40 episodes

This retirement podcast covers the changing nature of retirement today. Our guests offer useful insights on how to retire as well as the non-financial aspects of a successful retirement transition including retiring early, working longer and making a career shift in pre-retirement.

The Retirement Wisdom Podcast Retirement Wisdom

    • Careers

This retirement podcast covers the changing nature of retirement today. Our guests offer useful insights on how to retire as well as the non-financial aspects of a successful retirement transition including retiring early, working longer and making a career shift in pre-retirement.

    Tiny Habits Can Lead to Big Changes – BJ Fogg

    Tiny Habits Can Lead to Big Changes – BJ Fogg

    Behavior change is hard. Studies show that up to 45% of our behavior comes from habits. So, what if we could learn how to create habits and design the new behaviors we want? In this podcast episode, our guest is BJ Fogg, PhD;the founder of Stanford's Behavior Design Lab; and the world’s leading expert in habit formation. His new book Tiny Habits: Small Changes That Change Everything is based on over two decades of groundbreaking research and lays out a simple - yet powerful - behavior change model and a broader master system. His Tiny Habits® Method helps you create a three-step recipe designed to break big aspirations into specific micro behaviors; anchor them to a reliable prompt; and wire them in through a celebration with positive emotion.

    People use Tiny Habits for a wide range of situations and challenges. It’s up to you on how you choose to use it and design the recipes that are right for you. However, the book includes over 300 sample Tiny Habit Recipes across 15 common life situations and challenges to spur your thinking.

    These include recipes for habits for:

    active older adults


    better sleep

    reducing stress

    cultivating brain health

    strengthening close relationships

    stopping habits that are getting in your way


    We talk with BJ Fogg about his new habit book and:

    What Behavior Design is all about – and how he become interested in it

    How the Fogg Behavior Model works

    Why leaning on motivation and willpower aren’t reliable paths to behavior change

    How to create good habits - and what emotion has to do with it

    Why the Tiny Habits Method is a valuable skill set

    Why some habits are Golden Behaviors and how to identify them and create them

    Why the Tiny Habits Method is transformational

    Why you’ll want to try The Super Fridge habit (among others in the Tiny Habits book)

    How he is personally using Tiny Habits today in his life

    His advice for people who want to create new behaviors this year



    BJ Fogg, PhD, is the founder and director of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford. In addition to his research, he teaches Boot Camps in Behavior Design for industry innovators and also leads the Tiny Habits Academy helping people around the world. One of Fortune’s “10 New Gurus You Should Know.”

    Each year Dr. Fogg creates a new course to teach at Stanford, with topics ranging from mobile persuasion to health habits. His students have gone on to create successful products, including Instagram, that millions of people use every day. Today, Dr. Fogg is primarily interested in how human behavior works and how to help people acquire habits that lead to health and happiness. He has personally coached over 42,000 people in his behavior change method called “Tiny Habits.”


    Wise Quotes 


    On Behavior Design

    “It came together for me in 2007 and this model - it's really easy to understand, and it applies to all types of behaviors and all habits. Basically, it's three elements. There's motivation to do behavior, the ability to the behavior and a prompt. And so, with any behavior we'll have motivation, ability and a prompt. And this is what we discovered in research at Stanford and in industry. And if you make a small tweak to any one of those elements, you can change a behavior. So, for example, if you want to stop a habit, if you can remove the motivation, boom, it will stop. If you can't do that, can you remove the ability to make it harder to do? You can stop it - or can you remove the prompt?

    • 31 min
    Retirement Planning Includes Getting Good at Getting Older – Rabbi Laura Geller

    Retirement Planning Includes Getting Good at Getting Older – Rabbi Laura Geller

    Wise retirement planning transcends your 401k. The transition to retirement is one of the most significant experiences you’ll encounter in your lifetime. And it’s increasingly being recognized as a new and distinct phase of life. One that’s rich with possibilities for personal development, spiritual growth, learning and wisdom. While people retire at different ages, what we all have in common is that we are all growing older. And it turns out that aging well takes a new skill set.

    In this episode of our retirement podcast, our guest is Rabbi Laura Geller, Rabbi Emerita of Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills, California, a founder of ChaiVillageLA and co-author of the new book, Getting Good at Getting Older. She was the third woman in the Reform Movement to become a rabbi and among the first to be selected to lead a major metropolitan synagogue.

    We talk with Rabbi Geller about:

    Why she and her late husband decided to write the new book Getting Good at Getting Older

    If wisdom comes with age

    How we can cultivate wisdom (and as she recommends - a heart of wisdom) in the second half of life

    Why creating the right mindset and attitude about retirement is so important

    Spirituality and inner life in the second half of life

    The benefits of embracing lifelong learning

    What people who thrive in retirement do differently from those who struggle with the transition to retirement

    Where to begin if you want to get good at getting older


    Rabbi Laura Geller, Emerita Rabbi of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, was the first woman to be selected through a national search to lead a major metropolitan synagogue as Senior Rabbi. She was twice named one of Newsweek’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America and was featured in the PBS documentary “Jewish Americans.” Author of numerous articles in books and journals, she was on the editorial board of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary. She is a Fellow of the Corporation of Brown University from where she graduated in 1971. Ordained by Hebrew Union College in 1976, she is the third woman in the Reform Movement to become a rabbi. She is a Rabbinic Fellow of the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, a mentor in the Clergy Leadership Initiative, a facilitator in the Formation Project of On Being, and a member of the Board of The Jewish Women’s Archive. She is a founder of the first synagogue-based village, ChaiVillageLA, which is part of the national Village Movement. She is co-author with her late husband Richard Siegel, co-author of The Jewish Catalog(1973), of Getting Good at Getting Older.


    Wise Quotes 

    On Wisdom

    “It's very important to acknowledge that it's hard to have a lot of wisdom when you're young. But as you say, getting older doesn't mean that you're necessarily wise. So, the activity of acquiring wisdom is a practice many of us prepare when we're younger for our retirement. We need also to prepare for our spiritual work of this second stage of our life. And part of it, I think is really paying attention to what it means to be wise. What does it mean to pay attention to the opportunities that exist that this stage of our life and what are the practices that can help us do that? So, in our book, we speak about meditation, we talk about journaling, we talk about pilgrimage as opposed to travel. It’s one thing to take a trip. It's another thing to experience that trip as a pilgrimage, a journey that will help us discover not only our roots, but also what's really important to us. It takes a focus on lifelong learning. We continue to learn and gain wisdom through the notion that when you stop learning, you start dying.”


    On Intergenerational Relationships

    “One of the things that we learned in working on our book is one of the secrets of getting good at getting olde...

    • 34 min
    The Mind-Body Connection and The Rabbit Effect – Kelli Harding, M.D.,MPH

    The Mind-Body Connection and The Rabbit Effect – Kelli Harding, M.D.,MPH

    In this episode of our retirement podcast, our guest is Dr. Kelli Harding, author of The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier With the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness. 

    Is there anything more important than your health and wellness? Most books for retirement focus on financing retirement and health care, which are important topics. If you want to retire smarter, you have to go beyond that. The Rabbit Effect is not a retirement book per se, but it offers recommendations, based on research, on how you can enhance your overall wellness by being mindful of hidden factors, like compassion and kindness.

    We discuss with Kelli Harding:

    How the scientific research on compassion and kindness changed how she viewed medicine

    Why the Mind-Body connection and hidden factors affect health

    The role of relationships and social ties to health

    The long-term consequences of seemingly small decisions like compassion and choices we make – do acts of kindness matter?

    The importance of cultivating a sense of purpose

    The ripple effect of compassion and kindness

    Her recommendations on how to start to make mindful daily choices that matter to your wellness


    Kelli Harding, MD, MPH, is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as boarded in the specialty of psychosomatic (mind-body) medicine. Harding has spent much of her career in the emergency room at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She has also served nationally on the Association of American Medical Colleges Board of Directors, which leads the academic medicine community to improve the health of all.

    Harding is also the author of  "The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness". She has appeared as an expert source for media outlets including Today, Good Morning America, NPR, The New York Times, Medscape, Oprah.com, Parents, and US News & World Report.

    Wise Quotes

    On Hidden Factors that Influence Health

    “Here's the really shocking statistic - we know that lifestyle factors are important and we know that medical care and access to quality medical care is absolutely critical for every human being. But it probably only accounts for about 10 to 20% of our overall health status. And the rest of it has to do with our social world and all these hidden factors in our homes, relationships, communities, workplaces, schools that we need to be talking and addressing that we often don't think about, as health.”

    “So for listeners, if there is one thing that you can invest in for your health, it's building positive relationships - and this pans out in multiple studies. In fact, the longest running study ever, which has been done out of Harvard, shows that the number one predictor of somebody's health is actually positive relationships.”


    On Inflammation, Stress and Support

    “So, probably the big culprit, and I talk a lot about this in the book, is inflammation…We know that inflammation has been linked with depression and anxiety and other things. And it's interesting because some of the medicines that we use to treat those illnesses that we didn't fully understand. We know from clinical trials that they work, but we didn't know how they worked and it seems to be a common pathway among many of them that they're anti-inflammatory. And what's interesting about that is we might be looking at sort of like a underlying cause of all illness, which is, as a clinician, quite exciting. But then the other question is how, what can you do to try to reduce that? And a major pathway through that is our stress levels. And stress is something that happens to all of us.

    • 31 min
    Advice for Successful Career Women Transitioning to Retirement – Helen Dennis

    Advice for Successful Career Women Transitioning to Retirement – Helen Dennis

    What retirement advice for women would an expert offer?  Helen Dennis has helped thousands prepare for the non-financial side of retirement planning.  She recently celebrated the 18th anniversary of her popular weekly column Successful Aging. In this episode of our retirement podcast we asked Helen to share her views on a range of topics that can help you retire smarter:

    Why the term retirement needs to be retired

    The backstory of Project Renewment ®

    The key themes she’s seeing in Project Renewment®  groups

    What the different issues are that men face in this phase of life

    What gets in the way of freedom in retirement

    The pros and cons of a busy retirement

    What Joy has to do with retirement

    Her advice on how to navigate the transition from a full-time career to retirement

    Wise Quotes

    On Life Purpose and Retirement

    “I think that's one of the biggest challenges for retirement. Because when you're working, you don't have to think about purpose. You know exactly why you're there. You know what you're supposed to do, you know the expectations and you know the rewards. So, someone says, what is your purpose in life? As you're working 50 hours a week, you say: my purpose in life is I get to work, do my job to support my family. So now we take all of that away and said, you know, it's almost existential. You say, well, who am I now? Why am I on this planet? What is meaningful to me? And if you've never thought about that for the past 35 years or 40 years of your career. This is possibly a new thought and a new conversation. I think it is absolutely fundamental to have a meaningful purpose in retirement,  to have some sense of purpose - and it can be a journey."

    "Your purpose in the first five years may be a different purpose in the next five years. I think it's a journey. I think talking about it in groups, in conversation groups - even with your book group - is very helpful. I think finding purpose can be hard as a solo activity. I think it's one of the biggest challenges in retirement. You could be busy, you'd have a full calendar, but that sense of purpose may be missing - and a big piece of purpose often is giving back. That can be a very fulfilling aspect. It's a challenge. It's a process.”


    On the Freedom of Retirement – and Life Changes

    “Well, I think there is this feeling, particularly if you've had a high-pressure job, if you're commuting in Los Angeles, and if you've had 12 changes in management that now you can breathe and say, Oh my God, I am finally free. I can sleep longer. I can breathe, I don't have to hyperventilate. And so, there is this great feeling of freedom and then the unexpected occurs.  The unexpected like your adult children move home for whatever reason. We have grandparents raising grandchildren. The biggest one that seems to move into this space of freedom is caregiving. So, I think what we need to prepare for it is that freedom is not 100% of everything. We may have freedom and spirit, freedom of movement, freedom of thought. But we do have responsibilities. And the biggest one that seems to come in is caregiving.”


    On Joy and Retirement

    “We have a lot of environmental influences that can creep into our joy. And I love the definition of joy is the feeling of grinning inside…There are a lot of complexities of life and people go through their own struggles and yet you say, okay, this is a joyful time of your life."

    "Joy is not a word that is usually associated with aging and you don't usually hear joy and retirement. So, it's trying to shake that paradigm a little bit to say this has the potential to be the most joyful period of our lives. And when people are looking for joy, you're saying, all right, how do I make myself joyful?”


    • 37 min
    Why Building Resilience is Vital in Midlife and Beyond – Jan Zacharjasz

    Why Building Resilience is Vital in Midlife and Beyond – Jan Zacharjasz

    In this episode of our retirement podcast we with talk with Jan Zacharjasz. Jan is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in midlife transitions, including making a midlife career change, focusing on the changing needs of Baby Boomers as they redefine aging today. Jan shares with us her insights and perspective on a range of topics:

    Her story of what led her to become a coach

    The key challenges she sees clients dealing with in mid-life and beyond

    Why resilience building is vital – and whether it’s something you’re born with or can be learned

    How she helps clients navigate transitions

    Her coaching approach

    The benefits of coaching for her clients


    Wise Quotes

    “I think resilience is just one of the most important things that you can have in midlife. I really see resilience as an antidote for managing many of the mid and later life changes that we were just talking about. It’s really an essential tool to help you navigate through the different bumps in the road that come up - and to help you not only bounce back from setbacks or disappointments or worries. But resilience done the right way really can enable you to come out of it even stronger than ever as a result of the experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them.”

    “I really see there’s just an incredibly widespread application for resilience. In midlife. And resilience is a key life skill. And, if you think about it, nobody really taught us how to be resilient in school. So that’s why I build resilience into my coaching and I actually teach it in workshops.”




    Jan Zacharjasz is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in midlife transitions, focusing on the changing needs of Baby Boomers as they redefine aging today.  The founder of Coaching for Resilience, Jan is passionate about helping people gain courage and resilience through significant work, health, and family changes so they can reframe their lives and thrive moving forward.  Along with individual coaching, Jan provides life purpose and energy leadership assessments and interactive workshops on resilience, retirement lifestyle planning, and how to manage change successfully.

    Jan’s career spans the private and public sectors in healthcare.  Most recently, she directed an award-winning program designed to cultivate positive aging in those who are 55+.  This innovative program focused on health and wellness, social connectivity, and strategies for creating a fulfilling retirement.

    Jan received her coaching certification from iPEC, the leading Coach Training program in the U.S.  She earned her M.S. in Human Organization Science from Villanova University and her B.S. in Individual and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University, where she graduated as valedictorian.

    An active community leader, Jan is co-chair for the Philadelphia chapter of the Life Planning Network and serves on its National Board.  She developed the Sandwich Generation Series to provide life-changing support to Boomers in caregiving roles for their aging parents and children.

    Jan has effectively responded to her family’s unexpected life changes and brings deep sensitivity, resourcefulness, and diligence to her coaching clients.  A proud member of the Sandwich Generation, Jan provides endless love and devotion to her husband, Mario, two daughters, and mother.  She loves traveling, exercising, and relaxing with family and friends at the beach.


    Jan has recently become affiliated with Retirement Wisdom. If you’d like to work with Jan, please email Joe Casey at joec@retirementwisdom.com or call Joe at (609) 921-1521.


    Related Retirement Wisdom Podcast episodes

    We’re All Ageing. Are You Up for a. Bolder Approach? – Carl Honore

    • 26 min
    Why People Make a Career Change with Purpose Top of Mind – Chris Farrell

    Why People Make a Career Change with Purpose Top of Mind – Chris Farrell

    In this new episode of our retirement podcast, we are joined by Chris Farrell to discuss his new book Purpose and a Paycheck. Podcasts about retirement and books on retirement primarily focus on financial planning. Chris' new book is different. In our conversation, he shares his observations on why more people are making a career change toward work with greater purpose and meaning. Chris explains why he thinks “There has never been a better time to be in the second half of life in America” and offers his insights on why the choice of working in retirement can be beneficial. We also discuss why he thinks entrepreneurship and self-employment are attractive options for a midlife career change and the multigenerational dimensions of retirement today. You’ll also hear the ageist phrases that he thinks should be retired, and his advice for planning your next chapter with purpose top of mind. If you’re thinking about a career change at 50 or older, you’ll benefit from listening to this conversation. It just might just give you inspiring ideas for a second career after retirement with greater purpose.

    Wise Quotes

    On Innovative Ways of Working Longer

    “…At our core we all want to be useful, we all want to be helpful. And one way that we're useful and helpful is to tap into our knowledge and our experience. So, there's a lot of experimentation that's going on right now. Flexible work, part-time work, starting your own business, self-employment, phased retirement, encore careers. And we don't really know how this is going to shake out.”

    On Emerging Multigenerational Trends

    “A lot of people don't like age segregation anymore. …it's the Boomer parents going into business with their Millennial or Gen-X or children. Or it's a boomer going into business with a Millennial or a Gen-Xer. Typically, what the Boomer’s providing is some capital, knowledge, experience and contacts. And what the younger person is providing is that ambition, that hustle, a little tech-savvy - and their burden of student loans. So, they don't have that much capital. And so, that's a real win-win situation for both generations. And that's a really heartening trend.”

    “The other place where you're seeing it is in housing. There's a great deal of interest in intergenerational housing. (There’s) not a whole lot of choice out there yet. We can come up, there are lots of, intriguing examples of music conservatories that are nearby a continuing care community and the students are invited to live there for free, or a nominal price, and just to be part of the community to be engaged with the community. And you are seeing a sort of deliberate building of multigenerational communities.”


    Chris Farrell is considered a leading expert on the trend toward working longer in the second half of life. He writes a biweekly column for Next Avenue, an online PBS magazine for the 50-plus demographic, and hosts a Minnesota Public Radio Program, Conversations on the Creative Economy, which is now entering its sixth season. He speaks across the country on the topic of unretirement. Chris earned his BA from Stanford and his Master’s from the London School of Economics.

    Books by Chris Farrell Referenced in this Retirement Podcast episode:

    Purpose and a Paycheck: Finding Meaning, Money & Happiness in the Second Half of Life

    Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life


    Follow Chris Farrell:

    Conversations on the Creative Economy - MPR News

    Next Avenue



    Our Brief Review of Purpose and a Paycheck


    Related Retirement Podcast Episodes:

    If You’re Planning on Working Longer, How Do You Best Prepare – Kerry Hannon

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

Idea Girl 32871 ,

If you only listen to one retirement podcast, make this it

If you’re eager to get wise about retirement, you’ve come to the right place. Not only are cohosts Joe Casey and Denis Wuestman knowledgeable guides/coaches, they are excellent interviewers who put their guests center stage and give them ample time to share their wisdom.

Guests include authors, speakers and other thought leaders who are shaping the way we live and work in our 50s and beyond.

You’ll not only get practical advice and actionable tips, you’ll enjoy real-life stories from individuals who are making the most of their lives.

I’ve listened to every episode and am much better prepared for retirement as a result. I bet you will be, too!

elisa3548 ,


This podcast has so much more to offer than just retirement wisdom! The hosts and their guests give so much wonderful life advice applicable to many generations. That being said, anyone can and should plan for retirement, no matter what age.

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