Two people relax in beach chairs on the beach at sunset
Industry leaders share their dreams for retirement — or just how they would spend some much-needed downtime

A recurring phrase I’m hearing from people of all ages these days is, “If not now, when?” The key to this month’s question is the aspect of “having the time.” Are you booking time on your schedule — beyond work — that creates rewarding results?

In this column, adopted from the familiar “Heard on the Street” format, we offer our responders a chance to answer the question posed in the title. These are their replies reported verbatim.

When You ‘Have the Time’

When the time comes to finally retire, I keep telling myself I will have a plan in advance on how to invest my time — a plan to stay physically and mentally active so I feel as productive in retirement as I do now in my work life. Also, to reenergize around the things outside of work that I enjoy, such as playing guitar more (I torture the guitar, really), reading and traveling more, and bringing out the toys that I don’t have enough time for now, like my golf clubs and Harleys.


I have been involved with several law enforcement not-for-profit entities in my community for almost 20 years now; I would have to find more time to dedicate to giving back.

Boyd H. McGathey
Energy Distribution Partners
Parkville, Missouri

As someone with a busy work schedule, a family and all that goes along with it, I keep telling myself that I’m going to travel. You know, “when things settle down.” However, I have not planned a trip for myself in a long while.

And yet, if I am fortunate enough to take some time away and experience new places and things, I am always reminded of the value in it. This is your sign — yours and mine — to pack those bags, take that trip and get out of town for a little while!

Jessica Johnson
Asheville, North Carolina

Buy a bass boat, go to the lake and leave my cellphone in the truck. I already have my eye on the boat, but there are not many available due to supply chain shortages. I will have one before the end of the year.

Chuck Kinnie
Shasta Gas Propane
Shasta, California

Wow, where do I begin?! I can think of so many things, but one thing I keep wanting to do is digitize the family photos and movies that I took when the family was young.

I remember it was a treat when I was a kid and my dad took the movie projector out periodically to show the family those old Super 8 movies he took as we were growing up. We had a blast watching those and the “Uncle Bill” (W.C. Fields) cuts that he would throw on as well.

Bruce Swiecicki
National Propane Gas Association
Tinley Park, Illinois

Vacation in Italy. I have never been and desperately want to go. Every year I say, “Next year, I will book it.”

Julie Johnson
Ted Johnson Propane
Baldwin Park, California

I hope to slow down a bit, maybe in a couple years, maybe three or four — sometime! Anyway, when I do, I would like to travel and see more of our beautiful country. Not by electric car, though — I don’t have that much time!

Judy Taranovich
Proctor Gas
Proctor, Vermont

When I retire, I say that I am going to become a loss doula. A loss doula supports families who are experiencing or expected to experience the loss of their baby. I love birth, and supporting birthing mothers is something I always thought would be hard but rewarding work.

After Chaz was born and died, I learned about the role of a loss doula and have been saying it’s my retirement plan ever since. I do hope to support my community in this way someday.

Lauren Clark
Toledo, Ohio

Read more books.

Don Montroy
Bergquist Inc.
Rockford, Michigan

My wife and I recently became empty nesters. We love to travel together and aspire to travel frequently while we are “young.” We’ve been fortunate to have some great trips in the first half of 2022. Hopefully the second half of the year is as fun as the first half. If you haven’t had an opportunity to travel with your spouse, I strongly suggest doing so — it does wonders for your soul as an individual and as a couple.

Jason Soulon
Westmor Industries
Shawnee, Kansas

One thing I have been meaning to do when I have more time is clean out my file cabinets and reorganize my paperwork. Or wait — do I first declutter my house in preparation for downsizing? Or what about all those books I have put aside to read later? And then there are all of my grandkids’ sporting events I want to attend. Not to mention those vacations I still want to take. Gosh, I need to retire!

Rosie Buschur
McMahan’s Bottle Gas
Dayton, Ohio

Plan leisure travel in the United States to see our natural wonders.

Jerry Schimmel
P3 Propane Safety
Cumberland, Rhode Island

I have a list: relax, read, golf more, play piano more, play more pickleball, spend more time with friends and enjoy more time with grandchildren.

Susan Peterson
Rural Computer Consultants
Bird Island, Minnesota

The thing I keep telling myself I will do when I retire is relax. I keep saying I will slow down with life. After all the hustle and bustle that is daily life, relaxing on the beach or a simple stroll around a flea market sure sounds like a good plan to me. Basically, anything that adds enjoyment to life. Yes, that’s the plan.

Jon Shepard
VK Inspections LLC
Mercer, Pennsylvania

That’s easy! READ! Reading can be dangerous for me. I will stay up until 3 a.m. reading a good book — and that next day is a killer. I try to save good books for vacation, but even that is hard … but look out, retirement!

Tonya Crow
Bloomington, Illinois

Making the Time

Several respondents mentioned that they liked this question. Clearly it was more fun for them to dream of what to do with free time than to answer last month’s question about how to deal with stress. In our complex world, handling both work and free time requires selectivity and prioritization. It also requires saying yes to something new.

Nancy Coop is an industry advocate. She serves as marketing director at Cetane Associates. Contact her at


2022 Industry Innovators