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What’s missing from your plans for retirement? What if two simple words could expand your thinking and bring new possibilities and a sense of adventure to your retirement? Roberta Sawatzky’s book What If…? Finding New Adventures Through Life’s Obstacles, tells the story of how those two words transformed how she was thinking about a research project, turning it into an opportunity to live in two other countries and experience different cultures. Later, those same two words were the catalyst for innovative solutions and resilience when unexpected adversity arrived.
Roberta joins us from British Columbia.
Roberta Sawatzky is a business owner, professor, blogger, and avid traveler with a special interest in leadership in remote and hybrid teams. Originally from Bangor, Northern Ireland, travel has always been a major part of her life, with her family taking many sojourns throughout Europe during her youth. Her experience of childhood immigration to Canada would solidify her interest in cross-cultural contact, international travel, and processes of immersion and assimilation. She continued to nurture this interest in both her personal and professional lives, taking many trips for pleasure with family and friends as well as pursuing international research into the characteristics of remote workers, blogging all the while.
When her husband was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure and they were forced to adjust their plans for an extended European trip accordingly, Sawatzky knew she wanted to share their story honestly and openly, providing a vulnerable and inspiring account of their trip. With tenacity and resilience— and perhaps a bit of old-fashioned Irish stubbornness—any challenge, she insists, can be met.
Sawatzky lives with her husband in Kelowna, BC, where together, they enjoy reading, biking, walking, and winery and café-going.
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For More on Roberta Sawatzky
On Just Doing It
“Nike did it well with their slogan. Just do it. Don’t ever get to the point where you figure you’re too old, you’re too poor, you’re too tired, you’re too anything. We’ve got a lot of living to do. Once you hit your sixties, it’s not like, okay, I’ve got five more years left and that’s time to go. We’ve got a lot of living to do, a lot to contribute and to live life through the eyes off. Life is an adventure and there’s still so much for me to do. I may have to do it differently. I may need to do it a little bit slower, but there’s so much to do, whether it’s in your own community where you live or traveling abroad, but just don’t get to the point where you figure that’s it. That’s all there is to life.”
“Ask questions, be curious. Never stop being curious. Never stop asking questions and just be open to embrace whatever comes along. And instead of saying no, it won’t work, consider thinking, okay, well what if we change this? Or what if we change that and just live life?”
On Gap Years
“I kind of joke around a little bit about young people between high school and university. They take a gap year. I figure why not take a gap year? So it’s not a year, a gap month just to transition and just to have that freedom to work wherever I want to work, when I want to work how I want to work. And I’m pretty excited about it.”
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About Your Podcast Host
Joe Casey is an executive coach who also helps people design their next life after their primary career and create their version of The Multipurpose Retirement.™ He created his own next chapter after a twenty-six-year career at Merrill Lynch, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of HR for Global Markets & Investment Banking.
Today, in addition to his work with clients, Joe hosts The Retirement Wisdom Podcast, which thanks to his guests and loyal listeners, ranks in the top 1 % globally in popularity by Listen Notes, with over 1 million downloads. Business Insider has recognized Joe as one of 23 innovative coaches who are making a difference. He’s the author of Win the Retirement Game: How to Outsmart the 9 Forces Trying to Steal Your Joy