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Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 03:53 AM   #1
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Depression After Resigning

* * I am a high school teacher that just resigned.* Although I teach at an American international school in Singapore, the stress of teaching full days can still get you to a point where you need to make a change.* *I am 58 years old, single,* and have been teaching for 30+ years now.* I just informed my school last week that I was resigning at the end of the year (June 2006).* I was so happy for a few days, and then a sad feeling set in.* I would be entering a more uncertain time of my life without that steady paycheck coming in.* I actually am very depressed now because I am around all my mostly younger colleagues who happen to think that making this very high salary that we do here in a school that seems to pour money into its facilities is the best place to be in the world.* However, I'm tired and need a change.*
* * *I'm sometimes in awe of teachers or anyone working that genuinely wants to work until they are in their mid-60's.* I'm not sure if you run into them, but I wonder what makes them want to continue and guys like me say "enough is enough".* I sometimes feel that I should be like them.
* * *I will continue to teach/work part-time, but only in the afternoon.* I want my mornings free to do what I want to do.* I worry about retirement funds and constantly wonder to myself if this is enough.* I've even posted a message on this site a year ago, and I got sort of a mixed response.* I own no home, and* I will opt to get 2/3 of my pension from TIAA-CREF (a pension plan that professors, researchers, and teachers etc participate in the US).* That would give me about $43,000/year.* I'll* get Social Security at 62, but it is only $400/month.* However, if I remain in Singapore, at 62 I also start using my retirement funds from the Singapore government, which also amounts to about the equivalent of $400/month.* I will use the other third of my retirement pension when I am 65 or 66, and then that should add about $16-20,000 more per year.* With all the social security added in, my total pension should be conservatively about $60,000/year.
* * *Insurance in any country in the world is cheaper than it is in the US.* In Singapore and with no deductible, I can get locally insured for about US$1,800 per year, and the hospital care here is excellent.* Amazing, isn't it? There are also several excellent* international insurance companies like BUPA (from Britain) that* cost about US$3,500/year world wide, but if you use this insurance in the United States, it is double or triple.* I have more or less decided to stay out of the US until I am 65, but only because I am concerned about the high cost of insurance.* As a Singapore permanent resident (similar to a green card holder in the US), I can stay here and have to work, but you know something?* I miss the States.* The problem is I have no attachments there, but when I am in the Maine/Vermont/upstate NY area, I feel very calm and relaxed.* I might move there when I am in my 60's.
* * *Anyway- I thought* I'd share my feelings about retirement.* I sometime wish I could persevere more and make more money where I was teaching.* *However, once you resign, and all your colleagues come up to you and wish you the best, your know it's too late to turn back.* One final note, I hate it when my colleagues come up to me and say "congratulations on your retirement".* My attitude is I am not retiring.* I'm just entering a different phase of my life.

Rob
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 06:08 AM   #2
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Re: Depression After Resigning

funny.. i look forward to retirement everyday of my life. that's why i am an obsess member of this club. yet when i hear your story i just got that mix feeling and start to wonder about my co-workers who eligible but refuse to leave.

i think u accumulate an extremely comfortable life style after retirement. >$40/year is plenty so financially i think u ok. however, depression after resign is another issue. i do believe that u made the right decision caused only u know enuff is enuff. u will probably be more depress if u stay. i am not so sure if u're married with kids or not.. if not, come home find a soul mate, volunteer, join social club and most important, stay busy.

finally, congrats... it's my dream to ER and u're already there. happy for u

enuff
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 06:10 AM   #3
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Re: Depression After Resigning

funny.. i look forward to retirement everyday of my life. that's why i am an obsess member of this club. yet when i hear your story i just got that mix feeling and start to wonder about my co-workers who eligible but refuse to leave.

i think u accumulate an extremely comfortable life style after retirement. >$40/year is plenty so financially i think u ok. however, depression after resign is another issue. i do believe that u made the right decision caused only u know enuff is enuff. u will probably be more depress if u stay. i am not so sure if u're married with kids or not.. if not, come home find a soul mate, volunteer, join social club and most important, stay busy.

finally, congrats... it's my dream to ER and u're already there. happy for u

enuff
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 06:56 AM   #4
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Re: Depression After Resigning


Rob,

I honestly don't "know enough" to respond to your concerns, such as being depressed after resigning.... I'm sure there's good reasons for that, and that it's part of any major change, but it's beyond my competence so that's all I'll say.

I do want to affirm -- because I know it well! -- that Maine, Vermont and upstate NY may be calling you, and for good reason! Come now, if you want to. Lots of people don't make it to their 60's. (I'm a survivor of a couple totally unexpected car accidents.)

All the best to you in your new adventures!

kate
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 07:02 AM   #5
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Quote:
Originally Posted by kat
Rob,

I honestly don't "know enough" to respond to your concerns, such as being depressed after resigning....* I'm sure there's good reasons for that, and that it's part of any major change, but it's beyond my competence so that's all I'll say.

I do want to affirm -- because I know it well! -- that Maine, Vermont and upstate NY may be calling you, and for good reason!* Come now, if you want to.* Lots of people don't make it to their 60's.* (I'm a survivor of a couple totally unexpected car accidents.)

All the best to you in your new adventures!

kate
I've never been to Maine or Vermont, but upstate NY is nice in spots.
I do agree with Kate about not waiting. You're unhappy now obnviously.
What's the worst that can happen?

JG
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 07:06 AM   #6
 
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Re: Depression After Resigning

I don't know much either, really. *I have observed a lot of guys who have been forced into ER. *One, who was a good mathematician, told me how much he disliked it. *Same for another who was an engineer. *OTOH, a lot of posters here look forward to ER, and enjoy it greatly once they get there. *Maybe how a person feels depends somewhat on whether they end up where they want to be. *

I just finished reading "The Experience of Retirement" by Robert S. Weiss (Cornell University Press). *He talks a lot about these kinds of things. *May be worth reading. *Also, "Aging Well" by George Vaillant, a Harvard medical school professor. *I came across Aging Well based on a recommendation by Scott Burns in one of his columns. *Great book.
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 07:13 AM   #7
 
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Set up a routine like possibly joining aHealth Club, working out first thing in the morning, anything, but put some structure in that gives you a reason to get out of bed.

I like Singapore, but it is small and expensive, and that humidity, not for me.

New England is nice, but why not head north from there, explore Atlantic Canada, visit Newfoundland, spend some time in Quebec City, easily the prettiest most historic city in North America.

I also love New England, Boston is my favourite US City, once back stateside, the things to do will just happen.

Be grateful you leave with good health and good finances, you really have nothing to be depressed about, give your head a shake.

You like kids, volunteer at the Children's hospital, cxounsel at a Youth centre, the list goes on.
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 07:14 AM   #8
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhodaThunkit
I don't know much either, really. *I have observed a lot of guys who have been forced into ER. *One, who was a good mathematician, told me how much he disliked it. *Same for another who was an engineer. *OTOH, a lot of posters here look forward to ER, and enjoy it greatly once they get there. *Maybe how a person feels depends somewhat on whether they end up where they want to be. *

I just finished reading "The Experience of Retirement" by Robert S. Weiss (Cornell University Press). *He talks a lot about these kinds of things. *May be worth reading. *Also, "Aging Well" by George Vaillant, a Harvard medical school professor. *I came across Aging Well based on a recommendation by Scott Burns in one of his columns. *Great book.
I love being retired. *What I hate is getting older. *That sucks!

I have written about my older (than me) friends who seem to really enjoy their
work and have no discernable plans to retire. *The one who did retire at
62 is back working almost full time now. *There are six (6) of these guys
in total, and they have one thing in common.............they all are self employed
or own their own business. *

JG

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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 07:33 AM   #9
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Re: Depression After Resigning

I guess the reason I am uncertain is I look at the fact that if I work (teach) one more year, I'd get maybe $3,000 more per year in my retirement. However, it really isn't worth the extra year I guess.

So here I have $42,000/year when I am 59 in July 2006, and eventually going up to $60,000/year by the time I am 65. No house or medical insurance. I've lucked out on housing my whole life, as it has always been provided. The only time I'll have to rent is when I retire. I just wonder if it is worth buying a place. I'll have to start saving more in the bank for that.

It's just this feeling I have that i could have gone another year or two. When I resigned, it is well thought out , but there is a certain level of regret whenever anyone does something like that.

Rob
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 08:26 AM   #10
 
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Re: Depression After Resigning

My Dad is 86, now finally settled with a lovely Lady, she is 72, widowed at 65 when her husband dropped dead within 2 years of Retiiring(a Teacher)

Prior to this relationship my Dad dated several ladies, all widows, mid 60's, you guesssed it , all their Husbands died within a few years of retiring.

No guarantees, take the opportunity while you are still Healthy, we don't come with Warranties.
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 09:29 AM   #11
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Rob,

Congratulations on having provided a financially secure retirement for yourself. That is a big accomplishment. I think you also do well to focus on the risks in retirement. This is another challenge in life like the previous transitions in your life that you have successfully managed.

A few years ago I was going through a rough period feeling burned out and I decided to focus on activities that I enjoyed and gave me a sense of satisfaction apart from any professional or other benefit. At first, to my alarm, I couldn't really think of any. Then I remembered a passtime that I hadn't pursued in many years and reconnected to it. It helped a lot and things got better. So, I would suggest that you continue to focus on what makes you feel calm, engaged, and seek them out.

I think the New England countryside is the best landscape in America. I have lived in Mass, Conn and Maine, which I liked the best, despite the weather. Western Massachusetts is also very appealing. Why not plan some reconnaisance trips to help focus the mind on the future possibilities?

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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 09:44 AM   #12
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Rob: I like a guy that worries alot about the future . I suspect you're making the right decision. If I was you and contemplating retirement, I would first look for some dramamtic positive change in life style, not neccesarily just a switch to half-time work which may end up being just a reduction of bad without a significant increase of good. If I liked the foreign lifestyle, I would go on an adventure to find the perfect place to live--or just see parts of the world I still wanted to see. If there is no interest in that, I would suspect you are more of a people person. In that case, maybe find a group or hobby or interest that gets you there--around people you like. I had a friend once who constantly whined about everything wrong with the world while he was getting his Master's degree. When he finished with the program, he didn't use it. He just went back into the Peace Corp and was among friends. Maybe take a summer vacation and join "Habitat for Humanity" building houses in upstate New York. Your call. Maybe go on a group tour with some wild and crazy widowed women--with lots of money --and nothing to do but spend it on you. It's not easy to set up, but it could be lots of fun. Good Luck.

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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 09:57 AM   #13
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Rob,

You have taken a huge leap byy making the decision to retire at the end of the school year. *Your pension plan would appear to be a good one and the amount of money you expect to get would appear to be in line with what others here report. *Is your pension periodically adjusted for inflation? *If not, you will need to fund the difference in real cost of living over time.

You did not mention any investments. *Do you have anything else you could use to make a down payment on a house? *If not, then you will really need to decide if you really want one or if you are comfortable renting. *There are upsides and downsides to both.

As for the depression issue. *This seems to be a common concern with people I know that have retired before they got themselves mentally and emotionally ready to do so. *One book I have read that might help is "Don't Retire, Rewire" *I found it to be useful in understanding what you can do to ease your transition into retirement. *

My mother retired at age 62 after teaching the 5th grade in a poor north Georgia school for 30 years. She has been very happy despite a small pension and has no regrets about. *My dad had 17 years in retirement before he died and he was one of those guys that worked 70 hour weeks most of his life. *He adjusted just fine but he never stopped moving and had something to do most of his waking hours. *He had a plan and he found ways to stay busy and enjoy what he was doing.

See what you want to do once you get out of the school system. *Part time teaching as you indicated might or might not be good for you. *Sometimes a clean cut from your previous work might make the transition go quicker. *It all comes down to personal needs and choice.

Good luck and start making lists of all the things you want to do but have not had the time because of work. *Look at the list in a month and add things you did not think of the first time.....repeat ofter until you run out of ideas. *Include anything that comes in your head. *Read your list and then organize it in decending order of what you would like to do most or soonest. *
Retire...then follow your list in order. *Have fun doing it and don't dwell on the past. *Look to the future and all the new things you can do now. *Enjoy your new life.
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 10:08 AM   #14
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Welcome to the board, Rob!

Although you seem to be worrying, it looks like you're worrying constructively. You also seem to have the assets to continue to do so for a long time, especially if you're working those afternoons for pay.

By any chance are you the guy who used to post as "Robert from Singapore" on FundAlarm?
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 10:11 AM   #15
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Rob - I am right with you on the Depression over retirement, but I am there already.
Also 58, also single. *Retired from a very high pressure corporate position. *Good income, but being on Long Island, an awful lot is needed for a "good" income - so my income will be good once I get the heck out of here. * Unfortunately, I own no real estate now (Divorce took care of that), so can't participate in this supposed housing boom.

Was in Bar Harbour, Maine this summer & said to myself: "Self - this would be the ideal place to spend your summers."

BUT - I cannot leave Long Island for another 4 years due to certain attachments here.
That, and the lack of structure, I find to be depressing. I try to listen to the advice here & put some structure into each day - some days are just better than others. *When I first stopped working (4 mos ago), Mondays were the PITS! *Now it can be ANY day *

Good Luck!
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 10:23 AM   #16
 
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Rob, another course might be Teaching ESL?(English as a Second Language).

You can take 6 month or longer Contracts, teach in Mexico, South America, parts of Europe, all over Asia, and they look after housing ,and you would earn enough that your monies could earn interest?

My son has spent the last 7 years in China, has used the opportunity to travel into all areas including Nepal and Tibet, has no intention of returning to North America soon(he has no shortage of Girlfriends and Beer is cheap).
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 10:28 AM   #17
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhodaThunkit
I just finished reading "The Experience of Retirement" by Robert S. Weiss (Cornell University Press). *He talks a lot about these kinds of things. *May be worth reading. *Also, "Aging Well" by George Vaillant, a Harvard medical school professor. *I came across Aging Well based on a recommendation by Scott Burns in one of his columns. *Great book.
I worked for George Vailant for a summer. He was an incredibly well organized, productive and upbeat person. This was many years ago, we both were quiite young. I think he was interested in these sorts of issues even then.

Ha
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 10:34 AM   #18
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob
I guess the reason I am uncertain is I look at the fact that if I work (teach) one more year, I'd get maybe $3,000 more per year in my retirement.* However, it really isn't worth the extra year I guess.

So here I have $42,000/year when I am 59 in July 2006, and eventually going up to $60,000/year by the time I am 65.* No house or medical insurance.* *I've lucked out on housing my whole life, as it has always been provided.* The only time I'll have to rent is when I retire.* I just wonder if it is worth buying a place.* I'll have to start saving more in the bank for that.

It's just this feeling I have that i could have gone another year or two.* When I resigned, it is well thought out , but there is a certain level of regret whenever anyone does something like that.*

Rob
Rob:

It is normal to feel a little down when you are making a major life change. *I have been struggling with some of the same feelings lately (not due to retirement; my wife is pregnant with kiddo #2), and I think the way through the tough spots is to concentrate on what is good in your life and get out there and do stuff you enjoy rather than moping.

So you will have $42k (inflation adjusted?) a year until your mid 60s, at which time you will be in the 60K plus range. *How long has it beein since you have been to upstate NY, VT, etc.? *Some areas you would be a bit pinched for funds, other places you would have a pretty high quality of life with plenty of spending money. *For example, you could easily afford to live somewhere like Oneonta, NY. *College town on the edge of the Catskills, not that far from NYC and Boston, cheap cost of living, etc. *In Oneonta you could find a nice house for $100k or less, but I'd probably choose to rent instead (better deal). *Now if you insist on Burlington, VT, you might find it a tad pricy.

Another thought: Have you explored other lifestyles than the one you have had for some time (no, I don't mean "batting for the other team")? *How about being a perpetual traveller, like the Kaderli's? *How about spending the nicest 6 months of the year in NY, VT, etc. and then spending the winter moneths somewhere sunny and inexpensive (or in an RV)?

You'll do fine in a little while, I suspect. *The reality of your new life will sink in soon, and you will realize that the world is now your oyster.
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 10:45 AM   #19
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Rob,

You say you will continue to work afternoons. You have plenty income. You may not love Singapore, but you would continue to live there if you were still working full time.

Would you feel depressed if your employer had given you your current ( as you detailed above) pay package, and adjusted your hours so that you had your mornings off, but worked afternoons?

My guess is no, because it wouldn't seem like a status change.

So maybe a little re-arranging of how you are looking at your current situation might be helpful.

Remember, nothing is accurately portrayed from only one point of view!

Best wishes, Ha
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Re: Depression After Resigning
Old 12-17-2005, 01:09 PM   #20
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Re: Depression After Resigning

Rob
Another option you may want to explore is seeing if a sabattical for a school term would be available for the 06/07 term.
Many educational institutions are happy to accomondate rather seek replacement for a long term educator.* I suspect you could still explore this option w/o any harm done to your plan.
Using a sabatical will allow you to take a break with full knowledge that if you liked the "retired lifestyle" you just would not come back.* Or, if at the end of the term you were recharged and looked forward to being in the classroom again, you would already be set to go.* You could use the time to explore the Northeast and other places that peak your interest.*
IMHO too many people set themselves up for a black or white choice when if fact there are a lot middle paths with less risk and more options. Find someone to brainstorm some alternatives that let you "test" without buying.
Good luck
nwsteve
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