The three most important health issues to keep in mind include staying active, keeping your mind sharp, and eating right. Staying active will encourage heart health and mental acuity. Get involved in the community and give back when you can. It does the heart good to help others. Don’t forget to eat right. Superfoods can help with alertness, weight management, overall physical and mental health. I heard a story about a gentleman who retired and the very next day had a massive heart attack and passed away. We don’t know when our number will be called, but we know it one day will be. If you want a better chance of enjoying your retirement years, then maintain your health because you only get one chance to live.
Ihad the pleasure of interviewing Robyn Flint. Robyn writes for EffortlessInsurance.com and has an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her experience includes counseling children and families, outpatient counseling, therapeutic day treatment program manager, clinical supervision, and foster care family consultant and parent trainer.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
From the age of 18, I knew that I wanted to be a counselor and work with teens and women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. My personal journey through teen pregnancy and placing my son in a closed adoption helped fuel my passion to help others through education and advocacy for adoption as a beautiful option. I wanted to educate parents on the importance of talking to teens about healthy sexuality and the value of abstinence. My experience taught me many valuable life lessons that I want to share with others so that they don’t have to experience what I did.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
As a counselor, I am bound by confidentiality and ethical codes that prevent me from sharing a lot of my stories. What I have experienced working in the mental health field is not your typical happy -go- lucky story and certainly they didn’t all have happy endings. I worked in Therapeutic Foster Care where the children I met had trauma histories and experienced unthinkable abuses. The most interesting stories that I experienced were the successful placements of deserving children in loving foster homes with people who were willing to love them as their own.
I experienced actively suicidal teens, I spent countless nights in hospital emergency rooms with children who thought their life wasn’t worth saving. I watched parental rights dissolve due to alcohol, drugs, abuse, neglect, and worse. The stories will rip any sane human’s heart out.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
There weren’t any humorous mistakes that I can recall, but I am sure there were several mistakes in general. In that business, you have to exercise good self-care or you will lose your mind. For me that means laughter. I am a funny person by nature so I always try to find something to laugh at to cut the tension.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are several people who helped me achieve my dream of becoming a counselor. In fact, there are too many to name. I didn’t go to college until age 39 and spent 9 years working on my undergrad and Master’s degree. My husband spent countless hours doing household chores, running our two boys back and forth to where they needed to be, and encouraging me to persevere. He is my rock and, to this day, continues to do at least half of the household chores.
What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?
You must exercise healthy self care to avoid burnout. It is so easy to get overwhelmed as a counselor. We hear nothing but hurt and work endless hours to encourage healing. The troubles and sadness from each case weigh heavily on you if you let them. You have to make a conscious choice every day to take time out for yourself. Go to the gym, meditate, smile, laugh, and realize that you can’t help anyone who isn’t willing to help themselves first.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
If you want your employees to invest in their jobs and in the company, the company must invest in them and in seeing them be successful. It is a two-way street. Leaders should lead by example, emphasize an open-door policy, and must continue to educate their staff on licensing updates. Leaders must also be teachable and willing to admit their mistakes. Take yourself off of the pedestal and get your hands dirty with your employees. Never ask them to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact nearly every aspect of one’s life. Obviously everyone’s experience is different. But In your experience, what are the 5 most common things that people wish someone told them before they retired?
- You must plan and budget. Life is expensive whether you are working or retired. Before you leave a career, make a spending plan to manage your retirement income which is likely less than you were receiving when you worked.
- Don’t succumb to boredom. Find a hobby and live your dreams. Try new experiences and travel if you can. Sitting and staring at four walls all day gets old after about the first two weeks.
- Watch out for scammers preying on the older generation. Now that you are home you will likely get calls trying to scam you for your personal information and money. Just hang up. Most reputable businesses will never ask for your personal information or bank account information over the phone or email.
- Have a plan for your long-term care. Your insurance plan may not cover this potential expense. If you don’t have a plan for long-term care, make one just in case. It may not be a fun thing to talk about, but it is a necessity.
- If you are married and retired, too much time together is a real issue for some. You may drive each other crazy. Talk about it before it happens. Make sure you have leisure activities that you and your spouse can be involved in together and separately so that you don’t grow tired of one another.
Lets zoom in on this a bit. If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important financial issues to keep in mind before they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?
The three most important financial issues that I would tell my loved ones to focus on before retirement are: having a workable budget, plan for long-term care expenses, and make sure you have investments to supplement your income after retirement.
Long-term care is expensive and may not be covered by Medicare. Family members may not be able to afford to pay for your care and really shouldn’t be left for them to figure out.
I previously worked in long-term care facilities as an Admissions Specialist and I worked with families who were having to admit their loved ones into nursing homes. It is a tough transition for new residents and their families and worrying about how the care will be paid for is a huge concern. There is nothing sacred about your finances when you have to enter into long-term care — every detail of what you own comes to light when you go into a nursing home.
If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important health issues to keep in mind before they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?
The three most important health issues to keep in mind include staying active, keeping your mind sharp, and eating right. Staying active will encourage heart health and mental acuity. Get involved in the community and give back when you can. It does the heart good to help others. Don’t forget to eat right. Superfoods can help with alertness, weight management, overall physical and mental health.
I heard a story about a gentleman who retired and the very next day had a massive heart attack and passed away. We don’t know when our number will be called, but we know it one day will be. If you want a better chance of enjoying your retirement years, then maintain your health because you only get one chance to live.
If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important things to consider before choosing a place to live after they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?
Choosing a place to live after retirement comes with its own set of complications and considerations. Coming to terms with the need to move can be difficult. Many retirees don’t want to give up their autonomy and family home to move so they can be taken care of. How humbling and difficult.
Some may need to move into a smaller house, a handicap accessible home, or one without stairs to navigate. So when thinking about a place to live, the three most important things to consider are proximity to health care, proximity to caregivers/family, and physical needs to consider when moving into a new home.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
If I could start a movement to bring about the most amount of good to the most amount of people it would likely be an Adoption Advocacy Movement. There are tens of thousands of children living in foster care and group homes needing families to love them.
We have made the process of adoption so expensive that it has become more cost-effective to adopt outside of our country while our own children here in America are left without families. The system is broken and we are failing our children. Every child deserves a home.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
The only book that has made a significant impact on my life (except the one I wrote) is the Holy Bible. It has never let me down or steered me wrong. There are answers to all of life’s lessons and it truly is a love letter written to you and me from the Most Holy.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
My favorite life lesson is the realization that I work to fund my perfect life. I don’t live to work, I work to live. Why wait until retirement to start enjoying life. Find your dream job now, follow your passion, and I guarantee you will never work another day in your life.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great