Pre-retired…for the whole life

News 5 February, 2018
  • Photo Chantal Poirier
    Ex-journalist, Roland Mailhot has slowed the pace at the beginning of the fifties. Installed it, it now works twenty hours per week.

    Martine Turenne

    Monday, February 5, 2018 01:00

    Monday, February 5, 2018 01:00

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    Roland Mailhot works 20 hours per week, and since he was 55 years old. And he intends to do so until his death !

    At age 65, he earns his living in the field of communications, in providing training, writing, translating, advising.

    “Over the past 10 years, I work on average 25 hours per week. And three quarters of the time, at home, in your pajamas, ” says the citizen of Boucherville.

    Sometimes, he asks : “is it that it is me who should panic ? Is it that it is I who am all weird ? “

    But life seems to have given him reason.

    A jump without a parachute

    It all started when he reached the half-century. “I was then a journalist at CFCF. And I decided, as a gift 50 years to myself, to take the summer off. “

    At the end of three months of pure relaxation, Roland Mailhot realize one thing which will be decisive for the rest of the things : he’s bored when he’s not working any more. This mini-test, one summer, made him completely rethink his way of seeing his retirement.

    Five years later, at the age of 55 years, his idea has progressed and he is ready to put it into practice. He wants to continue to work. But less. And he wants to be free.

    “Then I’ll be semi-retired, for the whole life. “

    It leaves CFCF. “I would jump from the plane, without a parachute. I’ve never even seen financial advisors. And I don’t believe in RRSP. “

    Roland Mailhot had put the money aside to survive for one year. He didn’t want to touch its investments. But a nasty surprise awaits him in 2008, when the stock market collapses.

    “I found myself without money, without possession, without home, nothing. But I didn’t have debt either. “

    He moved into a small apartment, on the South Shore. “I was living then, and this is still the case today, in voluntary simplicity. Life not cost me not expensive. I don’t have savings, I spend what I earn, no more, no less. “

    Today he lives with his wife, which she is working. Of course, this provides him with a peace of mind. But if the relationship came to an end, he said, he could have lived just as modestly as before.

    “I don’t have great needs. “

    To make his semi-retirement

    When we became semi-retired, the “semi” is very important, because it means that we have to look for the book for half of its time.

    “I had a first difficult year,” said Roland Mailhot.

    The economy was in a downturn. “The first thing businesses do is cut communications. “

    In a first time, it sends out 300 e-mails ” to all kinds of people “, enclosing his CV.

    “I received less than 1% of responses. And they were accused of reception!!! I panicked a little. I thought of my old conditions of work and my salary, and I was wondering what is it that you did there ? “

    Then he changes strategy. It takes direct contact with former journalists who had boxes of communication. It makes the phones, meeting people, jase.

    “Above all, do not freak out. And be persistent and disciplined. “

    At the end of this first year, Roland Mailhot realize that the best promotion is still word-of-mouth.

    A first contract translator-interpreter leads to others, it unearths in public relations, communications. Then he was asked to do training media. He obtained a position in a school for which he works upon request.

    “It took nine months before it tumbles. “

    Since then, it has never stopped.

    “I will not lose never my passion “

    The only real concern of Roland Mailhot, during the last decade, has been whether or not it could go up to 65 years of age, or the age at which he became eligible for pension. Mission accomplished. “I now have a new income,” he says.

    He has always in mind, like 10 years ago, never to stop.

    “I will not lose the passion, it is impossible. I too love what I do. I don’t get tired doing it. It must be said that I don’t work 40 hours a week for the past 10 years, as so many people. Them, are tired, they pray to reach their retirement. Me, I have worked for the past nine years, and what I’m doing makes me happy : biking, mountain walking, cross-country skiing. I’m going to the cinema, I watch old films in the afternoon. I travel light, except in Quebec, where I visit friends. Travel, I made. “

    He has a routine. “I get up at 6: 15 a.m. every morning, unless I have taught them the previous day. I prepare the coffee for my wife, in the winter, I have been clearing snow from the car. “

    He is always available for contracts, and does not as such ” holidays “, except when his wife, who always has a full-time job, takes his.

    “But I’m never completely off… as an employee. “