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Old 02-12-2010, 12:07 PM   #21
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I drank more booze while I worked. Happy hours bonding/bitching with coworkers, going to clubs, parties...etc. Part of it was fun, the other part was trying to relax and let the w*rk issues melt away.

My consumption ebbs and flows now. I have a drink or two because I like the taste and the slight buzz. It's been a very long time since I've had a hangover. I don't ever want to have one of those again.

Since we're both retired, we have a booze budget. We tend to enjoy high quality booze so we have to make it last. Sipping fine bourbon or tequila is pleasant; drinking to get sh!tfaced is no longer fun.

Perhaps when you retire, you will find since you can drink whenever you want, it may no longer be that appealing to you.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:16 PM   #22
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I enjoy wine and usually have two glasses in the evening but I have observed many older retirees who's social life revolves around happy hour , cocktail parties and eating out . So I think you need to be careful and not overindulge in drinking or eating just because you now have the time to.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:16 PM   #23
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You are right to be concerned.

We had a similar pattern to you while you worked - Fri, Sat & maybe Sunday. But we don't drink a lot. At most, we would share a bottle of wine between us or have a couple of drinks each.

After ER, we found that we were doing this almost everyday. For a while, we let it go, since we figured we were in a celebration mood. After about a month of this, we decided to avoid drinking mid-week. Now, we do not drink Mon-Thu. We're not religious about it, but do keep to this most weeks.

My alcohol tolerance seems to be declining. Anything more than 2 drinks and I'm in for a hangover the next morning.

All the best. This is serious stuff.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:38 PM   #24
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One thing to consider -- I don't know if there is an analogy with drinking - but others have posted about how much less they crave food, now that they're retired. Something about the work environment makes people want to eat more, and something about finally being able to do the things they enjoy makes their appetite go back to normal.

So...if you are retiring because you want to, and so you can do the things you like, maybe you won't *want* to drink as much. I am assuming that work is not the thing you like best (as is true for most of us on this forum).

It sounds like you enjoy the company of others, so if you look for people you can talk to, perhaps your mouth will be so busy talking and your brain listening (OK, your eyes looking, too ), you will forget to drink so much?

Good luck - glad you're thinking about this now, so you can consider all your options.

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Old 02-12-2010, 01:06 PM   #25
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I have been around "recovery" people for many years. My brother got into a program after he retired; he was what is called a functional alcoholic. He was successful in business, and is now quite financially secure. He has been sober for over 10 years now, and is doing extremely well in the happiness/health realm. It seems that you may want to check out what is out there to open your social etc. horizons.

I suggest trying an open AA meeting. You don't have to be an alcoholic to attend, or share unless you want to. It may help you to clarify for yourself where you stand.

Lots of beautiful women too!
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:43 PM   #26
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I don't know if you have a problem, but I don't think most people other than college kids keep drinking to the point of being hungover the next day if they don't give themselves a reason not to drink (e.g., having to go to work the next day). It sounds like you don't have a natural self-limiting level (much like people who overeat way past the point of hunger).

I think you are very smart to consider dealing with this--keep us posted.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:57 PM   #27
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I decided to discontinue my party days BEFORE I FIREd. I usually stuck to beer, at social events and at home, and easily could put 4 or more 12 oz-ers away in an evening. But not every night.
I quit partying for several reasons...weight loss, link between alcohol use and BC, cost, and saving some of my liver for old age.
I still drink here and there, but nowhere near the ol' salad days levels.
And I never drink during the day post-FIRE. 5 bells is still the rule.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:56 PM   #28
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Anybody begin drinking too much after retirement?

I've got a sister in law here for the weekend.
Only been here a few hours.
I think I may start drinking any second now.
I may need nerve meds to go with it too.
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:12 PM   #29
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I did a trial run at ER back in 2008 ( a FIRE drill, as it were ). While working I drank quite a bit as there's lots of social obligations in my role. I found that when I stopped working a drank far, far less. I still had a few when I went out with fiends or old colleagues, but that was maybe once every 2-3 weeks rather than 3-4 times a week.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:27 PM   #30
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You may end up drinking less after retirement.

I drink 2-3 beers a day when I'm working, probably due to work stress. Very seldom drink more than 1 beer a day on days that I do not work.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:55 PM   #31
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When I was working, a few of us had a regular 4:30 meeting. Have a few beers and bitch about everything solve the work day problems. Since I've gone, I dribk much less.

As an aside, everyone must know their own limit. I know mine. Problem is, I always pass out before I reach it.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:35 PM   #32
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While w*rking, I would drink much between arriving home and going to sleep.

For the first ~3 months after retirement I drank excessively.

I am down to 1 or 2 glasses of wine now and then.

Excessive consumption is something to be aware of, especially if (like me) there is a family history of over indulgence.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:43 PM   #33
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My cheapness may end up saving me. I spend about half of my "entertainment" budget on drinking. Still I only generally go where they have cheap deals ($4 pitchers at the place next to me during all Cavs/Indians/Browns games) and I am getting more and more frugal as I age. At some point I might figure out how much sooner i could retire if a quit totally and it might be the carrot I need.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:23 PM   #34
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My cheapness may end up saving me. I spend about half of my "entertainment" budget on drinking. Still I only generally go where they have cheap deals ($4 pitchers at the place next to me during all Cavs/Indians/Browns games) and I am getting more and more frugal as I age. At some point I might figure out how much sooner i could retire if a quit totally and it might be the carrot I need.
There ya go. A buzz from a drink can be nice, but the high you get from being FIRE is much more intoxicating.

Besides men are much more attractive to women (well at least this woman) when they are sober.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:02 PM   #35
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There ya go. A buzz from a drink can be nice, but the high you get from being FIRE is much more intoxicating.

Besides men are much more attractive to women (well at least this woman) when they are sober.
I was well into my 40s before I learned to spot chronic heavy drinkers. Long before the nose goes, the face skin and eyes give it away. I move across the room, or exit the office if it is a prospecive professional relationship.

I think it is hilarious how tolerant our society is of drinking, when the public costs are enormous. Start with traffic accidents, add in a measure of child abuse and neglect and spousal abuse, a little date rape, the occasional gang rape, a dash of impaired railroad engineers, pilots, surgeons and attorneys, then all the medical costs of drunks with cirrhosis, bleeding guts, etc. etc. At least smoking health effects are largely confined to the smoker.

Another thing I have never understood is the attraction of heavy drinking for young women. Sometimes on the bus I overhear conversations, "Oh I am going to get wasted tonight!" Wonderful ambition young lady.

Ha
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:14 PM   #36
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Another thing I have never understood is the attraction of heavy drinking for young women. Sometimes on the bus I overhear conversations, "Oh I am going to get wasted tonight!" Wonderful ambition young lady.

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Old 02-13-2010, 05:21 PM   #37
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I was well into my 40s before I learned to spot chronic heavy drinkers. Long before the nose goes, the face skin and eyes give it away.
Chronic heavy drinkers have funny looking noses? I never noticed that. I'll have to start looking at their noses.

Like bbbamI, I find that not drinking is an extremely attractive trait in a man. Frank is one of those rare men who doesn't drink, and neither do I. I know, I know - - what a pair of New Orleanians we make!
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:41 PM   #38
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I absolutely have underlying concerns about my ability to control it without built in consequences, thus the question. I am curious if others who are in my situation have been put over the edge by retirement.
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I never feel like I need a drink but I do have trouble stopping after I have started drinking. I know this is an issue and that many would label me a "functional alcoholic". This is the term they use to describe people who can successfully manage the problem without letting it affect their work, relationships, finances, etc....
Addressing the problem now is not what I wanted to hear! LOL
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My cheapness may end up saving me. I spend about half of my "entertainment" budget on drinking. At some point I might figure out how much sooner i could retire if a quit totally and it might be the carrot I need.
This is an interesting variation on "But what will you DO all day?!?"

1970s-80s Navy had quite the alcohol culture; I enthusiastically supported the cause at every opportunity (and in between) for over 20 years. I probably burned through most of a platoon of guardian angels and a few mentors. (Hey, Gumby, remember CAPT Armbrister USMC?) In the late '90s it started to tail off. No incidents or issues; mostly fewer opportunities due to spending every spare minute parenting.

But now in ER I hardly drink at all. I had a glass of a shipmate's wine gift a couple months ago when they came over for dinner. I have a couple beers with a neighbor over at his house for dinner 2-3x/year. I used to drink a beer or two when we'd eat dinner with spouse's parents, but they left the islands in 2006. I haven't bought beer in a number of years. Nearly-full recorked wine bottles sit in our fridge until we can't remember who we got them from, and then the wine gets poured down the sink. No cravings, no holes in my life, don't miss it when it's not there.

Even if people aren't full-blown alcohol-dependent, I think they can have an ingrained tendency toward alcohol consumption that depends on environmental triggers. Most of mine were work/stress related so when those triggers stopped, so did the drinking. Then I started training taekwondo three nights a week and was usually too physically wiped out to attempt to compound the feeling with alcohol. When some sort of trigger would occur (fixing Mexican cuisine, seeing a TV commercial) if I didn't have beer in the house already then it was too much trouble to haul my butt up out of the recliner to go on a beer run.

I'm not sure that one or two weeks' vacation is enough time to recover from work-related fatigue, let alone test-drive an ER lifestyle. Most ER wannabes find that they need a sabbatical of a minimum of three weeks before they start emerging from the "fog of work" to decide how they want to live their ER life. So if you spend a week's vacation getting hammered, it doesn't necessarily imply that you're going to be doing that for 40 years of ER.

I think that once you take a sabbatical (three weeks minimum, preferably longer) or start your ER and can plan your own life without employment interference, you'll find that you're too busy with your life to spend your time drinking. And if you have a physical goal to train for (a marathon or weight loss or some other achievement) then you'll be keeping an eye on your diet and won't want to waste your calorie ration on alcohol.

You could work on your drinking now if you think it'll speed up your ER date. A goal of frugality is inspiring, but I can attest that deprivation leads to bingeing. I wouldn't worry about drinking in ER, except to consider that you'll have so many personal plans for each new day that you won't want to spend the evening before getting wasted.

I think you can confidently wait until ER to see how you feel about alcohol without having to set aside any of your budget in reserve for rehab...
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:47 PM   #39
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...(snip)... One of my worries about retiring early is with no more concerns about having to get up early and be productive for work, what would stop me from treating every day like a Saturday? I could see myself drinking 5-6 days per week and thus becoming a problem. Curious if anybody else who already considered themselves a "drinker" saw their issue get worse after retirement?
I guess I was never a "drinker" by many people's defintion so may not be much help on this. I always just drank about one largish glass of wine a night and nowadays do not drink anything if going out so I can drive home safely. Never really feel like going beyond the one glass. Retirement did not change things although in the winter I start sipping my glass at around 4pm but never earlier. My guess is if you are doubting yourself then you are in an unsafe area of the wading pool .
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:43 PM   #40
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Like bbbamI, I find that not drinking is an extremely attractive trait in a man. Frank is one of those rare men who doesn't drink, and neither do I. I know, I know - - what a pair of New Orleanians we make!
Mmmmm...well, I said sober men are attractive, but that doesn't mean they can't drink at all to suit my taste. Sipping a drink with a classy man and both of us having a pleasant buzz works for me.

I just don't like a drunk...
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