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Unretired – Mark S. Walton

  1. Unretired – Mark S. Walton Retirement Wisdom 29:09

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Let’s face it. Retirement isn’t for everyone – especially a “traditional Retirement.” An increasing number of people are choosing to work longer or to reinvent themselves and create their own new path forward. Mark Walton joins us to discuss his new book Unretired: How Highly Effective People Live Happily Ever After. You’ll be interested in the learning about the three paths he found people are pursuing as more fulfilling alternatives to a traditional Retirement. One of them may be an intriguing option for you.

Mark Walton joins us from California.



Mark S. Walton is a Peabody award-winning journalist and business author, Fortune 100 management consultant, and Chairman of the Center for Leadership Communication, a global executive education and communication enterprise with a focus on leadership and exceptional achievement at every stage of life.

He is additionally Founder and Chairman of the Second Half Institute at the University of California, the nation’s first university-based program to focus on personal leadership and career development in Midlife and beyond.

In addition to his most recent book, “UNRETIRED: How HIghly Effective People Live Happily Ever After” Mark is the author of “Boundless Potential: Transform Your Brain, Unleash Your Talents, Reinvent Your Work in Midlife and Beyond” was the focus of a national PBS TV special of the same name, and “Generating Buy-In: Mastering the Language of Leadership,” published by the American Management Association and selected by Business Week as one of the Top 30 business books of the year.

He has been a Professor of Leadership in the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Management Program, at Toyota University, and at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he taught leadership skills and strategies at the Senior Executive Institute and in the MBA and Executive MBA programs at the nationally top-ranked Kenan-Flagler Graduate Business School.

As Chairman of the Center for Leadership Communication, Mark has taught extensively in corporate universities and management development programs nationwide, and has worked individually with CEO’s, Division Presidents and a wide range of other senior executives and professionals at many of the world’s leading organizations, including: Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Dow Chemical Company, Duke Energy Corporation, General Electric Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline, NASA, and the United States Navy and Marine Corps.

Earlier in his career, Mark was an internationally-recognized network television news anchorman, correspondent and analyst, specializing in political leadership and national affairs. A founding correspondent of Cable News Network (CNN), he served as CNN’s first Chief White House Correspondent and, later, as CNN’s Senior Correspondent, traveling the nation and world from CNN headquarters in Atlanta. The book ‘CNN: The Inside Story’ characterizes him as “one of a small group of renegades who changed the face of TV News.”

While at CNN, Mark was a recipient of broadcast journalism’s premier honor, the coveted Peabody Award, for his role as Correspondent in CNN’s live coverage, from Moscow, of the failed Soviet coup in 1991 and the subsequent fall of Communism. His reporting and writing have also been honored with The National Headliner Award, Ohio State Journalism Award, Cable Ace Award, the Gold Medal of the New York TV and Film Festival and the Silver Gavel of the American Bar Association.


For More on Mark S. Walton

Unretired: How Highly Effective People Live Happily Ever After

Boundless Potential: Transform Your Brain, Unleash Your Talents, Reinvent Your Work in Midlife and Beyond

The Second Half Institute


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Wise Quotes

On Identity & Retirement

“The number one kind of loss or consequence is this abstract thing called personal identity. There’s a loss of personal identity – and it’s not abstract at all. If you’ve worked for decades to become someone, it merges with who you are on all levels. And some people will say that’s a negative, you shouldn’t become that engaged and involved in your work that the rest of you disappears. But for people who are successful, people who are highly effective, there really is no alternative and I certainly have experienced that. I’m sure you have. I don’t see anything wrong with it. The problem is that if the day after you leave that career you become in your own eyes a has been, you’re in a lot of trouble. And that is a consequence. That’s the biggest downfall of all to Retirement –  for people who are successful and who are electing to retire.”

On Purpose & Retirement

“The other’s a loss of daily structure. And I’ve seen this often in the areas where I’ve lived, where I’ve met people who’ve been retired for a while, and it’s not their fault that they don’t know what day it is, but they have nothing to hang their day on. They’ve lost their sense of purpose. And the other one, and I’m sure you’ve seen it as well, is a loss of friends and social network. These are the consequences of Retirement. A lot is said about and written about in all the Retirement books about that you can replace the kinds of people you’ve gotten to know over the last 20, 30 years, people you’ve worked with. But in reality, that turns out not to be true. Once you’re outside of an organizational structure or outside of the kind of a structure that you work in with, you’re connected to a lot of people. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to recoup. So that should be part of the black box warning. Watch out. This is coming your way. Will you be able to deal with it? And for most people, it’s a very, very difficult journey.”

On Fascination  – and Reivention

“I speak of it as a building block, the number one building block of an unretirement plan. That’s a term I invented because everybody talks about Retirement plans. Well, what’s an unretirement plan? And the building block that I found consistently in the people I’ve interviewed is that they’re fascinated by something. They have always been, they may have put it aside, but then when they spend some time or take or experiment with things that that truly instinctively draw them forward, they find that it has an enormous power behind it. And I found that when you put your fascination to work, the result is this wonderful psychological state that’s called flow, which is this sense of immersion that we’ve all had hopefully at some point, if not many in our careers. Immersion, which leads to producing results which are discontinuous with what we might expect. So building block number one of an unretirement plan is to revisit what fascinates us and to say, Well, why am I not pursuing that if I have not been? How do I do that? Experimenting with that, putting that to work, will create flow. And success is a natural outgrowth of flow.”


About Retirement Wisdom

I help people who are retiring, but aren’t quite done yet, discover what’s next and build their custom version of their next life. A meaningful Retirement doesn’t just happen by accident. Schedule a call to discuss how The Designing Your Life process created by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans can help you make your life in Retirement a great one – on your own terms.

About Your Podcast Host 

Joe Casey is an executive coach who also helps people design their next life after their primary career and create their version of The Multipurpose Retirement.™ 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 % globally in popularity by Listen Notes, with over 1.2 million downloads. Business Insider has recognized Joe 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.

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