Born on the 1st of January!
I interviewed the Allens, our Featured Boomers, in January just a few days after James’ birthday on January 1st. Then I learned “the rest of the story” that James was not only born on the 1st, but he was also the first born, of the first born, of the first born! And with the last name Allen, he was always seated alphabetically in the first seat in the first row in school! Now, that’s a lot of experience being first! As a firstborn child myself, I knew right away that Pat Allen had to be a very strong person in her own right, and I was correct.
They both had high-powered careers in New York and lived in New Jersey for 35 years, often commuting into the City—James on Wall Street and Pat in Health Care and Risk Management.
James was an English Major so I asked how he ended up on Wall Street. He commented that people mistakenly think you must major in Business to work on Wall Street. The truth is Wall Street recruiters deliberately look for people that are different. Good writing and communication skills are valuable on Wall Street!
Pat grew up wanting to be a nurse and she did pursue her degree in nursing. On graduation, however, James encouraged her to find a job in business rather than nursing. She did and had an exciting career which included management of the original HMO, 6 years in health management at Rutgers, 10 years as the Risk Manager for Avon Products in New York, and call center management at Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Pat’s friends and family still think of her as their own personal nurse and they all come to her for medical advice!
As youngsters, James had lived in both Virginia and North Carolina. Pat’s parents were from Arkansas but she grew up in Milwaukee and then New Jersey. Moving around was not something new for either of them. In fact, the Allens have relocated and downsized more than once. So what brought them to Delaware? When James first retired they actually moved from New Jersey down to North Carolina. Pat continued to work and this is when she joined Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Retirement gave James the freedom to create a mentoring program for college students to help prepare them for a career on Wall Street. He knew firsthand what they would need to endure there and he taught them to ace the “Interview Process.”
Although they liked North Carolina, they wanted to be closer to their daughter and her family in New Brunswick, NJ. They even considered moving back to New Jersey but decided first to take a look at Delaware. When Helen Garton, Active Adults Realty Buyer Agent, showed them around Middletown, they found it was close enough to their children and grandchildren with a better cost of living, low taxes, and proximity to both Philadelphia and Baltimore airports.
Retirement affords them both time to spend with family and friends, meet new neighbors, and get involved in volunteer opportunities. James is looking at the school system and would like to become a mentor again. Pat is working on a novel of historical fiction. She is already a published author.
In November 2019 the Allens moved to Middletown, DE so they are still unpacking and getting acclimated. When asked about their first impressions, both told me just how friendly everyone is—this includes people in their new neighborhood, the Ponds at Bayberry South, and in the Middletown area, in general.
Their new retirement lives will include travel in both the US and to Western Africa, continued physical fitness and enjoying the wonderful parks throughout Delaware.