Copper Mountain, Dillon and Frisco

So even though he gave up a 6-figure salary, a big house and luxury cars, he made the best out of a horrible situation.

Not sure where we were really, in relation to all we could be seeing, doing, eating and drinking, we left the itinerary up to our local guides.

 

Dillon:  Part One

An excerpt from Book Four in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Rocky Mountain State.

Recall author David Petersen’s interview about leaving Laguna Beach, California for the higher quality-of-life he found between Pagosa Springs and Durango, Colorado.

It wasn’t the magic of living off the grid that he wrote about in “On the Wild Edge.

It was more about self-reliance than self-sufficiency.

I find self-sufficiency an impossible dream in this modern world.

You can’t get away from it entirely, and frankly, there’s a lot of good stuff there that you don’t want to get away from.

The important thing, no matter where you live, is for a self-directed life, a recognition that by choosing simplicity in whatever ways you can, you reduce your reliance on materialism.

But, over time what he feared about Durango’s development came true.

The big houses, the Humvees, the SUVs, all of that is just the same here and in a way, people are really conspicuous consumers here in the country just like in the city.

In the shorter term, Finnmark would have quite a few “Landed Gentry” towns to choose from.

The first one is the same one we first discussed that connects Parker, Colorado with Austin and Lake Arrowhead.

It shares the neighborhood profile with another famous springs – Steamboat Springs in Colorado, as well. Look, there are connections to some of the better Colorado ski resorts – Breckenridge, Snowmass and Beaver Creek.

He (and you) could consider like-minded resort towns outside of Colorado.

In Utah, look what pops up – Park City and Deer Valley.

Even Sun Valley in Idaho and Incline Village in Nevada.

In each you’d be happy to find others like you:

Ages 35 to 45 and 45 to 64  – these are the knowledge worker profiles — well-educated executives, professionals, and technical white-collar workers.

They prefer to live away from the city.

Most families have more than one income.

So, they’re affluent and enjoy spending money on an active, outdoor recreational lifestyle, and on remodeling their homes – or at least reading about it or watching the cable channels devoted to the homeowner.

Colorado Regions

Where did Finnmark imagine living next, all things being equal?

If he moved he’d probably look in other exurb areas north, northwest and west of Denver.

How did they end up in Dillon?

Parker isn’t that far from the mountains.

Remember, mountains pulled them away from their Chicago suburb.

And, Dillon is in the mountains, duh!

And, for Finnmark a part of his Norwegian DNA probably drove him, right?

Things change.

As a couple, both of them were still relatively happy, until …

Finnmark lost his job like so many others.

In the local Denver job market, the telecom industry resembled a roller coaster of ups and downs.

Working in marketing and business development and product development, like in human resources, meant you weren’t critical to the success of the business.

If you have to cut back, start in those functions.

And, once you’ve turned 50 years old, as we’ve already acknowledged, it’s hard to compete with the “lower priced spread.”

Those eager, techno savvy Millennials.

If the roller coaster finally starts to climb out of its bottom depths.

But when one door closes …

Another door opens.

Though it may be hidden.

He volunteered, networked, and searched for jobs during the week.

But, on the weekends he began doing what he loved.

Teaching others how to ski at Copper Mountain Resort.

He found a job in the medical imaging technologies industry that lasted for about six years.

But didn’t quit doing what he loved on the weekend.

Finnmark wasn’t alone.

Later, when we profile Northstar in Lake Tahoe you’ll discover a 100-day bucket list story.

A 38-year-old landed a host position for the 2009 – 2010 winter season.

Stationed strategically on the mountain, he helped visitors figure out where they wanted to go and how to get there.

It was something he always wanted to do.

Ski the entire season at one of the premier resorts.

Plus he got to ski for free.

And, as it turned out he could do it, because of all the free time he had.

Unfortunately, it was due to the bankruptcy of his real estate business he had built over eight years.

He shared a three bedroom apartment with other roommates to make ends meet.

So even though he gave up a 6-figure salary, a big house and luxury cars, he made the best out of a horrible situation.

Luckily, for Finnmark, his Copper Mountain Resort position lasted more than one season.

He didn’t face such a dire situation.

And he was doing something he always wanted to do.

His ski instructing job gave him stability, when his new job of six years came to an end during the 2012 – 2013 ski season.

But, the long commute between Copper and Parker on certain weekends, similar to the Southern California traffic, got to him.

It could take him a couple of hours or as many as seven in the I-70 winter season congestion  triggered by tourist drivers out of their element and snow-driven accidents.

No one likes Monday mornings.

But, to kick off the work week after one of those commutes?

It’s enough to drain the passion right out of doing what you love to do.

His solution?

Buy a condo and stay for the weekends.

And choose a different day to travel, since Monday morning was no longer a work requirement.

As a couple with no children to complicate matters, they began to wonder.

What’s keeping them from relocating to where they want to really, really live?

They revisited the same process that led from Chicago to Parker.

  • What if?
  • Could they?
  • Should they?
  • Neither one worked for bosses they could respect any longer.
  • So why not?
  • But, how long would it take to sell their Parker home?
  • What about the timing?
  • Maybe not at the peak of the real estate market, but …

And, they felt a major problem might be how steep their driveway was for those frequently icy days and nights.

No problem.

Everything happened faster than they expected.

  • Their new owners told them they should have seen the driveway leading up to their last home.
  • Finnmark’s was child’s play in comparison.
  • Then things became real.
  • The pace quickened.
  • They had to step up their house buying process and pick a neighborhood near enough to Copper Mountain.
  • The clock ticked down to the deadline for moving everything out of Parker so the new owners could take possession.

But to where?

On scouting trips, they stayed in their condo.

Two of Parker’s Wireless Resorter lifestyle profiles, 05F1T1 and more specifically to them, 11Y1T1 match several of Summit County’s Monied ‘Burbs.

Premier Resorts – WRPR

05F1T1 Country Squires 45+ Baby Boomer, Families, Accumulated Wealth, Landed Gentry

And …

Maturing Resorts – WRMR

11Y1T1 God’s Country, 20-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Landed Gentry

Those two, it turns out, matched nicely what they cherished in Parker to what they found  in Summit County – friendly neighbors welcoming them with open arms.

Both profiles show up together in Frisco, and as we’ll see later, in resort towns on the banks surrounding Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada.

Finnmark’s closest lifestyle, 11Y1T1, populates neighborhoods in

They chose Dillon.

With the built up equity from sale of their home they were able to take advantage of local real estate market.

For all intents and purposes, they retired early while doing what they love.

With a rental and long-time renter at Copper Mountain providing a cash flow.

A few days a week in a helping out in a Frisco boutique.

Winter ski instructing.

Summer seasonal temp work – festival and event security – and some construction work.

They earn time off for good behavior while paying their bills without depleting their longterm investments.

That was then.

This was now.

The next day, we dropped off our rental at the local Enterprise office in Silverthorne.

Who knew?

For the first time in rental car history the price of gas per gallon offered by Enterprise turned out to be significantly cheaper than what we could see along the way to Dillon and during our local tour of the mountain communities.

I know!

With that out-of-the-way, and the long drive fading into memory, we were eager to vacate.

We had only one question on our minds, how much can you squeeze in, into one day?

Not sure where we were really, in relation to all we could be seeing, doing, eating and drinking, we left the itinerary up to our local guides.

So, there’s this little restaurant we both love in downtown Breckenridge, so let’s start there.

We like to eat.

He’s driving.

Why not?

Steps:

(8) Sit down with your spouse, partner or friends and write-up your bucket list of places.

(20) Pivot. Maybe the lists of best places don’t appeal to you. Where can you go to make a fresh, new start? Don’t limit your imagination. Think anywhere — across the globe. Where do you really, really want to live, work and play?  Why not live where it’s a vacation all year round?

(21) Spend the time to find the best places to live and invest. It will be worth your while. The great thing about living where others spend their vacation is the year round quality-of-life. 

Dillon

“What would you do if you had ten years to live and $10 million in the bank?” and “Where Would You Live, Anywhere On The Planet?”

Two what we now describe as “Wireless Resorters” – Premier Resorts and Maturing Resorts – called Parker home.

 

An excerpt from Book Four in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Rocky Mountain State.

When Siri told us we had arrived our host, Finnmark, waved down to us from his slightly worn natural-colored wooden deck.  

He leaned over his dark green metal railing as we pulled into his driveway and greeted us. 

From behind him we could see the smoke from his grill drifting up into the cooling dusk night-time sky.

When he called inside, his two large poodles scampered out.  

He climbed down his entrance way steps to quickly help us bring in our suitcases and ran back to his deck barbecue to flip the chicken one more time.

And then in minutes we sat at his kitchen table which probably was set much earlier than the time we arrived.  

We visited, settled into our room and then hit the bed early since we were clearly worn out from our drive. 

For the next few days we would enjoy our own base camp for hiking, touring, visiting, eating and drinking at the best of what Summit County would offer.

  • Dillon.
  • Frisco.
  • Breckenridge.
  • Loveland Pass.
  • Shrine Mountain Ridge.
  • The Continental Divide.
  • Keystone Resort.
  • Copper Mountain Resort.
  • Vail Resort.

And, discover what the attraction was to our hosts when they followed their dreams.

For the second time.

Colorado Regions

A decade earlier we visited them when they called Parker, Colorado, their home, an exurb Southeast of Denver.

They went out of their way to show us the off-the-beaten-path experiences no tourist would find in and around Denver.

How did they end up in Parker?

From Southern California, by way of Chicago. 

As a couple, they inspired me to write this “Guide for Leaving California.”

Both of them missed the outdoors, sports and mountain living – hiking, backpacking, and skiing. 

Both  grew up nearer the Pacific Ocean.

Both frequented the local mountains and the Sierra Nevada’s – Mammoth Mountain.

Finnmark worked summers near Tom’s place, where we’ll visit later following the Birds-of-a-Feather (BOFs) resort bucket list itineraries in California.

Rock Creek and Little Lakes Valley to be more exact. 

After the move out west again, everything they loved was in driving distance. 

Except the ocean, of course.

Finnmark told me it was the congestion.  

How all of Southern California became overdeveloped.

It forced him entertain second thoughts about returning to California, when he realized Illinois just didn’t suit him any more.

And what was wrong with the Windy City? 

The Great Lake comes close to being an ocean.

For a Southern California boy, it was the fact that he had to wear long underwear under his suit during the first winter there.

It wasn’t the cold so, much, he told me – Denver gets cold, but the humid cold of Chicago was something else. 

And no access to “real” mountains gnawed at them.

He told me it hit him when he waited to cross a downtown street at a pedestrian cross walk. 

A big SUV came barreling through the intersection, hit a puddle and drowned him with gray slush.

That slush broke the camel’s back! 

All the little things just added up into a general recognition of dissatisfaction for them.

They both had jobs.

They owned a home.

But, they recognized if they didn’t act the opportunity to move might just slip slide away.

He and his wife sat down that weekend – at a little resort hotel they both enjoyed — and answered two questions: 

“What would you do if you had ten years to live and $10 million in the bank?” and 

“Where Would You Live, Anywhere On The Planet?”

They listed their passions and their dissatisfactions. 

When they combined and prioritized their two lists into one common one they discovered they were in synch on the vast majority of their “Musts” and “Wants.”

So they transferred their jobs to a better quality of life location?

That was the hard part. 

They tried.

But, in the end they took a leap of faith.

They took a big risk. 

They gambled that they could both find jobs to support their lifestyle in a climate and geographical location where they’d be happy.

But, it was a calculated risk. 

  • They did their homework and tapped into their “Birds of a Feather” – tribal connections, if you will — ahead of time.
  • They knitted together a small group of like-minded people for the sole purpose of trading inside information and referrals.
  • They needed inside sources of business intelligence and introductions to make the best life decision they could.
  • And, they took several scouting trips – some on business trips, some on vacations to confirm what they had researched. 

They double-checked advice they had received from family, friends and new acquaintances they met along the way.

They set up their own “outpost” by renting outside of the Denver urban area while they explored where they wanted to live. 

As it turned out, Finnmark managed to finagle a position with his Chicago-based company by opening an office for them in Denver.

Shortly after arriving his wife landed her job.

In the same industry and function, with the flexibility to work from her home office since she conducted audits “in the field.”

In fact, like a farmer you could say she was outstanding in her field.

Look, I didn’t say you would, but you (I) could.

Point?

She earned an outstanding reputation recognized by her new employer.

And in a few months both began living their version of the “Colorado Dream” lifestyle in a beautiful home in Parker. 

Over a decade ago we profiled Finnmark in “The Journal of 2020 Foresight.”

On our chart it is in the upper right hand corner at the intersection of “Doing What You Love in Current Geographical Location.” 

We visited some of these neighborhoods in Parker, Colorado to which our friend moved from an exclusive Chicago suburb. 

They don’t have to live in congested, urban areas so you find like-minded residents in the elite suburbs. 

Statistically, these neighborhoods house a high concentration of the wealthiest in the United States. 

If you are familiar with the Southern California – you’d find them in … 

  • La Jolla, 
  • Torrey Pines, and 
  • Escondido (San Diego County) and 
  • Newport Coast, 
  • Newport Beach, 
  • Corona del Mar, 
  • Huntington Beach, 
  • Irvine and 
  • Mission Viejo (Orange County).

Not all of Parker’s neighborhood lifestyle profiles grouped together within the elite suburbs.  

Two what we now describe as “Wireless Resorters” – Premier Resorts and Maturing Resorts – called Parker home.

Here’s how we described the broad grouping and then two lifestyle segments – Country Squires and God’s Country –  in the “Journal of 2020 Foresight.”

And Landed Gentry?

They’re the fourth most affluent with multiple incomes from executive, professional and technology-related knowledge workers. 

They prefer to live in the exurbs – beyond the suburbs and dense urban areas.

And the Country Squires and God’s Country?

Both yearn to escape urban stress and prefer to live away from the city. 

Country Squires have been called “big bucks in the boondocks” by Claritas. 

God’s Country neighborhoods apply their dual incomes to support an active, outdoor lifestyle.

Slowly neighborhoods change.

You can see the fit that Finnmark and his wife found when they first moved to Parker many years ago. But over time, what once was exurban now becomes suburban, and almost urban as communities mature.

If they had to do it over again, they might check out Parker’s 2025 Master Plan to decide if there was as much fit as they had anticipated.

Here’s a kernel of an idea that grew over time. 

It evolved.

When the opportunity presented itself, it burst to the forefront of Finnmark’s planning.

In the long term Finnmark said he wouldn’t mind living off the grid – becoming more self-sufficient like in the Lone Eagle scenarios. 

We now call the Lone Eagle scenarios – High Country Eagles.  

And, in many of the mountain resort communities you’ll find them living farther away from the towns in Rural Cowboy ranches, farms and other sparsely populated rivers, lakes and open land.

Steps:

8) Sit down with your spouse, partner or friends and write-up your bucket list of places.

20) Pivot. Maybe the lists of best places don’t appeal to you. Where can you go to make a fresh, new start? Don’t limit your imagination. Think anywhere — across the globe. Where do you really, really want to live, work and play?  Why not live where it’s a vacation all year round?

21) Spend the time to find the best place to live and invest. It will be worth your while. The great thing about living where others spend their vacation is the year round quality-of-life. 

65+ Years Old: Maturity, Integrity and Wisdom

“The real question is, what does it mean to live to full effect? How do you know if you are fulfilling your time, or wasting it?”

 

These days, all my sixtysomething friends seem to be taking care of aging parents. Too many — most of them male — are fighting serious health issues of their own. They are tough old boots, all of them.

 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

The final installment in a 9-part Life Stage series:

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

Part Three:  Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

Part Four:  Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

Part Five:  Making It – Ages 30 – 38

Part Six:  Authenticity Crisis for 35 – 45 Year Olds

Part Seven:  Renewal or Resignation in Your Mid-40s

Part Eight: 55 Year Olds- Millennials and Empty Nests

So there’s this generation that used to be all that.

The one born between 1946, beginning nine months after World War II ended and 1964 more or less.

Look it up, but the number stuck in my brain is about 75 or 78 million.

They used to dominate all those demographic lifestyle segments advertising executives drooled over.

They were the Millennials of their time.

A time so long ago …

Turning 60

Chris Erskine. Meanwhile, many of my friends are turning 60, and though I have a long way to go till I reach that particular benchmark (six months), witnessing so many milestones at once can really take a toll on a fella.

“You’re turning 60?” I always tell my friends.

“That’s just so great!!!”

Really?!!

Integrity or Despair

Erik Erikson’s last and eighth developmental stage is called Maturity.

Approximate Age: Maturity ( 65 – death)

Significant Relationship: Mankind, my kind

Existential Question:  Is it okay to have been me?

Examples: Reflection on life

Psychosocial Crisis: Integrity vs. Despair

Virtues: Wisdom

A lot of stuff comes with approaching the traditional retirement age.

That age when Erskine’s generation viewed their parents living their second half of life – the Golden Years – with a pension, receiving monthly social security checks and picking up divots on a par five in Sarasota, Florida as boring.

A given.

But, now not so much.

And tomorrow, probably not at all.

Entering Act III with Doctors and Adult Kids

Daditude: The Joys & Absurdities of Modern Fatherhood by Chris Erskine

Turning sixty is a weird time, Erskine says, for him and his friends.

A time when they look back to times they spent when they were younger.

A time when their kids were younger.

I sometimes wish our kids were all 10 again, how that period was a holiday season all its own; it was magical, finite and flew by too fast.

A time when the kids needed coaching and rough housing.

A time when the parents had to remind them about chores and unfinished homework.

Now things are just different.

Erskine.  “Truth is, I find this a weird time for me and my buddies.

Most of our children are now adults, working for tyrants, finding their way.

That’s just how the real world works.

Erskine’s friend puts what’s different into perspective for him – like a three act screen play.

Act I ends with college graduation.

Act II ends with the empty nest.

“Act III,” my buddy Siskin calls it.

So now, most of us are entering Act III.

Ask any writer, Act II is the toughest.

The middle of any story meanders, drifts, struggles and is often the death of art itself.”

Wisdom and Life Acceptance

Erskine’s writes about what comes with the Act III territory.

Coming to grips with what it means when you’ve reached the last chapter of your life.

When retirement is approaching or has already taken place.

Stories about “Is it okay to have been me?”

And other reflections on life.

Examples of leaving the second half of adulthood and embarking on maturity.

Erikson (at least the Wikipedia version) describes what happens.

“Ego-integrity means the acceptance of life in its fullness: the victories and the defeats, what was accomplished and what was not accomplished.

Wisdom is the result of successfully accomplishing this final developmental task.

Wisdom is defined as “informed and detached concern for life itself in the face of death itself.””

Erskine reflects on a book review, a memoire written about turning 60.

Erskine. “Like a pro athlete just retired, he seems pretty convinced that most of life’s good times are behind him.

Likewise, there is very little chirpy, New Age navel-gazing to his writing.

His mind is keen and active, and his pages are full of fine references to poets and artists who he knows also dealt with the minefield of late middle age.

Erskine says the book takes on topics like his love life, physical changes, marriage struggles with, family relations brother and more.

He speaks of his existential crises:

“The real question is, what does it mean to live to full effect?

How do you know if you are fulfilling your time, or wasting it?

Fulfillment  or Despair, Depression and Hopelessness

As we grow older and become senior citizens, according to Erikson’s theory, we tend to slow down our productivity and explore life as a retired person.

It is during this time through retrospection that we look back to contemplate our accomplishments and are able to develop integrity if we see ourselves as leading a successful life.

If so we develop feelings of contentment and integrity if we believe we have led a happy, productive life.

But if we see our life as unproductive, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, often leading to depression and hopelessness.

Instead of contentment, we  may instead develop a pervasive sense of despair when we recall a life of disappointments and unachieved goals.

This stage can occur out of the sequence when an individual feels they are near the end of their life (such as when receiving a terminal disease diagnosis).

Stage 4 Cancer

Erskine.  “Well, the doctors had said “cancer, Stage 4,” so I suppose Posh was a little desperate.

Chris Erskine at the Los Angeles Times

I was there to help, and eager as a dumb puppy.

I didn’t feel responsible for her cancer, just every other challenge in her life: the plain little ranch house, the minivan with the “check-engine” light aglow, the dryer that kept scorching the shirts.

Most of all, a topsy-turvy marriage.

Like taking on the day in and day out responsibilities of caring for an aging parent Erskine’s normal routine dramatically  changed.

And he was the funny one.

Churning out humorous weekly syndicated essays about what it was like living in the Los Angeles suburbs with four children during his own middle age years.

Bad as all that was, she had cancer, which is worse than about anything else that can ever happen.

How could I gripe about the missing tax records — or anything — when she was enduring injections, transfusions, lab tests, fatigue, nausea and hair loss?

A good day was one where they didn’t poke her with a 4-inch needle.

Traditional retirement age used to be 65, but not so much any more.

So depending upon your situation, it may be easier to start the countdown process five years before you expect to retire.

Will it be 70 or 75 or 55?

These recommendations will still hold up.

You pick the time when you want retirement to start and work backwards to the time left.

Seriously, do this.

You know you put a lot of time and effort into planning your annual vacations.

So, put in the same time and energy into a project that protects your nest egg and well-being with piece of mind.

Erskine. “Meanwhile, my friends and I are at a more bittersweet stage, with five or so years left in our careers.

Every conversation has started to include talk of doctors.

Any car we buy might be our last.

Pre-Retirement Countdown

Time Left Before Retiring – Five Years

Finances: 

Take a stab at answering The Big Question: Will you  have saved enough to retire in five years?

Erskine.  Which one of you handles the finances?” the advisor asked.

From Posh, a sideways glance.

“Money does,” Posh said.

“Who’s Money? the advisor asked.

“We call my husband ‘Money,'” Posh explained, “but he’s sooooo not.

Lifestyle:  

How you and your spouse wish to spend time in retirement.

Take an inventory of your past and current interests, hobbies and activities.

One of the mentors in our Executive MBA program told me he wrote a book and set up his consulting practice, because so much golf and so much traveling didn’t cut it any more.

Estate Planning:

Make sure you have a will, an appointed power-of-attorney, health-care directives and an estate plan.

Otherwise, someone else will be calling the shots and siphoning off your hard-earned savings.

Time Left Before Retiring – Four Years

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Finances:

Start thinking about Social Security. Talk to your financial advisor.  Check out all the tools and resources on the Social Security Administration’s website.

Lifestyle:

Start exploring your ideas.

Erskine.  “Oh, I jest because after living here for nearly 30 years, I love L.A. and its open minds … its empty minds, and every now and then, its very brilliant minds.

In L.A., you’ll run across the smartest people you’ll ever meet, and they’ll probably be driving for Uber.

Still, it is a magnificent and inspiring place — America’s shining city on a hill.

For active Millennials, Gen-Xers, Baby Boomers, and well everyone else living in California the high cost of living, taxes and congested living conditions in and around Los Angeles pushes “Golden Staters” like Erskine to actively consider moving.

But …

You’d have to move to Monaco to find mountains this close to beaches, or wild animals this close to ingénues.

In the foothills, we keep black bears as pets.”

Potential outbound movers need to draw up a bucket list of best places that offsets living near the Pacific Ocean and local mountains.

Start with the no- or low-tax states and carefully weigh the tradeoffs.

A quality-of-life resort community may be so remote that it lacks adequate healthcare locally, for instance.

Erskine’s advice for potential inbound vacationers-turned-residents?

“If you live right, most of the time you will have seawater in your hair.

Most of the year, your bare feet will have a leathery bottom, as if it is always summer.

It isn’t.

Densely Populated Urban Neighborhoods

All that “endless summer” stuff comes from the ’50s and ’60s.

The bohemian vibe from that time is slipping away, quashed by gentrification and surprisingly long work weeks.

If you’re considering relocating, research the communities you’re interested in.

In addition to Claritas and City-data.com you may want to add helpful resources  like: Relocationessentials.com, NeighborhoodScout.com and RetirementLiving.com.

Time Left Before Retiring – Three Years

Lifestyle:

If you plan to relocate, start visiting communities on your short bucket list.

Don’t have a short list yet?

Southwest United States – Wikitravel

Take a look at these western towns with seven 65+ lifestyles that might just get your started:

Arizona: Elgin

California: Palm Desert, Eureka, Long Beach, Seal Beach

MontanaWhitefish

New Mexico: Taos

Seven Lifestyle Profiles: 65+

Singles and Couples: Wireless Resorters, High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries.

Communities

Wireless Resorters

55M4T4, Golden Ponds – WRDE Distant Exurbans (Elgin, AZ)

Communities

High Country Eagles

60M4C3, Park Bench Seniors – HCESTB Small Town Borders (Palm Desert, CA)

57M4T4 Old Milltown – HCERE Rustic Eagles (Taos, NM)

58M4T4, Back Country Folks – HCERE Rustic Eagles (Whitefish, MT)

Communities

Permanent Temporaries

62M4C3, Hometown Retired – PTTC The Cutters (Eureka, CA)

59M4U3, Urban Elders – PTUT Urban Trapped (Long Beach, CA)

61M4U3, City Roots – PTUT Urban Trapped (Seal Beach, CA)

Finances: 

Request an estimate of any pension or retiree medical benefits you are eligible to receive from your employer.

Health Care:

Get educated about Medicare.

You won’t want to be penalized for signing up for basic coverage when you were supposed to, but didn’t.

Find out what’s covered and what isn’t.

Investigate all those supplemental plans you’ll need if you want vision or dental care.

Realize that you’ll have one plan while your spouse will have another.

Time Left Before Retiring – One Year

Wait, where did the time go, right?

Lifestyle: 

If you plan to start a business, draw up a detailed business plan.

Check out the 10 step process at the Small Business Administration (SBA) to get you started.

Consider all your ‘Preneurial options weighing the risks and rewards and the pros and cons before you commit your hard-earned nest egg to the vagaries of being in business for yourself.

If you want to work, check the listings at websites including RetiredBrains.com, RetirementJobs.com and SeniorJobBank.org

Finances:

Figure out how to convert your savings into a reliable stream of lifelong income.

Get a final estimate of benefits from your employer.

Don’t put it off too long or you might conveniently forget about it.

Forgetting Why You Entered the Room

Chris Erskine.  “This week marks 60 laps around the sun for me.

Sixty is pretty sexy, of course.

Sixty is AARP discounts, cruise ships and cholesterol tests.

Sixty is forgetting why you entered the room, the number of that first baseman, the name of that girl you worshiped back in high school.

The whole thing started 15-plus years ago, after our sons and daughters aged out of youth sports.

Aging Parents and Their Own Health Issues

Chris Erskine.  “Eric dodged serious cancer and has rebounded well.

Social Ties and Deep Friendships

Paul had a relapse of his cancer and with gallows humor kids about a Viking funeral on a flaming raft in Jennifer Aniston’s pool.

Posh continues her fight, as does a family friend, LP, who used to coach with me long ago.

Not far from those thoughts are recollections of another great pal, Rhymer, who died five years ago.

At 51, he was just a baby.

“Focus on the good,” Rhymer always said, even in the times when we both had to squint to find the good.

Maybe, just maybe, all you can really do is to find your own path.

Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. Leave a Legacy.

55 Year Olds – Millennials and Empty Nests

I think it was the great subversive Tom Arnold who long ago quipped: “Kids – 10 seconds of joy, 30 years of misery.

 

Stuff’s changed in the sense that stuff that was bugging you, by the time you’re fifty-three, either you worked it out or you’ve just forgiven yourself and you’ve said, “Look, this is who I am.”

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Adult Life Stages

Women in their 50s

Chris Erskine. “Here’s the setting: Betsy’s backyard, on one of those SoCal patios right out of a magazine.

Daditude by Chris Erskine

Nearby, a waterfall.

And the woodwind sounds of Chardonnay cascading into a glass.

I’m not sure if it’s my fantasy or my worst nightmare, but I’m surrounded by successful women, 50ish and funny, half of them Stanford grads.

“Hi, I’m Chris, and I’m a bookaholic.” “Hi, Chris!”

We talk about the latest books awhile.

Erskine. “At 56, Posh still really rocks a tiara.

Plus, she still seems so young to me, so why shouldn’t she also share in such a wonderful celebration of budding femaleness?

If the budget allows, I plan to hire world-renowned contortionists.

Graduating Neighborhood Kids

Hope I don’t cry.

I’ll admit being very emotional lately.

Graduations.

Bar mitzvahs.

Quinceañeras.

All these are piling up for us.

Fearless or Flaming 50s

Gail Sheehy

Gail Sheehy called this time of life the “Fearless or Flaming 50s”.

She described it as a time of:

  • Accepting feelings of warmth and mellowing.
  • Making room for secondary interests.
  • Allowing them to blossom into serious work.
  • Approving our ethical and moral selves.
  • Finding our bliss and blessing our own life.

This Is Who I Am

Barack Obama. In Marc Maron’s “Waiting for the Punch President Obama says:

“Stuff’s changed in the sense that stuff that was bugging you, by the time you’re fifty-three, either you worked it out or you’ve just forgiven yourself and you’ve said, “Look, this is who I am.” 

By the time you get into your fifties, hopefully a lot of those have been resolved.

You’ve come to terms and come to peace with some stuff, and then some stuff you’ve just said, “Well, you know what, that’s just who I am.

I’ve got some flaws, I’ve got some strengths, and that’s okay.” 

The biggest fun I’ve had is watching my kids grow up, and they are magnificent.” pg 43-44.

50% Through Second Adulthood Stage

And, we’re about halfway through Erik Erikson’s Adulthood.

Approximate Age: Adulthood ( 40 – 64)

Significant Relationship: Household, workmates

Existential Question:  Can I make my life count?

Examples: Work, parenthood

Psychosocial Crisis: Generativity vs. Stagnation

Virtues: Care

By the time you’re in your mid-fifties your generation’s cohort splinters into 13 lifestyle segments stretching across the midlevel of status and influence.

Southwest United States – Wikitravel

Here’s a sample of lifestyles and communities where you can find neighbors in the 55+ age group in the West and Pacific Northwest.

  • Arizona: Prescott, Surprise
  • California: Indian Wells, Huntington Beach, La Mirada, St. Helena, Idyllwild, Laguna Hills, Ukiah
  • Colorado: Lakewood
  • New Mexico: Santa Fe
  • Washington: Mukilteo

Lifestyle Profiles: 55+

Singles, Couples and Empty-Nests: Wealthy Influentials, Wireless Resorters High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries.

Communities:

Wealthy Influentials

14M2S2, New Empty Nests -WIES Exurb Society (Indian Wells, CA)

15M2S2, Patios & Pools, Empty Nests -WIES Exurb Society (Mukilteo, WA)

26M2U1, The Cosmopolitans, Couples – WIDM Digitally Mobiles (Huntington Beach, CA)

40M3U2, Close-In Couples – WIPL Portfolio Locals (La Mirada, CA)

Wireless Resorters

28M2T2, Traditional Times, Empty Nests – WRMR Maturing Resorts (St. Helena, CA)

38M3T3, Simple Pleasures, Couples – WRRS Resort Suburbans (Idyllwild, CA)

43M3T3, Heartlanders, Couples – WRRS Resort Suburbans (Prescott. AZ)

High Country Eagles

27M2C2, Middleburg Managers, Couples – HCESC Satellite City-zens (Santa Fe, NM)

41M3C2, Sunset City Blues, Empty Nests – HCESC Satellite City-zens (Ukiah, CA)

Permanent Temporaries

21M2S3, Gray Power – PTIMM Interim Middle Managers (Laguna Hills, CA)

39M3S3, Domestic Duos – PTIMM Interim Middle Managers (Lakewood, CO)

46M3S4, Old Glories – PTSO Start Overs

49M3S4, American Classics – PTSO Start Overs (Surprise, AZ)

So what is so special about the 50s?

Gail Sheehy: “At 50, there is a new warmth and mellowing.

Friends become more important than ever; so does privacy.

Secondary interests that have been tapped earlier in life can, in middle and old age, blossom into a serious life work.

One of the great rewards of moving through the disassembling period to renewal is coming to approve of oneself ethically and morally and quite independently of other people’s standards and agenda … arrival at that final stage of adult development, in which one can give a blessing to one’s own life.”

Also during this time, a person is enjoying raising their children and participating in activities, that gives them a sense of purpose.”

Erskine.  I think it was the great subversive Tom Arnold who long ago quipped: “Kids – 10 seconds of joy, 30 years of misery.”

Obama. Look, hopefully every parent feels the way I do about my daughters, but I think they are spectacular. pg. 175

Now, unfortunately, they’re hitting the age where they still love me but they think I’m completely boring, and so they’ll come in, pat me on the head, talk to me for ten minutes, and they they’re gone all weekend.

They break my heart.

Now I’ve got to start thinking, “Well, what’s going to replace the fun?” pg. 176

More Than Money Could Ever Buy

Erskine.  If you have children, you’ll have everything.

To see them grow, to flourish, to graduate college, is among the sweetest joys.

The feeling you get from raising children is something money could never buy.

Which is good, because you will no longer have any.

Yes, against the odds, I’d recommend having kids.

Maybe not four at once, like their mother did, but a bunch.

Children teach us humility, servitude and to give our lives to something greater than ourselves.

In return, they’ll occasionally curl up on the couch with you at night, then mention that you look really tired, and your neck is starting to look kind of saggy.

Still, have kids. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.”

Boomerang Millennials

Erskine.  “Anyway, three of our kids are now free upon the world, yet their mishaps still find me.

Traffic tickets.

Insurance claims.

College loans they can’t quite handle.

I always warned them to never grow up … no good can come of it.

 

Wear and Tear and Manopause

Is there a better description for what males go through, kinda like what women experience in their 50s?

Erskine wrote about “manopause” when fathers become grandfathers.

When if you keep score you notice that “Four Weddings and a Funeral” reverses.

Erskine. “Then at middle-age, an actual physical fade ensues, not to mention more hair in all the wrong places.

Is that manopause or a robust virility that even time can’t take away?

It’s all in your attitude, I guess, and your awareness of male wear and tear.

So, can you make your life count?

By the time you reach your fifties it’s up to you.

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

Part Three:  Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

Part Four:  Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

Part Five:  Making It – Ages 30 – 38

Part Six:  Authenticity Crisis for 35 – 45 Year Olds

Part Seven:  Renewal or Resignation in Your Mid-40s

Renewal or Resignation in Your Mid-40s

If you’re in your forties, and you’re a man, and you haven’t been divorced at least once, there’s something up.

 

In the past I could rely on my appearances on public radio to excuse my lack of wealth

 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Adult Life Stages

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

Part Three:  Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

Part Four:  Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

Part Five:  Making It – Ages 30 – 38

Part Six:  Authenticity Crisis for 35 – 45 Year Olds

Late Bloomers

Chris Erskine. Mom explained to me that I was merely a late bloomer, that life would eventually become easier.

I said, “Mom, I’m 45!”

Chris Erskine at the Los Angeles Times

She loved me anyway, perhaps the greatest test yet of a mother’s heart. See, unconditional love is one thing.

Then there’s a mother’s love, which is unconditional love with an extra spritz of love’s greatest qualities:

Devotion. Faith. Grace.

Authenticity and Adulthood

Amy Poehler.  In Marc Maron’s “Waiting for the Punch” Amy says:

“At this age, you have to find people that are already divorced.

At least once.

If you’re in your forties, and you’re a man, and you haven’t been divorced at least once, there’s something up.” pg. 142

Renewal or Resignation

On the “older side” of the Authenticity Crisis lies the rest of adulthood.

If you chose renewal when you faced your mortality, life opens to an age of mastery.

If you chose to look the other way and settle than your life feels stale.

I’m pretty sure Gail Sheehy coined “Flourishing 40s”.

A time in our life for:

  • Regaining our equilibrium.
  • Renewing our purpose
  • Making our life count at work as a parent.

Self-Acceptance

Marc Maron. “I have self-acceptance now.

Age helps.

I didn’t really grow up until I was in my late forties.

Marc Maron’s Insightful Interviews from his Wildly Successful WTF Podcast

I brought myself up pretty well.

I’m glad I never had kids.

I just didn’t want to put them through my own selfish struggle of being a grown-up.”  pg. 162

Idea of Failure

Maron: “It wasn’t until I let go of expectations and let the humility settle in as opposed to anger, self-pity, and the idea of failure that I became grounded in my body and a fucking grown-up.” pg. 280

Getting used to beginning your second stage of adulthood , you identify less with the kids who were in your high school class.

Or members of your generation’s cohort than you do with other people in your neighborhood.

And more with neighbors and friends dealing with common issues facing families, couples or empty-nesters.

 Seven 45+ Lifestyle Profiles 

Families, Couples and Empty-Nests: Wealthy Influentials and Wireless Resorters.

Goin’ Coastal on PCH

Within the top 10 (out of 64) lifestyles ranked for degree of affluence and status.

Living in:

Oregon: West Linn

Utah: Alta

Florida: Ft. Myers

California: Half Moon Bay, Seal Beach, Lake Arrowhead and Mammoth Lakes

Communities

Wealthy Influentials

01M1S1, Upper Crust, Empty-Nests – WIAE Affluently Elite (Half Moon Bay, CA)

02F1S1 Blue Blood Estates, Families – WIAE Affluently Elite (West Linn, OR)

06F1S1, Winner’s Circle, Families – WIAE Affluently Elite (Alta, UT)

07M1U1 Money & Brains, Couples – WIAE Affluently Elite (Seal Beach, CA)

10M1C1, Second City Elite, Empty-Nests – WIDM Digitally Mobiles (Ft. Myers, FL)

Communities

Wireless Resorters

05F1T1, Country Squires, Families – WRPR Premier Resorts (Lake Arrowhead, CA)

09M1T1, Big Fish, Small Pond, Empty-Nests – WRPR Premier Resorts (Mammoth Lakes, CA)

Encounters With Wealthy Influentials

John Hodgman. One of the moms in my son’s rowing classes had a long blond ponytail.

The day we dropped my son off, she introduced herself to me.

She pointed out her son, whose own blond hair had been bleached impossibly even blonder by the sun.

She explained he and the other two boys in the rowing class who were not my son had essentially grown up together every summer here in Main.

She also mentioned she had two older blond kids who are twins, brother and a sister.”

 She told me the town she lived in in Massachusetts – even more affluent and suburby suburb than Brookline.

She told me that her husband managed a hedge fund and could only get to Maine on the weekends.

“It’s so great that you can be here all the time with your kids,” she said. “What do you do?”

She had other questions.

She wanted to know:

  • Where were we staying?
  • Did we rent?
  • Or did we own?
  • How long had we been coming up?
  • How well did we know the town?” pg 166

Standard Wealth and Status Scan

Hodgman had been used to these types of encounters during his first adult development  stage in his 20s and 30s.

He even had a name for what was unfolding.

A standard wealth and status scan.

If you made the grade, you were “sufficiently human.”

And he was used to flunking.

Sheehy: “If one has refused to budge through the middle-life transition, the safety and supports will be withdrawn from the person who is standing still.

If a person is not comfortable with the way their life is progressing, they’re usually regretful about the decisions that they have made in the past and feel a sense of uselessness.

But Hodgman noticed something surprising emerged with this encounter.

Hodgman. In the past I could rely on my appearances on public radio to excuse my lack of wealth: being on This American Life is like being a monk – you may have to sleep on straw and wear the same tattered robe made of tote bags every day, but you are acceptable in polite society because you are sacrificing for a greater cause.”

But now, as she asked questions, I realized something surprising. I had answers.” pg. 166- 167

Create or stagnate

During this time people are normally settled in their life and know what is important to them.

Also during this time, a person is enjoying raising their children and participating in activities, that gives them a sense of purpose.

First House

Hodgman and his wife decide it was time to own their first home – becoming Wireless Resorters.

Hodgman. “It is a less fancy house in a less fancy town, a boatbuilding community farther out on the peninsula’s jagged coast. 

“I’m a P.C”, John Hodgman

It’s an impossible thing for your brain to absorb fully: to warp your whole emotional and financial life around the shape of this physical thing,

This new collection of problems and regrets, ants and undiscovered mold, bad drainage, and crack foundations that will be your burden until you sell it or it kills you. “pg 177

Sobering 30-Year Mortgage

Hodgman. “A thirty-year mortgage is hilarious when you are young and you don’t even remember what day it is; it’s a grim thing when you are older and see that this debt is a bright, un-ignorable line from the now of your life to its addled decline.

There is that moment at the closing meeting with the various attorneys where you realize: 

I don’t need to do this. 

I don’t need anything. 

I can run out of this office and go live in an old hollow tree stump.

But you do not walk away because if you’ve gotten this far there is only forward.

You’ve given up your apartment and gotten the loan and now you are going to trade this check with “ALL YOUR MONEY” written on it for some vague sense of progress in your life.”  pg 177 – 178

Life and Death

Maron: “That death is part of life is annoying and sad. 

Denial is childish, but I can’t think about it too much because it’s just too fucking depressing.

I choose to let myself be consumed with petty bullshit and not get too close to people.” pg. 343

Erskine. So I’m still frosted and confused over Rhymer’s death from cancer at age 51.

I’m dealing with it through this flower box.

Some guys march to different drummers, others dance to their own minor keys.

That was Rhymer.

Balboa Island Ferry – Getty Images

His favorite retreat from the stupidities of screenwriting was a little cottage near the water, an apostrophe of a place, barely even there.

At this little Newport Beach cottage he would host summer holidays, build batches of margaritas, sizzle steaks on the grill.

What a golf course was to Palmer, what Wembley was to Laver, this beach house was to Rhymer.”

Part Seven: 55 Year Olds – Millennials and Empty Nests

Authenticity Crisis for 35 – 45 Year Olds

But, as you come to grips what is important and want isn’t you embrace what your life is and will be all about as an adult.

The vast degree to which my mental health improved once I had the smallest measure of economic security immediately unmasked this shame fiction to me.

 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Adult Life Stages

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

Part Three:  Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

Part Four:  Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

Part Five:  Making It – Ages 30 – 38

Mortality, Magical Thinking and Denial

Mark Maron. “I don’t want to die.

I don’t want to life forever either.

That sounds terrible. 

I have no idea what happens after we die.

Marc Maron’s Insightful Interviews from his Wildly Successful WTF Podcast

I don’t think about it much at all.

I’m guessing probably nothing.

It’s the transition from life to nothing that terrifies me. 

Being terrified of death is part of the human condition.

Depending on how you look at it in terms of accepting that it’s the one undeniable truth of life, it can be motivating or complete devastating. 

It can make you appreciate life and savor it or it can render almost everything pointless.

I fluctuate between the two, depending on how much coffee I’ve had and what petty bullshit is consuming.”  pg. 343

We have reached the halfway mark.

Yet, even as we are reaching our prime, we begin to see there is a place where it finishes.

Time starts to squeeze.

It is a time book both danger and opportunity.

If the average lifespan stretches somewhere between your 80s and 90s, then sometime in the decade between your mid-thirties to mid-40s you come to grips with your mortality.

No more magical thinking.

No more living in denial.

But, during this time people are normally settled in their life and know what is important to them.

John Hodgman. “I have rarely been as happy.

I could pay this debt, and many other actual money debts, in part because I had just made a bunch of money.” pg 128

Second Adulthood Metamorphosis

Erik Erikson’s Theory identifies the ages of 40-64 as the  second stage of adulthood.

Approximate Age: Adulthood ( 40 – 64)

Significant Relationship: Household, workmates

Existential Question:  Can I make my life count?

Examples: Work, parenthood

Psychosocial Crisis: Generativity vs. Stagnation

Virtues: Care

People either make progress in their career or the opposite.

They tread lightly in their career unsure if this is what they want to do for the rest of their working lives.

Let’s take the generatively side first.

Parenting and Purpose

Parents enjoy raising their children and participating in activities,.

Even if all else seems to go wrong, parents find a strong sense of purpose.

You’ll find families across  the United States, and throughout communities in the West.

In our lifestyle profile segmentation approach you’ll encounter six zip codes where more accomplished families reside.

Wealthy Influentials and Wireless Resorters:

Pacific Northwest Region – Wikitravel
  • Washington: Mukilteo
  • Colorado: Louisville
  • California: Santa Cruz, Naples and Rancho Santa Margarita.
  • New Hampshire: Cornish

Lifestyle Profiles: 

Ages: 35-54

Life Stages: Families

Community Neighbors:

Wealthy Influentials

12Y1C1, Brite Lites Lil City –  WIDM, Digitally Mobiles (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)

13F2C1, Upward Bound – WIDM, Digitally Mobiles (Louisville, CO)

17F2S2, Beltway Boomers – WIES Exurb Society (Santa Cruz, CA)

18F2S2, Kids & Cul-de-Sacs – WIES Exurb Society (Mukilteo, WA)

29F2U1, American Dreams – WIPL Portfolio Locals (Naples, CA)

Community Neighbors:

Wireless Resorters

20F2T1, Fast-Track Families – WRPR Premier Resorts (Cornish, NH)

But entering adulthood doesn’t come easy for many.

Is This All There Is?

Like the end-of-your-twenties transition, the end of your thirties marks a sober transition into full adulthood.

What’s at stake?

Gail Sheehy: “We must reexamine our purposes and reevaluate how to spend our resources from now on.

Why am I doing all of this?

What do I really believe in?

No matter what we have been doing, there will be parts of our selves that have been suppressed and now need to find expression; “bad” feelings will demand acknowledgement along with the good.

Whatever rung of achievement he/she has reached, the person at 40 usually feels stale, restless, burdened and unappreciated.

He or she worries about his/her health.

He/she wonders, “is this all there is?”

Many persons in their 40s experience a major shift of emphasis away from pouring all their energies into their own advancement.

A more tender, feeling side comes into play.

They may become more  interested in developing an ethical self.

Internal Clocks Ticking

Chris Erskine.There is, in each of us, an internal clock that we start to hear ticking at 45 or 50, making us crave new things.

It ignites in us a risk-taking, sort of a second adolescence.

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

Last year, my buddy Bob took off on his motorcycle and rode through 48 states.

His whole life a banker, my pal Craig opened his first restaurant.

My college roommate Jack took up woodworking.

There is a late-in-life wanderlust in all of that, and it makes me wonder what might be next for me.”

If a person is not comfortable with the way their life is progressing, they’re usually regretful about the decisions that they have made in the past and feel a sense of uselessness.

All of us have the chance to rework the narrow identity by which we defined ourselves in the first half of life.

Authenticity Crisis

And those of us who don’t make the most of the opportunity will have a full on authenticity crisis.

  • Experiencing a fading purpose of stereotype roles.
  • Questioning absolute answers.
  • Wallowing in a midlife crisis
  • Re-examining ourselves.
  • Giving expression to our suppressed parts.
  • Shifting from a focus on advancement only.
  • Developing an ethical self.
  • Believing this is my last chance to be a success.

Maron.  “When I started the podcast I had failed.

I was in my mid-forties.

My comedy career hadn’t panned out.

I had no real prospects in my mind.  I was broke and coming out of a second childless marriage. 

I thought I was the victim for a while, but then started to see my part in my position in life.

I had to accept it and try to move on.

I had to really let it all go in my heart and just start the podcast with no expectations and no income and keep working. 

I believed I wasn’t every going to be a relevant comic and that all my opportunities were behind me.

I was old and had missed my window.” pg. 280

Do you become more practical during your second adulthood?

Absolutely.

Credit Cards and the Gig Economy

Hodgman. “I wrote for magazines and websites, and I was mostly paid in small checks and journalist swag.

But you cannot support even a small family in Manhattan with a designer chef’s knife, some mail-order beef jerky, a thornproof wax cotton jacket, or the fond memories of a junket to a Caribbean island where man shot fine tequila into my mouth from a Super Soaker. 

I don’t remember how high my credit card debt got as I continued to ignore this fact.

Many tens of thousands.” pg 128

He shares the unglamorous and behind the scenes life of a freelance writer in the gig economy.

Trying not to look at the ballooning balance on each credit card’s monthly statement.

Hodgman. “I became adept at averting my eyes from the total in shame as I paid the minimum month after month.

Credit card companies loved me. 

What my grandparents had done for my parents, what my parents had done for me, I would not be able to do for my own children.

Now at the end of the long list of squandered advantages was this house in Massachusetts, my mother’s house, which on many panicky 3 a.m. awakenings I would darkly fantasize about liquidating for cash.” pg. 129

Does Money Buy Happiness?

Ask John Hodgman.

Hodgman. Then I wrote a book, and then I went on television, and then I had money, real grown-up money. 

John Hodgman’s Humorous Take On His 20s, 30s and 40s

The vast degree to which my mental health improved once I had the smallest measure of economic security immediately unmasked this shame fiction to me.

Money cannot buy happiness, but it buys the conditions for happiness: time, occasional freedom from constant work, a moment of breath to plan for the future, and the ability to be generous.” pg. 129

And, as you come to grips what is important and want isn’t you embrace what your life is and will be all about as an adult.

But wait, there’s more!

Part Seven:  Renewal or Resignation in Your Mid-40s

Making It – Ages 30 – 38

In your thirties, you tell yourself that you are still in your twenties. Many in their forties tell themselves the same lie, until a moment like this and suddenly you see yourself clearly.

 

This week she turned 32, really the perfect age — not too young, not too old and about the same age I was when we moved to Los Angeles 25 years ago, two kids in tow.

 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Adult Life Stages

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

Part Three:  Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

Part Four:  Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

Most of us become more serious about what lies ahead in our thirties having navigated through the passage at end of our twenties .

John Hodgman. In your twenties you tell yourself the lie that you are unusual, unprecedented, and interesting.

You do this largely by purchasing things or stealing things.

You adorn yourself with songs and clothes and borrowed ideas and poses.

In your thirties, you tell yourself that you are still in your twenties.

Many in their forties tell themselves the same lie, until a moment like this and suddenly you see yourself clearly.” pg 183

Gail Sheehy described what usually unfolds in our lives roughly between the ages of 30-38 as rooting and extending.

Sheehy:  “People buy houses and become very earnest about climbing career ladders.

Men, in particular, concern themselves with “making it.”

A major part of the settling process involves converting the dream into concrete goals.

For many men, the early 30s is the blue-suit period.

They set a timetable for fulfilling their goals.

It is of consuming importance to become acknowledged as a junior member of their occupational tribe.

Men who continue to focus narrowly their external goals can be, more than at any other time in their lives, shallow and boring.

My have mastered early adult tensions, or still working on them.”

Chris Erskine. This week she turned 32, really the perfect age — not too young, not too old and about the same age I was when we moved to Los Angeles 25 years ago, two kids in tow.

We were lured here by the great schools, easy parking and the generosity of spirit.

From all accounts, L.A. offered the kind of warm, small-town vibe young parents are always seeking.

Twenty-five years later, our house — no one’s idea of a mansion — is reportedly worth well over $1 million, and yet we still have no money.

It’s like Rapunzel having all that hair and nothing to comb it with. It’d be like ultra-smiley Anna Kendrick not having any teeth.”

In Erik Erikson’s theory, you’ll recall, “rooting and extenders” embark on full adulthood near the end of his early adulthood .

Approximate Age: Early adulthood ( 20 – 39)

Significant Relationship: Friends, partners

Existential Question:  Can I love

Examples: Romantic relationships

Psychosocial Crisis: Intimacy vs. Isolation

Virtues: Love

Hodgman. “Or let’s say later you move to Park Slope, Brooklyn, in your late thirties because you suddenly, impossibly, have some money coming in from television.

You are able to actually buy an apartment, and you think, this is it: a mortgage, real estate taxes, a sleepy neighborhood full of strollers and unexciting restaurants.  

You have grown up.

But it turns out all of Brooklyn is suddenly alive with a not-growing-up renaissance.“pg. 113-114

You can walk for the first time to the newest bars to hear comedy and new music.

You are surrounded by people younger than you whose sense of style is to look like you.

Young men grow dad beards and cultivate pallor and belly chub.”  pg. 114

 

What once felt like one uniform generation at a point in time, now segments again into eight community lifestyles.

And clustered into the upper third of lifestyles based on income and status Wealthy Influentials, Wireless Resorters and Permanent Temporaries.

Southwest United States – Wikitravel

They’ve taken making it seriously while living in a sample of communities across the western region of the United States.

  • California: Irvine, Mission Viejo and Westwood
  • Colorado: Boulder and Creede
  • Arizona: Scottsdale
  • New Mexico: Santa Fe

 

Lifestyle Profiles: Midlife Success

Ages: 30-44

Life Stages: Singles and Couples

Community Neighbors:

Wealthy Influentials

03Y1S1, Movers & Shakers – WIAE Affluently Elite (Scottsdale, AZ)

12Y1C1, Brite Lites Lil City – WIDM Digitally Mobiles (Santa Fe, NM)

19Y1S2, Home Sweet Home – WIES Exurb Society (Irvine, CA)

08Y1S2, Executive Suites – WIES Exurb Society (Mission Viejo, CA)

Community Neighbors:

Wireless Resorters

25Y1T1, Country Casuals – WRPR Premier Resorts (Westwood, CA)

11Y1T1, God’s Country – WRMR Maturing Resorts (Boulder, CO)

37Y1T2, Mayberry-ville – WRMR Maturing Resorts (Creede, CO)

Community Neighbors:

Permanent Temporaries

30Y1S3, Suburban Sprawl – PTIMM Interim Middle Managers

Erskine. “It sure beats some of the things I was doing at 33: a new parent changing diapers in New Orleans; lying back on some ungodly uncomfortable Ikea couch at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night just whipped and wondering how to get the dishes done.

Goin’ Coastal on PCH

Or realizing Posh was pregnant — again?! — even as the MasterCard interest was eating up our paychecks.

“To California, we’ll go!” I insisted, and that pretty much set us on the downward spiral we’re still experiencing today.”

Fast forward to an almost empty-nest household when the first wave of kids, two girls and a boy, grew up way too fast and each beginning to make it.

For Erskine a teenager fills their void at least partially.

Erskine. With each new day, a fifth-grader fills more of the world.

He’ll add muscles between breakfast and lunch.

I see him now stretched out on the couch he outgrew this afternoon, taller than he was five breaths before.

For years, the Little Guy has been a main player in the column, replacing his older brother, the Boy, who sort of aged out of that slapstick suburban world.”

“On the couch, the little guy is tumbling around before school, snow-plowing the pillows in the way that drives his mother nuts.

I look over and realize: “That’s what’s really off around here: We now have an only child.”

Over the years, my wife and I have had every form of family.

We started out with two kids.

One girl, one boy, a princess and a prince.

Nice and comfortable, two kids.”

More on the trials and tribulations of the adult world.

And, the next transition encountered when you realize your life may actually be half over.

Part Six: Authenticity Crisis for 35 – 45 Year Olds

Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

The story of your life may change dramatically, tragically, or so quietly you don’t ever notice. It’s never any fun, but it can’t be avoided.

The work involves great change, turmoil, and often a crisis — a simultaneous feeling of rock bottom and the urge to bust out.

 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Adult Life Stages

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

Part Three: Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

Gail Sheehy made the “Catch 30s” transitional stage popular .

Basically,  it’s a period of turmoil and transformation occurring at roughly the halfway mark during Erik Erikson’s Early Adulthood life stage which ranges  from ages 20 to 39.

You’ll recall that Early Adulthood is a time of dating, marriage, family and friendships.

Erikson said by successfully forming loving relationships with other people, individuals are able to experience love and intimacy.

Those who fail to form lasting relationships may feel isolated and alone.

Sheehy described the Catch 30s transition as a time when 20-somethings feel narrow and restricted.

From Teenager to Early Adult

You know you experience it when you realize it is time for something else.

It’s a time for revisiting and sometimes dramatically tearing up choices you made during your traditional school-to-work transition.

A time when you trade in the restricting voices of teachers and parents for bosses and co-workers.

And a time when a new vitality springs from within us them as you approach age 30.

 

John Hodgman. There are transitions in life whether we want them or not.

John Hodgman’s Humorous Take On His 20s, 30s and 40s

You get older.

You lose jobs and loves and people.

The story of your life may change dramatically, tragically, or so quietly you don’t ever notice.

It’s never any fun, but it can’t be avoided.

Sometimes you just have to walk into the cold dark water of the unfamiliar and suffer for a while.” pg. 238 – 239.

 

Life happens to you.

Early adults experience the Catch 30 transition usually between ages 28 to 32 when they suddenly realize they’ll no longer be 20 years old.

They’re getting older.

For most, it is the first of other life’s transitions to come.

Transitions usually bookend the entrance to or the exit from a developmental life stage.

As you approach your 30-somethings during this transition your first impulse may be to blame others.

For what feels like relentless turmoil.

Crisis.

Often the restrictions boil down to career and personal choices of the twenties.

They may have been choices perfectly suited to that stage, but now the fit feels different.

No one loves change thrust upon them at any age.

Especially triggered by a significant disaster that forces those changes in your life.

Like the loss of your mother.

Hodgman. “What more is there to say than it was traumatic, a moment that breaks your life in half?

That you never heal from it, and it blankets your life in sadness and fear forever?” pg 225

“I’m a P.C”, John Hodgman

I was twenty-nine when she died.

She was fifty-eight.

I had been married to my wife less than a year, but we had been together already for ten.

In many way she had become my mom’s daughter too.” pg 225

“A month later my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and eight months later she died.

My father attempted to go to the house a few times but found it emotionally unbearable, and so he offered it to us for a dollar.

At the time I was a freelance writer for magazines, and I think he presumed – reasonably – that this would be my one chance to ever have an asset in my life.

He asked if we could keep up with the taxes and expenses, and the answer to that was no.

But I did have a dollar, and I missed my mom, so I took it.” pg 225

Navigating through this transition means concentrating on a ourselves.

Reflecting upon what is important and what no longer is.

Making new or renewed choices.

Like each generation before them, millennials are poised to pass through the early years of adulthood almost in lockstep over the next two decades.

And, given we live in a new era those new or renewed choices look different from the outside.

Especially as they emerge.

Especially to empty nest parents.

Chris Erskine. “The lovely and patient older daughter now makes more money than I do yet seems to lead a life of semi-retirement.

Chris Erskine at the Los Angeles Times

I know she works very hard, but her Snapchat account is brimming with photos of boiled crabs and smiling boyfriends.

Evidently, she is dating a tray of frozen margaritas.

She lives like the characters in a Kristen Wiig movie, except her friends have sunburns, like real people, and their smiles are more authentic.

As you can see, this roommate situation is working out pretty well.

No one has stolen anyone’s bank card, and there have been no attempted murders over who ate the last yogurt.

To be fair, their relationship benefits from the fact the younger daughter spends about half her nights back at our place (mostly because she misses her dad so much).

Over time each generation further segments into single, couple or family lifestyles.

This begins to get complicated, but stay with me.

Within the Claritas psychographic and demographic segmentation the Catch 30s enter a 30-year age range, 25-54.

They enter Erikson’s Early Adulthood ( ages 20 – 39)  and grow into Full Adulthood (ages 40 – 64).

Why is this important?

We use Claritas lifestyle segmentation profiles to evaluate best places for relocation to more authentic, quality-of-life communities.

And, if your community already includes the following profiles, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on in your neighbors’ lives.

Here come further complications.

The lifestyles.

Fourteen, if you are keeping track.

  • Seven mainstream single lifestyles.
  • A single couple lifestyle.
  • And six mainstream family lifestyles.

Lifestyle Profiles: 25-54

Mainstream Singles, Couples and Mainstream Families: Wealthy Influentials, Wireless Resorters, High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries.

Mainstream Singles

What happens when single Birds-of-a-Feather find each other?

Chris Erskine.  She is turning 31 and is full of blarney, with a flash of summer lightning in the eyes.

On the way to her birthday bash, she notes that Santa Monica is a dangerous mix of tourists and locals — too slow and too fast — making driving here pretty frustrating.

“But they bring the money in,” she says of the tourists, as if they are her city’s lifeblood, as if Santa Monica were a depressed Third World port sleepily awaiting the next cruise ship.

My daughter then asks me if Pabst is acceptable for her bash at the beach, making me secretly proud, for I always feared no one in the family shared my refined tastes.”

Where will you find other single Birds-of-a-Feather in Arizona, California, Colorado and Texas neighborhoods?

Consider these towns and seven lifestyle profiles for additions to your bucket list:

Wealthy Influentials

04Y2U1, Young Digerati –  WIPL Portfolio Locals (Chandler, AZ)

16Y2U1, Bohemian Mix – WIPL Portfolio Locals (Huntington Beach, CA)

31Y2U2, Urban Achievers – WIPL Portfolio Locals (Tempe, AZ)

Wireless Resorters

23Y2T2, Greenbelt Sports – WRMR Maturing Resorts (Aspen, CO)

High Country Eagles

24Y2C2, Up-and-Comers – HCESC Satellite City-zens (Napa, CA)

35Y2C2, Boomtown Singles – HCESC Satellite City-zens (San Marcos, TX)

Permanent Temporaries

22Y2S3, Young Influentials – PTIMM Interim Middle Managers (Tempe, AZ)

Couples

Hodgman. “We were in our early thirties when we took on our house in rural western Massachusetts.

We were grown-ups, but only theoretically.” pg. 113

If instead John chose coupling Birds-of-a-Feather in California’s Sierra Mountain region he might enjoy the Lake Tahoe region.

Wireless Resorters

37Y1T2, Mayberry-ville – WRMR Maturing Resorts (Truckee, CA)

And let’s turn to what life’s like for six mainstream family lifestyles.

Mainstream Families

Chris Erskine. “Once you let them out of the cage like that, you never really get them back in that same cozy way.

But just when you come to terms with the change and adjust to a less kid-centric life, they are back.

Babies, Babies, Babies …

Suddenly, the nest is no longer empty.

My life was once a convention of crying babies.

Now, 25 years later, my life is a convention of adult children living back home — of hangovers and job woes, of sleeping too late on Saturday mornings (them, not me).

There is almost a poetry to the parental plight.

Six potential bucket list neighborhoods with Mainstream Birds-of-a-Feather Families in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Texas and Utah

Wealthy Influentials

54F3U2, Multi-Culti Mosaic – WIPL Portfolio Locals (Lakewood, CO)

Wireless Resorters

32F3T2, New Homesteaders – WRMR Maturing Resorts (New Braunfels, TX)

33F3T2, Big Sky Families – WRMR Maturing Resorts (Park City, UT)

High Country Eagles

34F3C2, White Picket Fences – HCESC Satellite City-zens (Aurora, CO)

50F3T3, Kid Country, USA – HCERC  Rural Cowboy (Coeur d’Alene, ID)

51F3T3 Shotguns & Pickups – HCERC  Rural Cowboy (Surprise, AZ)

Whether you’re single, living as a couple or already begun your family what you have in common with each other at the Catch 30 transition is a growing dissatisfaction.

Choices perfectly suited to your 20s now the don’t fit as well.

Something feels different.

Some inner aspect that was left out is striving to be taken into account.

Until, like Jon Hodgman you find the motivation to pursue new competencies.

Hodgman. “I had been finishing my seventh year working at a literary agency.

I loved my colleagues and my clients.

I loved an industry that encouraged long lunches and still closed early on Fridays once the summer started sneaking up.” pg 225

Clearly he was unhappy.

Hodgman. “I wanted to be a writer, and that meant I could not be an agent in good faith and compete with my own clients.

Oh, I also was unhappy because my mom was dying.

So one Friday I left work and I did not go back.

I went home to help my father take care of her.”  pg 225

Important new choices must be made, and commitments altered or deepened.

Sheehy. “The work involves great change, turmoil, and often a crisis — a simultaneous feeling of rock bottom and the urge to bust out.

Gail Sheehy’s Passages

One common response is the tearing up of the life we spent most of the 20s putting together.

It may mean striking out on a secondary road toward a new vision or converting a dream of “running for President” into a more realistic goal.

Consumed with the work of making personal critical life-steering decisions, the person demonstrates the essential shift at their age: an absolute requirement to be more self-concerned.”

 

John Hodgman returned to New York to his friends and colleagues and abruptly quit his job.

Hodgman. “I was back home in Massachusetts within a week.

A friend at a magazine assigned me to write an article about cheese for money.

I became a professional writer.

I spent the summer there with my dad and my wife.

I did not cry until the summer was over.

We went back to New York, and I started a new life.” pg 228

Part Five:  Making It – Ages 30 – 38

Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

The “shoulds” are largely defined by family models, the press of the culture,  or the prejudices of our peers.

Babies, Babies, Babies …
A recent study found that the value of a mother’s work is $65,284 per year, up 9.1% over two years earlier.

 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Adult Life Stages

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

“Singlehood” and “couplehood” come and go, but barring divorce, family commitments begun in the twenties bridge the first and second stage of adulthood.

Their generational identity begins to further segment.

Singles and uncommitted couples find more in common with each other in one of seven Striving Single lifestyles while navigating the challenges of Erik Erikson’s “Early Adulthood.”

The four Sustaining Family lifestyles (ages 20-44) find love in romantic relationships that provide feelings of intimacy as they develop and grow as parents.

New Family Formations

Singles and couples attend more weddings.

And slowly their Facebook feeds clog with what feels like an endless flow of cute, cute, cute baby pictures.

So former “Birds-of-a-Feather” BOF begin to fly in different directions instead of flocking together.

Early Marriage

From “Waiting for the Punch” by Marc Maron.

Marc Maron’s Insightful Interviews from his Wildly Successful WTF Podcast
Host of “Fresh Air”

Terry Gross. I was very young.  We were still in college.  I was twenty, maybe.  We got married quickly.  I don’t know.  We’d already been living together for a while.  Time seems different when you’re young.  A year is a really long time. pg. 144

We loved each other.  It was a beautiful relationship.  It was good.  At some point were living with a group of people because it was the 1960s and 1970s and people shared the housework and the cooking and some point I realized, “You know what I really need? I need to live alone.” pg. 144

Gail Sheehy points out what’s at work here.

The “shoulds” are largely defined by family models, the press of the culture,  or the prejudices of our peers.

Gross. I was too young to be committed.  I think a lot of women go through this and I think when I came of age and I started college in 1968, it was kind of understood like you grow up, you get married, you have children, and even if you have a job, that’s the trajectory. pg. 144

I knew I wanted a different life and I knew to have that life, I needed to know who I was without picking up on what other people wanted of me or asked of me or projected on me or any of that. pg. 144

Sustaining family lifestyles  show up in our work in High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries communities typically where the cost of living is cheaper.

As a whole sustaining families fall at the bottom out of a possible 66 lifestyles ranked for status and affluence by Claritas / Nielson.

  • Families struggle to get by.
  • Bills pile up.
  • As children grow, they become more expensive.
  • And, parents sacrifice the nice things they’d like to have for the well-being and care children desperately need.

Parent “Birds-of-a-Feather” flock together with other parents facing the same challenges to neighborhoods favorable for building a nest.

Sharing the same joys and sorrows.

Where do you find neighborhoods with similar families?

Where can you find them?  Here’s a sampling in California:

  • Palm Springs
  • Long Beach
  • Ukiah
  • Highland Park

And in many more communities across regions of the United States.

 

Lifestyle Profiles

Ages: 20-44

Life Stages: Sustaining Families

Community Neighbors:

High Country Eagles

64F4T4, Bedrock America – HCERE Rustic Eagles (Palm Springs, CA)

Community Neighbors:

Permanent Temporaries

65F4U3, Big City Blues – PTUT Urban Trapped (Long Beach, CA)

63F4C3, Family Thrifts – PTTC The Cutters (Ukiah, CA)

66F4U3, Low-Rise Living – PTTC The Cutters (Highland Park, CA)

Early Marriage, Making it Work

Chris Erskine. There was a lilt in her smile and mischief in her eyes. If you were to make a timeline of our very beginnings, you could start with that photo — before kids and mortgages and 10,000 pizza-box Saturday nights.

Musings on love, life and the bittersweet joys of children moving back home

That milepost photo represents the period when she met and married me, a dorky temperamentalist with an iffy future, right out of college.

Having a Baby

Mary Lyn Rajskub best known for portraying Chloe O’Brian in the thriller series “24.” (in “Waiting for the Punch”):  I was just having that passage-of-time thing. I was like, “Oh, I’m not having a baby in my twenties.” pg. 166

I never really thought about having a kid.  There was a time where I called my mom and started crying out of nowhere.  I was in the freeway, and I called her.  I said, “I’m too old to be a young mother,” but I didn’t even necessarily want to be a mother. pg. 166

It was terrible when the baby was born.  It was really, really hard.  Your whole life as you know it is just completely shaken up and turned upside down, and pushed all over the place.  Just, everything that you want to do, everything that you are doing, you can’t do any of it. pg. 166

Babies, Babies, Babies …

Even just simply waking up every three hours, and being enraged about that, and you can’t, because there’s this helpless creature.  It pushes your buttons on every level of having to deal with being responsible for something. Everything else that you thought had meaning is just stupid. pg. 166

It didn’t come natural. I didn’t like it, and I didn’t like the kid, he wouldn’t stop crying.  I lost all sense of myself and sense of time. Then the instincts kicked in, and now I love it.  It’s awesome.  I love it so much. My son is the greatest guy ever.  The greatest guy ever.  It’s the hugest, massivest, suckiest adjustment.  Thankfully my husband is solid as a dam rock. pg. 166

Gail Sheehy’s Passages

Sheehy: One of the terrifying aspects of the 20s is the inner conviction that the choices we make are irrevocable.

Buoyed by powerful illusions and belief in the power of the will, we commonly insist in our 20s that what we have chosen to do is one true course in life.

A Mother’s Worth?

Erskine.  Like I said, they’re all a little nuts — the good moms especially. They’re like characters in a satirical novel, the Catch-22 of love. I mean, only a crazy person would sign up for such warfare.

A recent study found that the value of a mother’s work is $65,284 per year, up 9.1% over two years earlier.

Insure.com based its Mother’s Day Index on government wage statistics for the various tasks a mother performs.

The marketing company also asked 1,000 married men and women, ages 25 and up, what mothers should get paid annually for the work they do. Almost 10% said more than $200,000. A nervy 2% said mothers should get nothing at all.

Which, as history shows, is exactly what they’ve been paid forever.

Part Four:  Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

Failing at Growing Up

Jake, meanwhile, has been deciding the right time to propose to Jess, but he must come to terms with feelings he had for his high school sweetheart

The 25-year-olds circled a keg of craft beer like altar boys at a dice game.

 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Adult Life Stages

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

 

According to Wikipedia Erik Erikson, the original expert in developmental life stages, said:

This is the first stage of adult development.

This development usually happens during young adulthood, which is between the ages of 18 to 35.

Dating, marriage, family and friendships are important during the stage in their life.

By successfully forming loving relationships with other people, individuals are able to experience love and intimacy.

Those who fail to form lasting relationships may feel isolated and alone.

Wikipedia summarized Erikson’s theory of early adulthood, roughly between the ages of 20 and 40.

Approximate Age: Early adulthood ( 20 – 39)

Significant Relationship: Friends, partners

Existential Question:  Can I love?

Examples: Romantic relationships

Psychosocial Crisis: Intimacy vs. Isolation

Virtues: Love

The ages are all relative.

As we continue, you’ll notice overlapping age ranges.

The point is for you:

  • Where do you find yourself in your own life?
  • Which sets of dynamic issues confront you?
  • Where can you find others facing the same kinds of challenges?

As you may recall 18-22 year olds don’t show up on demographic lifestyle dashboards until later in their 20s.

In their “Trying Twenties”, ages 20 to 29 years old, we find them renting in new neighborhoods.

Welcome to seven lifestyles in the “Striving Singles” category.

When peers, friends and generation members shift from what feels like one big age group with one common taste in music, fashion and popular culture into another phase which begins to splinter.

As a whole, out of a possible 66 lifestyles ranked by Claritas / Nielson  they fall within the bottom third reflecting their status and affluence.

Where can you find them?  Here’s a sampling.

  • Living in California: Healdsburg, Eureka and Santa Cruz.
  • Living in Utah: Park City
  • In Idaho: Coeur d’Alene
  • In  Colorado: Telluride and Dillon

And in many more communities across regions of the United States.

Striving singles show up in Wireless Resorters, High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries communities.

Ages: 20-29

Life Stages: Striving Singles

Community Neighbors:

Wireless Resorters

42Y3T3, Red, White & Blues – WRRS Resort Suburbans (Healdsburg, CA)

48Y3T4, Young and Rustic – WRDE Distant Exurbans (Park City, UT)

56Y3T4, Crossroads Villagers – WRDE Distant Exurbans (Telluride, CO)

Community Neighbors:

High Country Eagles 

45Y3T3, Blue Highways – HCERC Rural Cowboy (Dillon, CO)

47Y3C3, City Startups – HCESTB Small Town Borders (Eureka, CA)

53Y3C3,  Mobility Blues -HCESTB Small Town Borders (Coeur d’Alene, ID)

Community Neighbors:

Permanent Temporaries

44Y3S4, New Beginnings – PTSO Start Over (Santa Cruz, CA)

But, wherever you find them, they still have common issues and nagging concerns.

Gail Sheehy says “The Trying Twenties” confront us with questions of how to take hold in the adult world.

John Hodgman in “Vacationland” recalls what it was like for him.

“When you live in New York or any big city, it is easy to fail at growing up. The city is designed to keep you in a state of perpetual adolescent. You never need to learn to drive if you don’t want to. “

Not only that, but it is so easy to trick yourself into believing you are your younger self.

“And even if you do drive you can go back to that bar you went to when you were twenty-one, and it will still be there, and it will still be called Molly’s, and the older waitress there will still remember you and let you sit where you want. “

Being in denial is the fashion, at least in Brooklyn, New York.  (And elsewhere, too.)

“And five years later, when she is no longer there, when there is just a picture of her above the bar in a plan of sad honor, and you know what that means and don’t want to think about it, guess what: you do not have to. Because no one is driving home, and you’re back again listening to “Fairytale of New York,” which is still on every jukebox, falling into the same conversations you had with the same friends … and what you are going to do when you grow up.”

And after it’s been ten years since graduation, at THAT high school reunion, everyone wants to impress everyone else …

Think “10 Years” the 2011 film starring Channing Tatum, Chris Pratt and an ensemble cast that caught the essence of the Trying Twenties.

Heres the plot, according to Wikipedia.  See if it sounds familiar.

Jake and his girlfriend Jess arrive at his high school friend’s house owned by married couple, Cully and Sam.

There, some of Jake’s friends start to arrive including:  best buddies Marty and AJ, musician Reeves and Scott together with his wife.

Guests awkwardly greet one and another.  Some are snubbed.  Some are ignored. Some draw a crowd like they did in high school.

The night proceeds as everyone is faced with both their past and present selves .

Some have changed while others stayed the same.

According to Sheehy, during the Trying Twenties we become almost totally preoccupied with working out “the externals.”

  • How do I put aspirations into effect?
  • What is the best way to start?
  • Where do I go?
  • Who can help me?
  • How did you do it?

Hodgman. As I stamped each page away, a growing sense ate at me that I was no longer becoming something – the perpetual state of college – but ending up as something.  I didn’t know what that was.  I had difficulty tolerating that ambiguity. And so I grew anxious and depressed. pg 51

The tasks are as enormous as they are exhilarating:

Sheehy: To shape a dream, that vision of ourselves which will generate energy, aliveness and hope … to prepare for a life work … to find a mentor if possible.

Hodgman. But in my case I had a real human therapist who was also a beautiful women, only a few years older than me.  You can appreciate what a boon this was to a girl-shy nerd and narcissist. 

I asked Dr. Woman what “Adjustment Disorder” meant.  She said it typically follows a change in life status, such as finishing college or moving to a new city.  pg 58

According to Sheehy, doing what “we should” is the most pervasive theme of the 20s.

Taking hold of the adult world.  Finding ways to start putting aspirations into effect.  Seeking help.  Finding a mentor. Shaping our life dreams. Doing what “we should?”

Chris Erskine. The 25-year-olds circled a keg of craft beer like altar boys at a dice game. As if summoning some ancient hymn, they sang their praises for the older adults who’d had the good sense to choose something artful instead of something crass.

Really, we are not so different — no matter our age, religion or creed (whatever creed is). We are thirsty for good experiences and honest leadership. I don’t know if that is passed from God to popes, or fathers to sons, or just from party guest to party guest.

Whatever the reason, it’s a relief to see that our default emotions are mostly sincere — not papal necessarily, but appreciative of the greater good and the small, authentic choices that we brew into rich and proper values.

Virtue. Forgiveness. The good and artful life.

But what’s like raising today’s Millennials passing through their 20s and 30s?

Erskine. What I like best about Santa Monica, probably, is that it seems to attract lots of millennials, the young adults in their 20s and early 30s who I’ve championed in the past. They are like my therapy animals.

An amazing group, these millennials, especially considering they were over-mothered and under-parented all at the same time. That would seem an impossible, mutually exclusive way to raise an entire generation, but somehow America has.

I find the millennials spoiled, entitled, demanding, insular, independent, curious, strong-willed — just the sort of skill set you need to really change the world (many great presidents have had those same qualities).

And yet there’s that pervasive parental fear.

Erskine. Even so, the job prospects for talented twentysomethings are spotty at best. They move back in with us, then out again, then back in.

Thanks to Aaron for pressing the shutter release. He is himself an aspiring photographer now, thanks to the Canon AE-1 he borrowed from his dad.
Project365: 233/365

I fear for young adults.

  • Will they ever have a career?
  • When they find work, it doesn’t pay enough to live.
  • When they work overtime, they are afraid to put in for it, for fear of losing the job that doesn’t pay them enough to live in the first place.

Help.

Part Three: Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …