1. The Third Act – Josh Sapan Retirement Wisdom 24:17

If you’re listening to this podcast, the question of what’s next is probably on your mind. Here’s a helpful way to think about it. Some see life as a three-act play. Act One is birth through your twenties, Act Two is your 30s until age 60, which is often your most productive period professionally and for many raising a family. And then, there’s a Third Act, which for many people presents a new blank canvas to explore new or long-deferred pursuits and make a difference in the lives of others.

Josh Sapan is the author of The Third Act: Reinventing Your Next Chapter.  The book profiles 63 people who are pursuing meaningful third acts. Some are names you’ll know like Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Norman Lear. But most are people like you and I, and they are living inspiring stories that illustrate the wide range of opportunities for people to thrive and contribute in their third acts.

Josh Sapan joins us from New York.

(Three of the people profiled have visited with us on the podcast and you can find the links below).



Josh Sapan is the recently retired President and CEO of AMC Networks. During his 36-year leadership of the company, with 26 as CEO, he’s been credited for creating some of the most celebrated and groundbreaking original content in television history, including Mad Men; Breaking Bad,  Better Call Saul; and The Walking Dead, and with building a portfolio of brands that includes AMC, BBC AMERICA IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, IFC Films among others.


For More on Josh Sapan

The Third Act: Reinventing Your Next Chapter


Ready to Design Your New Life in Retirement? Learn more here


Podcast Episodes You May Like

Retired, But Not Done Yet – Dr. Cynthia Barnett

Not Exactly Retired – David Jarmul

From the NBA Hardwood to the Altar – Steve Javie

A Rock Star’s Second Act – Brett Anderson


Wise Quotes

On Curiosity 

“…the book has people who are well known, like Robert Redford, Alan Alda and Gloria Steinem. It also has many people who no one has never heard of. And there is, I think, something thematically consistent between those who are luminaries and those who are not, and I think that it is a few, a couple different things. One is curiosity. And I think a second thing is the ability somehow to actualize what is often resident in many people, which is a desire or a fantasy to do something. It can be socially impactful or it just can be a fantasy, but they all somehow have the capability to implement that which is in their heads and making it real in the world.”

On Mentoring

“…it was a bit of an experiment. And I just immediately warmed to it because I just thought that it would be a nice thing to do. And also a friend introduced me to an organization in New York called The Fortune Society, which is a remarkable organization that does more than mentoring. It provides a whole range of services to people who’ve been incarcerated, and it helps them adjust in multiple ways. There’s a residential facility and there’s instruction. And so I’ve been also going out to the facility in Queens and doing –  I hesitate to call it mentoring, it’s my attempt at mentoring. But the truth is I hope it’s good for them. It’s definitely good for me. And I really don’t know if I’m helping them enough or perfectly. I am trying. It is spectacular to be around people whose day-to-day is entirely different than mine and whose frame of reference is different. Either a student or someone who’s been in prison for 26 years – and I’m listening to what their challenges are in life, work, the world, and how they see the world. And I don’t want to get coy and say it’s really inspiring, but it is. And you mentioned something earlier when we were speaking about doing doing the exercises, and it does seem to me, at least for me, it’s somewhat hard to get out of one’s frame of reference, and you could call it a bubble. And doing so as a consequence of relating to someone when you’re attempting to help is darn good medicine for the soul.”

On Getting Started

“So if I were offering advice to a friend, and I would only say it to a friend because I don’t have any initials after my name that would suggest I should be listened to, I would say write a few things down, write a plan a bit, and, if you have sufficient means and capability, make it as specific as possible and then act on it. And,  watch the piece of paper or the digital screen and watch yourself not having done it. And then see if you can get motivated to do it and then try it.”


About Retirement Wisdom®

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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.



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.