Show Notes for this Episode:
In this episode of the Retirement Money Gal Podcast, I chat with Brian Clark about living your best midlife and the possibility of postponing retirement. Brian is a serial entrepreneur. He’s truly a pioneer of content marketing and the founder of Copyblogger (a multi-million dollar business), Unemployable (a community for solo entrepreneurs), and one of my favorites, Further (a personal growth newsletter for midlifers and GenXers).
And as if that isn’t enough, he’s also the host of the 7-figure Small Podcast. I was a guest on his podcast here: Stay Small and Succeed Fully
Brian and I share a passion in providing education and insights to those of us who are in the midst of midlife. Where my primary focus here is on helping busy women professionals navigate midlife and money, Brian also takes a deep dive into work and wellness in midlife. We both believe that wealth, work, and wellness are critical pillars for creating your best midlife to and through retirement.
What You Will Learn on This Episode:
- Our personal stories of midlife reflection on our past successes (and failures)
- The Happiness U-Curve and paradox of aging
- Why healthspan matters more than ever in midlife
- Exploring work options that can create more balance in your life
- Longevity and the implications of living longer
- Becoming an entrepreneur in midlife (it’s not as scary as you may think)
- Embracing a work optional retirement, or postponing retirement altogether
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The Women Retire Smart™ Community is a virtual community and email newsletter for women professionals within 5 to 15 years of retirement who want to retire smart, secure, and happy!
I'm super excited today to welcome Brian Clark. Brian is a successful serial entrepreneur. And in fact, you may know of Brian from one of his companies, Copyblogger, it's a pioneering content marketing website, and you know, Brian was doing digital content before content was even cool. He's been at it for a good while and Copyblogger became a multimillion dollar business. Brian is also the founder of a gen X personal growth newsletter called further. And he's the founder of unemployable, a digital community and a podcast for solo entrepreneurs and business owners. Welcome Brian.
Thank you, Stephanie. It's good to talk to you again. It's been a while since we've seen each other in person for obvious reasons.
Yes it has. And I'm thinking, well, I was on your podcast maybe a year ago. That's right. And Brian's podcast for those of you listening is called seven figure small. If you want to check that out and what just quickly, what does that podcast about? So everybody will know.
Well, it's really about, uh, how big an impact a solo business owner can do, uh, with the internet and, uh, automation technology and all this amazing stuff. It's been kind of a, a trend over the last decade because it wasn't something you really thought was possible to have, you know, a seven figure business without employees or investors. Um, but I did that three times before 2010 and then without even really wanting to grew to eight figures. Uh, and so it's just this powerful, uh, concept of being able to do, uh, creative work with the aid of the reach of the internet and of course with technology and, uh, it's, it's really struck a chord with people. So we're having a good time with it.
You're such a pioneer with this because it was a decade ago when I discovered you, I think because I was leaving my role at Merrill Lynch in corporate America. And I just couldn't believe there was this opportunity to create my own content online and share my expertise and experience and find an audience. And so I immediately was attracted to that idea. And then I think we eventually met at a conference or something like that.
Yeah, it was, I think it was one of our conferences. Um, cause we were obviously we had a Dallas office, so we were definitely around Dallas quite a bit. So that may have been it. Or you may have come to Denver. I can't remember.
Right. I forgot you had a Dallas office. Um, I went to multiple conferences that you've hosted. So one of them wasn't Denver, uh, for sure. And then strangely enough. So I started my, I guess relaunched reopened my financial practice as a financial advisor, which had been my career for 15 plus years. And then I noticed that you were all of a sudden talking about gen X and midlife and this whole midlife experience we go through. And at the same time I was beginning to talk about this because I was going through, I hit 50, I was going through midlife and going, wow, all these things are changing and no one's really talking about the challenges and opportunities of midlife. And here we were coincidentally both covering this demographic with our content, with our work online. I think that's fascinating.
Yeah. It's interesting because literally from age 40 to 50 was the most successful by far. I mean just wonderful success. I'm so grateful and blessed. And yet most of the time I was unhappy and I thought, you know, what's wrong with you, Brian? You know, you're just never going to be happy. It's like, you, you feel like you're cursed with the human condition. Uh, and then eventually I discovered that that's a common thing, so I didn't feel so strange. And, and so again, that was something with further that I wanted to express, uh, for people who are in a similar situation, who may not realize that it's common and may think something's wrong with them. Um, and yeah, right around the time I hit 50, my life started getting better. And there's, there's a lot of research on that. This is a fairly common thing. And of course I did sell my company, you know, and, and that took a lot of pressure away and of course gave me extra blessings, but it wasn't that it was never about money or success or recognition. It was just personal satisfaction. And I just adopted a new attitude as I got to the end of my forties, but they were pretty bleak in the middle.
That's so interesting because when I was in my mid, late forties, I was also dissatisfied. And really, you know, my prior career had a lot of ebbs and flows to it, a lot of highs and some lows as well. But I was feeling when I hit that age point that I should be way more successful than I am by now. You know, I was really feeling regretful for some of the career moves I had made that I had made that may have hurt me versus continue to propel me up the corporate ladder. Like, gosh, if I would have just done this and not that I would have been a director at Merrill Lynch and that probably costs me there and this probably, and I just, that's how I hit the dissatisfaction. Now I would have been much happier if I had millions, you know, floating around like you did
You think so? Well, you think so, but, um, you know what I questioned despite the money and the success was does what I do mean anything, and this is so common that we succeed, we achieved the things we set out to do. Um, and then we're like, ah, it's all been, you know, it's meaningless, there's, you know, what's the purpose of this. And then other people have regret, well, I should've done this or that. And I would've made more money, but we all end up at the same place. You know, usually, uh, once we hit our early fifties and, and we've just focused more on purpose and meaning regardless, I mean, yes, we all have to make money. You know, obviously the focus of your show is, um, about money and, uh, you know, uh, maximizing what we get and, and thinking about the future, but how you go about that, I think matters almost more than how much it results in.
Very interesting. And I love the, you know, having meaning and feeling like you're, you're making a difference. That's so important to people and we, we sometimes lose sight of that, especially when we're, when we're going through or living in the rat race, so to speak. But you also found some research on this. Cause I remember reading one of your articles and further, further.net on the U shaped happiness curve. That, that kind of supports what you're saying here, that it gets better.
Yeah. That was the exact research that I discovered. There's an entire book written about it called the happiness curve. And basically in our twenties, we start going down the curve and then we kinda hit the trough, um, around 40 and kind of, you know, that's the bottom of the curve. And then it starts slowly going up by the time you're in your fifties and sixties, you're happy. And it, it really has nothing to do with anything like, other than perhaps understanding that this happens to, to a lot of people. And then using that to kind of push back against your own dissatisfaction. But for me, it was just like, Oh, I'm just glad I'm just not this hopeless cynic who just can't be happy. I feel much happier now. And, and I'm happy with the work I'm doing. I'm happy that, um, I'm taking better care of myself.
I'm much more focused on health and wellness than I used to be. And that, that helps too, you know, so sometimes I think when we are dissatisfied, instead of doing what we need to do to feel better and exercise can, is just so huge. Uh, both mentally and physically, we ended up doing nothing and it gets worse. And I, I definitely think I was in that spot, you know, around 45, 46. Um, so all I can say is if that's where you're at, you're not weird. Uh, it's just something, but it's good to question, you know, if you, you feel like what you've been doing hasn't been purposeful or meaningful to you, then ask yourself what would be and how do you match that up with making the income that you need and planning for your financial future?
Yeah, that it's sometimes it's, it seems like it's right there in front of us, that we know intuitively that we have no balance in our lives when we're running that rat race. I know this is how I felt in corporate America, and I knew what I needed to do to get that back, but I was neglecting it and really in denial in so many ways, just climbing the ladder. And when I left, I really just had not a mental breakdown, but a I had the space and I had the time to realize, God, my body hurts. I haven't been exercising. I had this desk that was so messed up in terms of it was not ergonomically. Correct. And my back was killing me and my, my hands and my wrists. And I had lost joy for the things that I love, like plucking around on a guitar and writing songs and just the creative side, but it took me leaving my job to realize this. And, and I wonder for you, you know, when you sold your company, was this a gradual thing how you started to come out of it and pay attention to other areas your life and get more balanced or did it take some time for that to unfold?
You know, my 50th birthday? Um, I guess so, so September of 2017, and then we sold the, the, um, software businesses off, uh, in June of 2018 and then spring of 2019. And it was when I was in, it was that fall of my 30th 50th birthday. And, uh, I remember I was in Spain, um, celebrating my birthday and I was just like, um, you know, this is what I want out of life. You know, I wanna work, I wanna travel. Uh, as long as I can, you know, keep paying the bills, this is all I need. And then my attitude started to change. And then lo and behold, I got the exit in more ways than one out of it needed to come to that, that phase of my life had to come to an end one way or another. And again, that's why I say I'm so fortunate that it happened in acquisitions as opposed to, you know, just walking away or something drastic
[inaudible] well, that's nice to spend your 50th birthday in Spain.
And then I was in Spain for my 51st birthday. Um, but that's because I was living in France with my family because I finally took a sabbatical after God. I don't know. I went at it hard for 15 years and, uh, it was on that sabbatical that I really started focusing on the things that we're talking about here. That's when I discovered the happiness curve. And that's when I, you know, started focusing on the unique issues that face our generation at this point in our lives. I mean, gen X is basically age 40 to 55 right now, so we're perfectly right there. And, uh, and then I found a sense of purpose in something that I was doing just as a personal project, just, just to do it. And, uh, it was, it was quite enlightening, honestly. So I feel very fortunate cause I think things could have gone in a different direction if I hadn't, I guess it was three years earlier where I started thinking about, okay, you're succeeding in business, but you're a wreck. You're overweight, you're unhealthy your relationships. Aren't great. What are you doing here? And it was, so it was really, uh, at age 47 or 46 or whatever, you know, where I was kind of hit that point of this is really bad that I at least had the good sense enough to go. You need to make some changes. And it was just a gradual process and I just kinda came out of that trough.
Well, that's so similar to, to what I went through. Um, kind of parallel paths if you will. I think my sabbatical, which was in my early forties is what made me realize I don't want to retire. I got really bored really quickly. And that's when I began consuming online content from people like you, learning how to leverage digital tools and strategies to build a business, which I did working with financial advisors for a good number of years before I began practicing as a financial advisor again. But that's sabbatical. I feel like if more people could do that and just take a step back for three months, six months a year, and then get back to it, maybe in a more purposeful way or something that is more in line with what your values really are doing. Something like that, making that kind of contribution with your work, um, that, that people wouldn't be so afraid, um, or feel like they have to retire early and just kill themselves until they hit, you know, 62 or whatever the age, the magical age is that they want to retire. Just feel like people could embrace working longer if it just wasn't so, uh, such a beat down for so many.
Yeah. Honestly. And of course it was a privilege to be able to go and spend some time, but, and it took, I think it took a good two months before my brain just settled down and I started reflecting and I had so many insights that would have never come because you show up you're on the treadmill every day and I tend to be a contemplated person, but when you're just constantly business business business, you know, you don't have the space, I think to really question, why do, what have I been doing and why, and is it important and what now? Um, but I think we are armed with the right information. I think it can be done without splitting for Europe for six months. But, um, yeah, it certainly was nice to be able to do that. Um, but yeah, I have no intention of retiring when we were traveling.
Um, I I've worked small amounts and you know, really tried to live where we were at to really experience it. And I was like, this is what it's all about. I don't want to retire and the world, I want to keep contributing. I want to keep, you know, doing meaningful work and for other people and you know, and, and hopefully having businesses that at that point are set up to really work with only a couple hours of me a day. And that's, that's my whole objective at this point. I have no intention of retiring. Um, I don't know what would be different about me at 65 than at 53. You know, I, I don't feel like, like you mentioned earlier, I think the way you think about yourself, whether you feel old or you don't has an impact on how you age. And I was just writing about this today, actually for the new issue of further research shows that if you think of yourself, as younger than your actual age, you live 50% longer than those who think they're old, it's all so much as influenced by our minds and our mindset more importantly.
And I still feel, I'm not as stupid as I was as a kid, but I still kind of feel like a kid a lot of times, as long as I'm having fun,
That's, that's a great mindset, you know, and the messaging around us though, I'll tell you what, what irritates me? You know, I turned 50, I have a September birthday also by the way, and Oh, happy birthday. Well, you too. So I recently turned 51 and I'm, I'm sure you saw this too. When you turn 50, you get your ARP card in the mail. So that's, that's one message. There are some brand new luxury apartments going up, uh, nearby near where I live in Dallas and the big signs out front say that these apartments are for 55 plus a 55 plus senior community. Just like what? 55 is not a senior. And then the place where I play golf, I started receiving automatically their women's senior golf newsletter that now I could join the senior golf community for women since I was 50. And that just drives me crazy. I mean, these messages are everywhere. It's like we were a forgotten demographic or something here in the middle.
Yeah, no, you've, there's another great book called the longevity economy. I love it. I'm reading it right now. Yeah. And it, it really talks about, um, how marketers are just screwing up and, and have been, uh, beginning with the baby boomers who push back against all of this. And they're like, we're not old. What are you talking about? Right. Um, and that's kind of paving the way I think for us, gen X has always been kind of the non-conformist generation. Uh, can you imagine that your response, I think is just exactly how most of us feel. I know I do. I'm like, I'm not old, I'm in the best shape of my life. Um, honestly, I mean, I'm older things creak a little bit, but you know, I'm healthier than I was in my forties and third in late thirties, for sure. So I just feel really good and strong.
Uh, I still feel mentally sharp. I don't. And I, one thing I talk about a lot at further is keep, you know, it's in the brand itself, keep pushing yourself. And that means mentally, you know, learn a new language, take up an instrument, do challenging work. Your brain will thank you for it. Right. And you'll stay sharp as you get older. Um, because eight 65 was set as the retirement age back when social security was introduced because it was a manual labor market for the most part at that time. So they were like, we want to take care of you, but you've got to get out of the market so that young people have jobs. That was the whole point. Now think about your average knowledge worker, as long as you're still mentally sharp. What about age 65 says you can't work anymore?
Absolutely. You know, I think I've told you about my dad before, who is 76 now and still, you know, running a business every day, a little mom and pop very successful health store. But, uh, that inspires me. And I think the thing is, you know, let me ask you this, how do you deal with, and I'm not saying this about you, I'm saying this in general, how do we deal with looking older? Because, and maybe that's a vanity metric, but that's something I've really had to come to grips with that. I've got more wrinkles, I've got more gray hair. And maybe that's something that women struggle with more than men. I don't know. But that's something I'm trying to work on. I'm just accepting, you know that okay, Steph, you know? Yeah,
Yeah. I'm not sure we accept it all that much. Um, this is my favorite response to that, and it's kind of been a meme for awhile now, but you know, Wilford Brumley, uh, he was in cocoon. Uh, do you know, do you remember that actor? I remember the movie. Yeah. Anyway, Wolford is in cocoon, which is a movie about seniors. He was 50 at the time they filmed it and he looked old now look at Paul Rudd or Brad Pitt, right? 55 51. That's you know, I'm not saying we all look like Brad Pitt. I'm saying that we have different attitudes about appearance, about fitness, about wellness that are radically different than 30 years ago. Okay. So I don't think we're accepting it at all. And I think that's incredibly positive. Now. I do think the pressure is, is worse on women, but you know, a lot of my male friends are just as concerned about not looking old as anyone else and doing a pretty good job of it.
So I think the attitudes are just very different as a lifespan has increased, but really it's about health span. How much of your life is spent feeling good, living your best life at whatever age you happen to be that that's really what matters. It's not how long you live. It's how well you live while you're alive. And I think that has been a major change that, um, is going to only continue to expand. I've made the case that we may be the first generation to actually live much longer because in the next 10 to 20 years, while we're still, you know, within the normal lifespan, right. I think it's 78 right now in the United States. Um, that there'll be medical developments. I mean, there's just billions and billions of dollars being thrown at longevity mainly to get that baby boomer money. They're not thinking about us, but we'll get the benefit of it because we're the generation right after.
Right. Well, I think it's absolutely, you know, a big motivator to do everything possible, to stay healthy. Um, at least for me, it is. And, and the other thing is that, um, I totally get your point with the Brad Pitt. And, um, you know, I thought of Cheryl Crow, someone who is in their midlife years, who looks fantastic obviously, or Jennifer Lopez. Yeah. Right. Yeah, exactly what crazy. Right. That's so, so you're right. That does change have an impact on our attitude of what, what is old really?
Yeah. And also think about retirement again. Okay. 10 years from now, for me, or you maybe, you know, according to, I guess the aspirations of a, that we have kind of been raised with, I guess, number one, a lot of people lose all sense of purpose. When they stop working, they get bored with golf, they get bored with whatever it is. And then they go back to work. This is happening again with the baby boomers called unretire moment. Um, some are coming back to work because they just didn't enjoy it. And then others are actively starting little businesses or maybe not. So little businesses mean the average startup founder is 45, at least ones who succeed. So you have people going, well, I'm going to start a business now because let's face it. But when you're around 50 you're, you're more likely to get laid off and not find another job.
And, you know, uh, as a retirement advisor, that the thing you have to maintain to retire at 62 or 65 is your income all the way up to that, or you, your plan isn't going to work. And that, that doesn't even count recessions and pandemics. And, you know, we've had our share of every five to 10 years calamity and that's right. Um, so, but, but okay. Now think about this combined that, um, perhaps lack of retirement savings, as much as you'd like combined with a lack of purpose, when you quit working combined with extension in longevity, how are you going to afford that when you're living well to 95, you can't right. So it's time to redefine our thinking. Not don't save for retirement. Do, but how about finding work that you like to continue doing as opposed to the fantasy we've been fed?
Totally. I want to come back to that, that finding work in just a second. I want to comment on something, you, you, you keep talking about this, this longevity, and I'll tell you that we run most of us as financial planners. If we're certified financial planners, I think are more educated about this, but we run our retirement plans up to age 90 or 95. And that really comes down to the health of the client. Um, even the life expectancy is, is below this. Uh, there's a 50% chance in a married couple that one of the individuals, one of the people will live to age 95. And so your money, if you retired,
I just picked 95 because when I say the number that they're dropping now that people may see in our lifetimes, it's one 15. And so I just try to avoid the extremes because people just you're crazy. Right. But it's not crazy. And we have to think of the possibilities, because if you take a good enough care of yourself to live 30 more years or 20 more years, you may live a lot longer because you made it that far. And that's, you know, that's a mindset that our generation has to take into account. You know, not again, we're also very cynical group of people. And so we're like, well, do I want to live that long? Well, if I'm healthy and I have the means to what I want. Yeah, I do. Actually. You know,
If, if you're healthy and you don't need someone to take care of you, that's a big concern that I hear a lot, especially with single people and women, but you're talking even with just using the age 95, 30, 40, 50 years in retirement, that your income has to last you. And that's a long time and that's a lot more money than people realize. It takes a lot more money than people think about when they're talking about retiring at 60 or wanting to retire early. Also fidelity did a study that for the average couple healthcare costs in retirement or close to $300,000, and that's not even including if you have longterm care needs, you know, above and beyond what Medicare
Yeah. That we, you know, they call us the sandwich generation because we're often taking care of adult kids who have returned home at an unprecedented rate since the great depression. And, and then we've got our own parents. My parents are in their mid to late seventies and you got to think about them. So, yeah. That's why I'm even if I wanted to retire, I think I would be kind of like, ah, I'm not sure
I'm the same way. And again, I've, I wonder if it's because I got to take a little break and kind of rethink all of this. So it's something I definitely encourage people to do just, and I think in some ways this, this whole COVID experience has given a lot of us a little more time with family and just a little more downtime maybe then than we used to have commuting to an office and traveling for business all over the place. So maybe that's, that's kind of a blessing in disguise of the whole thing.
Yeah. I wouldn't call a pandemic the same as a sabbatical, but it has appended things. It's when you get disrupted, your mind tends to focus on what's important. And I think that that was, um, there was a piece a few months ago that I wrote about in further, uh, where the projection was that gen X, you know, even successful corporate leaders were probably going to go out on their own and mentor and, you know, provide consulting and all these other kinds of, you know, what I call the personal enterprise approach. Some call it the portfolio career where, you know, your life is your work life is about a series of projects and investments in that, uh, not only satisfy you, but of course possibly bring in more money than you're making with a job. Because I mean, does anyone really think there's anything such as job security anymore? And now we're right on the cusp of AI and automation coming out of a pandemic that has accelerated all of it. If I had a job right now, I would be freaked out. And that is probably not making anyone listening feel any better. And I'm sorry about that. But you know, you've got to think about this. Um, yeah,
I mean, and on top of that, you know, there's a stigma, let's just be honest here against older workers and you are more likely to be laid off. And that is the case with a lot of the women who I know and work with that, it's, it's a little bit scary that, that they may be, they may be cut because not because they're women, but because they're older and, but, and they're not old
And it's such a, it's such a fallacy, you know, because the argument is that, well, older people aren't as good with technology and I don't think that's true for us. And, uh, but you know, millennials and, and the upcoming gen Z, they don't have our leadership skills. They don't have our resilience, our pragmatism, you know, we have what really makes the difference and can learn, you know, just about any technology, but the thing is it, why I think that's a fallacy is, you know, things like AI are going to make using technology easier. It's just what parts of it does it replace? Um, it, it's not gonna replace your creativity, your empathy, your communication skills, you know? Um, so I I'm really thinking in terms of augmenting yourself with new technology, but the things that the younger generations can't bring to the table, cause right now we're, we're the executives or the executive level people in your workforce middleman.
Right. But see, and that's the problem with middle management. I mean, or the management above is going to say, well, we need, let's just get some younger people in here. And of course you can't lay people off because they're 50, but they ageism, you know, it happens in disguise and everyone knows what's happening and it's, it's just sad. So I just feel better creating my own economic opportunity. Um, and I always, I mean, I've been doing it for over 20 years now and I, I, my podcast, I mean, my site is called unemployable and I'm not kidding. I mean, I couldn't have a job. I, I wasn't good at having a job. I used to practice law for those of you who don't know. And I was like, man, this is no way to spend your life. And so I left and, uh, just kind threw it all away, but it tends to, it ended up working out, you know? Um, so I guess I've always had this streak in me that said, I'm going to do it my way, whether I fail or not. Um, and that can be scary when you've got a mortgage and you've got kids and you've got parents to take care of and all of the obligations that we face. And yet I still see it as maybe necessary, not wishful thinking.
Well, interesting. Um, it does take a lot of courage to go out on your own, become an entrepreneur. I never thought that I would do that. I just felt very secure in corporate America. And that's where my lesson was learned. I got way too comfortable with that idea and eventually realized that I am, I have zero control over my destiny in this role. And when I got out of that, I could have gone back and worked for any other company here in town with my experience and skills and expertise. But I wanted to try my hand at starting my own thing. And it was scary. It does take a lot of courage. You and I, I think, um, must have had that desire as well. I mean, I think I had the desire because it was in my family, but I'm telling you Brian, many people dismiss that idea from the get go that I'm, I could never work for myself. I'm not, I'm just not an entrepreneur. And you're just here saying it's a necessity that you start to think about and learn how and think about what you would do and how you would reinvent yourself based on your experience skills and expertise. If you need to go out on your own or better yet, you should go out on your own. What are your thoughts about that to someone who's never even massage the idea?
You know, my, this is kind of a personal story here, but my brother in law is, uh, 49. I believe. Uh, he works in Northwest Arkansas and the Walmart ecosystem of, uh, supply chain, uh, and all that. And, uh, he got laid off and it's been six, seven months and he is, you know, he's trying his best. Um, it's just, it's devastating. I think. And the thing is that he always expressed, he always wanted to talk about how I things, um, and he's a very, very bright person and he could have done it, but I think he did have that mindset where it's not the prudent thing to do to go out on your own when you can have a nice corporate job with benefits and stability and all that. But, but that's an illusion, you know, and there's nothing you can do about it once the layoff happens, because your back's up against the wall at that point.
So I'm just, I'm not trying to preach it, anyone I'm just saying, please think about it, right. You know, take control of the change. That's going to hit you one way or another, because we are facing a decade of massive technological change. We've got, uh, you know, we've got political disorder throughout the world, not just in the United States, we've got climate change to deal with. It's just going to be incredibly overwhelming. Uh, no matter what. So, you know, the fact that, okay, now a lot of people are working from home and that's for many people is going to become normal. All the career advice says you're going to have to act entrepreneurially just to keep your job. So to me, I'm like this isn't, this isn't being frivolous. This is being, if you're going to be entrepreneurial, then just do it because it's way better than having an AI monitor, monitor your productivity because you're at home and you're in your company. Doesn't trust its own employees. That's just intolerable to me. And it's just kind of,
Yeah, I, I agree that you've got to have at least a plan B here and I preach it to Brian. I'm always talking about how important it is to continue learning in your education and continue advancing yourself and so easy to do today because of what we have access to online and being able to go out and, you know, get earned some certificates and learn some things versus having to go fund a, an MBA or a second, you know, degree of some sort. And then just this idea of reinvention, just doing some work to figure out what you can do based on your skills and expertise and what you're passionate about, what you enjoy and just explore and see what else is out there. And you know what, that's how I came back to a financial advisory career. I read a book by a guy named Rob bell. Do you know Rob bell, how to be here. I had to look back on my bookshelf to make sure it's how to be here by Rob bill.
I don't think I've read that one
Through this, this whole process of, um, you should be leveraging where your expertise is. You should, that's what you should be giving back to the world. And maybe you do it in a different way in a different form. But, um, I kind of went through that same thing of feeling like I was what I was doing when I was consulting with financial advisors and, and that whole thing that I just didn't have a lot of meaning in, and I didn't feel like it was very purposeful. And so all of that kind of led me back into what I'm doing now, but just doing some work and really thinking about what could you do, because I think you're exactly right. The world is changing so fast and it's only going to continue. The speed of change is rapid speed of change is only going to continue going forward.
Yeah. And your point about lifelong learning is it's just well taken. There's no avoiding it. You know, um, certain people in certain job sectors are going to be replaced by robots and automation. They're going to have to be retrained to do other things. I mean, the current thinking is that AI will eliminate millions of jobs, but create more, uh, what those jobs look like. We don't know. Um, but imagine someone with a management or leadership skills who could start a small business, helping retrain people, you know, so it's not just that you have to constantly learn it's that there's an opportunity as well in the massive amount of, uh, teaching and training that's going to need to happen. But yeah, you're not going to avoid it by keeping your head down, uh, at your current job and think you're going to make it for 15 years. That's just, it's not gonna happen at all.
And another big, uh, issue is, you know, for, for folks who do retire before 65, and they're not accustomed to paying for health insurance out of pocket, you know how it is when you're an entrepreneur, which your health insurance options look like and how it's expensive. Um, so there's that health insurance gap too, of, uh, before you, you you're eligible for Medicare. You know, I have clients who, who want to retire early and I'm like, well, you've got to think about this, this gap here and think about what you could do. So I'm really trying to coach people on staying in the game in some way, shape or form, even as an entrepreneur. I just think back to that idea of how long we can potentially live and staying engaged and doing work that's meaningful and having being connected and staying active. It's so critical for our mental and physical wellbeing. Really? Yeah. And
You, you know, you don't have to jump off a cliff here. Um, your first client could be your current employer. They may even be happy about it. Right. And make sure to price in that health insurance that you're going to have to buy yourself. That's how it works when you become a contractor. Um, but what that does is it frees you from their control, right? Even if you're working in home for a corporate employer, they have the right to tell you what to do to ask where you are at certain times, that changes once you become a contractor and then you're also free to, okay, how do I add to my new little personal enterprise? Is there a product I can create a, is there additional clients I can attract this? Isn't, you know, when I quit the practice of law, I jumped off the cliff, but I was 30. That's a different time. I wouldn't do that today. So, um, there are ways to do this, if you think carefully and methodically, but first and foremost, what do I really want out of the go forward, start there, start with purpose and you'll figure it out.
That's great. Well, Brian, you are definitely an expert in this area and I know you taught me a whole lot and I want to make sure that listeners know exactly where they can find you out there online. I know further.net. This is where Brian writes about gen X and midlife and, uh, what wealth and health wellbeing work, all of these different subjects. That's those are the things you cover on further.net.
Yeah. And I think that's probably the most relevant space. Um, everything is kind of converging, um, technically running three companies right now. Um, of course I am. Um, it'll, it'll probably end up being down to two eventually, but, um, everything I'm doing in the three companies in order to keep my sanity, I've had to find a way to kind of integrate, uh, the messages and, and what I'm trying to do. And since I talk about marketing and entrepreneurship, um, those are converging. I think also with what I talk about with at further, uh, which is for specifically for people in their forties and fifties, not just the economic side of things, you know, health and wellness, personal growth, but guess what, Stephanie, what is the biggest concern of people our age? You know, it it's, it's work and it's economic and it's retirement. And we have to, we have to come to terms with this stuff. So I'd say, you know, if you, if you want to follow along further.net is the ideal place to do that. It's a weekly newsletter and I highlight a ton of stuff each week. That adds value
To your life.
Well, it's, it's excellent. I love it. Um, I'm a subscriber. I'm following your work. I love what you're doing. Um, I think you're really making an impact out there and it's, it's fun to watch.
Thank you so much. And I love your podcast so bad,
Brian. Well, thanks so much for joining me today. It's been great talking with you.
Thank you so much. Happy birthday again,
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