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Alone, antisocial and ready to retire
Old 05-17-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
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Alone, antisocial and ready to retire

I plan to retire (or at least semi-retire) in 2012. I read a lot about people who retire but they always seem to be couples or have families to look after.

I'm single, more than a little bit of a loner, and do not have family or friends nearby - and certainly none that are retired.

Anyone else in this boat? What do you do all day?

BTW I do have hobbies: polynesian dancing and geocaching (not at the same time)

It would be interesting to know what there is out there for us "solos".
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:56 PM   #2
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Let's see if I can be the first person to recommend the long-standing "What Did You Do Today?" thread.

I'm almost in the same boat as you, Nuiloa. I'm definitely a bit of a loner, but would go completely nuts if I couldn't have some regular human contact. My SO (Significant Other, in case you're not familiar with the acronym) lives just 15 minutes walk away, and we see each other 2 or 3 days a week.

The rest of the time is divided up roughly as follows:

  • Ripping, scanning and archiving my rather sizable CD collection (10,000 CD's at its peak). This never fails to give me many trips down memory lane, as I get to look at and listen to them while archiving.
  • Doing online research on new cameras (am thinking about replacing my current camera).
  • Doing online research on living full-time in an RV - something I hope to do before too long.
  • Fiddling with antennas and my ham radio station, building radios and updating my ham radio blog.
  • Playing with my cat.
  • Running errands on my pushbike, which gives me exercise and a chance to look around and really enjoy the neighborhood.
  • Wondering what to eat for dinner.
  • Eating dinner (accompanied with a glass or two of wine if the SO is with me).
  • Catching up on a movie or good documentary if the SO is with me.
  • At some point soon I will revive my habit of walking around my neighborhood and taking pictures. The photography bug seems to be slowly returning.
You say that you're more than a little bit of a loner but that you do have friends, though they are not nearby. I'm wondering if most of your social interaction currently comes from work. If that's the case, are you in any way concerned about not having much social interaction with others after finishing work? The fact that you posted this question here indicates to me that the social thing might be a bit of a concern for you.

All I can say is that based on my own experience so far, after 2 years of not working, it doesn't take very much to fill up a day. The time just zips by. I get out of bed anytime between 6:30 and 8:30am, fiddle around a bit with a few things, have a few cups of coffee and some oatmeal and before I know it, it's noon and time for lunch. A friend who stopped working 3 years ago told me that he now wonders how he ever found time to work - and I've seen this sentiment expressed quite often in this forum too.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:58 PM   #3
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BTW I do have hobbies: polynesian dancing and geocaching (not at the same time)
I go geocaching in my kilt. When I emerge from the bush with bits of grass stuck to it...
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=Major Tom;1070999]Let's see if I can be the first person to recommend the long-standing "What Did You Do Today?" thread.
  • Doing online research on living full-time in an RV - something I hope to do before too long.
THAT is EXACTLY what my plan is - I've been looking at RVs for 2 years now and it's still a toss-up of whether to go Class A or Fifth Wheel. Or maybe Class C? I have severe wanderlust! On the other hand, the price of gas in Canada is ridiculous ($6 a gallon and going up every day).


You say that you're more than a little bit of a loner but that you do have friends, though they are not nearby. I'm wondering if most of your social interaction currently comes from work. If that's the case, are you in any way concerned about not having much social interaction with others after finishing work? The fact that you posted this question here indicates to me that the social thing might be a bit of a concern for you.

That is one of my concerns - although I don't socialize with anyone at work either but there are people to talk to. I have a lot of acquaintances through the dancing, and one good friend (although he's very high maintenance and NOT a travel partner).

I'm just curious to know how people without SO's fill their days. But I do agree with you - 100% of the retirees I know say they don't regret it and can't believe how busy they are.

I think I'll look into photography, though - it sounds like just the thing to get me out of the house.

Thanks!

Nui
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:22 PM   #5
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I go geocaching in my kilt. When I emerge from the bush with bits of grass stuck to it...

Stuck to what, exactly?
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:34 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Nuiloa;1071009]
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I've been looking at RVs for 2 years now and it's still a toss-up of whether to go Class A or Fifth Wheel. Or maybe Class C?
Full Time RVd with my late wife for about four years, and then soloed for two.......we started out with a Class B Pleasureway.....2 people, a 70lb very active Border Collie and a cat.......we got about 50 miles, (the house had been sold along with most of our belongings), before realizing it was too small.....put about 12k miles on it anyway.

For one person the Class B's, although expensive to buy, even used, might be great.

We then moved up to a 5th wheel and an F250 diesel, (never bought a full sized motorhome), and (although there are advantages/disadvantages with both), the 5th wheels, I believe, are more maneuverable, you don't need a TOAD because you have the truck, and in the event of an engine failure your home isn't in the garage.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:48 PM   #7
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I'm single and tend to be pretty independent and spend alot of time alone so I am in a situation fairly similar to yours. I'd suggest joining a health club and try to go at least every other day. It's a great way to be around other people and not feel so isolated. You can even occasionally make new friends and acquaintances there as well. The health benefits of working out are an added benefit. I try to do some sort of workout pretty much every day whether it be going to the health club or going for a bike ride...it gets me out of the house and around other people.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:50 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Nemo2;1071014][QUOTE=Nuiloa;1071009]
Full Time RVd with my late wife for about four years, and then soloed for two.......


I'll be going solo all the time. Did you find that people were friendly to a solo traveller?

I hear horror stories about the dangers of travelling alone in the US. I've always found that campers were friendly and helpful and I'm hoping it's just nasty hype made up by sensationalist media.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:59 PM   #9
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Here's a lady who lives and travels alone in her VW camper van. Lots of good info about the practicalities of what she's doing.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Nuiloa;1071024][QUOTE=Nemo2;1071014]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuiloa View Post
Full Time RVd with my late wife for about four years, and then soloed for two.......


I'll be going solo all the time. Did you find that people were friendly to a solo traveller?

I hear horror stories about the dangers of travelling alone in the US. I've always found that campers were friendly and helpful and I'm hoping it's just nasty hype made up by sensationalist media.
I'm just back from a long road trip with my spouse. My spouse and I often offer a free short-term room in our truly humble home for solo travellers, especially foreigners, because this destination town is ridiculously expensive. We are not unique in this respect. (No, this is not an open invitation to everyone who reads this)
I had an elderly friend, just passed away a couple of years ago, who would take trips in her mini-camper all over the U.S. by herself because she couldn't get any of her grandkids to go with her. Her kids begged her to stop because they had heard horror stories, but she never had any trouble. Never. Not to say it never happens, but it's risky driving to the grocery store, for heaven's sake.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:12 PM   #11
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I'm single, more than a little bit of a loner, and do not have family or friends nearby - and certainly none that are retired.
You'll always have us.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:28 PM   #12
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You'll always have us.


Awwww....that's really nice
Thanks
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:03 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Nuiloa;1071024][QUOTE=Nemo2;1071014]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuiloa View Post
Full Time RVd with my late wife for about four years, and then soloed for two.......


I'll be going solo all the time. Did you find that people were friendly to a solo traveller?

I hear horror stories about the dangers of travelling alone in the US. I've always found that campers were friendly and helpful and I'm hoping it's just nasty hype made up by sensationalist media.
We only ever encountered a couple singles when my wife and I travelled, and the reception they received was no different than if they'd been travelling with someone......it was also directly related to their personal 'attitude'.

When I travelled solo from Ontario to Arizona, the winter of 2002, I met people with whom I still correspond.

En route....try WalMart parking lots....free overnight parking, generally close to an Interstate; RVs generally herd together and if there are others already parked just merge with the group.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:14 PM   #14
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I fall into your category. I had been telecommuting for the past 10 years before retiring this year so I was already away from the office socializing. Most family is 1000 miles away except for a kid in college about an hour drive. I live in a mountain top community with about 150 or so full timers (mostly retirees), but it's a fairly close community, so it's not like I'm in a remote cabin in the woods.

In the winter I ski at our local hill and know enough of the regulars that I usually have someone to ski with to make the chair rides go by faster. I also have a running group, but they are an hour away so usually I just run with them once a week or less.

I just adopted two cats, they are entertaining, but not as good of companions as dogs. Cats give me a lot more freedom to travel or not rush back to let them out or feed them so that's why I went that way.

I volunteer at the nature foundation, so there's more interaction there.

Every once in awhile I'll wander down to the brew pub in the valley and often see someone I know, or strike up a conversation with someone in the bar.

Otherwise, I read, play computer games, watch TV and movies, and follow a few online forums like this. I don't think this replaces personal interaction, but it is something. I'm alone, which is a physical state, but usually not in the mental state of lonely. I wouldn't say I'm antisocial, but I don't need too much social contact. Some people tell me they don't know how I can live alone up here, and I always get asked what I do up here. I guess they are busy social bees and couldn't do this, but for me it's not that much different from when I lived in a city or the burbs and stayed home most evenings. The difference is that it's a lot quieter, the scenery is nicer, and I'm not dealing with the hassles of a busier neighborhood. I tell people it's not for most people, but I like it a lot.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:55 PM   #15
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I'm alone, which is a physical state, but usually not in the mental state of lonely. I wouldn't say I'm antisocial, but I don't need too much social contact.
After thinking about it, I think I used the wrong word. I'm not so much antisocial as just someone who needs a lot of time alone. I can last about 3 days in a "group" setting, then I have to go find a quiet spot on the beach. I'm never lonely.

Unfortunately, my closest friend is the type that can't do ANYTHING without an entourage and can't understand the need to be alone....EVER.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:33 PM   #16
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I concur with Major Tom. Since I retired the hours in a day, just slip away. I can waste 2 hours just thinking about getting a 15 min. chore done. Although many on this forum would disagree, I consider myself retired despite the fact I work 3 hours a day. That provides a little focus in my life. I do more walking and go to the gym to work out several times a day. Visit my GF couple times a week in town who still works. I love drinking my morning java and reading the newspaper, and spending too much time reading on internet. I play some tennis and golf, too. I don't recommend this, but I have several season long futures bets on major league teams, so I watch a lot of baseball. Only tv show I watch is the OReilly Factor. Weekends I mix it up a bit, but I love my routine M-F. I, like you love my alone time during the week, but am more active with people on weekends. My PT job provides plenty of human interaction for me. Even if other people don't think it's productive, do what you enjoy doing. It's your retirement!!!!!
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:38 PM   #17
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I plan to retire (or at least semi-retire) in 2012. I read a lot about people who retire but they always seem to be couples or have families to look after.

I'm single, more than a little bit of a loner, and do not have family or friends nearby - and certainly none that are retired.

Anyone else in this boat? What do you do all day?

BTW I do have hobbies: polynesian dancing and geocaching (not at the same time)

It would be interesting to know what there is out there for us "solos".
I worked part-time for 7 years before I retired fully in late 2008. Because I had already resurrected my personal life in 2001 when I first switched to part-time, going from workng 2 days a week to zero days a week was not a big deal.

This means the big change to my daily life was back in 2001 when I first switched from full-time work to part-time work which included mostly telecommuting. I had already lined up two hobbies - one I had not done in 13 years (square dancing) and the other a variation of an existing hobby (volunteer work with the local school Scrabble - see my username? - program). In 2003, I added some more midday volunteer work with a college square dance class.

I also resurrected another solo hobby I had not done in many years - playing Strat-o-Matic baseball, a cards-and-dice baseball game. I have also done much more reading than I did before, often going to my co-op's pool (summer only) and reading outside in the shade.

I did not have a ladyfriend back in 2001 but have had one since 2004. She lives very close by but works full-time. I have some family. My dad lives about 15 miles away, so I see him from time to time. My brother and his family about 200 miles away so I see him once or twice a year tops. I have a best friend who also lives about 15 miles away (near my dad so I can often see both the same day).

Despite my midday activities, the best part of ER is simply not working, losing my awful commute, going to sleep and waking up whenever I like, and basically coming and going as I please. I keep as busy as I like.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:45 PM   #18
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If you end up having less interaction with other people than you would like:

1. do some volunteer work;

2. get a part time j$b (unlikely to be popular on this forum);

3. join a church or other community group;

4. take up a hobby that requires participating with others (sailing, mah jong, bridge etc);

5. take some courses (scuba diving, sky diving, academics - whatever seem interesting to you);

6. join a political party (really scraping the bottom of the barrel here);

7. commit a felony and spend some time in jail - at least the people will be "interesting".

Most of these will allow you to control how much time you spend with others - as much or as little as you like.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:37 PM   #19
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OP interesting comments.

I'm a loner and frankly I doubt hardly anyone could live my existence. I'm as cutoff from human contact as if I was stationed in Antarctica. The only people I am ever around is when I go grocery shopping. I live in a small town in a rural area and no one here is in touch with neighbors, been here 12 years and still waiting for a hello form the ones that were here prior to me! If you weren't born here then 50 years later you're still an outsider. I could never live in a city, even a suburb would drive me crazy. This is not rural enough but will do.

I have had very few friends in my life but those that were friends were very close and important. In 2005 within an 18 month span every single last one died and I am alone. Too old and too shy and too withdrawn to make new friends. I retired 4 years ago and what was a lonely existence has turned into near total isolation. I spoke to very few people at the mega corp when working and now I email 2 of those people on occasion. I can't leave the house for long as my old dog isn't trust worthy and does not ride well in the car. This has me trapped at home 99.9% of the time unless I want to clean up pee and poop which I try to avoid.

People wear me out, really this is not an exaggeration. One on one is fine but put me in a group of 2 or 3, forget a dozen, and within an hour or so I am exhausted and need to be alone. Virtually no family left alive and have a little contact with the last 2.

My weeks fly by like seconds! I can't fathom how fast each Monday morning turns into Friday night. I like week days I don't like weekends. I have a routine that takes up almost the entire day every day but weekends that schedule goes to hell.

What do I do? Anything I want whenever I want. There are a lot of excellent shows on TV like History, Discovery, Nat Geo channels not the regular channels that are full of trash. I tape anywhere from 1 to 4 hours of programming a night M-F and watch some each morning. Then it's treadmill time. By the time that's done and I'm washed and dressed it's 11 am to noon. I listen to talk radio and have shows I follow from 9 am to 6 pm, many times I catch some of these shows while working on stuff, on the treadmill etc cuz I can't listen to 9 hours a day! I cook, seldom eat out and everything is made from scratch so it takes time. I garden and grow a lot of the food I eat, weeding and watering take considerable amounts of time that I resent but must do. I used to go for long rides but like I mentioned my dog is not good at this anymore (tired of her crapping in the car on 15 minute trips) and I can't trust her alone for 10 hours, hey even 3 is a huge stretch. My sleep schedule is shot to hell thanks to the dog. I can't go to bed unless she goes out and poops and this means I have to be up at 1 and 2 am, it's dreadful. Sometimes I wake up at 6:30 am even tho I went to bed at 2 am and was lying in bed watching tv until 3 am. Sometimes I collapse at 1 pm and get an hour's rest otherwise I'm asleep at 8 pm on the couch for an hour or 2. Right now I'm wasting time until 1 or 1:30 am so I get her out. I don't care to wake up to dog crap in the bedroom, down the hall, into the living room. It is hard and one day I'll be able to go to bed at 10 pm and get up at 6am but for now I have to deal with this the best I can. It ain't easy.

I couldn't wait to retire even tho I knew I had nothing to do, nowhere to go and no one to do it with. I love being free of that terrible commute, the office politics, the idiot people all around me, the ability to do what I have to do when it needs to be done vs trying to do it on weekends. No regrets about retiring and cutting the last contact with people.

But am I unhappy? No. I wish I had a friend but that's never going to happen and I can tolerate isolation fairly well so I just go on. I think as time passes I am becoming trapped in this sort of like someone that is going insane and is cognizant of their oncoming insanity and it worries me that i will become the crazy person living in the attic so to speak. I frequent a few forums and this is the best one so that keeps me in contact with humans on the level I want and can handle... just like as if I was in Antarctica right now... thousands of miles from anyone but able to converse with someone.

Interesting post, I wonder how many people are isolated by choice like I am? I know loneliness is a big problem for seniors. I have heard some people express that people wear them out and I was surprised as I thought that was unique to me. Most people are gregarious but some are hermits.

Another hour+ to kill, I so want to go to bed.....
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:46 PM   #20
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BTW I do have hobbies: polynesian dancing and geocaching (not at the same time)
I'd like to be the first to observe that this forum NEEDS someone who's into polynesian dancing and geocaching.

Welcome Nuiloa.
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