21st Century Retirees are the Millennials of Retirement.

Do you have a millennial at home or at work? I do. We find article after article describing the differences between millennials and baby boomers. However, listening to the millennial I have at home I wonder: are we really that different?

The most powerful moral influence is example.

Huston Smith

In an open letter to management, Lisa Earle McLeod’s compelling writing shows why millennials are constantly quitting jobs. The baby boomers reading this blog may be saying at this point “I worked for many years in the same company! We are really different.” And you may have a point or two when you add that we never expected free lunches at work!

Continue reading “21st Century Retirees are the Millennials of Retirement.”

Conversation with Jeanette. Future Expat.

I met Jeanette at a social event this summer. Our conversation moved quickly from our professional lives to “I will retire in Mexico,” she said. I think she noticed my bewilderment after she mentioned her retirement plan. Based on OECD analysis of quality of life cities like Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver are among the 23 best places to live in. Why to move south then? I did not ask at that moment but a few days later I invited Jeanette for a coffee to learn more about this idea.

It seems she is not alone. The Expat Insider 2018 report by  InterNations indicates that “nearly a quarter of US American expats (23%) describe their current employment status as retiree.” I visited additional online resources to prepare myself for my next conversation with Jeanette. Kathleen Peddicord, author and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas, advises on the benefits of retiring abroad, while others like Chris Powers,  who runs PanamaForReal.com, has a more cautious approach.

Armed with coffees Jeanette and I started talking. “How did you decide to retire in Mexico?” I asked.

As a passionate traveller she and her husband are always organizing trips around the world. They see living in Mexico as an opportunity to continue travelling even when they start their transition to retirement. They have been influenced by Jeanette’s father-in-law’s own experience as an expat. This connection has helped them test drive the idea of living in Mexico.  She has been visiting the lake Ajijic area to experience the daily life in this community made of mainly expats. The weather, the country’s slower pace, the lifestyle, the shops and affordable health care are among the benefits she and her husband see in this option.

I must tell you, I admire these expatarees™, as I call them. I left Latin America more than 20 years ago to move to Canada. I have lived in 3 countries by now. I have experienced first hand the culture shock, the loss of a social network, the awkwardness of not knowing the language and the rules. The baby-like feeling of having to learn everything from scratch.  Would I like to start again in a new place at 64 or more? I asked myself. Jeanette’s explains me that, as a bonus, living in Mexico allows them to include more travelling in their retirement budget.

If, so far, you’re more intrigued than discouraged test drive your retirement plan as Jeanette and her husband did.

Find a culture that fits your psyche.

Rick Steves, Americans living in Europe

Time passes fast when listening to Jeanette’s plan. I want to stay longer and ask more questions but we both have busy schedules for the day. Before finishing the conversation, I asked a last question. I know she is an active member of the community who regularly works on social causes. Do you have a life purpose for your retirement? With a big smile she says, “Now we are talking!” She has visited associations in lake Ajijic to continue her social work there too. You can see that she has done her homework. She left me with one final thought, “don’t go to a place to change it,” she said. On that, I cannot agree more.

I join those that are intrigued, or cautiously intrigued rather, by the idea of becoming expatirees™. If you are too, tell us what has worked and hasn’t worked for you as you look for the next city to call home.

… to the 21st Century Retirees

Dr. Jane Goodall2

“These days Dr. Goodall, who turned 81 earlier this month, has effectively exchanged the day-to-day rigour of field biology for a gruelling travel schedule that keeps her on the road about 300 days a year. Her aim is global conservation, or ‘making the world a better place for all living things’ – the stated mission of her eponymous Jane Goodall Institute.”

IVAN SEMENIUK, Science Reporter for the Global and Mail. Published April 17, 2015. Updated May 13, 2018.

Paddy Jones

“‘Age is just a mental state’ is a message [Paddy Jones, world’s Oldest Salsa Dancer,] and her partner are both committed to spreading in a fun and lively manner. If she’s inspired anyone to take up salsa, or enjoy any new hobby later in life, Paddy considers that the greatest win of all.”

JESSICA MEHTA, Meet Paddy Jones: The “World’s Oldest Salsa Dancer”, July 1, 2016.


Hazel McCallion

“[Hazel] McCallion, who will turn 97 on Valentine’s Day, advises seniors to view life as a ‘multitude of stages.’”
“McCallion uses her bit of spare time to tackle the mountain of unexamined gifts and souvenirs she accumulated as mayor. Her goal for 2018 is to continue connecting, one way or another, with old friends, especially those who fell out of touch while she was so busy as mayor.”
“’I don’t want to slow down,’ McCallion says firmly. ‘If I slow down, I’ll get old.’”

DAVID RIDER City Hall Bureau Chief, At age 96, Hazel McCallion remains a hurricane , Sat., Dec. 23, 2017.

We will pay a heavy price if we insist on navigating the 21st century with a 20th century mindset.

Tom Steyer

It is good to be reminded that we’ll be 21st century retirees. As such, we’ll not stop working and wait until we die (it’d be a long wait if you do, anyways). The 21st century retirees will step out side of the work box to a life purpose. This century offers so many opportunities to become GREAT.

How would you define your life purpose as a 21st century retiree? Share your ideas with us! Help us THINK BIG.