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I am 51 and NOT ready for retirement
Old 07-06-2016, 01:53 PM   #1
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I am 51 and NOT ready for retirement

Hello Folks

I have a year of so of work left, after which I will receive a defined benefit pension. Financially I will be in a position to retire, but emotionally I am not. My husband is retired. When he retired a few years ago I took a year sabbatical from work. A trial retirement. It allowed me to test the retirement waters. I found I needed more money than expected to fulfill my lifestyle choices (which included travel)...so it was a good thing. I went back to work knowing it would be better to have more of a financial cushion. The year off work was nice..but I GAINED twenty five pounds...the lack of routine going to work resulted in me eating extra calories, at home near the fridge all day! My husband loves retirement. But I am scared. Anybody else fell trepidation about the lifestyle change?
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Old 07-06-2016, 02:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddler View Post
Hello Folks

I have a year of so of work left, after which I will receive a defined benefit pension. Financially I will be in a position to retire, but emotionally I am not. My husband is retired. ... My husband loves retirement. But I am scared. Anybody else fell trepidation about the lifestyle change?
I think it is not uncommon. Luckily, neither DW nor I suffer from the malady though. Then again, maybe that means we have too rosy of expectations!

From your trial period, sounds like you'd benefit (at least initially) from having some type of routine in retirement--but one of your choosing.

Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2016, 02:43 PM   #3
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That's understandable. Just ensure your retirement routine includes regular exercise, or more of it. Then the fridge will go back to being a useful appliance, instead of the Enemy.

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Hello Folks

The year off work was nice..but I GAINED twenty five pounds...the lack of routine going to work resulted in me eating extra calories, at home near the fridge all day!
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Old 07-06-2016, 02:50 PM   #4
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I think I understand where you are coming from. I am a failure at RE. I was scheduled to do it in April/May 2015 but did the OMY thing and am now in year 2 of OMY....how embarrassing! The wife is retired and very active playing tennis, studying Spanish at the Univ., traveling, etc. She also cooks almost all the meals, does the laundry, cleans the house, tends the garden. She stays busy and likes it. She hasn't had time to gain any weight. She didn't RE cold turkey though, she eased into it by semi-retiring for two years. She worked two days a week during that time and then let go. I think it is harder to stop cold turkey like you did. You should find some activities you like that are interesting and not near your fridge . If you live in an area with a community college or university, see what educational opportunities are available. Getting involved in some sports (tennis/golf/biking) or gardening is another way to get out and be active. I think the main thing is to get out and do things you enjoy doing. That's what I've gleaned from watching DW do it.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:21 PM   #5
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The advice I've read here, and expect to read in a couple of books in my future is, "Think about what you're retiring TO, not what you're retiring FROM."


My mom Late Retired but has managed to fill her time pretty easily because that's what people in my family do. I don't think I'm going to work quite the same way, so I'm giving this "what would I retire TO?" more thought as time goes on.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:16 PM   #6
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One good thing about the trial period is that it gave you time to think about the things that didn't work so you can plan for them. And you'll have plenty of opportunity to adjust your plans in the future as well so you can see what you like and what you don't.

You can add some more activity to your days if you like, whether gym workouts, yoga or just walking. If you find you're mindlessly eating during the day, maybe schedule more activities that you enjoy or meet up with friends.

I think some trepidation is natural, but you're smart to think about the things that may be problematic and you can plan for them.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:25 PM   #7
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I mentally prepared for RE for the past two years.

Looking back, I could have left my job in 2012, but actually worked the extra four more years. Two as I didn't think about how much income I had going, or the amount that I may need. Two more to keep building, locking in SS, and mentally preparing.

I started this year mentally picturing myself in retirement. I worked out every AM, even if it meant going into work late. I lost 25 lbs. I scheduled many lunches with other retirees, to get the mindset.

I planned several trips, and posted them on the refrigerator.

Retirement is more mental than financial. The finances are easy to determine.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:45 PM   #8
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If you're not ready for retirement, don't retire.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:17 PM   #9
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If you're not ready for retirement, don't retire.
This is good advice as well as the advice to retire TO something

I've been retired for 5 years now. My DW has set half a dozen retirement dates the past couple of years. She always has an excuse as to why she doesn't do it. Personally, I don't want her to retire unless she is ready. I don't need her to be miserable around the house regretting the decision; being bored and disappointed; and driving me crazy in the process.

It will happen when it happens.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:11 PM   #10
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I had plenty of fears. What would I do all day? Well that was silly, in hindsight.

You don't have to retire. I know several couples with one retired and one not.

As far as weight gain we have different experiences. Last year I dropped 55 going from obese to a healthy BMI(DW did the same and dropped 50). It's all what we choose to do with our time.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:25 PM   #11
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My husband is urging me to take retirement and join him. I guess what I need is more confidence to make the transition. I just don't have that confidence now. I can't believe I am saying it! A few years ago I had DREAMED of my last day....the earlier the better.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:26 PM   #12
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I know a guy (personally, I met him) that will never retire. He just needs to work. Needs to have someone tell him what to do at least half the time. Otherwise he would just drink too much (his own confession)

He not only has a (paid) financial advisor but he also pays the guy to "allowance" him as if he got control of the bag would spend it all (millions) dry in months.

I dunno. I'm not like that and I'm glad I'm not, but I have to acknowledge that people like this exist.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:32 AM   #13
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Perhaps find a part time job or volunteer one if you are not all in on retirement. Slowly move into it.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:55 AM   #14
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...My DW has set half a dozen retirement dates the past couple of years. She always has an excuse as to why she doesn't do it. Personally, I don't want her to retire unless she is ready. I don't need her to be miserable around the house regretting the decision; being bored and disappointed; and driving me crazy in the process.

It will happen when it happens.
My DW is the same. I figured that eventually she would see how great my RE lifestyle is and decide that she too wants that. But, not so far. However, she is getting annoyed at what she is doing and is considering doing something totally different and thanks to our FI, she can do that. I have tried suggesting that she find something she enjoys on a PART TIME basis, so she's not stuck spending a total of 60 hours a week with w*rk and she seems open to it. I get it. Some people just are wired to w*rk and there is nothing wrong with that. I just wasn't wired that way...I hated w*rking for someone else, it was a terrible existence.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:56 AM   #15
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That's another point to consider. There is retirement and there is Financial Independence. Many of us who are happily retired do something to keep busy. However, if you are FI you can continue to do the same thing or something for which you get paid. It's just that you are in a position to do what you want on your own terms. I volunteer and teach. Often people ask me if I get paid. I don't. I donate my time. But to others is looks like a paying gig.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:03 AM   #16
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Yes, you need something to retire TO, but another big factor is what you're retiring FROM. For myself and quite a few others on this forum, the decision to pull the plug was easy because we were retiring FROM a work environment that was overly stressful and/or dysfunctional and/or unfulfilling, etc. Since I was FI and had something to retire TO, ER was a no-brainer, and I got out as soon as I could.

If someone is FI, but is in a pleasant situation at work, there's no hurry to pull the plug. But if that person is just hanging on to the job out of fear, I would strongly encourage him or her to face that fear, and create a vision of what retirement should be like, then take the plunge.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:03 AM   #17
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Welcome, Fiddler!

Quite a few members here have found Ernie Zelinski's books on retirement to be very helpful - The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free in particular.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:42 AM   #18
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Perhaps find a part time job or volunteer one if you are not all in on retirement.
Great advice. There's nothing like volunteering to convince you to either go back to work or retire.
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