207: Keys to Finding a Great Retirement Coach with Joanne Waldman
Today I’m speaking with Joanne Waldman. At New Perspective Coaching, Joanne provides career, retirement, and life coaching for successful professionals, entrepreneurs, executives, and coaches who want to do and be more. She is the author of Out of The Box Retirement: Creative Ideas, Role Models, and New Possibilities, and for over 20 years, she’s been helping her clients clarify their values, discover their passions, find their life’s purpose, and get clear about their goals.
At Retirement Options, she also trains non-financial retirement coaches to help their clients figure out what they want to do and if they want to retire. Using two powerful assessments, she helps advisors lay the foundation to help people determine exactly what they need to do if and when they’re ready to have a successful retirement.
In today’s conversation, Joanne explains to me how she’s been operating a virtual business since 1989, exactly what she does to help make her clients’ dreams come true, the differences between counseling and coaching, and her mission to make sure that people get everything they want out of life.
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In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:
- Why so much of retirement coaching is about helping clients find their “aha” moments.
- Signs you’re working with a good retirement coach - and red flags to watch out for.
- Why almost everyone benefits from working with a retirement coach - and the specific questions to ask a prospective coach in your initial conversations.
- Why a good retirement coach does not give financial advice - and why important non-financial aspects so often go overlooked in the financial services industry.
- How Joanne’s Life Options and Retirement Success profiles work.
- Why what Joanne once called retirement she now calls renewal - and the powerful shifts in mindset and lifestyle her clients have achieved.
- "Commitment words are very different than trying words." - Joanne Waldman
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Casey Weade: Joanne, welcome to the podcast.
Joanne Waldman: Thanks, Casey. I'm so excited to be here.
Casey Weade: Well, Joanne, it's a treat to have you here with all of your experience, your decades and decades of experience in the area of retirement and life coaching. This is something that we work with every single day. And I've met more and more retirement coaches throughout the years. However, you're the first retirement coach that I've met that has been working virtually for as long as you have, even long before the age of COVID.
Joanne Waldman: Exactly 1989 when I started working virtually.
Casey Weade: That's wild, 1989, you're working virtually. So, my question is, how do you work virtually in 1989? We've got, what the introduction of the internet? So, I mean, how are you working virtually?
Joanne Waldman: On the phone.
Casey Weade: All over the phone.
Joanne Waldman: And I taught on the phone. I taught my coaches for years, just first on the telephone.
Casey Weade: And how has the age of COVID, I know technology has greatly advanced over that period of time you've been doing this, how has COVID impacted the experience that you're having in your business?
Joanne Waldman: Zoom. Zoom has been– I mean, I worked on Skype before, but Zoom is probably even better than Skype. So, I can even see the people I'm talking to even more clearly. So, that's been a big addition.
Casey Weade: Imagine your business is probably booming faster than it has, not just because of demographic changes that we're having, where people have a need for retirement coaches. I mean, I didn't even know what a retirement coach was prior to starting this podcast. I've interviewed dozens and dozens, and it just seems like retirement coaches are coming out of the woodwork. So, I want to get into that and what the difference is between these individuals, but I've got to imagine, you mentioned before we got started that you are now working with people more and more nationally, just all over the country
Joanne Waldman: And internationally as well.
Casey Weade: Really? With a lot of countries.
Joanne Waldman: Yeah. And I had a client in Ecuador, in Australia.
Casey Weade: Are those clients in Ecuador, Australia, are those clients from the US? Or are they residents of these other countries originally?
Joanne Waldman: The one in Ecuador is from the US. The one in Australia, no. And his dream was to get to Bali, and so, we got him to Bali for a couple years.
Casey Weade: Is that right? So, he moved to Bali for a period of time.
Joanne Waldman: He did.
Casey Weade: And you helped with that transition. So, I want to know a little bit more about this individual before we get started, but why would this individual reach out to you? What did you do for them specifically?
Joanne Waldman: I helped him– we define retirement as following your dream and finding your giftedness. And his dream had always been to go to Bali, and he wasn't quite sure how he could do it. So, we worked together to get him there, all the steps that it took to get him there to feel comfortable, and then once he got there, to coach him through. He had to find work and he had to do all those kinds of things, but he stayed there for a few years. So, he decided to go back to college and to get another degree. So, he went back to Australia.
Casey Weade: How old is this individual? What was the biggest challenge they faced?
Joanne Waldman: He was in his 50s at the time. I think the biggest challenge was I think there was some initial cultural kinds of things, but just funding to figure out how to get the funding to go there, how we could stay there and get a job and wanting to get the money to go there, and then to get the money to stay there, I think though, and I think everybody has, whenever you quote somebody, even in a career issue, there's always a personal issue that you have to get through. So, things like, am I good enough? Can I do this? Can I make it happen? Am I strong enough personally to do this? All those kinds of issues always come out in any kind of coaching that you do.
Casey Weade: Do you find that it's usually just more than anything else? And I know for myself, sometimes I just need somebody to talk to. The answers are already in here, I just need to hear myself say it.
Joanne Waldman: Yeah, I mean, I don't tell people what to do. I had a client one time, she's to understand that I don't give advice. That was a big aha for her, that you've got the answers, let's figure out what they are and help you move forward with that. So, yeah, and coaching, there's two sides of the coin. They either say the client has the answer, and you have to help them find it, or they may not have the answer, and you can sort of help them figure out how to do that. Sometimes, I call that the American Idol version. You might say, here's what some other people did, or here's some thoughts, now make it your own. Does it make sense?
Casey Weade: Yeah, well, I think that is what is a mark of a good financial advisor as well. Advisors when they deliver advice, say, “This is exactly what you need to do.” However, everybody's so unique, and they already have the answer inside them, they just need a resource to bring those things to light. So, as we get into this, I'm going to talk about life coaching, retirement coaching, the difference between the two, certifications, but first of all, you're the Director of Training at Retirement Options. What is Retirement Options? How would you describe that?
Joanne Waldman: It's a training organization. We train nonfinancial retirement coaches, we train them to use two very useful assessments to help clients figure out what they want to do, and if they want to be in retirement. It's a 10-week course, and there are two assessments that we train people around. And we have a fair amount of coaches who've gone through the programs. It's been around for about 15 years, I want to say. I helped the gentleman start the company, he does not own this company anymore, but he's somebody I knew. I knew we had these assessments, I used them prior to us starting this company, with some big layoffs for Monsanto in St. Louis.
And even before that, my first retirement client I had in 1993, and then again, in ‘96, these big layoffs came in. So, I went to him and learned how to use his assessment, he had only one at the time. And there, I love them, I mean, what a beautiful foundation they are to help clients figure out what I worked on and when I perhaps need to work on to have a successful retirement.
Casey Weade: Yeah, I think everybody wants to know where they stand in relation to others. And I think that was one of the neatest things about the assessment, it gives you a good judgment, hey, this is where you stand, this is where the average individual stands. And I want to get deeper into those assessments, but before we get there. I think life coaches, they've been around for decades, right? I mean, life coaches have been around for a lot longer than a retirement coach. You were once a life coach. Now, you're more of a retirement coach, do a little bit of both, but I want to answer this question. And I think we can get into this utilizing a question that we had from one of our Weekend Reading subscribers, and that came from Lee Cooper, who said, “How does one choose a life coach? Is it more of a gut feeling? Or are there specific questions to ask the coach before deciding if they're right for you? And I would first want to ask, what is the difference between a life coach and a retirement coach? Are they one in the same? When do you see one over the other?”
Joanne Waldman: That's a really good question. So, a retirement coach does some live coaching, but they niche depending upon your part of the world, very specifically around the issues that retirees face. So, if you're specifically thinking about retirement, I would really suggest that you take somebody who's been specifically trained to deal with those issues, but life coaches, everybody has personal issues that a coach can help with. And coaching is very different than counseling, I believe, having been trained in both. A coach is going to partner with you and walk with you, as opposed to a counselor who may look a little backward. And really, it's more like this, coaching is more like this, if my visual helps. Counseling is more like this, and coaching is more like this. I prefer this.
When I heard about coaching the first time was around 1996, and coaching works. I always liked working with people who were well, who wanted to soar, but I used to call them Disneyland. I always like to work with that kind of client. And that's what coaching is, when I found that, I thought I'm a coach much more than a counselor. I hope I've answered your question.
Casey Weade: Well, when it comes to– this is the first and maybe I'm just naive to other specialists in the life coaching industry, but I don't know of other specialists. Are there other specialties in life coaching outside of retirement coaching?
Joanne Waldman: Oh, sure. There are relationship coaches, there are leadership coaches, I mean, there are as many niches as you can dream of.
Casey Weade: And what's so important about having someone specializes in retirement specifically?
Joanne Waldman: Because there are some really important issues that you're dealing with when you consider retirement, and you want somebody who's been trained and certified. And you can even niche within a niche in retirement coaching. So, I have some retirement coaches, and I've trained quite a few over the last 15 years. So, there are people who deal only with women who retire or only with men or only with executives or only with– I had one coach who only dealt with retirees who had ADD, ADHD, I mean, you can even niche even further within retirement.
Casey Weade: Right. I've trained many advisors over the years, and I can tell when one's going to be amazing, right? There are some factors that I can tell just because I've trained so many, on who is going to excel, who isn't. Do you see, and I imagine you see the same thing with all the retirement coaches you've trained throughout the years. What are some of the marks of a good retirement coach that you see as soon as you meet them and have those first, maybe half-an-hour discussions together?
Joanne Waldman: Well, I always say the best place to come from as a coach is a place of curiosity. So, I want to make sure that the coach is coming from that place. The other place, believe it or not, is a place of love. And I think those are important things. How present are they? How much do they really allow the client to set the agenda? Any good coach is going to do that, as opposed to telling people, well, this is where you need to start because you're not sure about that. We have to make sure that they go with the client's agenda. Hopefully, that helps you.
Casey Weade: Well, it doesn't sound like a far cry from what you would look for in a really good financial advisor. You're starting to meet with them initially, or I'm training them initially, and the question that goes along the lines, are they listening? Are they paying attention? Do they exhibit love and caring? And more importantly than anything else, as you said, I think the first thing you said the most important is curiosity. Are they curious? Are they asking really good questions?
Joanne Waldman: Powerful questions, that’s one of the things we teach, how to ask great, powerful questions, because those just sort of bubble up as you're being present. We actually give them a great list of powerful questions, some I use with everybody, but also, as a good coach, you're going to listen and be present and those questions just bubble up. I don't know where, sometimes you think.
Casey Weade: Well, we cannot deliver a good answer without receiving a great question. And so, I have to ask, what is your favorite question to ask?
Joanne Waldman: How can you be creative with change?
Casey Weade: Being creative with change.
Joanne Waldman: How can you be creative with change? One of my favorite powerful questions.
Casey Weade: Take me a little deeper there. What kind of answers would you get from a question like that? What do you hope to reach out?
Joanne Waldman: Well, there are a lot of people, Casey, who aren't good with change, including me, but when you put the word creative next to change, I think it explodes, it's electric, it makes you think out of the box. My coaching business is called New Perspective Coaching. And it really gives you that different perspective. When you think about creative and change, well, that actually sounds exciting rather than scary, in terms of dealing with change.
Casey Weade: I like that. We need to be able to be creative and deal with that change. I recently had my wife tell me a way that she likes to think about this, that she heard from another podcast she listened to, I just thought it was wonderful that we're dancing through our changes in life that we experience, and we have to change our dance every once in a while. Sometimes, we're doing the rumba, and sometimes we're doing the tango, and then we're just on the grind.
Joanne Waldman: So, I’d be curious, what would be your retirement dance?
Casey Weade: Yeah, I think that's just such a great question. What would be your dance in retirement? And how is it going to change over time? But I like looking backwards, too, how has that dance changed throughout life? What would you say your dance currently is? So, I like that question, it's nice, it's creative, and it helps you understand how they're going to adapt to change.
Joanne Waldman: Because when you think about retirement, more change during retirement than any time in your life.
Casey Weade: Yeah, well, and I think that is why it's so important to have a good coach, but do you find that everyone needs a retirement coach? Are there certain individuals that need it more than others? Is it the ones that struggle with change versus the ones that are more adaptable?
Joanne Waldman: Even the ones who are adaptable, I think, do well with a coach, because one of the things a coach can do is really help, is challenge you out of the box that you're in even further, take you to a place you maybe never even dreamed up before. So, I think it's great for everybody.
Casey Weade: And back to Lee Cooper's question, what specific questions should someone ask a retirement coach before deciding if they're right?
Joanne Waldman: Well, you need to have that conversation to see if you connect with that person, I think that's really, really important. And asking about their experience, I think it's important to know, asking about where they were trained, asking about some of their successes, asking about what they think are some of the hurdles that people face. Again, I just think it's really important to feel like you connect with that person. Does it make sense?
Casey Weade: Well, it sounds like what Lee said is true. He said, “Is it more of a gut feeling than anything else?” And it sounds like it's more of a gut feeling.
Joanne Waldman: I think that’s part of it. I don't think that's all of it, but I think that you have to go with your comfort level.
Casey Weade: And you're also looking for someone that has an area of specialty, maybe deeper than just retirement in general. And you mentioned that some specialize in ADD, and they just keep going deeper down this rabbit hole. We had a question from our Facebook Live audience, that came from Barak. Hey, thanks for your question, Barak. He said, “Do you know of any retirement coaches that specialize in federal employees?” And that begs the question of, I think it can be confusing separating a retirement coach from a retirement advisor. I feel like that question from Barak is going, well, I need someone that specializes in federal employees to understand federal employee benefits, etc. Do they need to find someone that specializes in that area when it comes to being a retirement coach? Maybe you can take us deeper here.
Joanne Waldman: Well, if they want to know about the money side, then they need the advisor, not the retirement coach because typically, the money side is not our specialty, but I do believe that there might be individuals, let's say in DC, who have worked with a lot of..
Casey Weade: And maybe that goes to the experience question, right? You're asking good questions from these individuals.
Joanne Waldman: Yeah. I mean, I just recently started working with some people in the not-for-profit world. And I had really worked with clients in that realm, but the retirement issues are still the same, what do I do next? Who do I want to be? What do I want my legacy to be? What am I going to do in terms of work? Where am I going to live? I mean, those are the kinds of things that frequently come up.
Casey Weade: So, it's important to ask what their specialty is, which can really dig us into their experience if we're a federal employee, and that's important to us. Maybe we want to know they've worked with federal employees and 501(c)’s.
Joanne Waldman: Possibly, I think just knowing the retirement work in general certainly can be helpful, but I don't know. Not everybody niches that narrowly, and they’re still good coaches.
Casey Weade: And it's not necessarily important. Sure. Well, and what makes a good coach above all else? As you said, you want to make sure that they're certified. And I've got a question here from another one of our Weekend Reading subscribers, Gary Wehner, who said, “My questions center around whether there are certifications for retirement coaches.” He has a second part to this question that I want to get to here in a little bit, but you have the Retirement Options Certified Coaches, ROCC. There's a number of different designations out there or certifications out there. What's the importance of a certification? And how do we know if it's a good one, a worthy one or not? And I want to relate this back to the financial realm.
I have this list of about 50 designations that you could get done in about 30 days without an exam, a board exam. And you can simply read a book, and they give you the letters, I think there's ones that are really hard. You could get your CFP, it takes you a couple years to accomplish that, you have to have years of experience and education, but there's others that don't have the same requirements. Not all designations are created equal. Is the same thing true in the retirement coach realm? Some are more, they really are meaningful, where others aren't, how do you vet them?
Joanne Waldman: Well, I mean, there are other schools out there that do retirement training. So, I would make sure that they had some very specific retirement training, and not just say that they've done a lot of that work, that they've gone to the training, and that they, like you said, pass the exam and done the work. So, anybody can hang up a shingle and say, “Hey, I'm a retirement coach,” or they had any coach training, not just retirement coach training, but coach training in general as well.
Casey Weade: Yeah.
Joanne Waldman: There are several designations of just in general coach training, that's probably a place to look at as well as that niche in retirement.
Casey Weade: Well, and I don't want to put you in a position here. So, if this is a question you're willing to answer, then please do. Otherwise, I understand why you might not. Your designation that you train on is the ROCC, what are some other designations that are out there? And how would you compare the difference between them?
Joanne Waldman: Well, there are several other retirement schools out there, and they offer designations. The difference that we have is that we specifically have assessments that we use. And those assessments are really, I think, the key to our working with our clients. Does it make sense?
Casey Weade: That’s kind of a turnkey, right? It's a good education. You get the education that gives you all the things that you need to know in order to be a good retirement coach, but then you have these tools that make it somewhat turnkey, where you can enter, you can have someone walk them through this process. It's a process, right?
Joanne Waldman: It's a process.
Casey Weade: It’s a process you're training on. And I don't know that all retirement coaches have a process somewhere just going in and having this discussion, and that cannot lead to the best result.
Joanne Waldman: The process is good, not only in this Retirement Options do we have the assessments, but each assessment comes with 30-plus exercises, and at least for every individual piece of the process, powerful questions that we can use to really get to the core of what this client wants and needs to do moving forward.
Casey Weade: As you've coached some of these individuals, what kind of changes have you seen in these individuals as they enter the program and they exit the program? Any light bulbs that are going off for them or just general changes or thought processes that you've been able to improve upon?
Joanne Waldman: Clients, is what you're meaning?
Casey Weade: The coaches that you're actually training.
Joanne Waldman: Oh, okay. Well, any kind of coach training, you're not the same person coming out that you were going in. I think, not only do they learn about issues for themselves, but their clients. For example, just trying to think of somebody who really shifted, somebody who just thought, is this what I want to do? And then, they get through it and say, “This is really what I want to do. And I love this work.” Because the neat thing about retirement coaching is you get to do a little bit of everything, because there might be career issues. 80% of our clients want to keep working in some capacity. So, you have to deal with that, relationship issues.
Then, you might have a group of people who are single. And that's a whole nother group of issues. Where am I going to live, is the number two question in retirement. So, helping clients figure out those kinds of things, but definitely, students come out, I think, knowing themselves even better and get excited about what they can do with the client.
Casey Weade: Do you see a common thread amongst these individuals? As I've interviewed many retirement coaches many times, I find that they became certified, or they went down this retirement coaching realm because they were interested in their own retirement. They were trying to improve their own retirement, not necessarily in it for the money, it was an interest and a post career change.
Joanne Waldman: Could be, I mean, I can talk about myself, maybe for a second, like, why I went this route. My dad died when he was 50. I was 19 at the time. And our last conversation that we ever had, he said, “I can't die, I haven't done everything I want to do in my life.” And I can still see him sitting next to me. Again, I was 19. And that really has fueled my work for years and years. So, I don't want anybody I work with to be in a position to say, “Hey, I'm not ready to go because I haven't done everything I want to do in my life.”
And I mean, that really informs a lot of what I do, and I think other people who are helpers find this work really compelling. And I trained a lot of even wealth advisors and financial advisors who would do the holistic piece of, not just this, but it's not just about the money alone, they can't make decisions on just money. There are all these other factors that come into play.
Casey Weade: Well, and I think that's a good lead in to the second part of Gary's question, which he says, along with what happens if directions from a retirement coach potentially conflict with directions from your financial planner, and so I've got, well, when you just want to find a financial planner that acted as retirement coach at the same time, do you want a financial planner that's acting as your retirement coach? Is it important that there's a separation with those individuals?
Joanne Waldman: Many of the ones that I've known over the years didn't want to do, or even the ones I'm trying just wanted the information. And they said, here's the client, you work with them, but some financial planners, I think, have the people skills, the coaching skills, if you will, to do all of it, but I don't think there are many of them who really want to take on all of it. And I don't know if that's what you have found as well.
Casey Weade: I think that in general, financial advisors are number’s people, but the best financial advisors are people people first, and number people second, and they're really invested in the lives of the families that they work with. They want to go deep, they want to be a coach, they don't just want to be a financial advice delivery mechanism, they want to be a coach, and that's…
Joanne Waldman: And the concern is maybe they haven't been trained to be a coach, because that's a huge part of all this, I think, as well. You need to have that training.
Casey Weade: It sounds like something that many financial advisors have been doing for years, just naturally, right? They've been acting in this capacity. Maybe it's not many, but there are advisors out there that have been doing more coaching for many years. Now, I think there's kind of becoming this separation where, hey, you need a retirement coach, and you need a financial advisor, and it's important. I think it's important that they work together at the same time, but have you ever run into a situation where there's conflicting advice between a retirement coach and a financial advisor?
Joanne Waldman: No, because again, I'm not giving you advice. I'm not telling them what to do with their money, I'm helping them figure out their dream and their life and their life planning, not their money planning. Certainly, they coincide to some extent, but I don't have them personally.
Casey Weade: Well, I think again, that just goes back to the confusion that there are all these different labels out there, even for financial advisors, right? You have retirement planners, financial advisors, investment advisors, brokers, and what do they all do? And then you have these retirement coaches that are out there at the same time, retirement coaches, and you said very clearly, are not there to deliver financial advice. They're there to coach you on the nonfinancial aspects of retirement,
Joanne Waldman: You know what my dream is, Casey? That these organizations, these wealth advisor organizations for me, that they have a retirement coach on staff. That is, I think, would be beautiful.
Casey Weade: Well, maybe we can get you to relocate out here to Fort Wayne from St. Louis. The climate is about the same.
Joanne Waldman: Virtually, we don't need to be there.
Casey Weade: Well, I have the same dream. I've wondered about that, because there are certain advisors on our team, as you said, that they’re number’s people, right? They don't really want to get into the fluffy stuff, yeah. And then there's other ones that want to dive into fluffy stuff and stay there for hours on end. And it might be better if we just had one person on staff that that's all they did was retirement coaching element rather than having some that do a blend of both and trying to change the other ones that they aren't really comfortable with those conversations, trying to force them into that position. So, I love that.
Joanne Waldman: Or work together, do it.
Casey Weade: Yes, I love that concept. I hope that that's the next evolution in retirement planning as well, and that's our push. That is why our tagline is Retire with Purpose. I think that the nonfinancial aspects are what's really missing in the financial advice industry. And many people are stepping into retirement that shouldn't be stepping into retirement in the first place, advisors are doing them a disservice, and they should be working on the purpose elements first. And that's what a lot of your assessments help with. And so, I want to hit on a couple of those assessments here. You have a life options profile, the retirement success profile. You're also going to be offering a discount for these, as well, for the listeners, which we will tell you about here in a little bit. Can you tell us what the difference is between these two? What's the life options profile? What's the retirement success profile? What are they? And what's their purpose?
Joanne Waldman: So, let's start with the retirement success profile. It's been around longer than the life options profile, and it looks at the 15 factors necessary for a successful retirement, looks at them in several different ways, looks at, of the 15 factors, how much you want me to value each one, and that's the first place. The second place is how much you've done already. And then, we can compare the expectation scores minus the present behavior scores, giving us a variance score, which the first two are normative measures comparing you to other people, like you mentioned earlier. The variance score is comparing yourself to yourself, and it's sort of a gap analysis measure, saying where are the big gaps between what you say you want, what you say you've already done.
And so, the difference is, the retirement success profile is longer and a little more academic, if you will, and a little more psychologically based. The life options profile is shorter and sweeter, and I say, it's sexier because it's in color, gives us a color designation of where people are. And it expands some on the retirement success profile, like in the health and wellness area, in a few other areas, it sort of brings more out for that. These were meant to be complementary and not competing assessments. So, on occasion, I might give both, it depends upon what the client's presenting issue is. For example, I had a client years ago, who came to me and said, “My two biggest issues are how to get my adult children off the payroll, so I can retire.” I think his kids were 28 and 30, and he was still supporting them. And then, the other issue was, where are we going to live, which again, is the number two issue in retirement.
And so, those are things that the life options profile looks at a little more closely. It actually has a dimension as we call them on residents on that assessment, and it also looks at a little more dealing with adult children, as opposed to the retirement success profile, it doesn't deal with residents and looks at dependent care issues, which can be a little bit eldercare, childcare, even things like aging pet care can be an issue for people in retirement. If they want to go somewhere and they have an older pet and they think, oh gosh, I can't leave this pet with somebody. That has held people back in retirement.
Casey Weade: We have a dependent dog ourselves.
Joanne Waldman: Yes, yes. Both of these are looking at things like, both of them share life, meaning both of them share things like work benefits, we call it. There are five things that you've got to figure out when you retire, and that's purpose and money and structure and status and socialization. And really interesting with those, that if you don't know how you can do it, or don't think you can, either you're going to delay your retirement. Or if you have to retire, it can lead to somebody feeling really lost.
Casey Weade: Now, you mentioned the 28- and 30-year-olds, I want to know did he get the kids off the payroll?
Joanne Waldman: He did.
Casey Weade: And I wanted to know, what was the strategy? How did you help do that?
Joanne Waldman: Well, a lot of support…
Casey Weade: This is a common issue.
Joanne Waldman: Yeah, a lot of support, a lot of planning and thinking about how– having those conversations, I do a lot of role-play with clients. I like to call real play, instead of role-plays, because they're real situations. I just do a lot of real plays with one of my clients who didn't want to move to where the kids thought she should move. She didn't want to go. So, yeah, helping him really kind of ease into those conversations, saying, “I can't do this anymore.” And you all have got to do this on your own. So, yeah, I mean, it didn't happen overnight.
Casey Weade: And he may not have had a third party that was completely impartial to have that kind of practice conversation with.
Joanne Waldman: Yeah, yeah, I mean, and just to practice, I think, is really important for a lot of situations. I used to teach, years ago, I taught assertiveness training. And the number one thing, the hardest little bitty word in the world to say is no. And so, people think that the world's going to blow up if you' say no, and once you start saying it and finding out that it doesn't, it's mind blowing for a lot of people.
Casey Weade: Yeah, 30 years of saying yes. And now, we have to make the shift to no. It has to be a difficult conversation.
Joanne Waldman: Yeah.
Casey Weade: It's a bit of renewal, like you would mention.
Joanne Waldman: Yeah. And a lot of kids are moving back now because of what's happening in the world. And so, the world of retirement is really changing right now because of the pandemic. I either have clients who are born, and I had one client who, she was really born, and she decided to do Christmas in July, decorated the inside and the outside of her house, sent cards, sent presents. And I mean, it really helped her get through July, and that feeling of boredom. Then, I had another client, who I started working with before the pandemic, and then when that hit, she had worked from home, and it helped her make the decision to retire because she loved being at home. She loved not having to go to the office, she loved working in her garden and doing other things and volunteering virtually on boards, so.
Casey Weade: What I found is, the pandemic has really accelerated retirement for many individuals, or at least a new career altogether.
Joanne Waldman: Yeah.
Casey Weade: And I love what you say, in the retirements because that's the profile at the top it says, retirement. It’s formerly called retirement, now it's known as renewal. And why the word renewal? It's been called so many different things, rewirement, and then you have retirement, you have the second act, you have the third act.
Joanne Waldman: Nobody likes the word retirement, but we can't come up with a better word. We just haven't done it yet. It's like helping people go on the reinvention tour. The renewal, I think, is taking everything that you loved, even thinking about things that you used to do, and that you couldn't do while you were working that you can do again. You can renew old friendships, you can renew your– I want to say, renew your soul just about. Think about that in terms of blossoming again, and rebounding and all this, and coming up.
I know somebody during the pandemic, who started two new careers. He's still working, and he's in his 50s, but he can't travel like he used to. He started a food business and gave all the money he made from that to the local food bank. And now, he's joined to try and get this food item he's made in the stores, and he started building furniture, which he'd never done before. And so, he's looking ahead, I think that when he will retire, and maybe he'll retire much sooner than he had planned because he's got these new careers. So, it doesn't mean, because the world is falling apart, that you can't be resilient and find your own renewal, at any age or time.
Casey Weade: Well, many of those things that he's doing, he may have had a passion for, they may be part of his values that come out of years past that he's just lost touch with, you've helped pull them out, pull out of that individual.
Joanne Waldman: Yeah. And I think that's important too, in terms of values, and I know your company is really big on values. Our values change as we get older, I mean, I just think about my own values. My family came first. And now that I'm mostly an empty nester, that has changed somewhat, I don't have to put as much attention on my 23-year-old. So, what's important to you? And look at dreams, did you have a dream and it kind of got deferred, if you will, because you worked, because of whatever?
I had a client one time, who came to me and he said, “This is my last shot, I always wanted to be a meteorologist.” And he didn't want to be on TV, he just wanted to do that work. His parents didn't support it, his former wife didn’t support it. And he said, “Now is it, if I don't do it now, I probably won't be able to do it.” And I also had people, like in golf, who always wanted to work in the world of golf, and again, wasn't supportive, or music. Those are a lot of things as people look towards their retirement or get into their retirement, what kind of careers did they always want to do? Or did they have a hobby that they left? I had a client who was looking at new hobbies to get into in retirement, and he was always curious about glassblowing. So, he went and learned how to do that, and he loved it. So, there are so many opportunities. And I love the word renewal.
Casey Weade: Yeah, sometimes we just need to try, we just need to do some low-cost probes as Dean Niewolny shared with us in a previous episode.
Joanne Waldman: Experiment. I like that the client’s in experiment mode.
Casey Weade: Yeah, it's a wonderful opportunity,
Joanne Waldman: Because there's a difference between commitment and trying, I listened for that when I coach people. Because if somebody is in trying mode, they're looking for the back door, and they're not committed typically. So, those are things that as a coach, I can say, when I hear you say this, I'm not sure I hear your commitment. Commitment words are very different than trying words. Commitment words are choose or I decided. So, those are the kinds of things we listen for as coaches.
Casey Weade: That's an important insight.
Joanne Waldman: Shoulds are big ones too, I should be this. Well, should comes from someone or something else.
Casey Weade: Right. And Chris Smith shared with us in one of our past episodes about shoulds and being careful. Many of us have been doing things we should do our entire lives. Retirement is a great opportunity to stop, in his words getting should on. And in your bio, it says that you help people clarify their values, discover their passions, find their life purpose, and get clear about their goals. And maybe you can't, maybe you can, but I think it's always for me, I look at values, passions, purpose, goals, meaning, what's the difference between all of these? How do you differentiate between values, passion, purpose, and goals? Maybe take them one at a time.
Joanne Waldman: Okay, values are things that we believe in, in terms of, is it my family? So, I used to when I did career work years ago, if the number one value of the client was freedom, for example, and then they say, I'm going to get a desk job. That doesn't work typically. So, you have to know what's important to you. Years ago, he had a values card sort. People would say, yes, no, maybe of their values. And then, there are great things that you can do now for values, but what are the things that really kind of move you or are important to you? Purpose is more around, we find meaning by pursuing purpose, and that often means by helping other people or giving back on a more global level. So, that's how I think about purpose. What was your next one that you wanted me to look at?
Casey Weade: How about passions?
Joanne Waldman: Passion, what do you get excited about? One of my favorite powerful questions is a little on the other side of that, but what do you do, like breathing? That's B-R-E-A-T-H-I-N-G. What do you do that two hours go by and you look up and think, Oh, my God, where did the time go? What do you get excited about?
Casey Weade: Yeah, some might call that the flow state or your unique ability, the one thing that you do better than anyone else that you just lose track of time. And then, we come to goals. So, what are goals? And how do you set good goals in retirement?
Joanne Waldman: So, like my client who wanted to go to Bali, that was his goal. Or the goal is, I want to work on a board. So, how do I go about doing that? Or I want to volunteer, or I want to– clutter is a huge issue in retirement. I want to clean up the clutter in my house or in my life. I typically do 90-day goals with clients, and we look at that. And we can do some longer goals, some goals are going to take more than 90 days, but what are the smaller goals that you can do? And then the bigger goals, it might take longer. Like I eventually want to sell my house, or I want to– I'm trying to think some of the goals are, I want to relocate to where my kids are, or all kinds of things in terms of goals, but goals have to be very measurable, they have to be doable, in terms of, you know.
Look, I had a client who said I want to, I don't like to say the word lose, because I'm big on language, I want to process off 25 pounds. Well, so that's a pretty typical goal, but you have to have some ways that you're going to make that happen. What are you going to reevaluate in terms of your life, and how you're eating and what you're eating, for example? Does that help you? Does that make sense?
Casey Weade: Yeah. Well, there was one thing that you said, you utilize a tactic when coaching clients called The Perspective Game, is that useful? And here, what is The Perspective Game? Is that like you’re really playing?
Joanne Waldman: So, I can give you an example. The Perspective Game is I had a client who was having a lot of fear. She got laid off from her job. And so, The Perspective Game is you take the word fear, and it begins with an F. And I said, what's another word that you can shift your perspective that whenever you feel the fear, it's going to help you change that mindset. She thought about a minute, and she said, footwork. So, every time that she felt the fear meant that she had footwork to do, she had something to do. Or you can take stumbling blocks and make them stepping stones. That's The Perspective Game, it's a fun game to play.
Casey Weade: Yeah. Now, that's good. I haven't heard that one before. You're taking the first letter of whatever that negative thing is, and you're just flipping it. So, you have an automatic place to go every time that it creeps into your life,
Joanne Waldman: I do a visualization with a lot of my clients, too, particularly around, like you can do around anything but around retirement issues that they're having retirement, something very specifically that's frustrating them, and I have them go through and feel it. How is it manifesting physically? And then, I say, okay, and we're going to take that same situation. And now it's fascinating. And watch them shift, and really look at it in a completely different way, that's a lot of fun. And it's very powerful.
Casey Weade: Well, it has to be really rewarding for you as well, I would imagine. The most rewarding part of the job is watching people make these shifts in their lives and live such a more meaningful life, for bringing so much more meaning into their life. And as we come to the close here, you wrote a book called Out of The Box Retirement: Creative Ideas, Role Models, and New Possibilities. Can you just share that with us? Why did you write the book, and why the title?
Joanne Waldman: I'm a co-author in this book, I'm not the only author in this book, I wrote a chapter in this book. So, I just want to be really clear about that.
Casey Weade: And when it comes to Out of The Box Retirement, what does that title mean to you?
Joanne Waldman: Oh, I love that title, because that's where you want a lot of people to think, out of the box. I did a speech a number of years ago, Think Big Out of The Box and Have a Ball. So, people could get blinders, if you will, and getting the new frame around it if you can, I think is really important. The chapter is about a specific client that I worked with, who retired when she was 70, and one of her biggest issues in retirement was that her husband had died 12 years earlier, and they had planned to retire together. So, she initially came and said, “I can't make any decisions without him.”
Now, this woman was a corporate attorney, who we had to do a lot of really thinking out of the box in terms of how in the past did you make those decisions to work? And how can you do that now, without him because he's not here? And it's about really working with her from looking at all the specific issues she had and the goals that she had and how we work through them together. She did have a clutter issue, and one of the things she had never done was clean out her husband's desk, and she wanted to do that. And we did what I call a Tackle It Day, where it's a whole day of coaching. We met in the morning, we talked about the issues and her apprehensions, and how she wanted to do this. And her underlying thing about whatever she did, she wanted it to be fun.
So, thinking out of the box, I said, “How can you make this fun?” Because it was gut wrenching, some of it was. She said, “I'm going to make it a dance party. I'm going to play my music.” And we talked about dancing earlier. And she said, “I'm going to dance my way through it.” And so, we met again. So, that was like eight o'clock in the morning, we met again at noon, kind of went through what she had come across. And she came across some things that he'd written in, and that was difficult, but the rest of it, it got easier and easier. She went on and she again, tried to have fun with it. And she was able to do it, and she hadn't done this for 12 years.
Casey Weade: That's awesome. If you'd like to get a copy of the book, we're going to give it away now as we close. If you'd like to get a copy of Out of The Box Retirement: Creative Ideas, Role Models, and New Possibilities, all you have to do is write an honest review for the podcast over on iTunes. You can do that at RetireWithPurpose.com, just go to the podcast page right at the top, it says Leave a Review. Leave a review and shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your iTunes username and a copy of your review, and we will send you out a copy of Out of The Box Retirement.
And we also have another special offer for Joanne here. Joanne has offered a 20% discount on her assessments, both of those assessments, retirement success profile and the life options profile. Maybe you've already written the review, I’d still like to get the profiles done, I'd still like to get those assessments. Well, then just shoot us an email at email@example.com, we will set you up, connect you over here with Joanne, and make sure you get the discount and are able to access those assessments, whether you've written the review or not. Again, those reviews if you haven't written them, they help us get noticed over on iTunes. So, we truly appreciate you helping us get the word out about all these nonfinancial aspects of retirement, in conjunction with many of the financial aspects that we discuss.
Joanne, thank you so much for joining us for the podcast. It's been a blast.
Joanne Waldman: Yeah, thank you. And if people want to find me, it’s Joanne@newperspectivecoaching.com, and if they're interested in becoming a retirement coach, go to RetirementOptions.com. Hopefully, maybe we've been through some people today to become a retirement coach.
Casey Weade: I love it. I can't wait to see how many of the families that are fans of ours that end up going down the retirement coach realm. We'll make sure to include links to all of those different things right in the show notes that you can catch at RetiredWithPurpose.com.
Joanne Waldman: Thank you for having me. I just wanted to say, it's been great, and I really appreciate your time and your interest.
Casey Weade: Well, thank you, Joanne. Until next time,
Joanne Waldman: Take care.