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Retirement. What does it mean?

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Retirement. What does it mean?

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Old 06-29-18, 05:04 PM
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deacon mark
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Retirement. What does it mean?

I have to post this to a group like this. Today I retired from my job I was a supervisor for caseworkers for DHS for State of Illinois. I was going to hold out maybe until end of this year at earliest and my thought was wait till I am at least 58. Well Lord willing I will be 57 this July and I just decided the stress was getting to me and not worth the extra cash to work. It was weird and my reaction was completely unexpected. I have done this for 34 years and was able to buy an additional year of service with time off. The job is really stressful but my workers liked me and I ended up crying when I left.

Ok so at one time I thought this is the dream I am out of working everyday and can ride and run when I want. Sure it is in some ways a dream come true, but I have not come to grips with all the angles and emotions. This last week I did not ride in the mornings just ran. I was thinking I might crash and never get to retire. I normally go out very early and run or ride between 5am and 7:15 depending although running uses less time. If I do go out for a 2 hour ride in AM like I do then that is usual.

At basically 57 injuries happen more running and the years of it takes toll. I ride and that to me is just so much easier for the most part but it takes more time and planning. Now with retirement I have no clue what I might do or what the schedule might be. I am one who can over-do it and so I will not just go crazy the past creeps up when I would just tire and overtraining is a issue. I can see that I need to keep a prospective on what is important and to stay healthy. I have not idea where this post is going except that maybe some of this group has gone through something similar.

My goals are to just be able to ride and run ok and be able to see if less stress might make some things easier. Over the last few years my running pace has drastically fell off but my riding is still pretty much what it has been. I will quit babbling but any insight might be worth a take.
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Old 06-29-18, 05:42 PM
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I have nothing to contribute here but am subscribing because I'm interested in whatever the responses may be. I'm also a state employee. I'm 51 and right now the plan is to retire at 55, but I'll also have 2 kids in college then and we'll have to see what the financial aid situation is like.
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Old 06-29-18, 05:54 PM
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I am a federal employee, 59 years old, and can retire anytime, but the longer I stay the more my retirement is. I also have two houses to unload. I have been running this year and have lost a significant amount of weight, like 15lbs, but my right knee hurt so bad I had to quit running 5 days ago. 5 days later no knee pain. I am going to start commuting to work, and riding a lot more, if I can find a relatively safe route to work in my new town. Just for the record, a buddy of mine got ran over training for a half marathon a few years ago. I dunno, just gotta enjoy yourself as safely as possible as long as possible, cause sitting on the couch will kill you, and you die weak and fat. I have friends that cannot walk to their car in the parking lot without panting.
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Old 06-29-18, 05:56 PM
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I'm not that close, but I do wonder if I'll drive my wife crazy being home all the time.

I'll do a lot of riding, but I better find something else also.

If all goes as expected, I'll retire in 8 years.
If all goes really well, I'll retire in 4 years.
If something goes really bad (like a health issue), I could probably do it now.
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Old 06-29-18, 06:10 PM
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I have been thinking about retirement a lot for the last 10 days or so. I retired from my first job in 07 after over 26 yrs& have been working my 2nd job for the last 10. I will be 65 this yr & my youngest just finished college. The dilemma in my mind is I like working but I want to retire while II can still bike and golf.
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Old 06-29-18, 06:33 PM
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Congratulation on joining the retired group. I retired July 2011 and haven't looked back, I bike almost every day weather permitting and enjoy it. I also operate a website about Texas bicycling as a hobby which keeps me thinking. My wife has some health issues the last couple of years but we have traveled on cruises and back to Ohio to see our youngest daughter and grandsons and NYC to see our oldest daughter several times.
I never got into running after high school so I haven't experienced the joint problems you have but I have been in several bike crashes, one very serious in 1989, but the bike calls me back.
Houston weather is favorable most of the year so biking is easy to get out and do.
Look for those interests that you have a passion for and let them keep you active in your retirement. Mental and physical action will help keep you young.
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Old 06-29-18, 07:59 PM
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I retired in 2000 at the age of 55. My woodworking hobby became my 'full-time' job, and I made quite a few toys for my grandkids. Then I added biking and split my time between the two, depending on weather and inclination. Finally, I added photography to the mix. My days are now as full as I want, and I can always get away from it all with a good book.
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Old 06-29-18, 08:10 PM
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I retired when I was about your age. I am about 10 years older now. I never defined retirement as leaving work. I defined it as choosing what I wanted to do. Work did not allow the amount of time choice I wanted.


When it comes to bicycling, I exercise, tour and commute. I ALWAYS make my car my last choice for going places. That does not mean I never drive. It just means the car is the last choice for transport. If you haven't toured you may want to take that up. We (my wife is an avid cyclist), have searched out bicycling groups. We do not ride with the clubs but we have found people who want to go on leisurely rides. Ultimately we became great friends. If you like the club pace and style, and one is available, then a good choice for you.


The other way I have met like minded people is participating in bicycle advocacy. Groups are looking for people with time, interest and skills. It will provide some great contributions to the community with something you love. Also, we just moved to a new town and found the bicycle group that has coffee every Friday. We are now part of that group. The downside is they meet at 7AM since the group started when all were working. Now, fewer work than are retired but the time remains the same.


Finally, I have tried different things. I worked on a crime analysis project. Knew nothing about it but I understand market research. I am getting on some local community boards for fitness, etc. Bottom line is you have many skills. Use them in the areas you know and/or use them to learn new things. There is noting to lose and failure does not impact your lifestyle as it may have while working. Good luck.
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Old 06-29-18, 11:09 PM
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Retired two weeks short of my 63rd birthday. Feel like I went to heaven without dying.
Work was like purgatory without dying.

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Old 06-30-18, 03:04 AM
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Retirement. What does it mean?

Earlier this year was a similar Fifty-Plus thread, "Retirement!"
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I’m a few years away from retirement, but it is starting to loom large. Nice set of tips, @jppe, and my comiseration to those with health problems (IMO cycling can be an effective preventive maintainence).

I too like my rewarding job, psychically and financially, and I want to establish an inheiritance for the children, especially a disabled one. We have also recently bought a vacation / investment second home.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
In addition, for the first time we bought a second home in a resort town on Metro Boston’s scenic North Shore, a nice cycling route 40 miles long north of our condo in downtown Boston. The region is also good for road cycling,..
My cycling lifestyle is important to me and retirement vis--vis cycling poses a dilemma.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I previously replied to this thread on the Commuting Forum, "How to motivate myself to ride when I'll no longer be commuting to work?"...

Just yesterday a colleague asked me when I was going to retire. I suggested a number of years, adding, "I like my job, and it’s a convenient place (and distance) to bike to."
Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I like that.
but,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…I have previously posted to this thread, Why didn’t I ride
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My job; either too much to do, so I stay (comfortably) overnight and resume very early in the AM, missing my commute; or have to travel afar for a meeting...and to a lesser extent, family activities. …

Having a mileage-based training schedule however, effectively motivates me to make time to ride. I have the opportunity to commute a minimal 14 miles one-way during the week (Commuter Rail home), and round-trip on Saturday all year-round, for about 100 miles a week.

During the nice weather, I’d like to put in about 150-200 miles to train and do long rides.

In reality though, I probably get in about 20-30 miles per week during the winter, and maybe about 75-100 during the nice weather (to include early evening rides).

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Old 06-30-18, 05:40 AM
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Retirement was disorienting at first and I experienced some mild depression. It took a couple of months for my perspective to change and for me see it as a new chapter, not the end of the book.

I bike in the summer and go to the gym and run and work out in the winter. Pushing 70 now I feel that while I’m not as spry and strong, I’m actually in better condition than I was in my 40s and 50s. Like you, I tend to overdo physical activity. After some knee and Achilles problems, a trainer talked some sense into me and I’ve got an approach now that works and allows me to be active every day. I feel very lucky, and I realize this won’t last forever at my age, so I guess I see this as my new ‘job’.

But you can’t bike and run all the time so I do some volunteer work (my one rule is I won’t do anything that involves meetings - had enough of them!). I play guitar more, read more and contemplate my navel more. In the winter I go somewhere warmer for a month instead of a week. No one thing fills all the hours I used to work (and think about work!) but it’s not hard to fill the time.
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Old 06-30-18, 05:55 AM
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I just turned 57 and if it wasn't for the health insurance issue I'd certainly consider retiring early. Work has been become increasingly stressful over the past 2 years due to severe financial issues where I work. For the first time ever, there were staff layoffs last month. The program I direct didn't get enough applicants to have a new cohort this fall due to very large increases in tuition over the past 2 years (I work for a university). We are trying to redesign it to attract enough applications for 2019. But if we don't succeed I think I can see the writing on the wall as I'm staff not faculty.

I discovered randonneuring last summer and it has been a huge stress reliever for me. I also am segment hiking the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin, ~1,200 miles, over the next 10 years. But like was previously mentioned, I can't ride and hike all the time so I would either get a part-time job and/or do volunteer work to give my weeks some structure.
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Old 06-30-18, 06:21 AM
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I was a medical device software engineer. I retired at 65 because I just couldn't keep up with the demands of working for start-ups any more. We moved to a college town and I got a part-time job as a teller at a credit union. At the end of this past year, I retired from that after four years. I haven't figured out this retirement thing fully yet, but there are some things that I think I've done right.
First, if you can afford to, it is good to retire before your co-workers can't stand working with you. I feel like I left on a positive note and on my own terms. That is a genuine source of pride for me.
Second, I would have been overwhelmed by the change if I hadn't eased off working. For decades, my life was ordered by my employer. To suddenly become the sole scheduler of my own time would have been overwhelming. And, by doing something completely different than what I had done before -- and something that I didn't feel the need to take home with me once my shift was over -- I could ease into taking on responsibility for my own time.
Third, I find it important to have a few different things that can occupy my mind and that I can switch between. I get bored easily, and it helps a lot to be able to change gears by doing something completely different for a while. E.g., I like to bike, then study Hebrew.
Fourth, it's important to have people other than your spouse that you can annoy. Retirement is genuinely hard on a marriage -- you've worked out a relationship that involves a lot of "down time" over the years. Don't expect your wife to suddenly become your entertainment director. It might even be a good idea to find a couples councilor you both like to help ease you through this major life (and relationship) transition.
Finally, when you have managed to restructure your life to your liking, retirement is an enjoyable phase. Good luck.
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Old 06-30-18, 06:40 AM
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I pulled the plug at 56 and will hit 70 in a couple of months. Like a few others reported, it was like being let loose in a candy store - no more stress, no obligations, just do what I like. I do some volunteer stuff, read, and my wife and I took up riding. We try to get out at least 4 and often 6 times a week in decent weather. Our rides usually consist of moderately paced cruises out to a breakfast or lunch stop then a return. For the first few years I pushed things a little beyond what I really enjoy (riding my age, etc) but now we have settled into comfortable 20--30 mile rides and find that keeps us interested and motivated. I am worried that health issues may negatively affect riding in the next 10 years. A few months ago I had an acute arthritis hit in my hip that required a cortisone injection. Now I have chronic hip arthritis that is fairly well tamped down with NSAIDs. So far it hasn't been a problem for riding (except it makes cowboy starts hard and dismounting while standing still even harder). I worry that the arthritis or other health issues might get worse but what are you going to do.
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Old 06-30-18, 08:06 AM
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Well I have plenty to do for sure I am an ordained permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church so that is always my gig. In fact I do not want to necessarily commit to more than I am doing now, just because that can be a problem. As someone mention they play the guitar and I actually am guitarist and mostly play jazz guitar. I worked for two well known archtop guitar makers and now do guitar repair have for years. I could do more but I deal with very expensive guitars at times and it can be tedious.

I have plenty to keep me busy for sure it was just weird leaving after doing the same sort of gig 34 years. I get out today early as it is going to be a brutally hot today in Central Illinois, rode 50 miles in 2:44 no stops it was nicStopped while I still felt very good and did not over do it. A nap and play the guitar, I don't have to preach this weekend...……..wow.
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Old 06-30-18, 09:08 AM
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Retirement - its what you make of it

A very elderly Forum member told me (for him) happiness was the ability to pursue youthful exuberance energetically and as often as possible.

For me that means the activities ive Practiced most of my life. Hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking, backpacking.

Dump the baggage. Become Slomo.
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Old 06-30-18, 09:49 AM
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My story is not unlike deacon mark’s. I took early retirement and have been retired for a month. I am certainly no expert but so far have found no shortage of things to do. I was ready for a change and to dedicate my time and energy to the people that matter most in my life i.e. my family. I am finding that far more rewarding than my job which had been on the decline in that department. Of course morning rides on the bike are in the mix; so far have not had as much time for those as I originally expected (having to dedicate time and energy to other physically demanding activities) but the rides I have taken have been great.

I did find leaving a little more emotional than I expected; so I understand where deacon mark is coming from but certainly did not come close to shedding any tears. It was more of a nebulous mix of emotions. Regret was never one of them. There was and is a touch of melancholy but much more of almost being giddy when I have moments of realization of my new freedom and that I am not going back. I have thought of the movie The Shawshank Redemption over the years; the scene about becoming institutionalized really stuck with me. The question is: can someone embrace freedom when they become free of the institution of a job/career when the structure of such a life disappears. I do understand some people will struggle with this. Of course some folks just really love their job which can make leaving much more difficult. To state the obvious, retirement will mean different things to different people. To me it means freedom. One door closes and 1,000 doors open.

As someone I came into contact with at work told me; life is like toilet paper, it goes quicker the closer you get to the end. Knowing tomorrow is not promised for me or anyone I love made the decision easy for me; I actually punched out as soon as it was feasible and feel blessed to be in this position.

Enjoy your retirement
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Old 06-30-18, 10:20 AM
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From the "Your Mileage May Vary" department:

Another option is to pursue an encore career, one which demands less of your time, but which preserves your nest egg and which provides you with a sense of purpose and genuine enjoyment.

After working in the semiconductor industry for close to 35 years, and data science for 4 years before that, I now teach university courses, manage an electronics lab, and do a bit of patent consulting on the side. I plan to work at least two more years, until the summer I turn 70 and Social Security and required minimum distributions kick in, then take it year-by-year thereafter. I make half as much money, but have twice as much fun doing it, so I guess that's "conservation" of something, as we say in physics.

A long-term friend just got an adjunct position with our program (Master of Advanced Study at UCSD) at age 77, after retiring from 50 years at San Diego State. He travels extensively, giving training seminars and conference papers, and his standing joke is, "Everyone tells me I suck at retirement."
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Old 06-30-18, 03:43 PM
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I retired Sept 1, of 2015 at 56 after a 35 year career in Federal Law Enforcement. The transition was pretty seamless for me as I was ready to move on to this next chapter of life. I do not miss the work grind or commute. Its simply doing whatever I want to do, when I want, and having all day to do it.
I am now a gentleman blueberry farmer, enjoy cycling, dual sport motorcycle riding, trout fishing, and camping here in the Blue Ridge mountains. I am also enjoy long range tactical rifle 250-300 yard target practice and stay highly proficient with my firearms. I rifle, xbow, and black powder rifle deer hunt here in the fall and winter. I have a smoker which I prepare venison jerky which tends to disappear quickly.
Having said all this, I reccomend preparing well and retiring as young as you can financially afford to do so.

Eat lots of blueberries and drink lots of blueberry smoothies! And naps haha are a beautiful thing!



This mornings first gallon.



Pure antioxidant super jolt!


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Old 06-30-18, 05:30 PM
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30 years as a self employed painting contractor here. I'm 60. Just starting to like what I do for a living. With no retirement funds, no investments, no house, I figure I will never retire. I gotta make at least $300 a day just to get by. But now I know where my tax money is going.
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Old 06-30-18, 06:23 PM
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Patriot1, that blueberry smoothie looks mighty good. Berries are one of those foods that provide superb health benefits while being a delight to the eye and the palate.
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Old 06-30-18, 06:47 PM
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Freedom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-30-18, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
.
Today I retired from my job I was a .
Lord willing I will be 57 this July
I just decided the stress was getting to me
It was weird and my reaction was completely unexpected...... I ended up crying when I left.
This last week I did not ride in the mornings just ran. I was thinking I might crash and never get to retire.
At basically 57 injuries happen more running and the years of it takes toll.
...I am one who can over-do it and so I will not just go crazy the past creeps up when I would just tire and overtraining is a issue.
My goals are to just be able to ride and run ok and be able to see if less stress might make some things easier.
I also retired early. I didn't cry (not one tear). I realize that stress is a control issue... and came to terms with my own mortality and limited ability to control events around me... decades ago. All sports involve injury! Ouchies are just part of life.

I don't know you.... or who you consult with in such matters. A doctor? A close friend? I'd recommend a spiritual advisor of some sort. Just MHO.
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Old 06-30-18, 07:26 PM
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Retired US Coast Guard....I joined right of high school in the late 70's. In the late 90's I retired and moved on to a second career in the I.T. industry, working on Unix servers and database programs. After 12 or so years of that, "feces occurs" as the saying goes... and sadly, I ended up just like those other I.T. guys, where you wake up one morning, and it's gone... It's all gone... Your job went overseas just like that....

It look a lot of soul searching and re-inventing of myself, not to mention refinancing the house, paying this off, paying that off, etc... and I took a 180 turn, completely opposite of anything I have ever done... I went to the local county school system, went through their school bus CDL training course, and became a school bus driver. The pay is absolute peanuts (obviously!) compared to what I made in the I.T. industry, but the hours and the county H/R benefits package makes it worthwhile. I've been driving for 5 years so far and I enjoy it, believe it or not!
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Old 06-30-18, 07:34 PM
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JanMM
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As of tomorrow, I will have 6 more months of working as an RN in quality and safety for a large hospital system. Will mark 32 years with the system in August - the first 22 were in patient care on adult med-surg units. Less stress in what I do now but also maybe less rewarding in that no connection with/feedback from patients.
1/1/19 will be first day of retirement and I'll be just shy of 69. Plan to maintain nursing license in case that would enable me to do something interesting/fulfilling later on.
Will be nice to be able to get out and ride with more regularity in the winter as I won't be stuck at work when the weather turns OK, as it sometimes does. Not sure how I will replace the thousand plus bike commuting miles I get in annually but Not a Problem!
Plan to ride more, both on the tandem and solo, travel more (with bikes and perhaps by bike), do more DIY projects, get organized (photos, negatives, slides, etc, papers/documents, garage/bike work areas).
Got a new guitar last winter and have been playing more regularly than before - hope to keep that up and perhaps consider learning piano. I 'play' at playing on the Casio keyboard I have but really just know chords. Which is fun.
Don't think I will lack for stuff to do.
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