This time last year, many seniors had never heard of Zoom or made a video call. You knew about Netflix and Apple TV, but maybe you were waiting for your grandkids to set them up for you the next time they visited. You had social media accounts, but those were just for sharing family photos.
After learning how to connect, stay informed, and keep yourself entertained during the pandemic, I’ll bet your cell phone and other household technology are much less intimidating than they used to be. So, if your TV and movie queue is starting to thin out, this might be the perfect time to explore podcasts.
1. What is a podcast?
Podcasts are like prerecorded radio shows that you listen to on your phone, tablet, or computer. This media space has really exploded in the past decade to encompass everything from daily news programs to true crime serials and celebrity interviews. Whatever you’re interested in there’s probably a podcast that you’ll enjoy. And, unlike watching movies and TV on Netflix or Amazon Prime, most premium podcasts are free to listen to.
2. What do you need?
There are dozens of mobile apps that let you subscribe to shows you like and automatically download new episodes when they’re published. The easiest place to start if you have an iPhone or another Apple device is the Apple Podcasts app, which is probably already installed on your phone or tablet. Likewise, most newer Android devices come with Google Podcasts. Tap on the search bar, type in the name of a show or a topic and you’ll find a list of episodes.
Another option is to listen to podcasts on your computer through your web browser. If you do a Google search for a show you’ll probably find a webpage with a built-in media player. Just click on play and turn up your speakers or headphones. Many programs also publish shownotes along with their episodes where you can browse key topics or read transcripts of the conversations.
Finally, if you have a smart speaker with Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant built in, you can probably just ask it to play the latest episode of your favorite show.
3. What should you listen to?
To get you started, here are some (non-political!) podcasts that I recommend:
- This American Life NPR’s unique brand of journalistic storytelling is one of the most popular podcasts in the world.
- 99% Invisible Host Roman Mars discusses how design and architecture can influence our lives in ways that we often don’t notice.
- How I Built This with Guy Raz The stories behind some of the most famous companies in the world.
- Freakonomics If you liked the best-selling book you’ll enjoy this podcast from co-author Stephen J. Dubner about important socioeconomic issues.
- TED Talks Daily Every day, some of the brightest minds in the world deliver short presentations on a wide range of subjects. Recent topics include lessons for women leaders, techniques to improve your powers of persuasion, and tips on building better habits.
4. What should you REALLY listen to?
Forgive me slipping in a bit of a plug at the end here, but I really am so proud of how our Keen on Retirement podcast has grown. We’re closing in on 130 episodes covering a wide range of financial planning topics including:
Plus, if you’re just trying to master the basics of subscribing, downloading, and listening to podcasts, I can promise you that sampling my show isn’t going to get anyone’s blood boiling. Our weekly discussions are friendly, informative, and hopefully entertaining. And when we do touch on news, such as Joe Biden’s Social Security proposals or Donald Trump signing the SECURE Act in 2019, it’s only through the lens of how events and policies could affect your financial planning.
So, if you’ve never listened to a podcast before, give it a try! Click here and you’ll land on the shownotes page for my January 6th episode about planning 2021 around your values. You can listen to that episode right on the shownotes page or follow links that will let you subscribe to Keen on Retirement on popular podcast apps.
We also love to hear from our listeners! If you have a question or a topic you’d like us to tackle on a future episode, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Keen is a CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR℠ and independent financial advisor with nearly three decades of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he specializes in providing personalized retirement planning designed to help people thrive before and during their retirement years. With a passion for educating others, Bill regularly blogs about retirement planning, hosts the podcast Keen on Retirement, and has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, Yahoo Finance, and other publications. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Bill and his team work with clients throughout the greater Kansas City area and across the nation. To learn more, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.keenwealthadvisors.com.
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