After being an electrical engineer for most of his life, Ron’s wife of nearly 50 years, lost her leg, and he needed to cut back his hours to spend time caring for her. Sadly, in 2016, Betty passed away. Alone now, Ron Belz began to wonder about how the next chapter of his life would unfold. As an electrical engineer for 47 years, he never really pictured himself being retired. Retirement was for old people. “I knew I didn’t want to sit in a rocking chair. So, I always wondered what I was going to do if I retired,” Belz said. “My life was going to work and spending time with my family.”

Ron needed a plan that gave him a vision for his future that would continue to provide the meaning in his life that his years as an engineer had given him. Working with a financial planner gave Ron the clear picture that he needed to take the leap into his next chapter. He and his advisor strategized together and created a financial plan that included world travel and activities with his children and grandchildren, as well as time to volunteer and be active in his community.

“Betty and I loved to take cruises,” Belz said. “We’ve been to the Bahamas and Alaska twice and on a Mediterranean cruise.” So, to kick off his retirement, Ron took his four adult children and their spouses on a three-day cruise in memory of Betty. “Our family thought of the trip as a gift from her. Taking the trip had all kinds of special meaning for us.”

In the same year, Belz also traveled to Poland with his brother to discover more about the lives of their paternal grandparents who came to Ellis Island. And in his latest travels Belz visited India for two weeks. “I went on a church tour and we visited several mosques and churches, the Indian Ocean and the Taj Mahal, which is so beautiful,” Belz said. “We traveled in a rickshaw caravan through a souk and stayed in several nice westernized hotels. It was a good experience.”

When he isn’t traveling, Belz serves as a receptionist for the American Red Cross two days a week. As a member of the Knights of Columbus, he is the chairman of the organization’s People with Intellectual Disabilities Campaign. Ron said. “I enjoy getting up Monday mornings now because I don’t have to go to work. I’m active, and I can afford to live the life I want.” Ron also keeps regular meet-ups scheduled with friends for lunch and dinner.

Ron’s second half is filled with purpose and meaning, and most importantly, no rocking chairs are needed. To get your secon​d half started today, click here.