Retire at 50: Former Certified Fraud Examiner Stacy L. Hagar shares the secrets to her success

A Note from Hope Katz Gibbs & Cynthia de Lorenzi, authors, Your What’s Next Journal at Inkandescent Women magazine Stacy Hagar knows what it means to connect with people on an interpersonal level and how skills can translate into success on many levels. She spent her 30-year professional career in Dallas, TX, working as a securities fraud investigator, where she interfaced with customers and securities professionals to investigate and resolve disputes. During that time, she gained expertise in communication and financial analysis and earned designations as a Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional and Certified Fraud Examiner.

Several years ago, after retiring from the regulatory world, Stacy relocated to Las Cruces, NM, where she happily reinvented her life. She opened an Airbnb and home- and pet-sitting service with a desire to create opportunities and growth. She also serves as a team assistant at a nationally recognized magazine publishing company. Stacy also loves to travel to exotic locations, enjoys gardening, and is a wanna-be chef in training.

“At every opportunity, I seek new challenges and opportunities,” she says, adding that to her, “the glass is always half full, and the door is always open. The goal is to create connectedness and a network of friends and resources in her new community while fostering relationships from both the past and present.”

Stacy has two daughters (Jordan and Mackenzie), one son-in-law (Fernando), and Pascal’s beautiful grandson. She spends a good bit of her time traveling to visit them in Texas. “At the core of everything in my life, they are what is important to me.”

Stacy’s core belief is this: “Life is good — as good as you make it.” To find out how you can take a page from her playbook and retire early, click here to discover her 10 tips in her Primer for Happy Retirement — How to Do It All Early Enough So You Can Enjoy It!

First, scroll down for Stacy’s thoughts about What’s Next.

Hope & Cynthia: Stacy, tell us about your business/industry and where it was before the pandemic hit in March 2020.

Stacy Hagar: At the point, that coronavirus reared its ugly head in March of 2020, the fullness of my life in Las Cruces was reaching an all-time high. I had just begun working for N2 Publishing and was busy with my Airbnb and housesitting businesses. But, as with most things during this time, and certainly, with my travel-related businesses, all of that slowed to a crawl or stopped completely.

Hope & Cynthia: Where were you personally in your life at that time? What were your short and long-term goals at the time?

Stacy: Around that time in the spring of 2020, I was traveling myself and was also really enjoying the success and prosperity of my professional efforts in the Las Cruces community. My goal of continuing to grow my personal businesses did pretty much grind to a halt. But, my role with N2 Publishing just shifted and morphed as the company’s leaders found ways to execute the mission of serving its partners. Today, we communicate through meetings held via Zoom, and former in-person events have also moved online. Somehow, our incredible publisher was able to breeze through this transition without skipping a beat.

Hope & Cynthia: Where are you now in your life and business?

Stacy: Life is slowly returning to normal — very slowly. Business is back, and I am busier than ever. But the caveat is that everything that I do has to be done with measured caution and a newfound awareness of how illness can spread. Nevertheless, I am optimistic that our experience with coronavirus has created a new appreciation for the freedoms that we once took for granted. Also, the needs of family and friends who are struggling during this time create new opportunities for me to offer what I can to support and help those around me.

Hope & Cynthia: Now the big question — What do you see coming next and where do you think we are going from here?

Stacy: I think that, as with most extreme situations, that I/we will all come out of this stronger and smarter. The world around us is quickly adjusting and changing to the new way of doing things, including everything from the thrust into the remote way of working and interfacing to how we continue to connect with friends and family from afar. We have to be resilient and open to the obstacles thrown into our path – how we address those obstacles is our defining moment. I like to believe that women are especially good at adaptation and identifying the needs of others. I think women will be the defining force in how we, as a world community, figure out how to support each other and create solutions to this utmost challenge.