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How long to adjust to ER?
Old 01-15-2005, 02:46 PM   #1
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How long to adjust to ER?

I have a pretty good handle on the financial requirements of ER (thanks to the many posters here) but the mental aspects of the transition are less clear.

I suspect one doesn't go straight from 25+ years of continuous employment to ER without any issues what so ever?

Even with a number of interests and hobbies, plus an innate lazy streak, I can guess that the days might (at first) seem long without the structure of the work place.

Then there's that pesky conditioning which causes many of us to feel better when we are "productive".

I'm looking forward to mastering "extreme loafing", but also curious about how long it takes to adapt to a low stress life. * 8)


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Re: How long to adjust to ER?
Old 01-15-2005, 03:44 PM   #2
 
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Re: How long to adjust to ER?

I have a pretty good handle on the financial requirements of ER (thanks to the many posters here) but the mental aspects of the transition are less clear.

I suspect one doesn't go straight from 25+ years of continuous employment to ER without any issues what so ever?


You're wrong. My "issues" came from being normal to working all those years. (And I include going to school too) When I retired and got back to where I was before I was so rudely interrupted, I was just fine

Even with a number of interests and hobbies, plus an innate lazy streak, I can guess that the days might (at first) seem long without the structure of the work place.

You probably guessing wrong. Assuming you start retirment on a Monday the first week might seem a bit slow but not unpleasently so. After the first weekend you'll notice that the weeks go too fast... the weekends drag...andyou'll start to dread weekends because everybody else is out clogging the roads and stores and won't get out of your way. You'll LIVE for Mondays except the ones that are holidays.

Then there's that pesky conditioning which causes many of us to feel better when we are "productive".

And if "many of us" jumped off the Empire State Building would YOU also want to? Lose that religion. It IS conditioning. Do what you'd do with any other conditioning...rinse it out of your hair!

I'm looking forward to mastering "extreme loafing", but also curious about how long it takes to adapt to a low stress life.

Took me zero seconds

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Re: How long to adjust to ER?
Old 01-15-2005, 03:45 PM   #3
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Re: How long to adjust to ER?

This is why I am a big fan of a gradual early retirement. The question is, is it better to:

A) Work as hard as you can until you are 45 in order to come to a complete stop and begin enjoying life, or

B) Work as hard as you can until age 35, then go part-time until age 50 so you can enjoy more of your life at an earlier age?

I've opted for choice B. In fact, work has become even more enjoyable without all the stress that comes with a solid 40+ hour work week.
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Re: How long to adjust to ER?
Old 01-15-2005, 03:57 PM   #4
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Re: How long to adjust to ER?

Quote:
... the weekends drag...and you'll start to dread weekends because everybody else is out clogging the roads and stores and won't get out of your way. You'll LIVE for Mondays except the ones that are holidays.
In this aspect, I've had to create my schedule around everyone else. For example, I won't drive anywhere until AFTER 9am on the weekdays until traffic clears up. Then, for the same reason, I make sure I'm not on the road between 4pm and 7pm if I can avoid it.

I also try to avoid malls and restaurants on Friday and Saturday nights.

I always feel like I'm in a different world when I go food shopping at 11am on weekdays and find myself surrounded by old people with white hair. Makes me feel like a teenager.
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Re: How long to adjust to ER?
Old 01-15-2005, 05:29 PM   #5
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Re: How long to adjust to ER?

Quote:
I have a pretty good handle on the financial requirements of ER (thanks to the many posters here) but the mental aspects of the transition are less clear.

I suspect one doesn't go straight from 25+ years of continuous employment to ER without any issues what so ever?

Even with a number of interests and hobbies, plus an innate lazy streak, I can guess that the days might (at first) seem long without the structure of the work place.

Then there's that pesky conditioning which causes many of us to feel better when we are "productive".

I'm looking forward to mastering "extreme loafing", but also curious about how long it takes to adapt to a low stress life. * 8)

Rock

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hi Rock,

I think it's different for everyone. A few on this board apparently made the transition without a pause. I know people who couldn't get used to retirement for years and finally went back to work. And some folks say it took several months. It doesn't just have to do with the number of outside interests or hobbies people have.

I never spent a day where I felt uncomfortable in retirement, but it took me about 5 months before planning a day of conspicuous loafing came natural. Then, after about a year, I got a chance to do some work I really enjoyed while limiting my time to 1/4 time and working only when and if I wanted. So I now work as much as 6 hours on some days, as many as 3 days a week on some weeks, but take off for weeks at a time if I want to go somewher or do something. I don't know how long I'll do this, but it's fun for now. Some days it's more fun than this board.
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Re: How long to adjust to ER?
Old 01-15-2005, 05:41 PM   #6
 
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Re: How long to adjust to ER?

Quote:
I suspect one doesn't go straight from 25+ years of continuous employment to ER without any issues what so ever?
It depends on the person and how long they prepared for retirement. I took advantage of an early retirement package offered unexpectedly so there was only one month to prepare. That was 3-1/2 years ago and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around some aspects of all the new free time. Retirement does feel a lot better than working full time in my former environment.

The first few weeks of retirement were a mixture of absolute bliss and an odd feeling that "I don't belong here, walking around free in the middle of the day." I wasn't aware that my happiness was so visible until a book store cashier asked me why I was smiling so much. I replied that I was retired and she nodded and seemed to understand my glee immediately.


I wrote in another thread about losing interest in some of my hobbies after retirement, but they are slowly regaining their appeal. You can get burned out on anything, even hobbies. Sometimes the enjoyment doesn't "scale up" when you transition from spending 8 hours a week engaged in a hobby to 8 hours each day.

Got a phone call the other day with an offer to return to industry full time as a consultant. At this point, the notion of reentering the rat race is unappealing.
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Re: How long to adjust to ER?
Old 01-15-2005, 10:21 PM   #7
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Re: How long to adjust to ER?

From my observations I'd say different people handle ER differently. If I had the money I know I could retire today and not have any trouble occupying myself; took some time off a while back and my only problem was that I didn't have money to keep going.

I've read several people say it takes a few months to a couple of years to adjust to ER.

I suspect many can't handle retirement, much less early retirement. But perhaps this type could escape the rat race with volunteer work or other novel ways of "free working" (to coin a new term, "free working" refers to control over one's time and duties, not necessarily working for no compensation).
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