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Old 09-17-2017, 01:45 PM
 
2,032 posts, read 859,539 times
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As long as you are financially secure you are golden. I never felt any guilt about not going to work again, neither did my wife. We felt no need to do anything except enjoy the freedom to do what we want when we want. Mod cut.

Last edited by PJSaturn; 09-19-2017 at 08:53 AM.. Reason: Orphaned (reply to comment which has been deleted).
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Texas
74 posts, read 39,027 times
Reputation: 127
If you did feel guilty that would be more about your idea of how you are meeting other people's (for example your parents') expectations. You can now relax and thoughtfully structure your life to meet your own expectations.

I sometimes feel like I am missing something or am falling behind because I am no longer participating in the corporate world and collecting a paycheck. That kind of thinking can lead to guilt and frustration. After your working career is over it's time to face reality and deal with another season of your life. It sounds like you have some good plans to maintain structure in your life, which is important.

One way to look at this is that you now are self-employed in managing your life. Maintaining your health, finances, hobbies, and relationships is now your full-time job. Plenty of time is now available for you to devote to the things that matter. Reading and posting on forums like this can certainly help.
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:13 PM
 
5,425 posts, read 3,445,259 times
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OP, you seem to be equating your self-worth with your money-making abilities and your money-making activity of working.

One thing that strikes me is you are retiring rather early at 61 1/2 for a person who takes strong pride in bringing in a paycheck and places great emphasis on it.

It could be that you are one of the group of retired people who take a part-time job doing something new after retiring.
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:36 PM
 
17,000 posts, read 20,668,960 times
Reputation: 33987
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOinGA View Post
As I near retirement, I am very excited about it, but also fearful that I am going to feel guilty not working. I plan to retire next year at age 61 1/2. I have been careful, financially, which will enable me to live a modest, but comfortable life....which is what I have always done. But my parents always drilled a work ethic into me....work and save, work and save. How do others deal with the guilt of waking up on a Monday and not going to work along with everyone else? Does it dissipate over time? Did you not feel as guilty as you thought you might? I don't plan to sit in front of the TV eating bonbons. My plans are to exercise and be active in my new community.....but not pursuing a paycheck.....I am worried about how that will make me feel.

[snip]
Mod cut.

Why should you feel guilty? Some of us are more careful with our money than others.

If people resent you because you retire at 61 1/2 and they have to work till 70 well too bad for them. In fact if they can't let it go, than it's a good time to do some "house cleaning".

I find most(not all) people who have no savings are the sames one who must have their $5 Starbucks every morning, than whine when their car insurance is do.

Go do some volunteer work. There are plenty of those opportunities and you will rewarded in other ways.

Last edited by PJSaturn; 09-19-2017 at 08:56 AM.. Reason: Reply to comment which has been deleted.
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
1,244 posts, read 587,882 times
Reputation: 2731
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdman03 View Post
If you did feel guilty that would be more about your idea of how you are meeting other people's (for example your parents') expectations. You can now relax and thoughtfully structure your life to meet your own expectations.

I sometimes feel like I am missing something or am falling behind because I am no longer participating in the corporate world and collecting a paycheck. That kind of thinking can lead to guilt and frustration. After your working career is over it's time to face reality and deal with another season of your life. It sounds like you have some good plans to maintain structure in your life, which is important.

One way to look at this is that you now are self-employed in managing your life. Maintaining your health, finances, hobbies, and relationships is now your full-time job. Plenty of time is now available for you to devote to the things that matter. Reading and posting on forums like this can certainly help.

You have provided a wonderful perspective!
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Old 09-17-2017, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
1,244 posts, read 587,882 times
Reputation: 2731
Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
OP, you seem to be equating your self-worth with your money-making abilities and your money-making activity of working.

One thing that strikes me is you are retiring rather early at 61 1/2 for a person who takes strong pride in bringing in a paycheck and places great emphasis on it.

It could be that you are one of the group of retired people who take a part-time job doing something new after retiring.
Yes, maybe. The age is, perhaps, one source of the fear of guilt. However, my daughter lives in another state and I am moving closer to her. She has been away for 7 years......2 years in grad school in Indiana, 2 years working in Michigan and 3 years in Tennessee. I long for a relationship with easier logistics. I have already bought my new house and we have already been able to walk our dogs together when I have been up there. If she lived nearby, I would likely work longer, but we never know how much time we have.......
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Old 09-17-2017, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
1,244 posts, read 587,882 times
Reputation: 2731
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
You won't change in retirement. All of your good and bad habits you will keep. If you didn't exercise before, eat bon bons in front of the TV before or be active in your community before, you won't be doing those things after you retire, either, despite your intentions. If you did do those things, you'll still do them only with more time flexibility. That's my opinion based on experience. The only difference is by not working, it may have a different effect on you. In my case, I never realized how much exercise was involved daily in just going to work (walking to the train station or walking in from the parking lot, walking between buildings for meetings multiple times per day, walking up and down stairs, walking to the cafeteria for lunch (in another building, etc.). Walking for the sake of walking just didn't appeal to me after I retired. If you were a procrastinator at work, you'll still be a procrastinator in retirement. If you were a volunteer, you'll find a way to volunteer. If you liked to read, you'll still read. If you patted yourself on the back for your political views, you'll still do it in retirement. If you were a spendaholic, you'll still be one in retirement...but without the same money...which could make you worried, I suppose.

Guess what I'm saying is, don't expect to be reborn in retirement. You're still you. The money thing may make you worried/resentful/sad if you can't be you anymore. Health issues may also make you worried/sad/resentful if you can't be you anymore. Just my opinion. Never felt guilty, just surprised.
Good point. I am looking forward to more time for things I already do and getting back to some things I used to enjoy, but fell by the wayside over time. I love to swim laps and deliberately bought a retirement home across the street from a neighborhood pool. I enjoy early morning swims on the weekends, but the thought of an 8 AM swim as many times a week as I want, does seem like bliss.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,083 posts, read 12,464,975 times
Reputation: 26091
Guilt? Some time ago right after I retired after working SINCE I WAS 8 years old, someone told me "wow must be nice to lay around all day and get paid for it."

Yes it is, very. Guilt? Heck no I earned this.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,656 posts, read 1,522,222 times
Reputation: 3627
I've been made to feel guilty all through my 32 year career by conservative relatives who work in the private sector and sneer at those of us in government jobs who "mooch" off the taxpayers. And yes, they consider a government job to be a free ride and drawing a government pension even more so! And since my job is in defense, although safety related, liberal friends also criticize. So my retirement guilt will be about drawing on a government pension, not whether I am working or not. And my relatives will be even more critical about the pension than about my earnings, although one of them receives a nice private sector pension.

One of the ongoing economic debates is that baby boomers have a monopoly on all the jobs and are delaying their retirements thus penalizing the younger generations. For those of us who had good jobs and especially those careers that offer a pension and are ready to retire, it should give you some satisfaction that a younger person will now have that opportunity. And in my case, I no longer had the energy and concentration required to perform my job duties to the high standards I set for myself so it was unfair to stay on longer for more money.

Last edited by ABQ2015; 09-17-2017 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,729,443 times
Reputation: 32304
I, too, feel that I have earned my retirement, and then some. During 34 years I put up with lots of stress and b.s. from various idiotic supervisors. (They weren't all idiotic, of course.) And I worked part-time for a number of years before beginning that 34-year stretch which earned me a pension. Probably about 41 years in the workforce all together - not as much as a lot of folks, I know, but enough to have earned my retirement without feeling guilty.


Yet I understand where the OP is coming from. Unless we are staying home raising children - a high, noble, and important calling for sure - we spend decades feeling that we are a contributing member of society by working and by paying taxes in that way, and by the actual job we are doing quite apart from the monetary aspects. After all, the job is a part of society if someone considers it important enough to pay us for doing it.


Now all of a sudden, at the moment of retirement, that official "place" as a contributing member of society evaporates. We still have an identity as an individual, of course; we have knowledge, interests, and ways of finding joy in life. But something very important and very central is indeed missing.


That takes an adjustment for many folks (notice I didn't say for all folks), so that need for an adjustment is what I hear the OP writing about.
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