Last post I wrote about two of my cool accidental jobs. In this post, I’ll share my coolest accidental job.
I read a LOT of articles about money and retirement. I also think a lot. For instance, as I typed the previous sentences I realized that the word “read” could be current or past tense. I find that an interesting concept of language complexity because I used to (past tense) read a lot more than I do now. I do still read (current tense) but often so much of the information in articles/posts seems to be the same 7 topics rehashed over and over and over. Or worse, the articles are too basic (or incorrect in my opinion or state of life) for me to use my time precious time on.
I frequently searched podcast titles for “retirement” or “money” or “financial” to see if there were new shows I wanted to check out. In 2014 I found the Retirement Answer Man. At that time, I was just transitioning/graduating from my work career and thought it was a great show for my phase of life.
Somewhere along the way I talked with Roger Whitney and did an episode about preparing for and being in retirement. A couple of years later I signed up for Roger’s 4-week group session to create a retirement plan using his professional structure.
I did both of the above activities because I wanted to help Roger—in my small way—because he was helping all of us with our retirement journey.
In the fall of 2018, Roger created a vision for a paid membership club for people wanting to Rock Retirement. The Rock Retirement Club started with a small group of Alpha (test) members, approximately 30 of us, to test everything out and see how the communication would work.
Again, I signed up to give back to Roger and support his vision.
In the spring of 2019, Roger was in town and I met him and we talked about the club for an hour or so. Some of our discussion was on functionality, but some was on my status of already being in retirement, vs leading up to career graduation.
I suggested we expand his Zoom meetup offerings/teaching to have a member-led discussion where members could ask their questions and share their thoughts/ideas/experiences on topics. I said it could be similar to us “meeting in a coffee shop and talking.” I was thinking of a members-to-member activity.
Roger said my idea sounded good and told me to start it up for the members. So in March, we had our first “Coffee with Kevin” meetup where everyone could share what they were thinking about.
As of this writing, we’ve had 52 sessions. The club has grown to almost 1200 members (amazing, wise, helpful, exciting people). We have a growing international presence. I improved and shifted to many evening meetings titled “Cocktails with Kevin.” (note: strangely, I don’t drink coffee or cocktails)
Over the past few years of helping with the club meetings, I’ve been able to become an official “RRC Coach” leading, motivating, bringing people with similar interests together, and working on Special Operations projects when applicable. I spend a couple of hours on Saturdays helping the club and its members. It doesn’t sound like much time, but to me, every day is Saturday. This why having a schetchle is so important.
So much of the above writing contains an ongoing process of self-improvement. It’s not always intentional but it seems to be a common thread.
Because I have interests and a passion for Retirement Planning, I earned my Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor CRPC certificate. I chose the formal CRPC program because it’s the retirement subset (1/3) of the CFP, the gold standard in financial planning.
This certificate is a way to give respect to RRC members and others I share my retirement thoughts with.
Mark Ross, the Kind Provocateur coach in the club who asks amazing questions often says there are three types of work 1) work for a fee 2) work from free and 3) work for me. In a way, I do all three, all the time.
I do earn a small salary in my RRC role as a thank you. I dedicate that as my “playcheck” and require myself to track and spend that money on specific categories. I often consider my playcheck for things I would not normally purchase except that I require myself to spend that unplanned money above and beyond my normal fun spending. (This is all different than a “fun bucket” and/or “MoJo” spending).
In actuality, I don’t spend that much each month on stuff, maybe a few hundred dollars, but to me, it’s like being free to say “yes” with only a little analysis before spending.
I write this post for a few reasons. Often our skills—in early Retirement or not—are desirable enough that employers and others would love to have your efforts assisting their vision. For many who FIRE, employers can tell, see, and feel your strengths and success. This may give you more opportunities to keep yourself (extra) busy or require you to build us your “no” skill.
I’ve had a lifetime of working in a manner that I structured to meet my desires from the smallest organizations to a Fortune 50 company. I don’t know how that is, but I believe it was because I delivered for my leadership so they could meet their goals…while always focusing on servicing my customers.
Last thought: I don’t think the word “toxic” appears in my vocabulary. I’ve always found the good in things even though I do maintain cautious pessimism just to be careful. It could be my risk aversion yet successful striving.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.