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Old 11-26-2016, 08:51 AM
 
Location: equator
3,408 posts, read 1,523,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
I think a person who has trouble with an unstructured no-plans weekend and who gets upset with it feeling that it has been wasted time without any accomplishments might have big time trouble in retirement.

OP, you seem to know yourself well and have good instincts and knowledge about what your psyche and personality require to be fairly happy. What you describe as your needs to be a satisfied person are not always attainable in retirement, although others may argue differently. And motivation to challenge oneself, seek activities, or find accomplishments in retirement can easily wane and diminish with no deadlines, no boss, no work structure to propel with discipline.




Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
I would say that not everyone is good at managing a ton of free time - the kind of extensive free time that retirement brings.

People upthread have voiced this. They get bored, frustrated, feel anxious or at loose ends, want to accomplish something but can't quite get in gear to accomplish something, or they aren't able to find something satisfying for their particular personality and psyche - when life is no longer working at a regular job or profession that fills up the days.

These feelings can hit during regular weekends and longer holiday weekends while people are still working regular jobs and not retired - so when actually retired, it seems daunting.

I think others upthread painting a picture of retirement downplay the difficult feelings people can experience in retirement.

This is very well-put, Matisse. A job can get to be a drag, but it can still be satisfying and that reward of a paycheck is a great feeling. It also depends on where you live. There was so much to do other places I lived---jump in the car, go anywhere....see a movie, go sight-seeing, camping, rafting, hiking, road trips....


Yet all these things/activities cost money. In retirement, finances have to be watched for many of us. Eating out, trips, gas, car maintenance....all cost money.


We are experiencing a lack of motivation as you describe. We knowingly sacrificed a lot to live here at the beach, and though we love it, it is taking a lot of adjustment. We promised ourselves to do Spanish lessons every day---is that happening? DH drags his feet on that. With no car, kind of limited that direction. Those are the trade-offs we knowingly made, but it is easy to sink into sitting and reading all day....with no outside pressure to "do" anything. Some of our friends surf but we don't.


We hope to get bikes to ride and a Ping-Pong table. Start making sauerkraut. Be braver on the bus routes and visit some areas. Venture out of our "comfort zone". We do walk 2 miles every day. Get on with the Spanish lessons. All the while trying to stay on that narrow shoe-string!
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Old 11-26-2016, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,451 posts, read 1,152,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagineAA View Post
I am preparing to retire early in the next few years. I have a question for those who have successfully transitioned into retirement. [b]How do you make that transition psychologically?
imagineAA,

As a person who is very goal/result oriented and who had enjoyed the demands and challenges of my career, I think we have several things in common.

I think that it is very wise of you to think about the psychological transition to retirement several years ahead of time.

I am quoting parts of my retirement report here to give you some food for thought

Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
It has been exactly 1 year since my last work day. I enjoyed reading others' reflections of their retirement experience and would like to share mine below.
....
Since I still enjoyed my work when I made the difficult decision of volunteering for the buyout, I did miss my work but not as often as I had feared. For many years, my career defined me, gave me a framework for living, contributed greatly to my sense of purpose. I am glad that even though my retirement came a bit earlier than planned, I had prepared for it by finding replacement avenues in my avocations (flying, rowing, hiking, traveling and volunteering). In retirement, I also found myself subconsciously applying my 'work thinking system' to daily activities: prioritizing, optimizing, organizing, planning, scheduling etc I am glad that I took the course and training to be an US Rowing Coach early last year. The coaching and event coordination activities of my rowing club had given me tremendous satisfaction.
.....

About the slowing down part, although I have had some reflective, slowing down moments, I am still a person who-could-not-sit-still for long. There are always so many things to do. In the first half of my 1st retirement year, I spent many more hours per day on tasks and home projects than at work. Even when we decided to slow down, to take a break in the home repairs, downsizing tasks to enjoy some travels in the last 5-6 months, I still felt 'rushed' with so many things to plan and to do for each trip.
I think the key difference between working and retirement is that you have to be your own boss and set your own goals and schedules. You can start with finding activities to make your weekends more productive and enjoyable. You can develop hobbies, outside-of-work interests/activities to make your weekends enjoyable now. They are the things that you will do and enjoy in your retirement.

I also find that having alternate networks, being involved with some organizations make the transition from work to retirement much easier.
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Old 11-26-2016, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,364 posts, read 7,911,249 times
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I was terrified at the thought of retirement imagineAA. I was truly a workaholic and as you find down time a waste of time, so did I. It made me anxious to deal with boredom. I was also miserable working myself into that robot numb state, but it was oh so familiar and a comfort.

I decided to retire at 58 because my job went to strictly 12 hour shifts. I was working double shifts and crazy hours on the midnight shift. Then I had a very serious breast cancer scare. I also saw many of my coworkers on the night shift develop severe health problems. I had to take a hard look at what I was doing to myself being a wage slave workaholic. I decided to retire shortly after the scare.

That was on July 31st 2015. I started a big project on our house and kept very busy for the first couple of months. The only difference was that I could stop any time I wanted to. You can't do that at work. It was a gradual slow down for me and actually a fun slow down. One week I rode my bike for 6 hours in addition to working on my project. I learned how to detox from that always on mentality and that's when the rainbow popped out of my head and the angels started to sing.

Life is so much more then a job, especially when every day is filled with fun. Just be sure you have enough money. Our lifestyle did not change one bit after I quit my job. I think that is important. All that anxiety I had about not having enough money was just left over baggage from my childhood. Once I realized that we would be just fine without my salary I began to relax even more.

I will be 60 in January, but I'm still young enough to enjoy having fun. Why wait until you're 70 to retire? That ten years of fun is far better then chasing that money we don't even need. Addiction in any form blinds you and you miss so much because of it. You won't really understand fully how amazing having every day belong to you until you walk in those retirement shoes OP. You'll be fine without that job. Trust me
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:49 AM
 
Location: South Minneapolis
4,760 posts, read 5,429,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagineAA View Post

I have a good job and find hard work rewarding in itself. My work is meaningful but I don't get a giant sense of accomplishment from it. I'm not unhappy with my job, but my point is, it's not my whole life or anything. It is just what gives my time structure.

The OP derives some satisfaction from work, just not a "giant sense of accomplishment."

Last edited by Glenfield; 11-26-2016 at 12:00 PM..
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Old 11-26-2016, 12:56 PM
 
1,090 posts, read 1,597,183 times
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I retired from teaching history (California) after 32 years. Sold the house and moved to Maui. After 6 months of hanging around my condo, was ready to go back to work. My retired neighbors mostly sit around and complain about the pool guy, the gardeners, the homeowner's association, and more.
I now substitute teach at a terrific high school and love every day I spend there. Have been offered full-time positions but now I don't have to sweat test scores, teacher meetings, lesson plans, report cards, etc. It's the best job I've ever had!
Some of us were just meant to stay busy.
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Old 11-26-2016, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,969 posts, read 1,372,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagineAA View Post
I am preparing to retire early in the next few years. I have a question for those who have successfully transitioned into retirement. How do you make that transition psychologically?

If I have a long weekend with no structure/plans, I am irritated at the wasted time and do not feel relaxed afterwards.

I have a good job and find hard work rewarding in itself. My work is meaningful but I don't get a giant sense of accomplishment from it. I'm not unhappy with my job, but my point is, it's not my whole life or anything. It is just what gives my time structure.

I feel concerned that, despite adding activities to my day, I will get depressed without the high level of demands that are on me right now. I do not tend to have depression, but I feel this situation might get me there.
You may need to keep working if you fear depression. You obviously contribute a high sense of worth associated with your employment. For many of us, even in good positions, work is only a means to an end, the sooner the better. Iíve been retired 25 years and have never regretted it, not even an hour.

One of my good friends, a corporate executive, was the epitome of a company man. His total life was the corporation, and that the department he managed could not function without him. Until the company let him go, two years before his retirement.

For me personally, I found that learning how to make money without working far more rewarding.
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Old 11-26-2016, 04:29 PM
 
1,040 posts, read 889,596 times
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Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to reply.

Yes, I am a lady and I have a husband. We have interests in common. He, however, has a much higher threshold for unstructured time than I do. To him, not leaving the house for an entire weekend, while spending the time writing and playing computer games by himself, is ideal. I want to blow my brains out if I do that. (Not really. It's just a saying.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
It is not as if you are going for a root canal or something. Retiring is supposed to be fun! And for us it has been. We wanted to shake things up a bit so we moved 2000 miles to the middle of the Pacific, bought 2 acres and have taken up farming, surfing and water color painting. It keeps us busy.
To you, it is not like a root canal. To me, it kind of is.

I come from a long line of people who never retired, and worked many hours throughout their lives. Work is extremely important in my culture--it is what makes you a worthwhile person, no matter what type of work you do, as long as it's honest and you do a good job.

I actually do find my work meaningful in some ways, but there is so much bureaucracy that my accomplishments are mostly limited to completion of tasks rather than big picture stuff. Being a manager sucks in very special ways too--you would be surprised how childish people are. It's annoying and stressful and I am looking forward to leaving it all behind.

I was on a staycation recently and my husband was resistant to leaving the house. I just...ugh...it made me think, "Is this what retirement will be like? Have I just been busting my butt all these years to sit around the house waiting for death?"

Maybe that does not make sense to others, but that is genuinely how I feel/what I thought. And I do need to deal with that so I don't lose my mind.

My plans right now are to do charity work part time, audit college classes, go to lectures, continue to do my hobbies, and perhaps do some sort of mentoring or teaching.

I do have hobbies already--but don't envision those as a full-time endeavor. In addition to coming from a culture that does not believe in retirement, I've also had an extraordinarily difficult life with many struggles. I can't (yet) wrap my head around spending most of my time doing things purely for fun. That is just the truth.
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Old 11-26-2016, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,504,154 times
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Well, that said, OP, don't retire. Who says you have to? If you hate being a manager then maybe you can still keep working but in another role or company.
There are people who work into their 80s, 90s, and beyond. Do what makes YOU happy!
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Old 11-26-2016, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,684 posts, read 1,863,297 times
Reputation: 11284
Default Wow

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagineAA View Post
Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to reply.

Yes, I am a lady and I have a husband. We have interests in common. He, however, has a much higher threshold for unstructured time than I do. To him, not leaving the house for an entire weekend, while spending the time writing and playing computer games by himself, is ideal. I want to blow my brains out if I do that. (Not really. It's just a saying.)

To you, it is not like a root canal. To me, it kind of is.

I come from a long line of people who never retired, and worked many hours throughout their lives. Work is extremely important in my culture--it is what makes you a worthwhile person, no matter what type of work you do, as long as it's honest and you do a good job.

I actually do find my work meaningful in some ways, but there is so much bureaucracy that my accomplishments are mostly limited to completion of tasks rather than big picture stuff. Being a manager sucks in very special ways too--you would be surprised how childish people are. It's annoying and stressful and I am looking forward to leaving it all behind.

I was on a staycation recently and my husband was resistant to leaving the house. I just...ugh...it made me think, "Is this what retirement will be like? Have I just been busting my butt all these years to sit around the house waiting for death?"

Maybe that does not make sense to others, but that is genuinely how I feel/what I thought. And I do need to deal with that so I don't lose my mind.

My plans right now are to do charity work part time, audit college classes, go to lectures, continue to do my hobbies, and perhaps do some sort of mentoring or teaching.

I do have hobbies already--but don't envision those as a full-time endeavor. In addition to coming from a culture that does not believe in retirement, I've also had an extraordinarily difficult life with many struggles. I can't (yet) wrap my head around spending most of my time doing things purely for fun. That is just the truth.
I literally could have written this post.
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Old 11-26-2016, 06:42 PM
 
491 posts, read 597,769 times
Reputation: 2095
ONe thing I would add is that it is different not working at all and having an extra day here and there when working. I always found those extra days a little hard. They weren't enough time to really get into a project, so what to do with them? NOw when I think of something I want to do I know I will have the time to really dive in. IF it makes a big mess I can work on it the next day...not have the big mess hanging over my head all week until the next block of time.

I have also become more mindful and able to do one task at a time. AT first that was hard. It was hard not to multi task everything. IT took some adjusting, but I really like really focusing on dinner when I am cooking it, or really watching a movie instead of doing forge other things at the same time.
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