Episode 29: The New Retirement: Jan Cullinane
Sooner or later everyone has to make a decision about when they retire, what it looks like, and where they want to spend their retirement. Our guest today, Jan Cullinane, is co-author of the book, “The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide To The Rest of Your Life.” Her book tackles the basic questions of what to do in your retirement and is especially thorough in exploring where you should spend it. Cullinane and Fitzgerald, her co-author, give a report card to each community they recommend, grading them on climate, cost of living, health care, transportation and things to do. As you might expect, Florida’s coastal communities rank among their favorites but so do Reno (perhaps you’ll find a new career at its professional bartending school!) and Asheville, North Carolina. The interview also addresses the questions, how do you know if you’re really ready for retirement and what are the secret ingredients for a great retirement.
Jan Cullinane has a B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Maryland and she’s the Retirement Expert for the NABBW (National Association of Baby Boomer Women). She is a regular contributor to “Ocean Breeze” and “Let Life In” magazines.
David Debin: Hello and welcome to “The Third Age” with the doctor and the man from Hollywood. I am David.-Oh! Yes! Thank you! - I am David Debin the man from Hollywood. The doctor is Peter Brill MD. But the doctor is not in the house today. We have got another kind of a doctor Bernie Sandler KD. What is KD?
Jan Cullinane Yeah! What is KD?
David Debin: That is a doctor of kibitzing.
Jan Cullinane: Kibitz?
David Debin: Yeah! So how am I doing, Dr. Kibitzing? Kibitz me up a little bit. I don’t hear him.
Jan Cullinane: Yeah. I know.
David Debin: Wait a second. What is going on here folks? Could you get her and tell her that…Hey, here we are.
Jan Cullinane: The kibitzing doctor is…
David Debin: The kibitzing doctor needs a microphone Lisa. The kibitzing doctor does not…There he goes. Let’s hear him. Still don’t hear him.
Bernie Sandler: Hello. There I am.
David Debin: There we go.
Bernie Sandler: Maybe I wasn’t close enough. Maybe it was turned off.
David Debin: No. No. It was turned off.
Bernie Sandler: I will take full responsibility. The girl did a great job.
David Debin: Yes. Yes.
Bernie Sandler: I am going to kibitz on you David. Say something kibitzable. I need to have material.
David Debin: Ok. How are you today?
Bernie Sandler: That is not a good one.
David Debin: Well I saw you limping. You went skiing. What happened to you.
Bernie Sandler: I was still denying my age, for the last time. I gave up skiing this year, officially after I got a totally wonderful new outfit to ski in.
David Debin: Yeah. I hear about your…
Bernie Sandler: I have guilt.
David Debin: I hear all about your outfit. So you skied because you got a new outfit.
Bernie Sandler: I skied because I had to ski because I felt, you know, stop skiing is like… That is one of the things that I find happens when you get older. You’re supposed to stop doing things and I refuse to stop doing them because the theory is if you stop doing them you n=have nothing to do and that is where the fallacy is. You have to do different things.
So I am learning now to watch ski movies.
I am going to watch more television tennis matches and the late night shows. I am going to watch more of those too.
David Debin: Ah well, you are going to get a real work out, Dr. Sandler. Now as our regular listeners know on this show we turn the myths of aging upside down, which is what you are not doing right now. And we tell you everything you need to know about living in the third age.
Today., by the way, we are going to talk about retirement. We have a very special guest. What is your take on retirement Dr. K.
Jan Cullinane: Yeah, Dr. K.
David Debin: Dr. Bernie., what is your take on retirement?
Bernie Sandler: My take on retirement is this reminds me of the term when I was a kid when your car had a bad tire you retired it. You put a new tread on an old carcass. Well it sounds like that to me. And I think there was a different word. I was talking to one of your interns today and she kind of agreed with me that the word should be not retire but aspire.
David Debin: Aspire.
Bernie Sandler: Yeah. I am reaching to my age of aspirement. I am going to aspire now. Retiring means, what happens at a party if someone says I am going to retire. “Oh good night.” They are off to sleep. But I aspire to retire.
David Debin: Well how can you fit the concept of retiring into aspiring? Reaspireing. How about that?
Bernie Sandler: No. I think I am going to…I live in the now and right now from here forward I am aspiring. The past is old news. I mean, you know, I can read about that.
David Debin: You live in the now.
Bernie Sandler: I am trying to.
David Debin: What happened to…?
Bernie Sandler: I just left the now. Now I am back in the present with you again.
David Debin: That’s it. Oop you’re not in the now. And now you were just…ooop.
Bernie Sandler: George Carland.
David Debin: We are going into the future. What is that Goerge Carland thing? When you are five you can’t wait to be six. When you are five you tell people, if you have six months behind you. I am five and a half.
Bernie Sandler: Six and a half. I am almost eighty.
David Debin: Then you hit thirty, right?
Bernie Sandler: Right. And you slam right in
David Debin: You turn twenty but then you hit thirty.
Bernie Sandler: You slam into forty.
David Debin: Then in the end you tell people you’re…I tell people I am older then I am so everybody can say, “God, you don’t look that old.”
Bernie Sandler: Isn’t that something when you think you look good…Like I think I look good for my age, right?
David Debin: You do.
Bernie Sandler: Which is like saying, for an old car it doesn’t rattle a lot.
David Debin: You have been retired very well.
Jan Cullinane: Yes.
Bernie Sandler: I have been aspiring.
Jan Cullinane: Aspiring.
Bernie Sandler: But I really think that what happens is that you get into that stage where you start saying… I find myself doing little chicken’s thing. What happens is I find myself getting a massage in Vegas. And I go in with someone that I have never met before in a pretty good condition. I would say, “ just for kicks, I mean, your tip doesn’t depend on this. How old do you think I really am? Be honest.” Sure she is going to be honest. “Be honest” she says, “Oh, 50’s. “and I said, “No. Now I know you are lying to me. So I am not going to tip you.” “I really think you are probably 65. Is that right?” So they go on and on. It is a horrible battle because it is a no win game because at best they are going to give it to at our age, “Gee, you look great for late 50’s early 60’s.” And that is not much of a reward.
David Debin: I can’t imagine what you really want. But, you know, sooner or later everyone has to make a decision about when they retire, what it looks like, where they want to spend their retirement.. Many of us here in Santa Barbara have made the where decision already and it it definitely an expensive one.
Our guest today, who is Jan Cullinane. I hope I am pronounicng it right. I will ask her. Will tell us about other options. Where the best retirement options are and what do we need to make it there. She is co-author of the book “ The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life”. So stick with us for this enlightening interview. It is a best selling book and I think she will have a lot to say.
Bernie you need to find out more about retirement because obviously you are having to much fun. You should be sitting back ,watching more tv, taking rides a richoshaw or something.
Bernie Sandler: Denial is a great friend.I mean, because I see there is no value into buying into the stero types that have been presented to us. For example, we live in Claifornia. We are kind of a Hollywood kind of guys. We are not the same people, for give us, from Montana because people in Montana at 40 and 50 years old look like my grandparents.
David Debin: How do you know that? Nobody…
Bernie Sandler: I have seen many of those people.
David Debin: Are you a Montana expert?
Bernie Sandler: Well, Iowa.
Jan Cullinane: that is a sterotype.
David Debin: Oh make an insult to Iowa too.
Bernie Sandler: I have spent time in Iowo, Nebraska
David Debin: So far we have got to appologize to Montana to Iowa.
Bernie Sandler: All the blue states.
David Debin: You are getting us deeper and deeper in trouble. The more you speak the deeper we get into trouble.
Bernie Sandler: Well the deeper we get into trouble the more room we have to dig out. So this is good. It gives us something to do in our retirement.
David Debin: Well you know what we ought to do now? We might do the news story for a little humor. I think you need to be perked up a little bit. So I am going to tell you…
Bernie Sandler: Ok. This coffee is working.
David Debin: I am going to tell you a couple of stories that come out of today’s newspapers, ok?
There are outlaws terrorizing Poland and Germany. Did you know that?
Bernie Sandler: No. I never heard about that.
David Debin: Ok. Well a pair of bank robbers burst into tears and collapsed choking in Poland. Did you know that?
Bernie Sandler: No. but it sounds good.
David Debin: A local policeman said, “They told the cashier to open the till and then tried to put her out of action by using pepper spray on her but the down side of it was they were in front of a heating unit. So they tried to grab the cash but the pepper sprayed back in their faces because of the blast of warm air from the heater.”
Bernie Sandler: Red hot chili peppers.
David Debin: So they collapsed to the floor. They were choking. They were crawling trying to get out. They only managed to escape because they had a pal outside in a get away car.” , said the Polish police. Security cameras showed that the crooks were wearing a wooly black baklavage. Although, Polish media speculated if they strike again they might well have switched to gas masks.
Bernie Sandler: That is a very interesting story David.
David Debin: Ok. I’ve got a better one for you.
Bernie Sandler: I was glad I was doing palates while you were watching the news this morning.
David Debin: Here is one called “a good sheep will do that”. German police are trying to place the owner of a sheep which out ran police patrol cars and beat up a police dos, Bernie. Police in the German village of Ghester say the sheep ran through the streets of the town at more than 30 miles per hour. It reportedly leapt over the barnets of police cars used as a road block to cut off its escape and- I am not going to tell you what happened here.- they are still chasing that sheep.
Bernie Sandler: You know what I think? I would like to see the picture who was the guy chasing the sheep.
David Debin: Yeah.
Bernie Sandler: That made him run that fast.
David Debin: We are going to put that in a move too.
Talking to our guest Jan Cullinane. She is the co-author of the best selling book “The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life”. She has a Bs. We have a BS here, Bernie Sandler.
Bernie Sandler: That is my initials.
David Debin: We have two BSs. He is more of a B.S. though.
And a Master of Education from the University of Maryland and she is the retirement expert for NABBW (National Association of Baby Boomer Women). I think that was started by Dotsie Braygo, right? Yeah! We will find out. And a regular contributor to Ocean Breeze and Let Life In Magazine.
Jan Cullinane: Hello! How are you today?
David Debin: We’re pretty good. Thanks for being with us.
Jan Cullinane: I’m delighted to be here.
David Debin: We understand that you also have the bizarre ability to speak backwards.
Jan Cullinane: That is right. In fact, I even tried…
David Debin: Why?
Jan Cullinane: out for David Letterman’s stupid human tricks but didn’t make it.
David Debin: Well, I was thinking if I said, “ Olleh naj.” What does that mean?
Jan Cullinane: Hello Jan.
David Debin: How about that?
Jan Cullinane: And I would say, “olleh divad” .
David Debin: Hello David. Do you actually…
Bernie Sandler: I read it.
David Debin: Do you visualize it?
Jan Cullinane: : I can just visualize it. [speaking backwards] drawkcab klat nac I ekil tsuj drawrof klat nac I . I can talk forward just like I can talk backward. Sentences just like I talk forward. So yes.
David Debin: That is fascinating.
Bernie Sandler: She speaks with a forked tongue. This is very dangerous.
Jan Cullinane: I am usually asked if I am dyslexic but, no, I can just sort of visualize it and/or see it in the air floating and kind of read it backwards.
David Debin: Well at least it is something fun that you can do in retirement, right? Is talk backwards.
Jan Cullinane: Right. Because I have got many hours of you 168 a week for trying to meaningfully use.
David Debin: So we have been reading your book. We think it is really excellent. You know out audience is what we call the third age, people who are from 45 on. Some of them are retired. Some of them are thinking about retiring. Some of them plan to work until they are 90.
So the question that I want to ask you is, first of all how did you come to write the book.
Jan Cullinane: Well that is a good question. I am a boomer with a trailing spell, moved around a lot, so started thinking about, “Hmm, now that I have lost my roots where am I going to ultimately live.” And then I thought besides the location and, of course, the money, which everybody talks about. There is also psychological factors, of course, that go into this transition of people leaving a primary career. Also, what are you going to do, again, with this 168 hours a week? There are these helpful kinds of surveys and questionnaires.
And so myself and co-author Nicole Fitzgerald decided we would put it all into a wonderful guide that would be holistic in approach and look at all the facets and be very helpful to people like myself who kind of had lost their roots and wanted to know all the different facets and how to best approach retirement.
Bernie Sandler: Does this just apply to people who retire? What if somebody lost their way at 20? Or 30?
Jan Cullinane: It really is more toward boomers as far as relocation. But I have to say I agree with you Bernie in that the word retirement really should be retired. There are all other kinds of words. You use the word aspire to retire.
Bernie Sandler: We were just saying that this morning. Did you hear me saying that?
David Debin: Yeah. She heard you.
Jan Cullinane: I did hear you say that.
Bernie Sandler: Oh ok. Yeah. Aspiring. Aspiring.
Jan Cullinane: Rewire. Retool. Renew. Some with the R E in front of it, some not.
Bernie Sandler: Denial.
David Debin: So in other words, you don’t want to use the word retire like a lot of other people don’t want to use the word senior. Is that it?
Jan Cullinane: Oh yeah. Senior is a big no no.
David Debin: It has an old connotation of something that doesn’t exist anymore.
Jan Cullinane: I wouldn’t say it doesn’t exist because some… I think you have to look at with over 6 million boomers out there, one size does not fit all. Some do want what is considered the more traditional retirement. Others want several forays into and out of different careers. Others want to continue forever in what they are doing now. They have found their passion. They are happy with it. By all means, if they are happy doing that and they have a significant other and the significant other is happy doing that, I would say go for it.
So I think they are many possible avenues to explore. There is not going to be one thing we can say for 76 million boomers that would be true.
Bernie Sandler: Well I think, as Einstein said it was the mystery that was far greater than the reality of life. And I think that it is the kind of thing that when you get into life you don’t know what it is you want to do or not do. But I certainly have a simple motto that takes along these lines, “ It doesn’t matter what we do or how we do it, only how it makes us feel. “ And if you use that as a barometer- I mean, of course, not being a killer- but as a decent civilized person the only real question you have to ask yourself in any action or any path you are taking is: How is this making me feel?
Jan Cullinane: Yes. But I would say that there might be the larger society at hand too. Are you doing something that makes you feel good but can also be contributing to the good of others. If you have a significant other,
Bernie Sandler: Well I think…
Jan Cullinane: if it makes you feel good but it doesn’t make them feel good, the point we say is how do you kind of renegotiate roles. If it is something that, “Hey, you want to lay and watch television every day and that makes you feel good.” I am not so sure that I can go along with that to be honest.
Bernie Sandler: If you believed in the Buddhist thinking. You start with yourself. Yourself personal feeling and then it spreads around you. So I idea being, if 18 hours a day made me feel good watching television, what did it matter? One day I am going to be dead anyway. So if that is what I liked in the process what did I have to do to achieve to make other people like what I did. You know, where there other people out there that needed to approve whether I watch television that much or not or was it up to me. If I wasn’t depriving a family of food by not working, perhaps. But I am retired so I don’t have to work anymore. I mean it is just a thought.
David Debin: Well I think what Bernie is assuming in that statement is that everybody is like him. Bernie is very concerned with making others feel good. He does a lot of work for the ecosystem. He does a lot of work for people who are in trouble. [Dar 4] wherever Bernie is very very giving in that sense. So he is going on the supposition that everybody has those motives when they do what they want to do.
Jan Cullinane: Well if that is the case then yes that is a good model. I happen to like Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote of “Do something that scares you every day.” That too begins with the individual.
David Debin: That’s great.
Jan Cullinane: That idea of…
David Debin: : I love that.
Jan Cullinane: Yeah. Isn’t that a great one as well.
David Debin: : Yeah. It’s a great one.
Bernie Sandler: I don’t like it. I will be honest with you. I mean, I love Eleanor Roosevelt. She is one of my heroines but …
David Debin: Why don’t you like that?
Bernie Sandler: I don’t like it because I don’t think it is the same thing as like let’
S go sky diving. Let’s get the adrenalin rush. Lets go climb a rocky cliff. Climb a mountain. Because it scares me. Scare is just stimulating your own fear to be high. It is a form of drug.
Look at that movie, that movie that won the Oscar this year, the most horrendous movie I’ve ever saw “No Country for Old Men”. It was all about fear. It was all about generating fear and terror in people and yet, under the name of art, it was accepted. So I don’t accept that.
David Debin: I don’t think she was talking about fear and terror.
Jan Cullinane: Yeah.
David Debin: I think she was talking about expanding your horizons. I think she was talking aobut do something that you have been afraid to do because you haven’t…In other words, you always wanted…
Bernie Sandler: Face your fear.
David Debin: Exactly! You always wanted to write a book.
Bernie Sandler: Right.
David Debin: And you wrote a couple of books, but now you keep talking about you want to do it again.
Bernie Sandler: Yeah.
David Debin: So if your afraid to do it try it.
Bernie Sandler: Ok.
David Debin: That’s what she meant.
Bernie Sandler: I changed my mind. I thought you meant to be really charge yourself with some terrifying events.
Jan Cullinane: No. More trying new things get out of your comfort zone.
David Debin: Hey, Jan how do people know? How do you know if you are ready to retire?
Jan Cullinane: Well, I think we tend to all like lists and I came up with three very short questions I think you can ask yourself that will let you know if you are ready to retire.
David Debin: Oh this is a great cliff hanger. Guess what?
Bernie Sandler: And I am writing it down.
David Debin: And Bernie has got his pen paused over his paper.
Jan Cullinane: Have the pen poised.
David Debin: We are going to take a break here for our sponsors. We are going to come right back with the thirds age group Jan Cullinane, David Debin, And Bernie Sandler. So hurry up with this break.
David Debin: We are back with “The Third Age”. Where third agers come to connect with each other and connect with me the man from Hollywood and Bernie Sandler the doctor of kibitzing.
Bernie Sandler: Quite a distinction. I used to own an talent agency. Now I am reduced to the doctor of kibitzing. Thank you very much.
David Debin: Well Marissa wanted to know, she said, “What is kibitzing?”
Bernie Sandler: It is like schmoozing.
David Debin: We are happy to have as our guest Jan Cullinane who’s the author of a book on retirement, which is called “The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life”. Welcome back to the show Jan.
Jan Cullinane: Thank you.
David Debin: Ok. So we were on the cliff hanger. What are the three steps or rules of knowing when you are ready to retire?
Jan Cullinane: Alright! Ask yourself these questions.
David Debin: Ok.
Jan Cullinane: Do you have enough? Have you had enough? And do you have enough to do?
David Debin: Wait a second. Do you have enough? Have you had enough? Enough what?
Bernie Sandler: Whatever you need.
Jan Cullinane: Have you had enough? The second one, are you ready to try new thing? Are you ready to go out? Assuming you have enough and you are financially secure. So that answers that. Do you have enough? Have you had enough? In other words, are you ready to embark upon new avenues, try out new things, thinking about the fact that you have 168 hours a week?
David Debin: What is this 168 hours? I don’t get that.
Jan Cullinane: Twenty-four times seven.
David Debin: Twenty-four times seven is 168. Well, but what do you do when you are sleeping? And movies? Let’s cut that down by 8 times 7, 40…8 times 7 is what?
Jan Cullinane: 56
Bernie Sandler: When my Abien wears off…
David Debin: Let’s talk about those hundred hours then because…Anyways. Ok. Do you have enough? Have you had enough? And what is number three?
Jan Cullinane: And do you have enough to do? In other words, what is going to take the place- for many of us since you are talking about 7 or 8 hours of work and you think what does work do for most people. It gives them some structure. It gives them social contact. It provides intellectual stimulation. For a lot of us, for many of our jobs, it provides a way of giving something back, perhaps. That’s going to be removed whether by choice or whether by the fact that we are down sized or right sized or you are a pilot, you have to …I know they are trying to change those numbers now but certain professions where you have to retire at a certain point then what are you going to do to change that?
David Debin: Ok. Let’s ask Dr. Bernie if he can answer those questions. Dr. Bernie Do you have enough?
Bernie Sandler: Do I have enough? I have enough of some things but I don’t have enough of others. So do I have to have totally enough to do this?
David Debin: Jan does he need totally enough?
Jan Cullinane: Not if you are going into a second career. But for the life style you are hoping for do you have enough to support it.
David Debin: You are talking about mainly money.
Jan Cullinane: We are talking about money with number one. Yeah.
David Debin: Ok. I am covered. Next.
Jan Cullinane: Your covered. Ok.
David Debin: Next.
Jan Cullinane: Have you had enough in doing what you are doing?
Bernie Sandler: : Have I had enough? Boy I have had enough.
Bernie Sandler: : I have had enough so many times. But sometimes I like that enough. It was not enough enough.
Bernie Sandler: : It is ambivalent there. You have to understand I am very ADD, so I bounce all over the place. Sometimes I am sick and tired of business. I never want to see it again. The next day I can’t get out of be quick enough to work on the deal, so.
Jan Cullinane: Alright. So you probably want to maintain, maybe, what you are doing, but, perhaps, pursue some new avenues as well?
Bernie Sandler: : Yes. I do have other dreams.
David Debin: But wait a second let me ask you a question.
Bernie Sandler: They seem to get in the way of my day to day routine, the old habit.
David Debin: Jan, isn’t the first question enough for anybody, the way it is phrased now. Do you have enough to retire? Yes. Then retire. Why would somebody…? I mean, that is the main question isn’t it? That is what all the commercials are about.
Bernie Sandler: But what do you do now in that space?
Jan Cullinane: Not if it is just the money part. Not if you just have enough to do. I mean, you can look at Lee Iacocca. I just read an interview that someone has had with him and even he said, you know,” No. No. It is not enough to talk about the financial aspects. We have to talk about the psychological aspects.” Because you think about what he has amassed in terms of money he certainly has enough. But look at what he has done, gone out and founded new foundations, he taught school, he got into many different kinds of things afterwards. So obviously he had enough money wise but he hadn’t had enough of what work and contributing can give.
David Debin: Well, we have had a lot of guest on the show and I don’t think that we have heard that the majority of people haven’t had enough to retire when they hit a certain age. I think that most people need to keep working or doing something for income. I think a very small percentage, maybe 40% percent, - maybe not that small- will have enough money to retire, if it is that many.
Bernie Sandler: There is an old saying though, “If you don’t know what you want you never have enough of it.”
David Debin: It is old because nobody uses it any more and because nobody knows what that means.
Bernie Sandler: Well, because you would be surprised how many people we know that have more than enough money…
David Debin: Yeah.
Bernie Sandler: And they keep beating the bushes like they forgot that they can change shift in the gears now. It is a different part of their life and they are caught up in that rhythm of what they are used to doing. In it’s comfort zone of staying in that same business. Even though it brings them pain it’s not knowing what not to do at night.
David Debin: Ok. So they have enough money. They have solved number one. So you have enough? But they haven’t had enough of what they are doing. Is that what you’re saying?
Bernie Sandler: They haven’t found something enough to do that will take them away from there.
Jan Cullinane: That is a good point because when survey are given and people are asked “Why do you want to retire?” the number one reason is to do other things. But you are right. In some cases even doing the status quo is easier. You don’t have to make any decisions. You don’t have to go beyond your comfort zone or you are really truly enjoying what you are doing, so of course you would continue doing it. And that is very important to think about.
David Debin: Ok. So let’s assume that we have got people out there who have decided on the basis of these three steps that they are ready to retire. What about relocating? Are there specific characteristics of an ideal retirement location? Now don’t forget we are in Santa Barbara. I think, you couldn’t get any better than this.
Jan Cullinane: You probably can’t get any better than that an you are right about that. There is, sort of, a laundry list of things that people should think about when they are thinking about retiring, picking up and leaving. And before I, kind of, go into a quick list keep in mind the things like social support. If you have deep roots in a place to actually pick up and move you have got to think about what it is you are leaving. What are you retiring?
You know, are you retiring from something or retiring to something? Are you trying to get away from, say, bad weather into nice weather. Are you retiring from your friends, your social contacts, your church- perhaps, if you are involved in one- physicians, all those sorts of things and going to someplace else; that is something that you need to think about.
But, you know, people are obviously all sort of looking for the same thing. They are looking for good medical facilities- or they should be. They may feel tip top and great now but it is good to know that there is…
David Debin: Well Bernie I think that is your downhill…
Bernie Sandler: I just take a very good entourage of top physicians with me wherever I go. I will just make them a wonderful home environment.
One of the things here that you may have done in your book already or if you haven’t feel free to steal it form me because it is a gift. I did something for me recently, which was I sat down with a yellow pad and I said, “Write a perfect day in the life of Bernie Sandler.” include- not that it would be one typical day because you can’t do all those things in one day but- generic things that would make my day great like get up in the morning and meditate or eat organic food and go to the gym, take a walk, play with my dog, read a book, play the piano, whatever it was, all those things. And I was so busy that I did not have time to do any of this stuff that I have worried about having to do because it was all I knew to do, like the business and things. And that is an interesting page to write.
David Debin: What do you think about that Jan?
Jan Cullinane: Well we actually do talks where that is sometimes how we begin. We give people a 3 by 5 card and say exactly that. Alright, in terms of thinking what would their ultimate retirement location or how did they envision their retirement or write down what their perfect day would be. Kind of like a Tuesdays with more…
David Debin: You’re ahead of the game Bernie. You’re ahead of the game.
Bernie Sandler: I didn’t even have to write it again.
David Debin: Ok. Jan don’t go away and nobody else go away because we are going to be back in just a moment to talk more about retirement.
David Debin: We are back with “The Third Age”. This is David Debin the man from Hollywood. I am here with Dr. K, Dr. Kibitzing, Bernie Sandler, Marissa i and Lisa Hedley our engineer. And we are talking to Jan Cullinane who’s book you can buy anywhere,- wherever books are sold she said- “The New retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life”.
It is published by Riddell and you can get it anywhere. It talks a lot about places that you can find if you want to move, if you want to change your lifestyle, if you want to change the cost of living, if you want to be near to your relatives or friends, whatever it is. There is a whole checklist of comparisons of places to go.
What we would like to ask – Jan you are with us, right?
Jan Cullinane: I am.
David Debin: You mentioned something called niche retirement. I think that is spelled N-I-C-H-E. Is that right?
Jan Cullinane: That’s right.
Bernie Sandler: Nash, nash retirement.
David Debin: Nash retirement …
Bernie Sandler: I like that too.
David Debin: Nash retirement is not for weight watchers.
Bernie Sandler: Ok.
David Debin: But niche retirement, what is that?
Jan Cullinane: Well that is if you are looking more for a lifestyle rather than a location. Some examples would be: What if you are an amateur astronomer? You should go live in the Arizona sky village near Tusan Arizona where the skies are so clear there is very little light pollution and you can have your own little observatory there. So a group of people have done that base on common interest.
Bernie Sandler: Or the next. I need more action than watching the stars go by.
Jan Cullinane: Alright. How about you want to be a Martha Stewart wanna be. KB Homes has teamed up with Martha Stewart and they’re building homes that have her particular flair. That would be an example of a niche or nich however you want to pronounce the word.
David Debin:: I think Bernie is interested in being a sex researcher.
Jan Cullinane: A sex researcher.
David Debin: Where would he go for that?
Marissa: A college community?
David Debin: Bernie where would you go for that at your age?
Bernie Sandler: I was thinking. I think sex anonymous program I would like to start, only kidding.
Jan Cullinane: There you go.
Bernie Sandler: All you people came here tonight, only kidding. We are having a party. Anyway. No…
David Debin: I like this idea of niche retirement, though. If you gauge your retirement on one particular thing that you love to do doesn’t it start to get narrow.
Jan Cullinane: Depend on if it is your passion or not. Obviously, you would want to have other things within a reasonable proximity, cultural opportunities and other kinds of- like we mentioned before- the medical stuff, and shopping or whatever it is that you need to fill your basic needs. But in some cases people have these real passions and they’re a go. Living on a ship, that is another one.
David Debin: Well tell us an actual story of somebody who decided in retirement to change their life and move to another place.
Jan Cullinane: Well I could use, certainly, my own example or many of the people I know. My own example; I grew up in the Washington DC area and I did move around a number of times and now I am living in a fabulous place in Florida. So certainly picked up and moved. After my kids left for school one day and I flew down and looked at this place and bought a lot. Later my husband and I built a house.
David Debin: What do you think about that Bernie?
Bernie Sandler: Well that is very unique, that sort of thing. You know, you where talking about the ship cruise and I’ve checked into that. I think that is the greatest for anybody. I think you can’t beat that one.
David Debin: You mean, is that stay on a ship for a period of time?
Bernie Sandler: You buy a year or two on a ship and you live on the ship. It goes different places.
David Debin: Well that would be great.
Bernie Sandler: And you have your own suite. You have all your meals in these different places and you have different friends join you if they want. You are moving all the time and new people are coming on all the time on the ship. So you have new people to play with because they’re on for two weeks. You’re on for a year. And you know all the crew members and you’ve got doctors on board.
David Debin: Do you pay in advance?
Bernie Sandler: You pay in advance and it is cheaper than a retirement home.
David Debin: And is there assist…Do they have medical staff and everything.
Bernie Sandler: Sure. They have doctors and nurses on every ship. They can treat sea sickness. If you have a gallbladder operation. They can treat you for sea sickness. It doesn’t make much difference. At that age, what do we care.
But I think there is one thing that I wanted to also ask about, if it has ever been done and if it hasn’t why this isn’t an area of interest. There are so many books being written now, by people that are reaching their middle years, about the middle years. It is sort of like letting the horse out after the barn is locked type of thing.
Why don’t children in school start being indoctrinated with information about what aging is going to be like, and has been like, and historically what it is like, and how people …
David Debin: Children or teenagers?
Bernie Sandler: College kids. You are getting to a point…sure, you are at a point where this doesn’t mean much to you but I am going to plant the little seed in your head that if you are lucky you are going to be like those people in this documentary. And if you plan some things now and you start cultivating hobbies…I wish I would have cultivated a hobby because I would like right now wish I was wood carving or something that I didn’t do. Had I done that at an earlier stage in life…
David Debin: I wish you were doing that right now too, actually.
Bernie Sandler: Give me a knife. I will carve.
But I think that if people were to plant some seeds of some activities that will carry into their later life- not just tennis and skiing and things like that that you have to give up sometime- it would be a big benefit, or writing or things. And let them know that it is with that intention. We are doing this because some day, if you are lucky enough to live long enough, these will be tools to help you.
David Debin: Well, Marissa’s taking a college course of aging.
David Debin: What was your course like? How did it help you?
Marissa: It help me, kind of, just realize about the aging process because we talked about different aspects of how society is really very ageist. And everything like the medias and things like that they always put down older people but basically what we are taught is that you shouldn’t think of it that way because once you get up into that age it is all about your psychological aspect of how you are and who you are. I don know. You always have to keep growing and expanding your mind.
Bernie Sandler: Yeah. That is very psychological.
David Debin: But did it give you a goal?
David Debin: Did it give you a goal like he is talking about? You know you are going to get older and some day you are going to want to have a hobby or something like that.
Marissa: No. Actually, it is all well…It was more theoretical I think. That is the problem, I think, with college. They never really teach you how to apply your skills.
David Debin: Very interesting.
Marissa: It is all about theory. But I mean, I guess…
Bernie Sandler: But can you imagine if you were at this stage, if you were taught just one or two classes that were just saying preparation for an inevitable time if God is willing.
David Debin: They practice on what there is.
Bernie Sandler: Well, I mean, you don’t have to do that. There is potential things happening. Like me just now hurting my knee, I am a walker, I am active all the time., and I am limping around the house. This is how it happens, it just…I was never ready for all of a sudden having to limp. Right now, I am being incapacitated for a while.
Bernie Sandler: So it’s… I don’t know how much you can envision but I think that you can get some heads up so that when it comes you are just like hitting a wall and you say, “Oh I am old. I better start reading all these books. But my eyes aren’t good enough.”
David Debin: So Jan do you think that people who are in their 30’s and 40’s should be thinking about retirement; what they are going to do at this point?
Jan Cullinane: Oh absolutely! Absolutely! And Bernie had a great point that a lot of the books will say, “At this point now” when you are reading it maybe in your 40’s and 50’s “Look back and what is it that you did as a kid? Did you perform in a play in your high school? And get back into that community theater. Was that something you enjoy doing?”
You know, did you play tennis? And I know that we said maybe other things besides sports that you could do forever, but go back and start playing. Why not? Did you enjoy swimming? Well go back to that again. Many of us get so caught up and then we can look back on things that we did do and enjoy.
But he has a great point. If we started telling kids when they’re young, but I think as kids most of them will look at someone old and say, “ I am never going to be like that.”
Bernie Sandler: Isn’t that true.
Jan Cullinane: “I am never going to get old. I am never going to get sick. My knees are never going to go bad.” And it is tough to say, “Hey, you know what? This is going to happen to you.” We didn’t believe it.
Bernie Sandler: Right. Did you?
Jan Cullinane: Just ask anybody over 30. We’ve all lived through it.
Bernie Sandler: Do you know when I was a kid I though that old people where born that way and just lived 80 years like that. It didn’t dawn of me that they were once little children. Because it always amazed me when you see a photo of them as a child or a beautiful young girl was this old lady and that is what I think happens.
This is a quick little story. A friend of mine named Sandy Devore, the writer in Hollywood, standing in Nates Deli years an years ago- I will talk quick- years and years ago we were standing there. We used to go there all the time in our 30’3 and eat lunch and all that. And I thought, “Oh God, look at all the old Jews standing out in front talking.” We are Jews. All the old Jews standing out front talking and kibitzing. And I went there with him a couple of years ago and I walked out and I stood out there with him. I said, “Sandy?” and he said, “What?” I said, “\Guess what?” and he said “What?” I said, “We’re the old Jews.”
David Debin: Ok. I just want to ask everybody listening please don’t call the station to protest against Bernie’s use of the stereo type.
Bernie Sandler: I am Jewish. I can knock myself.
David Debin: That allows him to do that.
Bernie Sandler: I can knock myself and others.
David Debin: Jan thank you for being with us. We want to remind everybody that this book is going to be very helpful “The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life”, Jan Cullinane. And you have a wring partner who is?
Jan Cullinane: Kathy Fitzgerald.
David Debin: Nicole Fitzgerald. You can get the book anywhere. And if we have Jan on the show again we will have a whole conversation backwards.
Jan: [talking backwards]
Bernie Sandler: And I commend you for doing what you are doing. Using up what is left of your life trying to make other people’s lives good.
David Debin: We will be right back with “The Third Age”. Don’t go away.
David Debin: We’re back on “The Third Age” where third agers come to share, connect, and have a great time. David Debin the man from Hollywood here with Dr. K, Bernie Sandler.
And we were just talking about retirement, and where to go, and what to do. What did you learn today Bernie that you didn’t know before? Not that something you said but something you did not know before.
Bernie Sandler: What I didn’t know was that I was going to be here, until yesterday. That I didn’t know.
David Debin: You learned that.
Bernie Sandler: I some what have a sense of what you where saying. So I didn’t feel like I learned anything unique because I am a believer in working on creating new things to enhance the next part of your life and I think what she is doing is noble work because it helping other people that are lost, that are those old guys standing out there on the corner.
David Debin: Some old guy standing on the corner.
Bernie Sandler: I cleaned it up.
David Debin: Yeah. Thank you. Right. We don’t want to insult anybody. We just want to have a good time.
So you are retired yourself Bernie, right?
Bernie Sandler: Right.
David Debin: But I have notice d that even in your retirement you have not seemed to diminish your activity. You still go to all the parties. You still go out and do trips and walking tours. You went skiing. You do your investment business. When are you going to slow down?
Bernie Sandler: I don’t know if slowing down is the answer. I think that what has happened is… The word retirement to me, when people ask me what it means, I always say retirement means you just stop doing that stuff that you don’t have to do and it give you time to do the things you want to do. So retirement isn’t necessarily a bad word. It is freedom.
David Debin: Freedom. Yeah. So if you don’t want to be nice to people you just stop it, right?
Bernie Sandler: No. I like being nice to people because I believe in Karma and I believe in a universal world and love. Yeah. I do believe in that.
David Debin: And speaking about that, we are going to be talking about that on our workshop which is going to be on…Is it March 22nd?
David Debin: March 22nd. Coming up this week. This coming Saturday.
Bernie Sandler: That is right.
David Debin: At the Shot Center at SBCC Adult Ed. Dr. Brill and myself will be there. We’ll be talking about: what you can do with the rest of your life; and how you can have more fun; and how you can fulfill your purpose; and…
Bernie Sandler: And I may be in the audience. I may be in the audience as a heckler so be prepared.
David Debin: Ok. What is your purpose?
Bernie Sandler: What is my purpose? My purpose is to be as happy with what is going on in my life as I can. That is my purpose.
David Debin: And I think you purpose is also to spread around joy where ever you can because it seems like you’re the person who; connects up people with each other; who always is encouraging people to have a good time and to do good for others.
Bernie Sandler: That is what brings me peace in doing what I do.
David Debin: Yeah.
So don’t forget about the workshop.
We want to thank Marissa, Lisa Hedley, Les Carol, and…Is that it? Ok.
We will be back next time. This is “The Third Age”.