About Me

Case Study - My Resilience Story

I enlisted in the Army in 1980 as a Private and I spent the next 40 years serving in various roles on Active Duty, in the National Guard and in the Army Reserve. I retired in 2020 as a Major General. So I know a thing or two about military service and being a veteran. But what makes me unique and different is that I also managed a $500 million business for a Fortune 100 company, I have advanced degrees in business and I am a Certified Financial Planner TM professional.

My name is Pete Bosse and I’m living a joyful retired life, despite significant adversity.

That adversity includes a gut-wrenching divorce, a surprising 13-month military deployment, and the personal loss of $2 million. Yet I’ve still reached most of my life goals, including completing my PhD at age 50, retiring from the Army Reserve as a Major General at age 59, and completing my Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) certification at age 62.

My story is about resilience — the ability to bounce back from adversity.

As members of the military, you and I didn’t sign up for an easy life! We deal with far more adversity than most people.

Here’s how I’ve done it, with hard-earned lessons that I hope you find helpful…


 In 2000, I worked at the national headquarters for a Fortune 100 retailer. One day I was asked to come to the lobby to sign for a package. Surprise! I was served with divorce papers. For the next 18 months, I endured an ugly, drawn-out divorce that cost over $100,000 in legal fees. I then spent months of deep introspection, wondering what went wrong and what I could have done differently in a marriage that had lasted 18 years.


 Henry Ford said: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” My personally and financially devastating divorce was an opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Chief among the lessons learned: I can’t blame others for how I feel. That’s a waste of time. I must focus on what I can control and work on that.


One day in January of 2003, without notice, I was given 3 days to pack my stuff and get on a plane to Germany with my Army Reserve unit. We were headed to Europe to prepare to deploy onward to the Middle East for operations. It turned out to be a 13-month deployment, starting in Germany, moving to Kuwait, and ending in Iraq. To show how quickly life can change, I went from working an office in a Fortune 100 world headquarters to working in a tent in Kuwait -- in 2 weeks.


Douglas MacArthur said: “Life is a lively process of becoming.” When my life was upended by an unexpected deployment, it helped me become the person I am now. Among many things, I learned to apply the ABC Model: An Activating event leads to Beliefs that lead to Consequences (ABC). By changing my beliefs, I can change how I feel about consequences. Which changes everything.


In May 2006, I was notified by my Fortune 100 employer that my services were no longer needed. At age 45 I found myself unemployed, yet still having to pay child and spousal support. I was really worried about what to do next. I took some time and started exploring the possibility of buying a business. I even started trading stocks from the money in my IRA and my severance package. Three years later, following the stock market crash, my stock portfolio lost $2 million in value. It was a gut-wrenching experience and very humbling.


Billionaire investor Ray Dalio said: “Pain is a great teacher. Pain plus reflection equals progress.” The Great Recession of 2008-2009 was certainly painful. And after significant reflection, I made significant progress. I learned hard lessons in life planning and finance I would have never learned otherwise. The recession didn’t kill me, it only made me stronger. For that, I’m grateful.

Now fast forward to today.

A few years ago, I secured a great military pension after working nearly 40 years combined time in the Army on Active Duty, Army National Guard and Army Reserve. Then, I leveraged that experience into a government job that will result in another pension in 2024, and with Social Security a few years later. I’m also a disabled war veteran who receives VA disability compensation.

As a result of the right goals, the right plan, and the right actions – many of which were only available because I’m a veteran — I don’t have to work another day in my life.

Today, I’m living my dream: To help other veterans live the retired life of their dreams.

Specifically, my mission as a disabled war veteran is to help fellow veterans plan for and live the joyful, fulfilling retirement of their dreams.