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In the tech world, late nights in front of a computer screen are the norm. And Google CFO Patrick Pichette decided that he had had enough. On Monday, he announced his retirement on Google Plus with a long, emotional goodbye, complete with advice for people who "struggle to strike the right balance between work and personal life."
His note started with a story about him and his wife Tamar standing on top of Mount Kilimanjaro. While looking out at the "vast plain of the Serengeti" his wife asked him why it had to end.
"Let's explore Africa, and then turn east to make our way to India, it's just next door, and we're here already," she told him. "Then, we keep going; the Himalayas, Everest, go to Bali, the Great Barrier Reef ... Antarctica, let's go see Antarctica!"
Pichette, 52, told her that he had to focus on his career. She wasn't having any of it.
"But then she asked the killer question: So when is it going to be time? Our time? My time? The questions just hung there in the cold morning African air."
He returned to Google, where he had been working since 2008, a few weeks later. At first, it was business as usual. Then he did some soul-searching. He lamented being "always on — even when I was not supposed to be."
He realized that with his two kids grown and out of the house, it was the time to retire.
"Allow me to spare you the rest of the truths. But the short answer is simply that I could not find a good argument to tell Tamar we should wait any longer for us to grab our backpacks and hit the road - celebrate our last 25 years together by turning the page and enjoy a perfectly fine mid life crisis full of bliss and beauty, and leave the door open to serendipity for our next leadership opportunities, once our long list of travels and adventures is exhausted."
Of course, the decision is always easier when you made $31 million in stock incentives from 2010 to 2013, according to the AP. A recent survey from asset management firm BlackRock found that the average American man age 55 to 64 has $118,400 in retirement savings and the average women has $81,300.
"In the end, life is wonderful, but nonetheless a series of trade offs, especially between business/professional endeavors and family/community," Pichette wrote. "And thankfully, I feel I’m at a point in my life where I no longer have to have to make such tough choices anymore. And for that I am truly grateful. Carpe Diem."