If you have any questions or comments for Guidance Point, please fill out the form below and a representative will respond to you within two business days. Guidance Point values your privacy. For more information, view our Privacy Policy.

Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*).

The Ready.Set.Retire! Blog

  

The Retirement Success in Maine Podcast Ep 042: What should we know about LGBTQ+ Aging?

Benjamin Smith, CFA

Executive Summary

Episode 42
In the United States, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community is large; in fact, this group makes up approximately 4.5% of the country’s total population. An estimated 2.7 million adults in the US are both LGBTQ+ and over 50, with 1.1 million over the age of 65. Despite their size and prevalence, the LGBTQ+ community still experiences myriads of hurdles and challenges, especially when it comes to healthcare. Roughly 56% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals and 70% of transgender individuals have encountered anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination when attempting to access healthcare. Further, the LGBTQ+ community faces unique challenges through the aging process. So what are those challenges and what resources are available to help overcome them? That's the premise of today's show!
 
Our guest is the Associate Vice President of Community and Pediatric Services at Northern Light Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine. He has over 20 years of experience providing mental health services to youth and families across a variety of settings. He also is an adjunct faculty member at both UMaine in Orono and Husson University in Bangor and is the Clinical Consultant for the Bangor YMCA. He serves on the Maine Board of Social Work Licensing and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care. Locally, he was recognized in 2019 for his advocacy work with LGBTQ+ youth and was named Health Care Social Worker of the Year in 2019 by the Maine Hospital Association and the Maine Chapter of the SSWLHC. Nationally, he was the SSWLHC’s 2019 recipient of the Eleanor Clark Award for Innovative Programs in Patient Care for his work on youth suicide prevention. In the Spring of 2020, he was named the University of Maine School of Social Work's Alumni of the Year.
 
Please welcome Christopher McLaughlin BACK to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!

What You'll Learn In This Podcast Episode:

Chapters:

Welcome back, Chris! [2:37]

When we talk about LGBTQ+, who are we talking about? [9:13]

What does it mean for the LGBTQ+ community to take ownership of who they really are? [20:47]

What are some things that LGBTQ+ seniors can do to reduce social isolation? [31:58]

In Maine, what organizations can LGBTQ+ seniors turn to, to assist with their needs as they age? [46:16]

How do state statutes on rights and the stability of those rights impact the decision-making on where to live? [50:24]

If Chris could have anything named after him, what would it be and why? [1:03:46]

Ben and Curtis wrap up the conversation. [1:06:08]

Resources:

Watch the Episode Here!

SAGE Maine

LGBT Aging

LGBTQ+ Senior Resources

Listen Here:

 

Did you enjoy  The Retirement Success in Maine Podcast?

Subscribe to our podcast directly via Spotify, iTunes, or Podbean by clicking on the images below!

Spotify_Logo_CMYK_Green

   

 
US_UK_iTunes_Store_Get_Badge_RGB_012618
app download

 

Transcript 

Ben Smith:

Welcome everybody to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast. My name is Ben Smith. I'm joined by my co-host Curtis Worcester, the Cape Neddick Nubble light to my Cadillac Mountain. How are you doing today, Curtis?

Curtis Worcester:

I'm doing well, Ben. How are you?

Ben Smith:

I'm great. I'm great. Abby could not join us today, she had a conflicting appointment, but wanted to, of course. We're really excited about our guest today, we wanted to get into it, so we didn't want to delay our recording. But we wanted to really talk about a topic that we are seeing more and more today. And to give a little bit of the background, in the United States, the lesbian gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, LGBTQ+ community is large. In fact, this group makes up approximately 4.5% of the country's total population. An estimated 2.7 million adults in the US are both LGBTQ+ and over 50, with 1.1 million of them over 65. So despite their size and prevalence, the LGBTQ+ community still experiences myriads of hurdles and challenges, especially when it comes to healthcare. Roughly 56% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals and 70% of transgender individuals have encountered anti LGBTQ+ discrimination when attempting to access health care.

Ben Smith:

Further, the LGBTQ+ community faces unique challenges through the aging process. So that's something where in terms of our client base, where we work with this community and we have these client relationships, they look to us. Our job here is to look forward in the aging process, match money to what's happening in their lives and what they're going to need to be aware of. So for us, we want to make sure we're continually educating ourselves, but in the same time, maybe this is a great opportunity to educate you as well listening to the podcast. So the question really here is, so what are those challenges that the LGBTQ+ community faces and what resources are available to help overcome them, especially in the state of Maine? So that's the premise of today's show.

Ben Smith:

So our guest is actually no stranger of the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast, he was here on episode 19. He's the associate vice president of community and pediatric services at Northern Light Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine. He has over 20 years of experience providing mental health services to youth and families across a variety of settings. He also is an adjunct faculty member at UMaine in Orono and Husson University in Bangor and is the clinical consultant for the Bangor YMCA. He serves on the main board of Social Work Licensing it as a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Society of Social Work Leadership and Health Care.

Ben Smith:

Locally, he was recognized in 2019 for his advocacy work with the LGBTQ+ youth and was named healthcare social worker of the year in 2019 by the Maine Hospital Association and the main chapter of the SSWLHC. Nationally, he was the SSWLHCs 2019 recipient of the Eleanor Clark Award for innovative programs and patient care for his work on youth suicide prevention. And the spring of 2020 was named the University of Maine School of Social Works alumni of the year. So I'd like you to all the join me at this point after reading that really robust bio, I'd like to welcome back Christopher McLaughlin to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast. Chris, appreciate you coming back on.

Chris McLaughlin:

Thanks, Ben. Good to see you. Hi, Curtis, nice to see you as well.

Ben Smith:

Well, thank you. And really again, loved our conversation originally where we were talking about creating a better connection with our grandkids in retirement. We took this role of grandparents and how are we disconnected maybe from the two generations away. We had a really great conversation in 19. We just know Chris, from your background, your expertise, we said this is an area we'd love to explore more. We think with your role and unique positioning at Acadia Hospital, that that would be a really great thing to have you come on. So I really appreciate your time today and working with us here.

Chris McLaughlin:

I'm so glad to be here. And I want to assure you and your listeners that even though the bulk of my experiences on the other end of the spectrum with kids and families, I have done my homework and I'm feeling really good about information to share with you and your listeners today.

Ben Smith:

Awesome. Well, thank you for that. Chris, I know obviously for some people they pop into our show and they pop out. For those that didn't maybe get a chance to listen to episode 19, I'll push that plug right now, go ahead and check that out and listen to our original conversation with Chris. But for those that really want to dig into our show today, I'd love to just have you give us a bit more of your personal bio background and including your path towards social work. Can you just give us that there?

Chris McLaughlin:

Yeah, sure. So I knew early on in my college career I wanted to do something in the behavioral health and the mental health world, and wasn't quite sure what that looked like and was fortunate enough to have had some really awesome mentors at Northern Light Acadia Hospital. Back in the day I started working there when I was 19 and an undergrad and was exposed to the field of social work in that setting and fell in love with it and fell in love with how general and how broad the scope of social work is, and have spent the last 20 years exploring the broadness of that scope and have spent time in different settings, residential treatment facilities, treatment foster care, of course, hospital-based work, I've spent some time in the community with case management and in-home programs, and had a private practice on the side for about a decade. In that private practice, really specialized with working with LGBTQ youth and their families and their caregivers and built a fairly robust practice here in the greater Bangor area, specializing in that population of kids.

Ben Smith:

That's excellent. And I think that's where... Again, I know you got recently recognized a couple of years back for the advocacy work and the work that you did there. Can you talk to me about obviously where you have that private practice and you're working with LGBTQ+ youth, why are you passionate about that as a topic as where you were? Because as you said, it's very broad, social work can be really a lot of everything. But why was that the piece that you're seeing a big call for and a demand for?

Chris McLaughlin:

Well, having been an LGBTQ+ youth myself back in the day and having lived experienced in that world of confusion and isolation and depression and discrimination frankly, really wanting to use that experience and put those powers to good use since and pay it forward a bit. Our work through Northern Light Acadia Hospital and throughout my career has always been to help kids see that it gets better and help families see that it does get better. And there is so much on the other end of those challenges and some of those really dark places. That's the work that I'm so proud to say that Acadia and my colleagues all over the state in different organizations are doing each and every day with individuals of all ages. As we'll talk about, a lot of the challenges that our seniors are facing are some of the same challenges folks our age are facing and youth are facing. So there's really such a wide spectrum to this conversation and to the topics that we're going to cover that is universal to so many that are a part of this community.

Ben Smith:

I think what's really pretty neat, and Curtis that I reflect on this a lot on our show, is the threads that we see across each of these episodes is that it really creates a pretty neat tapestry of what's happening. Because while there might be unique things that you see that maybe are more prevalent in one population or one area of interest, is you that pull that you go, "Well, geez, everybody's working through this in lots of different degrees." So we've seen this a lot. Also we referenced this in our questions a lot, it's like, "Hey, this person brought this up and it feels like this is really relevant here." So again, we're really excited to dig into all that today because I think that's going to be, I think, very informative and educational for us, especially, but also in our work with our clients, but also for people listening in.

Ben Smith:

So I want to just kick it right off, let's dig in here. So I think that always the first part to work with here is just getting their foundation. And let's define some terms because I think this is where all of us we want to make sure we're speaking in the same language, we want to make sure we're speaking in the same way. So defining things is always a really important piece, and especially where maybe there is some of our population that have really little to no experience working with somebody that's LGBTQ+ or is a friend or family member, maybe that's the case. So we want to start about when we talk about LGBTQ+, who are we talking about?

Chris McLaughlin:

So it's an alphabet soup, it's been an alphabet soup, and it's going to continue to be a growing alphabet soup. There was some really interesting data that came out of 2020 that shared that today's youth identify with over 100 different terms to describe their gender identity or their sexual orientation. So we'll never get to a comprehensive place where we fully understand. And the internet is our friend, I find myself all the time jumping on the web and typing in a new term that a client or a patient or their family has shared with me. But I think to your point, it's important to make sure that we have just a solid, as solid as possible foundation and understand that while this language is always evolving and is changing, when in doubt, ask your client about their term and how they define that term. The way that I think of some of these words may be very different than generations ahead of me or generations behind me. I think though there's probably a couple terms that for the sake of listeners would be helpful to just talk about today.

Ben Smith:

Please, sure.

Chris McLaughlin:

So I think there's pretty good understanding of the L, the G, and even the B. the lesbian, gay, bisexual part of this alphabet. But the transgender piece is one that I know comes up often and can cause some confusion. So simply put, transgender is an umbrella term that we use to describe people whose gender identity, how they perceive their gender on the inside doesn't match the sex that they were assigned at birth. So as kiddo was born and doctor holds kiddo up in the air and says, "Congratulations mom and dad, it's a blank." As that child goes later in life, that blank that's written on their birth certificate is no longer matching how they feel their gender identity on the inside is. So this umbrella term, this transgender term, can have all kinds of other terms tucked up underneath it, non-binary, gender diverse, gender queer, many, many more.

Chris McLaughlin:

It's, I think, important for us to recognize that trans being an umbrella term doesn't apply the same way to different folks underneath that umbrella. So what one individual may want or their vision of their true self or what their hopes for in terms of transitioning later in life doesn't necessarily apply to all those other individuals. So we'll talk more about that.

Ben Smith:

Can I ask a real quick question too?

Chris McLaughlin:

Yeah, please.

Ben Smith:

Because obviously you mentioned about your growing up experience and experiencing discrimination, is you also hear some of these terms being used in a really derogatory sense. I think that's where, and just speaking myself personally, is you see Q for queer is you go, "That seems like a term to me that if I was to use that, I wouldn't want to be using it in a derogatory sense." So you start getting scared of terms because I don't want to be doing it in a negative connotation and to put it in a way that maybe is used improperly but also could be viewed as being a derogatory term towards somebody. So I think there's, for me, again, I'll just speak in my own vantage point here, with some of these terms there's a fear of using it incorrectly. So I like what you just said about, hey, asking how you'd like to be referenced. But two is using it, in just my background and how I've heard some of these terms is, they're sometimes used in a negative connotation, which is maybe my background to it, and I don't want to perpetuate that too.

Chris McLaughlin:

So the Q in this whole equation, which can be questioning or can be queer.

Ben Smith:

Okay, got you.

Chris McLaughlin:

Which is oftentimes why you see that plus, is that just that plus in the LGBTQ+ just is shorthand for and on, and on, and on, and on, it's really just the broadness of the scope of what we're talking about. But the term queer is a great example of that, of what you're talking about. In my childhood, that was a slur. I continue at 46 years old, I continue to do my work around accepting and saying that word. I've practiced saying that word out loud a lot. It's a great example of a term that a marginalized group of people have collectively decided to take ownership back and feel empowered to own that word and claim that word as their own.

Chris McLaughlin:

But when we're talking about older generations, when we're talking about LGBTQ+ seniors or elders, it's important to know that that term for so, so many adults and seniors is just dripping with shame and pain. So it's important to just be aware. I've seen clinicians with a lot of years that I've experienced come into clinical sessions and trying to be the hip, cool, woke counselor and they're dropping terms, and their client it has just not gone over as intended because there was assumptions being made. So just like with so many other things in our life, we want to be careful of the assumptions and check them out before we put foot in mouth.

Ben Smith:

And I think that's where being direct, is being direct and going, "Hey, I want to let you know, I want to make sure that you are my most important thing right now, and I want you to know that. But I want you to know that I'm uncomfortable in how I maybe... I don't want to reference you in an inappropriate way that makes you feel that I'm diminishing you or I'm not respecting anything in your life." So that piece is something where... And I know you just gave a really good piece about how terminology has changed, and that was a really good example of that. But can you talk about, because I think this is a key question which I know we're hinting at was, what's acceptable and respectful versus not acceptable language when describing this community, this population?

Chris McLaughlin:

So this is the world according to Chris.

Ben Smith:

Yeah, exactly.

Chris McLaughlin:

Because perception is... Which is a great world to live in for a queer. But I would just highlight, there are some terms that I think are important to avoid, and homosexual is more of that clinical more medical term. And so my community no longer embraces that word, as if we ever did. And that goes back years when homosexual was in a manual of mental health disorders, it was a diagnosis that could be used to describe somebody. So we move away from that, we move away from terms of sexual preference or gender preference because it implies a choice. Terms like the gay lifestyle or the gay agenda, again, implying a choice. And if there's a choice then there must be a cure, so we want to get away from that thinking.

Chris McLaughlin:

Then I think unfortunately for transgender individuals, there's just so much slang and out of date terms, transsexual, transvestite, transgendered, and adding the ed at the end of it, transgenders, as if there's a group of them together clustered. So we to just be cautious to not use some of those, I would say more antiquated and therefore potential to be offensive terms. But your point Ben is spot on, when in doubt, ask. I measure it to when folks are meeting me for the first time, I often hear, "Do you prefer Chris or Christopher?" And I'll tell them. So for me, it's as really simple as your first name or an abbreviation of your name or if you choose to use your middle name and not your first name. Part of that is just engagement, it's getting to know somebody.

Ben Smith:

Exactly.

Chris McLaughlin:

And it's respect. So if we start these conversations from a place of respect, I don't think you can go wrong.

Ben Smith:

I want to point this out for those that maybe are watching this on the screen as well. Obviously Chris, after your name, obviously you have your social work title there, but also you have your pronouns, he and him, which I know is a theme right now and maybe it's getting a little topic for a second. But it's not only just, hey, this is Chris, but also his pronouns are he and him. Which it feels like that's something where maybe it takes that question away from being having to be asked. You start out from a place where you already know it and we can just get to work.

Chris McLaughlin:

And it's really maybe even tri-fold, it skips the step of having to ask, it sets the tone that I know I'm familiar with the concept of pronouns, so I'm comfortable with that, and it lets you know how to refer to me, that again, I'm okay with this approach. So when I'm meeting a client for the first time or even for coworkers, I will often say, "Hey, it's so good to meet you. Welcome to Acadia. My name's Chris and I use he, him pronouns." It's just very simple, it becomes routine. It's awkward at first, there's no doubt about that, but it becomes routine.

Ben Smith:

And to extend that Chris then are you saying nice to meet you, my pronouns are he, him, can I ask what your pronouns are? Is that how you'd be asking that question?

Chris McLaughlin:

100%. And in a more clinical environment, that's exactly how that script will go for me. In an interpersonal, like when I'm a guest at a party or at a restaurant meeting friends for the first time, I may not right out of the gate put them on the spot at a room, at a table of other people about what's your pronouns. But in one-on-one situations, I'm more likely to do that.

Ben Smith:

Because again for us, it's just understanding the, "Hey, we want to be direct, we want to get things out of the way, we want to feel a level of inclusion together that there's a level of understanding that's happening here."

Chris McLaughlin:

It certainly opens the door when you include them in your name tags or email signatures or even I've now seen them on business cards and name plates on people's office doors. It invites the response without necessarily having to ask the question.

Ben Smith:

Awesome.

Curtis Worcester:

Chris, one thing we like to talk about or we think that we try to do with all of our shows is help people attempt to become more of who they are in retirement. It seems like things like taking ownership of who you really are or what matters to you in life, aligning your life with your values, that's a difficult process. What I want to ask you is if you could walk us through what that really means specifically for the LGBTQ+ community, and then furthermore in terms of coming out.

Chris McLaughlin:

So it's important to recognize that coming out is a process, and it's not necessarily a linear process. It's not one of those processes where you check the box and move on to the next one. And there's a lot of theory around the number of steps and what the names of those different steps are, but they all really get to the same place of starting with a sense of confusion, what is this all about? And then getting to a place of synthesis where it becomes, whether it's sexual orientation or gender identity, it becomes just one of a whole list of things, of roles that you play, of characteristics and things about you. It doesn't define you and every other step of your life.

Chris McLaughlin:

But I think for what's often misunderstood about the coming out process is the repetitive nature of it. That LGBTQ+ individuals are coming out over and over and over again in every aspect of their life, whether they move, start a new school, get a new job, are introduced to a new group of friends. And there's that level of anxiety of all right, I want to be as authentic to myself as possible in this setting. So in order to do that, I'm going to have to come out, and that's scary and it's anxiety provoking. It's not uncommon based on the individual or what's around that, the environment around that individual. It's not uncommon for folks to be out in some parts of their life and not in other parts and to have the sense of secrecy, which only adds to all of the concerns and challenges that we're talking about today.

Ben Smith:

Sure.

Chris McLaughlin:

I think specific to seniors because of some of these generational differences, it's not uncommon for seniors to wait for their parents or their parents' generation or family to pass on before they come out. And some of that is maybe fear of disappointment, maybe it's shame, maybe it's fear of what the response might be, fear of rejection, fear of hostility or aggression even towards them. And for some folks that I have talked to that are in this age bracket, it's been really the lesser of two evils. It's been I can live the secret with my family, I can be out everywhere else in my life, but with mum and dad, I'm this person or that person. Or I can take the risk of alienating this relationship with my aging parents as well. And there's so much pain that comes with that.

Chris McLaughlin:

And the other piece that I will add to this is there's been so much progress with LGBTQ+ rights, and celebrate that all day long, it's incredible. But if you think of the age that our seniors are at, LGBTQ+ seniors were navigating this world far before June 1969 when the Stonewall Riots took place. And in the '40s, '50s, '60s, homophobia was rampant, it was a dangerous and scary time. And there's all kinds of stories I've gathered in my research for today of this general sense of heightened state of alarm, of a sense of danger surrounding these folks living their life. So today's seniors may not fully actualize the benefits of all that progress over the last 50 or so years, and still may be living very closeted, very protected lives. Despite the fact that we have record numbers of youth coming out and more and more and higher and higher rates, for our seniors, it may still very much feel like the pre-Stonewall times.

Ben Smith:

Sure. Because culture is really difficult to change and adapt. Because if somewhere where I've read or listened to is I think generational changes or cultural change takes two generations to really change because there's echoes of that from previous generations. So I can see where man, that's a really difficult thing of your entire life, and now... And when we define senior, maybe we're saying 65 and older here. But if you lived through the first 65 years of doing anything, you're going to have habits and preconceived notions about what it's like to do things and to be things. I can only imagine the difficulty to then... It would feel like to me the barrier here is almost as much yourself because of how much you've been trained to think that it's maybe not okay or you've been told it's not okay and to continue to fight that. Again, from my perspective, that feels like that would be a really difficult thing to overcome.

Chris McLaughlin:

And imagine the dissonance, imagine just the stress of that dual sense of loss and relief when your family is no longer around to see your coming out process and to be able to then live your authentic self.

Ben Smith:

And to say again, being your authentic self, which again, as Curtis said is being more of who you are, to achieve maybe your ideal happiness. So achieving that, which I think maybe as a parent and looking at that for what you'd want for your own child is to say, "What I really want is them to achieve that happiness. Whatever that happiness is, I really want them to get there." So yeah, a shame there of going, "Hey, that their parents didn't get to see you achieve that level of happiness and that you are dealing with this underlying current of strife and just conflict." I don't want to label in any way other than there's just this battle happening back and forth.

Chris McLaughlin:

The word that comes up over and over again is shame. And when we talk about internalized homophobia, internalized transphobia, so much of that is driven by that overwhelming sense of shame. That no matter what, there's still something holding me back from living my best life, my true self.

Ben Smith:

So I want to ask the followup to that then. Is okay, so obviously you've worked with a lot of youth in terms of helping them really actualize who they are and really helping themselves to own more of who they are. But you maybe don't have the years and decades of history of doing that. So how is it different, other than the decades of the shame and that internal strife that we just discussed, how is it different for those that have maybe come out later in life versus those that are maybe more in the youth demographic?

Chris McLaughlin:

Community is an important concept with this population and the ability to have your community around you. The idea of chosen family is an important concept with this group as well. Not family that's defined by blood or by marriage, but family defined by choice. So when I think about folks who are in the later years, and they may not have had the years and years and years to build their chosen family, to build their sense of community, compared to youth who are coming out at 12, 13, 14 years old who have the rest of their life to live their authentic self, and therefore to build their chosen family, their community around them. So when we talk about isolation, when we talk about where and with whom you live with in later parts of your life, oftentimes LGBTQ+ seniors are going to be at a disadvantage because they haven't had the time to build that same sense of community.

Ben Smith:

That's a really awesome point because I know we've talked about this in lots of different shows. One that came up that I think is really corollary to what we're discussing here, Dr. Sara Zeff Geber came on about the concept of solo aging, so aging without kids. One of the things that really was coming up is that what you just brought about community and where as we age, we need advocates in different parts of our life to help us as we age. And the cause of that is as you said, socialized isolation, is something that we all work through as we age, but it's even more impactful for those solo agers, is what her research was coming up with. So you just made that really big point because social isolation leads to a greater risk of falling into depression, which then leads to more isolation. So obviously what you just described is really the socialized isolation can impact LGBTQ+ seniors more acutely, really because they deal with stigma, discrimination, and lack of community in their daily lives, and maybe even within the groups as they age.

Chris McLaughlin:

I would just add to that, Ben though also that this is a group of folks who may have never been married, who may never have had children because of their closeted life. So as they get to that certain age, that no longer becomes the traditional option for them. So community becomes exponentially more important for this group as they age because they don't have the traditional fallback, the hierarchy of my children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren to fall back on.

Ben Smith:

And that's where Dr. Geber was making the point of the community you've got to continue to reinvest in, that you really needed. Her numbers were you need like eight to 12 friends because if you have two friends and all of a sudden somebody moves away, somebody becomes debilitated as they age, all of a sudden your friends groups goes from two to zero, and now you are socially isolated and you fall into... So you really need to invest in that group and continue to replenish the group, was one of the things that she was making as a point. But I'd like to ask this question specifically here around this population, is what are some things that LGBTQ+ seniors can do to reduce social isolation, addition to the replenishing of their friend group?

Chris McLaughlin:

I love the point that your previous guest was making around the investment in the community because that is probably my number one suggestion, is there's got to be an intentionality around A, understanding the importance of community and then B, going after it and finding it. As we talked about, many seniors or are solo aging, many LGBTQ+ seniors are living alone and they don't have children, they don't have a spouse or a traditional spouse. So I think about everything from helping with running errands or providing a ride or checking in on me, making sure that my cupboard's got food in them, if there's a quick home improvement project, who do I lean on for that? But I think to answer your question, it's really important to recognize that there is a robust LGBTQ+ senior population here in Maine. Maine ranks third in the ranking of all the states with the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ individuals over the age of 65.

Ben Smith:

It's amazing.

Chris McLaughlin:

So finding those groups, finding those resources, and we'll talk more about resources later, on where you might find some of those meetups and whether they're happening virtually or in person. But as you start chipping away and removing the barriers to your participation in those activities, I think you start to find that your health, both physical as well as emotional and behavioral health, your mental health, also improve. Humans are social animals whether we like to admit it or not, and that doesn't change as you get older. I want to re-emphasize, I think, that concept of chosen family, that it's never too late to identify who your family is. Again, outside of blood and marriage. Finding those connections and investing the time and do what it takes to keep those connections healthy and flourish.

Ben Smith:

I'll make a point too, Chris, and I'm really interested to hear what you have to say when we get to that point. But I can only, just for, I think, the ordinary everyday person, we have introverts and extroverts. A lot of times with the introverts, it's really tough to make friends. Is what if I start talking about sports and they're into the other thing? Then what if I talk about books and they're into the movies? So finding things in common is for some people really excruciating, really difficult of a process to get through.

Ben Smith:

I can only imagine the layering of that, especially with today's seniors as you just talked about. Maybe that generation right now still has some of these echoes of discriminatory thoughts and vantage points. So for somebody to become vulnerable and say, "Hey, I'm looking to invest in friendships and invest in..." You could see where that is a more difficult undertaking to go through even more so than just a typical senior. I guess where I would stand, I think that would be even more... So again, I know we're going to talk about maybe meetups and other ways to connect to groups that you have commonalities. But I think that just from a vantage point or from observation, I imagine that's even more difficult.

Chris McLaughlin:

Yeah, 100%. And what I would add to that is that we also have to recognize that, as you said, there's still stigma within these communities. That when you think about LGBT and Q and then all the other letters that accompany that, they all have their own unique experiences, they all have their own unique sense of what life is like for them. So I think about our seniors and I think about our seniors who identify as lesbian and the intersectionality around their sexual orientation and their gender and what being a woman in the '40s and '50 just by itself, even the '60s and into the '70s what was like for them, and then you add the layer of sexual orientation. So much more is known now about gender than five years, 10 years, certainly the last 30 and 40 years. So I talk with older gay, lesbian, Bi individuals who are just struggling to get their head around this concept of gender and don't necessarily want to lump the transgender experience in with the gay, lesbian, Bi experience. So within these communities, there's also some tension that also needs to be navigated.

Curtis Worcester:

That's really interesting. Chris, can you just talk about some common emotional, behavioral, and health challenges that are faced specifically by the LGBTQ+ senior community?

Chris McLaughlin:

Yeah, it's a great question. Because again, as we've been talking about so much of this has a basis in trauma and has a basis in what living a lifetime of discrimination, oppression, and stigma has built. We call that minority stress, all of that cluster of emotion and how that plays out for marginalized communities. Vulnerability is a big piece of this too. And for everyone, as your health decreases, we know that your sense of vulnerability increases, and that's no different for this group. Isolation, we've talked about depression, we've talked about anxiety, we've talked about... But there are other elements of this too where it becomes a little bit of trying to peel the onion of what is gender or sexual orientation related, what is just living in these times that we're living in. And we know that there are a significant number of LGBTQ+ adults living in poverty, who are homeless, who are under sheltered, who are under insured.

Chris McLaughlin:

So as I have been talking to my colleagues who identify as a member of this community, of this senior community, I was struck over and over again hearing shades of this concept of financial planning and identifying your financial resources as a form of self care, as a form of self-esteem. Believing that you are worth investing money into now for 40 years from now is a huge part of self-image. And when you have a community that has been trained to not see themselves as equal or worthy, it's no wonder to me that we have this crisis in a lot of ways of not being financially prepared in later life and discrimination in the workplace and discrimination and housing. There are still parts of this country in 2021 that it is legal to fire somebody because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. So we live in a bit of a bubble I think sometimes here in Maine because we have been such a progressive state in so many ways, and I'm so proud of that. But there are LGBTQ+ seniors today who are fearful of losing their job if they are out in the workplace.

Ben Smith:

I want to make point to that too, Chris because it feels like if, just thinking about just Maslow's hierarchy of needs here, if you're always in survival mode, it's tough to move up the scale to achieve this sense of purpose and happiness and achievement. So your point about financial planning is part of this. What we're trying to go is go, "Hey, I just don't want to solve for what's surviving, I don't want to solve for eating tuna fish for 35 years, I really want to solve for who you are, what you want to be, what gives you purpose in your life, and matching the money to that." If you've never really been in that position or if you've always been in the moment surviving, it's probably tough to get to that point of I can never get to this actualization and this achievement because I've always been worried about being fired for who I am, I'm always worried about this friend group. If I tell somebody of who I am and how I identify myself, that I'm going to be treated poorly. All of that. I can imagine that that's a really difficult thing.

Chris McLaughlin:

Well, and there's the element, what you're talking about is for me the impact that trauma has on our development and the impact that fear has on our development. What we know conversely about kids who are living in abusive homes, we see regressive behaviors, we see their inability to progress through developmental milestones, sometimes failure to thrive is a term that's applied to that. We don't call it failure to thrive when individuals get to be in their 40s, 50, and 60s, but really that's what it is. Trauma sticks us to a fight or flight or freeze mentality where the idea that I'm going to put 20 bucks a week away now to actualize the benefits of that 40 years from now is such a foreign concept.

Ben Smith:

Chris, I'll also give you another point here too from our experience. So we have several relationships and several clients that again, on the spectrum of aging with an LGBTQ+ community. What we're trying to our process... Again, it really goes to goal setting. Is what makes you more of who you are? What do you want to do? What are priorities? What are lesser priorities? Matching funds to those things. That's a process which is you have to be very open, you have to be vulnerable, you have to be able to speak truth or things that you may maybe not even have spoken to your partner or other people. It's a very vulnerable state to be engaging with us at certain times. So we've actually in again, our client experience, it feels like the aging population that we engage with, that maybe has never engaged with anybody like this before, really difficult, it's pretty closed off. "No, no, I just want you to manage my money. I just want you to do this section, let's not talk about me. You do this, I will pay you money for that service and we'll call it a day."

Ben Smith:

Again, the younger part of the population that we're working with, oh man, they eat it right up. "This is great, I can see myself investing towards this thing and where I want to be." And they're more likely to get energized by the goal setting and the planning. But it's, again and I'm not trying to stereotype this, our limited experience here working in these arrangements. But the point being is I could see where there's more hesitation in the aging population here to undergo more vulnerability because I would see where they've not been rewarded at all for showing that to lots of different people.

Chris McLaughlin:

And it's threat, it's fear. My assumption, I will speculate that your clients who are more reserved, more hesitant have story, after story, after story of times they have given power to another person and have that backfire on them. In this world, especially with seniors who are navigating healthcare, doctors have a lot of power, who are navigating their finances, banks have a lot of power, who are navigating their housing needs, there's so much on the line here. And that's a big piece of again... I'm so complimentary of you to be doing this topic and exposing these conversations. Because just finding allies, LGBTQ+ allies in the banking world, in the retirement planning world, and financial management is so hard. And defines an ally? How do you know when you're sitting in that individual's office and you're disclosing very personal private details, whether it's about your finances or about your health history, what their reaction's going to be and how much power you all have with us with one pen to make decisions that are life changing.

Ben Smith:

And to a point about giving that power away and then maybe not receiving it back and someone being dismissive over, well, you can't do this and you can't do that, versus I think our job is to say, "Hey, let's really uncover what those goals are, what would really be success for you, drive it, and align the money to it." Our job is to show you the path to yes. If we can get to yes all the time and show you how to do it, well, maybe there's trade-offs to get to yes, but how do we show you the pathway to it? But if we never know where we're driving towards, again we're in a car where we got the gas pedal down, we could be going 20 miles an hour, well, that's a different journey if we're going to Portsmouth, New Hampshire versus a Los Angeles, California, those are two different things.

Ben Smith:

So my point of this is, I think it's really important for us to do our jobs well, to have those relationships. Which is why the more we can be available, I guess is the word I want to say, the more I want to be available, the more that we can relay trust. And to be an ally in these situations, I think is really important. And I think the other, I want to maybe transition to the next question of that is, all of us need resources to be successful in our lives. All of us need to turn to somebody, organizations, people. So my question to you is, Chris, in Maine, what organizations can LGBTQ+ seniors turn to to assist with their needs as they age, whether it be advocacy, healthcare, social community, where can they go?

Chris McLaughlin:

So we again are so fortunate that we live in a state that has been so progressive and been so attentive to the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals. Equality Maine is an organization that comes to mind, they're Portland based with a statewide coverage. And they have literally investments in every population, every age group who identifies on this continuum, advocacy and services and resources, groups, educational offerings. And under that Equality Maine umbrella, is a little organization called Sage S-A-G-E Maine. And Maine is a chapter of the national Sage group. That is a group specific to seniors, LGBTQ+ identified seniors. They offer meetups, they offer virtual groups, they offer education and training. I was just with them recently for a weekend symposium on aging in Maine, that was well done and just learned so much. But in partnership, those two groups really have the finger on the pulse of whether it's a resource, whether it's an ally in the financial or healthcare world, whether it's just a supportive ear or a supportive shoulder, they've got you covered.

Chris McLaughlin:

There's another organization in Maine, Maine Transnet, which is a group specific to transgender, non-binary, gender diverse individuals. They have some regional social gatherings as well. They do some training, they do a lot of advocacy. And then the ACLU here in Maine is also an organization that is very invested in the legal advocacy of LGBTQ+ individuals of all ages. So I think those four would be my go-to resources here in the State of Maine.

Curtis Worcester:

I like it. I want to rotate a little bit, Chris. Can you just talk about some areas of opportunity that LGBTQ+ agers could improve on?

Chris McLaughlin:

Yeah. So I polled some colleagues and some friends who again, identify in this group and got not surprisingly the same answers over and over again.

Ben Smith:

Which tells you that you've got a theme going on.

Chris McLaughlin:

I've got a theme. They all say the same thing, and it probably is not going to be earth shattering news to you all, save more now, make more investments, get that long-term care insurance, get those insurance policies that will support you if you need to bring in in-home supports later in life or live in assisted living, get educated, understand what the concept of retirement planning is, and understand concepts of social security and Medicare, what they are and just as importantly what they're not.

Chris McLaughlin:

And building upon that idea that we've talked about of self-esteem and self-image. And all of the folks I talk to say, "I wish I did this sooner, I wish I saw myself worthy of this investment sooner." While that's easier said than done, none of this is switching a light switch. Self-esteem isn't an on or off light switch, but the education and the social, the community, the sense of belonging is such a huge element to that self-esteem, that self-worth piece that it really becomes giving yourself permission to lean in, get outside your comfort zone. It goes back to that introvert-extrovert style piece, that I may have to be uncomfortable if I'm going to secure the chosen family, the community that I require to be healthy and successful later in life.

Ben Smith:

I think that's a key thing here because I know we've talked about a lot of the topics here. I think one of the biggest issues is choosing in retirement is where we want to live. I know you just talked about community, so essentially it's finding your community and where that community is. It might be a virtual one, but it might be a geographic one here. And I know what you said, Chris, about, hey, we have, in terms of our ranking for the State of Maine, we might be pretty high up there in regards to population of this community. But we all have different interests, we all have different things that we like to do, and that might feed into where we want to be as well. Because again, if everybody here is outdoorsy and likes to be doing the hikes and the skiing but I'm the introverted computer person stereotype, so say it that's me, well, maybe I'm not near my tribe, I'm not near my people, I'm not near the people that really turns me more into who I am.

Ben Smith:

So I could see where we need to think through in retirement that community part, we need to think through support services, health care, costs of living, proximity to family friends, all of that. But I also want to go in the where part a little bit, maybe a little bit further. Because it's maybe a little more difficult for LGBTQ+ agers anyway because there's different laws impacting rights from state to state, as you suggested. So the question I have here is, how do state statutes on rights and the stability of those rights by the way impact the decision making on where to live? That's my first question.

Chris McLaughlin:

It's a huge question. As I already referenced, state by state, there are absolutely differences. And you don't have to travel far outside of Maine before you hit the next state who you could be fired or you could lose your housing because of your sexual orientation, gender identity. So I referenced the Sage Maine resource just a little bit ago, nationally, they're an amazing resource that can give you state by state breakdowns of where are the LGBTQ+ friendly states and what states are friendly for elders because of all the pieces that you just mentioned.

Chris McLaughlin:

There's some really exciting, cool literature coming out about the concept of co-housing, where groups of people gather together and share space. And maybe they have communal kitchens or communal dining areas and they have their own residents, but they may pour into that shared communal space. There are communities popping up around the country for co-housing specifically for LGBTQ+ agers. Now, financially that may not be a decision that is available to everyone, especially given some of the statistics around poverty and the lack of financial planning that we've already talked about. But they exist. And maybe I like to think about maybe there's a co-housing light approach to this, to where you may not have brand new buildings and a state-of-the-art shared kitchen dining space, but maybe you have a couple of yachts or a couple of mobile homes that are poured out into the same approach. So there's some creativity around this.

Chris McLaughlin:

In terms of the legal part, same-sex marriage became law of the land in 2015, I will say Maine, three years before that. Domestic partnership is still a legal status available for folks in different parts of the country, including here in Maine too. So even for individuals who elect to not get married and have the traditional legal benefits and rights of married partners, domestic partnership is available to them as well if they're in a relationship that meets that threshold. But the decision of where to live and who to live with is I think deeply personal regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. So again, it goes back to about the comment you made, Ben, about what's the goal and then how do we get there. So being able to at least articulate the goal I think is the first step on that journey. And then where can that goal be best actualized is really the decision points for there.

Ben Smith:

Chris, I'll plug we had an episode with our colleague Larry Pelletier and his wife Joyce. So as they're approaching retirement, they talked about they had a whole process about finding their ideal spot. One of the things we see from a financial end, we can of course examine everything through a chart, but we have state by state what the long-term care cost is, what's the best maybe for taxation perspective that might stretch your money longer, we talked about living internationally with Dan Presha in a different episode. So where is [inaudible 00:55:40] in part, but what you brought up I thought was a really cool point, is Sage nationally having this state by state.

Ben Smith:

So I could see where basically there's all this, hey I likes sun, I like proximity to this, I like community access here, I want these sorts of structures, health care is this, all those things. But then you can go and also layer on, "Well, here is what I can see from a rights perspective." I just want to make sure that those are considered. So what you said is all those are points to figure out and make the best match for you. But having something you can layer on specifically for my vantage point, for my community, and make that another informed point of that decision making process I think is really cool. So thanks for doing that.

Chris McLaughlin:

Yeah, especially if you have to pick up a small part-time job on the side to support your retirement lifestyle and making sure you're in a location that you can continue to be who you are safely.

Curtis Worcester:

Chris, I think an extension of this discussion about rights within certain states is the idea of having a solid estate plan, legal powers for spouses and loved ones. I think it's a fair statement that confusing might be an understatement for the legal world when it comes to these things. So I guess what I want to ask is, what can those of us who want to support our friends, neighbors, family members who may be LGBTQ+ seniors, what are some tangible things we can do to help with this, I guess, aging process?

Chris McLaughlin:

It's such a great question. It's really about allyship, it's about offering yourself to be a support to somebody else. I think helping seniors identify and get their wishes known, again you all know the statistics of how many seniors are without wills or without this clear documentation. So helping with the resources state by state on what forms are essential. And so much of this is done by a template now and then a run to a notary to get it signed. So I think some assistance along just navigating, recognizing that technology is also a skill set that isn't necessarily owned by all, especially in older generations. So just navigating the internet can sometimes to be overwhelming. So offering your help, offering your assistance, and worst case scenario, pen and paper. Help get their wishes known, help just initiate the conversation, stay connected, check-in often, offer those resources, hear the stories so much.

Chris McLaughlin:

And part of what I love about the fact you're doing this podcast theme, it's about empathy, it's about understanding the perspective of others, and identifying with some of the feelings and thoughts of things that most people have never needed to think about before. So just to be able to connect on that real human level. And when in doubt, grab the rake, grab the shovel, help out around the house, drop off groceries when needed. It's really just about citizenship and caring for LGBTQ+ seniors in the same way we would any senior in our neighborhoods and in our communities. Just checking in and making sure that all is well and that needs are being met.

Ben Smith:

I like what you just said there too because I think it is really leaning into empathy here, is to even go to I think the first part, which I think you've done really well today, Chris, is leaning into understanding, is let's just listen and let's just understand what's happening here and where it is and where we are, try to do it without judgment and to say this is the situation today and how can I do something today to help make it better? I think if we all take that mantra, that theme, I think things start working maybe better for everybody.

Ben Smith:

I want to make another point too here on the estate plans and legal powers. We talked a little bit about being a solo ager, especially with this community is more of a common theme. With our clients, we've seen enough where people overtime they don't have the power of attorney. Just saying, "Hey, I'm incapacitated. What are the levels of people that I can ask to step in for me if I'm becoming incapacitated? And someone that really can advocate for me specifically." I think that's where keeping your community, your list is up-to-date all the time is really important. Especially from a legal sense because legal rights are changing a lot and making sure that you are always having the best advocates with the full powers to do the best advocacy for you. Not only from an estate planning perspective when I pass, but as I'm aging and I become incapacitated, I need someone to really help take care of me.

Ben Smith:

I could see where that was really important here and making sure that documentation is first of all, taking full advantage of your legal rights in any state that you're in, but also that you have the right people listed so they can seamlessly step in for you without you not getting the... Because we just talked about in the intro discrimination in healthcare, discrimination in lots of different world systems here. So having somebody to step in legally and not only just help you but really fight for you. I think that's where you need a tireless advocate that can have those rights and go through. Because again, we see it from a day-to-day basis regardless, but I can really see it here.

Chris McLaughlin:

Especially where we've already established for seniors, for LGBTQ+ seniors who never married or never had children, those traditional hierarchies of inheritance are non-existent. So again, there's a different layer of intentionality around making those wishes known and naming those folks. So you're not handing over power again, to complete strangers to make those decisions on your behalf, even the most well-intentioned strangers.

Ben Smith:

Again, I know we can go lots of different ways there. But the court system for example is to go, well, in absence of these things legally done, then maybe I'm giving all my power away to perhaps the court system either in life or in death. I think that's some of the concern overall here is that we... Again, I know power has been a little sub current of things we've been talking about. Having control over that power I think is really important. So I want to lean into that just real quick from that Chris, so thanks for that.

Chris McLaughlin:

I think it's a pivotal point, power and control, it's been our theme for the last hour that we've been together. There was a recent wickedly horrifying yet entertaining Netflix movie about this very topic over the last several months of just how the legal system and the health care system can really be leveraged against seniors to the benefit of a very small few. I think for this population of folks who have, like all your clients, really scraped together their life savings to make something worthwhile for later parts of their life. You want to trust, you want to believe that your best interests are in the forefront of others, but we know that's not always the case. And to your point, there's story, after story, after story of this happening daily. So defining that community and putting names to paper and going through the process of having some of these tough internal and external conversations about what end of life issues are going to look like.

Ben Smith:

So, Chris, I want to rotate one last time here. We're at the final question of our episode, this is normally the spot where I ask a retirement question. But because you are a second time guest, so people who want to hear that answer, they need to go back to episode 19. But I'm going to ask a new question for you here, if you could have anything named after you, what would it be and why?

Chris McLaughlin:

So I have agonized over this question. For anybody that knows me, anybody listening that knows anything about me, my first answer is going to be a no-brainer. I would love to have a martini or a new, great varietal named after me. I want to have the McGlaughlin grape that is the next best wine coming out of the Bangor, Maine region.

Ben Smith:

That's awesome.

Chris McLaughlin:

But my other answer that I was tied for is a breed of dog. I would think I would love to have a breed of dog named after me.

Curtis Worcester:

I like that.

Ben Smith:

So I got to ask the followup question to that then, what would be the personality of the said dog?

Chris McLaughlin:

It would be a mix between, and I'm sure these exist, it would be a mix between Staffordshire Terrier, which is one of our dogs here at the house, and a golden retriever. Lovable, loyal, and alert.

Curtis Worcester:

That's an awesome, I love that.

Ben Smith:

Love it. Well, Chris, I can't thank you enough on behalf of our show, we can't thank you enough for coming on today and talking about really this theme of LGBTQ+ aging. Again, we do Google search and we're not seeing a ton of things, especially from a financial planning perspective. So to be able to go out here again, be brave and say, "Hey, this is somewhere where we're not the world renowned expert in any lens on this, but let's have a conversation, let's be vulnerable, let's really put it out there and start, let's start somewhere." I can't thank you enough for coming on the show part two for us and working with us today because we got a lot out of it and I'm sure the listeners did too. So thank you again.

Chris McLaughlin:

I hope so. It's been my pleasure and I always appreciate the invite to be with you. And I hope that your listeners are able to find some nuggets that they can maybe apply to their own lives and their own community.

Ben Smith:

Oh, Chris, thank you so much, be well.

Chris McLaughlin:

My pleasure. Thank you so much.

Ben Smith:

All right. So really great to have Chris McLaughlin on the show today. One thing that our team has been talking about is, "Hey, we're working with members of the LGBTQ+ community." Again, we pride ourselves in just caring a lot about our clients, and as much as we can be informed, advocates for our clients in really not just financial matters but in aging matters. I think that's our job and our duty. So that's where we obviously had to talk to Chris McLaughlin on episode, I believe, 19.

Curtis Worcester:

19, yeah.

Ben Smith:

About grandkids. But this was something that we were talking about on the side was, well, there's lots of other populations we think that we could be touching on. And I think Chris did a really awesome job today of covering a lot of points. We know obviously this is a very broad overview that we were discussing. This is something where we could have gone probably even on the defining terms in LGBTQ and plus and really getting into that, we could have spend probably three hours on that. But we really wanted it to get into the aging, get into all these things here. So again, I think Chris did a phenomenal job and it was really a delight to have him on the show today. Of course, we end our shows, we like to just recap ourselves and things that we learned from our guests. I'd like to just maybe go through that today and just take that yellow highlighter and really highlights some things for you today. So Curtis, maybe kickoff something that you took away from today's show.

Curtis Worcester:

Yeah, sure. I think it's a big overview of something that comes up in a lot of our episodes, this idea of building a community around you and really having that social group. We talked about it with Dr. Sara Zeff Geber on the solo aging. And it really goes hand in hand here with what we talked about today and how important it is to have those people around you. Chris talked about, as you age, who's going to come over and help you do the small home improvement projects? It's really important to combat that social isolation and that can send you down a road of not great things. So I think Chris did a really great job talking about just how important it was to continue to invest and building that community around you.

Ben Smith:

I'll echo that too. What was really great is, again, what we talked about with Chris is there's threads that we've picked up from other episodes that we apply in different ways. I will just say for myself, I learned a lot today from Chris's talk with us.

Curtis Worcester:

Same.

Ben Smith:

So it's really tough to really pick one thing that we could have taken because I think the whole thing was really good. I think one of the things as planners and things we do when we talk with our clients, we talk about where a lot. And we talked about where with Joyce and Larry Pelletier. And that's something where in going through these, what is it you want to do? Where is the community that you just highlighted, Curtis? What's the systems? What are the cost of living going to be? All those things, it's this hodgepodge of things you've got to throw in. But then you throw on top for LGBTQ+, "Hey, from state to state, my rights going to vary and they may differ here." And especially when it might come to estate planning, might come to health care access, might come to lots of different things.

Ben Smith:

So again, I think we're Chris really highlighted Sage for example and the other resources, that's just really great to layer that on top to say, "Hey, I'm making the most informed decision I can when I make a decision to maybe move in an uncomfortable place and get out of my comfort zone to somewhere that I maybe think is going to be the place. But also again, and I know Dan Presha talked about this with living internationally, is there's also resources for living abroad. And thinking about, obviously is in the LGBTQ+ community, thinking about acceptance, thinking about finding the people that you're going to feel supported, you're going to feel accepted. I think that's a big component about where. And having that conversation really flushing that out, I think is a really important point.

Ben Smith:

So again, I know we touched on that a little bit, but I know Chris did a really good job on talking about that there today. So, I really appreciate everyone tuning into our episode today. If you want more resources again, we'll have the links that Chris referenced in terms of Sage and others there. You can go to blog.guidancepointllc.com\42 for episode 42. And you can find our show notes if you want to read backs on the transcript, that will be there as well and all that.

Ben Smith:

Also I'll just say, hey, our show's growing and I want to thank you all for listening. And we appreciate even just mentioning our show to maybe a family member or a friend that you think might get something out of this. That just means a lot to us. And the fact that we're helping people, makes all this effort worthwhile. So if you feel like any of these shows have helped somebody, we appreciate you just sharing any one of these with somebody that you might think might get something out of it, we really appreciate that. So for now, we will sign off. But thanks so much for listening and we'll catch you next time. 

Topics: Pre-Retirement, In Retirement, Podcast