Here's my wife's take on my retirement:
"I'm already tired of hearing you, my husband, "reminiscing" endlessly of the same old and boring events that nobody wants to hear" about.
Unfortunately, most of you guys and gals in here can probably relate to this statement...
I'd like to work until 70 (I'm 50 now). Mostly this is due to lack of imagination and/or discipline. I fear that if I stop working, I'll stop moving.
As it is, I'm lucky. I can cycle to work during the warmer months and I live next to a nice state park which allows me to hike for a nice half-hour every morning before heading off to work. If I can do this forever, I'd be happy.
Weekends remind me how undisciplined I can be. During the week, I'm up before dawn, take a shower and at the fisrt light of day, I have the dog on a leash and we're traipsing up and down hills in the woods. On weekends, I usually do not get out of bed until nine, and then spend about an hour or two on the computer before ever leaving the house. I fear that upon retirement, my weekend lifestyle will take over and I'll deteriorate rather quickly.
Hmmm. Some interesting (and perhaps unstated?) perspectives in this thread.
Two years ago I was made redundant. I was 56. I had planned to retire at 58 so this wasn't a big deal financially, and I won't bore you with the "make sure you have enough money" stuff, except to say that in my experience it is much easier to live cheaply once one isn't working.
I think the real question is existential. Once you don't "have" to do things, because of your obligations to others, then the question changes. What do you want to do, because it gives your life meaning? Don't underestimate this question. I know people who are quite intelligent, seem interested in lots of things, but aren't sufficiently engaged with their lives to prevent them having their first drink before lunchtime.
It seems to me that it is crucial to be forward-looking rather than backward-looking. Reminiscence is very nice in its place, but it isn't sustaining. In my own case, I have been daft enough to take up bicycle racing (I won't win much, but it means I work at improving rather than simply managing decline) and have become involved in running a local charity. The latter isn't going to improve my blood pressure, because I can't stand seeing things being done badly, but it does give me something that I think is useful to focus on and contribute to.
It's clear from the posts in this thread that some are happy to be able to look inwards and (I don't mean this to be derogative) subside. Personally, I couldn't do this and preserve my morale. I have to be engaged in something that presents me with a substantial challenge. Anyone who is considering retirement should ask themselves whether they share this trait, because if they do, they need to plan. Just being the old guy sitting on the porch and/or tending his garden would be suicidal for me. Tastes differ, of course, but it is certainly well worth thinking hard about what you have enjoyed so far, and how those things are to be carried forward once you don't have to work.
Just to eliminate an impression I may have given, we(meaning the wife and I) are not interested in "getting out" of paying into SS.
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My nephew's and his two friends' blog about their riding the East Coast, Maine to the Keys:
My Strava account
I'm not yet retired (end of 2013 maybe), but looking at this thread's title caused me to have an epiphany When I do retire I'm not going to tell anyone. That way I can pick an choose the duty for which I volunteer. Call from son or DIL to watch grandkids, no problemo. Call from son to help dig a trench; sorry, got to work Staying fit as most of us do has the unfortunate side effect of raising expectations.
I'm really looking forward to doing what I want to do when I want to do it. Work cuts into our riding. Maybe I should give human resources a ring right now and pull that end of '13 back to end of February?
Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
daVinci Joint Venture
"When Congress passed the Social Security Act in 1935, it excluded federal, state, and local government employees from mandatory coverage. The exclusion for state and local public employees was based on constitutional concerns about whether the federal government could impose taxes on state governments. In the early 1950s, Congress passed a law that allowed state and local government employees to be covered if they voluntarily chose coverage in a referendum."
I'm just three months into retirement and I'll be 62 yrs. old in June. I suspect that I left my job of 42 years just in time to watch the company close down as an outsider rather than as an employee.
I've worked at routinely scheduled jobs since I was 12 yrs. old. Part time jobs while still in school and full time when I wasn't. My days of rest were very precious and seemed to be few and far between.
Now I work a part time per-diem position which provides me with tons of free time. I'm starting to feel different. I'm starting to realize a sence of peace. I can spend a day doing nothing and not feel guilty about having done nothing. I now gleefully drive my bride about town running her errands without feeling cheated out of any of my precious free time. There is no "End of the weekend" clock ticking away in the back of my head anymore. I can almost feel my inner mainspring starting to relax a bit.
Financially we are not what one could call "Well off". We practiced living for a little over a year on what we expected our retirement income would be. We're surviving and I'm not too scared, yet.
I'm only a beginner at this and I've yet to have any retirement time during hospitable weather, but for me retirement is starting to look like it will become a time of our life when the bride and I will finally peacefully spend a bunch of quality time together without impinging on our diverse personal interests.
For example, to me Sunday has now become The Day Before Monday. I start thinking about work on Sunday mornings, if indeed I ever stopped since Friday night. I tend to view personal activities in light of how much of my "free" time (i.e., time away from work, therefore worthwhile time) they will consume and deciding whether or not to do them accordingly. As a result, I'm doing less and less, but I'm also relaxing far less as well.
If I can make it to retirement age, it will hugely liberating not to have the cloud of my (current, at least) job hanging over me every day. I've just gotta get there... Sounds like fun if you make it!
Len Philpot - 2012 Specialized Tricross Sport
I start out slow and then taper off from there...
My wife and I retired almost three years ago. It has been wonderful, and the issue that my kids worried over (what will you do with all that time?) has not been an issue at all. So:
How do you spend your time? We bike, exercise, travel, and do "grandparenting" duty.
What might you do differently? Save earlier and retired earlier (waited until I was nearly 69)
Have any of your "goals or priorities" changed? We've put a greater emphasis on healthy diet and more regular exercising. Would like to do more bicycle touring while we can.
Has anyone felt the need to work "part time" aside from financial reasons? A passing thought from time to time, but hasn't been necessary yet.
How has it affected your interests like cycling---or other interests/hobbies you might have? Not a big change, just a little more time to pursue our interests. We did buy a tandem, so that was a fun change.
Who has traveled--and where---especially for cycling vacations? Several road trips in the US each year, Europe once and plans for more. Not as much cycle touring as we'd hoped. Have one planned for this summer and hopefully a bike tour in Europe next year.
Has anyone just got bored or tired of cycling because they have so much time to ride? How did you deal with it? Not bored, but often sidetracked by other activities. We've decided to move biking higher on our priorities.
Any words of wisdom or lessons learned from those that have more experience with this retirement thing? When our kids started moving out, and again when we started planning on retirement, Sharon and I sat down together and made lists of shared activities we were interested in pursuing. I think it is the smartest thing any couple can do when approaching a major life style change. Worked for us.
Four yrs retired and counting. Have not regretted it one bit. I find it is the little things I enjoy most about it. For example, taking my time finishing morning coffee or reading the newspaper without the phones ringing and people demanding more and more of my time.
I did a little consulting during the first couple of yrs but now find it would get in the way of what I enjoy. What a treat to wake up to a beautiful morning and think 'maybe I will go for a ride today', or 'maybe I'll go to the beach, or take my wife to lunch', rather than saying ' I wish I had this wonderful day off.
It may not sound like much but the freedom to do what you want to do is liberating and precious.
"If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain
'12 Salsa Casseroll (Pepé)
'09 Specialized Roubaix Elite (Black Stallion)
'89 Puegeot Bordeaux (Big Blue)
'08 Specialized Sirrus Comp (Shadow)
'06 Trek Navigator 500 (The Beast)
My continued mantras are: "Never stop learning" "Never stop exercising" --and I suspect those will be even more important in retirement.
repeated with emphasis... NEVER STOP LEARNING
David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino
I continue to ask folks I run into about retirement to gather more feedback. I'm currently in Phoenix for the week and played golf with 3 "retirees" yesterday. What a life.......those guys were so relaxed and to a person whole heartedly recommended it. They were in professional careers and have no regrets about life after full time employment. It was neat seeing the comraderie those three have with each other.
Many, many thanks to the input from all of you. I completely understand it is an individual decision but if the spouse doesn't bankrupt me I think I'll be out on the bike and golf course much more often the next time my company has a voluntary separation offer. This is really helping me to get mentally prepared. I just don't want to get to the point I dread working as I could have retired several times. The job is still very rewarding but ever changing.......just moving in a direction that I have a hard time fully supporting. I find that sad.
Please keep the comment coming!!
Ride your Ride!!
i retired at 51 and its great but to all retiring early work part time and open a roth ira account online and learn how to invest and trade to counter inflation and remember to enjoy
A friend of mine says that retirement is the greatest gig ever but the pay could be better. Have to agree with him on both counts. Coming up to six years retired shortly.