By Steven V. Dubin

Ask for what you want, and you just might get it.

Six months or so into writing this column, I finally had a reader respond with their personal retirement story. Thus, I share Hull resident and Brockton native Richard Berman (77) and his retirement tale.

Don’t hesitate to email me yours.

Richard reveals –

My retirement might not qualify as my dream, Steve, but it’s working out well for me and my family.
I once dreamed about retiring at 55, but that didn’t happen until I turned 68 in 2014.

My father never worked less than two jobs at a time, sometimes three, and my mother worked out of the house doing manicures to make ends meet and raise three boys in Brockton.

I vowed to find work that allowed me to have one job and be able to support a family. That happened in 1969. After graduating from UMass Amherst (with a BS Entomology) I was hired by a large, old, well-established family pest management service business as a management trainee. That was the only job I had, retiring from there in 2014.

Retirement was driven by bad knees and arthritis. Thinking ahead, my retirement plan was to start a consulting business, focusing on training and technical writing, non-physical stuff.

That’s what I’ve been doing since 2014 for businesses and individuals whom I met and cultivated over 44 years working for Waltham Pest Services. Some months I work 4 or 5 days, other times less. I prepare training and writing from my home office.
I’ve been delivering training over Zoom and in-person, in offices. (Covid forced me to learn Zoom). I’m active with the state government, serving on two state pesticide policy bodies. I work when available and don’t have to seek out business. I’ve let people in the industry know I’m around. They come to me.

My plan was to pay off the mortgage and have no long-term debt. That’s what the wife and I accomplished before retiring from Waltham Pest. I’m doing this little work gig because I enjoy the business, enjoy working with people, training and writing, and it’s keeping me occupied.

I intend to continue doing this as long as I am physically able and can constructively contribute to others’ businesses. Not a glamorous story, but I’m content with it.

Regards, Richard Berman of Hull

If you are or know of a senior who is doing something interesting with their retirement, I look forward to hearing from you! Please email me at

Steven V. Dubin is the founder of PR Works, a lightly used Public Relations firm based in Plymouth, MA which helps small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies navigate the overwhelming options of advertising. Steve lives in Plymouth with his wife Wendy. He is a contributing author to “Get Slightly Famous” and “Tricks of the Trade,” the complete guide to succeeding in the advice business. He recently authored “PR 101,” an E-book.