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Help! Is it normal to second guess retirement decision?
Old 03-12-2017, 02:54 PM   #1
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Help! Is it normal to second guess retirement decision?

Is it normal to have a letdown after announcing you are leaving a job? I hated my job and finally decided to leave. Felt like the right thing to do. Spend this weekend thinking a lot about this and wondering if I did the right thing. Feeling very jittery right now. Can anyone relate their experiences? Thanks.

Francis
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:14 PM   #2
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I had the jitters for a while before actually leaving, it is a big step. But I had a lot of confidence in my judgement and was certain it was the best thing I could do, both for myself as well as my family.

I also had a "Plan B", which was to go back to work after a year if things didn't work out. We lived well beneath our means so I had no doubts I could find something and earn enough for us to live well. Still think that way
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:32 PM   #3
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Very normal. Ride it out. Worse comes to worse you go back to work, pick up some consulting stuff, or otherwise make a course correction. No biggie. Just be prepared for some emotional ups and downs as you go through the transition.
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:43 PM   #4
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After working non stop for over 40 years, it was a big decision. I think what helped me, was the last 2 years (OMY syndrome) I just kept working even when I knew I really didn't need to. (Wish I had those 2 years back) So, no regrets or second thoughts once I gave my notice (I was really ready) although it was a bit of an "unreal' feeling for the first few weeks.
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:48 PM   #5
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Perfectly normal to have doubts. Retirement is a huge lifestyle change and usually irreversible. Hang in there in a while you'll be happy about it.
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:09 PM   #6
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It's hard to walk away from a career where you've identified yourself as a pharmacist, a long series of hurdles you jumped to achieve that very professional position, and a well-paid one. And to leave at a relatively early age in your peak earning years has got you questioning yourself. I get it. But now that you've achieved your NUMBER, there's nothing wrong with being labelled a retired pharmacist. Kudos to you for taking the leap.
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:40 PM   #7
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Congrats on deciding to leave your job! I remember your posts about your toxic job situation and can completely relate having worked as an RN for 21 years.

I definitely had second thoughts about leaving despite years of planning for ER, being able to cover our expenses with a 1% SWR, and being physically sick from the job, including migraines, HTN, and finally a couple of panic attacks. The physical symptoms went away immediately upon leaving. It took quite a long time to decompress from the job, probably close to 18 months. I wasn't expecting that, I was hoping that I would be blissfully happy immediately upon leaving. That didn't happen, but I have found my way to a content place and really value my time being my own.
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:34 AM   #8
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Very normal. Ride it out. Worse comes to worse you go back to work, pick up some consulting stuff, or otherwise make a course correction. No biggie. Just be prepared for some emotional ups and downs as you go through the transition.
What Brewer said.
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:37 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the input. I slept very little last night thinking about things. My feelings are most like when I broke up with a woman. It turned out not to be a good relationship yet I had these same feelings of doubt and loss. But that situation turned out fine with time.

My reasons for second guessing myself is not financial. It's more the social interaction that I'll miss. Anyone know some ways to replicate the social interactions away from the workplace? Maybe a good plan for me would be to work part time at a pharmacist job I like. Maybe that should be a goal for me. Thanks a lot.

Francis
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:44 AM   #10
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After working non stop for over 40 years, it was a big decision. I think what helped me, was the last 2 years (OMY syndrome) I just kept working even when I knew I really didn't need to. (Wish I had those 2 years back) So, no regrets or second thoughts once I gave my notice (I was really ready) although it was a bit of an "unreal' feeling for the first few weeks.
Yes, I have heard that - that once retired some people regret not doing it sooner (if they are financially able). That factored into my decision. Thanks for your input.

Francis
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:25 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the input. I slept very little last night thinking about things. My feelings are most like when I broke up with a woman. It turned out not to be a good relationship yet I had these same feelings of doubt and loss. But that situation turned out fine with time.

My reasons for second guessing myself is not financial. It's more the social interaction that I'll miss. Anyone know some ways to replicate the social interactions away from the workplace? Maybe a good plan for me would be to work part time at a pharmacist job I like. Maybe that should be a goal for me. Thanks a lot.

Francis


Find some good hobbies that put you in contact with other people. My music hobby has put me in a much more interesting community than medicine ever did. There are community activities everywhere. A flute playing epidemiologist quit one of the bands I'm in so she had more time for volleyball. Our local YMCA has had a daily pickup basketball game at noon for a couple of dollars a game. Volunteer at your local library. Get a part time job doing something else. I toyed with the idea of working at a garden center, just taking care of the plants, for example. And yes, part time work is definitely an option in your field.

It feels like a let down at first. I had more ambition to be "important" and "respected" but I chose my life over ambition when I left Silicon Valley in 1998. No matter what you do for a living, respect from those around you comes from your behavior, not your role. And being important is not so important after all. Gradually you will start seeing yourself as much more than that one old role. It has only been in the past two months that I have truly had moments of complete bliss far deeper than I've ever experienced.
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:41 AM   #12
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Francis: As long as your misgivings aren't financial (as you've now confirmed), it's perfectly normal. Occasionally you'll ask yourself if it was the right decision after you're retired too. You wouldn't be human if you didn't have some mild second thoughts about big decisions. We have uncertainty growing up and as a working adult, that doesn't end when you retire - it's part of life.

I'm a little introverted, so I knew I'd do better if I forced myself to join in on activities in retirement. Where I said no to many social activities while working, now I say yes as often as possible even if I have some reservations. If it doesn't work out, I've lost an hour or two, worth the time to find out.

If you don't have a lot of activities that interest you, do the Get-a-Life Tree exercise in Zelinski's books (at your library). I did it before I retired, and it eased my fears. It showed me about 50 activities of interest to me, in less than 30 minutes (10 minutes initial, and 20 minutes sporadically over a few days). The book gives lists of activities to spur your brainstorming if necessary.

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Old 03-13-2017, 06:48 AM   #13
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I don't know if I 2nd guessed my decision but I certainly had jitters the first couple of years with the market crashing. Ten years later....none now. None until the next market crash.
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:53 AM   #14
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I don't think it's normal to "have a letdown after announcing you are leaving a job". I was elated.

It's a big change, big decisions, and like all things in life, there are unknowns. So I would say it is normal to feel somewhat apprehensive. But for me, the joy far outweighed any possible negatives.

Don't forget, your life can also take a turn for the worse while employed. It's not like employment insulates you. In fact, in many ways you are better prepared for adversity while you are retired, you can apply all your time/attention to a solution.

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Old 03-13-2017, 07:24 AM   #15
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I have not retired yet, but I anticipate I will have some letdown once I make it official and let my management know. I do not hate my job and there are perks I will miss... at first. However, I am sure for the long run the letdown will eventually fade.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:30 AM   #16
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Ditto on this is a normal step of making a big transition. Not everyone, but very common. Now, I cannot even imagine wanting to go back. Congrats.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:13 AM   #17
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Anyone know some ways to replicate the social interactions away from the workplace? Maybe a good plan for me would be to work part time at a pharmacist job I like. Maybe that should be a goal for me. Thanks a lot.

Francis
It's easy to force social interaction through work. People wind up together less through actual bonding at first and more the need for a paycheck. But it takes the stress out of having to go find people to interact with yourself when you're provided a pool to try and make work for you.

But hobbies, free classes, volunteering, church or club activites, city events, concerts, conventions related to interests, or the fun classes at local community colleges all open up socialising and the good potential for making new friends.

You haven't lost a limited pool of people to hope to socialize with. You've opened yourself to everyone who's probably a lot more fun to hang around. But now you have to find them. Luckily it's not hard.
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Old 03-13-2017, 01:10 PM   #18
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Is it normal to have a letdown after announcing you are leaving a job? I hated my job and finally decided to leave. Felt like the right thing to do. Spend this weekend thinking a lot about this and wondering if I did the right thing. Feeling very jittery right now. Can anyone relate their experiences? Thanks.

Francis
I never considered backing out once the decision was made public.

DW on the other hand got seriously cold feet. To the point that she was making plans with her boss to stick around for another 6 months. I had to figuratively pick her up by the scruff of the neck and shake sense back into her. This mostly entailed reiterating all the reasons she was stressed out, dissatisfied with her job, and the way that the executives she reported to made her life harder through their own inaction. Reinforcing our reasonable financial position also figured prominently in the "reeducation campaign".

She got over the jitters quickly and thanked me for talking her through it. She retired, as originally planned, this past November. I don't think she's ever been happier in the nearly 37 years we've been together.
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Old 03-13-2017, 01:43 PM   #19
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I RE in 3 weeks. I announced last summer and I have had no regret at all about that. I recognize that there will be a transition and I will need new things to fill spaces that my job used to, but I am happy to make that my new task. I do have several things that I am considering, and increased travel in already in the works.
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Old 03-13-2017, 01:52 PM   #20
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Is it normal to have a letdown after announcing you are leaving a job? I hated my job and finally decided to leave. Felt like the right thing to do. Spend this weekend thinking a lot about this and wondering if I did the right thing. Feeling very jittery right now. Can anyone relate their experiences? Thanks.

Francis


That's normal. I felt same way over 3.5 years ago. NO REGRETS
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