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46 Retired but Concerned
Old 08-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #1
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46 Retired but Concerned

Hello Im a 46 yr old M retired after being laid off from corp. America 2 yrs ago. I had always planned to slowly turned a hobby into a business on the side while I was working and then eventually leave my corp job as an engineer. Well it was on their time frame that I was let go. So I've been working on my business which allows me alot of time unless I'm expanding which I have done since being let go. Financially, I am ok doing my thing as long as my wife works and has the benefits. Sounds great right..well it's nice having the extra time and was great the first year but I'm feeling increasingly lonely and isolated as there's no one around all day. Even when I work my business it's just me and a helper occasionally. So I'm at a point in my life of having time and enough money to do what I want but I'm beginning to hate what I do all day. I've become unstructured and mentally lazy verses when I worked I was so busy with the job plus my hobby that I had no time to even think of having "down time". Now my business is almost too large to do along with a job and my wife constantly reminds me of how stressed I was when I did both. I think I just miss the social aspect of the job and don't really want to go back but I was at the top of my game in my career. I'd like to hear any advise from the panel.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:43 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
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I can't give any advice, but I'll take what is happening to you as a warning shot across the bow, as you are doing what I'd like to be doing. It seems that working home alone, (out of the garage?) has its pitfalls.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:50 AM   #3
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Hi Matt and welcome to the forum. If you need some structure in you life you can volunteer. That would give you a regular schedule and expose you to other people.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:10 AM   #4
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As long as you are financially solvent, find a new career and maybe go back to school? lots of stimulation both mentally and socially, and at your age, a second career may be just the ticket!
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:38 AM   #5
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I've only been retired for two months and so far so good, but I expect to feel the same as you eventually (I am guessing winter will be harder than this glorious summer/fall). I am not outgoing by nature, so I realized before I retired that I'd have to consciously become more of a joiner. I have forced myself to join and participate in groups/orgs with interests similar to my own, already begun and more to go. Similar to the suggestion above re: volunteering. And if I don't click (now or later) with the groups and/or people I've joined up, unlike work, I can just move on and pursue other interests.

Doing a (Zelinski) Get-A-Life-Tree to explore interests gave me a long list (about 50) of interests to explore, and it took about an hour. Not rocket science, just a means of brainstorming yourself for ideas, it's been discussed on this forum before.

Many people need some structure in their lives, nothing wrong with that Matt...
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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Color me confused.

You say you are "retired" but yet you say you spend all your time on your "business".

Sorry, you're not retired - you just traded (or was encouraged) to trade one wor*ing experience for another (of which it seems you are not happy with).

Another thing that confuses me is the statement that you're OK financially, but still "count on DW's j*b for health benefits". IMHO, that's just a step away from having problems, since anybody who has a j*b these days have a lot of risk.

At your age and story about not being satisfied with the life you have, I would suggest you change your life. That is, look for another j*b that will let you "show your stuff" to somebody else (apparently, you are not happy with your own accomplishments - even if they are impressive) who will acknowledge you for your actions.

You're young and have many years to be "retired". If your "side business", along with your former j*b gave you too much stress, and as you stated, "I was at the top of my game in my career", I would consider giving up what you have now (which dosen't seem to fit your "needs") and go back to what gave you more satisfaction, and concentrate on that alone - without any "side business" to cause you stress.

And yes, I know that j*bs are hard to come by, but if that truly is your "need" (rather than the role of a sole Propritorship, with you alone as the employee), then I would simply say "fulfill your need"...

Maybe I sound a bit harsh, but you did ask for our opinions, did you not?
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
Another thing that confuses me is the statement that you're OK financially, but still "count on DW's j*b for health benefits". IMHO, that's just a step away from having problems, since anybody who has a j*b these days have a lot of risk.
+1

Unless one is in the financial position where they can truly afford to pay for health insurance out of pocket (and not get it as an employee benefit), this plan has too much risk. Given the job market and economy of today, being a "single point of failure" for health insurance is terrifying. I know because I've been just that through the duration of this crappy economy. If I lost it before my wife found something, we'd be royally screwed. It would be a little better if you had good reason to believe she has rock solid job security AND liked her job, though.

If she didn't like her job it would open the door for resentment to develop in the future, that she is chained to something she hated for health insurance while you got to pursue whatever you wanted to do. (This, truth be told, is a battle I fight daily. But it's not her fault that the economy sucks moldy rotten lemons right now.)
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:16 AM   #8
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What-to-do-after-retirement is highly individual and can be complicated with the sometimes competing goals/directions one wants, or believes one wants. Sometimes those last two are not the same. Don't ask how I know that.

For me the big take-away from What Color is Your Parachute? was trying to answer the question "What were you doing when you were happiest?" For me that's learning new stuff with a technical bent and trying to use that to do/create something neat with it.

Since I don't share the aversion to work that many others here do, what I get out of my job is more social contact than I would have otherwise and the unplanned-for income allows us to loosen the purse strings a bit while still increasing savings substantially. Otherwise there's no way I'd drop $3k+ on camera gear that will almost certainly be obsolete in five years or less. Or buy a motorcycle.

So for now I'm enjoying learning more about photography than I've ever known before, I'm starting two short photography classes starting in October, and I don't have a clue as to where this path will lead. But it's something I've never done before and perhaps that is all that is necessary.

YMMV.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:24 AM   #9
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We are into our first week of ER and haven't stopped. When we get to our final destination (Mexico in October), we're going to volunteer with like-minded people (bible talk & building homes of worship). I, personally had some of my best feeling years when giving my time in constructing and learning new trades in the process. We expect that to offset the distance with our friends.

We picked the location so we get plenty of friends to visit too (Playa del Carmen)...can't anticipate everything, but we're sure trying.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:08 AM   #10
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If the social aspect of working is one of the things you really miss, maybe look around for business networking or entrepreneur groups? There must be other people working primarily alone who would like to get together. Maybe try meetup.com?
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:05 PM   #11
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Matt, you could try volunteering, going to the gym, picking up a hobby or 2. Their are MANY opportunities besides working for the man all day. .
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:20 PM   #12
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Definitely agree with the "trees" that Zelinski spells out. You will be amazed at how those grow. You'll be driving down the road and think Hey, wait--I would like to try this---or that.

Doing that exercise helped me feel a lot better about having a fulfilling life after retirement...reminding me that my 30 year job should not define me at all (and should not).
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:42 PM   #13
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Sounds like you didn't retire on you're terms and you weren't ready. That shouldn't mean you can't adjust, but it sounds like you're trying to reproduce the work environment at home. Take it easy, slow down, do something else. There's all kinds of ways to get out and meet people. I don't agree that just because you have a business you're not retired, but if you want a full-time job/business do it. Otherwise, take in down a notch and enjoy.

The Get-A-Life Tree is a good way to find stuff you like to do. There is more to life than work and business and since it sounds like your DW is supportive, get out and enjoy. Life is short. I'm not saying you should abandon you're business, just that it's not the end all be all. Neither was your job. You sound like your job defines you. Find something else to define yourself and its OK if that something is a little leisure and fun.

As for you're financial situation and relying on you're wife's job for insurance, what's the big deal. If that's a bad place to be financially, then everyone is in a bad place. So you're only one lay-off away from no health insurance. You just described half the country and the everyone else is just two lay-offs away. Yeah, in the long term you need to consider health coverage, but I wouldn't go nuts about it today. You've got it now and you need to arrange for it one way or another in the future.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB
Hi Matt and welcome to the forum. If you need some structure in you life you can volunteer. That would give you a regular schedule and expose you to other people.
I second the volunteering recommendation. You may meet new people, experience the joy of helping your community or the disadvantaged, gain new skills, and good Karma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack
I've only been retired for two months and so far so good, but I expect to feel the same as you eventually (I am guessing winter will be harder than this glorious summer/fall).
It is 7 months of RE today for me. I'm looking forward to NOT having anything to do but drink spice tea and look at the blizzards by my fireplace this winter.
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:19 AM   #15
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Hello Matt - I am 46 also and one of the main reasons why I have not FIRED yet is the concern about the lack of social interaction when retired. Have you thought of having a hobby that gives you more social interaction ?
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Now my business is almost too large to do along with a job and my wife constantly reminds me of how stressed I was when I did both. I think I just miss the social aspect of the job and don't really want to go back but I was at the top of my game in my career. I'd like to hear any advise from the panel.
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Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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