questionsso i retired. what's next?



When I retired it felt that way - but I was looking for a job. Found one that I eventually left. Spent time unemployed till the second job came along. Now unemployed due to loss of the contract.

There are days I really want to work (bored) and others that it's nice to do what I want when I want.

Then there is the paycheck issue...

I'd suggest - and that's all this is - find a charity you'd like to work with to keep involved with people and potentially share what you've learned. There is always someone looking for some good help to deal with youth, do church work, animal shelter, political actions, etc. Whatever your thing is go do it. But most of all ENJOY IT!

And schedule time with that banjo instructor.


My father did puzzles for non-stop a good 3 months solid after retiring.


Sit around doing what you want for a while, get bored, come out of retirement and work some more.
Seems to be what typically happens, anyway.


Banjo, eh? Now that sounds like fun!

I see you note that you are already volunteering. Is this something you enjoy? If not, are there other volunteer opportunities you might like more?

Mostly, if it were me I would take some time to just lie around and vegetate for a while before I start finding ways to be busy. I think you will appreciate DOING things more if you give yourself time to get bored.


Congratulations to you. Okay, take a little time to enjoy it........ Now, get out and mow that yard!


@barnabee: Mow the yard? Egads! It's already 95 degrees out there! I deliberately had kids so THEY would have to mow the yard!


Congratulations from me, as well (even though I recall that this was not necessarily a sought for retirement).

I retired in February 2006, but I had so many things going on in my life that it took a year or two for me to really feel retired. I was frantic to sell my house and get out of SoCal before the upcoming financial havoc, and I made it just as the housing bubble started its downward slide. After looking at an endless supply of beautiful homes that just never seemed quite right, my daughter pointed out that I'd be happier with one that needed work, and that's what I ended up doing.

I've recently been casting around for what I might do, since the remodeling's mostly done, and the yard work, while pleasant, is hardly an intellectual challenge. I consider working now and then, but don't really pursue it. I read a lot (very little of it is fiction).

It's only been a few days. Give it some time.


@jsoko: All I can say to that!


It must be Monday again for me - I blew right past the fact you were already volunteering.



@belyndag: Yeah Mom, send the kids out to mow in the 95 degree heat. Good Mommy!


@mtm2: At the time I told him he needed a job at Walmart being a greeter. Instead he bought a house in Florida. In the end a win-win for my family, a vacation house for everyone and he has something to do.


@jsoko: Entertain guests? Guided tours of Mickey Land? Chase gators?


@barnabee: Oh, I let him take breaks from time to time, and hardly ever object when he sweats on the lawn tractor. Gotta toughen that kid up! LOL!

@jsoko: Puzzles? Hmmm. Intriguing. So far I've been surfing the interwebs nearly non-stop and watching mindless TV. Well, that's what I've done when I haven't been cleaning, cooking, and helping my mother. Do electronic jigsaw puzzles count? Less likely to lose pieces.

@shrdlu:It's the intellectual challenge piece that probably worries me most. I've always been an avid reader, but have been too busy lately to do that as much as I would like. I need to get back to that, and to the ongoing remodeling of this old house AND the old wooden boat we've been restoring.

I only talked to my former employees about 10 times this week, if you don't count the emails and text messages. I'm weaning myself slowly. And yesterday the Executive Director at one of my volunteer spots asked me to help with some HR issues so maybe I can merge those two areas.



Entertain guests?
* Not until I get this #%@ clean!

Guided tours of Mickey Land?
* Yup, I'm still thinking of relocating to Orlando and applying for that Winnie-the-Pooh gig!

Chase gators?
* Just the little guys who live in the bayou by our old boat, Which reminds me that I have to call Wildlife and Fisheries guys to come remove them again. Neighbors keep feeding the little demons and THAT is not a good idea!


Congratulations !

Looks to me like you are going to be just fine.

Like others have said, find time to "just do nothing".


First: Congratulations! Feels good to be off the daily treadmill, right?

Next: Take stock of where you are. What do you own, what do you owe, what other obligations do you have. Make a realistic plan to take care of obligations with the assets/retirement pay you have.

And next: What do you want to do? Not "what I want someday" or "what hobbies do I want when I have time" but - what do you want to accomplish? Set realistic but definite goals for each day, week, month. Get a day planner and use it. Every hour of every day is precious - don't waste them.


@belyndag: Or wait for open season - on guests and gators.


Once sorting out the transition away from working, my grandparents all volunteered. My grandpa will give business advice (used to run a few), and a grandma loved working at the Salvation Army. But we're the sort of people that can't sit still. Other grandma loved volunteering at the church.

I'd say feel free to give us young whipper-snappers advice, because as we prove time and time again we need it. Bad.


Congratulations! I'm counting down 19 more years...


@belyndag: I just read through your two previous threads that touch on this topic; you're awfully young to be retired and you have many, many years ahead of you (gods willing) to enjoy life. Two main thoughts, based on counseling several people contemplating retirement and moving in that direction: some people need/crave structure; volunteering can provide structure, but it doesn't always. Don't feel like retirement has to mean schedule-free days if that turns out not to work for you. (I have a difficult time with the lack of structure in my job; I'd collapse under even less structure!) I identify with your comment about fearing a lack of intellectual engagement; I've also heard that from others approaching retirement, especially those retiring from HR for some reason! Perhaps consider the possibility of taking classes at a local university/college (often free for those 55+) or even approaching a local CC to teach a class in HR, depending on your educational background.


Congratulations! I hope you enjoy each day and get to do the things that you want to do.

Funny though, the banjo must be the hot instrument these days, my Uncle is taking lessons and I just recently learned my FIL is taking them as well as his best friend! Have fun learning to play!


@okham: I'm with you brother...

I owe it to an uncle who never got to retire to retire enough for the both of us.

@belyndag let me join in the chorus of congrats! Totally go for the banjo man... there is nothing like that twangy sound.


I would start playing golf. I wanna get really good at it so much, but don't have the time to!


Congratulations. You may be of the last generation where people still get to retire. Make it count.


Wedit. Unicorn stomps on tacky part of comment.

In all seriousness, now you have the rest of your life to do whatever. Take some time off, and set a deadline to get back to doing stuff. My father volunteers several days per week when he isn't golfing, bowling, fishing, or whatever.


Have you auditioned for "Swamp People"? Congratulations, seriously. Golf seemed to be a good suggestion, as well as fishing. Get your house in order, have a yard sale, get the picture. Just don't forget about us. We can be your intellectual stimulation(even though it might be negative).


Wow! The great suggestions (and support) just keep coming!

@adadavis: Strangely enough, one of my financial motivations for retiring is that we'll be able to access some retirement savings and use it to settle up some old debts. DH has analyzed things to death and this looks like the best plan. Long term I would like to get at least a part-time job and use any money I make to start paying off our house. If things go well, this could be done!

@mtm2: It's ALWAYS open season on guests and gators down here!

@figgers3036: Advice is one of those things I'm always willing to give. All I need is some young whipper-snappers willing to listen!

@okham: Beware! The time passes much more quickly than you would think!

@neuropsychosocial: You're my new best friend! "Awfully young to be retired?" Yup. I worked for 33 years. That means I started working at age 6 (child labor laws be darned! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!


@lmensor and @msmetz: I have an older cousin who saved up and bought a banjo when he was in high school. I have just enough ear for music that I can usually pick out a tune on any instrument, but I don't know how to really play anything. I used to pick out tunes for him and he would turn what I did into REAL banjo playing. I always wanted a banjo and a couple of years ago DH bought me one when we went through Nashville on vacation. I had good intentions and started teaching myself a bit using a software program, but was never able to put the time into it. I am holding this out as a carrot and not allowing myself to start until I organize my house. I grew up with country music, but was never a fan. Bluegrass, on the other hand......

@dmaz: DH tried to teach me to play golf a couple of times. Not the game for me! Who the heck came up with such an unnatural way of holding a club? Argh! Of course, I am willing to drive the cart around for other players any time!


And @jsimsace: You folks can, indeed, be my intellectual stimulation! The topics here are so varied that there is just about always something to interest me! When I started Wooting I was only here for the deals. I don't think I even noticed the questions until last fall! Thank goodness I found you folks. All of my other online activities seem to be focused on HR, disabilities (my volunteer area), family or classmates. Whodathunk that a deals-based site would cover such a diversity of topics?!


Ditto on the congrats, a bit jealous here!

The feeling like I need to go back to work tommorrow goes away. It took me about 3 months to really relax when I took a break between jobs.

As far as what to do first, I vote the banjo you have been dreaming about. That will be a long term joy as you learn more and get to practice. The volunteering will keep you active and out with a diverse group. I would not worry about losing yourself.

A friend took a couple of college courses after she retired to qualify as a part time teacher. (She had a degree in a different area.) She works with kids who are learning english as a second language a few hours a week. It keeps her busy and she gets summers off. Another retiree friend babysits for a school teacher.


I didn't see anyone mention taking classes. You can look into continuing education type classes, regular credit classes, or community classes for art, sewing, gardening, photography, etc. Or if you've a mind, you could teach. Our local college is always looking for people from the community to teach continuing ed classes, no teaching degree required, just useful skills and the ability to teach them.


Welcome to the fun time of your life. I retired young and have traveled the world. I do Charity for the church and ended up being president of the organization. I ran 2 wine events that brought in about $20,000. It was enough to buy the school 32 inch LCD TV;s in every class room.


@moondrake: I've thought about taking classes, but haven't looked into it any further yet. I have always said that I planned to retire and go back to grad school as soon as I could, but I'm not sure my brain is ready to learn again. I used to be smart, but then I had kids, and it's a well-known fact that kids suck the IQ points right out of you!

As far as teaching goes, I have great respect for anyone who can teach. I'm not sure I could do it, myself. I've given presentations at conferences and workshops, but teaching for an entire semester is an entirely different matter. It's worth investigation, though. Thanks for the idea!


@bigfrank: Wow! Great fundraiser and great result!


So many people I know who are retired (as am I) are so busy that they wonder how they ever had time to work! One of the mistakes some folks make is rushng to get involved big time in either another paying job or a volunteer situation that is almost a full time job. I think you need time to relax, take some deep breaths, do some of the things you never had the time for, and just follow your instincts. Congratulatios on joining the unemployed ranks via retirement!


Thanks @klozitshoper. That's pretty much what I WANT to do. Take some time to relax and do things I've never had time to do. I still want to do my volunteer stuff, but I don't want everyone to assume that, just because I've retired, I now have all the time in the world to do things for them. I'm also trying to walk that line in caring for my aging mother who lives several hours away and refuses to move in with us (or anyone!). I guess that's a topic for another day.

Today I need to spend most of my time dealing with family business that has backed up over the past few months while I was focused on shutting things down at work. It won't be fun, but it should keep me busy. I just need to get this stuff out of the way. Urgh!


@belyndag: At our college, Professional and Continuing Education classes (non-credit courses) run 1-12 sessions, depending on subject matter. So you could teach something like "Excel for beginners" over the course of 12 Wednesday night sessions, or teach "How to read a resume" as a single Saturday afternoon seminar. It doesn't pay a lot, I think I got $25 per session for teaching one hour art classes in 6 or 8 session runs. But it's fun, gives you an opportunity to interact with people and meet people with similar interests, and keeps your mind busy. The nicest thing about non-credit courses is that everyone who's there wants to be there. People are keenly interested in the subject matter and like getting homework assignments and being challenged.