Throughout her life’s ups and downs, Lorin A’Costa has remained driven, independent and self-sufficient. She is unafraid to face change head on, with gusto. After a handful of her own relocations, she’s now settled in Northern Nevada. With her adult sons living on their own, she spends most of her time with her husband and her beloved dogs. She shares a bit more about herself in this Q&A.
What personality traits of yours stand out most to people who know you?
I suppose my joie de vivre. I always managed to be the life of any party or gathering. I’ve since calmed down and realize I’m not that important.
My positive nature and willingness to always help people regardless of whether there is something in it for me.
My sense of humor.
What historical figure do you admire?
No one historical figure but, rather, women who carried on for the good of their families and humanity in spite of what rotten lives they may have had. And that includes my mom, who is now a historical figure from my childhood.
Which living people do you most admire and why?
Janet Phillips: She started the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway because of her love for bicycling and knowledge of geology. She formed a group of volunteers, got donations, grants, etc. and with everyone’s assistance, built the trail for biking and walking that runs from Tahoe City to Reno and is planned to go on to Pyramid Lake. When completed, it will be 114 miles long! Seventeen years later, she’s still involved. She is special. I admire people who can do things I can’t.
Lisa Wallace, the executive director of the Truckee River Watershed Council: She’s dedicated to the cause of saving the watershed for posterity and gives a lot of herself. I admire her dedication because it is not in me to do that.
What characteristics do you most value in your friends?
I value honesty and kindness from my friends. Who wouldn’t? Actually, that goes for all people.
Who have been the best loves of your life?
My two sons and my dogs through the years.
One of the perfect times in my life was having two babies. My first son went his own way. I signed him in the Army when he was 17. He got his GED and BS degree and because he had a knack for languages, was accepted into the Defense Language Institute in Monterey to learn Korean. In serving two terms in Germany and Korea, he didn’t see active war but was active in the Cold War with a very high security clearance.
My other son is a first responder in the U.S., and his wife is a teacher in Japan. They see each other about every six months and have a strong marriage because they are each happy doing what they love. I admire them for being such good parents to their kids and living the life each of them wants, individually.
My four-legged fur babies also bring me happiness. They love unconditionally, always listen and don’t talk back or try to direct one’s life.
The dogs came into my life when my second son and his wife bred their dogs and sent me the best of the litter, a full breed Doberman, Duke. He was six months old when he arrived. I fancied myself a dog trainer then and knew how to ensure the dog loved me and then my husband when he got home.
Later, my second son and his wife asked me to take Duke’s father, Dieter. I traveled to Ohio and got him. When we lived in Southern California, Duke and Dieter were total fun! We lived in a condo and had to walk them a lot, but no one messed with us when we did, no matter what time of night we were out.
What are your greatest achievements in life thus far?
Staying married for 35 years! My husband is handsome and fun — he loves to dance —and is nurturing of me and our marriage. He and I both grew up in the poorer middle class but with principles and entrepreneurial parents. His folks owned a bar and restaurant and mine, a country bar.
Obtaining my Series 6, 26 and 63 securities licenses. It’s a big deal. I did all three exams in one day and passed! Plus I already had my life Insurance license.
Hitting the six-figure mark in income, in 1992 in Phoenix, working in the mortgage business. Growing up poor made becoming “rich” very important.
What have been your favorite journeys?
A favorite journey was the trip to Europe, including England, Germany and Austria. We took the Orient Express (original one before they mothballed it) from Munich to Vienna. On that train I learned a really good life lesson. I got sick (my own fault) and when I barfed all over the aisle, I thought someone would clean it up. Well, someone did …ME. The conductor promptly got a bucket and rags and brought them to me. He didn’t care that I was an American traveling with a large party, paying a lot of money to be on his train. He only spoke German, so my pleading fell on deaf ears. Fortunately, though, I had the good sense to not be a totally “ugly American.” I cleaned up the mess.
Once in Vienna, it was wonderful — the shops, the people, the food — and we got to see the Spanish Riding School, the arena where the famed Lipizzaner horses perform. They were on tour, but the school itself was quite interesting.
My life itself has been quite a journey, and it’s not over yet!
Ben Stein once told me I was “a pioneer,” which was a nice way of saying I always had to be starting over.
I got my start in the business working my way up from secretary to top salesperson and branch manager for a small, successful residential real estate company in the Midwest. This is where I first learned the relocation business.
Then I opened my own company, working as a property and homeowners association manager, which was not well funded or thought out (as history has proven) and closed it after three years.
My personal life took a nasty turn, and I decided to move to Phoenix. I lasted only 10 years in Arizona … the heat got me. But that’s where I got my corporate experience and entered the residential mortgage field.
I was transferred to Southern California, where I worked mostly in mortgage and then property management again. Due to the financial meltdown of 2007, I lost my job and the nice income. I struggled with staying solvent and didn’t make it. I decided to try my luck in a better climate than So Cal — yes, Reno!!
My husband and I had four points to tick off for a new place to live: high desert, moderate snow, mini metro area, some culture. Reno had it all. We moved to Reno in 2010. I LOVE Reno weather. Just breathing the clear air in Northern Nevada energizes me.
The area’s growth is exciting, and being a part of it in business is heady and I love it.
How would you describe your career path prior to moving to Reno?
It was an upward progression of learning, doing and earning, all in the real estate field, which has many facets. I have done just about every related job there is.
How has your past work experience helped you?
For one, I can make good conversation with just about any level of person in business because of my background.
But mostly, all my experience led to me falling into the perfect job for me with RM&D and the specialized areas I work in today: property management, relocation, residential mortgage, and commercial leasing and sales. And I have the opportunity to reach my income goal a third time. Many people in business earn that level of income and keep it. I was not so smart, but I was able to do it twice. That would be a great gift from me to me for my retirement.