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Greg Bishop, Park City Attorney, Explains that Retirement is Not the End of the Trail

Originally published on 

In early Summer 2018, Park City attorney Greg Bishop and his wife took a 12-month sabbatical from their jobs, traveling the country in an Airstream motorhome with their mountain bikes, road bikes, and dogs. While on their way to visit family in Phoenix, they stopped in Sedona, Arizona, for what they thought would be a quick visit – they ended up staying two weeks. To say that they fell in love with the area would be an understatement. 

While in Sedona, they spent much of their time riding mountain bikes, but they also hiked up to Cathedral Rock, a beautiful sandstone butte that is one of the most photographed places in Arizona. When they arrived at the top, they encountered a sign indicating they had reached the end of the trail.

© Not Your Parents Retirement, LLC

© Not Your Parents Retirement, LLC

They soon learned, however, that while that trail had ended, other trails – less-traveled and even more beautiful – had opened up to their view.

© Not Your Parents Retirement, LLC Greg Bishop Park City Attorney

© Not Your Parents Retirement, LLC

Like those who reach the End of Trail sign at Cathedral Rock, many of the estimated 10,000 people who retire every day are anxious about reaching the end of their careers. Concerns about retirement are often closely aligned with the fear of growing old, including the misperception that happiness declines with age. However, in a 2006 University of Michigan study, researchers asked participants to rate their own current level of happiness and to estimate happiness at ages 30 and 70, both for themselves and for the average person. Interestingly, both younger adults (with an average age of 31) and older adults (with an average age of 68) estimated that happiness for the average person would decline with age. However, the self-reported levels of happiness for the older adults were actually higher than for the younger adults. 

Greg Bishop explains that reaching the end of the employment trail is not the end of leading a productive or happy life. Rather, by reaching your career summit, you discover other paths and mountain peaks that you could not even see when you started your climb from the valley floor. No matter how beautiful the view may be from the top, the mountain itself, the path, the incline, and the degree of difficulty of the climb were all largely determined by what you did for a living. In contrast, once you reach the summit of Career Mountain, you get to decide what mountains you will climb and what paths you will take. 

About: Greg Bishop is an attorney with extensive experience in litigation, corporate work, M&A, licensing, IPO preparation, and HR, as well as corporate and board governance. Personally, he is passionate about helping others, including spending seven years working closely with the largest organization helping the homeless in Washington, D.C. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, mountain biking and traveling, as well as helping others achieve personal and professional success.

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