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Mike Aasen’s Big Decision

Just to be sure he’d be happy in retirement, Mike Aasen flew to Hawaii with his wife for a couple weeks to ponder the decision and to practice. A number of rounds of golf and sunset drinks later, Aasen came home to Santa Clara as certain as one can be when making a life-changing decision.

“My wife doesn’t really want me to retire yet,” said Aasen, a Santa Clara-based handyman who will be 69 on October 29. “But things ache now. In my type of business—using your hands a lot and kneeling or squatting, things just start aching. I’ll probably retire on my next birthday.”

Aasen has been fixing things for about 20 years—everything from repairing fences and replacing garbage disposals to cleaning up after a hoarder and hauling away trash.

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“Every job is different, which I like,” said Aasen. “You help somebody. You feel good. They feel good, and you get referrals.”

“I like helping people,” he continued. “If I can’t do something for them, I try to give them referrals. You don’t know what you don’t know, but by helping people find what they need, you help them. It’s all about networking.”

“Doing the job right the first time is one key to my success,” said Aasen, who was born in Bangor, Maine, where his dad served in the Air Force.

In college, Aasen studied architectural drafting. His interests later drew him to history, and he graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S. in History in 1994.

However, his background in drafting led him to work as a re-roofing estimator for commercial buildings for about ten years before investing in the tools to start a handyman business.

“You learn how to do things along the way. You figure things out,” said Aasen, who believes being self-motivated and communicating well with clients are important for an independent businessperson.

As a handyman, he can set his own schedule, work outdoors and meet different people and observe their lifestyles.

Aasen and his wife, Karen, have two adult children. When they both retire, they intend to spend more time at their second home in Arnold, where Karen has childhood memories.

In his favor whenever he actually retires, Aasen said he is a low-key person.

“I don’t have to be busy doing something all the time,” he said.

He is content reading sci-fi and history, doing crossword puzzles and—his favorite pastime—scrapbooking.

Stashed in his garage, he has 350, three-inch thick albums with newspaper clippings he has culled over the years from four or five different newspapers. He cuts out articles of historical and personal interest, including editorials by Miles Barber from The Weekly. When possible, he gets the articles autographed.

“I do it for me. My kids and wife think I’m crazy,” said Aasen.

Aasen relies on business referrals and doesn’t have a website. He often works for property managers he initially met through his sister, a property manager, and his membership in NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers).

If you need a handyman, it’s not too late to call Aasen Household Services at (408) 813-2637 and ask if Aasen can take a break from scrapbooking.

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