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Just Pulled the Plug...
Old 10-28-2018, 01:17 PM   #1
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Just Pulled the Plug...

Hi fellow retirees,
I just retired from a 40 year career in Sales and have some questions for the experienced retired folks on this forum:

1. Retirement Blues—Just took a 3 week road trip after quitting and the retirement euphoria I experienced at first appears to be wearing off. Have a lot of stuff I could be doing around the house but find it hard to get motivated.
Anybody else experience this at first, how long did it last, and how did you get beyond this?

2. Volunteering—Have contacted the local Meals on Wheels and hope to volunteer 5 days a week to deliver meals in my area. My aging Mom had Meals on Wheels for almost 10 years and would like to pay this back.
Am I biting off too much or will this help with the issue noted in question # 1?

3. Health Insurance—Signed up for continuation coverage through COBRA, but it is a lot more expensive than I was paying as an employee ($1400 a month with a $3500 deductible), and cannot be extended to cover my younger DW with diabetes beyond 18 months. My plan is to use COBRA through next year until I am covered on Medicare, and limit my AGI the next couple of years to get reasonably priced subsidized health insurance on the exchange for DW until she becomes elidgible for Medicare. Any suggestions on how we might do this differently to save some money?

I know a lot of you have been there and done that, so any insight would be appreciated. Many thanks.
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:29 PM   #2
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Here are my comments on #2: I retired 6-17 and volunteered with a local soup kitchen and added Habitat shortly thereafter. I quickly found myself doing too much. I dropped Habitat (they had plenty of help) and committed to the soup kitchen 2 days/week about 4 hours per day. That works well for me and I see myself staying on until health determines otherwise. My counsel is to ease onto the vol stuff.

Also, I never lost the euphoria of being retired. While I'm not as giddy as I was on Day One. It's still pretty damn good every day. I also did little at first. Just enjoyed the pleasure of being unscheduled.

Good luck!
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:32 PM   #3
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Congrats!

#1 Maybe the issue is that you've had an idea of all the things you want to do around the house, and in total it's big and that's what's impeding you from getting started. Pick an easy one off the list and knock it out - it will give you the feeling of accomplishment and motivation to go on from there. Personally, I did not experience this - I've had personal work/research/things I wanted to do from day one...in addition to all of the things around the house.

#2 You may be biting off too much. Why not start with two or three days a week and see how it works out? You may be thinking five right now as a fall out from #1. Over time, I'm guessing that you are going to find many things to occupy your time, and doing five days a week is going to be overwhelming - more like a job than volunteering some of your free time.

#3 I don't have any sage advice on health insurance.
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:41 PM   #4
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Took me 6 months to 'Get in the Groove'... That was 17 years ago, when I was 50....


Just give it some time.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:27 PM   #5
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OK Red and Howie,
l’ll start with one day a week on the meals on wheels. Howie I started with a small job and just installed a new GFCI plug based on your advice. Was an easy job but found no power to the plug. Have had to call in a real electrician. Cut-Throat I will update in 6 months...hope you are right about getting in the groove.
Thank you for the good advice...
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:38 PM   #6
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On #1, pick another job and keep going. Make a real list and knock something off on a regular basis. Success will support/encourage the process. Take it easy, you’re not got to adjust to such a major change in three weeks. Three months maybe but more likely a year or so. Just make sure you do something. The quickest way to death is to do nothing. And watching TV doesn’t count as something.

Give it time.
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Old 10-28-2018, 03:08 PM   #7
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For #3 - see below for the rules (MAGI) of taxable income for ACA subsidies. Do you have some cash which could be used as a portion of your living expenses?
Alternatively, if you are under ~65k, you should be able to receive subsidies.
Please check Healthsherpa.com and Healthgov.org for some references.

http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/pdf/..._summary13.pdf
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Old 10-29-2018, 03:14 AM   #8
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RE #3, is there a reason you are using Cobra now? Couldn't you immediately use the ACA to purchase a subsidized plan, or at the very least make this your plan for 2019?


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Old 10-29-2018, 04:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Congrats!

#1 Maybe the issue is that you've had an idea of all the things you want to do around the house, and in total it's big and that's what's impeding you from getting started. Pick an easy one off the list and knock it out - it will give you the feeling of accomplishment and motivation to go on from there. Personally, I did not experience this - I've had personal work/research/things I wanted to do from day one...in addition to all of the things around the house.

#2 You may be biting off too much. Why not start with two or three days a week and see how it works out? You may be thinking five right now as a fall out from #1. Over time, I'm guessing that you are going to find many things to occupy your time, and doing five days a week is going to be overwhelming - more like a job than volunteering some of your free time.

#3 I don't have any sage advice on health insurance.
#1 - This just did not happen to me. Do you have any hobbies? Between travel and editing photos taken on trips, about half of my time was taken up. The rest takes care of itself. I had thoughts about a photo processing service business, but I really don't have the time.

#2 & 3 - +1 above.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmac View Post
Hi fellow retirees,
I just retired from a 40 year career in Sales and have some questions for the experienced retired folks on this forum:

1. Retirement Blues—Just took a 3 week road trip after quitting and the retirement euphoria I experienced at first appears to be wearing off. Have a lot of stuff I could be doing around the house but find it hard to get motivated.
Anybody else experience this at first, how long did it last, and how did you get beyond this?

I know a lot of you have been there and done that, so any insight would be appreciated. Many thanks.
Also retiring in the next few weeks/months after a similar number of years in Sales and experiencing the same "retirement blues" you mentioned.

Been thinking about it a lot, and those of us that spent a lot of years in Sales are VERY "driven" people. We get measured on achievement (generally weekly and at least quarterly year in, year out) and are typically running at 10,000 MPH all the time to meet the (often unreasonable and totally unachievable) sales goals we are given. Take that way, and go down to a normal 60 MPH or so and it's very difficult to shift down to that type of pace with so few demands on your time.

I worked 60-80 hours per week EVERY week for the past 3 years and it occupied most of my waking hours where I had any level of energy. The rest was spent pretty much exhausted from running that hard. So, all of a sudden not only am I not constantly exhausted (and therefore have MORE hours to fill), I also have 60-80 hours a week where I need to find something else to do.

Complicating things for me is that I'm still working for a little bit longer, just not at that same 60-80 hour weeks as I work to transition things on my way out. Even downshifting to 40-50 hours a week has pretty much freaked me out mentally and it's taken a lot of getting used to. When I go to zero work hours a week all bets are off..

So, yeah..very easy to get the "retirement blues" even though we have this great opportunity to finally do what we have always wanted to do with our lives.

Good luck!
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:04 AM   #11
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On #2 - yes it could help you with issue #1, but be careful about it, as it can end up feeling like a job if there are set times and dates.
As mentioned, do you have hobbies and other interests?
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:18 AM   #12
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For #3 talk to a broker. There are options other than Cobra, which is expensive. There are HSA/high deductible policies, health sharing plans, ACA plans.
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:06 AM   #13
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#1 Do you have an exercise routine? A good workout routine can give a nice ping of accomplishment, in addition to being good for your body. Easing into a team sport at a gym could be fun too. At my gym I see a number of retired fellas getting together in the mornings for racquetball.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:57 PM   #14
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I am just at the 6 month mark, and while I didn’t have retirement blues, I did become unbelievably inefficient, coming down from 60 hour work weeks, work travel, managing a household and a family. A lot of people on this forum mentioned takin 6 months to adjust so I’ve just rolled with it. There were days where it his 2 pm and I couldn’t figure out what I had done all day.

I feel as if I’ve hit a rhythm now with 2-3 volunteer shifts a week at my son’s school and finally feeling motivated to tackle the list of DIY projects. Volunteering has led to an offer to serve on a board for the school district that is providing satisfying challenge, as well as creating an opportunity to meet others who are actively involved in our city government.

I also second the recommendation for a solid exercise routine. Best thing you can do for your retirement is to take care of your health.
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:35 AM   #15
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#1 If you aren’t motivated to accomplish various household tasks (I believe that’s what you meant by “a lot of stuff I could be doing around the house”?), I wouldn’t particularly worry about it. Retirement should be about spending your time however you want to, rather than devoting it to tiresome chores out of some vague sense of duty.

#2 I agree with other posters that committing yourself to five days a week of volunteering is probably excessive, and that it makes sense to ease into things on a gradual basis. You will find that most volunteer coordinators are always looking for people to fill shifts so you definitely have the option of subsequently increasing your involvement, if that feels right to you.

The risk of five days a week volunteering starting to feel like a job is increased by the fact that you are contemplating only one volunteer position. I find that doing three different types of weekly volunteering, at three different charities, helps keep things relatively ‘fresh’ and interesting for me.
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:23 PM   #16
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Gradually all those thoughts of quarterly results, percentage of quota, year end,
changes in commission structure, commission and product adders, and customers that grind you down seem to vanish into a euphoria.
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:46 PM   #17
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I was well prepared for retirement. I watched my father throughout his retirement helping others and working in the local theatre building sets, etc.

I've been retired 10 years, and really hitting real retirement age. I really don't have the time to do much volunteer work as I'm a chronic builder on our 2 houses.

Today, I'm painting the main residence man-cave which is 26 x 48 feet with a 10 foot ceiling. I've got it 80% complete in one day and hanging it up until tomorrow. It only took me 2 1/2 years to tackle the job--about normal for an ADHD adult. And to think my wife seldom even complains about my work schedule.
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
...
Today, I'm painting the main residence man-cave which is 26 x 48 feet with a 10 foot ceiling. I've got it 80% complete in one day and hanging it up until tomorrow. It only took me 2 1/2 years to tackle the job--about normal for an ADHD adult. And to think my wife seldom even complains about my work schedule.
She sounds like a keeper!
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:18 PM   #19
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I retired in April, 2015 and spent about 3 months doing not much of anything -- explored my town more, did a bunch of hiking, lunches out, etc.. A fair amount of sleeping late.

Then one day at the end of the 3 months I woke up, jumped out of bed, and said to my wife, "OK, I'm done." Then I made some plans for projects, my hobbies, reading, writing and so on. So, my advice is that you listen to your body and mind and trust that there is a process at work.

But ask others to help keep track of your overall behavior. If you start to show signs of depression (you may not see them yourself), they should alert you. My wife was great -- she went about her daily routine and left me to find my own way to retirement bliss as necessary. No pressure, no stress. I will always be thankful for that kindness.

-BB
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