Jonathan and I spent last weekend at the Toronto Zoomer Show, which gave us the opportunity to talk to numerous people about our new book ‘Victory Lap Retirement.” As Ernie Zelinski my mentor likes to say “Books don’t sell themselves!”
The Zoomer show is Canada’s largest consumer and lifestyle event for men and women aged 45+. Visitors at the show receive the latest trends, advice and information on positive aging from more than 250 exhibitors such as Health and Wellness, Financial Planning, Caregiving, Fitness, Technology, Employment, Education, Pets, Volunteerism, Faith, Safety and Travel. There are celebrity speakers, fitness and health demonstrations and much more. One thing I really enjoyed was the strong line up of quality tribute bands, which included one doing songs of one my personal favourites “David Bowie”.
Moses Znaimer who is in the above picture is the founder and CEO of ZoomerMedia Limited, and is also the President of CARP, Canada’s largest Advocacy Association for Canadians. Some of you might remember Moses as the founder of some of this country’s most popular television stations and shows including City TV and Much Music. Let’s just say he is one interesting guy who has a proven track record of getting things done.
What I found really interesting was The Zoomer Philosophy;
“It’s an attitude toward living long – an open, optimistic attitude that combines a desire for new experiences with a sense of purpose and value. It’s an attitude that recognizes the challenges of Aging (and actively advocates for remedies to them), but also insists that aging doesn’t have to mean retreating from life.
When I read the Zoomer Philosophy it sounded like something that had come out of our own book-Victory Lap Retirement. Obviously Jonathan and I are very much on the same page as ZoomerMedia and we were very thankful for being able to attend the show. It gave us a great opportunity to meet a number of enthusiastic boomers looking for answers and we learned a lot from them over the weekend.
Based on our conversations there seems to be some re-occurring themes and two of the most common ones were:
1) ‘I really don’t know what I want to do when I finally retire” ;
2) “I don’t think I can find a good job for my Victory Lap”
Let’s deal with #1 first. As we outline in the book, your Victory Lap needs to be planned out well in advance of you leaving your primary career. You cannot assume that because you have lots of money and/or that you no longer enjoy your job that retirement will solve all your problems. Life just doesn’t work that way! In fact unplanned retirement may cause you even more problems or stress than you have now. Develop a support team of “trusted advisors” which includes your financial planner/investment advisor and plan things out in detail. Be involved and remember this is not something that you should simply delegate. It’s your life! So you better be involved in trying to figure things out, because… odds are you won’t get a second chance.
Question #2 really concerns me and I hear it a lot. For some reason, maybe it’s because of the “beatings” we experienced in our primary careers (been there done that), people seem to have lost confidence in themselves and their abilities. You need to remember who you are, what you have gone through, and where you have come from. Many of us had parents who immigrated to this country with little money and look at how well things turned out for them. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are and you are more than capable of doing it again. Sure you might have to study and learn some something new, but believe me you can do it! One of the hardest things to do for most people is just getting started. Join our community to get extra encouragement at victorylapretirement.com, share, participate and you will feel better for it. I promise!
Being at the Zoomer show was a wonderful experience and we plan on returning again next year. It’s great to get together with our fellow boomers and find ways to help one another. After all we are all in this together!
PS: On Sunday night I woke up around 2 PM and went down to the kitchen to get some Advil. Standing on my feet for two days at the Zoomer show was hurting me and for some reason (I know I’m sick) I decided to check my email. To my surprise I had received a wonderful note from a reader saying how our book had really resonated with him. He had had a rough ride in the corporate world( just like yours truly) and now after having read the book was now happily planning out his own Victory Lap. Reading that note really touched me and it made all our hard work feel worthwhile. Let’s just say I didn’t need the Advil anymore after reading that note.
Funny how that works!