- Client: Retired General Counsel for Medica
- Services: Legacy Planning
- Consultant: Patty Hamm
- Value: Identifying priorities to create a structured, balanced and fulfilling retirement
After many years of practice as a corporate healthcare attorney at Medica, Jim Jacobson notified his employer that retirement was on the horizon.
“I wanted to slow down; I was looking for my off-ramp after a 35-year career,” he said.
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The few months Jim anticipated for his transition turned into a full year as he helped the health insurer handle the quickly changing landscape and hire his replacement.
During that extra time, Medica surprised him with a Legacy Planning engagement through Navigate Forward. HR leaders find the program beneficial to reward senior leaders and keep succession plans on track. Outgoing executives appreciate having a process and support to reflect, prioritize and plan for post-career activities.
Making Room For What Matters Most
“I was very interested in a plan,” Jacobson explained. “I wanted a certain amount of structure in my retirement.”
Legacy Planning offered Jacobson one-on-one guidance and a proven framework to create a clear roadmap for his next chapter.
Patty helped me map out and think through the next phase of my life, to find the right balance. She helped me prioritize what I wanted to focus on.
Patty Hamm, Executive Consultant and Practice Lead for Legacy Planning, served as Jacobson’s guide. They started with a series of personal discovery exercises that identified the skills, passions and priorities important to his post-work phase.
For Jacobson, a range of activities held appeal, from board work and teaching to hiking, traveling, golf, learning a musical instrument and improving his foreign language skills.
“One of the first things Patty said after discovery was there’s no way you can do all this stuff!” Jacobson recalled. “She helped me think through and prioritize.”
Planning for a Fruitful Retirement
An encore plan showed the way. Together, they charted the specific steps that would achieve Jacobson’s most important goals.
“Patty helped me map out and think through the next phase of my life, to find the right balance,” he said. “She helped me prioritize what I wanted to focus on. We put structure to my retirement, instead of jumping completely into the void.”
Navigate Forward helped me figure out how to spend my time so there’s a sense of meaning and fulfillment, with structure.
The Navigate Forward team then helped Jacobson develop tools and resources tailored to his interests. In this case, he wanted to share his extensive legal experience with younger professionals, students and non-profit organizations. That meant networking to find the right opportunities.
“The one-pager we developed with my summary and professional narrative was helpful to introduce myself as I considered boards, non-profit work and teaching,” Jacobson recalled.
Saying ‘Yes’ to the Right Opportunities
As the pandemic subsided and his corporate replacement came up to speed, Jacobson felt ready to take the next step. He retired in 2021.
“I can’t think of a day when I’ve been bored!” he said. “I now have a good balance of activities that are meaningful—contributions to the community, time to explore my own interests, and to spend with family and friends.”
Focusing on what matters most helped Jacobson say “yes” to the right options, while still having time for relaxation, self-improvement and relationships.
Jacobson now serves on three boards, including chairing one. He bypassed teaching college classes in lieu of guest lecturing spots, which enable him to contribute his expertise with less of a time commitment.
Balancing Community, Family, Leisure and Self-Improvement
In his leisure time, he’s refreshing his French, learning the ukulele, working out regularly and taking hiking trips with his family, most recently to Switzerland and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Retirement provides an opportunity for Jacobson and his wife to spend more time with family.
His Legacy Planning engagement gave him a clear path to move forward.
I now have a good balance of activities that are meaningful—contributions to the community, time to explore my own interests, and to spend with family and friends.
“Navigate Forward helped me figure out how to spend my time so there’s a sense of meaning and fulfillment, with structure. It’s a great way to plan the next phase of life,” he said.
He added, “I’m a huge proponent of retirement! Life is short; it’s great to have time to enjoy it.”