It may be a hard pill to swallow, but instead of retiring, Simon advises Pearson to stay on and weave the foundation into his working life, perhaps by starting a summer arts camp.
If he can keep working for another 10 years, the Pearsons can bulk up their nest egg. Saving 15% of their salaries each year, and assuming a 6% return, they'll have around $340,000 to work with when he retires, not counting his pension.
Once Pearson's retirement plan is in place and he's ready to get his nonprofit off the ground, he'll need to pay a state incorporation fee of $50 and $2,500 or so to hire a lawyer and register with the IRS as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
But he can't fund the rest of the dream alone, says Pakroo. "He needs to attract the interest and financial support of other people," she adds.
More grounded in the reality of his situation, Pearson is considering staying on the job and starting a summer program. Despite a long road ahead, he remains enthusiastic and is already promoting the idea among family and friends: "Everyone is buying into the foundation. They're getting excited and catching the spirit of it."