I Used to Be Somebody: (Un)Retirement Lessons Learned

Chris Farrell Interview: Push Back on Boomer Stereotypes in Our Economy

Diana Landau | January 12, 2021
Carl interviewed Chris Farrell this week. Chris has an impressive resume: economist, economics editor of Marketplace Money, a radio show host on American Public Media, a radio host on Minnesota Public Radio, and columnist for the Star Tribune and PBS Next Avenue. Chris has also written five best-selling books, most recently Purpose and a Paycheck: Finding Meaning, Money and Happiness in the Second Half of Life.
 
Chris has studied and reported on economic trends for decades. For years people speculated on the Boomer generation and what would happen as they age. 
 
FACT: Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers will celebrate their 65th birthday every single day until 2030.
 
Chris combined scholarly research with firsthand reporting to debunk the popular myth that an aging population is a burden on the economy. Instead, he found that people in the second half of life could be as creative, innovative and entrepreneurial as their younger peers. “The Boomer big shift is to starting a business, as solopreneurs or micropreneurs. They have knowledge, experience, typically they have contacts—and it doesn’t cost much to start a business these days. Whether they are forced to start a business or it’s something they want to do, it’s becoming a significant trend in our economy.”
 
In his youth, Chris went to Stanford and after graduation became a Merchant Marine, working all over the world for a year before attending the London School of Economics. Carl reminisced about his 20’s in San Francisco and how exciting it was to start up his first magazine. Chris agreed, noting that people need to lighten up on a lot of the young people in their mid-20’s. “You don’t have to decide your career early on. You can experiment, you can shift, and actually most people I know may have had some sort of idea what they wanted to do, but would end up doing something very different.”
 
Over the course of his career, Chris has been a columnist for Businessweek, The New York Times, Kiplinger's and many others. “One of the things many of us have learned over the course of our careers is what you do—it’s important you enjoy it and like it all and a lot of that comes from the people you are surrounded with; Are they smart, are they engaging, do they care? …..Be around people you want to be with!”
 
Some of Chris’s tips on contemplating (un) retirement:
 
1. Carve out some daily time for introspection. 
2. Then go to your network and ask them what they think. Your network knows you and cares about you and will help you hone in on your strengths.
3. This is not a “one and done” decision. That never works. Have that experimental mindset.
4. Realize the significance of (un) retirement and entrepreneurship. 
 
“I’m so impressed with how creative people are and what they end up doing,” added Chris. “One of the most heartening economic trends I've seen in our economy is multi-generational start-ups—it’s a wonderful trend.” 
 
To learn more about Chris Farrell, visit his website.
 
For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, Episode #12 with Chris Farrell.
 
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” weekly blog.
Tags:    blog   interview   Chris Farrell   unretirement   boomer  

10 Time Hacks for Boomers

Diana Landau | July 27, 2020

In your Second Act, no one manages your time except you! At first, a big, wide-open retirement calendar can be fun. But at some point you realize you really don’t want to waste your time. And we all need a sense of accomplishment, no matter where we’re focusing our energies. It can be easy to get overwhelmed looking at an ever-growing  list of all the things you want (or need) to do. On the other hand, running around with everything in your head slows you way down. 

 

So how do you best manage your days?

 

Desmond Tutu wisely said “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” Here is a quick list of 10 tips to get you organized to meet your goals. The key here is to better construct your schedule so you can spend the majority of your time as you wish!

 

1. Assign a time limit for each task you want to accomplish. For example, if you want to clean your office, assign 2-hour increments. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you break it up into manageable segments.

 

2. Itemize the “big ones”. For bigger tasks that may take longer, set up a to-do list tailored specifically to that goal.  Tackling each step gets you closer to that larger accomplishment.

 

3. Don’t abandon tasks. Take your list-crafting seriously and don’t ignore what you’ve written down. Procrastination is one of the biggest time-wasters. Don’t give in to it.

 

4. There’s an app for that. Believe it or not, there are many new apps out there to help with time management. For example, RescueTime helps you understand your time in a way you never have before.

 

5.  Set aside time to plan your attack. The night before, take 15 minutes to plan your day, and include in some down time. It’s important to be realistic. One solution could be to wake up an hour earlier.

 

6. Tackle very important tasks in the morning.  Although there are true night-owl exceptions, many of us have most of our energy in the morning, after a night’s sleep. 

 

7. Consider batching tasks that are similar. You can save time using the same skills for the same sort of to-dos. For example, don’t make one appointment or follow up call, make three. 

 

8. Delegate, outsource, even ask for help. TaskRabbit and Thumbtack are go-to resources when you need help. And although most of us don’t want to bother friends or family, you are missing out on an opportunity to return the favor. That’s what makes the world go-round.

 

9. Limit your time on social media and online surfing. Seriously. Set a timer on your phone and when the timer goes off, get up out of that chair and MOVE.

 

10. Celebrate each completion! Crossing items off your to-do list creates daily optimism and is empowering. Your valuable time is now free for tracking dreams. 

 

Jot it down, get it done and then go have fun!

 

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 weekly blog. 

Tags:    baby boomer   career   top 10 list   time management   time tracking app   task list   retirement     

No One Told Me

Carl Landau | July 15, 2020

1. No one told me that in retirement, no one wants your expertise about that work you did for the last 20+ years. (Not even your spouse. Maybe your dog.)
 

2. No one told me that in retirement, taking a nap isn’t as fun as it used to be. You lay down for a moment (or three) to rest a little…and you’re afraid you might not get up again!
 

3. No one told me that my significant other is so busy. Here I thought they’d drop everything and focus on ME when I retired.
 

4. No one told me that in retirement that I’d get around to that consistent exercise routine and finally get in shape…but I’d have injuries! Pulled muscles! Playing through the aches! I can go on…
 

5. No one told me that I’d have to make new friends at my age. Not so easy! I think it’s harder for guys and more so if you had an all-consuming career.
 

6. No one told me that in retirement, the two most powerful words are YES and NO. Yes, I would like to go to dinner or see that new play! No, I do not want to join your committee with 30 weekly phone calls/emails and 5 meetings each month!
 

7. No one told me that in retirement, people would assume I do nothing all day. Not true! What’s different is now I control what I want to do and when I want to do it.
 

8. No one told me that in retirement, I would actually want to work, but just in a different way.  (Less grind, more fun!)  In fact, 3 in 5 retirees plan to launch a new line of work that differs from what they have done in the past.*
 

9. No one told me that in my Second Act, I would find my new work life so rewarding!
 

10. No one told me that in (un)retirement, there are so many people just like me—people who actually feel younger, not older! *
 

* Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations

**Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality

Tags:    baby boomer   unretirement   career   lessons   second act   retirement