Hello! I'm Wendy and I retired in 2010 from 35 years with County government, the last 25 years as the Retirement Manager.
Retirement is my passion... and I knew I wanted to continue to help retirees post-retirement, thus this website!
As a Retirement Coach, I feel a deep need to help those who get "stuck" in retirement. Just when we should be living THE LIFE, we feel lost. How does that happen?
WHY blog about retirement? Why not simply retire and enjoy life?
Hmmm, good question!
I'm the type who can't stop thinking. I have plenty of time to relax, feel peace within me, and enjoy life... but like many others, sometimes that free time is just too much. (Psst! A blog is a good way to keep busy and yet stay retired...)
I need to share this odd time of life called Retirement --
I have written on most topics that are "all things retirement". Many retirees have written their stories or retirement issues on this site too!
Help and Be Helped Here!
I was employed with a County government employer for over thirty five years. I was the Retirement Manager from 1985-2010. At first, it was just another job -- and although I was happy to get it, I knew little about this lifestyle called "retirement" (only that you stop working).
After a few years in this position, I realized how daunting the concept of retirement is for most folks. I also realized I love everything about retirement -- the more I learned, the more I needed to know so I could help retirees.
For the past 25 years, I've also worked with thousands of retirees. I've listened to their hopes and dreams (and also their fears) going into retirement. Later, they have revealed their happiness and disappointments in the retirement years. I hope I can use my experiences to help you, in some small way, to navigate the retirement issues that face you.
Before I retired, maybe 2005-2009, I struggled with my own retirement. I just couldn't seem to walk away.... and yet, I really wanted to! This is one life decision that is NOT easy.
First, I wrote a post about my emotional retirement decision. I even answered my own retirement questions!
Then, my retirement decision, which is subtitled: You'll Know When You are Ready! I totally shocked myself when I suddenly gave only two weeks notice.
I retired in April 2010, and wrote this page the day before I retired.
It's Official, I did retire!
Two weeks into retirement, time flies by (but what the heck did I do)?!
Four months into retirement, here I go again...
Six months retired, I sound happy, positive...
I had little to say about my first year of retirement, I think I was lost most of 2010-2011. Seriously, like many others, just lost.
We all need friendships in retirement...
Me? Volunteer? Yep, I did.. only for a week, but it's a start!
Here I am at my 2 year anniversary of retirement (April 2012).
In 2012, We visited Saugatuck, MI for our wedding anniversary, and that anniversary number didn't sit well. I can deal with aging, so what's the problem, Wendy?
Late 2012, and finally getting around to Retirement and the Gym.... update: it didn't last long. Gym work is just not for me... <grin!>
Three year anniversary is April 2013. It was a busy 3rd year!!
In 2015, I've written so much on retirement, started a Retirement Community, and I'm an Amazon author too (3 books in 2015). Woo Hoo!
In 2017, I joined the Retirement Coaches Association. I'm proud to be a charter member!
A few years before I retired, I studied to become a Certified Senior Advisor... not for my employment, but for myself. I wanted to know more about retirement and seniors, a historical perspective, as well as the social aspects of this topic. Now, I can share my knowledge on the pages of this website. 2014 UPDATE: I allowed my certification to lapse, instead of an annual fee. I received education I was seeking.
After I retired, I became a facilitator for Too Young To Retire Workshops. It's not about age, it's about your definition of "retirement" and choosing to remain active instead... I love that! I learned so much. I went through the program with the author, Howard Stone, and that was a great experience. Howard is a wise sage, and yet a yoga-laughter instructor. Interesting man!
I am a Certified Life Coach and Retirement Coach via the Life Purpose Institute. This certification helps me help retirees find the answers within you. Lots of self exploration (something few of us do over our lives), a little motivation, and being held accountable helps you to find your retirement lifestyle.
I was totally thrilled to be coached during my training and my coach's acknowledgement really hit home with me. Fun Fun!
In 2013, my church sent me to study the Stephen Ministry program. I am now a Stephen Minister and a Stephen Minister Leader... though my church chose not to make the program active, after my training. Oh well... lots learned and applied on my site and in life! All Good.
For a few years, it was all about NAMS (Novice to Advanced Marketing Systems) and NAMS conferences (until they ended). I was learning more about online business and marketing... fascinating!
In 2014, I was awarded a Lifetime NAMS status because I completed twelve monthly challenges. They were not easy, but I was challenged and nothing could stop me.
The funny award reads: The official NAMS Evangelist, Cheerleader, and 12 Challenge Winner!
I love NAMS (Novice to Advanced Marketing Systems)! Fun times!
I was busy brain training with John Assaraf's Neurogym in late 2016. I am really changing my mindsets and learning so much about the brain and neuroscience. The more I learn about ME, the more I can help YOU fix your mindset too. Our minds are so darn powerful and yet we live only a fraction of what is possible for us!
I joined the Retirement Coaches Association in September 2017!
I attended the first and second Retirement Coaches Association conferences (2017 and 2018). They were great events and everyone talked my language! Love learning about retirement!
In early 2019, I found Kyle Cease (the "Comedy Meets Transformation" guy) and I love him! Just google his name on Youtube (lots out there) or to find his website. Some of his events/courses were: I Hope I Screw This Up and Life is a Playground. Takes the critical nonsense in our minds far away and you begin to seriously have fun in life!
June 2019: Added Larry Stewart to my site as the Working In Retirement Coach. Hoping to add a few more R-O contributors soon! Woot!
To me, there are two concepts in retirement to consider:
Time and Money
Most of us LOVE the concept of "no work" and doing what we want to do with our own time... BUT the thought of living off savings, pensions, and Social Security is downright scary.
Retirees, financially, are amazingly diverse... some have and some do not, and lots of degrees in between. This website is really not about the financial aspects of retirement though I have lots of information on money issues -- pensions, savings, Social Security, disability retirement.
As humans, working, disabled, or retired, I think we have continuing needs, desires, and goals to be productive in some manner. In fact, I KNOW we do!
Some retirees will be happy simply living near grandchildren to help them daily, others need meaningful relationships, sharing life with others, or "work" to do to make them feel "whole".
Many people spend more time,
Planning for a two week vacation --
Than they do for RETIREMENT,
Which can be the next 20 - 30 Years!
So, who are you and what will YOU do with the rest of your life?
Bottom Line: I want to share the retirement experience with you - in the hopes that you gain something to help you through your own retirement.
Despite processing paperwork and walking thousands of new retirees through the retirement process, it's easy when it's "your" retirement, not so easy when suddenly it's "mine". How did I get here crossing the threshold of retirements doorstep? Am I really that old? grin!
This is a huge transition in life! You suddenly rethink life, what you accomplished, what you left behind...
Retirement is a Journey...
Not A Destination!
I hope to share my two cents with you, and hope to share the views of many retired folks worldwide -- so that we all learn more about retirement and how seniors can live full productive FUN lives!
I hope to share oodles of what I've learned over the years, and if only one person finds one thought that will help them find joy or put them at peace with retirement, I am happy and absolutely thrilled...
Retirement Decisions aren't easy!
P.S. Believe it or not, I Retired to the Internet! I have a nice supplemental income from this website and totally enjoy the "work"... (it's not work when you are having fun!)
Wendy's other site... because Aging Matters!