Capital Investment Advisors

#13 – Volunteering For Service With Penny Martinez

Penny Martinez started saving money at six and investing at 18. Her goal was to retire early, be debt-free, and find opportunities to give back to her community. She accomplished all three and has never looked back.

Penny volunteered for service throughout her life, but retirement allows her to pursue it full-time. She reads to children in elementary schools, works in the kitchen at an emergency shelter, writes holiday cards to care facility residents, picks up trash, supports a pregnancy center, fights human trafficking, organizes blood and clothing drives, coordinates a local veterans group and community neighborhood watch, puts wreaths on veteran graves, and even dabbles in politics.

As a two-time breast cancer survivor, one could argue she’s earned the right to spend more time pampering herself. But that’s not Penny. Oh, she definitely has fun, but she insists that the true joy of life can be found in serving others.

Read The Full Transcript From This Episode

(click below to expand and read the full interview)

  • Penny Martinez [00:00:00]:
    To me, retirement was my opportunity to volunteer full time. That was my goal. And I did everything I could to afford me that opportunity. To be able to do that at a very young age again depends on how bad you want it. Because if you want it bad enough, you can get it.Ryan Doolittle [00:00:20]:
    Do you ever wonder who you’ll be and what you’ll do after your career is over? Wouldn’t it be nice to hear stories from people who figured it out who are thriving in retirement? I’m Ryan Doolittle. After working with the retire sooner team for years and researching and writing about how they structure their lifestyles, I know there’s more to be learned, so I’m going straight to the source and taking you with me. My mission with the Happiest Retirees podcast is to inspire 1 million families to find happiness in retirement. I want to learn how to live an exceptional life from people who do it every day. Let’s get started.

    Penny Martinez [00:00:59]:

    Ryan Doolittle [00:00:59]:
    Penny Martinez, thank you so much for coming on the Happiest Retirees podcast.

    Penny Martinez [00:01:03]:
    Well, thank you for asking me. I just never considered myself a worthy guest of a podcast, so this is a first for me.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:01:14]:
    Well, we are lucky to have you on all the other shows that don’t have. You are not fortunate.

    Penny Martinez [00:01:20]:
    And thanks for coming.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:01:21]:
    I know you said you’re just techie enough to be dangerous, but I think you’re doing pretty well here.

    Penny Martinez [00:01:26]:
    Yeah, well, I can follow instructions so I can read God bless America. I’ve got a college degree, so I figured that out. How to. Yeah.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:01:36]:
    Well, okay, let’s start out with the basics here. Why are you a happy retiree and why should people listen to your story?

    Penny Martinez [00:01:43]:
    Well, I was born, like I said, with a service heart, so I love giving back. I’ve always done that since I was knee high to a weed. I emulated my parents. My parents are the same way. They both had full time jobs. I remember my mom, she was working. She had raised seven children. Working, going to school, trying to get a master’s degree.

    Penny Martinez [00:02:05]:
    So they’ve done it all and they always gave back. They were brownie leaders, Boy scout leaders. They coached all our little leagues. They were heavily involved. They knew all my friends. They knew all the parents. They immersed themselves in my life, so they knew everything. But we were always giving.

    Penny Martinez [00:02:24]:
    We were always volunteering in the community. We always gave back because we were very blessed. We were all very blessed. We had a roof over our head, clothes on a car, very loving parents. And so you give back, and that was just a way of life. So I’ve continued that on. I’ve never given it up because I tell people it’s not for everybody. Most people, I get what’s in it for me? Well, I say helping your fellow man, and once you get that feeling, once you’ve seen a tangible, you’ve made a tangible difference in somebody’s life, be it very small, you’re never want to going to give that up.

    Penny Martinez [00:03:01]:
    It is amazing. So I’ve been doing this my entire life. My goal was to retire early. That was my goal and my sole purpose. And I figured that out when I was six years old.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:03:12]:
    How did you figure that out when you were six years old?

    Penny Martinez [00:03:15]:
    Well, just my folks, they were smart. They didn’t have a boatload of money. They had seven children. Oh, my God. I have six brothers. I’m the only girl.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:03:28]:

    Penny Martinez [00:03:28]:
    Most people, when they get to know me, they get to know me. Oh, now I understand why you’re the way you are. Okay, it’s boys, I get it. But my folks always, my father always stressed, pay yourself first. Pay yourself first. You’re a bill. Pay yourself first. That was drilled into all of us.

    Penny Martinez [00:03:47]:
    And so I just took it further than all my brothers did. I just decided, okay, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. So starting at six years old, that was my first job. At six, I was pulling weeds for. Yes. And she was a retired educator. She’s a retired educator. So she gave me my first job pulling weeds.

    Penny Martinez [00:04:10]:
    And so I started collecting my money from there. So that’s what I started. And I hung on to it.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:04:17]:
    Yeah, because you said you made your first investment at 18.

    Penny Martinez [00:04:21]:
    Yes, my first investment at 18 years. I started investing at 18 years old in my life, in what I was going to do. So I sat down with a retirement fidelity individual, and he’s like, looking at me like, okay. He’s looking at me like I’m from Mars. You’re not normal. You’re not normal. Well, that’s what my parents did. And they’re both depression era.

    Penny Martinez [00:04:46]:
    They didn’t have a lot. They grew up very poor, but they put themselves through school. My mom got her master’s degree. I witnessed all of this raising a family. So I saw all of this and I said, well, if I could be half like her, I would be thrilled. And that was my sole purpose. So I started investing at 18 years of age for the long term, because the women in my family live into their 90s. My mother was 90, she was 93.

    Penny Martinez [00:05:15]:
    My grandmother was 96. So all the women on my mom, we all live a long age, so I got to make sure I can have enough money to be able to plan into my 90s because I figure that’s how long I’m going to be around this planet earth.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:05:30]:
    Yeah, you’re pretty much. You’re still a puppy. You still have tons of time, right?

    Penny Martinez [00:05:37]:
    I’ll turn 63 next month on the fifth. So I turned 63 and I retired. My father retired when he was 55, and my goal was to retire before him.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:05:49]:
    And you retired at 45.

    Penny Martinez [00:05:51]:
    I retired at 45 years old, yeah.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:05:53]:
    Oh, my gosh. That’s just so impressive that you were able to do that.

    Penny Martinez [00:05:56]:
    Well, I went without, like I told you in my questions, I lit without. I didn’t keep up with the Joneses. A lot of my friends were traveling all over Europe and doing all those big, extravagant things, which is great. I don’t hold it against them. I think that’s super. But, see, I’m low maintenance, and my goal was to retire at 45. So I can still travel. I can still do those things.

    Penny Martinez [00:06:19]:
    I’m still able bodied, and I can still pay my bills. And plus, I’m debt free. I don’t owe any other my incidentals. I’m debt free. So I own my house, I own my cars.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:06:31]:
    You might need to also be on our other podcast that gets more into the finances, because you seem to have it down.

    Penny Martinez [00:06:38]:
    Yeah, well, like I said, it’s just a low risk long term. I knew when I was going to retire at 45, when I started 18. Look, I didn’t have any bills. I went to college on scholarships, basketball scholarships.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:06:52]:
    Oh, I didn’t know that. A basketball scholarship?

    Penny Martinez [00:06:54]:
    Yeah, I went to the University of Idaho. I was a vandal, so, actually, I was a, you know, Tara Vandever. She now coaches at Stanford. That was her first coaching job when she graduated from Indiana.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:07:10]:

    Penny Martinez [00:07:10]:
    So she was my college coach for two years before. Then she left to Ohio. Then she went to Ohio.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:07:16]:
    Were you rivals with Boise State?

    Penny Martinez [00:07:19]:
    Oh, yeah. We used to beat the Tara out of them all. The had a. Tara was smart. Tara was. And that’s another thing. She was real smart. So it was her first coaching job.

    Penny Martinez [00:07:30]:
    So she went out and recruited community college kids. I was a freshman. There was a few of us, but most of them were community college because, hey, she wanted to build a program really quick. Not a bunch of youngsters like me that didn’t know anything about college or going to college. So she recruited a bunch of two year community college recruits, and, yeah, we were quite the powerhouse. And that was before I’m dating myself. That was before the three point shot. We used a regular basketball.

    Penny Martinez [00:07:58]:
    Now it’s smaller in one inch circumference. And we weren’t the NCAA. We were the AIaw. Oh, okay.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:08:05]:
    Oh, I didn’t know that.

    Penny Martinez [00:08:06]:
    Okay. Yeah. So at least we didn’t wear skirts, so it’s not like my. Yeah, she played basketball. It was just that they had an offensive team and a defensive team, and either team passed a half court, so I like, nothing like that. But my mom was kind of a pseudo. She was a high jumper, too. So was I.

    Penny Martinez [00:08:22]:
    But she did the scissor kick in her difference, she did the scissor kick into sawdust, where I did the. What is it, the Fosbury flop? So you’re flipping yourself over backwards.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:08:36]:
    Oh, that’s the standard way they do it now, right?

    Penny Martinez [00:08:39]:
    That’s the way they do it. You know, I look back when you gave me these questions. I look back on my life, and I have to pinch myself, Ryan, because I am extremely blessed. Extremely blessed. And so that’s the other reason why I give back, because, quite frankly, none of it’s ours. As we all know, none of it’s ours. If my lord and savior came here and said, penny, I want you to give it all up. Okay.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:09:02]:
    Yeah. And that attitude is so fantastic, though not everyone has that attitude.

    Penny Martinez [00:09:08]:
    Well, it took me a while to get this attitude. I didn’t initially have it. My mother was a Christian. My father was an atheist. Oh, okay. So it was a really interesting household. So he was really super smart. He’s a mathematician.

    Penny Martinez [00:09:23]:
    My mom was English major, but like I said, she taught special education, so she had the patience of job, which fit perfectly into our brood, that she had to be patient with all of us, a diverse group of human beings.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:09:39]:
    With six boys and one girl. All right.

    Penny Martinez [00:09:44]:
    She said I was harder to raise than them. Really interesting. Yeah. Which is really interesting because I didn’t really cause any problems, but I questioned a lot of things, so they couldn’t just say, I told you so. They actually had to give me an explanation. I might not have agreed with it, like most teenagers do not, but I respected it, so they respected me. I respected them, and I went along with it. So it is what it is.

    Penny Martinez [00:10:07]:
    So I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 18. None of us could get our driver’s license until we were 18 years of age. And then once we had that, if you wanted a car, you’re on your own. Buy your own insurance, buy your own car. I’m not paying for nothing. So that’s what depression areas. So they didn’t get anything. They worked for everything.

    Penny Martinez [00:10:26]:
    If you want it, you’re going to have to go get it. So this is what I tell everybody. This is the story of my family. When you turned 18 and you graduated from high school, that was the day I left home. That was it. That was the day. So you were taught that you have to stand on your own 2ft. You were taught you have to make your own way, because that was it.

    Penny Martinez [00:10:45]:
    You’re gone. So when I got home on my graduation day, I had my blue Samsonite suitcase, which I still have to this day. They had the one ads on top, the one ads on top and they broke my dinner plate and they said, good luck. But I knew that they broke it.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:11:01]:
    Saying, you can’t come back.

    Penny Martinez [00:11:02]:
    Well, that was the whole thing. You’re on your way. I’ve given you wings. I’ve taught you right from wrong, so I’ve given you wings. Have a nice life. Now, of course I came home, but I was always a visitor. That was it. But that was taught.

    Penny Martinez [00:11:19]:
    As soon as I could roll over and understand, you knew this was coming. And plus, I witnessed it in front of all my brothers. So I had examples of what was going to occur. So given that all of that, I wanted to make sure that I could stand on my own 2ft, make mistakes, understand that, pick myself back up and continue on without just freaking out. Because my father always, when I’d come to ask him a question about anything, he said, what have you done for coming to me now? Yes. That used to frustrate the heck out of me because I said, can’t you just give me the answer? Just give me the answer. No, honey, what if I wasn’t here? What would you do? So you got to think outside the box. So they taught me all that kind of stuff before.

    Penny Martinez [00:12:07]:
    Now it’s a big deal. Oh, yeah, teach outside the box. Well, I was raised that way. Yeah, no, so I was taught that. That’s how I started and I just emulated them. I watched what my parents did and they were successful and everything, so I just went, well, this works. But I watched my brothers, they made mistakes. I said, well, I’m not going down that path, I’m just going to go in the opposite direction.

    Penny Martinez [00:12:32]:
    So I was blessed with having. They made all these mistakes up right in front of me, so I didn’t have to do the same thing. So it was really kind of great. And I thank my brothers every single day.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:12:44]:
    Thanks for making so many mistakes, brothers.

    Penny Martinez [00:12:47]:
    Exactly. And you’re going to. You’re going to make mistakes, but we are taught how to get out of those and not to do it again. So filling out your questions, it’s amazing how blessed I am. Amazing.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:13:04]:
    Well, I’m glad we could help you see it. Yeah.

    Penny Martinez [00:13:11]:

    Ryan Doolittle [00:13:11]:
    So as far as your commitment to volunteering, it’s so interesting because we do a lot of research around happy retirees, and volunteering is always at the top of the list for what happy retirees like to do. So you’re right on track with that. I mean, not that you needed money.

    Penny Martinez [00:13:28]:
    It’s common sense. I mean, it’s fun to give back and you can actually see the differences. And it’s fun to give people hope because a lot of people. Look, I’m a cancer survivor. I’ve survived breast cancer twice. So I figured, hey, the Lord twice has. Twice. Yeah.

    Penny Martinez [00:13:44]:
    Once I was in my 30s. It’s a genetic. It’s genetic. My grandmother had it, my mother had it, but they were all in their late sixty s. I started out in my 30s, but I think that’s part of it because it was a stress related, because I was such a driver, there was no slowing me down because I have goals. I’ve always been goal oriented. I’ve been taught to be goal oriented. I still am goal oriented.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:14:10]:

    Penny Martinez [00:14:11]:
    So I think a lot of that had to do with putting so much pressure on myself to meet or exceed my goals that my immune system or whatever triggered it quickly than my parents. And plus the different stresses, it’s just the world is completely different. I had to learn to strengthen my coping skills.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:14:33]:
    Oh, I bet. Yes. And that’s like going to the gym, but for emotions, right? That’s like learning an actual skill.

    Penny Martinez [00:14:41]:
    Right. So I had to readjust myself and slow down, reevaluate what I was doing, try to find maybe smarter ways of what I was doing versus putting so much pressure on myself. So I had to back off. But that’s the good lord talking to you. It was a God thing. And then, of course, like any human being, you revert back. He started doing it again. And then it hit me again in my 50s.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:15:10]:
    Because you had gotten more.

    Penny Martinez [00:15:12]:
    Well, yeah. So I got back into that again. I told you in my notes why I retired at 45, because I went to a trip to Italy with my mom for her 80th birthday. Came back being pulled like Gumby. That’s what I felt like, gumby. And I said, no, I cannot do this. This is not worth it. So, time to go.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:15:41]:

    Penny Martinez [00:15:41]:
    That’s when I cut the apron strings. And I love my job.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:15:44]:
    That was when you worked at Stanford University.

    Penny Martinez [00:15:47]:
    I was the administrative services manager. So what I did is I supervised all know finance, student services facilities, the labs. So I supervised all the management level of those different departments. And plus, of course, we had 26 faculty. And then you have postdocs and grad students, so I was over all of that. And actually, I loved being around really smart people and these people, but they gave me a little levity because they were so super smart, which they are off the charts brilliant people doing some amazing research, but they have no common sense whatsoever. I could tell you all sorts of stories with Stanford faculty, brilliant people, but. Wow.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:16:34]:
    Well, because you like being around smart people so much, I want to thank you for also deciding to be around, know, the opposite of for slumming it here with me. But it’s funny because I worked around some geniuses at a job that I had, and it’s exactly like what you said. They were amazingly smart, but they couldn’t figure out how to make a pot of coffee.

    Penny Martinez [00:16:56]:
    It was just change a light bulb, change a battery. Right.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:16:59]:
    Yeah. It’s like their brain was all used up on the genius parts. They couldn’t do the other stuff.

    Penny Martinez [00:17:06]:
    Yeah. So that was a little levity I got from my job that brought me home. I helped them with their checkbooks. The basic stuff were not taught these kids, because, again, they’re bright. They’re incredibly bright. But they didn’t know how to change oil, they didn’t know how to change a car. I had to show them ATM machines. I mean, they didn’t know how to do checkbooks.

    Penny Martinez [00:17:27]:
    It’s just all this basic stuff that I took for granted because I was taught that at a very young age, I knew how to do a checkbook, and they had no clue whatsoever, all those survival skills. I started just interjecting myself and helping them out. So it was fun.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:17:50]:
    That is great. As far as the volunteering, do you want to talk about some of the specific ways you do it now?

    Penny Martinez [00:17:57]:
    Well, like I said when I first. Okay, so I told my husband I want to leave because, like, ok, where do you want to go? Because he’s a California boy, so we’re not leaving. Mean. Okay, I’m not leaving. Do anything you want, Penny, but we’re not leaving. Brother in law and my brother in law and sister in law, they were moving up from San Diego. They’re getting ready to retire, moving closer to us. In the Bay area.

    Penny Martinez [00:18:16]:
    And so they found Bakersfield. They found the Dell web here in Bakersfield. And I said, oh, okay, great. So, hey, why don’t you come on down and take a look? Well, okay. I fell in love with this area. Then I started doing research on Bakersfield in 2006. It was the fastest growing city in California at that time, and I’m a total volunteer, and they had the largest volunteer organization in the nation.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:18:38]:
    Oh, my gosh.

    Penny Martinez [00:18:39]:
    I’m like, okay, this is the place where I want to go. So it was stuck into my head that that was before we even moved away. That was stuck in my head. And I thought, well, that would be a fun place. And it is centrally located. It’s near the mountains. If you want to go to LA, it’s really close. You want to go to the coast, it’s really close.

    Penny Martinez [00:18:55]:
    Well, holy cow, that’s great. So I didn’t look at the negatives. I said to tell people, hey, I’m thinking about going to Bakersfield. Oh, no. Bakersfield is the armpit of California. I’m like, what? So you’re blaming it on our what? It’s not our fault that we happen to be in a valley, in a bowl. It’s LA. And all the other people going through and sludge and all that kind of has.

    Penny Martinez [00:19:19]:
    But the people. Now, I’ve lived in a lot of places. It’s the people here that. I’ve got more friends here, Ryan, than I’ve ever had in my entire life. And I mean, friends, if something happened to my husband or me, they’d be there immediately. And they put up with my idiosyncrasies, those people that know my quirks, that tolerate me. And so I always live by Leah Coca’s deal. If you have five close friends that put up with your idiosyncrasies, that know all your faults and love you anyway and would be there for you, consider yourself a very lucky person.

    Penny Martinez [00:19:57]:
    So I consider myself. I have really true friends here. Then. A thick or thin, if I had to make a call, they would be here. That’s amazing.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:20:06]:
    And you met them. I mean, that was not like childhood was. Those were people you met later in life and instantly had that kind.

    Penny Martinez [00:20:14]:
    Yeah. Well, it’s great.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:20:17]:
    We should send that clip over to the Bakersfield chamber of Commerce, because you’re really making it sound like an amazing spot.

    Penny Martinez [00:20:24]:
    I love the people here, not just in my community, but just in Bakersfield and Kern county as a whole. As you know, I’m a veteran, so I’m heavily I got involved in a little stuff. I volunteered in my hoa. I live in a homeowners association, so I volunteered on committees because, look, I’m 45 years old. People got to get used to me.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:20:45]:
    Right. You have more energy than them.

    Penny Martinez [00:20:48]:
    Exactly. Well, yeah. The average age here is 76. So I was 45 years old, and my mother always told me, do you understand what you’ve moved yourself into? Do you understand? I said, mom, they’re 55 and above. They have their act together because it’s.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:21:01]:
    A senior living community.

    Penny Martinez [00:21:03]:
    Right, exactly. 55 and older. One person has to be 55. So the only way for people to get used to me is I got to get involved. So I was able to get on different committees, our design review committee, or we had a safety and security committee, a social committee. I planned events. I started to immerse myself again. I actually ran for the board.

    Penny Martinez [00:21:24]:
    Oh, okay. That was crazy.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:21:27]:
    I ran for pretty intense, right?

    Penny Martinez [00:21:30]:
    Yeah. Well, see, my time, I figure my time is very valuable. It’s very valuable. Once I give it, I could never get it back. So I’m very careful of how I give my time and my energy and my skills because I can never get it back. And so I really, truly wanted to make a difference. Well, I came on the board right before the pandemic hit came on in March of 2020. Boom, the pandemic hit.

    Penny Martinez [00:21:55]:
    So we had a new general manager, a brand new board, and now we were dealing with a pandemic. The perfect storm. It was nuts. So, unfortunately, things didn’t pan out. Okay. And I decided to. No, I’m not running again. I’m moving on.

    Penny Martinez [00:22:16]:
    So I get outside the compound. I’m outside the compound. Outside the walls. Yes. Where I feel I can make a difference. So a woman here that lives at one of my neighbors, good friends, got me involved with the Bakersfield Republican women.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:22:32]:

    Penny Martinez [00:22:32]:
    And so I got involved in that. And I’m the caring for America chair. So what that means is I reach out to nonprofits. I tell them who I am, and most of the time when I say Republican, everybody’s leaning back with their arms crossed, legs crossed. And I said, that’s ok. That’s okay. I will just prove to you that there is a group of women that all live here, that all care. And so I said, how can we help you? So that’s what I do.

    Penny Martinez [00:22:57]:
    I reach out to nonprofits and I say, how can we help you with your mission?

    Ryan Doolittle [00:23:02]:

    Penny Martinez [00:23:02]:
    So I’m involved in a plethora of things through that.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:23:06]:
    I would think that when people come at it from that attitude, really, the preconceived notions of whatever political party you are start to melt away. And people just realize it took a while.

    Penny Martinez [00:23:18]:
    Yeah, it took a while. It took two years. It took two years of action. And I understand it because you’re bombarded by a perceived notion of who we are. Supposedly. I’m supposed to be really super rich. Of course, I’m white, but I can’t do anything about that. I’m supposed to be selfish.

    Penny Martinez [00:23:37]:
    So I didn’t say anything. I let our actions speak for themselves, and it was all action. You tell me what you need, I’ll get it for you.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:23:48]:
    Right. Well, that’s what we do. That seems like a smart. I mean, if someone sees you picking up trash, it’s hard for them to say, who’s that selfish person over know?

    Penny Martinez [00:23:56]:
    Yeah. So we adopted the street. We adopted Cottonwood. Okay. Everybody deserves, right? So we. I went to the city of Bakersfield, keep Bakersfield beautiful. I said, hey, I want to adopt a street. She goes, where do you want to adopt it? I said, well, I want it within the city limits.

    Penny Martinez [00:24:12]:
    Why don’t you give me district five? District five is like a low income whatever. And I said, well, I’ll go there because everybody deserves to live on a clean street. I don’t care who you are, how you live, what you do for a living. I don’t care. So we adopted from East Coma Linda to East White Lane. That whole.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:24:32]:
    That’s a big area.

    Penny Martinez [00:24:34]:
    Yeah. So we go out there and we pick up trash. But usually we get people waving hands. Some people, I get people pulling over, hey, what group are you from? What do you do? And I said, well, we’re the bakers for republican women. And they’re like, you have that initial shock, and then they’re like, well, cool. Good for you. And I said, well, hey, just because I’m a member of that reaction, it is great. It’s classical.

    Penny Martinez [00:24:59]:
    We always get thumbs up. We get people honking horns. We get people pulling over, saying, thank you. But, yes, this is what I always say. If people just gave 1 hour a week, everybody, what an amazing world we’d live in.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:25:13]:
    Amazing world, right?

    Penny Martinez [00:25:14]:
    Yeah, just 1 hour. Yeah, an amazing world.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:25:18]:
    You don’t have to try to change the world every single day. Just do your part, right?

    Penny Martinez [00:25:25]:
    Yeah, 1 hour.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:25:26]:
    And speaking of, you also support, I think, the human trafficking.

    Penny Martinez [00:25:31]:
    I go down there, right? Human trafficking. I do a lot of human trafficking. I got involved. The previous president of our bakers for republican women, she goes, Penny, I want to do with something with human trafficking. Okay. So I just took off and ran with it. So we hooked up. Oh, yeah, we hooked up with all the nonprofits, all the nonprofits that deal with human trafficking.

    Penny Martinez [00:25:52]:
    So we’ve supported all of their programs at different events that they do. We all show up. We’re doing donation drives. We’re doing everything that we can to shed the light on. It is amazing how bad this didn’t real. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize how bad it was until I sat down with Cynthia Zimmer, our district attorney, and let her explain it to me and her task force. I was appalled. I went from being just really super angry to wanting to throw up in a trash can.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:26:21]:
    Oh, yeah. How prevalent it is.

    Penny Martinez [00:26:25]:
    Yes. We are a hub. California is really number one in the nation. California is number one in the.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:26:35]:
    I’m. I’m so off on this, but I at least had the opinion that. Oh, that human trafficking is probably not. That’s something that happens in other countries, but it happens a lot here, right?

    Penny Martinez [00:26:46]:
    Oh, United States is number one. Yeah, it’s huge. California, like I said, california is number one. We’ve probably got the most calls to the hotline coming out of Kern county. The Union avenue is known as the blade.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:26:59]:
    The blade.

    Penny Martinez [00:27:00]:
    That’s where all the. As they call it. That’s the slang because I work with a couple of women who are survivors. So they both have nonprofits, so we support them. One is empowerment, the Des Perkins foundation. She is a counselor at a local high school. She works with at risk high school students, trying to save them from going in that direction. So she has her own foundation.

    Penny Martinez [00:27:24]:
    The other one is Angelika Zuniga and her husband julian. They have redeemed home, and so she helps survivors that are 18 and older. Okay. So, yeah, it’s huge here. It’s horrible. So I could say. They say your kids are one click away.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:27:44]:
    Oh, my God. You don’t know what your kids are.

    Penny Martinez [00:27:46]:
    Doing on the Internet. Yes. You think you’re talking to another 13 year old or 14 year old, but it happens to be a 40 year old man.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:27:53]:
    Yeah, it’s huge. If someone wanted to help with what you do, I mean, even if they don’t live in Bakersfield, is there some website they can go to to give or anything like that?

    Penny Martinez [00:28:04]:
    Sure. I mean, you could start out just at a national human trafficking there, and then you could get down to the community level, and you could find. There’s Jameson house. I mean, the mission opendoor network. I could go on and on and on and on. And they need tons of help because they house these folks. They try to house them and educate them and try to get them back to productive. And it’s not a quick fix.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:28:32]:

    Penny Martinez [00:28:33]:
    So just picture. I can’t even imagine. It’s really hard for me to fathom. But the two young women that I spoke about, they were trafficked by their own mothers. It’s usually somebody traffic. You’re trafficked by somebody, you know, that’s usually what happens when they are then survived and got off the streets and stuff and help. It’s not a quick fix. They have heavy duty drama.

    Penny Martinez [00:28:58]:
    The other organization that I work with a lot is called the Daughters Project. And they’re with the Global Family Care Network. And their local here is called the Daughters Project. And so those are children. Those are young ladies under the age of 17.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:29:14]:

    Penny Martinez [00:29:14]:
    Or 17 and younger.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:29:17]:
    Yeah. But I would think it’s a long process because even if you were able to get them out physically, there’s a whole lot of emotional baggage that needs to be. They need to heal.

    Penny Martinez [00:29:28]:
    It’s years. The two young women I talked about, they still struggle with it. They’ll deal with it for the rest of their. But so then what we do is just simple acts of kindness. Simple acts of kindness. We help at risk kids. Some of these kids don’t have never gone to great America or any amusement park or a beach or anything like that. So those are the kind of things that we participate, they put together event, and then we help them get to that event.

    Penny Martinez [00:29:54]:
    So we offer our resources, money, donations, food, clothing. We went over to the daughter’s project and we made Christmas ornaments.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:30:05]:
    Oh, is that the wreath?

    Penny Martinez [00:30:06]:
    What did you call that?

    Ryan Doolittle [00:30:07]:
    Wreaths across America?

    Penny Martinez [00:30:08]:
    No, that’s a different thing. That’s a vet thing. That’s a completely different deal.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:30:14]:

    Penny Martinez [00:30:14]:
    So we do simple stuff like that. We come over and we asked them for their gifts, what kind of things they’d like for Christmas. And so we got Christmas gifts, just simple acts of kindness, things that are really simple to do now as a segue. Not even a segue. But my other thing is, I’m a United States Air force veteran. Okay. And so since I’ve lived here, I’ve always participated in wreaths across America, which is nationwide. It started in Maine.

    Penny Martinez [00:30:43]:
    It’s nationwide. But we have our own Bakersfield national cemetery here. I will be buried there when the good Lord takes me home.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:30:51]:
    Hopefully not for a long time, but.

    Penny Martinez [00:30:53]:
    Hopefully not for a long time. Right. I hope I get into my 90s, maybe beat out my grandma and stuff. That’d be cool. As long as I’m able bodied and function, she’ll show her right? So, Reese, across America is a program where we have 7000 plus grave markers, honorable women who have served their country honorably, that we wanted to make sure that they are constantly honored. We teach the young people about what freedom is all about. It’s not free. People died for it.

    Penny Martinez [00:31:22]:
    So you can do what all the things that you hold dear, going to church, going to school, having First Amendment rights, second amendment rights, all those things in the Constitution. There’s somebody that fought for those. So you can have those. So that’s another thing we got involved with. It started out with the Bakersfield republican women being one of 16 sponsorship groups. So we’ve got organizations, we got corporations, we got democratic women of Kern are involved. We got the civil air patrol, we got the Bakersfield Police Department. So there’s several organizations that became sponsorship groups.

    Penny Martinez [00:32:00]:
    But what we found out was we have a location coordinator at that time was not responsive. And so then he left to San Francisco, and then we took over as location coordinators in October of this year. So we were successful in getting the total purposes is to have a wreath on every single grave marker out there. And what was really cool for this year is we have jewish. Our jewish brothers and sisters in arms are also buried out there. We wanted to honor them. We wanted to honor them. So we got permission from Washington, DC.

    Penny Martinez [00:32:39]:
    The cemetery’s administration department gave us permission to put menorahs on our jewish brothers and sisters in arms. How cool. And that’s the first of its kind in the western United States. So what we’re trying to do is present what we’ve done to our region four, which handles our section of the United States, for research cost America. We’re trying to let them know, hey, this is what we’ve done, and we should spread it across the United States. Everybody should be doing this honoring all of our veterans, regardless of their religion.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:33:15]:
    There needs to be a Penny Martinez volunteering school where you teach. Because if more people could do all this, you’re right, the world would just be really cooking.

    Penny Martinez [00:33:27]:
    Yeah, you just find what drives you. You just find what drives you, what gets you out of bed, what excites you, where you can use your skill sets that you hone throughout your adult life and your career. And then you give those giving back. It’s not just monetary. You got a mind above your shoulders. Continue to use it, because otherwise it’ll just turn to mush. So you’re learning something new. Every day.

    Penny Martinez [00:33:52]:
    I’m meeting some absolutely amazing people here in Kern county. Just phenomenal people thinking of others before they think of themselves. I call them doers. You hear that term all the time. Doers. Well, I love being in a room full of doers.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:34:10]:
    Yeah, I like doers on the rock.

    Penny Martinez [00:34:13]:
    Yeah, well, that, too. Yes. But I don’t know. It gives me joy. So every day I’m doing something, making phone calls or just simple stuff. It doesn’t have to be something really big. And I do dabble in politics a little bit, and it’s not my favorite thing. It is definitely not my favorite thing to do.

    Penny Martinez [00:34:35]:
    But it’s important because you got to be informed. You got to be informed. You can’t just stick your head in the sand and not be involved. So you got to be involved to a certain extent and understand who you’re voting for and why you’re voting for it. I dabble a little bit. It’s not my big thing, but it’s my weakness.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:34:54]:
    People forget that there is a part of politics that’s actually useful. It’s not all just the, yes, there’s politics. There’s standard protocol, whatever. Not that I’m an expert, but yeah. And what I like about the way you talk about everything, there’s no ego in any of this. I mean, if someone thinks one way about you, you don’t get offended, you just change their mind. And then it’s just very impressive that the way you handle all this.

    Penny Martinez [00:35:21]:
    Well, again, thank God for my parents. I thank God for them every single day. There’s not a day that doesn’t go by that I thank God for my parents every single day because I am who I am today because of God and because of the parents that he gave me. That’s it. It’s pretty simple. And I thank God for them every single day. Every day.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:35:45]:
    It’s just beautiful. All the people you’re helping now, they want to thank your parents, too, for bringing you into the world and everything you’re doing. How would you say these? So we consider core pursuits sort of like hobbies on steroids, type of things you’re really passionate about. And volunteering seems like the top of your list. You could tell me some other ones you might do, too. But how have these made you happier in your life or in your retirement or life? Everything.

    Penny Martinez [00:36:15]:
    Well, I wrote a couple of things. Why did I pick them? Because there’s things that’s on my, if you could see in my wall, my mom when I was growing up, my mom was the eternal optimist. Now, as a teenager, it used to drive me crazy. And any normal teenager growing up, she put affirmations in my lunch bag. She have affirmations in my lunch bag, affirmations in my underwear drawer. There wasn’t any place that I would not go with my mom would be putting positive affirmations everywhere. It doesn’t matter what I was doing.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:36:50]:
    Was it like a kitten hanging off the ledge and it said, hanging there?

    Penny Martinez [00:36:54]:

    Ryan Doolittle [00:36:55]:

    Penny Martinez [00:36:56]:
    She was not a glass half full. She was the eternal optimist.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:37:00]:

    Penny Martinez [00:37:01]:
    She always looked at the positive side of everything. And when those hormones kick in at 15, you’re stupid, and you haven’t quite grasped that concept. She’s always smiling. No matter what happened, she would look at the positive side of something and it rubs off on you. It just does. So that’s how I look at stuff. But it’s also, like I said, I wrote the greek philosopher, so I have these big signs in my office. So the Aristotle once said that the essence of life is to serve others and do good.

    Penny Martinez [00:37:34]:
    I’m not a goody two shoes because I do make mistakes. And sometimes I put my foot in my mouth, I do. But I live by that. I’ve lived by that. And I told you, I wrote a scripture, acts 2035. In all things, I have shown you that thy working hard this way, we must help the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Now, my parents, my mother beat on that constantly.

    Penny Martinez [00:38:05]:
    Said that through my entire life, up until the day she died. So that’s what I live by. And that’s what brings me joy. I love helping people. I love giving out hugs. I love giving out words of encouragement. And I love seeing young people succeed in their dreams and their goals up against an amazing amount of adversity. And they were able to overcome through a village of people supporting them, and they were able to overcome it.

    Penny Martinez [00:38:32]:
    And then what the cool thing is, then you see them in adulthood paying it forward, and then it’s just a circle.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:38:41]:
    You see a lot of that. Maybe people you’ve helped, you see them helping others.

    Penny Martinez [00:38:46]:
    Yes. It’s amazing how cool. It’s the coolest thing ever. It’s the coolest thing ever. And it just keeps paying. It’s like a ripple. It just keeps going and going and going and going. And then I bring other people.

    Penny Martinez [00:38:58]:
    I have people around here saying, I’m bored. Oh, no. Okay, come with me. Come with me. Come with me. And so I’ve got people now that are working, volunteering full time at the mission. Once I hook them up with one thing, then it’s just grew. So we have a lot of that at the Bakersfield pregnancy center is the same way.

    Penny Martinez [00:39:16]:
    So we do every October we host a baby shower. And that is just amazing. That is amazing because you know what? Some of the things we got to get rid of is stigmas. Yeah, we do a lot of things with domestic. You think people that go to the Bakersfield pregnancy center, yes, they made a mistake. Yes, they have a pregnancy, but hey, we decided to keep it. Thank God they don’t change their minds. So we do a lot of stuff like that.

    Penny Martinez [00:39:46]:
    So you try to help people, you try to support those people. They decide to keep their child because they made a mistake at oops. And instead of just beating them over the head and being negative, well, let’s be positive and let’s do some things that are positive. So we brought a bunch of people into that. So they’re volunteering because you find what drives you, you find what drives you, and then you decide to. So we do that. And we also do the baby bottle thing. We try to raise a bunch of money.

    Penny Martinez [00:40:12]:
    Everybody stuffs dollars, loose dollars or change or whatever into a baby bottle because they go for grants. They don’t get any federal estate. Nobody’s going to give the Bakersfield pregnancy center any federal or state money. It comes from all donations. Yeah, no, that’s never going to happen.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:40:30]:
    Is that because of the stigma?

    Penny Martinez [00:40:32]:
    Sure. I could have the federal government, they want to allow abortions and Bakersfield pregnancy. They’ll tell you where to go if that’s what you decide, but that’s not what their role is. Their role is to save lives.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:40:44]:
    Okay, got you.

    Penny Martinez [00:40:45]:
    That’s what their role is. So they go for grants and stuff like that, but most of it’s just like kind of local stuff or from a corporation or things like that. But most of it, their big fundraiser is coming up, I think, on the 20th of this month. And so they have a big fundraiser. It’s all volunteerism and it’s just love from the hood. I call it the hood or whatever. The Kern county. This is probably one of the most loving giving.

    Penny Martinez [00:41:09]:
    That’s another thing, Ryan. I’ve lived in a lot of places, and this is probably the most loving and giving community I’ve ever lived in. And they get a bad rap, one, because of the weather, and two, maybe they’re not the most educated people but I tell you that people here will literally give you the shirt off their back. That’s what I’ve run into. All the people that I’ve run into, been involved with, come across. They’re all loving, kind, and just willing to do. I’ll help you in any way I can. And I love this place.

    Penny Martinez [00:41:42]:
    I love Bakersfield. I don’t care if they’re all its warts. I love this. Really.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:41:47]:
    It makes me so happy to hear that.

    Penny Martinez [00:41:49]:
    I love Bakersfield. I love the people, and I love the culture, and I love the music, love the food. We got some great more restaurants that are coming in, and the need is huge here, Ryan. The need is huge. We got a lot of people in crisis mode, and so we just need everybody to give us 1 hour a week. That’s all we’re asking. 1 hour. And you will have an amazing city to live.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:42:13]:

    Penny Martinez [00:42:13]:
    1 hour.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:42:14]:

    Penny Martinez [00:42:14]:
    Find something that excites you, something that you will give your time and your efforts, and I’m telling you, I’m telling people all the time, once you get that bug, you’ll never let it go.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:42:25]:

    Penny Martinez [00:42:26]:

    Ryan Doolittle [00:42:26]:
    Penny, what does a perfect day look like for you? I mean, I’m imagining at least the 1 hour of volunteering.

    Penny Martinez [00:42:33]:
    Yeah. Well, so I start off all my day, my perfect day. I start out, my husband and I go and work out at our community fitness center.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:42:41]:

    Penny Martinez [00:42:42]:
    Then we come home. Then we come home. And we always share breakfast all the time. We always sit at the table, and that’s very important. Share. And we read through the paper, we talk about current events, and then we talk about what’s on our schedule, what are we doing today? And I like doing things with my husband. I’m usually the fanatic, but Jim is 17 years older than I am, and he is right now kind of struggling through some health issues. So that is the difficult piece right now that we’re going through.

    Penny Martinez [00:43:11]:
    So he’s going to probably have to have some surgeries and stuff. As you age, things start to wear out, so that’s where he is in his life. So. Right. I am like the support function, but that’s where we talk all the time. I always find that nobody, we communicate all the time. I’m a talker. Everybody knows what’s going on.

    Penny Martinez [00:43:31]:
    Everybody knows where I stand. So that’s my perfect day. So we are always then heading out to activity or whatever we’re doing, but we have a lot of things around the house. We live on a third of an acre, so a week, I could be outside gardening, we have a lot of honeydew things around the house that I do. My husband says I’m perpetual motion. That I wear my clothes out from the inside out. Constantly moving.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:43:58]:
    It sounds like he’s right.

    Penny Martinez [00:44:00]:
    Yeah, it’s constantly moving, but it is pure joy. I know sometimes it sounds really kind of corny, but it just is. Yeah, I have a smile on my face all the time. I’m just having a really good time and enjoying my life. Yeah, it’s just fun.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:44:19]:
    And on that third acre you have. I know you’re pretty famous for having Christmas decorations like all over every year.

    Penny Martinez [00:44:26]:
    Yeah, my parents made all the holidays really special. That was my mom’s tremendous gift and I think she was so good at it. I think. I didn’t figure out Santa Claus was not really real until I was ten years old. Because he’s not real. Well, I believe in him. I believe in him. I totally believe in him.

    Penny Martinez [00:44:45]:
    I believe in everything that all the love and the kindness and the goodness and the sharing and stuff, like the absolute. But my parents did a fantastic job, so that’s always been really important to me. I love Christmas. If you walk into my house, it looks like we can’t decorate here on our hoa until the weekend after Thanksgiving. But everything’s ready to go. So we’re out there decorating. All takes us about, I don’t know, about maybe a week to get everything up. And then in my house I do all my stuff kind of before Thanksgiving, so it’s all Christmassy.

    Penny Martinez [00:45:24]:
    If I could keep it up all year round, I would. But my husband, no, he won’t let me. I love the holidays. Now if people could just take that act of kindness and that giving and just thread it the rest of the 364 days again, we would live in an amazing world.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:45:40]:
    We really just.

    Penny Martinez [00:45:41]:
    Yeah, I don’t know if. Just don’t fear what you don’t understand. Just educate yourself. That’s all you have to do.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:45:47]:
    That is a huge piece of advice that I hope everyone, including me, can take to heart.

    Penny Martinez [00:45:52]:
    Yeah. And you’re going to make mistakes. That little judgment thing is going to kick into your head. But if you realize it, like I have surround sound, I have the Lord talking to me. I swear, talking to me. He’s putting people in front of me every single day. It is just amazing. And if you just get rid of that judgment piece there in the grace of God go you and just put that away.

    Penny Martinez [00:46:12]:
    And it’s an amazing thing. The world will really open up to people if they just do that. What you don’t understand, just educate yourself about it and not immediately fear it, because you’re beat up with fear all the time, 24/7 it’s everywhere. Everywhere you go. It’s on the news, it’s on the radio, it’s in the newspaper, it’s in magazine. It’s constant bombardment. And you have to really fight hard against that and just educate yourself.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:46:43]:
    We’re almost hardwired to fear because probably our ancestors needed it to survive the lion that was attacking or something. Right. So you have to fight against it. You have to take the time to not go that route.

    Penny Martinez [00:46:57]:
    Yeah, that’s right. You’ll be better for it if you do.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:47:00]:

    Penny Martinez [00:47:02]:

    Ryan Doolittle [00:47:02]:
    It sounds like you have God’s voice, like on Dolby digital surround going through your head. So you’re really right.

    Penny Martinez [00:47:10]:
    I moved here in 2006. I was saved in 2009, and my word.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:47:15]:
    Oh, that happened after you got to Bakersfield.

    Penny Martinez [00:47:19]:
    Okay. I always believed in God. I always did. But I wasn’t really connected with him. But thankfully, he’s patient and he’s kind and he’s forgiving, and I thank God for that every day, too. So, no, I was baptized when I was nine. I did that upon myself. But as a child, my mom was the religious one.

    Penny Martinez [00:47:46]:
    She’s the one that believed in God and stuff. So we went to Sunday school, she took us to church. But what got me going in my teenage years is your brain’s muddled anyway. You see people on Sunday one way, and then you see them the rest of the week. Something completely different and not really getting it, not really understanding. That’s not God’s fault, that’s their fault. It has nothing to do with him, how they’re acting. But then you acquaint it.

    Penny Martinez [00:48:12]:
    Well, if that has anything to do with God, I don’t want anything to do with it in any way. You rebel and you back away. Well, that happens to all of us. That happens to the best of us. So I reactivated myself, as I say, in 2009, and switched Gears and started listening more. I started listening. I’m quiet every morning. I wake up every morning.

    Penny Martinez [00:48:34]:
    That’s when I start every morning on my knees.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:48:37]:
    Oh, you do? Like a prayer or meditation or something?

    Penny Martinez [00:48:40]:
    Oh, yeah. I asked for knee pads for Christmas from my husband, and he goes, knee pads? I said, yeah, I’m longer and longer on my knees every morning. I need knee pads. It kind of hurts after a while, getting on a pillow. Pillow doesn’t work out. So I need some knee pads so I can get on my knees and start my day off with the Lord. And I need knee pads because my knees were getting sore.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:49:00]:
    If you’re praying so much, you need knee pads, I think you’re doing pretty well.

    Penny Martinez [00:49:05]:
    Yeah, I do it throughout the day. Well, I have a family that’s all getting older. My older brother is going to be 79 in May. I’ve lost two of them already. And so, yeah, I have a really large family, so I have to pray for them because everybody goes through struggles. So I have a big family I have to pray for, let alone all my friends and neighbors and things like that. I have to long time get everybody on my list. Can’t miss anybody.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:49:36]:
    Penny, how would you define retirement? I mean, people think about it all sorts of different ways. And speaking of stigma, we’re kind of trying to get rid of the stigma of retirement because it doesn’t have to mean sitting in a lazy boy chair. Obviously that’s what people think of.

    Penny Martinez [00:49:51]:
    No, obviously you don’t. No. Like I said, I planned for it, and so I kind of knew what I wanted to do. I just wanted to volunteer all the time. But you have to decide one. It’s got to be monetary. So you got to understand. So I want to make sure by the time I was 45, I didn’t have any bills.

    Penny Martinez [00:50:08]:
    I want to make the big ones. I didn’t want to have a mortgage. You got to get rid of that. That’s the ultimate thing. You got to get it right. So you got to plan your whole life as your retirement, as you’re planning. The ultimate goal is when do you want to do it? And then you got to think outside yourself, okay? You got to have something outside your job. You should even have that now, for crying out loud.

    Penny Martinez [00:50:28]:
    I can’t imagine. My parents were involved in all sorts of stuff. Their lives were crazy busy, kids and school and work and all sorts of stuff. But they always had hobbies. They Always had hobbies, other interests. So I love to sew. I do arts and crafts and stuff. And I like to garden.

    Penny Martinez [00:50:49]:
    I love to read. I started a book club here in Solara where I live. I started a book club. So again, you got to plan, ok, where do I want to be? And so you’ve got to make your AdjustMents. You got to pay yourself. But retirement is, you don’t stop learning. You don’t just quit and throw out. Like I said, no way.

    Penny Martinez [00:51:10]:
    This is when the fun begins.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:51:12]:

    Penny Martinez [00:51:13]:
    This is when you can spend time with your grandchildren and show them all the beautiful things and what the cool thing is you can actually see that stuff that you’ve taken for granted now through their eyes, and all of a sudden, it comes to life again.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:51:26]:

    Penny Martinez [00:51:27]:
    Because you’ve kind of forgotten what it’s like to sit down because we got a bird feeder out here, hummingbird feeder. And what the coolest thing was, we set up a camera and so you could watch it when he comes in. So sometimes we pull the chip out and stick it in the old tv and watch the hummingbird coming in, and it’s just the coolest thing ever. But when you get so WrApped up in stuff, you tend to forget those simple things. So then you can get to. If you’ve never seen the fall leaves, well, now you have an opportunity in retirement to go see that. So you have those things. So you just have to.

    Penny Martinez [00:51:58]:
    What do you want to do? And the earlier you plan, the better off you are. Don’t wait till your 40s. If you can start in your 20s, even when you have children, you pay yourself first. You are a bill. I don’t care if it’s $10. I don’t care if it’s $20, whatever you can make, but you pay yourself first and then the rest of the bills. And of course, I went without. Like I said, I went without.

    Penny Martinez [00:52:25]:
    I made sacrifices because I knew what I wanted. I knew I wanted to retire early. Retirement. You’re not dead. You’re not dead. When you retire, you get to do all the things that you want to do, and it doesn’t have to be some elaborate thing. You don’t have to start taking all cruises, which is great if you can thank the Lord God above that you have that ability. Hallelujah.

    Penny Martinez [00:52:45]:
    That is wonderful. But to me, retirement was my opportunity to volunteer full time. That was my goal, and I did everything I could to allow me to afford me that opportunity to be able to do that at a very young age. So, again, depends on how bad you want it, because if you want it bad enough, you can get it. You just have to prioritize yourself, your desires, a little bit first. So you’re a bill. Pay yourself first. Sky’s the limit.

    Penny Martinez [00:53:21]:
    It’s pretty cool.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:53:23]:

    Penny Martinez [00:53:25]:
    Talking out loud. Talking out loud is like, oh. Because it’s just natural for me. But as I start talking out loud, and my husband, I was talking to him about this, and he goes, well, yeah, Penn, it’s pretty cool what we get to do. Yeah, it is.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:53:42]:
    Wow, you’ve convinced me. I’m going to retire today. I think I’m ready.

    Penny Martinez [00:53:46]:
    Yeah, I love it. And you have children, right?

    Ryan Doolittle [00:53:49]:
    I have a little boy. So I’m actually not going to retire today because I have more earning to do. He’s only 15 months.

    Penny Martinez [00:53:57]:
    Oh, man.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:53:58]:

    Penny Martinez [00:53:59]:
    Well, that’s cool, though. It’s really fun.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:54:02]:
    It is. I try to tell people who don’t have kids, it’s somehow you’re exhausted, but it’s also the best thing ever, type of that kind of feeling.

    Penny Martinez [00:54:15]:
    Well, I’m jealous because I had the cancer, so I couldn’t have children because that kind of screwed everything up. It kind of screwed everything up. So, yeah, I never could have kids. So that’s the other thing. I just give back to other children. So, like I said, I read to four year olds in a pre kindergarten at Evergreen elementary. And so that’s my way of. I give back to children now.

    Penny Martinez [00:54:38]:
    It’s a lot of fun. I do puppets. I was telling Marissa that I do puppets and I do crazy hats. And I read positive. Yeah. This is Chester. This is Chester. He’s a rat, but he doesn’t like to be called a rat.

    Penny Martinez [00:54:55]:
    He likes to be called a mouse because rats are dirty and mean.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:54:59]:

    Penny Martinez [00:55:01]:
    Yeah. Chester is my main guy, and you can actually call me Sybil because I do all sorts of puppets, all sorts of voices.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:55:08]:
    Sybil, for people don’t know, had split personality.

    Penny Martinez [00:55:12]:
    Split personality. So that kind of happened. And what’s really interesting, I’ve been doing this for quite a while, and I had school psychologists show up because they actually watch me because the kids will come up and grab Chester’s hands and say, miss Penny, can I tell Chester something? Really sitting on my hand? Yeah, they’ll tell him, whatever. And I’m sitting there, my eyes are, like, usually as big as saucers because I have no idea what’s going to come out of their mouths. And some have been pretty. And I, before I go in, every Monday, I pray before I go in and say, lord, give me the words to say, to use to help these children. If they happen to ask Chester a question, just give me the words. Help me out.

    Penny Martinez [00:55:59]:
    So far, I’ve been successful. Just common sense and stuff like that. But, yeah, these kids have it tough at four. They shouldn’t have these kind of issues, but unfortunately they do.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:56:11]:
    Yeah. And so you bring in Chester to help.

    Penny Martinez [00:56:14]:
    Yeah, Chester and all. A plethora. I’ve got a plethora of puppets, all sorts of. And I read really fun books all about love, kindness, acceptance, tolerance. We’re all different. But that’s okay. Even I have a moose who has a speech impediment.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:56:32]:
    Really? Did you came up with that? All these characters are penny originals.

    Penny Martinez [00:56:38]:
    Yeah. He has a speech impediment because he’s different.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:56:42]:
    You might need your own tv show, Penny.

    Penny Martinez [00:56:47]:
    I have a lot of fun. I even laugh at myself sometimes. It gets so silly. It gets so just. I laugh at myself. Yeah, it’s really funny. I love it. It’s really quite funny.

    Penny Martinez [00:56:57]:

    Ryan Doolittle [00:56:58]:
    Penny Martinez, I think we’re going to end it there. I can’t top that. So thank you so much for coming on the happiest retirement podcast. It’s been a pleasure. And I’ve learned so much.

    Penny Martinez [00:57:08]:
    Oh, it’s been a blast. I’ve loved it. What a fun job you have.

    Ryan Doolittle [00:57:13]:
    I really do. I am very, very lucky. Yeah.

    Penny Martinez [00:57:16]:
    This is great. So thank you for this opportunity. I appreciate it.

Call in with your financial questions for our team to answer: 800-805-6301

Join other happy retirees on our Retire Sooner Facebook Group:


This information is provided to you as a resource for educational purposes and as an example only and is not to be considered investment advice or recommendation or an endorsement of any particular security.  Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no guarantee offered that investment return, yield, or performance will be achieved.  There will be periods of performance fluctuations, including periods of negative returns and periods where dividends will not be paid.  Past performance is not indicative of future results when considering any investment vehicle. The mention of any specific security should not be inferred as having been successful or responsible for any investor achieving their investment goals.  Additionally, the mention of any specific security is not to infer investment success of the security or of any portfolio.  A reader may request a list of all recommendations made by Capital Investment Advisors within the immediately preceding period of one year upon written request to Capital Investment Advisors.  It is not known whether any investor holding the mentioned securities have achieved their investment goals or experienced appreciation of their portfolio.  This information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax, or investment advisor before making any investment/tax/estate/financial planning considerations or decisions.

Previous ArticleNext Article