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Mind set
Old 02-10-2012, 10:47 AM   #1
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Mind set

SO and I reached a point a couple of years ago where we could retire early. Instead, we've both gotten our companies to let us have more time off. We're early 50's.
Problem is, something overall has changed.

Before, with limited time and hectic schedules we seemed to get quite a bit more done, and some chores were even fun. Now it seems everything is a chore, even the fun stuff. A weekend away becomes a "let's get it over with so we can get back home, we have work to do there"
Once home we wait for time off to tackle chores. When time off rolls around "why waste it doing chores"

It's become a cycle we can't get out of and nothing is getting done. Working around the house in the daylight hours is something we both enjoy, these winter nights mean getting home when it's dark and we don't feel like doing anything, that's what weekends are for. Weekend comes and we can't get caught up since we let things slide all week.

Full retirement might take care of it, don't know for sure, and I'm sure Spring time will help. But for the past year or so when we get home from work we don't want to do anything around the house anymore. Like the mind has now said: Work is 9-5 regardless of if it's home chores or at the office, evenings at home is for relaxing.
I will sometimes go out in the shop and work on my hobbies, but that comes with guilt of letting gotta do's slide. Same for my SO.
Take care of the gotta-do's and no time for hobbies that we worked our butts off to get to this point and it frustrates us both.

All this changed once we became finiancially independent. Coincidence?

Anyone care to sit by the couch and analyze this?

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Old 02-10-2012, 11:20 AM   #2
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Just some random thoughts that come to mind....

When I (fully) retired, I came to the amazing realization that my time is now truly my own. Nobody can tell me how I should or shouldn't spend it. Not only that, but nobody but me really cares. This is quite freeing.

I don't spend much time doing chores in retirement, but I do have routines. I keep the kitchen clean by cleaning while preparing dinner and while making coffee in the morning. It doesn't take much time if one is not messy to begin with. I do laundry in the evenings while watching TV. I guess you could say that I do most chores without thinking about them, in a routine fashion, because I don't want to live in a pigsty. But I don't focus on them or waste my time on them; I multitask.

Most other, more unusual chores can wait until I get around to them! That's one of the joys of being retired.

I found that my chores fit into one of two categories:

(1) chores that are making my life more pleasant (as in, not having to look at a messy room), or healthier (as in, changing the HVAC filter). These can be done pretty painlessly while multitasking

(2) chores that do not improve my quality of life much at all and really were never crucial or necessary for a happy, healthy life, and while I might briefly consider doing them, have dropped off my radar.

I do those in (1), or in the case of lawnmowing, hired someone to do it. I do not do those in (2) and my happiness and health have not suffered, since they were just BS invented by an active mind and not truly necessary.

Retirement comes with some time management issues to resolve, I agree. Really, I'm sure you will figure out how/when/if you want to do your chores, once you are fully retired and truly have oceans of time available to you. Right now, your time is still limited because you know that you will have to go back to work at some point.

"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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Not sure what those chores are, but it sounds like you don't want to do them yet they need to be done. Here's what I do in that situation: hire someone else to do them.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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It sounds to me as if you are already transitioning to a healthy retirement mentality of doing things on your own schedule, as opposed to going full-tilt in order to get everything done.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:14 PM   #5
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Chores range from maintaining the cars, painting the hallway, re-docorate a bedroom, fix this, that, etc... boring mundane stuff to me that I used to jump on and enjoy the finished results of DYI.
The basics we do, like keeping the place clean and tidy, but it's a big place to take care of and requires a lot of time. And I do think we've gotten a little lazy this past year.

We're at that cross roads of age and ability to weekend warrior it and still work; need to downsize to get a handle on it, but retire and no need to down size anytime soon, maybe that would put the fun back in maintaining the place for awhile.

I think you nailed it Tom.
I have a retired neighbor, he piddles around his place a few hours each day, place looks great and he plays with the grandkids on the weekends, or works in his wood shop, where as we have to kill ourselves on the weekends.

We've never had any luck hiring out stuff. At most I hire a crew to spread the 60 yards of mulch in the spring. We used to do that ourselves.
I guess maybe it's the deadlines of chores and projects while still working. I only have X amount of time, don't get finished and it's hanging over my head while I'm back at work.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:20 PM   #6
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You say your company has given you time off but mention working 9 to 5. I have the idea from this that you have traded work that was very time intensive for merely switching to a 40 hours week. If so, part of the problem may simply be that you are still working full time albeit it fewer hours than before. The problem with that may be that you are making less money but not really getting the benefits you can get from truly reduced hours. I semi-retired two years ago and typically to into the office one or two days a week. That gives me plenty of time to do chores and other tasks around the house but still have time for the fun stuff.

From what you are talking about it sounds like your work hours are still long enough that when you do the fun stuff there isn't enough time left over to do chores. The obvious solution for someone FI would be to work still fewer hours (I realize that situation might or might not be available to you).
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:51 AM   #7
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What we've done for more time off is we now have many more days to take whenever we like, We still work the 8 hr day. We usually take 3-4 day weekends along with the normal one week vacation, but that still requires several weeks of 5 day work weeks in a row which is when this stress level creeps up.

I agree with you on working still fewer hours, we'd both prefer to get a legit 4 day work week going but our compainies won't agree to that just yet. We'll keep working on that.
I know I'm at my best when I work only 4 days, I get more done at work and leisure time. I can do chores around the house or run errands Friday, maybe a few Saturday morning and go out for an early dinner, Sunday is usually a relaxed day.
By the time work rolls around Monday I honestly have to try and remember where I left off on Thursday. That's quality time off.

But, I'm also beginning to understand though why so many retired people I meet say they don't see how they ever had time for a job. They're very busy, but doing more wanna do's than gotta do's.

We'll get there, I was just wondering if our funk was normal for people easing into ER.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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GRambler, I worked part-time for 7 years before I ERed back in 2008 so I suppose I can relate to your story to some degree.

My part-time years had work schedules which varied, from a 20-hours-per-week mostly telecommute gig for 2 years, then going to my office 3 days a week for 3.5 years, then going to my office 2 days a week (12 hours per week) for 1.5 years. When I began working PT, I now had time to do stuff like errands during the week instead of on weekends. I also began doing my volunteer work and resurrected hobbies, each of which included some midday, weekday hours.

But when the telecommute gig ended and I had to return to my long, sickening commute, that made it a lot tougher to maintain the reborn personal life because I could not do anything else on the work days. It was a constant juggling act which often included scheduling conflicts for the precious 2 weekdays I had off.

Going from 3 days a week to 2 days a week eased a lot of scheduling woes but I was still left with the basic annoyance of....WORKING and its long, sickening commute even 2 days a week. I accelerated my ER planning and said good-bye to working (and the long, sickening commute) in 2008. Now, it is extremely rare for me to have any scheduling problems with my midday activies and I have been able to do more of them as I wish while keeping all the errands on the weekdays I am not busy. Weekends I am pretty idle, as spending time with my ladyfriend (who works FT) takes precedence.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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"maintaining the cars, painting the hallway, re-docorate a bedroom"

Maintaining cars - that is what auto shops are for. Or the car wash.

Painting the hallway - does it really need it? Could you defer for a few more years and would it really matter?

re-decorate a bedroom - ?? How is the current bedroom decorations deficient? Are these things that your wife wants done that are just make-work?

To echo what W2R said - place your chores in priority buckets. Do the important ones and spend little or no time on the unimportant ones if you don't value those chores/tasks.
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (4, 10, and 11).
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:35 PM   #10
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I don't know if my experience is at all the same but it seems like somewhat similiar situation. I work from the home now, and comute each day from bedroom to the den. Since I don't have to play the comute game I have more time and I can be flexible with my hours to some degree.

I find myself more frustrated with having to work as we get closer to our goal of retire in 4 years. We have talked and dreamed of the day, and now the dreams are much more specific. I wonder if it isn't more keyed to getting closer to retirement.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:25 PM   #11
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I worked Part time for about 5 years before my full retirement about 6 months ago. I worked 4 days; 5 hours each day. I still had to get ready for work drive there, drive home. I had to keep up with my continuing education and technical reading. There was a certain "overhead" with having to work that took up time. I even spent my personal time worrying about things at work.

Now that I am retired and my time is my own.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:48 PM   #12
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GRambler, I know where you are coming from too. I have a 15 hour week part time job, and it takes me longer now to get the chores done than it did when I was working FT. I am slowly turning into a " piddler". This IPad hasnt helped much either. Much easier to stay on this than it was with my laptop.

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