U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-11-2015, 05:18 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
282 posts, read 357,998 times
Reputation: 465

Advertisements

2015 is here! This is the year I retire. I go through moments of sheer terror about the prospect. It's not the money part--I think I've got that controlled, unless the market tanks even worse than 2008. It's the "who am I now that I'm not the person doing X job" part.

I never married or had children. I have a circle of good friends, and siblings, nieces and nephews with whom I'm close. But not a family of my own making. I've spent my whole adult life building and occupying a career that I've loved. It had been interesting, and has had broader meaning in the world at large. I can honestly say that I've changed some lives for the better, and done little if any harm.

But soon I will not have that career to define myself. I sat down and made a list of all the things I might like to do once retired, both large and small. But I don't want to just fill time. I want a broader meaning, even if my mission isn't to save the world. Truth is, I can't even articulate what I'm asking. I guess it's this: how do I define myself when I no longer have a job to do it for me?

Retirees, or retirement contemplators, how do you define yourselves? Or have you been able to let go of the need to even try to do so?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-11-2015, 05:23 PM
 
526 posts, read 509,130 times
Reputation: 493
Wow, well said. After over 4 decades of teaching I finally decided that retirement was the right choice for me. I never doubted for a second that I could be happy not getting up at five in the morning and working until late at night all day every day. My husband on the other hand had a VERY VERY hard time adjusting. We retired at the same time. He was not a teacher so the necessity to retire was not that great for him. It took years for him to even speak about retiring. Now that we are 'free' for about 1 1/2 years, he loves it. He sees the sense in sleeping late, grocery shopping at an hour of the day, going where he wants when he wants, etc.
As for saving the world. I paid my dues. Now let others try.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2015, 06:11 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,943,432 times
Reputation: 18050
You have never said now old your are. I can't believe anyone retires without goals and things they want to do when given the time finally. I'd say part of the planning for retirement has been missed. Start a to do list of goals is all I can suggest; surely you have some interest.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2015, 09:07 PM
 
143 posts, read 132,678 times
Reputation: 802
I am in a similar situation, single, no kids. I also loved my job but it never "defined me."

Reading your post gives me the impression you may not be ready to retire. Why is 2015 "the year?" What are the reasons you feel that the time is now? If you enjoy your job, are making an impact on others and have no clear goals for retirement, why retire?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2015, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
Reputation: 32304
I have found meaning and purpose in volunteer work in the public schools. That will not be everyone's cup of tea, of course.

I think the OP's problem is rather common and I can relate to it. Especially for men, our jobs do tend to define us. We have a certain status in the world based on our job, and even if that status is not a lofty one, it is still a status, a role in the world, as opposed to no status and no role.

So for a lot of folks, it takes some getting used to. Statements to the effect that our jobs "shouldn't" define us are not helpful, and in fact are meaningless. Note I am not saying there's anything wrong with people who don't find an identity in their jobs - that is fine if they don't. I am just saying that one cannot simply set aside one's identity in life by an act of will, especially based on other people's statements that one's feeling of identity is somehow not valid or not legitimate.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-12-2015, 12:46 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,585 posts, read 39,962,822 times
Reputation: 23716
Many, many people have gone on to recognize their 2nd half of life as more meaningful than the first half.

Your contribution may be far beyond what you expect / envision. It is often the unexpected pleasures / challenges that bring us to 'completion'. Not at all something you can orchestrate or plan for.

There are many resources for 'finishing well', if you so desire to plan this next chapter out. WARNING: Life throws curve balls

I am grateful that being able to retire pre age 50, none of my great jobs, inventions, contributions to society, international volunteer projects, community leadership, or 32 yrs of care-giving for a disabled parent ever defined me. I continue to be a development 'work-in-process' and hope to be for another 40 - 50 yrs. I can hardly wait for the next surprise!

We are all wired different... I would expect you may have had a career in government (predictable). Most of us never knew the amount of our next paycheck, or even if there would be one. . (worked well for me (and kept me humble). I learned young, as a kid we missed a lot of meals so we could meet payroll for a staff that needed that paycheck far worse than we did.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 01-12-2015 at 12:56 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-12-2015, 01:56 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,355 posts, read 10,343,687 times
Reputation: 28516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I have found meaning and purpose in volunteer work in the public schools. That will not be everyone's cup of tea, of course.

I think the OP's problem is rather common and I can relate to it. Especially for men, our jobs do tend to define us. We have a certain status in the world based on our job, and even if that status is not a lofty one, it is still a status, a role in the world, as opposed to no status and no role.

So for a lot of folks, it takes some getting used to. Statements to the effect that our jobs "shouldn't" define us are not helpful, and in fact are meaningless. Note I am not saying there's anything wrong with people who don't find an identity in their jobs - that is fine if they don't. I am just saying that one cannot simply set aside one's identity in life by an act of will, especially based on other people's statements that one's feeling of identity is somehow not valid or not legitimate.
guilty. I was going to tell you what Escort Rider rightfully points out is meaningless.

Maybe think of it as getting another job. Okay, you're not going to do the old job any more. Can you do the same or something similar on a volunteer level?

Did you ever have a job, maybe a summer job, that you liked but it didn't pay that much?

Don't forget: it took a few years to define yourself the 1st time. Now you have to shift gears completely. Aint gonna happen over night.


Enjoy the search.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-12-2015, 06:00 AM
 
10,344 posts, read 9,382,296 times
Reputation: 15943
Very true that for some, their job is their life, and they pretty much live for their job. And after working at a career for numerous decades it becomes a pattern of their lifestyle.

Perhaps for a person in that scenario it would be best to find some type of volunteer program to be involved in, or even a part-time job. . . at least until the individual has become acclimated to no longer having the career as their foundation and part of their identity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-12-2015, 06:10 AM
 
526 posts, read 509,130 times
Reputation: 493
Your very name tells me that you are a self-driven sort of person. With regard to retirement, don't try to not be terrified. New things tend to make lots of people uncomfortable. Just accept the fact that if you have decided to make this change, things may be a bit strange at first but you will be fine even if it takes a few months (or even a year) to fully adjust.
You may never fully adjust and in that case you might want to volunteer in an area that captures your interest. Look upon this as a great adventure because it really is.
I try to have a sense of humor about this entire thing. Now, I walk into stores and say, "I'm old, what sort of discount to you offer?" People always laugh but you'd be surprised at the savings we enjoy! (some stores offer senior discounts on Tuesdays, etc.).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-12-2015, 06:51 AM
 
8,197 posts, read 11,915,499 times
Reputation: 17984
Quote:
Originally Posted by trying harder View Post
Retirees, or retirement contemplators, how do you define yourselves?
I don't.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top