While navigating her parents' illnesses, Wendy Leggett helps women successfully transition from their careers to fulfilling and purpose-driven retirement. This is her story and she is resilient.
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Trigger Warning: The Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.
About the Guest:
Wendy Leggett helps women successfully transition from their careers to a fulfilling and purpose-driven retirement. Retirement is a well-earned and exciting next chapter, but for many, the thought of retirement brings up feelings of confusion, uncertainty, or stuckness. Wendy doesn’t want her clients to waste precious time as they attempt to sort it out. Through many interactive group programs and individualized focus sessions, she offers comprehensive tools, exercises and support. She shares her background and skills gained through her 25+ years in Sales Leadership and certifications as a Certified Professional Coach (CPC, ACC), Mental Fitness (CPQC) and Certified Professional Retirement Coach and Retirement Life Coach (CPRC, CRLC). All of this comes together beautifully as she designs your retirement roadmap, your plan for a retirement built on clarity, conviction, and commitment.
Sign up for the masterclass: https://calendly.com/confluxretirementcoaching/retirement-beyond-financial
About the Host:
Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients, including global wellness, entertainment and lifestyle brands. She is the creator of the Social Media Empowerment Pillars, has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards and more.
USA Today listed Blair as one of the top 10 conscious female leaders in 2022, and Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages, and her expertise has been featured in media outlets, including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur, and Thrive Global. In the summer of 2023, a new show that will be airing on Amazon Prime Video called 'My Story' will showcase Blair's life story. She is the co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast and the Radical Resilience podcast host. Blair is an international bestselling author and has recently published her second book, 'The Global Resilience Project.' In her free time, you can find Blair growing The Global Resilience Project's community, where users share their stories of overcoming life's most challenging moments.
Learn more about Blair: https://www.blairkaplan.ca/
The Global Resilience Project; https://theglobalresilienceproject.com/
Alana Kaplan is a compassionate mental health professional based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She’s a child and family therapist at a Winnipeg-based community agency, and a yoga teacher. Fueled by advocacy, Alana is known for standing up and speaking out for others. Passionate about de-stigmatizing and normalizing mental health, Alana brings her experience to The Global Resilience Project team, navigating the role one’s mental health plays into telling their story.
Engaging in self-care and growth is what keeps her going and her love for reading, travel, and personal relationships helps foster that. When she’s not working, Alana can often be found on walks, at the yoga studio, or playing with any animal that she comes across.
The Global Resilience Project: https://theglobalresilienceproject.com/
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trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience. It's me, Blair Kaplan Venables coming into you live from my office. And I'm so excited because I'm here with another person who lives on the west coast, but somewhere complete opposite from me. And her name is Wendy. She's absolutely amazing. She helps women successfully transition from their careers to a fulfilling and purpose driven retirement. And I'm going to let her talk more about what she does. And what is inspired her to create this. And I've gotten the pleasure to, you know, really get to know her over the last four months. So I'm excited to introduce her to you, you know, when chatting with her, and I asked her to share something that she's going through or has gone through, she shared with me a challenge of hers is navigating her parents illnesses and her dad's incredible way to overcome Alzheimer's, while her mom has a devastating desire to pass away to die. And I can't even imagine what that would be like, if you know my story, because I have never made it that far. But you know, the decline of any parent's health is absolutely devastating. And so I'm really excited to talk about, you know, Wendy, her journey into creating a fulfillment retirement for her and how she's helping others do that, while navigating, you know, this chapter of her parent's life. So I'd like to welcome to the mic, Wendy.Wendy Leggett:
Thank you. It's so great to be here. And it's always wonderful to be in your world. So I appreciate the opportunity.Blair Kaplan Venables:
I'm so excited to have you here. And I'm so honored that you have are trusting us with your story. Because you're living it right now. Right? This is not this is not something that happened, it's happening.Wendy Leggett:
Yeah, no good point. Because sometimes those nerve endings are right up at the surface. And so, so I appreciate that, that connection with those feelings. And and I appreciate being able to talk about it. You know, I think a lot of times when we hold things in, then things can become insurmountable, or they can take on a life of their own. And so being able to share and be vulnerable, I think is important for everyone.Blair Kaplan Venables:
I couldn't agree more. That's exactly it. And you know, I would love if you can share with our listeners your story.Wendy Leggett:
Oh, well, thank you. I appreciate it. I made a career change. About three and a half, four years ago, I had been as sales executive for a long time and loved working with clients. That really determined that it was the connection that I loved more than the sales process itself. So I found the opportunity to move into coaching, I made a major career change. And through that process, I learned a lot about listening about connecting with people about digging deeper, because we know that what's on this surface is there's usually so much more below it. And if we take the time and allow for that connection, we can we can uncover some beautiful things. So I had the really just a fantastic opportunity to step into this world took it a couple steps further getting a certification as well in what's called Positive Intelligence, so learning a lot about mindset, and then discovered the world of retirement coaching. And this resonated so much because in my demographic, and I'm one of those baby boomers that now we're trying to call activators are come up with something else. That I found that there were a lot of women like me that had grown up, not keying in on emotions, or not really being aware of why we were making the decisions that we did or maybe not using our voice. So that's where I'm at now is, like you said supporting women in that next chapter, making sure that it's, you know, as fulfilling and meaningful as possible.Blair Kaplan Venables:
And I think that's that's really important. So maybe if you can take us back to when do you remember your parents retiring and what that was like for them because every generation is so different. And I'm like I you know, I'm a vintage millennial and I never went through my mom retiring, which was all she talked about. And then my dad had to retire because he was not he was not healthy. Like, walk walk us through what it was like you experiencing your parents retirement and what you witnessed, you know from the outside?Wendy Leggett:
Yeah, it's such an interesting question. So I grew up in Seattle, Washington when I graduated from college, got married and moved to California. So I moved away from family. My parents when my father retired, and he was an executive at Boeing in Seattle, they moved to Arizona right away. My mom did not like Washington throughout the time that they live there. So she was very excited to move to Tucson, my parents are very active, or had been always really health conscious, always very driven to be out there doing things, they traveled a lot. But then over the years, you know, things started to kind of take a little backseat there, my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2018. And I think also COVID Unfortunately, kind of magnified that which I think other people have been through. And so. So I think that that kept them more isolated. So through all of that, and you're asking about the retirement, the retirement up until probably 10 years ago, maybe even five years ago, was really a dynamic one, a vital one for them, they they, like I said, had all kinds of different things that they were involved in, played tennis up until, you know, well into their 70s. So my father's 91 now and my mom's 89. But I think what I've recognized now, through helping navigate their illnesses, and being there, when my dad was hospitalized and trying to get them stabilized, what I recognized is that runway two elderhood, that that piece was missing a bit they didn't recognize which most of us don't, that we're not always going to have all of our senses are faculties, we're also maybe not going to get to make decisions about some things, the control factor is is not going to be as prevalent as it is when we're younger. And so now my parents, I think, are feeling, unfortunately, the downside of that, because they live in a really pretty solitary life, a more isolated life, and all of those social connections, all of those additional activities, that if they had focused on them, maybe earlier on, they could have carried that into this time of life. So that's what I'm recognizing is that if we don't step back and assess our bigger picture, and say, what's important to me, and what's my why, and how can I make that happen? We can get on a path that maybe doesn't take us into an area that's fulfilling.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, that's, that's quite interesting. So did you have a career and then retire and then come out of retirement as a retirement coach?Wendy Leggett:
No, I, I have not retired. So I made the choice to not continue in this sales leadership role, and looked into like, what's my why? What's important to me? And so I had the opportunity then to make that really one ad change in careers. Although not so now that I say that out loud, not so much. Because I kept a lot of the beautiful things from my past career that connecting with people the wanting the best for people. Yeah. And so, yeah, so I have not gone into retirement. And as a side note, when I first started in retirement coaching, I didn't with one of the certifications I got, I was asked, well, when are you going to retire? And I said, I'm never going to retire? My answer. And the answer back and you and I both probably don't want to hear this is that sometimes we don't get to choose. And so we need to have a plan B, because it may well be that we don't ever want to retire. But yet circumstances in life will will make a change. So the way that I want to answer that question then is then I'm just going to define retirement in my own way. And that's what I think everyone needs to do.Blair Kaplan Venables:
So what is your definition of retirement?Wendy Leggett:
I mean, I think it's not the right word, honestly, you know, and I think that we're going to find over these next years that there will be a new terminology because you know, the word retiring was from the industrial age, it's when people were out in the fields working. It was when they were in the factories, grinding away, they were tired, and when they hit that mark, and when they were 6062, and they hit that mark, they probably live for maybe two Whew, three, four or five years on average. So they retired retiring means, you know, resting. But I don't see in you, I don't see a need that we're that that would be something we'd aspire to. I don't aspire to resting.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Well, I mean, I live a restful life, like I make sure rest is a part of my life.Wendy Leggett:
Yes, yeah. Yeah. So,Blair Kaplan Venables:
I mean, I think this is really cool. Like, walk us through some of the things you see what happens when someone doesn't have a meaningful retirement? Like, what is it that you see when someone's like work, work, work, and then all of a sudden, they don't really have a plan. And you know what? They feel like lost, I'm assuming, I don't really know. I've actually never really been around it too much. I know that my father in law never got to retire. My mother in law, retired from our her admin job at the hospital. And then she got certified as an esthetician, and she does pedicures for seniors. And she's mid 70s. Because she wants to be of service. But I haven't really been around too much retirement. So I'd love to know, what are some things that you've seen that like art people aren't doing right or healthy? Because I want the people listening to this podcast to maybe feel like if they're in retirement, or they know someone retiring, like if these red flags are popping up?Wendy Leggett:
Yeah, yeah. It's such a great question. And especially because I think, you know, the vision of retirement is Travel and Leisure and endless weekends and all of that. But the reality is that like one in three struggle, and I kind of call that like the dirty little secret that nobody wants to talk about, because if you were to say to somebody, you know, are you enjoying retirement? And they were to say, no, it sucks, you know, that they'd be like, What are you talking about? You're so lucky. And so people don't, you know, there's a shame attached is to saying, I'm unhappy, or I'm struggling, or I feel lonely, or I don't know about my self worth any longer. And I think that is off of what you're mentioning that when someone leaves career, oftentimes, we're so attached to our identities and career. And if we don't really think about who am I, what do I want, in retirement, we can hold, you know, we can keep our foot in the past. Or we can be very afraid of the future. And so I think that what I've seen with some of my clients, is that, that attachment to their identities and career, and not recognizing that there's so many incredible strengths that allowed them to have that identity, and what are those that can transition then into retirement? As well as maybe there are things that at work that, that were just patterns or habits, and now they have the opportunity to shed themselves of some of those past ways of being and really key on what's important to me now. I had one client that was despondent about retiring. I mean, I started working with her probably a year before she retired, she was a special education teacher, and loved, loved loved her work. And that is shared by spoke with her about, well, then why are you choosing to retire? And it was really in support of her partner? And so I said, Well, if that's the case, you know, let's really dig into, is that necessary? And once she determined, yes, that's what she wanted, then it was a matter of really talking about, then what is it that's making you so despondent? And so we were really able to get at her sense of loss, she really felt like it was almost a death of having leaving her work, but we were able then to really key in okay, what's, what's the opportunity here? What is that loss? About? What how can it be filled in another way? So that's an example of someone who, luckily, we were able to connect, because Oh, my gosh, the weight was so lifted after we work together. I mean, she. And that's one of those examples of holding things in right. And not really feeling like you can surface that dirty little secret and that nobody will understand that. In fact, it's very, very normal.Blair Kaplan Venables:
That's so beautiful. Wendy, thanks for sharing that example. So if someone's thinking of retiring, and they know, like, in four years or two years, like when should they start preparing for meaningful retirement? And how do they prepare like how far out like I am, like you like, I'm probably never gonna retire and I don't have a plan B. Because my planet unless like, a head gets, my voice gets taken away. I plan on always being a motivational speaker and a writer. And I feel like that's something that like, if I can't do it on my own, there's other ways to do it. But I don't plan on retiring but I know people who are working so they can retire at 55 or 60. When should they start like planning for that meaningful retirement?Wendy Leggett:
Yeah, well, I think too, I just want to pick up on what you were mentioning about, you know, for yourself, you'll find another way. And that's so key, that whole, open to the possibilities not being so attached, not looking at things black or white, but instead what's the middle way? And so, to answer your question, I think ideally that people would always be planning for their next chapter, whether we call it retiring or not. And if somebody says that I, my goal is to retire, then my first question is, well, how do you define retirement? And what does that look like for you? And if they can answer what that looks like for them, then I think that informs when they'll start to plan for that retirement, and what's needed to get there. If they haven't yet thought about that, then it's a beautiful time to start keying in on, you know, what am I doing right now? Do I feel that time is valuable? Do I feel like I'm stepping into everything that I can be? And so I would love it if people just looked at this as an ongoing life practice, as opposed to a slash cut? Where, oh, three years before, I'm going to do that to dead to death? Because I don't think there's a prescribed time. I think it's, I think there's some skill sets that if they're in place, will allow someone to move very beautifully and smoothly into the transition of that next chapter. That's beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. SoBlair Kaplan Venables:
I think that's, that's really interesting is, so if someone's already retired, and they're few years into retirement, what are like, and they are like feeling lost, or, you know, lost their purpose? Like, what are some things that some feelings or some thoughts that I guess one would maybe think that would trigger someone to reach out to someone like you like, when's it? When's it like, Oh, I'm bored, maybe I'll take up a hobby to like, Oh, I think I need to reach out to a retirement coach, I'm doing it wrong.Wendy Leggett:
Yes, yeah. You know, I reflect on that sometimes. Because I think when we reach out to someone, it is when we're in that pain, you know, when we're really feeling at our lowest and, and so, hopefully, if someone is feeling that way, like you're saying that they're feeling lost, or they're feeling like, what is there for me, that that would be a very important time to know that there is support for you, there are professionals like me, that will walk that path with you, and help in a very safe space, map out, you know, what's coming up for you what's needed here, and go that course. For others, you know, if they're just wanting ideas of what they can do. That's, that's terrific. Because that means then that they're motivated, or they're excited, or they're out there. At the same time, are they just filling their dance card, I had one client and this, this is normal to that busyness factor that we feel our worth is kind of connected with our productivity, and it's just kind of the way that humans seem to be, but rolling back and saying, How are we filling our time? You know, is it just that just feeling like we're productive? So we're checking things off the list? Or is it quality? Is it really keying in on what is aligned with our values and what's important to us? So I do challenge people at times to if they're just wanting to talk to me about, you know, what type of volunteers work should they do? Or what kind of additional activities or things like that it's, it's rolling back and getting a little deeper and saying, Well, what is it about that that would be fulfilling for you? What is it about that that is has held you back before or what's especially engaging about it? So getting a little bit deeper, I think is really important.Blair Kaplan Venables:
I've heard a couple of people, and I'm not going to say a lot of them, but I've heard a couple of people make comments because like I've been volunteering, I'm not retired. I'm the opposite of retired. But I've been volunteering since I was 12. And I've had a couple of conversations with people because you know, a lot of times when people retire, they do volunteer their time, like my grandmother worked at the gift shop in the hospital and my you know, my other grandma and my grandpa were involved with other volunteer things in the Jewish community. And I know some people who have this belief of like, why would I retire to volunteer when I can just do work and get paid?Wendy Leggett:
Yeah, no, that definitely comes up. And so I think the question then is like, okay, so what is it that's meaningful to you? Like, is it the work? Is it the financials is that the giving to others? Because if somebody is looking at it that way, then then probably their heart isn't into the altruistic giving to others. feeling like there? That's a purpose or need for them? And there's no judgment there, right? I mean, I think it's, it's important to really, again, roll back and say, Well, why am I making those decisions and if their self worth is attached to that paycheck as well as the work, then then that's they have to follow that if that's in fact, you know, aligned with where their values are, where their thinking is, so, but I think when we do things without thinking, either through autopilot or through patterns, or because their society is telling us to do something, and that's when I think we're in misalignment. And that's where I think that gets in the way of really stepping into all that we can be.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, that's so beautiful. When do you How can people find you if they want to work with you or learn more about you?Wendy Leggett:
Oh, I appreciate that. The name of my company is conflex, co n f L u x conflex, retirement coaching. And so they can find my website and on it, they'll find out how to get a hold of me via email, or also on LinkedIn.Blair Kaplan Venables:
And I think you use you have a masterclass coming up.Wendy Leggett:
I do have a master class. Yeah, it's on May 4, at 11am. Pacific Standard Time. And it's a free class. It's a one hour session that will really allow people to get a really great framework about starting to step into their thoughts around retirement and planning for it or if they're already in retirement out, they can improve their situation if that's what's needed. So I, I share what I call the ABC methodology, really keying in on awareness, as well as achieving balance and then being at choice was so important. I loveBlair Kaplan Venables:
that. I'll put the link to her masterclass in the show notes. So, you know, if you're thinking of retirement retiring, or you're retiring, or someone you know, is going to retire. This is a free masterclass, you should check out Wendy is a brilliant mind. And she's just joy to be around. So you'll get something out of it. I promise. One final question for you today. Wendy? Yes. What advice do you have? For someone who is navigating, you know, parents after retirement getting sick while they are choosing to navigate retirement? So, so like, you're not retired, you chose to not retire and you're navigating to parents? Yes. Some people, you know, in your stage of life will retire and have endless amounts of time.Wendy Leggett:
Yes, you know, Well, it's interesting that, first of all the endless amounts of time and I just want to for anybody that's getting ready to retire or is retired, it isn't misnomer, because I think people think that, then somebody's like, life is just open and they're always available. And so I do really want to value and, and, and acknowledge that retirement still carries with it all kinds of different expectations and requirements and commitments and things. So to your point, like with my parents, and navigating all of that I think I have to take a page out of my own book, you know, and look at awareness, like really keying in on what's happening for me, what's important to me, my values, balance, making sure that you know, my business is so important to me, my family, my children are so important. My parents are important. So a balance amongst all those things. Oh, yeah. And health, of course. And then choice, you know, so that if I'm choosing to do things to support my parents, I take accountability for those decisions in those choices. And so I go in wholeheartedly. And if I can't do that, then I need to roll back and say, well, then what's getting in my way? And is there another way? So that's hopefully kind of in answer to your question.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, I think that's beautiful. Beautifully answered. I think, yeah, it's, it's interesting, because, you know, people, like I have friends who are starting to think about retirement that are you know, because I have friends of all different ages, and I'm just shy of 40 and a few years before 40. And to have friends talking about I'm going to retire soon and just manage properties and which is a job too. And, you know, it's interesting to like be in this place of conversation, you know, with you and like learning about retirement and waste, having meaningful retirement where it's not just sitting around and you know, how to use your time because I have, you know, people in my life are already starting to like actively plan for what they're going to do when they leave their nine to five so their professions. Yeah,Wendy Leggett:
yeah, I think it's it. I again, I just get back to that whole word retire, right? That it's like what you're describing about your friends, they're leaving their current career, but they're not like, retiring. You know, like they're Yeah. So they're still doing things that are going to be exciting or engaging or, or they're going to kick back or whatever, you know, whatever it is that it's just a, it's just kind of a word that's kind of loaded. And it's also kind of confusing or convoluted.Blair Kaplan Venables:
So what should we call it? Like, have you maybe you should come up with the word Wendy, like, what should we call it?Wendy Leggett:
Yeah, that, you know, I was just, I just was on a call with somebody this morning. We were talking about it that, you know, it's bandied about like, rewire meant, or re expirement. Hello, the desire meant the cells, some of those words have been used, and then somebody the other day was saying, like, it's a time of preference or something. Okay, rather than deferring person. Yeah, it's interesting. It's it. Yeah, it's, it's, it's such an interesting time. I think with you know, our generation, the baby boomer activator generation, there's almost like 22% of us, you know, it's a large and so I believe that somebody will come up with that new name, and it would be super cool. If it was you and I, soBlair Kaplan Venables:
maybe it will be us watch out world. We're coming up with the next requirement word. I love that. Well, thank you so much for coming on this podcast and sharing your wisdom with us, Wendy, it's been such a treat.Wendy Leggett:
I appreciate it. Your questions are really thought provoking. And I'm excited to keep following where you're going because neither you or I are going to be retiring anything. No. We're just rewiring everyday, desiring,