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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Retirement Redesigned

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Our Top Picks for 2022

Indulging in the profound pleasure of podcasts

A note from Johann

Having access to podcasts any time of the day or night gives me the benefit of listening in to some of the most deep and insightful conversations I can imagine. My top podcasters like Tim Ferriss, Sam Harris, Brett McKay, and others bring brilliant high profile personalities right into my living space and I can have access to them at any time. Best of all, when I am listening to one of their discussions on my earphones, I am alone in the conversation with them. It is an intimate experience over which I have total control. I can listen while I am out for a walk, or driving somewhere in my car, or lying down listening to music. Or even when I am in a restaurant eating alone somewhere.

Perhaps one of the best aspects of pleasure that podcasts can provide is its sociable participation with others. When I listen to the same podcast that, say, Tim Ferriss has posted, and I then find that someone in my family or a friend has listened to the same piece we have an immediate point of contact and we then have a meaningful conversation about it. It is just like being in touch, face to face, part of the same discussion. We don’t even have to be in the same place. Magic.

The reason podcasters like the ones I have mentioned are so well known is because they have the drawing power to attract top academics or others that have written recently published books about subjects that we all want to hear about. They usually do the interviews with world class experts, often focussed on trending subjects. Most podcasters give contact details at the end of a podcast, allowing you to investigate further whatever you have been listening to. Such stimulating subjects can, of course, also be studied by reading about them, but the convenience of the hands free mode of a laptop or your phone makes a podcast so much more accessible.

Podcasts can be enjoyed at any age, and they are particularly well suited to the retirement lifestyle. The wonderful access to knowledge in all fields can give retirees hours of stimulation and a level of engagement with what’s going on in the world. Listening to podcasts can be a method of countering isolation and gives listeners an engaging sense of participation in currently prevalent topics.

Here are my top 7 podcasts from this past year.

From The Art of Manliness podcast:
The Groundhog Day Roadmap for Changing Your Life
To listen to this podcast, click here

The Quest for a Moral Life
To listen to this podcast, click here

From The Tim Ferriss Show:
Russ Roberts on Lessons from F.A. Hayek and Nassim Taleb, Decision-Making Insights from Charles Darwin, The Dangers of Scientism, Wild Problems in Life and the Decisions That Define Us, Learnings from the Talmud, The Role of Prayer, and The Journey to Transcendence
To listen to this podcast, click here

Rolf Potts — The Vagabond’s Way, Tactics for Immersive Travel, Pilgrimages and Psychogeography, Empathy Machines, Full-Throated Love, The Slow Sense of Smell, Lessons from Thích Nhất Hạnh, Falling Upward, and More
To listen to this podcast, click here

From Relating Well Podcast:
RW Vivek Murthy on Unlocking Us with Brene Brown
To listen to this podcast, click here

From How I Built This with Guy Raz
Norma Kamali: Norma Kamali
To listen to this podcast, click here

From Ologies with Alie Ward:
Dolorology (PAIN) with Rachel Zoffness
To listen to this podcast, click here

Happy listening

Our most popular video this year was looking at entrepreneurship in retirement. There are some reasons starting an enterprise is a good fit for retirees; we have experience and niche skills, a more secure financial foothold and time flexibility. And there are plenty of benefits in it for us too. By staying engaged in a business venture, we stave off isolation, stay active and productive, augment our income and have a purposeful outlet.

Here is our number 1 most popular shared article from this past year. And it proved just as popular this week:

Grandparents who babysit a grandchild live longer, study finds

Grandparents who babysit are 37% more likely to survive the next 20 years.

Grandparents playing with their grandchild on the beach

Our take:
Being an active grandparent has some reciprocal benefits. Not only do your children have the benefit of a built-in babysitter who has their kid’s best interest at heart, but in turn, you have the benefit of staying active and engaged which leads to greater longevity! This article published in Considerable shares some of the science behind this finding.

Article excerpt:
Looking for an extra incentive to spend some quality time with your grandchildren? Try telling their parents it could extend your life.

A growing body of research supports the idea that grandparents who babysit a grandchild live longer, so parents with young kids can take heart that their parents and their kids are getting benefits from babysitting time together.
Click here to read the full article on Hella Health

Other top articles shared:

Why You Need to Make a ‘When I Die’ File

A mature elderly woman working with papers to symbolize that she is creating a ‘when I die’ file

Our take:
This article is simultaneously poignant and practical. It looks at why we should all get our affairs in order as a gift to our loved ones and illustrates through real-life examples some of the complications and joys of tying up a departed loved one’s life.

Article excerpt:
What Molly and Ira found instead took them by surprise: Inside, their mother had carefully organized all of her papers, including the account numbers, pending transactions, and a bundle of other documents they’d need to settle her affairs and distribute her belongings.

What Ruth had compiled was what we call a “When I Die” file, and it may be the single most important thing you do before you depart. It may sound morbid, but creating a findable file, binder, cloud-based drive, or even shoebox where you store estate documents and meaningful personal effects will save your loved ones incalculable time, money, and suffering.

Ruth’s card file box didn’t make it any easier for the Byock children to say goodbye to her, but it did make handling the material aftermath of her life a lot easier. If you’ve never had to do such a thing, spoiler alert: When someone you love dies, shutting down his or her life can take a year or more.

Here are a few of the things you’ll put into your “When I Die” file:
• An advance directive that’s signed (and notarized if necessary)
• A will and living trust (with certificate of trust)
• Marriage or divorce certificate(s)
• Passwords for phone, computer, email, and social media accounts
• Instructions for your funeral and final disposition
• An ethical will
• Letters to loved ones
Click here to read the full article post on

Stop Accumulating Stuff And Start Accumulating Experiences

Could you spend a month and have bought nothing physical by the end of it?

A mature elderly man taking a photo of a view that he gets to experience seeing

Our take:
The most important question you’ll ever ask yourself is the same one Aristotle asked about two and half thousand years ago: how should you live in order to be happy?

Article excerpt:
For most of the past two millennia the answer to that question was defined by circumstance, and, in the West at least, controlled by the church. Circumstance remained fairly constant. Life, for most people, for most of those years, was a matter of scraping by, not much above the subsistence level.

The church’s message did not waver much either. Happiness, it said, would come in the next life, in heaven. To get there you had to live a good life of moderation, thriftiness and poverty – after all, it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. And you had to follow a set of rules. One of those was explicitly anti-materialistic: thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, wife, manservant, maidservant, ox, donkey, or, basically, any of his material possessions.
That ideal made a lot of sense when society was static, when, if you were born poor, as most people were, you would stay poor. What was the point, after all, of wishing for something you would never have?

But, as circumstances changed, especially from the 16th century onwards, that version of the good life and happiness did not make nearly so much sense. Thanks to mining, banking, and trade, at first, and, later, the machines of the Industrial Revolution, western society became increasingly prosperous.

That created a new problem. For the first time, for large numbers of people, there was tension between church and circumstance, between the version of the good life they heard being preached from the pulpit each Sunday, and the life they were living the other days of the week.

Fortunately, around this time, there was a new network, a direct competitor to the church’s pulpits, if you like: the mass media of magazines, newspapers, cinema, and radio. The leaders of the secular world–the captains of consciousness–used that network to solve the problem of overproduction, and take advantage of the possibilities of mass production, by preaching a good life that was defined in material, consumer terms, like cars, toasters, radios and dishwashers.

Happiness, according to this new gospel of consumption, could come in this life. To get it, you had to live a good life of profligate, conspicuous consumption – after all, the more you spent, the more work you would create for other people, and the more wealth you would create. To have more you had to spend more, you had to be materialistic: to covet the things thy neighbors, the Joneses, had–if not their oxen and their donkeys, certainly their cars.

This innovative idea was not only counterintuitive, because it flipped the old truth on its head. It was also revolutionary: it sparked the consumer revolution. More importantly, it worked. It took us on an exciting journey to unprecedented material progress. It has also, unintentionally, led us into the perfect storm of Stuffocation–an anxiety brought on from having too many material goods, nowhere to put them, and the sense that this has become a systemic problem–today. Which means it is time, once again, to open our minds to another innovative, revolutionary idea.

Experientialism will be good for all the stakeholders in our shared future. It will work, to begin with, for all of us. It will make us happier, healthier, richer, in every sense: less clutter, less regret, less anxiety, more meaning, more status, better conversations, more connections, a stronger sense of belonging.
Click here to read the full article post on Fast Company

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Other highlights for the week:

Most Popular Daily Thought

Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. – Louise L Hay.
Have you ever stopped to think about your inner voice and wonder if you would let a friend or loved one talk to you in the same way you talk to yourself? We are often quite harsh with ourselves in an attempt to be motivating. But this can have the opposite effect and make us depressed instead. What if we changed this behavior? Compassion is a far more effective motivator, not just for ourselves, but also for others. What would change in your life if you were kinder to yourself?
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Quote by Louis L Hay with an image of a mature elderly woman swimming along with others.


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Johann is the founding partner of Reset Retirement where we focus on assisting people with planning for the non-financial aspects of their lives after full-time work. He had a long career in executive search and leadership as the founding partner and chairman of Heidrick & Struggles in South Africa where he was the head of the company’s board practice.