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Retirement: A search for self-worth
Old 08-28-2007, 08:08 AM   #1
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Retirement: A search for self-worth

Here's another article on the emotional issues of retirement.

Emotional changes of retirement can tarnish golden years - CNN.com

My favorite quote:

Morag Orr-Stevens retired at 47 to be with her husband and focus on her painting. The adjustment was difficult because her husband had retired first and wasn't used to having her around.

"He had to adjust to me because he had been home all day alone, doing his thing and then I was there all day," she said. "He had me all day telling him what to do."

Can't imagine why he had a problem adjusting to that...
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:18 AM   #2
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Crawford and his wife make sure to spend time apart each evening. She goes upstairs to read and watch television; he goes downstairs to work in his office. "Then we come up at about 10 o'clock and meet in the middle," he said.
I'm about to introduce this concept here. DW, bless her little blonde head, thinks having me at home means I have nothing better to do. Not that I don't love talking to her, but the constant updating on everything all day long tends to wear off the novelty of togetherness.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:39 AM   #3
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My DH is very concerned that his retiring from work will just mean that he will work full time for me, instead of the part-time job he has for Sarah, Inc. right now!
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:45 AM   #4
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I'm about to introduce this concept here. DW, bless her little blonde head, thinks having me at home means I have nothing better to do. Not that I don't love talking to her, but the constant updating on everything all day long tends to wear off the novelty of togetherness.
I can imagine.

Frank and I think we have this figured out, for us, anyway (I would not presume to think that our solution would work for anybody else!). We decided not to marry or live together, but to live near one another now and in ER. This arrangement gives us all the solitary time we need. We try to limit our time together to just the times when both of us feel like it. That way, we know that the other really wants the company, and that is a GOOD feeling.

Life is good.

So far while we have jobs it is working really well. It is sort of like eternally going steady. When I need to do the "constant updating on everything all day long" thing, I do it with a group of other women that I know online.

Not sure if it will work when we ER, but I guess we will play it by ear. I just can't see any emotional adjustment problems on the horizon. Maybe that means they will hit me with a sucker punch.
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:18 AM   #5
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I have a honey do list that's 5 pages long..........when we ER, I told DW I was going to burn that list!

When she got a mad look on her face, I said: Why will we need the list? We can just DO what we want?
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:11 AM   #6
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I love your arrangement Want2Retire....I have always wanted to have two separate houses linked by a corridor.....that way neither of you gets bored and when you do see each other, it's because you want to...not because you have to!
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:21 AM   #7
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I love your arrangement Want2Retire....I have always wanted to have two separate houses linked by a corridor.....that way neither of you gets bored and when you do see each other, it's because you want to...not because you have to!
Exactly. Frank suggested two halves of a duplex, but I think I need to be more separate than that. I don't need his "bachelor's housecleaning tendencies" (stuff all over the floor) encroaching on my serene, open living space, and I am sure he doesn't want me moving his stuff into closets and drawers. I don't want to end up doing his laundry or other chores for him on a regular basis. I am sure he doesn't want to fix my plumbing or electrical problems on a regular basis, either! We do things for one another when circumstances call for it, but not all the time.

I think maybe a block away would be perfect - - that way we could walk to each other's home, but we could still have plenty of solitude and live our own lives.

Actually, we did live together briefly when we evacuated for Hurricane Katrina. It was hard. I think we were both glad when we were able to live separately again.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:34 AM   #8
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Want2, I really like the way you are so sensible in such relationship things--cool, above the fray, and sure of what you need in your mate/living arrangements. I aspire.....to all of those things. It seems you have a perfect plan in place and the right guy for the job! Like Ha said once, this forum has more happy couples on it than I ever see in "real life". Congrats on that!

I think Donald would be very happy to have us build him one of those Lowe's Katrina cottages in the back yard, where he could live without all these animals in the house that doesn't bother me at all! I blame this on his mother, whose house is positively sterile, curtains drawn, all dark and covered up with pig figurines. He'd like living with you, but I'm with Frank, disheveled living spaces are fine with me.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:05 AM   #9
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Want2, I really like the way you are so sensible in such relationship things--cool, above the fray, and sure of what you need in your mate/living arrangements. I aspire.....to all of those things. It seems you have a perfect plan in place and the right guy for the job! Like Ha said once, this forum has more happy couples on it than I ever see in "real life". Congrats on that!

I think Donald would be very happy to have us build him one of those Lowe's Katrina cottages in the back yard, where he could live without all these animals in the house that doesn't bother me at all! I blame this on his mother, whose house is positively sterile, curtains drawn, all dark and covered up with pig figurines. He'd like living with you, but I'm with Frank, disheveled living spaces are fine with me.
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Thanks, Sarah. Donald does sound neater tidier than Frank! I don't care at all how Frank arranges his house, since it is not my house. He is happy there and that is what matters. That and the fact that I'm not expected to pick up!

Frank and I met about 7 years ago from an internet dating website. I told him on the first date that I was never going to marry again. We both knew pretty much what we wanted, I think, and we "laid it all out" to each other right from the start. I think that is why we are getting along so well. We also have very similar backgrounds, which was simply a fortunate coincidence.

Transitioning to ER will present some challenges, since we will be enjoying the "oceans of time" that Khan so beautifully described in one of his posts, and we will need to make sure we continue to have plenty of solitude included in that time, even if work is not keeping us apart.
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:35 PM   #10
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I certainly understand the appeal of separate residences, and am not putting it down in any way. However, if DW and I had to finance and maintain another household, we would have to work several years longer. No thanks--I think I'd rather learn to live with her than live with my job years longer in order to afford the luxury of separate residences. It's actually educational for both of us. I find I can go to a different room, take a hike, or stick my nose in a book if I need some alone time.
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:36 PM   #11
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Here's another article on the emotional issues of retirement.
Emotional changes of retirement can tarnish golden years - CNN.com
I think this is another salvo from the "Save Social Security & Medicare" fundraising committee.

Reminds me of that link Cut-Throat put up long ago about the retired Minneapolis execs who bought an office building, filled it with support staff, and had someplace to hang out and read the WSJ together instead of doing it at home.

Or maybe their spouses bought it for them...
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:56 PM   #12
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I certainly understand the appeal of separate residences, and am not putting it down in any way. However, if DW and I had to finance and maintain another household, we would have to work several years longer. No thanks--I think I'd rather learn to live with her than live with my job years longer in order to afford the luxury of separate residences. It's actually educational for both of us. I find I can go to a different room, take a hike, or stick my nose in a book if I need some alone time.
I didn't mean to imply that the way Frank and I are living is for everyone - - it's just something a little unconventional that seems to work very nicely for us. Housing isn't very expensive here, and it is even less expensive where we plan to ER. One of the huge advantages to a low cost area (for us) is that we can afford this sort of arrangement. So, for us, it won't mean delaying our ER.

I can sure see why you wouldn't want to work longer, though! I have spent the afternoon wondering how to persuade the Powers that Be to let me take all of my vacation time in a big chunk right before I retire (effectively retiring early). It probably isn't possible, but it's pleasant to think about.

What is delaying my ER, is waiting until I qualify to retire on lifetime health care. What is delaying his, is waiting until he qualifies for an "early out" at 55. Luckily, it looks like everything will come together in late 2009 or 2010.
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:20 PM   #13
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My dear 2,

Same thing here. My SO and I live separately and always will. I married and divorced enough in the first half of my life that I have no interest in it ever again. We have been together about 16 yrs. He takes care of himself and I take care of myself. I haven't mentioned him in any of my other posts because my retirement is entirely up to me. His money does not even factor into it. He is only 50 and could have retired 10 yrs ago if he wanted to. I think he has that "just one more year" thing going on. He and I even discussed a duplex one time but decided that was too close. I don't want to have to clean up his side of the yard. He is messy and could care less if housework or yard is ever taken care of of. I am the exact opposite. So, yes, about a block away would work for us, too.

How funny. You are the only other person I have ever found who can understand the way we live. Most people think it is just too bizarre for words. And it is. But I don't care.

TG
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:53 PM   #14
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My dear 2,

Same thing here. My SO and I live separately and always will. I married and divorced enough in the first half of my life that I have no interest in it ever again. We have been together about 16 yrs. He takes care of himself and I take care of myself. I haven't mentioned him in any of my other posts because my retirement is entirely up to me. His money does not even factor into it. He is only 50 and could have retired 10 yrs ago if he wanted to. I think he has that "just one more year" thing going on. He and I even discussed a duplex one time but decided that was too close. I don't want to have to clean up his side of the yard. He is messy and could care less if housework or yard is ever taken care of of. I am the exact opposite. So, yes, about a block away would work for us, too.

How funny. You are the only other person I have ever found who can understand the way we live. Most people think it is just too bizarre for words. And it is. But I don't care.

TG
I am so happy for the two of you! Sounds like you have a wonderful situation. Frank and I are very happy as well. How far apart do you live? Frank and I are about a mile apart right now. In recent years it seems like I am hearing about more and more people doing this, though many do keep it very private.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:24 PM   #15
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Being a widow, I can really see the advantages of living apart from ones SO. At this time, I know that I don't want to remarry, but the possibility of aquiring a companion, that lives somewhere close, but not with me, sounds plausible.

Maybe the boomers will begin a new trend just like we did in our younger years. Instead of "living together" we will begin "living apart" but together.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:27 PM   #16
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Being a widow, I can really see the advantages of living apart from ones SO. At this time, I know that I don't want to remarry, but the possibility of aquiring a companion, that lives somewhere close, but not with me, sounds plausible.

Maybe the boomers will begin a new trend just like we did in our younger years. Instead of "living together" we will begin "living apart" but together.
LOL!!! Very true! Now that you mention it, it was SOOO avant garde to live together when we Boomers were very young. Now, it seems unusual when we don't.
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:41 PM   #17
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My SO and I lived in 2 apartments right next door to each other for 15 years when I was in Dallas, and we worked together at the same place for years before that. I retired to this small town in E. Texas to take care of my parents and will be a permanent resident here. He is still in Dallas working for just "one more year".

Once he finally decides to retire, he will join me here, and I am not sure how close he will be to where I live. But, take my word for it, anywhere within the city limits is almost within walking distance. He is my best friend and has just become part of the family. I have lots of family here, and he is included in everything. Both of his parents are dead, he is an only child, never married, no children. He can enjoy my 4 grandkids as long as he wants and then can go home when he's had enough! They can be overwhelming. All he has to do is leave when he is maxed out. I don't mind. He loves it. He can have family and experience kids without living with it all of the time. I don't have to put up with his messiness. He doesn't have to live with my neatness. He is cheap and I am generous. Neither of our feelings are hurt because we have zero expectation that the other person will change, and our bank accounts are separate. We have totally accepted all of those things about each other that people hate, and we have been able to do that because we don't live together! That is the key.

During the first 7 years we were together there were a lot of fireworks (mostly the good kind) and we talked about marriage. But as the hormones settled down and we began just living life, we both decided that marriage was definitely NOT the way to go and even if we did marry, we would continue to live apart! It is not so much marriage that we are against. It is living under the same roof that we can't imagine. For us this is a successful living arrangement. At this stage in our lives, trying to have a "conventional" relationship just requires too much energy and presents challenges that we both already know we don't want to deal with. We are both extremely happy the way we are. And it goes without saying that we respect and trust each other totally. Remember, for us, it has been 17 years so something is working.

Personally I think we are on to something here. If more "mature" couples would try it, they might find that life is simpler.

Ya ask one little question and you get a book! Sorry 'bout that.

TG
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:50 PM   #18
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My SO and I lived in 2 apartments right next door to each other for 15 years when I was in Dallas, and we worked together at the same place for years before that. I retired to this small town in E. Texas to take care of my parents and will be a permanent resident here. He is still in Dallas working for just "one more year".

Once he finally decides to retire, he will join me here, and I am not sure how close he will be to where I live. But, take my word for it, anywhere within the city limits is almost within walking distance. He is my best friend and has just become part of the family. I have lots of family here, and he is included in everything. Both of his parents are dead, he is an only child, never married, no children. He can enjoy my 4 grandkids as long as he wants and then can go home when he's had enough! They can be overwhelming. All he has to do is leave when he is maxed out. I don't mind. He loves it. He can have family and experience kids without living with it all of the time. I don't have to put up with his messiness. He doesn't have to live with my neatness. He is cheap and I am generous. Neither of our feelings are hurt because we have zero expectation that the other person will change, and our bank accounts are separate. We have totally accepted all of those things about each other that people hate, and we have been able to do that because we don't live together! That is the key.

During the first 7 years we were together there were a lot of fireworks (mostly the good kind) and we talked about marriage. But as the hormones settled down and we began just living life, we both decided that marriage was definitely NOT the way to go and even if we did marry, we would continue to live apart! It is not so much marriage that we are against. It is living under the same roof that we can't imagine. For us this is a successful living arrangement. At this stage in our lives, trying to have a "conventional" relationship just requires too much energy and presents challenges that we both already know we don't want to deal with. We are both extremely happy the way we are. And it goes without saying that we respect and trust each other totally. Remember, for us, it has been 17 years so something is working.

Personally I think we are on to something here. If more "mature" couples would try it, they might find that life is simpler.

Ya ask one little question and you get a book! Sorry 'bout that.

TG
Good to see that attitudes are changing.

I can't imagine ever again sharing a dwelling.

A 'two doors down' relationship could be doable.
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:04 AM   #19
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How funny. You are the only other person I have ever found who can understand the way we live. Most people think it is just too bizarre for words. And it is. But I don't care.
My former wife and I lived that way for over 8 years, only we were maybe an hour apart. It might have continued forever, except that a storm damaged my place and I moved in with her. Also my dog died, so I was lonesome and needed more interaction too.

Whoops! We were not ready for so much togetherness, and that was the end of that.

Ha
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:35 AM   #20
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I'm about to introduce this concept here. DW, bless her little blonde head, thinks having me at home means I have nothing better to do. Not that I don't love talking to her, but the constant updating on everything all day long tends to wear off the novelty of togetherness.

After finances, this is one of the concerns that I have heard the most from people when talking about retirement.

The article touched on the other non-financial concern that I have heard in a round about way... the loss of identity (perhaps ego) from work. People appears to state it in indirect ways (use different words).
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