1. Flex Your Age – Joan & Michelle MacDonald Retirement Wisdom 22:53

Is it still possible to get in the best shape of your life? Joan MacDonald says yes. Five years ago, at 70, she wasn’t and was dealing with multiple heath challenges. But a dare from her daughter Michelle, a personal trainer, to train with her set her on a path toward fitness. Now 75, Joan is in a dramatically different place – much happier, healthier and more energetic. And she’s an inspiration for others to make the changes they want to make, with over 1.7 million followers on Instagram at @trainwithjoan.

Joan & Michelle MacDonald join us from Tulum, Mexico to discuss their book Flex Your Age.


My next Design Your New Life in Retirement small group program starts in April:

Learn More

Very Early Bird offers through March 1st



Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan) is a 75-year-old Instagram fitness influencer who’s undergone a remarkable change in the last five years. She was on medication for high blood pressure and acid reflux; she had terrible edema in her ankles; her arthritis was extremely painful; and she had difficulty walking up and down stairs. Joan knew that if she continued on an unhealthy path that it might mean more health issues and more medications—and probably force her to move into a nursing home. But with the help of her daughter, Michelle, and The Wonder Women community, Joan was able to do much more than change her journey—she was able to help others on theirs.
Michelle MacDonald (@yourhealthyhedonista) has been Coaching women since 2012, beginning with athletes getting ready for competition on the natural bodybuilding stage. She also started Coaching women who wanted to have a major lifestyle change, working with them in what she terms “transformation groups.” These groups became so successful that Michelle couldn’t keep up with the demand and created a team of coaches for a program called The Wonder Women, which focuses on women’s health and fitness. Michelle’s most well-known client is, of course, her mom, Joan.


For More on Joan and Michelle MacDonald


Flex Your Age: Defy Stereotypes and Reclaim Empowerment by Joan MacDonald with Michelle MacDonald

The Wonder Women


Podcast Episodes You May Like

The Joy Of Movement – Kelly McGonigal

The Joy Choice – Dr. Michelle Segar

Move – The New Science of Body Over Mind – Caroline Williams

How to Get Stronger After 50 – Dave Durell


Wise Quotes

Michelle MacDonald On Beyond Dieting

“I think the difference, the real big thing, is the community and the athlete mindset. So getting clients off of that diet. They just want to lose weight, they just want to see the scale go down. Well, let’s talk about training, and get excited about that. Let’s get excited about the, how you’re putting meals together. So we teach macros. We’re not giving them this meal plan. We instead encourage them to craft their own meals, but following what protein, carbs and fat they want to aim at to have more balanced blood sugar. And so it’s this really amazing journey. And the the outcome is that the clients are  empowered, they’re educated, there’s a lot of self pride and there’s a lot of great bonding and great community. And so even after they stop the Coaching, they continue to stay in touch. They still have their own chat groups. Some of clients have these Slack groups where they’re on Slack together, it’s incredible. And they get together and go on holidays and it’s amazing. I love it.”


On Coaching Her Mother Joan MacDonald

“I used to have a story in my head that I wasn’t patient, but I was so invested in my Mom’s success. Getting her to get healthy again was of such paramount importance. My Mom was a fabulous mother. She spent a lot of time with me when I was young. She really encouraged me and was incredibly supportive. And so I was very invested in in getting my Mom back into fighting shape. The Mom that I remembered, the laughing Mom, the blue-eyed Mom, the beautiful Mom, the energetic Mom. She used to go on these crazy camping trips and hiking trips with me. And to see her struggling to get up the stairs, it was just heartbreaking. So I’m really grateful that I had the chance to coach her. And, she still surprises my husband or I to this day. The other day my clients were doing a splits challenge and my Mom is part of the What’s Ap chat, but she doesn’t say too much. She’s just like a little fly on the wall. And I went downstairs to get her progress photos. And she was kind of giggling and, Oh, Look at this, I did these splits. And I’m, I’m thinking, Oh, she joined the split challenge. My Mom is not naturally flexible, so I really wasn’t expecting much. And then she shows me that video on the phone and my jaw just about dropped the floor.”


Joan MacDonald on Getting Started

“Just keep Moving. If you can only go a block, go a block, then just a few more steps the next time. Just keep on adding to it until it feels really comfortable. The longer you go, the better it is. If you can get a companion, that’s great. It’s always nicer to share really. But if you have to go on your own, go on your own. I do, I do a lot of stuff on my own.”


About Retirement Wisdom

Delaying Retirement? Use the extra time wisely to prepare for your next phase. You’ll be glad you did.

Schedule a call to discuss how my one-on-one Designing Your New Life in Retirement, Tiny Habits and Mental Fitness Coaching programs can help you gain clarity and direction.


About Your Podcast Host

Joe Casey is an executive coach who also helps people design their next life after their primary career. He created his own next chapter after a twenty-six-year career at Merrill Lynch, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of HR for Global Markets & Investment Banking.

Today, in addition to his work with clients, Joe hosts The Retirement Wisdom Podcast, which thanks to his guests and loyal listeners, ranks in the top 1.5 % globally in popularity by Listen Notes. Business Insider has recognized him as one of 23 innovative coaches who are making a difference. He’s the author of Win the Retirement Game: How to Outsmart the 9 Forces Trying to Steal Your Joy.


The views and opinions expressed by guests on The Retirement Wisdom Podcast are solely those of the guests and do not reflect the opinion of the host or Retirement Wisdom, LLC. The Retirement Wisdom Podcast primarily covers the non-financial aspects of Retirement. From time to time we may invite guests who discuss other aspects of life and Retirement planning, solely for educational purposes. Listeners are advised to consult qualified financial and/or medical professionals on those matters.


Joe Casey Retirement Coach, Podcaster

Joe Casey is an Executive Coach and Retirement Coach who brings extensive experience navigating transitions from his coaching work with clients and from his own life and career. After a 26-year career in Human Resources with Merrill Lynch, Joe shifted gears and retired early at age 52 to become an executive coach. His executive coaching practice has been named as one of the Top 10 Leadership Development Consulting Companies for 2019 by HR Tech Outlook magazine. He now also works to help people design their lives following their corporate careers, helping them pursue second act careers or to successfully navigate their transition to retirement.