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1 month in retirement and anxious
Old 09-24-2009, 08:00 AM   #1
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1 month in retirement and anxious

Hi Everyone,
I'm 55 and just retired from State government. Financially, I'm fine. I also moved to FLorida where my wife loves to be.

My question: I've all the time in the world which I have never had raising kids and working. It makes me anxious since I have so much unoccuppied time. I do go the gym in the day as oppossed to after work which is a pleasure.

How do you manage this new found time without going crazy trying to occuppy it?

rikd
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:07 AM   #2
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Rikd, welcome to the forum.

The "What will I do all day?" question is a frequent one on the forum. Here are a series of threads discussing the subject. Reading them should help occupy you for a while...

(FAQ archive) But... what will I do all day?
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:33 AM   #3
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Welcome to the Early Retirement Forum!

I am easing into retirement, taking a lot of time off. So far, I seem to have had more to do than time to do it. But if I start feeling bored after I have been retired for a while, I have a list of things that I always wanted to do, and hope to do in retirement. I suggest that you make a list, and here are some ideas to get you started:

Ever want to learn to play a musical instrument, paint, or write a book?

Does photography appeal to you, or maybe gourmet cooking, building your own furniture, or growing roses?

How about taking free classes online? Or, you could check out free classes in your local community, often offered by local government or at the library.

How about volunteering for some organization or cause that you personally think is worthwhile?

Ever wish you had had time to read War and Peace or the Bible from cover to cover? Or to make a difference in a child's life? Been to the beach lately?

And how about that old favorite, puttering around the house? You have moved to Florida, but are there things you could do to your home that would make it more comfortable for you and your wife as you grow older?

(I am SO ready to retire! Bring it on! )
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:45 AM   #4
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Welcome,
Give it time. It takes a while for the smile to go away, and to settle into a routine. If you have recently moved, you will acquire new friends, learn the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood the working don't have time to enjoy, and how to relax and take an afternoon nap. You will learn that if you are bored you have unlimited time to invest in a new hobby, even several if you wish. If you miss the camaraderie of w*rk, You may decide to go back part time or as a volunteer. There is a huge difference in 'having to work, and wanting to work'. But most of all when you get up each morning realize that today you will do what ever you want to do, provided DW agrees.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:51 AM   #5
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I agree with Rustic, you have to give it time. It is absolutely normal to feel anxious when you go through a big life change and you went through 2 of them in short order (retire and move). It's going to take some time for things to settle down and for you to adjust.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:27 AM   #6
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I made a list of all the things I wanted to do or learn before I retired. After doing some small home repairs, cleaning and organizing, I started on my list. I'm still working on it after 4 years of retirement.

Some of the things I learned to do by taking classes and one of the things was to read more. I learned how to knit and crochet, I'm taking quilting classes now. I went through training and became a Master Gardener and now work volunteer time in an organic demonstration garden. Start looking for opportunities and things that interest you.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rikd View Post
How do you manage this new found time without going crazy trying to occupy it?
rikd
Who says I didn't ? (go crazy)

Welcome to the forum and congrats on your retirement.

My best advice is to leave the TV turned off during the day (thank you Mr. Zelinski!). That has been my hard and fast rule.
Once I got over the euphoria and "running around doing everything" stage, I settled down and now take things a bit slower. I'm still enjoying the "I'll do it tomorrow instead" part.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:29 AM   #8
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'....leave the TV off during the day'

Interesting, ours is on most of the time. News about 50% of the time, as the TV is hooked through a sound system, often the TV is off but the sound is on. It is amazing how much I have learned from the History Channel, Discovery, HGTV and the Food Channel. We have gone to cooking at least one meal a week new from the Food Channel. As they say 'different strokes for different folks'
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:46 AM   #9
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Welcome, rikd!

The advice that I swear by is, "get out of the house everyday." I always have of long list of things to do and places to go to, sometimes I decide after I get out of the building.

Yesterday I knew of a play that had limited seats available. Went to the half price place at noon, nothing, so headed to the box office and they did have rush tickets in the nosebleed section for $9.50, long line with friendly people; btw they often seat the single ticket buyers together, some are friendly, some not; SO hates plays so I go to matinees. I highly recommend it, "Brief Encounter," headed for Broadway next. Also packed a lunch and took it to a nearby park that had a decent band playing and lots of sun.

Today, what's going on at the art school, there is usually a band on Thursdays. It's a nice one hour walk.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:45 PM   #10
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I can honestly say that I have anxiety over not being able to get all the things done that I want to. For the last five years I've been obsessed with becoming much better at piano, and I probably only have another 15 years in which to do it. Also, surfing, biking, etc. I need to get my firewood split and stacked, I've got gardening to do. I've got three books to read...

The thing is, I'm not sure you can make yourself passionate about things. That is, you can't just say "I'm going to learn clarinet, and be passionate about it." It may just be the way you are. I've always been obsessed with learning something or other.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:03 PM   #11
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Welcome and congrats!
As Freebird alluded to, you may want to read "The Joy of Not Working" by Ernie Zelinski. I just read it. It deals specifically with how to adjust to the new time and options you have.
Some things I do with free time: work on the house and yard, take walks, go to the gym daily, go to libraries / read, learn, people watch, and experience/enjoy the moment (Living in the past = regret, living in the future = worry).

If you can travel, do it. If not, pets are great companions (but they can make travel more difficult). Also, I am enjoying having time to encourage / organize family get-togethers - it may appeal to you too.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:36 PM   #12
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How do you manage this new found time without going crazy trying to occuppy it?

rikd
It's a phase that many go through. I did too. Eventually you'll find your own way. I ended up getting another job, anathema to most on this board, but that was after nearly five years of decompression. But it works for me, for now. YMMV.

The thread "What did you do today?" answers many of the questions.

I found that I could only spend so much time going for walks, building model airplanes, fishing, reading, taking day trips and such. With the extra income from the job I bought a motorcycle after not having one for 30+ years and found I enjoy that a lot! Now working on talking DW into a Honda Goldwing but $28k for a motorcycle is a hard sell even if it does have heated seats.

For one who has always been preoccupied with planning ahead, detail oriented and highly responsible, it's difficult for me to "live in the moment" but I'm learning.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:39 PM   #13
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Hi Everyone...

I I do go the gym in the day as oppossed to after work which is a pleasure....

How do you manage this new found time without going crazy trying to occuppy it?

rikd
I can't speak for what will ring your chimes, but I've found volunteering a couple of days a week to be the best balance between a job and doing nothing. Like you, I work out regularly. I find that having a 4-6 hour per day x 2 days per week volunteer gig in addition to my workouts gives me a sense of structure but also enough free time to do what I want to. YMMV.

I've also found, although it may not work for you, that doing volunteer work doing things for less economically advantaged, less educated, etc. gives me some satisfaction and keeps me rooted in how lucky I am. But there's plenty of volunteer activities out there than are just "fun" and they work too.
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:11 PM   #14
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I bought a motorcycle after not having one for 30+ years and found I enjoy that a lot! Now working on talking DW into a Honda Goldwing but $28k for a motorcycle is a hard sell even if it does have heated seats.
Would DW consider a Spyder? You could probably get a used semi-automatic (no clutch, button shift), almost new for $12K on eBay if you're patient. Non motorcycle riders generally feel comfortable on them, and the anti-lock brakes are reassuring.

BRP Can-Am | Spyder Ryder
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:53 PM   #15
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I lot of us are chatterboxes (obviously). One of the great pleasures of retirement for my partner and me is having the time to indulge in time with friends. We encourage our friends to drop unannounced for coffee or cocktails. We issue last minute email or text-message invitations for afternoon tea or impromptu dinners (usually one dish meals that can serve several with no extra work). We love it and have become much closer to our friends and widened our circle. Life is good.

Some anxiety, and soul searching is probably normal. I went through a bad patch of regrets of ambitions that would never be fulfilled, but I (mostly) got over it. Some of us never stop worrying about money.
C'est la vie.
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:51 PM   #16
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I have 'trained' several squirrels to take peanuts from my hand.
I watch the bats in the twilight.
I trim the roses.
I gather data and make spreadsheets.
I have approached the ideal for 'over easy' eggs.
I have lost 85#.

I have learned to 'be' rather than to 'do'.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:32 AM   #17
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Thanks everbody. These are valuable comments. Just orderd the book 'Joy of not Working.

I'll report on my 'progess' in this new world of retirement as things evolve.

Rikd
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:11 AM   #18
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Too busy worrying about my health and not doing anything positive about it....
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