Brett Favre announced that he was retiring from the Green Bay Packers for the first time after the 2007 season holding just about every important NFL passing record. But Favre had second thoughts and wanted to come back and play the next year. The Packers had anticipated his retirement as any business entity would and they had a talented young heir apparent waiting in the wings, and this young man, Aaron Rodgers, was given the job on the day Favre told the world that he was hanging up his cleats. So the Packers were not anxious to swing the door wide open for a Favre’s return. There were hard feelings, and Brett wound up with the Jets in 2008 where he played poorly down the stretch. He retired again after that season.
But he once again un-retired before he ever really retired and came back in 2009 to lead the Green Bay Packers to the NFC Championship Game. Though he had a great season to get them there, he threw a crucial interception late in that game and the Packers lost. After a lot of cat and mouse posturing after the season Favre decided to return for the 2010 campaign, which has been a debacle for him on several levels.
What does the story of Brett Favre tell us about retirement planning? There is a lot here to chew on and exactly how you see it is a matter of personal perception. But it could be argued that retirement is a good thing, a reward for a lot of hard work and a legacy of success. There are others waiting in the wings who would like their opportunity, just as you awaited yours. You may still be able to perform at a high level on the day that you walk away but…would you want it to be any other way? The suggestion here is to keep the Brett Favre story in mind when you are considering the timing of your retirement.