Gary Green retired in March 2010 after a 36-year Y career. By planning, saving, and maintaining a modest lifestyle while working, he was able to retire young and debt free.

Tell Us About Your YMCA Career

I worked for the Y for 36 years. I retired at 59 because I wanted to retire while I was  young and healthy.

What makes the YMCA different from other organizations doing the same kind of work is the Y’s inclusiveness and diversity. Also, the Y’s commitment to financial assistance differentiates the Y from other social service organizations.

When I was eight years old I became a member of the Greendale Y in Worcester, Massachusetts. I learned to swim and participated in a variety of activities continuing through high school. My experiences in the Hi-Y club program motivated me to pursue a YMCA career.

My first paid job was as a C.I.T at the Y Day Camp. After I graduated from Springfield College, I started as a YMCA Youth Director in Merrimack Valley (Mass). I advanced throughout my career as I moved to increasingly more responsible positions in Bridgeport and Boston.

I completed my career as the President and CEO of the YMCA of the Brandywine Valley in West Chester, PA. in 2010.

How Was The Transition To Retirement?

I loved working for the Y. What surprised me the most was that I didn’t miss work at all, and to this day I don’t understand why. Perhaps the transition was made easier because I gave myself a two-year runway to plan for my retirement. This succession plan benefitted both myself and the YMCA.

My wife retired six months after I did and we were able to spend four months a year enjoying our second home in Maine. We now spend most of our time in West Chester enjoying our family and grandchildren.

After being retired a few years I got involved in the coaching program for new YMCA CEO’s. It’s a great volunteer program and I enjoy staying connected to the Y.

My hobby is restoring and racing antique and classic cars. There is no vacuum in my life….I have plenty to do.

Tell Us About The Process Of Saving For Retirement

Always maintaining a modest lifestyle, I was able to put our four children through college and retire without debt.

None of my non-YMCA friends have what I have—an annuity for life with total protection from risk. I would never have believed the growth of my savings at the Fund.

If you could give one piece of advice to current YMCA staff about saving and planning for retirement, what would it be?

Plan ahead. Eliminate all your debt before you retire and save as much as you can along the way.