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Regretful Retiree
Old 03-21-2008, 03:09 PM   #1
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Regretful Retiree

I have retired three years ago from teaching 36 years. Finanically we will be fine but I trying to find my passion for the next 30 years. I have many retired friends but all they want to do is go to luch, breakfast or be entertained. One can only do that for so many times.
Have any of you gotten involved with worthwhile charities or Habitat with Humanity. Has it been a fullfilling experience?
I think the phrase what are you going to retire to...was one that I should have spent more time figuring out before I left my job. The buy out was there and I couldn't deal with the classroom any longer. However, I am much too young to just play all day... I need sto hear from some of my fellow retirees to get ideas of how to spend my future years .:confused:
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:41 PM   #2
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Hi RR.

Some need more structure in their lives. Volunteering can be rewarding... DW does it.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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You've touched on one of my biggest fears about early retirement: boredom. Seems like a shame to waste your talents as an educator. There have got to be schools that could use your assistance with after-school programs/reading programs.
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by regretful retiree View Post
I have retired three years ago from teaching 36 years. Finanically we will be fine but I trying to find my passion for the next 30 years. I have many retired friends but all they want to do is go to luch, breakfast or be entertained. One can only do that for so many times.
Have any of you gotten involved with worthwhile charities or Habitat with Humanity. Has it been a fullfilling experience?
I think the phrase what are you going to retire to...was one that I should have spent more time figuring out before I left my job. The buy out was there and I couldn't deal with the classroom any longer. However, I am much too young to just play all day... I need sto hear from some of my fellow retirees to get ideas of how to spend my future years .:confused:
Like a lot of people these days, my job is long hours and 24/7 contact (including vacation), so I haven't had much time for other endeavors. And some of my current passions are too physical and/or expensive to continue into retirement. I'm 2-4 years from retirement and that's my biggest concern too. I don't want to lay around all day, watch TV, sleep and cultivate drinking buddies. I don't want to be one of those guys who hangs around McDonalds (or insert your equivalent) with my buddies for hours retelling the same stores after spending $1.42 there. So I've just started thinking about it.

We plan to take classes and join groups that we otherwise wouldn't to explore passions, as much to make new friends since we'll be relocating. I'd recommend you read Work Less Live More by Bob Clyatt and especially How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free by Ernie Zelinski. Specifically in the latter, there's an exercise where you take some time to think about the activities that a) you've enjoyed but no longer engage in, b) you currently enjoy, c) you've always wanted to try but never got around to and d) physical activities/exercise. You're supposed to come up with 50 which takes a lot of time/thought. I came up with 40 and I'm finding it worthwhile to explore these activities now to find my passions for the next chapter. For one, I have no artistic ability whatsoever, but I will take an art class and I'm sure I'll enjoy whatever I do learn. Who knows, maybe I'll be Jackson Pollack Jr. --- NOT.

Good luck, you're not alone...
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:05 PM   #5
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For those of you wondering "what will I do all day", here are 20+ threads discussing the subject... (FAQ archive) But... what will I do all day?
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:23 PM   #6
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For those of you wondering "what will I do all day", here are 20+ threads discussing the subject... (FAQ archive) But... what will I do all day?
That's very helpful thanks, I'm working may way through them now...
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:45 PM   #7
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How about tutoring a little? That along with some volunteer work should break the boredom. I have been retired for almost a year. Boredom has not been a problem so far.
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:34 PM   #8
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How about tutoring a little? That along with some volunteer work should break the boredom. I have been retired for almost a year. Boredom has not been a problem so far.
There are just too many golf courses and so little time huh?
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:40 PM   #9
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For me it's all about (1) becoming better at something through practicing (2) making things, or (3) saving money. Examples (1) becoming a better musician, (2) woodworking projects (3) cutting my own firewood and heating the house with it.

Other similar things that I find rewarding or have in the past:

Getting/Staying in better shape
Surfing
Chess
Skiing
Fishing (getting better at it, and saving money (doesn't work))
Home improvement
Gardening
Cooking
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by regretful retiree View Post
I have retired three years ago from teaching 36 years. Finanically we will be fine but I trying to find my passion for the next 30 years. I have many retired friends but all they want to do is go to luch, breakfast or be entertained. One can only do that for so many times.
Have any of you gotten involved with worthwhile charities or Habitat with Humanity. Has it been a fullfilling experience?
I think the phrase what are you going to retire to...was one that I should have spent more time figuring out before I left my job. The buy out was there and I couldn't deal with the classroom any longer. However, I am much too young to just play all day... I need sto hear from some of my fellow retirees to get ideas of how to spend my future years .:confused:

Taught almost 30 years in newark nj, moved to north carolina no mortgage, no real bills, low taxes fair pension medical bennies. I decided on MY TERMS to teach 60% 3 days a week at three different elementary schools physical education classes. It is fantastic, no more BS! I show up 1 day a week at each school and have the principal just loving that she was able to hire me to fill in the extra classes that needed to be covered. Get paid on the 28th step in north carolina. It sure adds to my financial stability and I AM JUST LOVING TEACHING NOW!
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:10 PM   #11
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I think the phrase what are you going to retire to...was one that I should have spent more time figuring out before I left my job.
I finally gave up and am waiting on the security clearance to come through - I'm going back to work for a govt. contractor. Went 29 years in law enforcement but that's a young person's job, if I was 22 I'd do it again. I miss the people I worked with but I don't miss dealing with idiots.

The immediate goal is to buy a travel trailer, hitch it to the pickup and "just head west" because I've never been west of the Mississippi but that's just a cover. The bills are paid and there's no financial need to work. I bought a small boat and I'm looking forward to warmer weather to go fishing, something I didn't have time for when working, but that's not what I want to do all day every day.

Truth is, I don't know what I want to do. DW is perfectly content, she enjoys having the freedom to spend time with family 35 minutes away, take one class a semester, and not having to deal with pressures of work. When she finishes her BA she'll likely get a part time job.

I left because the numbers worked and I was disgusted with bureaucracy and having to plan life around traffic jams, both negatives I know. I just wanted OUT. But I didn't plan on what to do with me. Still working on that.

The first year was like being on vacation, 2nd/3rd year I was helping a friend build an airplane and just about getting reacquainted with DW after we both left jobs, started looking for a job after that. One that pays enough to make the commute worthwhile is scarce in WV, this one is 10 minutes away. But it'll be a fairly easy low pressure job, it needs to be done, and they're paying an absurd quantity of money for it.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:26 PM   #12
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I have been retired over 20 years. The early years I had some financial stress, but the rest of life was great. I still had kids at home and we were home-schooling them. Our lives pretty much revolved around activities with them, around investing (for me) and keeping up our home and small farm with some animals and the whole deal.

Once the kids were out that pretty much collapsed. My wife went her own way, and I continued occupying myself with chores and investing. I added some hobbies to give me social outlets-played more tennis, went to dances and dance classes and dance camps and weekends, and started drumming both African and Latin group stuff, and also drum set. This stuff can take up any amount of time, effort, and concentration

My dog was my day to day companion.

When he died that was another watershed. I couldn't stand the isolation so I moved right into the middle of the city. Here I can do all the things I like to do without so much travel overhead or house overhead. I have time to do some reading, to visit more friends-it's rare that a day goes by that I don't do something or other with someone I know. My interests tend to stay the same from year to year- even decade to decade.

It is inconceivable that I would be bored, unless something very dire would happen to me like a brain injury. I am even learning a little Swedish. Hej!

I would only work if I needed the money, given the types of jobs that I might be able to get at this point. But I can see how the right type of job might sometimes be more appealing than being retired, for some people and at some times. It is nice to have power and special knowledge.

And it sure helps to have enough money!

Ha
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:17 PM   #13
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I have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, as well as beach clean ups and tutoring special needs children (actually mostly drawing them pictures of their favorite cartoon characters, but whatever), and I can say I am much for fulfilled because of it. It is very rewarding. Remember:

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Also, I had a friend who volunteered at museums and aquariums. You get to meet people, have fun, and learn a lot. By volunteering there he accidentally found what is now my favorite Deli.
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:03 PM   #14
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"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think this quote contradicts itself. If the helper gets "one of the most beautiful compensations of life" he is helping himself. That is what compensation means.

Ha
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:49 AM   #15
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Have any of you gotten involved with worthwhile charities or Habitat with Humanity. Has it been a fullfilling experience?
I think the phrase what are you going to retire to...was one that I should have spent more time figuring out before I left my job. The buy out was there and I couldn't deal with the classroom any longer. However, I am much too young to just play all day... I need sto hear from some of my fellow retirees to get ideas of how to spend my future years .:confused:
HFH gets a lot of high praise and good press. The only downer, and a small one at that, is that the beneficiaries of the home sometimes appear to be living a little higher on the hog than perhaps LBYM would deem appropriate. Some of the volunteers (driving beat-up pickups) aren't enamored of seeing the new homeowners roll up in late-model SUVs to do their sweat-equity time. But hey, if that's the worst that can be said about the charity...

I did three years' service as treasurer of a small non-profit. I learned a lot, it went well, and I enjoyed it. Three years was enough but I got recruited to do the books on a fourth year, which reminded me of my working days when I'd had to bring order out of chaos. At some point the fun learning experience stops being any of that.

Maybe the newer book "What Color Is Your Parachute: For Retirement" or the old standby "How to Retire Happy, Wild, & Free" will stimulate your creative thinking-- especially Zelinski's "Get A Life" tree. But I'm finishing six years and I have yet to be bored. Overstimulated some days, overcommitted others, overfatigued on many... but not bored.
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:38 AM   #16
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Welcome to the forum regretful retiree
Where are you from? if its up north you may be having an attack of cabin fever which may sort itself when spring arrives.
Male or female as differing advice would be given.
If you think you bailed too early on the working life their are other options when it comes to teaching than dealing with many kids,my wife got a job as a spiritual animator and now just works 3 days a week doing stuff she likes in various classes in 4 different schools,eg;this week she has enlisted a band of kids from Africa to go into the schools and sing.I.ve just been corrected she took several classes to see the band
Watoto Watoto Children's Choir - AOL Video

Now she is planning Easter stuff.
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:39 AM   #17
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I think you need to find something that you like to do that is fulfilling for you. That could be many thing to many people. For me, it will be spending more time on my health and fitness, including cooking nutritious food (example: made whole wheat bread today), and exercise, beautification of my property, exploring different methods to acquire/capture and use solar and wind energy, trying to find some common hobbies with DW (she's not fond of cooking and allergies make yardwork difficult for her, and I'm not really into needlecraft and quilting...). But, you are already in RE, and I have a couple or more years to go to get this figured out.

You might think of these things as "playing"...and perhaps they are in some peoples' view. But for many of us on this board, these are very fulfilling things and are significant reasons for us to FIRE. At some level, we all seek out fulfillment in our own way and at our own pace. For some people, that is keeping up with the Jones's, buying all the toys, and as a consequence, never being able to retire. For most of us here, it is LBYMing, FIREing, and enjoying life things outside of work. You've gotten to the FIRE part, but need to find some fulfillment.

Good luck
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:06 AM   #18
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[quote=Midpack;632137]
there's an exercise where you take some time to think about the activities that a) you've enjoyed but no longer engage in, b) you currently enjoy, c) you've always wanted to try but never got around to and d) physical activities/exercise. You're supposed to come up with 50 which takes a lot of time/thought. I came up with 40 and I'm finding it worthwhile to explore these activities now to find my passions for the next chapter.
quote]

so whats your 40?
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
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there's an exercise where you take some time to think about the activities that a) you've enjoyed but no longer engage in, b) you currently enjoy, c) you've always wanted to try but never got around to and d) physical activities/exercise. You're supposed to come up with 50 which takes a lot of time/thought. I came up with 40 and I'm finding it worthwhile to explore these activities now to find my passions for the next chapter.
so whats your 40?
This is something everyone has to do for themselves and mine are of no interest to anyone else, but if it helps someone else get started (in no order whatsoever):

Sailing, dogs, internet, reading, dinner out, iPod, being on the water, investing, researching retirement, tennis, golf, movies, running, waiting tables, playing music, woodworking, environmental causes, conservation, Mystic Seaport volunteer, painting class, architecture, cooking classes, playing bridge, developing webpages, skydiving, meditation, photography, scuba, travel, being positive, gardening, winemaking, identifying 5 biggest faults and improving 1 each year, composting, zen, kayaking, cycling, weight lifting, walking, hiking, travel...and still working on it.

What are yours, anyone who's done the 'tree?'
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:02 AM   #20
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I still work 4 days a week, but spend time hiking, biking, weight lifting, walking, pontoon boating, riding ATV, woodworking, canoeing, home improvement, landscaping, retirement research, investing, movies, car detailing, travel, playing with GPS, map collecting, computer programming, internet, reading, exploring, sports events, nascar races, television.

I'm also looking into some volunteer work like Habitat for Humanity.
These activities will more than fill my time when I'm fully retired.
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