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Lawrence Kosick, Co-founder and President of GetSetUp, joins us to discuss how you can bolster your retirement years with lifelong learning. Follow your curiosity and learn new things in the new year ahead. There’s a multitude of options such as Photography, Cooking, Technology, Music, Travel or Health & Fitness. Pick up some new skills, new interests, hobbies and you may also make some new friends along the way.
Lawrence Kosick joins us from California.
Lawrence Kosick is the Co-Founder & President of GetSetUp, an online community of people who want to learn new skills, connect with others and unlock new life experiences in an interactive learning environment specifically designed for older adults.
Lawrence was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada where, as a child, Lawrence’s father founded a non-profit assisted living facility for older adults. Lawrence grew up spending nights and weekends visiting the facility and was amazed by the wisdom of the residents who had so much more to give.
Before co-founding GetSetUp, Lawrence oversaw Business Development and Partnerships for IFTTT, an IoT Connectivity Platform. He also led Sight Machine’s Asian Pacific business operations and was VP of Global Partnerships at Yahoo during its early years. Lawrence has been pleased to team up with his long-time friend and co-founder Neil, to create a learning platform for older adults that allows him to continue the work his father started so many years ago. Lawrence is an avid cyclist and trail runner, so it is no surprise that the two co-founders met on the trail and continue to trade ideas that power the mission of GetSetUp and enhance the lives of today’s older adults.
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On Lifelong Learning
“It’s a great question, and it’s not as if all of our learners on GetSetUp actually identify as lifelong learners. We’ve found that if you ask that question to a female audience, they more often will say, Yes, I do identify as a lifelong learner. More of our men actually do not actually identify with that phrase. But the concept in general, I’m a big believer in. Life changes, technology changes, our circumstances change, and what are we doing to keep up with that? So there’s a shelf life to the things we learn, to the products that we use, to the services that we use. We have to keep learning and evolving to make sure that we’re getting the best out of life. And I think that just comes from making a habit of wanting and needing to learn new things.”
On Learning from Guides
“And we just thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could both re-skill and upskill folks my age and older to teach these things, but also at the same time create a learning opportunity for those who were trying to understand. So an economic opportunity on one side and a learning opportunity on the other. And the wonderful byproduct of that was there was just a comfort level where everybody had that same sort of patience, speed, empathy and vocabulary. There was a magic that occurred where everybody felt like no question was a dumb question. We could all spend the time needed to sort of understand similar issues or similar challenges, questions, problems. And so it just worked. And so in many ways, we call them Guides to answer your original question. We call them Guides because a lot of them come from our learner population. So folks come to GetSetUp, they want to learn something new, they take five or ten classes, and then they raise their hand and they say, Well, actually I’m a retired doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse, yoga instructor. I have some wisdom. I have some knowledge. I wouldn’t mind sharing it. Can I go through your program and potentially teach on the platform? Now, not everybody does this, but a significant number do, and we feel like they’re helping guide others. There’s less of a hierarchical feeling around teacher-student when it’s sort of guide and learner. It’s a nuance, but we think it’s an important one, and we’re all about making it as friendly and as comfortable as we can for others to learn from folks like themselves.”
“If you bring people onto a platform and into a class and it’s interactive, it’s fun, it’s engaging, it’s with others that are similar to them or going through similar things that they are, there’s a bond. There’s a way to easily identify and connect with those folks. They start to become friends. And if people start to learn together, and the byproduct of that is they make five new friends in the first month or two and they come back and take classes together, I think we can obviously discern from that that there’s some socialization going on and there’s some positive connection because they’re both making friends and then learning together. I don’t know why it’s surprised us perhaps we’re not all that smart Joe, but we started out as a learning platform and we realize that interactive learning together with others, really does create the magic that creates this social connection and friendship.”
About Retirement Wisdom
I help people who are retiring, but aren’t quite done yet, discover what’s next and build their custom version of The Multipurpose Retirement.™
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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.