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Welcome to Goldinage and Reimagine Your Retirement

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

When individuals learn that I’m a retirement coach, they often ask how I got into “it”. I’ve been thinking about this question for some time because I haven’t found an answer that felt on-point. Until now.

I didn’t “get into it”, it is in me. Goldinage is who I am.

For as long I can remember, I’ve felt slightly detached from my age or phase in life. I celebrate my birthday, respect those that have come before me and honor age as a marker of time, but my age, the age of others, or stage in life, never seemed to hold great importance.

As a tween, I sought out opportunities to play, under the guise of babysitting, with my younger cousins’ toys. I wanted access to their dress-up clothes and dollhouses well-beyond what others would consider “age-appropriate”. I would empty a dollhouse of its furnishings and accessories and stage pretend estate sales in front of the miniature-scaled home and make my underlings pick “must-have” pieces of doll furniture. Of course, I always ended up with the best lot. Aunts and uncles loved me, because I was responsible, but also kept their children and mostly myself entertained for hours at a time. I did this until I got my first real paying job at 14 years old.

ageless, aging well, play, joy
Me (right), at 12 years old, playing dance agent, as a "babysitter.

At that time, I followed in my older cousin’s footsteps to work at a local monastery. First, I was a waitress serving monastery retreaters, but soon was promoted to the head dishwasher (in hindsight, I wonder if “promotion” was the accurate verb). Regardless, I loved the job. My Mom would pick me up very early on Saturday and Sunday mornings from sleepovers at friends and I would head into the large, but clean, industrial kitchen. I would rack and stack dishes methodically, in flow with the monstrous commercial Hobart dishwasher and could juggle plates, hot as hell, as quickly as the stainless-steel steam-machine spit them out. I got along well with the professional chefs and other adults keeping the young staff in line. I investigated, it turns out, and understandably so, they no longer hire children.

By the time I was 16, I left the kitchen to become a nanny. It was another role that suited me and felt like another version of make-believe. Rather than playing with dollhouses, I was playing but for real now, with real homes and grown-up, adult-sized furniture, and responsibilities. I was a fabulous “pretend-parent” for busy families. I made meals, provided rides, gave baths and became an extension of these families.

At 21 years old, I graduated college early to begin my first full-time job as an office manager. I oversaw human resources and managed large events for a small design firm. I became friends with my boss and business owner. She remains my mentor today, nearly 20 years later and 30 years my senior.

So, how did I get into retirement coaching or rather how did it get into me?

I am curious. I knew nothing about dollhouse estate sales as a child, kitchen service as a tween, parenting or running a household as a teen, or leading a business department in my early twenties, but I loved investigating and learning the ropes. I loved learning the ropes so much, people trusted me. I’m intrigued by things I don’t know or haven’t yet experienced in real-time. I am not retired. There is no “retirement” script to follow here but I love exploring what it may look like. I don’t know what your retirement journey is or isn’t. And honestly, that’s the best part about working with me.

Goldinage coaching is about curiosity, exploration and detaching from expectations or preconceived notions of what one should or shouldn’t do based on their age or phase in life. Even the word retirement comes with many cultural expectations and unrealistic narratives. I like to shed those. Age is number. Numbers are defined. Have rules. Age, by definition, is a mathematical object used to count, measure and label. Those rules make sense when applied to solving equations and incredibly limiting when it comes to living the fullest life possible.

I support and guide those on the cusp of retirement because it’s unchartered waters for me and I’m skilled at helping others explore all the options. I care deeply about my client’s wellbeing, I absolutely do not have their answers, only a journey we can explore together. The most rewarding part is when my clients uncover what WHO they are, not what they do.

AARP Member and Reader
Reading my favorite magazine at the airport

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