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Seemed like a good idea at the time
Old 03-17-2006, 04:35 PM   #1
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Seemed like a good idea at the time

When I turned 59, my company offered an early retirement 'package'. If I quit, they'd put a years salary, tax
deferred into my retirement plan (about 120k). So I said 'sure',
seemed like a good time to retire. Besides, the company was
undergoing massive layoffs and said some people in my group
might 'possibly' get the axe in 12-24 months. So I retired. Now
I regret having done so. I liked my job and the people and miss it. I'm experiencing job post-partum depression and anxiety about meeting future financial needs. Is
this a normal reaction to retirement? I have no passions in life
other than my grandson. I've recently learned he will be moving away. My mother-in-law has now moved in with us full time and has
Alzheimers. So my wife and I cannot get away even for a day. Some of my investments have become problematic, and I have to
sell my retirement cabin in the mountains. Things change. I think at 59 and going on 60 fast, I'm too old now to go back into the 'high-tech' world. Any advice on what a 'geezer' can do?
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time
Old 03-17-2006, 05:39 PM   #2
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time

Welcome to the board, Henery.

Sorry to hear about all the retirement problems.

On the positive side of things, your reactions are normal, although most people in retirement develop other interests to replace cubicles & co-workers. You've presumably had more quality time with your grandson than you perhaps might have if you were still working.

I'm not sure I understand what's keeping you out of the 'high-tech' world, but are you sure you want to return to that work anyway? You've been out of the workplace for less than a year?

It sounds like your investments have put you in the position of needing a new withdrawal strategy. One way to do that is to reduce your expenses, although without knowing the details that might not solve your problem.

Have you read a library copy of Bob Clyatt's "Work Less, Live More"? It addresses a number of the issues that you've raised. It doesn't necessarily solve them for you, but it'll get you started.
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time
Old 03-17-2006, 05:47 PM   #3
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time

Henery,
It's a little difficult to know how deep the financial worries are and how much of the issue is the lost sense of purpose from the job. Have you "run the numbers" for your retirement income (using Firecalc and other availabe tools) to get a good idea of the $$ you might need?

I think there have been contributors to this board who missed their work environment, and some have returned to the working world. In general the folks who stay active on this board are the ones who left the working world and never looked back.

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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time
Old 03-17-2006, 06:04 PM   #4
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time

Is there some kind of work that you could do just because you enjoy it? Retirement doesn't have to mean that you will never again do work. What about part time work that would give you extra money to offset your expenses? And maybe provide trip money to see your grandson.
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time
Old 03-17-2006, 07:11 PM   #5
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
The people I met in the workplace were for the most part the most boring people I ever met. They had no passion!
I had several bosses whose passion kept me in the workplace for 70-hour weeks, past midnight, on weekends & holidays...
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time
Old 03-18-2006, 05:44 AM   #6
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time

Look into respite care for your MIL so you folks can get away from time to time.

http://www.alzinfo.org/continuingcare/respite/

http://www.alz.org/

There is another relatively new poster on this site who cared for a parent with alzheimers for many years. He may have some thoughts as well.

Also, you can "run your numbers" through the FIREcalc retirement calculator found at http://fireseeker.com/. You also can read about the calculator on that page.
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time
Old 03-21-2006, 04:19 AM   #7
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time

Henry:

I expect that most everyone on the board who have Er'd had some of the same feelings and experiences. I like to analogise leaving any long term life situation to a form of death, and there are the stages we have all read about.

I had a great set of jobs, made my critical mass, and left when it made sense to do so. I suspect your employer was giving you a break to offer an early out at 59, in part to create voluntary attrition, and also to avoid the age discrimination suits that could occur if they target older employees with a forced RIF.

The others had some great points. I suggest you consider that you are 'looking for work", but its work for the self, the family, and those that really need you to be there for them here and now. I once opined that a company will never 'love you back", despite your dedication and sacrifice to the cause. Your family will. Invest your best efforts in them, and the reality will dissolve any misconceptions we have all had about the 'good old days" working to move numbers from one sde or the other of some disinterested company's balance sheet. When you left, they got along just fine. I dare say that is not the situation with your family. You have the best job, you just need to get comfortable with the descrption and assignment.

Its all good 8)
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time
Old 03-21-2006, 09:42 AM   #8
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time

You should definitely try and find a passion or hobby that you enjoy.* *If you went into a bookstore, what’s the first section you would go look at that interests you?*

As long as it doesn’t get too stressful, what about working part-time at a place like Home Depot, Sports Authority, a bookstore/library, movie theater, coffee shop, sporting event, concert, etc.?* That could help ease the transition from the toxic high-tech world into something more enjoyable and still give you some extra cash and socializing.*

You can also post some of your financial details/investments and see what the board thinks.*

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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time
Old 03-21-2006, 10:45 AM   #9
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Re: Seemed like a good idea at the time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Look into respite care for your MIL so you folks can get away from time to time.
i could not agree more. first thing that came to my mind from your post was that your depression might be more from dealing with your mom-in-law's alzheimer's disease than from retirement or even your grandson. a.d. is so stressful that many caregivers (especially among the elderly--older than even you ) die first, die before the person suffering the disease. i quit working a job that became crappy anyway because i wanted to remove some misery from my life as i deal with mom's end-stage ad. if you were happy working, maybe you don't want to remove that now. maybe there is another job you'd like to do if any job would do. or if in good enough financial shape maybe a volunteer job would make you happier.

but do not for a second underestimate the stress a.d. puts on your lives. and if you get a job for yourself, find also something to help your wife because she will have it even harder without you there. when i went through this 20 years ago with my grandfather i used to take care of him while my parents sent his wife off to a spa for a long weekend once a month or two. now there are nursing homes and assisted living facilities that will take patients short term to give the caregivers respite.

good luck with all of that and do not hesitate to seek help in dealing with a.d. there is no good reason in any world why it should kill more than one. don't let your mil's a.d. take your lives as well.

ps martha. i read your post about how you lost your parents so early in life. then the other day my uncle and cousin joined us for lunch with what's left of my mom. looking at my cousin, i thought of how much i liked her mom who died of breast cancer when we were in our 20s. my own mom would have made such a cool old lady. i can picture her in her 90s, still traveling, still laughing, and knowing mom, still working, not in her 70s dying in slow motion. then i think of your story and my cousin's and really so many people i know who lost their parents early in life and i think even with this horror i'm going through now, how oddly lucky am i.
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