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

Richard Haiduck Interview: A New Spin on (Un)Retirement

Diana Landau | January 19, 2021
Richard Haiduck was Carl’s guest on the podcast this week. Richard is a former Life Sciences Exec who just published his new book, Shifting Gears: 50 Baby Boomers Share Their Meaningful Journeys in RetirementThe book is based on interviews with retirees who share how they are shifting gears in their (un)retirement. Sometimes they shift smoothly, sometimes they grind the gears, and often they take some time to find their groove. The stories reveal the rich abundance of “second life” adventures, from the exotic to the mundane. It’s about the joys, challenges, and inspirations that are a part of the journey in this next stage of life.  
The interview started out extremely well when Carl asked his guest, as an icebreaker, if he knew anything about Pickleball. (Carl asks this question to every single guest, and so far he was 0-13.) Richard not only knew all about it, he has a court on his property(!) and plays often with his grandkids. So excited to get his very first positive response, Carl talked about how pickleball is the great equalizer, anyone can play together, it’s great exercise and super fun.
Now to the core of the interview—Richard grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and attended Miami University in Ohio. Even as a 7-year old, Richard knew he wanted to be an author. He wrote every day for one year, writing all kinds of fiction. Then he just stopped, wanting to focus on other kid-things like riding his bike, hanging out with friends, etc. A couple decades later, Richard turned that laser focus to the life sciences, working as a CEO for start-up bio-tech companies, their mission to discover breakthroughs in medicine.
After many years of living in Singapore and New Zealand, Richard then decided to pivot, setting up his own consulting practice. He wanted to share his knowledge and lessons learned to help new CEO’s of bio-tech start ups. He had two criteria for mentoring clients: “I worked with people I liked and I liked what they were working on.” Carl agreed that is one of the advantages of being an entrepreneur. He added, “You get to choose your employees AND choose your clients.”
Richard charted a wise and gradual course into (un)retirement life. Every year, over a span of 5 years, he began reducing his client load by 20% and adding a retirement activity. The goal was to phase out of work and ease into (un)retirement without that hard shift from “Monday you’re the boss, and Tuesday it all stops.” Richard and Carl acknowledged that depending on your profession, it’s not so easy for some people to do it that way.
Now fully in (un)retirement, Richard still cycles 3,000 miles a year, among other pursuits. As Richard talks with his friends and his network, he noticed a familiar thread. They were doing all these amazing things in retirement but not necessarily sharing about it. His desire to become an author, from all those years ago, came back. He wanted to write a book about their experiences to share with others. “I had two criteria for the book. 1) the process was enjoyable, and 2) over time, it had to feel like a useful book to people.”
A “relaxed intensity” theme emerged from these stories. Many people could still become deeply immersed in something, but in a more relaxed way. To explain it further, Richard said, “It’s like you take on something that’s difficult and a challenge without ripping your insides out about it.  You just can’t do that in your 30’s.” The end result is (un)retirees are combining joy with a sense of purpose.
Richard’s (un)retirement advice:
 •     I used to be somebody, I’m still somebody—just different now.
 •     Before you make the decision to retire, be sure you are able to identify what you are going to.
 •     Try it on and see, if it doesn’t work, move on!
 •     Define what this new freedom really means to you.
To learn more about Richard Haiduck: visit his website.
For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, Episode #14 with Richard Haiduck.
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   cycling   author   retirement   advice  

Dream Team (Un)Retirement Advice

Diana Landau | January 01, 2021

There are so many well-meaning people full of advice for you on what to do in retirement. We say don’t retire! Consider doing something new and more meaningful. (Maybe not work 40 hours a week either.) Here’s some wise advice from our I Used to Be Somebody guests on taking the steps toward the (Un)Retirement of your dreams:


“It’s essential to find your new tribe, whether it’s a new organization, golf, etc. You have to get out there. Do not isolate. We need connection, we are social beings.” Joan Ryan, Sports Journalist and Best-Selling Author




“Your career was your identity. How do you want to redefine your identity now, for yourself and to others? ….Remember that you have a lot to give AND have a lot of experience. You have value!” - Deborah McColloch, Philadelphia’s Former Housing Chief 



“Keep your goals realistic and attainable. Think about what talents and skills you have honed throughout the years that could be an advantage in some new way.” - Moira McGarvey Black, Best-Selling Author




"I knew I wanted to retire to something, not from something." - Mark Shaiken, Award-Winning Photographer






"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." - Joe Pulizzi, Godfather of Content Marketing



“Do something meaningful that has an impact for people-- that will in turn accelerate their success too.” -  Jim Roddy, Publisher, Author, Speaker





“When you do something new, you have to have a certain amount of patience.” - Barry Pincus, Former COO for NY Yankees, Martha Stewart and others 





“YOU choose what “balance” is and what work you take on. There’s so much to get involved in, you have to decide what you really want for you—first." - Michela O’Connor Abrams, CEO




“We get caught up in the troubles of life—the world, politics, family, etc. Life is short. Make an effort to enjoy it and be fulfilled.” - Richard Turner, Photographer, Poet and Author





“Take any door that opens and walk through it. If you work hard, people will help you to succeed.” - Bob Tuschman, Former Food Network Exec




“Don’t EVER retire! What’s so wonderful about life is that there are so many new surprises; you just have to look for them. “ - Mike Krukow, SF Giants Sports Broadcaster






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   advice   quotes   joan ryan   debb mccolloch   moira mcgarvey black   mark shaiken   joe pulizzi   jim roddy   bary pincus   michaela oconnor abrams   richard turner   bob tuschman   mike krukow  

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