Retiring? Check our recommendations on the Best Books About Retirement.
How can you prepare well for the transition to retirement? A retired couple chronicle their first year of retirement together in an excellent monthly column in The Wall Street Journal titled Retirement Rookies. They share the stories from Year One, with lessons learned and their observations on challenging issues we can all relate to.
Stephen Kreider Yoder is an editor on The Wall Street Journal’s enterprise desk. Karen Kreider Yoder is a retired professor and K-5 teacher. They join us from San Francisco to talk with us about their rookie year in retirement together.
For More on Steven & Karen Kreider Yoder
For Subscribers of The Wall Street Journal, you can read the collection of all of their pieces here:
If your not a WSJ subscriber, check The Retirement Wisdom LinkedIn Company Page (and follow us…) for free gift access to their 10 pieces here:
Be Intentional About Your Retirement
Don’t wait until you’re asking What Now?
Get ahead of the game. Take the first step today:
Design Your New Life in Retirement – 6 sessions over 12 weeks – starts January 25th
Podcast Episodes You May Like
On Slowing Down & Savoring Time
“Savoring time and budgeting time, we both are definitely ones who budget our time. Much of that is because of the kind of work that we were doing, full-time work, managing full-time office work, as well as family and volunteering. You just have to really budget your time to make sure you can get everything done in the day or in the week. But now we have all this time on our hands, and so we’re actually practicing how to savor our time. And so we often remind each other, ‘No, no, no, we need to slow down.’ So we take Amtrak to travel across this country instead of flying. Or we remind each other. ‘Let’s arrive early at an event so we can have a chance to chat with people ahead of time. Or let’s spend a couple extra days with family instead of flying home quickly. Or let’s drive the slow route from Kansas to Iowa, taking the back roads and not going through any major cities and going on no major highways. Let’s try going the slow route.‘ So we’re kind of practicing how to slow down and savor life. So those are some things that we’re trying to do. It’s hard. It’s hard work.”
On Identity in Retirement
“Since kindergarten, we’ve had some sort of identity tied to this external determining force. But beyond that, I worked at The Wall Street Journal for 38 years and in journalism all that time, and it was such a determining force that stepping away from that left this vacuum. And in my own identity, I think we wrote in the article about how I have this notification that comes up on my phone right before 9:00 AM every Monday that reminds me to join the conference call for my group’s meeting at The Wall Street Journal, and I haven’t worked there for more than a year, and I somehow can’t turn that off. It reminds me there’s one little vestigial connection to my old identity as a journalist and the people that I worked with and the work that we did. It’s hard for me to separate from that. And I look around and I’m a little envious of other retirees who seem to have switched over into a new identity, whether that be grandparents or whether that be whatever their identity is.”
“So I find that I still need a professional identity. And for 40 some years I was a teacher kindergarten through fifth grade, as well as being a teacher educator, teaching teachers at the university level. So I need to have that identity, but there are parts of it that I’m so glad I have let go. Just yesterday at church, two different people approached me and asked my opinion of some professional kinds of things, curriculum for children. One of them was asking about and for another, how to encourage more young people to come to San Francisco to work. So they both asked me to help them brainstorm how to sort of a plan of action. So I appreciated being asked my expertise, but I also was so thankful that they did not ask me to be on a committee because that is what I really do not miss at all the committee work. But the difference now is that I am, I’m choosing my own identity rather than having it be given to me in my job description. So one thing I’m doing now, I’m expanding my creative kind of an identity. I’m doing a lot of textile arts, and so in doing that, I’m expanding my identity to include that. So one cool thing about retirement is that we can develop our own job description and our own identity, and I think that everybody needs an identity and something that defines them, and in retirement it can be fluid, it can change, which is really wonderful.”
On Retirement & Freedom
“I always thought retirement was like freedom. Freedom from work. I always loved my work, but there are things that I was irritated about. So I saw retirement as freedom from work life. But what I’ve found is that retired life, we still have every single part of life. You still have to consider your safety, finances, food, all of your relationships. What kind of a person are you ? Kind and charitable? Am I still being curious and learning new skills and information? All the travel that we do, it still fills our days and am I getting enough sleep and rest? So all these different aspects of life, we still have to consider it all. And it’s all part of retirement. And so retirement can be rich and varied. And at this point, I would never want to go back to the frenetic work life that I once had. This retired life is a good life, and that’s full and varied.”
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.™
A meaningful retirement doesn’t just happen by accident. Schedule a call today to discuss how The Designing Your Life process created by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans can help you make your life in retirement a great one on your own terms.
Be intentional about your next phase. Design it.
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. Business Insider has recognized him 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.