clear winner between competing demands. Everyone knows what that feels like.
So that brings me to now. I am in the process of creating a portfolio of things I want to do. I take design classes, sit on the Boards of a non-profit and continue to do some consulting. But this project, changing the way we think about ourselves and the world thinks about us, is my priority. It's rewarding and fun. There's a whole new world out there.
I practiced law for almost four decades. I became the first woman litigation partner at a large firm with historic roots—likely in part because I wore neon colors and splashy shoes. I retired at the end of 2014, but my clothes did not.
My parents were diplomats. I grew up in exotic countries, and sailed back home every few years to New York City, my shining city on the hill. My goal, from childhood, was to live here, in the tallest building I could find. I came here as soon as I could, to NYU Law School, and to my own great surprise became a corporate litigator. I have lived in New York City ever since.
I worked very hard for nearly four decades, and could not have asked for a better career. I was in courts, and boardrooms, and loved it all. There were very few women around in the early years, but I have been happy to see those numbers grow.
I did not have time to marry right away, but when I did I chose well. My husband and I have traveled all over, both before and after we brought our twin children into the world. Everything is changing now, my husband has a new job, my children are off to college, and I am working with Erica to create a retirement that will be as much fun and as fulfilling as my working life. I am starting to see that retirement will be different from anything I had imagined. I look forward to where we go.