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

Is 80 the new 40?

Carl Landau | October 06, 2020

Is there some movie that you've never seen for some reason and the whole world except you has seen it? Well this week to calm ourselves with the craziness of 2020 we decided randomly to watch "On Golden Pond". That’s right, I had never seen it. 


I am sure that 99% of you have seen this movie but for those 1%-ers (the non-movie-watching people, not the super rich people). It's about this older couple, played by Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, who return to their beloved cabin on a lake and are dealing with aging. For Norman (Henry Fonda) it also means dealing with his tense relationship with his daughter, played by Jane Fonda, in the movie and in real life. BTW: Jane Fonda rocks her bikini in this 1981 movie--probably still does now.


Norman is turning 80 in the movie. What is striking is how an 80 year old is portrayed 40 years ago. He seems ancient. Today being healthy and active at 80 is so common. Many people in their 80s are doing amazing things. This week, for example, I had Richard Turner in our tiki bar studio for a socially distanced interview. Richard is 82 with a thriving photography and writing career. My wife's Great Aunt Vera is 89 and a total live wire who keeps all of us on our toes. 


Things have changed so much in the aging process. It's encouraging for us all. The key is to keep on GOING...MOVING...BE POSITIVE...THINK THE BEST OF OTHERS. This terrible COVID time has made me and everyone else slow down. In some crazy way, it has given us time to be more patient and reflective with ourselves and others.

Tags:    the carl diary   retirement   aging   thriving  

Adventures in Finding the Right Financial Retirement Advice!

Diana Landau | September 28, 2020

Finding the right financial advisor at this stage of your life that can answer those questions for you is critical. Can you afford that dream trip or helping your grandson through college? How do you maximize what you have now for your long-term plans? We asked Ian Castille, CFP®, to give us some tips on how to choose the right financial advisor. Ian specializes in helping his clients navigate the financial transition to retirement.


Here’s what Ian had to say:


“Here are a few comments/considerations I would provide to someone looking for a financial advisor:


  1. You are the priority: Make sure you find someone who is obligated to put your interests first. (Not the brokerage company they work for, not their potential sale commission, etc.) The financial services industry refers to this obligation as a "Fiduciary Standard of Care"


  1. Understanding your financial situation: As uncomfortable as it may be at first, you want someone who is going to "get in your business". Within the first 30 minutes of an introductory meeting with a financial advisor, they should be asking questions that lead you to reveal more about your personal finances than your best friend or family members know about you. Good advice comes from a deep understanding of personal circumstances and applying expertise within that context.


  1. Personality matters: A good financial advisor will be part of your "inner circle" and you should enjoy working with them and soliciting their input. If you dislike someone or they rub you the wrong way, you are less likely to implement their recommendations.


  1. Specializations and niche focus: If you happen to find an advisor that specializes in serving your particular career/industry or life circumstance, chances are they have a deeper understanding of your situation and challenges.


  1. Certifications, education, and experience: This can be important, but it's last on the list for a reason. Credentials help establish a certain level of competence and commitment but more credentials doesn't always translate to better advice.”


About the author: Ian Castille, CFP®, is a Principal and Senior Financial Advisor at Capital Advantage, Inc. Ian specializes in helping his clients navigate the financial transition to retirement. His work usually includes personalized strategies to reduce taxes, make smarter investment decisions, and optimize income streams. Capital Advantage, Inc. is a Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisory firm, founded in 1982.

Tags:    blog   financial planning   financial advisor   retirement  

Your (Un) Retirement Super Power

Carl Landau | September 22, 2020

When we launched Pickleball Media and started our podcast, I looked at this project in the same way I did in my previous career. In podcasting, like most media businesses, it’s all about how to build an audience. So you do that via email and social media and through providing great content that will attract the right group.


It's not easy starting to build an audience from scratch. Without going into the boring details, we took all the right steps. But like anything there are some parts I like to do and... some I don't. Surprisingly, I like building out an audience contact list, talking to sponsors and creating content. And I really like the interviewing part of the podcast. It's the personal contact and interaction with creative types that gives me energy. 


But I really don't enjoy the social media part at all. And then it hit me... I don't need to do that. We'll do the basic stuff but I don't want to sweat the details of hardcore, daily social media. I just want to concentrate on what's fun for me. 


I guess my point is that I had to give myself permission to just do what I want to do in (un)retirement versus what I needed or had to do in my previous career. Sometimes I think we all get caught up in what we used to do. Now we need to figure out what we want to do!

Tags:    the carl diary   retirement   choices   media   career  

Mr. Idea Man Joe Pulizzi

Diana Landau | September 21, 2020

Carl recently interviewed the great Joe Pulizzi on our I Used to Be Somebody podcast. Joe is full of great ideas and has been jotting them down in his journal for decades. Here’s the thing with Joe… he actually accomplishes those dream goals.


Joe left his day job in publishing in 2006 and armed with a plan and his wife Pam’s steadfast encouragement, he launched the Content Marketing Institute. With the Internet taking over every aspect of modern business Joe realized the marketing model of the future was all about brands creating all kinds of great content to attract audiences. His Content Marketing World events attracted thousands of attendees wanting to learn more.


Back then, Joe wrote down in his journal that he wanted to sell this company in less than ten years for at least $15 million. In reality, he sold the company in 2015 for $17.9 million. Talk about making your own luck!


On the podcast, Carl and Joe talked about what life was like after he sold. Joe said he was really panicked for a while, didn’t know what to do next, what he should be doing. He was only 47 and didn’t want to retire, exactly.


Here are 3 key takeaways from Joe’s journey of selling his company to a successful (un)retirement:


  1. Take some time and DO NOTHING. Joe took a 12-month sabbatical, in which he shut down social media, spent quality time with family and travelled the world.

  2. You will have other goals now and they will be very different. If you’ve been driving hard in your work life for 30-40 years, it’s hard to suddenly slow down. Creating a work life with more fun and less grind takes practice. After writing 6 business books on marketing, Joe took some time and wrote a best-selling mystery thriller, The Will to Die.

  3. Recognize that you have some real time and resources now to make an impact on the world. Joe and his wife founded the Orange Effect Foundation, to raise funds for kids who need speech therapy, many with autism. Speech therapy changed his son’s life, and now the Orange Effect helps other families in profound ways. 


Think of (un)retirement as an adventure. Don’t add stress to your life if it’s not perfectly planned out yet. The key is to take some time, identify what you want to do and then go for it!!!


For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, Episode #1 with Joe Pulizzi. For listening details go to our website!

To learn more about Joe, visit his website!


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   joe pulizzi   marketing   content marketing   retirement   podcast   luck   episodes  

Practice Makes Perfect, Or How to Plan a Mini-Retirement

Diana Landau | August 31, 2020

Planning on retiring soon? Then you already know there’s a ton of information out there for soon-to-be-retirees. “Get your health insurance squared away, have savings for emergencies, more health and financial stuff, blah blah, blah.”

We are going to assume that you’ve already got these important topics under control. But have you thought about scheduling a “mini-retirement” before that big “last day” arrives?

A mini-retirement is a scheduled and budgeted time away from work that is different than a vacation or a sabbatical. You try out what your life will look like when you don’t ever go back to that career. (We’ll be honest:it takes a little work not to work!)


5 Tips to Planning a Successful Mini-Retirement


How long feels right to you? 

Schedule a block of time and make sure it’s long enough. Is six months possible?

How much to spend?

Budget for this time differently. Vision what your lifestyle will be without all the work perks and paychecks. (And we’re not talking about going without an abundance of office supplies.) 

Manage the worry factor.

This is a big one: Don’t assume your mini-retirement means you are going to be worrying about your finite bank account all the time. Figure out a way to emotionally grasp this now so you don’t dampen your joy post-retirement.

Think and think some more.

Plan your time during this period and keep a journal. This is a time is for social activities and health, but also reflection.. What do you want your life to look like in your Second Act?

Consider the possibility you won’t return to work after all. 

After months away from work and plenty of rest, you may end up wanting different things now. Maybe you’ve tapped into creativity you never knew you had. Or settled on your post-retirement career or project.

There is no one right way to plan for a mini- (or real) retirement. Only you can figure out what works best for you. But try it! This little checklist can help get you started. And what’s better than making you the priority? 


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   retirement   vacation   mini-retirement   work   budget