Ted came onto my show as a guest to talk about stages of life, namely the 6 stages of retirement. Mr. Carr is a podcaster himself, with the show, Retirement Journeys, which discusses similar topics as this show, but he also includes financial topics on his show.
In case you're wondering, the stages of life (retirement life) include:
Termination of Retirement (death)
Ed was young (mid-50s) when he retired in 2010 from a biotech company in San Francisco. Because so many people had asked him how he was able to retire so young he decided to take his story online.
Let's look at some of these stages of life that Ted went through:
This is the time while you are working that you are saving and investing for the time when you will be able to stop working. Ted did a good job at this, or he wouldn't have been able to retire in his mid-50s. Many people don't plan far enough in advance, for whatever reasons, and so the other stages of life become more difficult for them. However, that's not what the Rock your Retirement show is all about so we'll let you reach out to your financial adviser for help with this.
This is fun for most, but can be the shortest stage of life (retirement life) for many. That's because it's really only a day, a week, a month, or six. A retirement date. The retirement stage of life is the party. You may go out to dinner with your work buddies. Or you might have a cake on your last day of work. The parties, balloons, and dinners have become a rite of passage for our actual retirement date.
It can be a second “honeymoon” where you hike, garden, bicycle or create art. Many people read or catch up on their yard work.
Ted took the “honeymoon” path when he first retired, and he describes this in his blog:
“After I retired in May 2010, I took the “honeymoon” path. In Retirement Journeys, I refer to this as “Arriving in Retirement”, a bridge from work life to retirement life. My wife and I moved from the Bay Area to Arizona in June 2010. Our first few months were spent settling into a new house and community. We had many home improvement projects to work on. We returned to the Bay Area frequently. When I look back at our calendar, I am reminded of the variety of ways that we spent our free time. We attended financial seminars, concerts, car auctions, baseball games and community-based meetings. In May 2011 we bought hybrid bikes and began riding once or twice a week”.1
But there is only so much hiking, gardening, and bicycling you can do. So that led Ted to the next stage of retirement:
This is the letdown stage of life. The honey moon is over. It's when many retirees become depressed. They can feel lonely, bored, useless, and disillusioned. When they were working, people returned their phone calls. People respected them. Now, in this stage, many feel disrespected.
It's this stage of life that the Rock Your Retirement show tries to help out.
Ted went through this stage too, as we discussed in the interview. In 2011 he started worrying about whether he had made the right decision. He didn't feel productive and started writing in his journal to vent. For many, when they hit this stage, marriage problems can ensue.And it was affecting Ted's marriage. So he looked at some preemptive steps:
Because Ted had started the look inward in this stage of life, he was able to progress to the next stage of life called re-orientation.
Not everyone gets to this stage. In order to get through it, you need to re-examine your role in life. You need to ask yourself what your new purpose in life is. And you need to find out if you are still useful in some way. Ted had to answer the question, “Who am I, now?”
Before he could answer that question, Ted took inventory of his life. He needed to find out why he was so unhappy. Was it missing his paycheck? Missing the actual work itself? What was it?
In Ted's case, he discovered that he had negative feelings toward his alcoholic father. He read the book, Forgiveness is a Choice, by Robert D Enright. He worked through its exercises.
Ted started volunteering at a local museum. It gave him purpose and responsibility. This helped him ease into the next stage of life, retirement routine.
Mr. Carr calls this “Retirement 2.0” This is where you are living a comfortable and rewarding lifestyle. It can mean a daily run, volunteer time, or whatever your daily routine is. For Ted, it means working on his podcast, his blog, and his volunteer work.
Thank goodness Ted hasn't reached this stage, but he lives by the quote, “Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow.” James Dean
I talk with Lisa Woodruff about organizing your home
Lisa Woodruff believes organization is not a skill you are born with. It is a skill that is developed over time and changes with each season of life. She has helped thousands of women reclaim their homes and finally get organized with her practical tips, encouragement, and humor through her blog and podcast at Organize365.com.
Got clutter? I Do.
I am the “queen of clutter” or, as Lisa put's it, “I have a hard time separating the memory from the object”. Makes perfect sense right? Since listening to Lisa's show, I have been making progress. I am a HUGE fan of Lisa's show and wanted YOU, my listener, to be able to learn tips on organizing your home.
Paper.. how to deal with all of the paper!
When you look at a stack of 100 sheets of paper, you think that is 100 different items that you need to deal with. Lisa looks at your stack of 1000 pieces of paper and she knows that there are no more than 8 categories in that stack of paper and she can go through it super quickly. Lisa gives an amazing tip on how to go through the archived paper. You know, the mounds of paper you have in your filing cabinet or scattered all over your desk, or taking over your kitchen table..that paper. Using Lisa's method, you can be completely through an entire filing cabinet in just a few months.
The Sunday Basket
The Sunday Basket is a system for processing mail, kitchen counter “to do” papers, and ongoing household projects.
Some examples of things you might put in the Sunday basket are:
Receipt for some prescriptions that you picked up
The dry cleaning ticket
The little card you get from the doctor's office telling you it's time for your next visit
A birthday card you bought for your granddaughter
Let's say you planned on re-hanging some pictures and you went and got command hooks. You would put those in there.
The rule is that you pick a day of the week (Lisa does hers on Sunday) and you take every single thing out of the basket. You then ask yourself one question; can this wait until next Sunday? If the answer is yes, the item goes back in the basket. If the answer is no, it is left out to be taken care of. She even suggests making a Sunday basket for your spouse or for your loved one that you are caring for!
Lisa gives so many tips on organizing your home in this interview there is no way I could write them all here. If you have any great ideas or tips on organization feel free to post them in the comments below!
In this interview, we talk about the emotional aspect of retirement.
Becky Kueker was 69 years old when she decided to retire from a 20-year career as a partner in a successful woman-owned commercial architectural firm in St. Louis. This was all part of her grand plan. It was the “Plan” she had created and was totally invested in since she was 40 years old. She was ready to close that door and walk out embracing a whole new chapter in her life. She and her husband had saved, invested, researched and carefully planned their retirement. They even kept a “retirement binder” for all those years with laminated financial spreadsheets, great places to retire, exciting long-awaited trips to take, and all the “how-to self-help” retirement books she could read.
What she never expected was that her retirement plan had covered everything except the emotional aspect of retirement.
Becky became depressed after she retired. She lost a lot of self-esteem and self-worth. Becky's husband still works and she was spending a lot of time alone. She talks about an AARP Article called Out-of-Sync Retirement Syndrome. I think there are many retirees that go through sadness or even depression after retirement. Becky felt like she went from running a 25 million dollar a year company to the newly retired pack of old people. When you walk out and close that door on your work life, part of you literally disappears.
Over-the-Hill Cards aren't as funny when it's you that receives them
It took Becky 2 years to get over her depression. She did some silly things during this time, all while hiding most of it from her husband.
Becky would put on her pajama's, Elmo slippers, and a ratty old robe. She used a hairbrush as a microphone and walked around the house singing to Elvis CD's
Stayed in bed all day reading books she had never read before.
Watched Netflix and old movies
Discovered Overstock.com and online shopping
Becky made her “retirement binder” but what people really need is an “Emotional playbook Binder”. Plan for the emotional aspect of retirement as well as what you want to do with your life and your marriage before you retire.
How did she get out of her depression?
Becky wrote her book called Hiding in my pajama's. In talking with people for research on her book, she discovered so many people that go through the same thing.
She and her husband also decided they needed their own space. So they bought a new home that allowed them space if they needed it. Becky says it is also important to find hobbies for each of you to do separately, but also plan activities and dates together. Discover the best version of yourself and get dressed and comb your hair every day.
Let's face it, our spouses can get on our nerves! And once you retire, you're gonna be spending even more glorious (or not so glorious) time together. In this episode, I talk with Lori Ann Davis on marriage advice after retirement.
Lori has over 28 years’ experience empowering individuals and couples to live richer, happier lives. I asked her to come on the show because she is the author of Unmasking Secrets to Unstoppable Relationships: How to Find, Keep and Renew Love and Passion in Your Life.
You want a marriage that is not only surviving but is actually thriving.
According to Lori, just because you don't fight and your marriage seems OK, it doesn't necessarily mean it is. She gives some great marriage advice after retirement.
Key Elements for working on your marriage (and Lori says yes, you have to work on your marriage all the time)
Constantly reconnect with each other
Get to know them on a deeper level
Make sure you are spending enough time together
Talk about your expectations for this phase of your life
Discuss your dreams and interests
The Do's and Don'ts
Discover who your spouse is
Date each other
Remember why you chose each other
Spend 24/7 together
Rush into anything if you have grown apart
Spend zero amount of time together
What do you do if you have grown apart?
Sit down and start dating each other again
Look for the positives and the good things
Renew the passion and intimacy
Sit next to each other
Stop for a kissing break
Leave a flirty message on the pillow or sent a flirtatious text
Make out and be playful
Lori and I also talk about when it's time to get help for your relationship whether it is a counselor or a coach. Lori says the sooner you get help the better and don't wait until you have given up.
Should you give marriage advice to a friend if they ask for it? Comment below if you have any thoughts on this subject.
Mary Fran has a great sense of humor and you can tell by the name of her blog, “Not Ready for Granny Panties.” She is also the author of 3 books. Today we talked about her latest book, “The Woman's Book of Dirty Words”.
These bad words aren't what you might think they are.
Before we talked about Mary Fran’s book, I just had to go over an article on her website about “Shhssing your brain” Do you ever feel like you just can’t shut your brain off? This is called ‘brain chatter’, Mary Fran explains where she discovered this and what you can do to help yourself.
We also touched on Mary Fran's son and how she and her husband dealt with his heroin addiction. Her advice is to not think you're going to fix it. Get professional help!
Onto the dirty! The ‘bad words’ that Mary Fran goes over with us in this podcast:
No (We even did a little role-playing on how to say no)
The constraints that we put on ourselves to become spectacular…we treat ‘fine’ like it’s a dirty word like there’s something wrong with being okay and good enough
Mary Fran and I even did a little role-playing on the bad word “NO” and how to say it. Not sure if we will win any Grammy's for our performance but needless to say, it was a lot of fun!
I also asked Mary Fran to give us one of the eleven commandments to staying out of granny panties.
Thou Shalt Stop ‘Shoulding’ Thyself
Mary Fran says we are always filling our days up with things we should and shouldn't do. The word “should” very often equals obligation and the word “shouldn't” often equals denial. We need to change that language to change these to must and want. Sounds like good advice to me!
Don't simply retire from something, have something to retire to!
Megan Giles supports those approaching retirement to successfully transition and create a retirement they will love to live! This is achieved through action-focused planning sessions and workshop facilitation. The key to success for the people who work with Megan is structured planning, looking beyond the finances, harnessing opportunities, informed decision making and tailored actions. Megan and I talked about how she helps people prepare for retirement.
Just as we do here at Rock Your Retirement, Megan focuses on the non-financial aspects of retirement. (YES a kindred spirit!) She likes to look at the whole person and what really enables the quality of life. She looks at things like; how you connect to people, how emotionally supported you are and do you feel you have a purpose?
It's never too late to make changes and create a greater sense of satisfaction and enjoyment in life after work. Acknowledging that you're struggling but willing to take some action is actually an incredible strength.
What does a mini coaching session look like? How do you prepare for retirement?
Talk about work:
What is it that drives you?
What is that you don't enjoy and look forward to never having to do again?
How do you translate these things into figuring out what you want to maintain in your retirement?
Do you want to fully retire or do you want to use your expertise to mentor someone or to volunteer?
Talk about life outside of work:
What is it outside of work that you enjoy?
What is the stuff you used to enjoy that you don't really have time for?
Who do you like doing these things with?
How do you bring these things into action?
You need is a plan to prepare for retirement from Day 1. This doesn't mean your days have to be completely full. Allow yourself time to do nothing if you want. But, it is important to have some immediate actions and goals.
If you are retiring around age 60 to 65, you potentially have another 20 to 30 years ahead of you. You'll have the opportunity to change or deviate from your path. Don't feel like you are locked into one thing forever. Have a focus for now, but you can always come back around and revisit your plans and goals. There is no right or wrong. The beauty is that it's your retirement and you are writing your story.
Megan provided a wonderful tool for our listeners. It is a planning sheet called I'm Retiring But I'm Not Done Yet! Staying Relevant And Connected in Life After Work. You can get it for free by going to www.RockYourRetiremenet.com/Relevant