Rotary District Governor takes on “ultimate consumer”

In his speech to the Nakusp Rotary Club Carroll made the distinction between two kinds of post-retirement living.

Bob Carroll knows about money, and even what to do with it. Carroll, the Governor for Rotary District 5080 (Washington, Idaho, B.C.) worked as a financial advisor for years with Merrill Lynch and City Group in Spokane, Washington for decades and saw people amassing a lot of wealth without knowing where to put it.

“People think if they have a lot of money they know what to do with it,” he told the Arrow Lakes News. “They don’t.”

Carroll learned this as an advisor aiding people in figuring out where their estate, the wealth accumulated during a lifetime, was going to go. Through working with people to help them determine where to direct their money, he found out about the psychological and emotional needs and wants of people.

In his speech to the Nakusp Rotary Club Carroll made the distinction between two kinds of post-retirement living. One he dubbed “ultimate consumer” living, where the progressive acquisition of more and larger toys (RVs, boats, etc.) was the goal. Another direction he talked about was a life of service and helping people, the life he had deeply embraced in Rotary.

“Rotary leads us in some very strange directions,” Carroll disclosed, “It brings us to what we are called to do but can’t quite put our finger on.”

Last year, Carroll went with high school students to Ecuador to install water purification systems and renovate a child care centre for field workers. It was a high point in Carroll’s life, and Rotary has become a highlight of his life, he told the Arrow Lakes News.

Although Carroll’s introduction to Rotary was a compulsory part of being Merrill Lynch management, he has learned to truly love it. Since 2006 he has enjoyed spending his retirement time in a life of service with the organization.

This year the Carrolls, Bob and his wife Carol, will be visit all 60 Rotary Clubs in the district. That means driving 22,000 miles between the 40 clubs in the U.S. and 20 in Canada. Between the two of them, they are taking on the challenge of visiting and inspiring the Rotarians in their district. It will take them six months to complete their tour, and they love it, they love working together.

“Carol is equally as involved as I am,” said Carroll (Bob). “If I didn’t have Carol I never would have done this. We have totally different skill sets.”

The two are taking the message to Rotarians to go deep and share their story about a life of service to inspire others to take the same path. The Carrolls themselves are well on their way.


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