Meet Franziska Williams. The financial decisions she made — as a young woman and throughout her career as a teacher — made it possible for her and her husband to invest in their daughters’ NYC-based laundromat business, Celsious.
Franziska’s the first person you’ll meet in Retirement in Real Life, a new video series featuring real women and the choices they’ve made to live their retirement on their terms. Because retirement is not a lot of things. It’s not a 24/7 vacation. It’s not boring. And it’s not the same for everyone.
Hear her story below, and then start planning for a retirement you’ll love today.
Franziska: Retirement is anything you want it to be. Just because you are retirement age, you don’t stop. You do what you can at 70, at 80. That’s how I saw it.
My daughters asked if we would invest. We were thinking, “Well, of course we will invest in our daughters.”
I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a teacher, but I knew I wanted to have a college degree. To be independent. I wanted to see the world, and I wanted to be able to support myself. I grew up in a small Bavarian village. My parents had a small business. Money was talked about. For them, security was the most important thing. So I learned how to save from them.
My husband and I, we felt that we had to have financial security, to be ready for whatever happens. We started reading about investing. We were both making money, but we had an average income, I would say. But over time, that grew, and helped us now to invest in Celsious.
Corinna Williams, Co-Founder, Celsious: The laundromat idea was initially mine. I moved here and was flabbergasted at the state of laundromats.
Franziska: I kind of wrote it off as a crazy idea for a good while. But then they invited me to a conference about women in business, and in particular in the laundry industry. And I talked to their consultant, and I was convinced then this was a good idea.
Corinna: It was definitely not always the plan for them to move to New York City.
Franziska: We came with two suitcases intending to stay for three months, until the build-out was finished, and after a good year, we’re still here.
Theresa Williams, Co-Founder, Celsious: We could not be doing this without each other, and I also couldn’t imagine doing it with somebody that I don’t trust as much as my family.
Franziska: We ended up investing more than we had planned. But we have still a significant amount of savings, so we are okay.
The idea of being in one place and just relaxing scares me. As long as I’m healthy, I want to work, volunteer, travel. The only thing that’s different now from before is that I can choose what I want to do.
My name is Franziska Williams, I am 60 years old, and this is my next chapter.