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Old 04-12-08, 05:02 PM   #1
67walkon
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What is retirement really like?

We're pretty close to not having to work. It's nothing I did. My wife has inherited some property which we can sell and buy a second home in the mountains of North Carolina, and some property which generates a little income, which combined with our savings and social security in a few years is enough. I'm 58, she's 53, and while we aren't going to be rich, we can be comfortable.

So what do you really do when you don't work? We both have very strong faith walks and can volunteer at church or at the local Christian school. I can probably ride the bike 150 or so miles a week, maybe 200, if I quit work, go to the gym a few times a week, etc.

But what do you really do if you don't have to work? I've been working a long time as a lawyer, and while I have lots of credentials and all that, I'm pretty much sick of the lawyers I deal with. I have partners that I don't want to leave in the lurch, but I don't want to deal with the daily grind anymore.

All this stuff should be finalized in the next few months. Both my wife and I talk about not working, but I'm not really sure what it will be like.

Anybody have any suggestions?
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Old 04-12-08, 05:13 PM   #2
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Well, What do YOU want to do? That's all that counts. Do that.
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Old 04-12-08, 05:18 PM   #3
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you're too young, you'll go bonkers......keep working and the day you're done working and ready to retire, you'll know!
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Old 04-12-08, 05:23 PM   #4
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I'm retired, and it's terrible! Six Saturdays every week, I get up in the morning with nothing to do, and go to bed with half of it not done. Up early every morning, so I'll have more time to loaf. Life now is a never-ending vacation.
you don't have anything that you haven't done for lack of time, you may as well keep working.
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Old 04-12-08, 06:12 PM   #5
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Wonderful! I don't know how I possibly had time to work.

Those that have problems retiring are those that define themselves by their job. "I am a chemical engineer." Then when they quit, they are nothing. I loved engineering, but that is not what I was.

Another trap. Some say, "With all that time, you must have the best looking yard in the neighborhood." Not. It looks worse now than when I was working. Why would I quit a job that I liked and that paid good money to do something I don't like that pays nothing. If yard work/house maintenance is your passion - fine, but otherwise...

TF
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Old 04-12-08, 06:14 PM   #6
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What area are you considering in Western NC if you don't me asking?
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Old 04-12-08, 06:50 PM   #7
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Yes, let me recommend Waynesville. We have a bungalow right downtown (three blocks from Main Street, City Hall, and so on). It is a great town!
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Old 04-12-08, 07:12 PM   #8
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I have retired from my career of software - now I grow trees in Costa Rica. I doubt you could consider us retired, though I don't have to work at much I don't want to.

We are very busy, we like that - but anytime I wish, I can take a powder and go do whatever.

If you don't like what you are doing - do something else. But unless you are ready to just relax, DO something else. It sounds like you want to leave being a lawyer - but you probably have other things that interest you - persue those, without the burden of having to make money.
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Old 04-12-08, 07:13 PM   #9
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I retired at 47. The first year is rough. 7 out of 10 people die within that first year. First thing to do is start an exercise program. If you lay around and don't keep yourself occupied you'll be one of the 7 of 10. I'm into my retirement 5 years now and never plan on working a paying job again. I was in the Navy on a Destroyer for 6 years and then went to work for the Army as a Gas Turbine systems tech so my services were always in high demand. Between travel and work I had almost no personal time so now I make up for all those years.
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Old 04-12-08, 07:17 PM   #10
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Doing the garden. Digging the weeds. Who could ask for more?
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Old 04-12-08, 07:24 PM   #11
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I retired at 47. The first year is rough. 7 out of 10 people die within that first year. First thing to do is start an exercise program. If you lay around and don't keep yourself occupied you'll be one of the 7 of 10. I'm into my retirement 5 years now and never plan on working a paying job again. I was in the Navy on a Destroyer for 6 years and then went to work for the Army as a Gas Turbine systems tech so my services were always in high demand. Between travel and work I had almost no personal time so now I make up for all those years.
I think this is an Urban Legend. There is an increase in risk of death in retiring early, but it is like 20 % - that would be 20% higher than your risk of dying the first year at your age anyway.

It isn't 70% of the people. The rest of what you are saying is correct though - you got to have something to do and excercise is key.
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Old 04-12-08, 07:30 PM   #12
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We sold our business and retired almost two years ago. I'll be 62 in September and haven't had the least bit of difficulty staying busy. I did a little part-time consulting work for the first year, but am now quite happy just doing church and volunteer work and managing the rental of our farms. I really feel sorry for those who have defined themselves by their careers. I held a 3 or 4 positions in 40 years...liked them all but loved none of them. We turned over the keys to our retail business, walked out and have never looked back. I have allowed myself to become too sedentary, which is why I'm back into cycling, but I've got at least 4 hobbies to amuse myself with when I'm unable to ride.
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Old 04-12-08, 07:55 PM   #13
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I retired at 47. The first year is rough. 7 out of 10 people die within that first year.
This is false. A group with a financial motivation published those false numbers a few years back. They included people who retire because they are terminally ill and then exaggerated the numbers from there.

If you are healthy, then retiring has essentially no impact upon your life expectancy ... in fact there is some data that suggests that it lengthens your life. Over 50% of people who retire at 47 live 30+ more years. Very few die in the first year.
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Old 04-12-08, 08:36 PM   #14
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Tom, I have heard a few old geezers were threatened with death or dismemberment when they puttered around in the house too much...
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Old 04-12-08, 08:38 PM   #15
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I took a buy-out a few weeks ago and don't need to work again if I don't want to. I am about to turn 60 in a few days. I find that I am still very tightly scheduled albeit now with personal activities (and minor business activities). In my case I will take six months to think of what to do with the next phase of my life. I have been checking off long-distance cycling goals but I still have other unfulfilled ambitions. Things/events/ideas I passed in my daily life that I made note of and now would like to make an impact on. I spent thirty years getting a formal education, thirty years with career and family raising, now thirty years of... Well, I ain't gonna waste 'em.

Being able to retire securely gives one the luxury of decoupling the driving need to earn a living from the passing of time. But it doesn't stop the inevitability of time passing and for me the desire to optimize it. So I am going to think hard about what my highest priorities are. And the hardest thing I am finding is the time for this (see third sentence) since keeping busy is not the problem.

So being a beginner at retirement and only slightly ahead of the OP, my advice is to set aside some time shortly after the big day to really think about what you want to accomplish in this next phase of your life. My time for this has not yet come but it will shortly.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-12-08, 09:31 PM   #16
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I have been in an all consuming management position for many years. Things changed and it was time for me to retire at age 66.
I replaced the intensity of that job with managing our finances plus health improvement. My wife and I are exercising various forms of physical activities plus mental activities every day. We set high goals of achievement which are doable but challenging. We travel and combine it with physical activities. Money is very important for this lifestyle.
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Old 04-12-08, 09:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboTurtle View Post
Wonderful! I don't know how I possibly had time to work.

Those that have problems retiring are those that define themselves by their job. "I am a chemical engineer." Then when they quit, they are nothing. I loved engineering, but that is not what I was.

Another trap. Some say, "With all that time, you must have the best looking yard in the neighborhood." Not. It looks worse now than when I was working. Why would I quit a job that I liked and that paid good money to do something I don't like that pays nothing. If yard work/house maintenance is your passion - fine, but otherwise...

TF
This sounds a lot like me. I retired at age 52 in 1994 from a high tech job that definitely wasn't me. After 30 years service I was eligible for full pension + benefits. I knew the money would be a little tight but neither the wife or I care much about material things, the house was paid off, we had two decent cars, and I knew the rat race was going to kill me, so I bailed. Best move I ever made.

I hate yard work and house maintenance and feel sorry for some of my friends who bust their asses to compete with their neighbors at this. My house and yard look OK (if you're on a fast horse), that's good enough for me. When something really needs attention I call in a professional to do the work while I'm off riding my bike, reading a book, making smart-ass remarks on BF 50+, or taking a nap.
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Old 04-12-08, 10:29 PM   #18
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The biggest decision I have every day is where I'm going to ride and what bike to use. That is my life.
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Old 04-12-08, 10:30 PM   #19
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I hate yard work and house maintenance and feel sorry for some of my friends who bust their asses to compete with their neighbors at this. My house and yard look OK (if you're on a fast horse), that's good enough for me. When something really needs attention I call in a professional to do the work while I'm off riding my bike, reading a book, making smart-ass remarks on BF 50+, or taking a nap.
I'll have what he's having . . .
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Old 04-12-08, 10:39 PM   #20
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W_O_R_K is a 4-letter word!
Been retired 13 years. Never been bored. Do what we like to do . . . ride, write (free lance), travel and spending the kidz inheritance!
You go around once as far as we know . . . do what you've always wanted to do . . . NOW! Tomorrow you may be dead as a doornail!
Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 04-12-08, 11:31 PM   #21
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I have chance to make contact with about 15 of my ex-co-workers who have retired. All of them are loving it. Rare is the person who says that they have enough time to do all that they desire to do. I have never heard one of them say that they regret having retired.

As odds have it, three of my ex-co-workers did die in their first year of retirement (out of about 50-60 whom I have known to retire). However all three retired because they had serious forms of cancer. Otherwise all of them would have worked for another 3-5 years. I really felt sorry for all of them, as they all had put 30+ years in and could have retired a couple of years earlier. Instead they didn't have a single carefree day in retirement.

Outside of those three, of everyone else who retired in reasonably good health, I don't know of any who died in their first 3-4 years, and nearly all of them are still ticking.
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Old 04-12-08, 11:36 PM   #22
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But what do you really do if you don't have to work? I've been working a long time as a lawyer, and while I have lots of credentials and all that, I'm pretty much sick of the lawyers I deal with. I have partners that I don't want to leave in the lurch, but I don't want to deal with the daily grind anymore.



Anybody have any suggestions?
You say you don't enjoy working with your law partners...do you associate your 'daily grind' with
your partners?

If you still enjoy law, why not look into pro-bono work.

Just make sure you get in some miles on your bike(s) regularly.
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Old 04-13-08, 04:09 AM   #23
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Remember that n4zou's view of the numbers of folks who die quickly after retirement may be influenced by a life of military service . Although I would hope things are getting better, there are environmental considerations involved.

I spent the latter half of the 60's and the first half of the 70's in the U.S. Submarine service. It was our opiniohn then (sorry Tom, not substantiatd by hard stats) that the life expectancy of a retiring sailor was poor. Too many cigaretes, too much drinking, too much fatty food, too many long days with high stress and little sleep and far too much airborne oil and other contaminants had the inevitable bad results. Our pipes were layered with asbestos. I've had friends come in from a patrol on a diesel powered submarine who needed 3 to 4 changes of water in the bath tub before they stopped leaving an oil ring...
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Old 04-13-08, 05:46 AM   #24
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I have been highly involved with using my talents in leading and organizing extremely valuable charitable work; organizing and leading "senior" singing groups and bicycling groups; and supporting in various ways one of my sons with a disability.

As an attorney, if you so desire, you have the opportunity to make wonderful gains for others in social progress. For example, individuals with disabilities need tremendous legal support in negotiating the rules and bureaucracies of school systems and adult delivery systems.

Here are a couple of web sites that may be of interest to you to give you some ideas:

The first is a state-wide coalition of individuals with disabilities which has had a major impact on Colorado laws and policies, the Colorado Cross Disabilities Coalition:

http://www.ccdconline.org/legal/legal.htm

This one is my son's web page. He and his attorney wife have made tremendous gains for others, and maintained a career and income for themselves, representing and gaining appropriate services for individuals with disabilities, including using class action as a tool:

http://www.foxrob.com

Here is a legal program for individuals with disabilities sponsored by the Arc of Denver

http://www.arcofdenver.org/legalrepresentation.html

Here are a couple of web sites for organizations I have started and in which I am heavily invested.

http://www.noewait.net

http://members.aol.com/padcoweb

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NOEWAIT/

I am very involved in a state-wide ballot initiative to "End the Wait List" for adults with disabilities, and speak to groups and clubs in this capacity.

I am suggesting that it may be worthwhile and fulfilling for you to use your law expertise in volunteering to assist others - something you may not have been able to do much of when working for a living. It is very fulfilling and satisfying.

I am busy (on purpose) from first light until evening.

Yesterday (Saturday), I supported my wife's singing group by being their "Roadie" as they sang before a group of 150 50+ folks. I operated the sound system, etc.

Very much fun.

Of course, additionally, I bicycle, swim, lift weights, walk, take singing lessons and perform. Our men's gospel singing group will be performing at a regional 3-day event with groups from all across the US of A in June.

However, I hate yard work!

You have the energy and time now to use your skills for the benefit of others and to improve society. Perhaps your area of interest is not disabilities, but is the environment, or the poor or some other significant issue. Or perhaps it is using your abilities to advocate for bicycling. In any event, retirement provides you with the opportunity to use your God-given talents in ways which you can't while in business or employed by others.

RETIREMENT IS AN OPPORTUNITY

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Old 04-13-08, 07:07 AM   #25
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This is a good start: "We both have very strong faith walks and can volunteer at church or at the local Christian school." Volunteering can fill up a lot of time, often with a time requirement that motivates you.
I'm studying to become a wilderness EMT when I retire - I volunteer with a local fire dept (they will pay for the training!) and later I can volunteer with forest service, interior dept, etc. at parks and such, and not be confined to taking nature walks around the visitor center or worse, staffing the trinket shop selling post cards to geezers wearing funny shorts...
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