Retirement Brain

I wrote this blog a few years back about tranistions... happy to say I'm still loving working in Real Estate and I owe much of that to my clients!  Hope you enjoy...

About ten years ago I stepped out of the hustle and bustle of a busy career in Business Development and Corporate Sales. My wife had recently been diagnosed with a degenerative disease and life seemed to too short to spend 14 hour days meeting with clients over endless details, attending mind numbing progress meetings, managing the proposal process, and chasing an ever increasing quota. After helping to find our employees meaningful employment elsewhere and helping the business owner to sell the business it was time to decompress. Knowing that my wife was losing her mobility we decided to sell our multi-level home of nearly twenty years, and plan for the coming phase of our lives together.

Shortly thereafter we listed the home and were sitting at a local Starbucks, metaphorically arm wrestling about what part of town we would move to, when our realtor called to say we had received a close-to-full-price cash offer. The guy at the table next to ours had overheard the conversations and dropped his news paper on our table and said, "you don't have to decide right away, check this out" and pointed at the travel page of the local rag. The light bulbs blinked on and within ten minutes we decided that we would simply park the cash and go travelling!

We spent a good chunk of the next decade travelling to points near and far, and although we aren't totally cured of the travel bug we are satiated for the time being. We bought a beautiful rancher in a great neighbourhood that my wife has come to love. (I have resisted the temptation to say "I told you so", because you know ... ) I must have read three hundred novels, gone to dozens of lectures, spent countless hours on social media, taken up new sports, and social activities, and yet I became bored up to my eyeballs! I was developing "retired brain"!

Besides a depleted retirement fund (ten years of cruising and globe trotting will do that to the best of us), something was missing... In my first career of about twenty years I'd been a consulting psychologist and practicing family therapist. Thirty some years ago the personal development gurus and professional development leaders discovered that money, fame, and glory are not the key motivators that drive the most successful people to excel. We know now that the real driver is the feeling of self-esteem that most of us develop primarily from making real contributions to our families, friends, and communities; and from contributing to the success of teams, and achieving difficult goals. So I had to do something before I became depressed and just another grumpy old guy (GOG) hanging out at the coffee shop solving the world's problems with the other GOGs.

I considered becoming a CFP, a mortgage broker, retraining and revisiting a private practice in counselling, and back to business development in the IT world - shudder. After long deliberation with my wife and talking with friends and colleagues, I decided to enrol in the Real Estate Trading Services program at UBC's Sauder School of Business. The first thing I realized was that my assumption that all the reading I had done while retired, although enjoyable, hadn't helped my memory an iota or caused me to THINK. WOW talk about lazy brain! I'd read the first three chapters of the course's text book and went to do the assignments and I couldn't remember a damned thing! Holy Molly! I had to re-read those chapters three times before getting back into learning mode. The course is about half real estate law (how not to get sued) and finance (how to do the calculations that mortgage brokers do in the real world). About 70% of the people that write the exam fail it on their first attempt so my anxiety was peeked beyond belief!

Having completed the program, (and killing the exam by the way) I'm now working at REMAX Camosun in Victoria BC. I'm feeling great about having accomplished the first step to making a contribution in people's lives again. Buying and selling a home is one of the most stressful things people do. Not only are our homes one of the largest investments we make and hold over the course of our lives, we raise our families in them, we spend countless hours maintaining them, updating them, renovating them, and ultimately a ton of emotional investment in our homes. My goal is to help make these transitions as painless as possible for people that trust me to safeguard their interests during these transactions. My sales motto and signature tag line is: "Working in Your Best Interests - First and Always".

If anyone reading this is feeling stuck with "retirement brain", whether you are actually retired or not, go ahead take up a real challenge and make the move! It can lift your self-esteem and hopefully will be rewarding too! So, now I'll ask for your help... if you know of anyone that is considering a move to, from, or within Greater Victoria please give them my contact information and let me know you did! Thanks

PS - I'm sure my wife is happy to have me out from under her foot all day now too!

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