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Retire or Not retire
Old 06-03-2007, 07:50 PM   #1
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Retire or Not retire

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Hello group, i'm a 55 year old male, been on the same government job in the same dept for 28 yrs. I been in deferred retirement for the pass 6 yrs and now they are paying me more in deferred retirement than i'm making in salary. My problem is i'm not that happy anymore where i'm working but i would not know know what to do with myself if i'm not working. I'm really working for my mental health at this time and not for the money. My question is what would i do with all the time on my hand if i did take early retirement. What is some things that some of you do to keep busy.
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by troyray55 View Post
Hello group, i'm a 55 year old male, been on the same government job in the same dept for 28 yrs. I been in deferred retirement for the pass 6 yrs and now they are paying me more in deferred retirement than i'm making in salary. My problem is i'm not that happy anymore where i'm working but i would not know know what to do with myself if i'm not working. I'm really working for my mental health at this time and not for the money. My question is what would i do with all the time on my hand if i did take early retirement. What is some things that some of you do to keep busy.
Welcome, Troyray55!

I'm not yet FI, so also not RE. But, my list of stuff to do when retired will include:
  • Traveling, for pleasure, and for my amateur photography hobby
  • Woodworking
  • Guitar playing, songwriting, and recording
  • Waking without an alarm!
  • Fixing on the house and yard
  • Reading science, history, biography...
  • Exercising: bicycling, jogging, hiking, lifting (twelve ounce curls)
Not an exhaustive list, but I'm pretty good at entertaining myself...
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:40 AM   #3
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Get the book "How to retire; happy, wild and free" before you do anything. If you worked in same gov't job in the same dept for 28 years you may have the personality that likes stability. RE is about change.
Good luck
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:33 AM   #4
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Hello group, i'm a 55 year old male, been on the same government job in the same dept for 28 yrs. I been in deferred retirement for the pass 6 yrs and now they are paying me more in deferred retirement than i'm making in salary. My problem is i'm not that happy anymore where i'm working but i would not know know what to do with myself if i'm not working. I'm really working for my mental health at this time and not for the money. My question is what would i do with all the time on my hand if i did take early retirement. What is some things that some of you do to keep busy.
This may be a classic case of your work sucking the life out of you.

I find it impossible for anyone not to have more things to do than there is time in the day to do them. One reason this happens to people is because they have conditioned themselves over many years of the having same routine...waking up, going to work, coming home, eating, going to sleep, rinse and repeat.

Make up a list of "Things to do Before You Die."

This is a big world with lots of places to explore, new things to learn, people to meet. Think back to when you were a kid before you were conditioned by your work. Did you like playing stickball? Then coach a little league team. Did you like flying a kite? Then make it a hobby to build kites of all types. Did you just like going to the park? Then take a trip to Yellowstone to see a unique part of the country. There are millions of things to do.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:49 AM   #5
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troyray55, consider searching for volunteer opportunities that appeal to you. You have skills and knowledge that lots of helping organizations desperately need.

Coach
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:16 AM   #6
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Ask yourself this: Would I do this job for free? In other words you like what you are doing so much that if they told you tomorrow that due to cutbacks the could not pay to do the work but we'd like you to stay on as an unpaid volinteer would you gladly stay? If not you should think long and hard about why you work.
Best of luck to you. RE June 29, 2007
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:56 AM   #7
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I'm going to add salt to the mix here... Some people are just not cut out for retirement. I've known people who retired, got bored, or got in the spouse's way, etc. Many returned to work after a while, probably saving the marriage for some. Some of those successfully retired later, as they had changed on their second stint of work. Some may work till they drop or just can't work anymore, health-wise. I won't dissuade them, althought it's not "me".

I think the worst avenue would be to retire and be bored, unhappy, start to not get along with a spouse, become a crabby person who spends their life snapping at people on internet, or watching TV on and on. Watching TV for many hours a day is surely a brain-wasting disease like mad cow.

So maybe you're not ready right now to retire. That doesn't mean that a few years from now you won't change your mind and really be ready.

If you are at a point now that you are financially independent, and it sounds like you are, any difficulties at work should roll off you like the proverbial water off a duck's back. Maybe start branching out at work, networking more (ok, goofing off ), etc.

Also don't forget the patriotic duty that you perform every day, that I vigorously applaud you for. Paying into SS and Medicare. You're doing a fine job, sir!
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:26 PM   #8
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Hello Troyray55:

Boy have you come to the right place to ask this question - great people on this site. I understand your delema. I am 44 and financially ready to ER. I have a hard time asking to be laid off or quiting - mostly fear of bordom or just trusting our portfolio. But I am bored at work as well and I get paid for it - so what to do? Well I have started to reach out and discover other interests, to test the waters of ER - 4 day weekends are great for this. Here is what I have discovered:

> Volunteering to help other people makes me feel good, provides a good example for my children and is appreacheated. I was part of the American Red Cross team supporting Katrina aid.

> Fishing from my Kayak is fun and keeps me healthly. I live in a state with a great environmental program so the lakes are alway's stocked with fresh trout. Which are also great eating.

> Going to my kids school events gives me great pleasure and supports the people that I love.

> Spending qaulity time with family members means that I get to know them and understand their point of view. Helping me learn and grow.

> I like to get up when my body is done sleeping - or take a nap in my hamock on a nice day. Without any deadlines or alarms.

> Discovering my backyard and surronding area - I live in New England and thier is lots to do - if you slow down and look.

> Slowing down and cherising each day - my mother passed away 6 months ago - something like that really changes your priorities. You can't buy time back no matter how rich you are!

Just some learnings over the last year for me personally - hope it helps. Also since you have been at the same organization for many years you may be able to take a 2-3 week vacation. Test drive ER - what can you loose?

Cheers
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:09 PM   #9
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I strongly recommend that you look for an "Institute for Continued Learning" or a "Learning in Retirement" organization near where you live. They are usually affiliated with univeristies or colleges. Go to Elderhostel: Welcome! and on the left hand side under ABOUT US, scroll down to ELDERHOSTEL INSTITUTE and click on that. You'll see a map that says "Find a Lifelong Learning Institute". Click on that and then click on your State. I've been with one about a year now and love it. You'll meet vibrant people who will fill the "social void" left by leaving work. Try it.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:37 PM   #10
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You say you are working for your mental health, but also say you are unhappy. This, to me, means that working in your current job is bad for your mental health, not good for it.

If you can come up with a list of things you want to do, great. But if you can't, and not everyone can, then I would consider other alternatives - find another job, volunteer 20/30/40 hours a week - something that would give you structure but also be better for your mental well-being.

Good luck,
Karen
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:59 PM   #11
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Hi : You sound alot like me, although I am a few years older. I worked the same job for 30 years, was bored to death, but worked 7 days a week for the past 7 years just to make sure I could retire with enough money. (and to fund my daughters education without going into debt). Anyway I retired "cold turkey" May 1st.(7 days a week to 0). Don't hesitate to retire, you will adapt in no time. I got up at the same time the first week, and took an hour long walk, came home and called the boy's at work and bul s#$^^%# for a few minutes then got busy doing things around the house. By week 2, I was getting up later and calling the guys about every other day. It's been a month and a half now and I'm usually up and running by about 9:30 wether I have anything planned or not. I called the guys at work yesterday, it's been awhile since I've talked to them, I'm going to go back for a visit next week when they have a health fair and all the retiree's are invited. I can't even imagine getting up at 5am and rushing around trying to get ready to leave for work, I would probably have a stroke. All I can say is , when it's time to go, you will know!!!!!
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:38 AM   #12
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Hi : You sound alot like me, although I am a few years older. I worked the same job for 30 years, was bored to death, but worked 7 days a week for the past 7 years just to make sure I could retire with enough money. (and to fund my daughters education without going into debt). Anyway I retired "cold turkey" May 1st.(7 days a week to 0). Don't hesitate to retire, you will adapt in no time. I got up at the same time the first week, and took an hour long walk, came home and called the boy's at work and bul s#$^^%# for a few minutes then got busy doing things around the house. By week 2, I was getting up later and calling the guys about every other day. It's been a month and a half now and I'm usually up and running by about 9:30 wether I have anything planned or not. I called the guys at work yesterday, it's been awhile since I've talked to them, I'm going to go back for a visit next week when they have a health fair and all the retiree's are invited. I can't even imagine getting up at 5am and rushing around trying to get ready to leave for work, I would probably have a stroke. All I can say is , when it's time to go, you will know!!!!!
I agree w/ Jay -- there was no question I had to get out of my position -- the "toxins", excessive travel and constant unnecessary sense of urgency were starting to kill me. If you are not sure...take your time.
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