questionshow do i handle retirement?


Forgot to mention that I am spending way too much time on the interwebs and old tv shows, and still haven't started learning to play that darn banjo I bought! And I have a great collection of professional work clothes gathering dust in my closet while I decide whether I'll ever need them again.

Oh, and everyone dumps all of their errands on my because "Belyndag can do it. She's retired now and has all the time in the world!"

First world problem?


I retired Feb 1, 2006. It's an adjustment, but then, isn't everything?

I had 4 or 5 years to be serious about planning, and I paid attention to what worked and what didn't for people that I knew that had already retired. One of the worst examples was someone who entertained herself with day trading. I know, I know, you just did a full body shudder, and you know where this is going. Yep. She day traded herself right from a very comfortable 5M into a frightening $750k in six months. She just kept trying to recoup her losses, and there was a bunch of ego involved too.

Now that I've frightened you out of throwing money away...

Make lists. Make more lists. Try to think of what it is that you'd like to do (besides get your husband out of the house). I know you said you'd trained as a Life Coach (whatever that is, and no, I didn't google, and yes, I have a vague idea). That sounds like more work, only without being paid.

I'll be back later, once @magic cave has chimed in.


@belyndag: Be happy if your morning routine involves sloth till only 9am. It's 12:45pm here, and I'm still slothing around on the computer. Happy but also a bit guilty that I haven't done anything useful yet today.

I too still wake very early, but that's partly because my spouse (younger guy that he is) is still working at my/our credit union, so he's out the door by 7:30. I have lots of house projects I want to do, eventually, and some volunteer projects I want to check out, sooner or later, but . . .

My retirement decision was very sudden. I'd been talking about Doing It in late October, but once I began drawing SS the temptation became a siren's song. I dithered for weeks, and then one morning when we were off I told my spouse, "I'm doing it. Tomorrow." And I did. And two hours later had terrible second thoughts!

I'm going to give myself another week or so of slothfulness, and then I'll move into a routine I've begun to sketch out.

Details as I progress!


@shrdlu: No day trading for me, fortunately. I envy you the time you spent planning, but I'd have been very surprised if you'd done it any other way.


@magic cave: Well, it's 12:10 here and I am still on my laptop. LOL!


The main reason I can't seem to find a rhythm or schedule I like is that every week seems to bring something new to deal with. For the first few months I traveled with DH (he covered a couple of states for his job). I also drove 2 1/2 hours each way to take my mother to monthly doctor visits. Extended an annual conference trip to include my retirement celebration vacation in the fall. Worked on our old boat and took it to an antique boat festival. Then the holidays, with family drama, of course. Then training for coaching in two different states. Then DH lost his job so we're doing heavy duty labor/repair work on boat. Still volunteering with three different groups. Did finally get the downstairs clean, if you don't open any closets, but haven't tackled upstairs or attic.

Frankly, I think I used my time more wisely when I had a 40+ hour/week job! Now, when I have free time, I'm just a slug!


I've been retired for many years. Love it now; always did.! Was never a morning person, so staying up until 2 or 3 AM appeals to me. Can sleep until I want to get up. No AM appointments, etc.

Also have no problem w/not having something to do every day. Never feel 'bad' about not accomplishing a 'task' each day. Oh, and I do make lists -- eventually everything gets done. No enforced dead lines for me.

I wear this well; retirement suits me. :-D Hope you can find a happy balance!


@shrdlu: No day trading in MY future! DH plays the market a bit, and does pretty well, but we don't have the kind of money to play around with that could result in big losses.

I have actually been training to coach high school and college students with AD/HD, Asperger's, LD, etc. I've been volunteering in this area for almost 25 years now, so I thought I might take a stab at doing it as a PAID service. I was inspired by the fact that, while this type of coaching is taking off in other parts of the country, there are NO certified coaches in my area. Found this out the hard way when we really needed one for DS. I haven't hung out my shingle yet, but I already have folks begging me to take on their kid or spouse or even themselves as clients. The second part of my training was to coach parents. My professional experience has been in coaching employees and managers. I would love to tackle coaching managers to work with disabled employees. Combine all the parts of me into one job!


I heard cialis is a big help.....


@gmwhit: I think I like your model a lot! I suspect one reason I feel I'm floundering is the relative suddenness of my decision; essentially, one day I was employed, the next I was retired, and I'd done very little internal processing of what that really meant in terms of my day-to-day non-schedule.

I have a list of house things I want to get done, and it's getting worked on bit by bit. I think I'll just come back and re-read your comment when I feel as if I [cough] should be getting more accomplished!


@belyndag: I semi-retired twice in the past 15 years; each time, I lasted just a few weeks before deciding to look for another job. Your plans and education sound terrific! It's great that you've found a niche job that you already have an extensive background in and therefore know you'll enjoy, and it's even better that you have a clamoring client base ready to go. You'll have to keep us posted on your progress.


There are times when I would like to work, but this time of year, when it's Spring, and I'm putting seeds in the ground, and preparing garden beds, and fertilizing, and checking for hidden winter damage, that I am grateful to have no other responsibilities than making sure the bills have been paid, and there's food in the house.

I do miss working, but I miss more the interaction with other intelligent technical women, and I knew that was something I was giving up when I retired. My skills are so narrow that I didn't expect to find work in my field when I left, and actually moved as far away as possible so that I would not be tempted.

For those considering retirement, here's some things to think about:

1. Where do you want to live? I knew that I wanted to move, and spent time looking at various places in the country (while I still worked), and learning just what did or did not appeal to me.



[Part two]

2. How much money will it take per month/year for you to live? That's where most people make their mistakes. You think that not commuting, not buying work clothes, and other work related expenses will help you save money, but the day to day expenses are still there, and some new ones will surprise you. Medical costs are always an issue.

3. What did you want to do with this gift of time? For many people, retirement might stretch over the last third of their life. I retired early (by a few years), and spent some time thinking about what it was that I really wanted to do, before I did it. Some of my plans changed (or were changed for me).

4. Make lists. Make lists of all those small things you wish now that you had time for. Make lists of people you'll want to keep in touch with.



[Part three]

When I retired, rather than having a luncheon or dinner, I had an open house at work, where people could just drop in and say goodbye. I put out a guest book, with a sign above it, that said "If you want to keep in touch, put your name, and address, and email, in here. Please don't use your work email." I sent out some mass emails to those people after I retired, and it was fun. I stayed in touch with very few in the long term, but that's to be expected.

I just spent an hour or so looking at the emails from that time, and I have a few postscripts. I sent out emails to anyone that I'd had a professional relationship with, letting them know I was leaving, and who would be the person they should contact instead. Remember not to burn your bridges. There are many things I would have liked to say on my exit interview. I said none of them.

Keep a journal. Keep a blog. Write down your thoughts.

Life is good. Go live it.


@Belyndag - it sounds like you didn't retire so much as make a slow transition into a new (but similar) career, with a mellow pace. I think the better question to ask is: What's stopping you from hanging out your shingle?


Dang! I posted this and looked forward to the discussion, then got pulled away to deal with family stuff and just got back to a reliable interwebs connection.

I didn't decide to retire overnight, but it was definitely sooner than was scheduled in my long term plan. Just couldn't deal with the dodgy (and worse) things that the current governor has been doing, and refused to have my signature appear on anything else. You know, you always think that you will count down to that happy last day and have a big party (or open house), etc. Instead, I had to keep my plans quiet until the last minute, and two of my employees retired the same day I did for similar reasons. Neither of them wanted a party, so I really couldn't have one, either. The end result has been similar to @magic cave's, I guess. I had the financial stuff worked out, but not the internal processing, and I guess I've actually been grieving my loss more than I should. Long, sad, nasty political story I'll just leave alone.


@shrdlu: I used to be an avid gardener and my fingers are itching to plant something, but I promised DH that I would help finish bunging the deck on our old wooden boat (and do a bunch of other stuff I'm learning new words to describe - not always repeatable) so we're sticking to basic lawn maintenance until next year.

As @magic cave said, I am finally getting my house in order bit by bit. We de-hoardified (new word!) our bonus room,remodeled it and improved things so much we actually hosted a dinner party a few weeks ago! It's been YEARS since we've done anything like that! I have plans for more of the same as soon as we get some more boat work finished, and that feels good. Eating that elephant one bite at a time, you know.

@thumperchick: I am having a tough time getting off of square one with the new career, mostly because of all the other stuff we have going on. I had planned to start putting it all together next week, but now have been summoned away to help my mom again. Urgh!


@shrdlu: "I do miss working, but I miss more the interaction with other intelligent technical women, and I knew that was something I was giving up when I retired."

Yup. That is probably the worst part of it. I miss my co-workers and my employees. (NOT my COO!) We keep in touch, but it's not the same. Every single employee on my staff has now left the organization because of the carp that is going on over there. And the other folks there who are my friends are struggling too much to do more than send me a quick email.

I have to admit to something else, too. Even Jesus said "a prophet hath no honour in his own country." NO ONE AT HOME SEEMS TO TAKE ME SERIOUSLY! At home I'm just Mom, who picks up dirty socks and fixes dinner. No one wants to hear my political views, no one wants me to counsel their employees, no one wants me to solve any problems beyond whose turn it is to use the X-Box! Argh!

I gotta get a job!


@belyndag: Just so you know, when replying to Ms Magic Cave, you need to use double quotes, thusly, so that the space is incorporated properly. "+@magic cave+" (and remove the +) will give you @magic cave (and she'll then know you were replying to her).

Early accounts on woot allowed spaces, and special characters, and the software for deals has had to do special things to address those accounts. Newer accounts cannot be created with special characters (such as !) or spaces, so it's only the old accounts for which this is a problem.

Try inviting your work friends to a Saturday lunch, and then make a strong effort to not make it a bitch session about work, but rather a catchup session to see how people's lives are going, and to catch up on all the details.


@shrdlu: Thanks! I knew there was a trick to summoning @magic cave but I didn't know what it was!

My old work crew has talked about getting together, but we just haven't done it yet. Now that I think of it, they're probably waiting for ME to plan something. Dang! I need to get off of my retired butt and do that!


Retirement came easy as I planned for more than 2 years. When the opportunity came to get out early, I took it. We had the house mostly paid off, so we could sell it and buy a smaller home for cash. This kept our expenses down to half of what the pensions and reduced Social Security paid. A special government program covered our insurance (85% of it), due to one of my pensions, until Medicare kicked in. Financially we were OK.
Finally took up golf seriously. I'm not very good at it, but I'm over 60. At least it's fun to get out in the morning among the trees and grass, and walk a couple of miles while attempting to hit a little ball into some holes. We get to travel whenever we want, visit the kids and grand-kids. Don't stay too long, a couple of days and back home. I'm getting a little better with the guitar, maybe get a keyboard next. The wife does part time teaching online courses, and attends exercise programs twice a week. She also does some volunteer work. (continued)


(Part 2) Main thing is that we keep busy, and enjoy what we love to do. Our 9-5 jobs are now in the past. I got together with old co-workers a few times after I left, but it was depressing. Not having the day to day work worries was so stress free. I realized that I had made the right choice.
(And the answer to all those people who think you have all the time to do everything for them is "NO". Tell them you are busy doing what you want to do.)


@olperfesser: "No." Wow! I need to remember that! LOL!


We have the good fortune (lol) of living in a terribly hot climate. My best friend retired, and he still rises very early, much earlier than he did in his working life, often at 4:30am these days. He spends the early hours doing yard work while it is cool and quiet, waiting till the neighbors leave for work to do anything noisy. He's already put in five hours of hard manual work by 10am. Then he goes to friends' houses and does handyman work till early afternoon. He retreats into the house and spends a good deal of time playing games and on Facebook after that, but he feels okay with it as he has put in a day's work first.


@moondrake: Does he live within driving distance of North Florida? We have lots of undone handyman-type projects; I'll even pay him and make him lunch.


I'm back and trying to catch up on the conversation.

My spouse sent me the following graphic, saying it really is the way I should look at my retirement as long as I wish to do so:

@shrdlu: Thank you again for the clue on how to tag me. If I could change my user name at this point, I would happily do so by changing the space to an underscore, but that's not possible and I'm really loathe to give up all connection to this name's history.


@magic cave: Sorry, we're as west Texas as you can go. If we lived in Florida I think we'd probably be on the beach or on a cruise ship an awfully lot of the time. I get to retire at the end of next year (yay! yay!) and I am so antsy for it. They have chucked the employees to the curb this spring as far as working conditions and everyone is so unhappy. I have a post-surgical dog languishing at home in his cone and I really don't want to be here. I can hardly wait. I have lots of art and dog-friendly car travel slated for my retirement. Plus some volunteering and home improvement. I'll probably slack until spring once I escape this joint, but I can't sit still when the birds are singing and the flowers (such as they are in the desert) are blooming. So by March of 2015 I should be at last living the life I've been dreaming of.


@magic cave: That's terrific! I had a countdown clock on my office PC that counted down to the day I was first eligible to retire. I worked three years past that date and had planned to work at least six more.

Yesterday I spent some of my retirement time on one of my volunteer endeavors. Today I spent it helping DH re-bung the deck on our old wooden boat. Really have to work on that "just say no" idea. I felt too young to retire, but now I feel too old to keep getting up and down from kneeling on the deck. Oh, Lordy! My poor joints!