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Life After HP

Nancy Kilty finding a new career, personal fulfillment through financial planning

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  Posted February 23, 2009

“Retirees in Action,” a new series on hpNOW, showcases HP retirees and alumni who are active in the business world and their communities. If you know a member of the HP Retiree and Alumni Outreach program who might be a good candidate for this series, please email hpNOW.

When Nancy Kilty decided to accept HP’s early retirement package in 2001, she had clear criteria for her next career. “I wanted a job that would challenge me mentally and allow me to age gracefully — a job where my age and personal experience would add value,” she says. “I wanted personal flexibility and I wanted to help people.”

Retiree Spotlight

After more than 30 years in various marketing roles at Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), Compaq and HP, Kilty says she started her new career quest with a freedom she had not felt since she was 16 years old.

First, she took a full year to travel the world and consider her options. During that year, she began to think that financial planning might be a good field, even though she had no experience in that area.

At the end of her “year of exploration,” Kilty met with an old friend and mentor, Paul J. Mauro, owner of Legacy Financial Advisors in Milford, Massachusetts, who encouraged her to explore the financial planning idea.

“Paul told me I had the energy and vitality to work in this challenging industry,” she said. “Although I had an educational background in math — and plenty of work and life experience — the financial planning field, which focuses on estate, investment, taxes, retirement and risk planning, was largely unknown to me.”

In order to learn more about the business, Kilty took advantage of a grant offered by Employment and Training Resources in Marlboro, Massachusetts.

Designed for retraining displaced workers, the grant covered the cost of training for one year. So Kilty decided to pack three years of Certified Financial Planning instruction into one.

Armed with her new knowledge, she joined Legacy Financial Advisors, where she is today. (She suggests that former HP employees wanting to learn more about grant money go to www.etrcc.com and click on “for job seekers” and then “special dislocated worker grants.”)

Although Kilty was busy and happy in her new career, she found herself missing colleagues and friends from DEC and Compaq. Inspired by a small group of former DEC employees who also wanted to stay connected, she worked with the Digital Retiree Association to expand its mission to include all former DEC employees and offer more services and support.

The new organization, The Dec Connection, fosters communication among its members through its website. She now serves on the board of the organization, which is one of the most active DEC/Compaq/HP retiree groups in the United States, with members involved in many social, educational and community events.

“It’s amazing how involved, how vital and how valuable some HP retirees are,” Kilty says. She welcomes interaction with other HP retirees and alumni, and encourages retirees, especially those in this time of transition, to contact her.

She recently took on a new project to help guide her condo association through the reconstruction of her 18-unit condominium building, which was destroyed by fire on October 31, 2008. Located in Lexington, Massachusetts, the building was formerly the Hancock School, a National Historic Landmark. While the repair work is under way, Kilty is living in Watertown, Massachusetts, with her identical twin.

“I’m blessed in this chapter of my life, to be in roles that fulfill my need to help, to be challenged and to be valued for my experience,” Kilty says. “For me, it is rewarding to help people manage through these tough times in ways they otherwise might not have done.”