Retirement According to…Rick Hitt

In previous blog posts, I’ve had the opportunity to share examples of retirees who have succeeded in “Finding the Magic,” and in doing so have enhanced the satisfaction they derive from retirement.  Following their example involves asking three questions and then bringing the answers together to choose how to best spend retirement time: 1) What do I love to do? 2) What am I good at? 3) Where can I make a difference in the world?

Rick Hitt has asked himself those questions, and the answers have led him both to being personally fulfilled and to making an impact on the lives of others.

Rick is retired from a successful career in the advertising/public relations/communications business, but he continually looks for ways to “keep the juices flowing” by applying his skills and experiences to help others.  The Lumina program at Barnes-Jewish-Christian (BJC) Health Systems has enabled him to do just that.

Lumina offers Hospice patients of all ages a variety of ways to capture their legacy, and then provides trained volunteers to make it happen.  Patients and their families can choose to develop scrapbooks, family trees, letters to loved ones, memory books, or a number of other memory options. 

Rick, who also has a journalism degree, loves writing and storytelling.  He applies this expertise and passion to interview the patient and family members, and he reviews other information provided by the family—for example, he has been able to glean insights about the patient’s life from greeting cards sent by friends and relatives.  Rick then combines visuals and text to tell the patient’s story.  The result is a professionally printed and bound legacy book. 

Through BJC’s generosity, grants, and individual donations and Rick’s volunteered dedication of time and talent, the Lumina program is free to families.  Although the patients and their families greatly appreciate what he does for them, Rick benefits as well as he is allowed the opportunity, as he says, “to pay it forward.”

What does Rick Hitt love to do?  Writing, storytelling, and paying if forward.

What is Rick Hitt good at?  Communications and compassion.

What can Rick Hitt make a difference in the world?  Enabling patients on Hospice to participate in leaving a legacy for their families.

Rick Hitt has found the magic. 

Alan Spector is an author, business consultant, baseball player, traveler, and grandfather.  He has authored five published books, including, with coauthor Keith Lawrence, Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement (www.YourRetirementQuest.com).  Alan and Keith conduct workshops across the country helping prospective and current retirees plan the non-financial aspects of their retirement—to make the rest of their lives the best of their lives.  Alan’s latest book, Body Not Recovered, is a work of historical fiction from the Vietnam War/Protest Movement era, and it has deep St. Louis roots.