Health & Wellness trendsetters are leading the way to a more holistic view of life that includes all aspects of well being. Health & Wellness trendsetter Jan Culinane explores this concept in the realm of Boomer retirement.
Introduction to Jan Culinane: Health & Wellness Trendsetter for Retirement
Jan Cullinane is a best-selling author, popular speaker, and retirement consultant. Her books include AARP’s The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement, The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life, and Retire Happy! Jan has been featured on many TV and radio shows, newspapers and magazines. She is also a nationally known speaker and a columnist on “Healthy Living” for Ideal Living magazine.
Jan is a frequent speaker on topics such as “The Seven Secrets for a Successful Retirement,” “What Women Want (and Need) in Retirement,” and “Working and Retirement, It’s Not an Oxymoron.” She has made presentations to many large corporations including Wachovia Securities, Ford Motor Company, AARP, United Way, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Profile of Health & Wellness Retirement Trendsetter: Jan Culinane
1. What is your background?
I earned a B.S. and M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Maryland and an ABD (“all but dissertation”) from Rutgers University in Science. In my first career, I was a college administrator and professor. I taught Anatomy, Physiology, Health Psychology, Biology and Microbiology and also Chaired the Science and Math Departments.
On a side note, I have an unusual talent that got me into the try-outs for David Letterman’s Stupid Human Tricks segment. I can speak backwards fluently, at the same pace I normally speak. I have the ability to visualize words, reverse the letters in the words, and pronounce the words phonetically, while preserving the sentence or paragraph in the normal order.
2. What inspired/motivated you to get into the health and wellness field?
After experiencing several relocations due to my husband’s career, I started pondering where we’d ultimately live in retirement, as well as thinking more broadly about all the issues we experience as we age and/or retire.
I realized that no one had written a book that took a holistic approach to retirement. While there were books about health, relocating, and finances in retirement, there was no definitive book that included the full gamut of retirement issues.
Yet another relocation cemented my decision to move from academia (which I love) to start the project of writing a book. Co-author Cathy Fitzgerald and I were fortunate enough to find an agent who was impressed by our book proposal, which ironically I wrote as a result of reading “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published.” Prior to that point, though, we’d done a lot of research, including traveling to possible retirement locales, and delivering numerous talks at libraries, Rotaries and continuing education programs, etc., to demonstrate to a potential publisher that we were well prepared to publicize and promote our book.
In 2004, our book The New Retirement, was published and became a book club selection by Michelle Singletary, the “Color of Money” columnist for The Washington Post, and the #2 best-selling book on Amazon (right behind a Harry Potter book). My goal in writing that book was that it would serve as a comprehensive guide to the almost 80 million Boomers who were approaching retirement. It addressed the complete panoply of issues, including health, finances (as I say in my book intro, I needed some help in this area, and got it from CFPs and CPAs and attorneys), relocation, interviews, and research about retirement (what makes a successful retirement, universal design, etc.).
An updated edition of The New Retirement was published in 2007. Since then, I have written two other books: Retire Happy! in 2010, and The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement in 2012.
3. What is most rewarding to you about your profession?
What I find most rewarding is helping people become healthier in mind and body as they age.
4. As a trendsetter, what do you predict will be the next big trend in your industry?
I think the next trend in the retirement realm will be new and creative community living arrangements.
5. What tips/advice would you give for someone trying to achieve optimal health?
The keys to achieving and maintaining optimal health are to keep your body and brain active. Keep moving, and keep learning.
6. What is your favorite healthy meal?
My favorite meal is Greek yogurt with blueberries and walnuts and pecans.