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View Poll Results: What is your basic level of happiness? (retired, work part time, work full time)
5: Retired....very happy 39 30.95%
4: Retired 19 15.08%
3: Retired...mid way between happy/unhappy 4 3.17%
2: Retired 2 1.59%
1: Retired....very unhappy 0 0%
5: Work part time....very happy 5 3.97%
4: Work part time 5 3.97%
3: Work part time...midway between happy/unhappy 2 1.59%
2: Work part time 0 0%
1: Work part time...very unhappy 0 0%
5: Work full time...very happy 6 4.76%
4: Work full time 16 12.70%
3: Work full time...midway between happy/unhappy 20 15.87%
2: Work full time 1 0.79%
1: Work full time...very unhappy 7 5.56%
Voters: 126. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll: What is your basic level of happiness?
Old 05-29-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
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Poll: What is your basic level of happiness?

Select your group (retired, part time work, full time work) and then within that group select your basic level of happiness. Try to not just consider how you feel right now but rather how you've felt over recent months. A 5 is very happy, 3 might be happy sometimes and sad others, and 1 means you are really an unhappy camper. Of course, there is no right answer here.

Feel free to shout your happiness in the responses or moan about your current troubles. It's all OK here. Of course, voting is good and responses are optional.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:17 AM   #2
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Well, as you probably guessed in retirement my happiness level (on a scale of 1-5) is probably about a 99. When working I knew I wanted to retire, but what I didn't know was how much better it would be than I imagined.

Having control over what I do every minute of every day is a type of bliss that I never experienced before. I am using my time sensibly, but also getting in a lot of the playtime that I couldn't experience in childhood for reasons I won't go into here. And the gym? It is like recess, for grownups!
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Well, as you probably guessed in retirement my happiness level (on a scale of 1-5) is probably about a 99. When working I knew I wanted to retire, but what I didn't know was how much better it would be than I imagined.
What would you have answered before retiring? I think I would have maybe answered with a 4 although there were some times with our teenage son when it would have been a 2.
Quote:
Having control over what I do every minute of every day is a type of bliss that I never experienced before. I am using my time sensibly, but also getting in a lot of the playtime that I couldn't experience in childhood for reasons I won't go into here. And the gym? It is like recess, for grownups!
I can really relate to this comment W2R. In retirement I can follow my curiosity wherever it leads. It's always branching a subdividing into new avenues of curiosity. I think I'm more original in some endeavers then I was ever original in the R&D EE environment at work. Or maybe I'm just doing the Walter Mitty thing. It's all play now...whee!



One footnote: this poll was not intended to extol the virtues of FIRE. If you are working because you want to or because you have to, it's all OK. Nobody should feel bad about themselves for being part of the workforce.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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Well.. I picked "Work full time...midway between happy/unhappy"...

I would have to say my personal life is definitely happ, but when you add in work it drops a couple notches!
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:43 AM   #5
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What would you have answered before retiring? I think I would have maybe answered with a 4 although there were some times with our teenage son when it would have been a 2.
About the same as for you. I am basically a happy person, but happier in retirement. (Edited to add: What I meant was, relative to a very unhappy childhood, level 1, I became a happy working adult, level 4... frame of reference matters).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsbcal
I can really relate to this comment W2R. In retirement I can follow my curiosity wherever it leads. It's always branching a subdividing into new avenues of curiosity. I think I'm more original in some endeavers then I was ever original in the R&D EE environment at work. Or maybe I'm just doing the Walter Mitty thing. It's all play now...whee!
Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsbcal
One footnote: this poll was not intended to extol the virtues of FIRE. If you are working because you want to or because you have to, it's all OK. Nobody should feel bad about themselves for being part of the workforce.
Absolutely - - I didn't mean to imply the ER would make as much difference for any other particular person as it did for me. I was just shouting my happiness to the skies as suggested in the original post:
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Feel free to shout your happiness in the responses or moan about your current troubles. It's all OK here. Of course, voting is good and responses are optional.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
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I can honestly say that the past 6 months have been trying, even for a generally happy retiree like me. Downsizing the household by 60-70% in preparation for the big move (going through every drawer and cabinet in the house, selling stuff on Ebay, frequent shuttling to Goodwill, etc...), turning the house into a rental, apartment hunting on the west coast, lining up the movers... All by myself. Family has been a PITA all the while, and I have had dental problems on top of it all. I am exhausted. And grouchy. I haven't had much time to enjoy retirement since January But the dental problems have been fixed and the move will be over in 2 weeks. Can't wait to get on with my life.

Edit: generally I would rate my happiness level at 4-5 in retirement. Lately I would rate it at 3.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:49 AM   #7
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I can honestly say that the past 6 months have been trying, even for a generally happy retiree like me. Downsizing the household by 60-70% in preparation for the big move (going through every drawer and cabinet in the house, selling stuff on Ebay, frequent shuttling to Goodwill, etc...), turning the house into a rental, apartment hunting on the west coast, lining up the movers... All by myself. Family has been a PITA all the while, and I have had dental problems on top of it all. I am exhausted. And grouchy. I haven't had much time to enjoy retirement since January But the dental problems have been fixed and the move will be over in 2 weeks. Can't wait to get on with my life.
That does sound exhausting, FIREd. We did the downsizing, packing, and house hunting too, in preparation for the move-that-never-happened, but we were able to do it together and I think that made all the difference.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:01 PM   #8
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...(snip)...
Absolutely - - I didn't mean to imply the ER would make as much difference for any other particular person as it did for me. I was just shouting my happiness to the skies as suggested in the original post:
Just want to say that my footnote above was just a clarification of my thoughts and not a comment on W2R's great responses. We should all feel free to shout our happiness or express our unhappiness in this thread. No change in this threads rules intended.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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I didn't vote because I didn't see a catagory for me. I'm unemployed but looking for work. I'm taking early(pre-59.5)withdrawls from my IRA to cover living expenses. The not-working part is great(sort of) but the not FI part is not so great. 10 months unemployed, 100's of resumes, and dozens of interviews with no offers can be very stressful...almost as bad as working. If there was a catagory for me i'd put my happyness at a 2. Can't enjoy the time off when not FI.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:25 PM   #10
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I work full time and I'd put myself at a 4 (almost very happy) on the scale...

Reason I'm not a 3 (midway happy/unhappy) is because I know at my age I have to work to support myself and my family. I am lucky to do something I love, as a job.

Reasons I'm not a 5 (very happy) is because honestly, if I could have the same life and choose not to work I'd obviously find other hobbies to do instead of my current job.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:26 PM   #11
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I voted where I thought "Retired, more happy than unhappy" fit in the poll. I am completely happy financially, but a nagging knee injury (skiing a year ago) has put a damper on the "Happiness quotient".
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:57 PM   #12
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I didn't vote because I didn't see a catagory for me. I'm unemployed but looking for work. I'm taking early(pre-59.5)withdrawls from my IRA to cover living expenses. The not-working part is great(sort of) but the not FI part is not so great. 10 months unemployed, 100's of resumes, and dozens of interviews with no offers can be very stressful...almost as bad as working. If there was a catagory for me i'd put my happyness at a 2. Can't enjoy the time off when not FI.
This is a tough situation you are in and I hope a job pops up for you soon! You perhaps could consider yourself in the working category because you are really working at finding a job. But as you point out, the uncertainty of the situation is not really properly categorized.

Maybe I should have had an "other" category?
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:58 PM   #13
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No surprise, I voted 4: Retired. I am enjoying retirement immensely, but I do miss many of the people I worked with for so many years and the daily interaction with so many people. And none of my friends near my own age are anywhere near retiring, other early retirees have been a little hard to find to me so far. (I may get flamed for this but) I've met some older retirees - and too many of them complain about everything (often without the slightest idea what they're talking about, just what they heard on FoxNews, MSNBC, AARP, etc.) way too much for my tastes. I love a good discussion and welcome dissenting POVs, but not shallow talking points based on self serving distortions.

I don't miss the job/work itself and there are a handful of former co-workers who if I never see them again, that would be OK with me.

Life is good. I generally don't vote at extremes anyway (if I'm very happy with a product or service I'm more likely to vote all 9's than all 10's)...
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:21 PM   #14
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Retired now for seven years come June and just finished having lunch with some friends I worked with part time during tax season. Since I have retired I have downsized and moved 500 miles to a better climate and to be close to grandkids. Kind of hard to really quantify happiness but I would say that I am highly satisfied with my situation.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:21 PM   #15
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I answered "5: Retired," as there was no other possible choice!

If I had been asked to answer this while I was still working, a lot would have depended on when I answered it because in my 7 years of part-time work my level of happiness bounced around a lot, both up and down. And in my last few years of working full-time, my level of happiness dropped quickly.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:31 PM   #16
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I'm content...but not joyous like I remember being at certain times in my life - I miss that sometimes. I voted retired 3.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:37 PM   #17
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I'm content...but not joyous like I remember being at certain times in my life - I miss that sometimes. I voted retired 3.
Sounds like you are Sortahappy2bretired, at least.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:04 PM   #18
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Sounds like you are Sortahappy2bretired, at least.
Oh...but I'm more than happy to not be working....that part is A-OK. I'd enter a big smiley here but I'm on my new iPad and this forum's app and haven't found them yet.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:05 PM   #19
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When I was w*rking, I would have looked to select option "Working Full-Time and feeling miserable"
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:13 PM   #20
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The problem with this poll (Midpack, you knew this was coming) is there is no discernment as to the reason for an individual's level of happiness. I may have posted I was retired and unhappy, but it might be because my DW left me for another woman, my dog died, my soap opera got cancelled and the foundation on my house cracked - all unrelated to retirement or work.
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