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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Meet Dr. Cynthia Barnett

Read Cynthia's Bio

Billy and I "met" Dr. Cynthia Barnett via a teleconference call while we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and she was 12 time zones away in her Connecticut home. (Listen to our 30 minute Interview with Dr. Cynthia Barnett) Her enthusiasm about life and her warm heartedness struck us right away, and over the months that followed, we have kept in contact.

Respectful, supportive and sharp-as-a-whip, Cynthia exudes the confidence of a woman who knows who she is and what she wants. Please join us in this oh-too-short interview with Dr. Cynthia Barnett.

*****

RetireEarlyLifestyle:  Cynthia, from your very first email to us, I enjoyed your enthusiasm and clarity of mind. You are the sort of person I would love to have as a life-friend and neighbor. Could you tell us a little about yourself, and your experience professionally and personally?

Dr. Barnett: Forty years ago I arrived in the United States from the tiny island nation of St. Vincent in the West Indies with no money, no career guidance and no resources, but I had a BIG DREAM - to get the best education that this country had to offer. I had no idea how that was going to happen, however I was willing to do whatever was necessary to achieve my DREAM.

Working in a pen factory inserting the ink in ball point pens, cleaning houses, filing documents for an insurance company, waiting tables in a convalescent home were just some of the jobs I took to get through college.

Many obstacles stood in my way and I often felt overwhelmed, but I always saw the light at the end of that tunnel - the fulfillment of my dream. Some of the obstacles included a divorce after 12 years, very little money to support three children, being a single mother, low self-esteem, excessive weight gain, etc.

 

Through persistence, hard work, and constantly working on my personal development, I achieved my dream of earning the highest degree in my career field and putting all three of my daughters through college. My first daughter is an attorney, my second daughter a freelance surface design artist, and my third daughter is a teacher.

I am still in the process of fulfilling my destiny to reach out and help other women fulfill their DREAMS by removing their dreams from the back burner and putting them on the front burner of their lives so that they, too, could rediscover a life of passion, peace, clarity and happiness.

I am confident that my experiences will prove to be valuable resources for those who seek my advice in Re-Firement. The strategies I implemented in my life worked for me and have been working for all the people I come in contact with through coaching, workshops, retreats, and keynote speeches.

REL: Cynthia, through our chats I sensed your commitment and determination in life - two characteristics that I also value. I can only imagine the days and nights in which you kept your dream alive for yourself as well as your daughters, and I admire that greatly. You must feel a remarkable satisfaction in having achieved your dreams. Can you tell us, what motivates you in life?

Dr. Barnett: My calling in life is my great motivator. I have been called to teach, motivate and inspire others to live their optimum lives. I do this in various formats such as individual coaching, group coaching, retreats, being a cruise lecturer, and my newest venture, Life After Teaching Expo The web site has not been built yet, but it will be up shortly.

REL: I understand what you mean. I often say that when we retired, the only thing we put up on the coat rack were our jobs. Having all this available time to do what we wanted to do and what was truly motivational to us personally, simply fired us up! What made you decide this Re-Fire, Don't Retire approach was what you wanted to do?

Dr. Barnett: This approach came from my belief that one ought never to think of just retiring in the old fashioned sense. This time of our lives is the great opportunity to take our dreams off the back burner and put them on the front burner, to truly follow our dreams, to give back to society and to find and follow our true calling, to enjoy life to the maximum, hence my mantra Re-Fire, Don't Retire.

REL: We couldn't agree more! Tell us, what makes you different from other lifestyle coaches? How would you describe you what do?

Dr. Barnett: What separates my service from other retirement planners is that I specialize in the personal, non-financial aspects of retirement such as helping my clients ignite forgotten dreams, finding their mission and purpose for a meaningful life. My clients receive proven, specific step-by-step information on exactly what they need to do to create the lives they want. As a result, those who work with me create extraordinary lives easily, effortlessly and with joy.

They learn how to:

  • Create action plans that suit their lives with the support and assistance of someone who believes in them.

  • Focus their inner passions and desires into valuable goals.

  • Convert their retirement into an enjoyable and rewarding time of change.

REL: Having one's dreams come true requires that we be clear about what our dream actually is. Taking action, focusing on the inner passion of one's life and having a support system is so important.  With the people who come to you, what do you find to be the most common fears regarding retirement?

Dr. Barnett: Most people seem to concentrate on the numbers,-- how much money they would have, etc. They neglect to take the time to figure out what they would do with their time. So they find themselves keeping busy -- sometimes just being busy to be busy -- to idle the time away. Rather, I think the focus should be on doing what they just love to do and staying focused on what they love to do. That is what I consider to be their Calling.

REL: No doubt, being motivated by what we love in our lives is such a powerful draw. That is why Billy and I travel so much. Seeing the world from different windows, from different eyes, cultures and customs make us feel ALIVE. We just don't tire of it, and we were  motivated to share our stories and photos. This is how our website was born, and then after that, our book, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement.

I know you give your seminars on cruise ships. What a FUN way to teach! What kind of people do you meet there?

Dr. Barnett: It is definitely a fun way to teach and to inspire and motivate. The people who come to these seminars are looking for ways to enhance their lives, to move to their next level. My Happiness Class is the most popular. I have learned that people want to be happy but don't realize that to be happy takes work, focus and a willingness to create space for it to happen. The tools I teach are so simple that many people ignore them, such as being grateful and living in the NOW.

REL: Extolling the benefits of being grateful and living in the NOW puts you in pretty powerful company, Cynthia! Those strong internal perceptions are life-changing, and allow the good of Life to come in.

Let me ask you. Since you are having such a good time in your new life after teaching, would you consider yourself retired? And what can you say about being productive while in retirement?

 

Dr. Barnett: Since I don't believe in the word "retire" I am definitely not retired. In fact I think the word "retire" should be retired! I am definitely living a "re-fired" life.

I feel that living a productive life is being productive by doing what you most love to do -- finding and doing what brings you joy. I have always been very focused on my intentions so for me, this second phase of productivity is at its highest level.

My newest venture is producing the Life After Teaching Expo which will take place in June, 2007. I left public education three years ago and have since found that many of my colleagues, including me, did not know of the many services and resources that the community had to offer for this second phase of life. So I created the Life After Teaching Expo to show them all the resources available under one roof in one day to help them expand their horizons. There will be vendors and speakers on various topics. It will take place at the local community college and part of the proceeds will be given to two students who want to become teachers.

REL: Cynthia, how inspiring! And how effective and generous of you! You are certainly a model for being Re-Fired. How can people get in touch with you and your services?

Dr. Barnett: People can call me at 203-855-9714 or e-mail me at doctorcynthia@refiredontretire.com

REL: Thank you, Cynthia, for taking the time to answer our questions, and for sharing your life and perspectives with us. The people whose lives you have touched must be so grateful! I know we are.

To read more interviews with Expats, Early Retirees and Interesting Characters, click here

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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