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Hi, I'm Sarah
Old 07-01-2008, 07:19 PM   #1
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Hi, I'm Sarah

I'm married, live in Texas and considering taking early retirement next year...maybe. I'm a confirmed "security junkie" and the decision to take early retirement has been a hand-wringer. My husband is not planning to retire for a few more years and we are very financially sound so I don't need to work. I just have a difficult time letting go of the security of my job. I am a professional woman with 26 years at a major corporation. Should I go? Should I stay?? ARRRRGH. I'm really tired of the work-a-day world, but...nervous. Anyone else have a tough time letting go?

I also hate the thought of being a retiree. It's sort of one of those life events that signals the beginning of being "old" and I don't wanna be!!! Geeze, I need to snap out of it.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:22 PM   #2
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Any chance there is something else, another kind of work, that you have always wanted to try? Not assuming you don't like your present position, but it sounds like you might be a good candidate for a second career, doing something you really love. Just a thought, welcome to the forum...
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
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I wanted to retire before I was old so that I would have years (I hope) to enjoy life at a different pace. It is a beginning, not an end. I highly recommend it.

Welcome Sarah.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:38 PM   #4
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Sarah,

Welcome! I understand how you feel about retirement. I left a professional position I held for years last January and it has been a major adjustment. After all, we do tend to define ourselves by “what we do”. Retirement means defining yourself in terms other than those set in a structured office environment. If you explore this forum you will discover many people faced a similar situation and everyone dealt with it differently. Some found another job more in tune with their social conscience, others found volunteer work, spent more time with family, traveled the world, got into sports like golf or surfing, or simply discovered the joy of being an untethered person.

I look forward to hearing how you come to terms with the possibility of letting go of work. In every case, with every person, it's a unique experience and one we all can learn from.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:45 PM   #5
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Welcome Sarah!

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Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
My husband is not planning to retire for a few more years and we are very financially sound so I don't need to work.
There was a time when someone in those circumstances would have been looked at askance if you DID work! You are lucky to have a choice. Do you really care what other people think? Or is your identity tied to your job? Maybe you could wean yourself off your psychological dependence on your job by taking a sabbatical for a few months and focusing on your extracurricular interests.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:54 PM   #6
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Welcome Sarah , There is life after retirement and a pretty good life at that !
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
I just have a difficult time letting go of the security of my job. I am a professional woman with 26 years at a major corporation. Should I go? Should I stay?? ARRRRGH. I'm really tired of the work-a-day world, but...nervous. Anyone else have a tough time letting go?

I also hate the thought of being a retiree. It's sort of one of those life events that signals the beginning of being "old" and I don't wanna be!!! Geeze, I need to snap out of it.
Retiring Early means you get the advantages of 'being old' AND the advantages of 'being young'.
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:33 PM   #8
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Retiring Early means you get the advantages of 'being old' AND the advantages of 'being young'.
I love that! So true!

I definitely have to remember that. What to look forward to when ER is eventually here.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:08 PM   #9
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Welcome Sarah. I look forward to hearing your story.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
I wanted to retire before I was old so that I would have years (I hope) to enjoy life at a different pace. It is a beginning, not an end. I highly recommend it.

Welcome Sarah.
Ditto.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:22 PM   #11
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Sarah,

Your post made me think of one of my first posts here. I retired three years ago at age 55 after 27 years working in the same place. I worked my way up to a high level position and while proud of my accomplishments I was tired of the rat race of work. I wanted a change, but the thought of retirement and what that would bring scared me to death. I found this forum about that time and got some great advice from those here.
I retired and have loved every minute of life since. I haven't looked back at what I left. I am looking forward instead.

If the financial areas of your life are covered, just follow your heart. You will know when the time is right. Good luck, and welcome to the forum.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:35 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies; I have a lot of reading to do!! Do/did any of you find retirement depressing at all? I'm worried about that "loss of usefulness" thing. (Sorry I sound like such a whiner; I didn't think a retirement decision would be so stressful.)
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:09 PM   #13
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You need something to do.

Welcome Sarah,

I'm still too new at retirement to give the kind of advice others here can provide. I wondered what I'd do with myself when I gave up the daily grind. I shouldn't have wondered though. I'm so busy now, I'd like to retire from retirement! I do give myself the luxury of sleeping until the rooster gets noisy and starting the day at a leisurely pace. The rest of it is pretty non-stop.

You just need to sit down and make a short list of the things that need your attention after you quit. I can promise you the list will get longer, not shorter after three months.

If you don't need the money from work, what's the point? Get on to other things. I have a good friend that does not need to work anymore. He said he can't quit working, it defines him, gives him purpose. I suggested that he consider how he would feel about having continued working if his health suddenly failed. What if he couldn't do much of anything anymore? Would he wish he had stopped working earlier? We get no guarantees about tomorrow. Redefine yourself without your career. Believe me, you won't be out of sight before the corporation will have adjusted to life without you.

Welcome, and good luck with your decision.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:51 PM   #14
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One of the most memorable quotes I've heard here was from a guy who FIRED...

He said he had gave notice and over that time came to realize "My head is full of useless information"

You only have so many days, If you need help being pushed/tripped over the cliff I think you came to the right place
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
Thanks for all the replies; I have a lot of reading to do!! Do/did any of you find retirement depressing at all? I'm worried about that "loss of usefulness" thing. (Sorry I sound like such a whiner; I didn't think a retirement decision would be so stressful.)
Another thought. I'd encourage you to read Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt, How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free by Ernie Zelinski and/or Retire Happy by Stim & Warner. I think any of them could be very helpful...

And you're not a whiner, it's a big decision for all of us (I'm still about 2 years away from it).
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:18 AM   #16
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I like to think of it as independently wealthy.

Some random 20 something heir gets a trust fund and doesnt work anymore (if he ever did in the first place) you dont think of him as retired. Lucky S.O.B. maybe but not retired!
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:50 AM   #17
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Sarah,

I did have a brief period of depression after retirement. I stress brief. Then I realized how lucky I was to be 55, healthy, and free.... I could do whatever, whenever, however, I wanted to do it. No bosses, no deadlines, no traffic, no office politics, etc. WOW! What a great realization. I then got busy doing things I like to do. I volunteer for causes that I believe in, I exercise more, I socialize with friends more.

Retiring was a big decison for me. I now look back and wonder why I didn't do it a year or two before I did. I would not go back to my former job for all the money in the world.


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Old 07-02-2008, 11:32 AM   #18
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Do/did any of you find retirement depressing at all?
I have been retired for 6 years. Does it get boring or depressing. For me, yes it does on occasions. The 2nd six months was the toughest for me. The first 6 months was a breeze because of the newness of it all and the freedom to do anything I wanted. By the second six months I did not have a good solid routine established so I did have some moments of boredom and felt the tug of the workplace and the affirmation you get from being in the workplace.

By the 2nd year, I had moved on from the "missing work thing" and had filled my days with other activities and haven't looked back. With your spouse continuing to work you may also find that you need to guard against him taking the position of feeling his "time" is more important than yours because he is still working.

Overall, I would never go back and I most definitely do not regret my decision to retire. I had, and still have, teenage boys when I retired. I looked at it really simply: You only get one chance to raise your kids.... you can always go back to work.

Best of luck with your decision.... I have been watching my wife anguish over the same decision for the last 2 years and I see how hard it is for a successful, professional woman to pull the trigger on retirement. I tend to think that may be because of everything she went through to establish herself as a professional woman. I think for her to make the decision to retire will only come when she believes she has progressed as far as she can professionally.

regards, Kevin
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:00 PM   #19
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...and the affirmation you get from being in the workplace.
Dang, maybe that's what I've got wrong. I don't feel any sort of affirmation from being in the workplace.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:17 PM   #20
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sarah, whatever u decide is upto you, however, i do not know of too many people in their dying bed saying.." wish i can work another year.."

good luck and we're happy for you.


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