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He said "You're what, 64?" - I answered I'll be 62 in July.
Old 01-23-2016, 06:13 AM   #1
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He said "You're what, 64?" - I answered I'll be 62 in July.

He said "your what 64" - I answered I'll be 62 in July. I was chatting about my plans on retiring this July. He was sitting across from me in physical therapy "I've got 22 years on you and I say work as long as you can - just reading books doesn't cut it" yikes! It was clear he wasn't enjoying his retirement. I didn't give it too much thought until later in the day when I heard a 'retired' caller to one of my favorite radio shows echo those same sentiments. Double yikes.

It got me to thinking about my plans in retirement and the formula for contentment
1) change the paradigm (move south - blizzard out there as I write this - the wind is howling - it will be a miracle if we don't lose power)
2) stay busy - part time job, volunteer, hobbies
3) exercise
4) travel and see some of the country
5) read - just read Rouge Lawyer by Grisham couldn't put it down.

I am generally a pretty happy person and enjoy the simple things. I must admit to a bit of worry when I hear all the negativity from retirees. What's the magic formula?


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Old 01-23-2016, 06:38 AM   #2
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Contentment, IMHO, comes from within rather than from without.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:26 AM   #3
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He's in PT. Maybe he hurts and isn't really thinking straight just now. Likes to be physical, can't be, = boredom.

He's 84. Maybe "I wish I was back at work" is his version of the dementia trope, "I want to go home," which I've read really means, "I want to be the way I used to be."

I hear you on the snow. We have 14 inches so far and the wind is blowing sideways.

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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
He said "your what 64" - I answered I'll be 62 in July. I was chatting about my plans on retiring this July. He was sitting across from me in physical therapy "I've got 22 years on you and I say work as long as you can - just reading books doesn't cut it" yikes! It was clear he wasn't enjoying his retirement. I didn't give it too much thought until later in the day when I heard a 'retired' caller to one of my favorite radio shows echo those same sentiments. Double yikes.

It got me to thinking about my plans in retirement and the formula for contentment
1) change the paradigm (move south - blizzard out there as I write this - the wind is howling - it will be a miracle if we don't lose power)
2) stay busy - part time job, volunteer, hobbies
3) exercise
4) travel and see some of the country
5) read - just read Rouge Lawyer by Grisham couldn't put it down.

I am generally a pretty happy person and enjoy the simple things. I must admit to a bit of worry when I hear all the negativity from retirees. What's the magic formula?


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Old 01-23-2016, 07:34 AM   #4
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I could easily be wrong, but it seems to me that people who are unhappy in retirement were probably unhappy before retirement.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:39 AM   #5
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I could easily be wrong, but it seems to me that people who are unhappy in retirement were probably unhappy before retirement.
+1 Agree.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:41 AM   #6
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I could easily be wrong, but it seems to me that people who are unhappy in retirement were probably unhappy before retirement.

Of course I hope you are right; I feel you have to work at being happy...


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Old 01-23-2016, 07:44 AM   #7
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Could be that he's telling you exactly what he feels and what is reality for him - some people enjoy the interactions and challenges of work more than the things they choose to do in retirement.

We all are different. I always find it interesting how often we don't take what others say as true representations of their feelings and instead come up with stories of what they "really mean" based on our own feelings. We each need to understand what drives us personally and make decisions for our own lives with that knowledge. ER is great for some of us. But maybe the wrong decision for others.


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Old 01-23-2016, 07:48 AM   #8
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Contentment, IMHO, comes from within rather than from without.
+1
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:51 AM   #9
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Or, he didn't finish his sentence. "Work as long as you can (stand it)".
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:59 AM   #10
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Leaving the cold weather region probably adds years to your life. That's my first thought as inches of snow are piling up.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:59 AM   #11
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It gets back to: are you retiring "to" something or "away" from something? If you are simply frustrated with the w#rk you do, then it makes sense to consider a change in job or even careers. For years I considered what twilight careers might interest me, knowing in my technical field I would get to a point that I would struggle to keep up. Over the last few years I spent more time exploring what retirement would look like to me. Not what would keep me busy, but what things I've wanted to spend time on that w#rking held me back from. We now know where we'll live, what we'll do and what budget we need to do those things. With that plan complete we'll ER at the end of 2016. We'll be retiring *to* a fulfilling and rewarding retirement. I'm not sure I'll even have a lot of time to read books <wink>!
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:00 AM   #12
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I am 59 and have been retired for almost 8 years with no regrets (other than wishing I had been able to retire sooner). Why would anyone choose work over the freedom to do whatever they want 100% of the time? It just doesn't compute unless $$$ is an issue.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:10 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
Of course I hope you are right; I feel you have to work at being happy...
I'm going to disagree with you slightly here. I don't think there's much work involved in being happy, it being more of a basic disposition, IMO. As others have said, there are all sorts of opinions about retirement. Just because he's not enjoying himself doesn't mean that you wouldn't. Don't let others' feelings about their own situations deter you.

My main concern when I stopped working was whether I'd have a sufficient stash to provide adequate living expenses for the duration. As much as I enjoyed my career (and was very driven during it), not once did I consider whether I'd be bored if I didn't have a job. I mean, how awful can having the freedom to do whatever you want actually be? My gosh, it sounds like absolute torture
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:42 AM   #14
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I think everyone is an individual and that the time to RE for one person is not the time for another. I also know of people who are not happy in retirement but I think I know of more that wish they had done it sooner. If you are FI and have a plan then you do not need to second guess that. It's just fitters.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:48 AM   #15
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I had a little bit of worry about whether I'd be bored, unfulfilled, whatever in retirement... mainly because DH had expressed his worry about that to me.

Turns out I'm pretty shallow and had no issues at all when the challenge of work was removed. I find plenty to keep my mind occupied. I'm healthier because I no longer can tell myself "I don't have time to work out", "I don't have time to cook from scratch", etc...
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:54 AM   #16
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I'm going to disagree with you slightly here. I don't think there's much work involved in being happy, it being more of a basic disposition, IMO.
...:
+1. And someone who has to work at being happy would probably be happier being unhappy.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:55 AM   #17
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I could easily be wrong, but it seems to me that people who are unhappy in retirement were probably unhappy before retirement.
Sounds right, along with the statements about contentment. These days with all the recent deaths of people in their late 60s I wouldn't have thought that I would want to take the chance of working that long. Happy to have hung it up. There are still many, many things to do which bring me satisfaction and fulfillment.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:57 AM   #18
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I had a little bit of worry about whether I'd be bored, unfulfilled, whatever in retirement... mainly because DH had expressed his worry about that to me.

Turns out I'm pretty shallow and had no issues at all when the challenge of work was removed. I find plenty to keep my mind occupied. I'm healthier because I no longer can tell myself "I don't have time to work out", "I don't have time to cook from scratch", etc...
I think I must be shallow, too.

To the OP,as far as the old guy in PT, put his words in the big file labelled "unsolicited advice"...who knows where he's coming from, but he sure isn't you. Give it some thought, see if it resonates...then do your own thing.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:59 AM   #19
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Before I retired, I made a list of a couple of dozen things I wanted to do after I retired. Grow roses, learn Mexican Spanish, get an MBA, complete the Crescent City Classic (New Orleans 10K race), write a book, and so on.

By now I am in my 7th year of retirement, and I haven't done any of them. I doubt I ever will, and that's OK. Retirement has been too busy and too much fun to need that list. I can say with confidence that I have never been bored for even one day in retirement (5 minutes, maybe, but one day? no way!). I think that it helps to have some initiative.

Still, having the list on my computer desktop was a nice security blanket.
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:08 AM   #20
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I could easily be wrong, but it seems to me that people who are unhappy in retirement were probably unhappy before retirement.
Probably a strong correlation, but plenty of exceptions.

Someone who was (relatively) happy while w*rking can become lost and depressed in retirement if they don't take the initiative to create a fulfilling retirement, or become even happier if they do take the initiative.

Conversely, someone who was unhappy while w*rking can become much more fulfilled and content in retirement, if they take the initiative to create a fulfilling retirement. This is me, and probably the majority on this forum. Or they can stay unhappy if they don't grasp the opportunity retirement affords.
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