In this episode of Retired Excited, Henry interviews Stan Brown.
Stan tells how his wife Jenny wanted to volunteer overseas to help others. He didn’t care about volunteering in Mongolia so he didn’t go….at first.
He missed his wife so finally after a few months he followed her to the orphanage where she was the health officer. That’s when his adventures began.
Now Stan has some very sound advice for people considering volunteering in Mongolia.
Go with a reputable and recognized agency.
Obtain as much information as you can about the agency and it’s programs before you go. Talk to people who have volunteered through that agency. Get the fact of how it really plays out, not what the brochure promises.
Be sure you understand the details. This includes your accommodation, pay, food, insurance and so on.
Also be sure to understand the procedure of what happens in case of an emergency.
Be sure to understand your obligations to the agency and your host country, as well as their relationship to you. Stan mentioned that some volunteers could not hack the simple living conditions on site, and were eager to go home.
Perhaps the most important advice Stan and Jenny give prospective volunteers concerns your attitude. Do NOT go overseas believing that you are going to “save the world”, and expect to be honored by a grateful community.
Go to provide what help you can. Try to fit in with the local customs, laws and reality of the situation. You are going to eat what the locals eat, drink what the locals drink, and dance when the locals dance. The drink in Mongolia included a mildly alcoholic brew of fermented milk boiled up in a big pot. You are going to have the local standard of washing facilities and accommodation.
If that doesn’t sound good… don’t go.
On the other hand Stan and Jenny absolutely loved their time in Mongolia, loved the people, loved the country and would go back in a heartbeat. They have volunteered in other places since that trip, and enjoyed every experience.
Special Thanks to:
Angie Strehlow who helps us get great guests that help us with our retirement lifestyle while keeping everything on track
Les Briney who edits the show and makes my guests and me sound terrific
Lesinda Tubalado who helps keep the website up to date
Henry Shapiro, host of Retired Excited that airs on Fridays
YOU the listener for sharing on social media, and telling your friends about it
In this episode of Rock Your Retirement we talk with Bill Manassero about volunteering overseas in retirement. You can listen to the show by clicking on the arrows below or finding it on your podcast app in your Smartphone.
Volunteering Overseas: How it can give you a better retirement
Volunteering Overseas with Bill Manassero
Bill Manassero is the President and Founder of Child Hope International. It’s a charitable organization that works with orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children on the streets of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. The Manassero family’s unique ministry, helped street children get off the streets, and build a promising life for themselves in the Haitian society. Bill and his family served as missionaries in Haiti from 2003 to 2015. Transitioning back to the states for retirement, he began investing in real estate as a means to fund their retirement and help fund their Haitian Mission. He now shares his real estate knowledge with other seniors through his Old Dawg’s REI Network – a website, blog and weekly podcast.
Bill tells us some amazing and touching stories of his time spent Volunteering Overseas.
Before Bill and his family went to Haiti, they had a children’s music ministry. They traveled all around the world doing family concerts for various camps, schools, and groups. Bill noticed one of his daughters saving money. He asked her what she was saving for. His daughter said she wanted to build an orphanage, a school, and a church in Haiti. She was only nine years old at the time! This was the catalyst to start their Haitian Mission.
His organization is very much volunteer driven — A good majority of the volunteers are retired. The volunteers commit to anywhere from 1 week to 2 years of service. The volunteers help with things such as teaching life skills such as baking and sewing. They also show the children how to set up a business so they can become self sufficient. The volunteers feed hundreds of children every week. It was fascinating to hear how much volunteering overseas has impacted not only the Haitian Children, but the volunteers as well.
We asked, “What do you think people should know BEFORE they retire?” and he responded with:
Look forward to it. Prepare yourself for a new adventure to do anything you want to do. Take a look at the spiritual and emotional side. Start getting excited. Don’t get hung up on the money aspect. Focus on the freedom you will have. You can use that freedom to help others and help yourself.
What advice would you give to a retiree who feels stuck?
Try to change your perspective on your retirement. Spend time with those in need.
The basis of the Rock Your Retirement show is that retirement isn’t just about money.
This is basically the non financial aspects of retirement.
Alan Spector agrees. He and his partner created the Critical Decisions Matrix and Crucial Conversations. These ideas help everyone understand what the expectations are in retirement. Alan co-authored the book, Your Retirement Quest with Keith Lawrence, and you can find the book on Amazon. This is a great book to read if you are considering retirement in the next five years.
Alan wasn’t always a retirement coach.
He worked at Proctor and Gamble for 33 years as an executive. After that, Alan founded and managed three business, and authored five books. Alan also blogs on retirement issues on three sites, and is deeply involved in his community. He’s also very active physically and likes to travel.
Alan and Keith interviewed their colleagues about their thoughts on retirement. Shortly after they realized that they were dismayed at the results. This started their quest to educate people about the non financial aspects of retirement so they started conducting workshops. They kept getting requests for their book…but it hadn’t been written yet! So… they knew they had to write it. And they did. They named the book “Your Retirement Quest”. This book talks about the non-financial aspects of retirement, and it includes well-being, connectedness, growth, and fun among other things. Some of the other non-financial aspects of retirement include physical, emotional, mental, and something he calls “energy of purpose”.
Alan recommends that you have written goals. He recommends that you include the non financial aspects of retirement in these goals.
Mr. Spector says that if you write something down you are five times more likely to get it done. Your written goals should include all of the ten elements of retirement into your life.
In addition to working with individuals, he and his partner work with financial planning firms to help them understand the non-financial parts of retirement. Let’s hope he starts a movement with us.
2-1-1 San Diego’s mission is to help people by connecting them to services and provide vital data and trend information for proactive community planning.
Alana Kalinowski manages the Community Outreach Program at 2-1-1 San Diego. 2-1-1 San Diego is a resource and information hub that connects people with community, health and disaster services through a free, 24/7 service. This service includes stigma-free confidential phone service, and it also includes a searchable on line database. It’s also important to note that 2-1-1 serves the entire population of the County.
2-1-1 San Diego has a staff of 150 people who take about 1200 calls per day.
They have approximately 1,500 organizations in their database that they can refer people to. The majority of their referral sources are non-profit and government agencies. Their vetting process includes; checking licenses, certificates, and making sure they provide the services they say they provide.
98 % of the US is under 2-1-1 jurisdiction however, the programs can vary drastically in each state.
Just some of the referral services that 2-1-1 San Diego offers are:
Cool Zones-residents can use the Cool Zones to escape the heat and reduce their own air conditioning use.
It provides locations on where you can your taxes filed for free.
2-1-1 provides locations for flu shots.
It also provides locations for free blood pressure checks.
Fix-It Service -provides volunteers to help with minor home modifications or repairs.
2-1-1 provides Courage to Call-which is a veteran staffed helpline dedicated to assisting active duty military personnel, veterans, and their families.
They have a seat at the counties information center and get real time information during a disaster to provide non-emergency resources.
Health Navigation Program- this is a program that serves as a single access point information and referral system for San Diego County, connecting anyone to available health services.
Tweet was born and raised in Illinois and moved to California in 1988 where she lives with her husband and cat. Even then she said that People Need YOU. She managed an RV park in El Cajon for 17 years and had one of the top rated parks in the state. They even won an award for one of the best parks in the nation. Tweet retired from the RV park and then worked with her husband who was a construction claims consultant and expert witness.
Tweet and her sweetheart have been together for 30 years. She says the key to a happy marriage is to have your own interests, love each other, but give each other some time to do activities on their own with their own friends.
ADVENTURE AND TRAVEL
Although she’s the first one to tell you that people need you, sometimes you just need to get away from it all. Tweet and her husband love to travel, whether it’s exploring San Diego or taking trips to the Desert. They visit Palm Springs and Palm Desert frequently and they love it there!! Johnny Mathis performed at Aqua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage on 2/13/16. The couple they were with and they all got to go back stage and not only did she get to meet him she got a hug and kiss! Her age group grew up with Johnny Mathis. Tweet says that Johnny Mathis was with her for her first date, first dance, and first kiss. She’s flying to Illinois to see a lifelong friend in May and will be seeing…. You guessed it Johnny Mathis!
She loves the following businesses in Palm Springs:
She walks her talk. She says that people need you and she does what she can to help. Look at all the volunteer work that she does!
Volunteers for The Lake church helping with the monthly coffees and also the Newsletter
Secretary of her HOA and she also organizes a luncheon for the HOA members each month, in addition she helps with landscaping and works with Arbor Well to help preserve the trees.
She is also active with Mom’s warehouse which gives supplies to Active Duty junior enlisted military family on camp Pendleton.
Belongs to a group called the Questers which is a group concerned with the preservation and restoration and education about collectibles.
Every year Tweet and her husband host several Marines every Thanksgiving. Tweet bakes dozens of cookies and cooks pounds of bacon, and Mark Country Club is kind enough to freeze these for her. Tweet said that she’s not very good at making gravy (even though she collects gravy boats) so Mariahs has donated gallons of gravy for her Marines. Then when the Marines come, they can have a home cooked meal. Some of them have never had a Thanksgiving meal before. She said that this has been a tradition that she and her husband have enjoyed for many years.
What do you think people should know BEFORE they retire?
People need YOU
Tweet says to volunteer somewhere: People need YOU. Libraries, Schools, Military, etc are all looking for volunteers. Figure out what you will do, and start doing it. Also, give your spouse time to volunteer or do what he or she wants as well. It will help your marriage.
We have a lot of listeners who are new retirees or maybe feel stuck in their lives at the moment. If you were sitting across the table from a new retiree, what’s the one piece of advice that you would give to have a successful retirement?
Be with people. Get to know your neighbors. If you don’t know anyone, make or buy some food and bring it over. Become involved in a church. Everyone needs to have friends and to socialize. It keeps us healthy.
How did Stella get the motto Go Do Enjoy? Stella was originally from Michigan. She was married for 35 years and is now divorced. She has 2 great sons with 2 wonderful daughter-in laws, and 1 beautiful granddaughter. She taught 3rd grade for 10 years and then retired to raise her son’s. (Which was her 2nd career). Then, she took a job at Bullocks (now Macy’s) for a short term position which turned into a 3rd career of 19 years.
Stella was so ready for retirement she even made a big production on her last day of work including music, props, audience & video made for posterity, and that’s why her motto is Go Do Enjoy!
SOCIAL AND FAMILY
Stella just recently attended her son’s wedding which was on a yacht. She said you could feel the whole room was full of love. One of the highlights for her was the Mother Son Dance. She rocked the mother son dance, and you can say that she lives by her motto, Go Do Enjoy!
Her parents lived with her the last 5 years of their lives. After they passed, (within 6 months of each other) Stella hit a wall but was able to move forward from it. Learn how she did it by listening to today’s episode.
Go Do Enjoy!
She enjoys a variety of activities including:
Being on the back of a Harley Davidson Motorcycle
Attending Free concerts
Hosting parties at her house including her “Big Fat Greek Happy Hour” and a 50 Shades of Grey Party.
If YOU put your mind to it, you can think of things that can help YOU Go Do and Enjoy as well!
VOLUNTEER AND PHILANTHROPY
Stella also lives her motto of Go Do Enjoy by being a Volunteer:
She is an usher for live theater. This is how she is able to go do enjoy without having to spend a lot of money! She gets to see the show and helps the theater out at the same time.
Encinitas Kiwanis Club: She is able to live her motto of Go Do Enjoy by spending her time volunteering with the Kiwanis, and through the club, she helps with Captain Book by visiting schools to put on programs and give away free books
SPIRIT / SOUL / HEALTH
Stella believes in always trying to look your best, and to embrace the aging process. She takes care of herself by eating healthy and takes a body conditioning class at her local senior center.
Something people should know before they retire:Life is not over when you retire, it’s just the beginning of a new & wonderful chapter!! Go…Do…Enjoy!
How to get “unstuck” in your retirement: Go to a Meetup group or church or anywhere this a group of people to meet new people and make friends. Stella says you are the only one who can cure your own boredom.