Self-Improvement

This podcast highlights resources, stories, and ideas for helping Mainers find their own success in retirement.

Episodes

Ep: 051 7,300 days. 175,200 hours. 10,512,000 minutes.

That is the amount of time you can expect to have in retirement, considering the average length of retirement is approximately 20 years, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. How will you spend all of that newfound free time? Without a sense of purpose, the risk of dissatisfaction increases, and what should be a meaningful time becomes an anxious or uninspiring one. The average retiree in Britain grew bored after just one year, according to a U.K. survey. And one-third of retirees eventually give up on retirement and return to the workforce, according to a 2016 Federal Reserve study. The notion of retirement as a time of leisure is outdated. Most older adults want a similar level of engagement and meaning as in their working years. This is as it should be. From traveling the world to helping people in need, there are a variety of activities that can give you meaning and joy in retirement. BUT sometimes we get STUCK by being overwhelmed by what we CAN do that we don't know WHAT to do. 

Our next guest had this struggle and worked to build a great life after a several decade-long career. He's written a book for the 55-70ish age group this is at or near completion of their long career. He's titled the book, "Tapas Life: A rich and rewarding life after your long career" and is a step-by-step guide to assembling a great life once your big J-O-B is G-O-N-E. Please welcome Andy Robin to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!

Chapters:

Welcome, Andy Robin! [3:10]

What does Andy mean when he says “Tapas Life”? [12:34]

How can we live a “Tapas Life” but still have enough structure in our lives? [18:10]

How do people work through their list(s) of things that they want to try or not try? [23:08]

How do people get through the “catch up” phase of retirement and move into the fun stage? [33:48]

What does it mean to “choose health”? [39:11]

How does Andy think retirement is going to evolve over time? [44:49]

Ben and Curtis wrap up the conversation. [47:59]

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Ep:050 Cybercriminals and fraudsters will always attempt to go after the most vulnerable targets, and not enough is being done to protect and educate the elderly who are among those most regularly targeted by online scams. Much is discussed about protecting the workforce online, but as the web-using population ages, there's an increasing number of older web users who are using the internet without an in-house security team to help them navigate the dangers posed by scammers. 

Criminals have always targeted the elderly and away from the protections of an organization with firewalls, anti-virus protection, and other security measures, older users – especially those identified as wealthy – are viewed as easy targets for cyber attackers. Be it phishing emails, fake invoices, or phony tech support calls, scammers are attempting schemes against people who, in some cases, are the most vulnerable targets. But as the population grows older – and more and more services switch to being predominantly digital and online – the issue of cyberattacks targeting the elderly is only going to become a bigger, more damaging issue if something doesn't change first. That's the premise of today's show!

Our next guest graduated from Harvard University and studied Advanced Computer Security at Stanford. He is the founder and CEO of Achilleion, a cybersecurity startup based in Los Angeles. He is a software developer, cybersecurity, and compliance expert, serial entrepreneur. He serves as a technical advisor to several companies in the healthcare, consumer technology, real estate, and financial sectors. He served as CEO of Rizm/Equametrics, which developed revolutionary algorithmic trading technology. Rizm raised $5.1M and was acquired in 2015. He also has extensive experience building web-based and mobile applications in multiple languages and frameworks. Please welcome Amir Tarighat to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!

Chapters:

Welcome, Amir! [3:16]

What is Elder Fraud and Cybersecurity? What are common schemes? [11:05]

How can people protect themselves from these schemes? What should someone do if they fall victim to one of them? [18:13]

How should people balance the implementation of technology in our lives with the cost of privacy loss? [27:24]

In a world of cryptocurrency, how can someone protect their digital financial assets? [42:07]

What is Amir’s definition of Retirement Success? [45:13]

Ben and Curtis wrap up the episode. [46:52]

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Ep:049 We did things a little differently this episode – no guest! Instead, Ben and Curtis sat down to give you a Retirement Potpourri. Tune in to hear them give an update on Guidance Point Advisors and The Retirement Success in Maine Podcast. Further in the conversation, Ben and Curtis share some helpful Retirement Resources and discuss what’s trending in the retirement universe. Use the link below to listen in!

Chapters:

An update on Guidance Point Advisors. [2:00]

An update on The Retirement Success in Maine Podcast. [8:17]

Retirement Resources! [17:00]

Retirement Trends! [19:48]

Why are people retiring now? [41:24]

How are retirees accessing retirement? [44:10]

Ben and Curtis wrap up the episode. [53:37]

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Ep 048: According to a September 8, 2020, CNBC article "Here’s what you need to know about moving in retirement" by Jill Cornfield, “Sixty-four percent of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement." Downsizing, such as moving to a smaller, more manageable property in the same area, is the most typical move people make. It makes sense from several perspectives, right? It’s most likely to be in line with lifestyle goals, and your life isn’t uprooted. BUT what's the barrier for us to accomplish this? It's usually our stuff! If we're downsizing, we probably need to cut back on the THINGS we have - but how do we choose which of our things will fit our new home and which won't? 
 
Maybe you're not downsizing to a new home but perhaps you're an empty nester with a house full of "stuff" that represents memories, your loved ones, and things you can't JUST get rid of because they all mean something to you? Or perhaps you're now in retirement and enjoying ALL the things you always wanted to do, but one thing you DON'T want to do is declutter your things? Or perhaps you're aging in place (in your current home), and your home needs to be rearranged so that you can safely live in it? Or maybe you are helping a relative or recently a relative has passed away and YOU have the big job of going through their things but don't know where to begin. 
 
Well, these are common conversations that we have with our clients and it represents a BARRIER (and a common stressor to relationships) to them moving to the next stage of their lives. So we wanted to have someone on our show to discuss this. We went to the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers (NASMM) website and looked up any members in Maine and that's how we found our next guest and her business, SimplySized Home! Our next guest, along with her sister, with aging parents of their own and an attic full of long-forgotten treasures, soon came to understand how emotional and overwhelming the task of cleaning out a house can be. Every item had a story, each possession evoked a memory. As they sat among piles of books, Legos, and their beloved Barbie Dolls, they knew there had to be an easier way; and SimplySized Home was created. Today's guest has a retail, marketing, and project management background. She loves her business SimplySized Home because she realizes the value the company brings to families who face the emotional task of downsizing and moving. For her, it is the perfect blend of working with wonderful clients through the logistical deadline-driven process of moving. When not working she spends time with her 2 kids, husband, family, and friends. Her favorite places to spend time are Panther Pond and Bayside. Please welcome Kim Dorsky to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!
 

Chapters:

Welcome, Kim! [2:53]

How is a Move Manager service different than a Moving Company? [12:37]

What psychological barriers are encountered when stepping in as a Move Manager? [18:06]

How much does using a Move Manager service generally cost? [22:40]

How does a Move Manager go through the process of helping to sort out what has value, what do you sell, consign, or donate, but also how do you agree on what's an appropriate price? [25:48]

How does a Move Manager help with the selling and buying of homes? [34:00]

How does a Move Manager team build harmony with parties in a situation with multiple people involved on behalf of the individual who is downsizing? [42:51]

When is the best time to be downsizing our stuff? [48:30]

What is Kim’s personal definition of Retirement Success? [51:56]

Ben, Abby, and Curtis wrap up the episode. [54:54]

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Ep 047: In today's day and age, we're having more and more conversations with our financial planning and advisory clients that they want their values to be incorporated in all aspects of their lives. There are hot button items that they want to be impacting wherever possible. Maybe its climate. Maybe its social inequality. Maybe its disclosure of a company's business practices or countless others. 2020 was a solid reminder of these issues to many of us as COVID impacted the world significantly and there were urgent calls to address racial injustice after the murder of George Floyd. According to the Report on US Sustainable and Impact Investing Trends 2020, which tracked data as of year-end 2019, found that investors are considering "ESG" factors across $17 trillion of professionally managed assets, a 42 percent increase since 2018. So what is "ESG" and how can someone tie their values to their investments?  That's the premise of today's show!

Today's guest is the Head of Fundamental Equity Client Portfolio Management team for Emerging Markets and International Equities in the Americas, and an Emerging Markets specialist at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). She leads the building of the Emerging Markets and International Equities franchise, drives business expansion, designs new portfolios, and communicates Fundamental Equity strategies to clients in the Americas. In her role as an Emerging Markets specialist, she is focused on helping clients gain appropriate access to emerging markets, as well as assisting with their strategic asset allocation decision making process.

She has 13 years of industry experience, joining Goldman Sachs in 2008. She graduated from Lehigh University magna cum laude with a B.S. in Finance in 2008. She  was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2012. Please welcome Katherine Bordlemay to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!
 
 

Chapters:

Welcome, Katherine! [3:40]

What is Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and ESG? [9:55]

Why would someone want to invest their long-term savings in one of these vehicles (SRI/ESG)? [15:36]

How do asset managers evaluate ESG? [23:38]

As an investor, how can we know that an ESG’s strategy is really aligning with my values? [31:27]

How are asset managers themselves doing on ESG characteristics, including diversity and inclusion? [44:25]

What is Katherine’s definition of Retirement Success? [50:21]

Abby, Ben, and Curtis wrap-up the episode. [51:38]

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Ep 046: According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data from 2017, the average monthly energy bill in Maine is just $87.21. That’s the lowest average energy bill of any state in New England, and one of the lowest in the U.S. For reference, Maine’s closest neighbor, New Hampshire, features a much pricier $114.95 average monthly energy bill. (Source: SmartData) However, that's not the entire picture where electrical energy is only ONE energy source that Mainers use ~ many Mainers use heating oil, gas, wood, pellets, solar, etc. to heat their homes during winter months or supplement electrical use. For many Mainers, heating and electrical use is the considerable budget item. Energy can also be talked about in regards to our transportation systems and our vehicles ~ Energy in Maine is a BIG topic! But for us Mainers today, what's going on in energy use today and how will it impact tomorrow? Especially for retirees, how should they be thinking about creating enough energy flexibility for their homes that they can adapt and react to changing prices on energy over their lives? That's the premise of today's show!
 
Our next guest holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer. He is a former State Representative, where he was a member of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. He co-founded DuraLife Decking, a composite decking manufacturing company that continues to operate and grow in Biddeford. After the company's acquisition, he then served as Director of Sustainability for GAF, North America's largest roofing manufacturer, developing initiatives such as roofing recycling and the company's Zero-Waste-to-Landfill effort, as well as building networks with national organizations such as the US Green Building Council. Currently, our next guest is the Executive Director for E2Tech - the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine. He also hosted "The Grow Maine Show" for over 100 episodes and 6 years and had his show picked up by WGAN, where it airs Sunday Morning at 11a. 
 
He grew up in Carthage, Maine, where his family still runs a small farm keeping Jersey cows. He and his wife Amy and their two children live in Biddeford where Amy works in the Biddeford School Department. 
Please welcome Marty Grohman to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!
 
Chapters:

Welcome, Marty! [2:53]

How is energy being utilized throughout the state of Maine? [16:22]

What are some things that Mainers can do to lower their heating and energy costs? [26:54]

What’s coming down the pike in terms of cutting-edge energy technologies? [37:50]

What is Marty doing today to future proof himself from energy costs and moving to more sustainable forms of energy? [44:31]

What is Marty’s personal definition of Retirement Success? [48:36]

Ben and Curtis wrap up the episode. [51:50]

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Ep 045: The next jackpot for the next Powerball drawing has hit $1.5 billion. If you win it, you won't ever have to worry about money again--right? Wrong.

With good money management you--and your heirs--could live handsomely for many, many years. But from the moment that you claim that prize, you will be descended upon by vultures who want a hefty helping of those winnings. And if you didn't have smart money habits up until now, you could easily turn out to be your own worst enemy by quickly squandering the fortune.  There's actually a term for this, it’s called a "Lottery Curse Victim"! 

With that, we have wanted to tackle the concept of winning the Powerball with three pillars of help: legal, tax, and financial advisory. Our first guest was recently on episode #39 -Estate Planning Mistakes that Lead to Probate Litigation, she is on the executive committee for Legal Services for the Elderly in Maine, the Maine Justice Action Group, a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, and an advisor to the Peaks Island Fund, a Maine Community Foundation fund. She also teaches elder law as adjunct faculty at the University of Maine School of Law. She was a member attorney of Maine Center for Elder Law, LLC prior to the Center merging with Perkins Thompson, P.A. in September of 2019. Our second guest joined BBSC Certified Public Accountants in 2015 as a Senior Accountant with 7 years of experience in public accounting and is now a Principal at the firm. He works with small to medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries, including real estate development, retail companies, service providers, and construction companies. He advises on and prepares returns for partnerships, corporations, and individuals. He also handles the Firm’s personal property tax programs administered by the State of Maine and local municipalities, the BETE & BETR programs.

Please welcome Barbara Schlichtman and Justin Freeman to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!

Chapters:

LEGAL SEGMENT – Barbara Schlichtman, Attorney [3:12]

Basics about a trust and why estate planning is so important, especially in a case of wealth. [3:55]

Why are Fiduciaries so important? [9:34]

I WON! What is the timeline for getting the legal structures in place before claiming the prize? [20:55]

What should people consider before gifting/donating away the prize money? [30:20]

TAX SEGMENT – Justin Freeman, CPA [39:38]

How are lottery and gambling winnings taxed? [41:34]

From a tax perspective, when does it make sense for someone to choose the annuity payout or the lump sum payout? [45:22]

When a pool of people purchases lottery tickets, and they win, how does that work from a tax perspective? [48:42]

What happens if the lottery ticket is purchased in another state? [50:36]

How much can charitable giving help reduce the tax bill over time? [54:40]

How can a trust receiving the winnings help from a tax perspective? [1:01:39]

FINANCIAL PLANNING SEGMENT – Guidance Point Advisors, LLC [1:10:07]

Annuity or Lump Sum, and why? [1:11:33]

How to invest the money? [1:18:41]

What to consider when realizing your dreams after winning the Powerball? [1:25:08]

What are some practical things to be doing with the winnings? [1:32:39]

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Ep 044: In our show, we've covered many topics but we've not had the conversation about Caregiving. According to the National Alliance of Caregiving (NAC) and AARP, 53 million, or 21% of Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult with health or functional needs. 24% of caregivers are caring for more than one person. 26% of Americans are caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Lastly, 26% of family caregivers report THEIR own health as fair to poor! So what do we need to know about caregiving BEFORE we get into the role? How do we balance our own mental, physical, and emotional health and the person we're taking care of? Where do I go if I need help and have questions? How do I make sure I'm ok AFTER the adult I'm caring for is gone? That's the premise of today's show!

Enter an expert who has been a well-known patient advocate and licensed clinical social worker for the last 35 years. She began her career working with geriatric patients who experienced catastrophic illnesses and counseled them and their families about adapting to these medical problems. She helped them understand their medical condition and counseled them about how to cope with the disease and its impact on their lives. She continued to work on a rehabilitation unit in a large Chicago teaching hospital with patients who had suffered traumatic brain injuries, strokes, cancer, amputations, burns, and neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. She also covered the emergency room for 13 years seeing patients of all ages with a variety of medical problems.
In writing her new book, "Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents," our guest has come full circle. Her experience in caring for her beloved father, who died at age 97, triggered her passion in reaching out to others who suddenly find themselves in a caregiver role and are uncertain about what to do or where to go for help. In this book, she shares her father’s inspiring story and her personal and professional experience in assuming the challenges that come with being a caregiver for an aging loved one.
Today's guest has been doing freelance writing for the last 20 years. The focus of her work has been on health-related topics and assisting her readers gain knowledge that helps them feel less alone and empowers them in significant new ways. Please welcome Iris Waichler to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!
 
Chapters:

Welcome, Iris Waichler! [2:29]

An introduction to caregiving. What is it? How does caregiving change as the person receiving the care ages? [12:46]

How can caregivers avoid burnout? How do caregivers cope as their loved one(s) decline? [21:30]

What advice does Iris have for someone who doesn’t have that immediate family member to step in as their caregiver? [35:48]

What is the “caregiver conversation” and when is the best time to step in? [38:44]

What is Iris’s personal definition of Retirement Success? [53:03]

Ben, Abby, and Curtis wrap up the conversation. [55:08]

 

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Ep 043: You'd think that in retirement we are going to be stress and anxiety free and life is just six Saturdays and a Sunday, right? But, there is always something to worry about - starting with the retirement transition period of "who am I and what do i do with the rest of my life?" to financial, medical, relationships, and life in general. One thing we've found with our clients is that just because one part of their life retires, other things in their life steps in to complete their time more, and with that, stress accompanies life. So what can we do to de-stress our lifestyles? How do we quiet our minds and heal ourselves from years of job, family, money, relational, and other life stresses? Well, meditation is a great way to clear our minds and de-stress ourselves. So we wanted to dive into meditation and how it can help today's retiree ~That's the premise of today's show! 

Our next guest is a meditation teacher and energy worker specializing in meditation, women’s energetics, and sexual trauma healing. She is the author of The Art and Science of Meditation: How to Deepen and Personalize Your Practice and Chakra Empowerment for Women: Self-Guided Techniques for Healing Trauma, Owning Your Power & Finding Overall Wellness. She has trained in many energy healing modalities and is certified in both mindfulness meditation instruction and trauma sensitivity. Lisa is a member of the International Association of Meditation Instructors, the American Holistic Health Association, the Energy Medicine Practitioners Association, and The Breathe Network, a non-profit dedicated to supporting holistic healing for sexual trauma survivors. She supports individuals in goal attainment and to support physical healing, showing them how energy meditations and guided exercises can help. Please welcome Lisa Erickson to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!
 

Chapters:

Welcome, Lisa! [2:11]

What are the different meditation forms, and what are the benefits of each? [7:28]

How can retirees specifically, start or develop their meditation or yoga practice? [21:24]

Meditate with us! [34:20]

Can group meditation help combat social isolation? [45:16]

What is Lisa’s definition of Retirement Success? [52:53]

Ben, Abby, and Curtis wrap-up the conversation. [55:20]

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Ep 042: In the United States, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community is large; in fact, this group makes up approximately 4.5% of the country’s total population. An estimated 2.7 million adults in the US are both LGBTQ+ and over 50, with 1.1 million over the age of 65. Despite their size and prevalence, the LGBTQ+ community still experiences myriads of hurdles and challenges, especially when it comes to healthcare. Roughly 56% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals and 70% of transgender individuals have encountered anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination when attempting to access healthcare. Further, the LGBTQ+ community faces unique challenges through the aging process. So what are those challenges and what resources are available to help overcome them? That's the premise of today's show!

Our guest is the Associate Vice President of Community and Pediatric Services at Northern Light Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine. He has over 20 years of experience providing mental health services to youth and families across a variety of settings. He also is an adjunct faculty member at both UMaine in Orono and Husson University in Bangor and is the Clinical Consultant for the Bangor YMCA. He serves on the Maine Board of Social Work Licensing and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care. Locally, he was recognized in 2019 for his advocacy work with LGBTQ+ youth and was named Health Care Social Worker of the Year in 2019 by the Maine Hospital Association and the Maine Chapter of the SSWLHC. Nationally, he was the SSWLHC’s 2019 recipient of the Eleanor Clark Award for Innovative Programs in Patient Care for his work on youth suicide prevention. In the Spring of 2020, he was named the University of Maine School of Social Work's Alumni of the Year. Please welcome Christopher McLaughlin BACK to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!
 
Chapters:

Welcome back, Chris! [2:37]

When we talk about LGBTQ+, who are we talking about? [9:13]

What does it mean for the LGBTQ+ community to take ownership of who they really are? [20:47]

What are some things that LGBTQ+ seniors can do to reduce social isolation? [31:58]

In Maine, what organizations can LGBTQ+ seniors turn to to assist with their needs as they age? [46:16]

How do state statutes on rights and the stability of those rights impact the decision making on where to live? [50:24]

If Chris could have anything named after him, what would it be and why? [1:03:46]

Ben and Curtis wrap-up the conversation. [1:06:08]

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