Richard Eisenberg Interview: Journalist for Money Magazine, People, Yahoo and PBS's Next Avenue on (Un)Retirement
Diana Landau | October 25, 2022
Carl interviews one of the Founding Fathers of the (Un)Retirement Movement, Richard Eisenberg. Rich spent 40+ years as a personal finance reporter, editor, writer, producer and popular podcast host. He worked with organizations such as Money Magazine, People, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, CBS Money Watch and most recently with PBS's Next Avenue. Rich just "unretired" in January 2022, and shares some lessons learned about having a second act.
Rich grew up in the New Jersey suburbs. He was always a curious, studious kid, he says. He became editor of his high school newspaper and also worked at the school's radio station. After graduating from Northwestern, he pursued his passion for journalism. "One of the reasons I wanted to be in journalism was because I wanted to be helpful and useful to people in some way." Also interested in pop culture, Rich's first job out of college was as a fact checker for People magazine. Rich's career took him from that position, to becoming a reporter, Senior Editor, then Washington correspondent and Executive Editor for Money Magazine and others.
During his career, he worked remotely and was an early adopter for working with people all over the country, from his home office. "I didn't have any problem with it," he tells us. Now, Rich is still writing a column and hosting a podcast, writing book reviews for People, plus volunteering and pursuing other opportunities such as getting involved in a NYU student program on digital media and book publishing. Carl asks Rich what he's learned in the last 9 months. "I'm still writing, but trying some new things and liking the mix of the two. So far, so good!"
Richard Eisenberg's (Un)Retirement Advice:
"Until you're actually in it, (unretirement) you can't know exactly how it will be. Maybe the scariest part will be having a blank calendar with nothing filled in on it. So you'll need to figure out how much you want to fill it up. Some people will want to have stuff every day. Some people may want lots of free days. You have to spend some time thinking about how you want to spend your time."
"Don't be scared-- realize you are going to make some mistakes. There's really no right way to do it."
On becoming too busy: "Saying 'No' to opportunities can make you feel uncomfortable sometimes. There's an adjustment period."
"People need to be able to find meaning and purpose in their lives--whether it's part-time work, or volunteering, or spirituality, but they have to have a reason to get up in the morning. Sometimes they're following a passion, or seeing a need, and then finding a way to serve that."
Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” blog.