The Importance of Community with Jan Cullinane – Retire Sooner Podcast

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What are those things I'm intrigued what Are the what are your secrets yeah okay Well I say one certainly is to have Strong social support you know we have To have that wherever we are and um and Talking about single women particularly For single women to create their own if You're not part of a couple you're going To need to to certainly have that so Strong social support is one Um I'd say the ability to renegotiate Roles let's say you're part of a if You're part of a couple you may have Laid down things I mean I've been Married a lot of years and we've kind of Figured out who's doing what as we were Married and we had children and then as We got older but then after we both left Our primary careers there were some There was some renegotiating to do in Terms of who was going to be doing what Like I I didn't I do not like the cook I Hate to admit and I don't like doing the Dishes I'd much rather cut the grass or Do that kind of thing so we have done Some big role reversals with that so That would be another one so renegotiate The rules I've never heard anybody not Rules roles like we didn't really have Rules laid down all right so renegotiate Your roles within within the family Within the within the yeah so if you Have a spouse Um if you're if you still have adult

Children living there I'd say it's Important to sit down um one woman I had Spoken to at a talk afterwards she came Up and said that's funny you said that Because she she was in a very high Position and she said my husband told me Now that I'm home all the time I talked To him like I'm one of his employees Ordering them around and it wasn't Working so well so that one sort of Resonated with her about that so that we Really appreciate your role look you're No longer a high-powered executive it's Just Well it's nothing like I I get I can see Having to renegotiate that but if it's You're married the kids around out of The house but when you have kids in the Home you your your age is a low powered Executive no matter no matter how high Powered you are even if you're the CEO Somewhere your kids don't treat you like The CEO right they don't care All right so start so social support Renegotiate what's what's another one Have something to wake up for every day And that that kind of gets to that idea Of purpose you know what is your thing To get up for every day they can be it Can be very lofty you're trying to save The world and you're trying to save the Turtle the turtles yeah And I went to the University of Maryland So I'm a terp so that's kind of a

Natural fit that I went there but it's Not your fault little guy that you were The first egg laid in this very deep Sand Cavern it's not your fault that you Came out first you get the longest way To climb you got all your brothers and Sisters on top That's right so Um I think that one's very important to Have some structure to your day but to Have also obviously some free time built In but what is your reason for getting Up for every morning I think that's a Big one and have something to do that And those things can be quite different From things you've ever done so I for Example for me Um tennis I like tennis and that goes Into the next one which is really have Strong social support a lot of these Things sort of overlap but we need to Have that social support and for me Tennis checks a lot of the boxes because It's also of course the exercise point Of view and the living healthy point of View and it has the social support and It structures your time for you so that That's an important one to have you have You written about the longevity with Tennis you've seen that study the tennis Adds 9.7 years to your life on average I Did not know that statistic now okay I Just helped you out with your next Article for helping I like that it is

One of my favorite 9.7 years So many great studies come out of the Netherlands I don't know what it is About the Netherlands uh but the these Uh these northern European countries uh Have all these great longitudinal Studies and one of them Essentially studied Retirees that do all sorts of different Actually I don't know if it was retirees I think it was just studying different Activities so are you a runner or biker Do you play volleyball do you do again a Variety of different uh physical Activities and many of them led to a Longer average longevity but the number One on the list is tennis and it adds an Average of 9.7 years it's like a decade Extra for tennis players which is Probably really back to your point it Really very few things check all those Boxes you've got activity you're outside And it's highly social because when you Know again we're not uh we're not all Roger Federer a lot of us play doubles And uh you you are forced to have a Essentially a foursome you have to have Four people to play double set so checks All the boxes it's weight-bearing and It's you know that pounding which is Good ons too as far as bringing those up And you're you're moving and so it's It's all different kinds you're Absolutely right I didn't know the 9.7 I

Love it well now it's the next article It's got It's a home run article Um all right so so let's talk about Single women let's talk about the Finances of that I know you have a Really big focus on that Um tell me about the the uni let's call It the unique challenges I mean in new Retirement the new retired which is your Book The Ultimate guy the rest your life And then you wrote this the awesome Single women's guide to retirement what Are what's specific to women that's Different than maybe couples or or men In general Well the funny thing was the reason I Wrote that book and and like I said um I Am married is because I would do some Talks and uh after one talk like a Couple women came up and you said you Know what we're single and it's it seems A lot of what you're saying it it's good But it often seems more related to Couples so you know what about us so People who have were divorced or people Who were you know there's this whole big Thing Dr Bella De Paula does a lot of Research on People who are single at heart people Who Aren't single as a default because They're divorced or they got dumped or Whatever but because they chose that They are very happy just as they are and

That's been very recent that kind of Research which I find fascinating quite A few women who just do not want to get Married but so I started looking at the Contingent of single women in terms of Their numbers and of course when you do Talk about longevity that they are going To most of us 80 to 90 percent of the Time if you're a woman you are going to Be single at some point right because The difference in maybe perhaps when you Get married and because of the lifespan And so they're also going to be 80 to 90 Percent responsible for making all Decisions and that's something that I Think a lot of women maybe aren't as Good Um or haven't in the past been doing Let me go back to the statistic you said 80 to 80 to 90 of all decisions you're Talking about even if you're married are You no financial decisions because you Will become single at some point got it So 80 to 90 of women are going to be Responsible for making oral decisions For themselves maybe I didn't say that Correctly yeah so that's that's what I Mean so it's a big chance even if you Haven't and and have more traditional Roles lay down where you're going to be Responsible for all the roles ultimately So it's it's good to either get a Certified financial planner or somebody To help you get to that point that you

Feel comfortable doing that if you don't Want to take on the job yourself just Like we have people take on other roles For us but if you're going to be single You need to know you know to whom to go To to do all those make all those Decisions that's very interesting single At heart yeah when you're talking about Single at heart this these are people That they really just they really would Rather be yes I guess how is it and why Is that though what's behind single at Heart is it just full autonomy uh what Is that Autonomy is a is a big one they they Feel they don't need another person Doesn't mean they're not social doesn't Mean they don't love people uh but in The end they are happiest by themselves Um in terms of living with somebody but Yet it's not that they don't have a lot Of social connections with other people So it's just we always see a sort of Marriage being the default but now There's more and more research coming Out that a lot of people just are very Happy happy being single they don't need To be part of a couple and I think That's something newer we haven't really Seen in the last before the last decade Or so coming out about that So what do we so women need to a prepare For at some point they're going to be Making all the financial decisions so

That's one what else that is unique to Women well I think women still need that Social component you know we've all read This Being lonely is equal to eating they're Just smoking 15 cigarettes a day right So it's not as if they are anti-social It's just that they don't feel they need Another person that has to be there with Them to you know complete them they're They're whole by themselves so that Would be another one the social support So when single women when um people ask About relocating for example I think That's a big thing that they need they They certainly want a social group it Might just not be a spouse but they Certainly need to look at the kind of um Places they might purchase or whatever Where you can have that social support Kind of thing built into it so say for Example Um a community where it's easy to find Places to volunteer or say for example Kind of these active adult or master Plan communities where they have all These activities that you can be part of To meet other people and every time I am We have moved we I always picked a new Community to move to or newer because It's people are more anxious to make Friends it's easier to make friends and Especially if you're you know depending How outgoing you are or if you're not as

Outgoing if you're in a community where Everyone is new people are reaching out To you and so I I always find that's a Good way to pick a place if you're going To relocate that is a really really Interesting point so when we talk about Relocating it when and I wanted to ask You about this specifically the there is This great I don't know if it's called wonderlust About oh I'm gonna go live somewhere new You know again top 10 in my life a list Of things I'll maybe probably never do Would be one like go move to Texas like I want to go just live in Texas or I Want to go live in California my little Brother lived or my younger one of my Younger brothers lives in L.A near Manhattan Beach it really is a Pretty amazing Place love to go do that Now will I ever really go do that Anytime soon probably not for kids in School and in middle school and Elementary school and it's just really Hard to pick up and move when you've got That much interconnection but I think About it and then I think about in Retirement if you were to do that and You're going to move to Texas or you're Going to move across the country move to California Then that's tough because in my mind the Default is wow you got a lot you got an Uphill battle to reintroduce yourself to

The community find good friends I mean Good friends are typically longer term People that you've you've known for a Long time and how do you but you're You're bringing up the point don't just Say oh I want to go live in Some new place in Texas or I want to go To California you're saying no no pick a Community to relocate to not a not a Climate not a town per se Yes I would say that but it's all the Other things that are important to you You know you gotta look at the living You've got look at the the taxes you've Got to look at what kind of environment Do you want you may want Four Seasons You may want two homes so those are all Important but but I think the idea of Connection how are you going to ensure That and I also think it depends how you Grow up I'd say if we weren't Transferred around to different places I'd probably still be in the same area Where I grew up I'm one of six kids some Of my family's there others have moved To other places because of transfers or Whatever but I saw it was fun and it was Interesting and it was a huge growth Experience for me too I'd say finding Another job meeting people and and I'm I'm sort of on the like between an Introvert and an extrovert I can fake Being extroverted and probably really a Little more introverted if I had to

Really admit it but it was such a Growing Experience to have to force Yourself a little bit into doing Different kinds of things and learning Different things and maneuvering Different things that I found it very Exciting Um the other thing of course is with Children whether you're you're single or Married you have adult children you know A lot of people say that they want to Live near their children but I know my Kids they're in three different cities Now they're all adults with their own Families and uh how do you you know Arrange that we've come up with the idea Like guess what we'll come in and we fly In and we babysit like our son and his Wife just went to Scotland for 10 days And we took care of the kids for them so That gives them a chance to get away we Have a timer immersed together and uh it Works for us but I know that doesn't Work for everyone a lot of people say They they want to live close to their Family but that doesn't always work out Yeah it doesn't always work out because We can't control where our kids go right I you know again I do I think there is Some power uh being near your kids I Mean one of the studies I did for what The happiest retirees now is yeah is Happiness levels relative to location of Adult children yeah and I do I do see

Happiness levels tend to rise once you Live near half your kids uh 50 or more Does tend to rise happiness levels but To your point you don't have to do that To be able to see your kids to your in Your example your ten full-blown days Dealing with or dealing with lovingly Babysitting and spending time with all Of these grandkids the where do you go I'm always fascinated too a lot of Families that I've worked with over the Years Jan are do end up in we're here in The Southeast so I'm based out of Atlanta and you're you're in in Florida But I've so many families that I've Worked with over the years have moved From Atlanta To probably number one spot would be the Villages in in Central Florida and I've Had a few folks go there it was too much For them and they just said look I can't Take you know 14 different water polo Events per week and Golf carts and fun all the time right But I'd say call it 80 to 90 percent of People have stayed there and they really Love it and I just wanted your take on Some of these other active adult Communities are there a lot of places a Lot like The Villages or is that a very Special unique Place uh tell me about That because I'm fascinated by those Moves there are a lot of active adult Communities with the 55 plus now one

Thing I do want to say because the Villages started in about the 80s when People are looking at a place like that And those active adult communities yeah They're active they're plenty plenty of Things to do again I think if you are Extroverted or introverted they can be Good because they usually have somebody Setting up things you just have to kind Of show up like if it's a book club do They have performances or are they doing Uh you know social different kinds of Committees and they organize them sort Of for you and you just have to Participate so I think it's a good thing For that but here's my caution with with Those kinds of things if they've been Around a long time let's and let's take The villages for example people tend to Age in place so the village is now the Average age there is 72 but you only Have to be 55 plus to move in there and I think that's true a lot of these Active adult communities that started in The 80s you now look at the average age And they're 72. that could be perfectly Fine with you but some people have told Me you know they're a little surprised They will go to one that has been around A long long time and number in Arizona And find it wasn't the place for me Because I was like the youngest person There you know I was 55 and I was moving There and I didn't feel like I fit in as

Much and I could say that it can be kind Of clicky you get these people that have All moved there and kind of grown Together it can be maybe a little bit More difficult but it certainly has the Amenities it certainly has the Activities Um I'd also caution now at this point in Time we need to look at Politics as well what is the politics of A place that you're going to move to Um the the villages is heavily Republican so I think that would be Important if you're a big Democrat you May not feel like you fit in as well and Yeah that is something to consider as Well when you do those on the other hand Those active adult communities they have A lot going on you can be as in involved Or uninvolved now you've heard of Margaritaville probably the Jimmy Buffett kind of themed communities or Three of those going up and they're also Very popular but they're new and they're Getting in an influx of of younger People you know in the 50s at this point That sounds awfully fun if you're if you Are 55 and you're ready to retire and You number one on your list is a place Called Margaritaville it probably Attracts kind of a fun group of people For the last book I had interviewed Somebody who went there she just Couldn't believe it she made friends so

Easily but it was a brand new community It's in Daytona Beach most people have Heard of Daytona Beach Florida it's sort Of the fun capital or that Capital Area But fun area there in Florida and she Just said it was so fun now she works There she loved it so much she decided To go there um she was single but there Was a big single contingent and she Checked that out as well to be sure that There was going to be enough for her and Enough social support as a single You talk about these some Niche Retirement Lifestyles what are those Oh well there are some non-traditional Retirement Lifestyles Niche Lifestyles Let's talk about non-traditional what Are you talking about well there are so Many communities that can be targeted to A specific group like now they're Communities with Vineyards in them their Communities with working farms in them There are communities and I'm saying These in a good way like you can find Something for every interest you have I Play tennis at Spruce Creek community It's a fly-in Community the houses you Can they have a uh you you have your air Your airplanes there John Travolta used To have an airplane there he used to Have a house there in Spruce Creek uh There's ones built just for male people Called now Crest and interestingly dogs Are not allowed in in the community you

Can I thought that was hello there's a Community that's all guys all men no no Dogs for letter carriers they could be Men or women if no in spouses too letter Carriers they don't have I totally miss That Jan Oh okay male as in the U.S Postal Service oh male m-a-i-l yes male Male male there's a there's a niche of People that worked in the Postal Service You have to have been connected it's Called now Crest it stands for the National Association of letter carriers And something else yes and there's um Talk about a niche talk about a niche That is a true that's a true Niche yes So there are a lot of that's amazing I Know you're not kidding about these Niches that is a true Niche I like to Say Niche yeah and I say that I'm from Pennsylvania we grew up saying niche Sounds better people live on ships now That's I would say that's Niche you know People actually there is um the world That was the first big one there what's It called the world world it used to be Called the world of residency with SCA At the end kind of clever now they just Call it the world where you buy a place A stateroom on the ship they have chefs There you are living on the ship it's Called the world there are other ones Being built right now too I mean let me Tell you the the state rooms might be About 13 million dollars this is not the

Faint of heart to be going there but When we're talking Niche I'm talking Niche so there are where is the where in The world is the world What Harbor does it sit in yeah where Does it go ultimately I I can't tell you That offhand I can tell you that Everyone who lives on there though gets Together and they decide on the Itinerary so you can put where is the World the ship and it will show you Where its itinerary is which is Determined by the people who are living On that ship now they do just travel so It's not like sitting in a harbor you're Not on a boat it's going all over the Place it's going all over it's like a Constant Cruise it's a constant Cruise Yeah you've got to be kidding me these Are so new I've learned about they're Male as it as in letters yes communities The world where you get to live you're Constantly traveling ship sounds like an Ultra Ultra Luxe Cruise it is yes I went To one on the Disney property Um that is a Disney community and that Was very interesting like I would say It's for Disney groupies almost but in a Nice kind of way there were people who Lived there when you walked around even Like the benches had the kind of dwarves Kind of warm you know integrated into All the decor and it's right on the Property of Disney so you do you know

They're people but when we took the tour This woman told us that somebody had two One for her her own house and then one For her family when they come down Um so they're they're all different Kinds of ones there's there's one and I Don't think it's around anymore it was In Texas it had a race track in it for People who like to race so we have them For the planes we have them Um all different kinds of things that Are are really quite Niche they are Building now lgbtq plus communities Um they are just really pretty much Anything you can think of a lot of Places like a commune or you common Living you'll have a central house where People will eat Dinners together but each will have his Or her own home or you could be single You could be married but you have that Sort of an environment if you like that There are places where nudists live we Have a couple of those in Florida or I Should say clothing optional communities So when we talk Niche I mean we're Talking there something for everybody Out there have you written about a lot Of these in ideal Living magazine uh not An ideal living so much more probably in The book okay like like in this most Recent book I list a lot of them and Their names and if you're interested in What their websites are there I think

Your book sales just went through the Roof I want to that's right that in Itself is fascinating I didn't realize I guess if you think About it doesn't surprise me we we've We've developed so much specialization And so much uh you know and here we are In 2022 you can find whatever you want But I but it is a big deal to have an Entire community based around something Yes I don't know if I I don't know if I've gone that far to think that we've Gotten that uh Niche oriented but it's Wonderful to think about it right I Think that it's a very it's inspiring And it's something that we can look Forward to Um I bet you there's going to be Ranch Communities I'm sure there's Ranch if You want to go out west prop yes there Are tiny home communities so I went to a Couple of those they are fascinating Where Um uh there were quite a few single Women who owned them Um they were talk about tiny uh there Were probably about 700 square feet so You would have to be a whiz a lot of People had built an extra kind of a Storage area on their small lot but it Was it was very cute they had different Kinds of activities and these were People who really wanted to just pair Down it's actually you had mentioned the

Villages there was one fairly close to The village that I went to visit and you Know those people were enjoying Themselves all kinds of activities but The houses tiny houses I don't know if You've heard of that term before of Course yeah but so that's an ultra Affordable option so the tiny house Would be it's not as affordable as you Think I'm gonna say I mean they were uh This is near the villages so it's it's In Florida and it's more Inland and they Were two and three hundred thousand they But that you were part of a community so That also included you were paying the Fees for being part of the larger Community with all the activities and a Social director and things like that They had a pool so to tease out just the House from that it was sort of all Incorporated into it Um and they also say about those you you Really have to be I think a special kind Of person to want something that little I probably couldn't be me I tend to like Even all my books where would I put them I was walking around thinking how could I live in one of these but as a single Sister in New York in a tiny apartment She'd be a great candidate for one Fascinating fascinating thought around Where to go and I guess I hadn't thought As much about really picking a community And if socialization is on the top of so

Many of our lists as a key to happy Retirement and socialization is a Challenge because we leave work so we Leave a network typically and then You've got a to some extent rebuild that Connectivity and it's it's work it's Time it's effort the community itself is A really really interesting way to solve That that challenge and and challenge Solve the challenge of socialization and I think it's I love that we were able to Go through that so thank you for that And I'd say along with with volunteering Two of course because once you get Involved in something you are exposed to A whole lot of different people and Different ideas and like I'm on a Board Of Trustees of our library so I met a Lot of interesting people there we never Really realized to like join what the Life how many things the library does For for the community is amazing or on Different committees among different Committees within the community and Different kinds of volunteer activities So those are all huge too besides just Where you live what are you doing in the Larger community that helps yourself and And helps others that you know idea of Purpose that you had mentioned earlier Speaking of and I know you've done a lot Of work with CPAs and other Financial Professionals what about you you've got Your take on the psychology of of money

I mean 2022 rough year in markets lots Of volatility we have inflation there's Always there's always a wall of worry And we've got to be able to one of your Earlier points is that you've got to Have enough so that means that you've Got to have some Investments for again Happy retirees have multiple different Financial checkpoints that I write about In the book one of them is a liquid Retirement savings but it's tough right Once you get to your biggest amount ever Typically is when you're retiring and Then the volatility of owning stocks and Fixed income and a variety of different Assets is is psychologically difficult For some people so what about what's Your take on the psychology of of money Well I think everything you said is is True I actually have a neighbor called John and his whole background is Financial and his Um wife is not into that aspect of it And Um in terms of that what he he actually Did is he wrote a little booklet for her That said and it's entitled if I die and And that has all of the all of the Information in it but certainly the idea Of being able to plan ahead for that Long haul Horizon For retirement is so very important and And like I mentioned before people Thinking they could maybe have a second

Job but probably easier now to have a Second job but it's not not guaranteed How they do need a lot professional help I mean I'm married to a CPA so what can I say I'm lucky you're a certified Financial planner but those who don't Certainly that's my suggestion to get to Get help of doing that we didn't talk About starting another business though In in retirement or your second Phase of Life do you see retirees Starting their own businesses I know you Talked about you've got to have a Product people passion is it fairly Common or is it are these hobby hobby Type incomes that maybe people make a Little bit of money but what is your Advice on that piece of the equation my Advice is if you I've always kind of Liked working I've always enjoyed it um So if you don't need to and you don't Want to and you don't have to well then Okay that's your choice but if you want To I see a lot of um women I was I will Say in my community who are real estate Agents who are realtors and you know a Large number of men as well but I'd say Predominantly women and um I you know It's a fairly easy I don't want to say Easy in terms of sounding bad but easy Thing to do I went through a course one Time just for the heck of it and took The test to see what it was like and What it involved but the problem with

Real estate as you probably know is when Everybody is buying and selling them the Number of Realtors go up and then when Nobody is buying and selling the number Of Realtors go down so it's sort of that Thing that you always have about the Same kind of competition for it so I see A lot of people who are realtors I would Say as a second career because it's a Pretty straightforward bar I see all lot Going into perhaps teaching people who Have left a career of people that have Master's degrees and I taught at a Community college for a number of years And we had a lot of people who are Attorneys would retired they were Teaching law classes who are accountants Who are teaching accounting classes who Are psychologists teaching psychology Classes so that's kind of a natural one If you like the idea of teaching as a Second career now of course so many Places are dying and desperate for Teachers You know in the state of Georgia there's A push to allow people to skip kind of Some of the protocol to become a teacher Because we're set we have such a Shortage if you've got a professional Career The the the the State of Georgia saying look uh let's Let's lower some of the regulations to Become a teacher because we need we need

People the uh maybe the last thing I Want to go to well I'd like your your if You could sum up your philosophy about Retirement and happiness I'd love to Hear that but I'd like you to do it Speaking backwards if you could The echo I met got that since I did it What I still know I cycle I I can just Take any word and and reverse it it's a Bizarre thing I don't know really I Think I can just visualize the words I Try it out so what did you just say There wait I know you said it backwards And again for proof of this concept you Can always play it play it backwards and See if it really worked but what did you Say backwards there I said I I can do That but this is how it sounds so I as I Can is Knack do is odd this is sit but It's tub you a boy uh sounds I can just Sort of visualize the word so it's the Same sequence forward but I'm just I'm Just saying each word individually Backwards and um that was my moment of Fame of trying out for David Letterman's Stupid human tricks I did not make it on His show uh because there was I know Because see this is what it sounds Cinema that's how it sounds so what are They really gonna do about it and prove It and all of that I think that they Would play it backwards is really what They would do well I guess you would It's not totally backwards it's not it's

Each I'm pronouncing it like it's the Word like if I said like which is l i k E l i k e I would say like eka IL so it Doesn't really sound it if you re you Know what I'm saying played it oh I see What you're saying the exact same plus And that just did you work on it or is It something that you just realized you Could just do without trying Well the real truth is I think I started Developing when I had to go to church Every Sunday and I was in there for an Hour and uh I would read the missile and Then I'd start doing it backwards I Guess in my head and then I just found I Could I could just visualize the words And and and do it so it was it's just a Strange Um ability that I have other people can There are other people who can do it I Was on the Tyra Bank show and she had Another person who could do it on there As well so I'm not unique in the world But I don't think there are too many of Us out there who do it or admit to doing It what can I tell you I love it I love It well what about so so maybe just sum Up your if you were to describe a happy Retirement what what is it yeah well I Think it's like my little mug a bet says That create life you don't need a Vacation from I love that somebody had Given me this and I thought you know That kind of really sums it up

Um that's how we want to create a life And how do we do that we do that by Giving back we do that by socializing we Do that by trying to stay healthy and Here's a little thing I read the other Day I think is just very instructive to Stand up put your one leg behind the Other and balance for 10 seconds can you Do that and they found of course after 65 Um the biggest cause of accidental death Is false and if you can't do that on Your right and left leg of standing up And for that 10 seconds yeah okay put it Behind and then you want to count to not Behind you kind of wrap it behind so Your your one leg is kind of touching The other behind you and do that for 10 Seconds and do that on both legs and It's surprising how many people cannot You're doing a great job so far so good You're gonna live to a thousand I like It I like it Jan this is awesome you uh Very very new fun information I think That a great takeaway here is just how If you're moving you're moving to a Community I've been thinking about it Backwards no pun intended for a long Time I keep thinking about oh what's a Cool town to move to one day maybe it's More about what's a what's the best Community to move to one day and maybe We'll start looking at it a little bit Differently from you so thank you Jan

Well thank you very much

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