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Old 06-02-2009, 04:12 PM   #41
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Actually, she didn't retire; she found a way to stay totally engaged in business by taking on coaching 'opportunities'. This article strikes me as portraying retirement as an ordeal one has to work through in order to become totally happy. Too bad she wasn't happy with herself before she quit working.
I really think you put your finger on the problem. She really didn't retire.

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First thing, though: practice becoming non-type A. I too had a 60 hour per week job, with little time for friends, family, or making my residence a comfortable home. So the first several months were dedicated to attempting to learn how to be non-type A, and get on with making my nest more comfortable. This included many naps, as needed.

Today, I can still be Type A, but when I do, I find I make myself miserable.
I didn't think that I was type A, and haven't worked long hours since I made the transition from academia to government. But just recently, some people at work have been pointing out Type A behaviors and suggesting that it is time to "let go" a little.

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Every day is an adventure. Yes, you need structure, but one doesn't need to make it as tightly structured as when you w*rked. There was a reason one structured tightly -- w*rk takes up VALUABLE Free Time. When the requirement to spend 8-10 hours/day laboring and commuting is removed -- you have the rest of your life to get the "list" completed.

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Old 06-02-2009, 04:15 PM   #42
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To be honest? I thought the author was full of baloney, and that she made up the "three stages" just to sell the article. I thought that it was likely that her initial observations were real, though (just not her solutions).
I agree. She followed the script - create a fear, show the reasons an provide solutions.
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:57 PM   #43
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I have a large number of activities planned for my retirement, and have thought beyond just selling my house, moving north, buying another house, and becoming familiar with my new community (not to mention spending more time with Frank). I have a list of 20+ activities that I love or would love but never seem to have time to do. These range from birdwatching to taking up the piano again, growing roses again, becoming probably the very last baby boomer to complete a 10K, and much more.
From all I've read here, you're about the most prepared for RE of anyone I''ve read. Some people can be satisfied with retirement as a permanent vacation but you can't count on that. Frankly I don't really think anyone will be happy in retirement as an extended vacation - I think most of them were just so active outside their worklifes that they naturally fell in to their other activities without thinking about it - that is great, but you can't count on that. It's not a permanent vacation, it's another stage in life.

You must have activities to retire to, not just retire from --- or you risk boredom and disappointment. Working at a second career, part-time or even volunteer work are good options for some. Doesn't mean you have to work or do something to contribute to society, but you have to have activities that give your life meaning or you might not be happy - that would be a shame. Your list of 20 activities is one of the smartest things you can do in advance, as long as they are not all finite activities (ie, paint the living room, sell the house, etc.). Some have to be lifelong or long-term activities, such as photography, gardening, golf, join a club, etc. And of course the to-do's and other activities can change throughout your life, not as if you have to decide by the day you walk out the (work) door.

And from what I've read, your finances are in order, good for you (really).

I noticed another piece of advice here that dawned on me recently too. DW and I have been madly trying to decide where to move to when we retire - had to know where before retiring. I have come to realize what's the need? If I decompress where I am now, take whatever time needed to get my house ready to sell and get it sold (whether that's 3 weeks or a year - so what), and research places to live when I'm retired and have more free time to do it - that's probably smart. You've said you're going to MO, but take your time, no need to rush off as quickly as possible. Go when everything is in order and you are ready, whether that's in weeks or years.

I know I speak for many here in wishing you the best of luck...
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:51 PM   #44
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Truthfully I have a hard time understanding how anyone struggles to cope with not having to go into the office every day.

I quit my full time job last July, consulted for a few months, but finished completely in February. I can't say I have missed work one bit. We moved a couple of months ago and I have zero friends at our new location, but you know I am not bored. I think it all depends on how good you are at entertaining yourself. I have always been self sufficient so I think that helps. I keep in contact with my friends from So. Cal and even went to Vegas for my birthday with 3 former colleagues.

Given my situation you might think I am bored but I find I don't have time. I started a workout bootcamp this week, so that means I am interacting with others every morning for an hour. By time I come home I am too exhausted to do anything. DH has already been warned that for the next month I am going to be too tired for anything.

I don't have lists or goals of anything that has to be achieved. I take each day as it comes and am just grateful that it does come. None of my identity was tied up with my former title, and I would be happy if I can work out a way that I never have to work again.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:12 PM   #45
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Solano,
I agree that there are folks that feel that way, however, not many of them live in our area! I do not live in a retirement community, however, most of the folks out here are retired. I don't know any that fee they still have some sort of destiny to full fill. And, for me, I just really don't give a rat sh(t if others think 'it´s a banal and wasteful way of spending the rest of my life'. That's why it is my life, and I am at peace with it.

I don't begrudge those that think they must make a difference, and I have no use for those that think I must, by living by their standards.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:56 PM   #46
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I'm into the 6th year of retirement and I like it more and more.

I go to the gym every day. I nap every day. I do a little internet surfing every day. Ditto on reading. Chores when necessary.

I cannot imagine a supervisor telling me he/she needed some project ASAP. Exception: DW.

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Old 06-02-2009, 07:01 PM   #47
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I agree with your view of retirement. But many people will think that it´s a banal and wasteful way of spending the rest of your life. And some would even think that you are shallow)insubstantial/without interests... Well, too bad.
From a card I received at my send-off lunch...

Retiree's Motto: I don't want to and I don't have to.

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Old 06-02-2009, 07:36 PM   #48
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Vincente: It's not just that Americans have an ethic to work hard (although we do). It's more that we have this thing about $$. Money is how we judge ourselves against others. My fellow Americans don't seem to understand why anyone would bother to work hard, even in retirement, at any interest that doesn't earn money.

Here's another thing I find puzzling. Remember how much everyone seemed to hate school, which in retrospect was about 1,000 times easier than holding a job -- back then, everyone had things they'd rather do than go to school. Given enough money and good health, why wouldn't people welcome the chance to stop working and go back to what they used to enjoy. (And if your health is so poor that you can no longer do what you love, chances are, you won't have your job much longer anyway).
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:47 PM   #49
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Great thread W2R. I've been retired for about a year and a half now and just now am finding peace with myself.

As the classic "type A" personality, I found myself missing many aspects of work, particularly the feeling of accomplishment, achievement and being part of something much bigger than myself. This was particularly difficult when so many banks started having problems and failing. Since I was a financial regulator, I thought I had to get back in the ring and fight the good fight. I knew my former colleagues were dealing with the biggest meltdown in decades and wanted to be in on the action. I even contacted my old boss about returning, but later changed my mind. I instinctively knew it would be an enormous mistake to get back on the same merry go round that had nearly destroyed me, particularly during such an epic financial meltdown.

I filled my time with busy work around the house and devoted much more to my volunteer activities at the animal shelter. In addition, I completed all the necessary paperwork for five local charitable organizations to obtain approval from the IRS for 501(c)(3) status. My type A personality kicked into high gear as I plowed through the paperwork in record time and stayed up late making sure everything was perfect. All of the groups were approved quickly and with no requests for additional paperwork or clarification. This frantic level of activity helped fill the hole in my heart for feeling needed and helped me through the adjustment phase.

I must be a slow learner because I'm just now starting to figure out retirement is not about duplicating the patterns of work and chasing after some elusive sense of accomplishment. When I was going through my "missing work phase", many around here tried to explain this to me but I didn't want to hear what I now know was good advice. It's just now starting to sink in.

W2R, I also think it's a good idea to take your time with selling your home and relocating. Sure, all the activity will fill your time and focus your attention on a new adventure. Even so, you may find dreaming of retirement is quite different from experiencing retirement.

The bottom line is I'm glad I out when I did. Unfortunately, it took me more time than many others here to find peace with myself but I'm gettin' there. Even though each day is better, I'm still struggling with it. I suspect once my DH retires later this year, there will be another adjustment phase for both of us. DH is another over achiever and I suspect he will go through some of what I have. I hope it will be easier for him since I've learned so much and want to help him adjust more quickly than I did.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:20 PM   #50
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When I decided to retire all my friends said "You'll be bored " and my answer was "After forty years I deserve some time to be bored ".
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:24 PM   #51
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I get the feeling that she jumped before she was pushed. As Leo points out, she clearly wasn't ready to be responsible for her own entertainment. She doesn't seem to have done any research, prep work, or any other thoughtful consideration of her new path. And I bet she couldn't even spell Zelinski.

[BTW, Leo, about that ego comment: did you join the narcs and develop an ego to match, or did you join the narcs because the Marine Corps had already given you the supreme self-confidence and assurance to know that you'd be able to do whatever it took to succeed while showing the other narcs the best leadership they'd ever experience?]

The article's author mentioned:
Quote:
sleepless nights, angry outbursts, silent sobbing
In retirement?!? Heck, that describes many of my working days!

My cynical skeptical part of my critical reading suspects that this is her attempt at drumming up clients for her retirement-counseling business. The worst kind of deadline journalism!

But I'm all for it if it can pay for another computer and a wireless router so that she doesn't have to scream at her partner.

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In addition, I completed all the necessary paperwork for five local charitable organizations to obtain approval from the IRS for 501(c)(3) status. My type A personality kicked into high gear as I plowed through the paperwork in record time and stayed up late making sure everything was perfect. All of the groups were approved quickly and with no requests for additional paperwork or clarification. This frantic level of activity helped fill the hole in my heart for feeling needed and helped me through the adjustment phase.
Holy crap, Purron, I volunteered to deal with just one of those 501(c)3 situations and I thought the paperwork was nuts.

It's like beating your head against a brick wall-- it must have felt so good when you stopped...
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:04 AM   #52
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Holy crap, Purron, I volunteered to deal with just one of those 501(c)3 situations and I thought the paperwork was nuts.

It's like beating your head against a brick wall-- it must have felt so good when you stopped...
Crazy at it sounds, I liked it! Just goes to show you what a bad case of the "missing work" blues I had. I'm thankful for all the level heads around here, like yours, that helped me through this adjustment.

Nords, I'm now pouring my energy into a project near and dear to your heart. Our renters finally moved out and DH and I have decided to fix up our rental and put it on the market. DH was particularly impressed with what I did with the kitchen cabinents. They are solid wood, but were really cruddy looking. Were were thinking replacement (expensive) or painting them (big PITA). Instead, I scrubbed the dickens out of them, did some minor repairs, and used a wood scratch covering product and they look GREAT! Today I'm heading over there to continue painting walls, trim and ceilings. It's my new j*b and should carry me through to the time DH retires since the place needs quite a bit of work. These days, I'm often spotted at Home Depot and Lowes in my paint spattered t-shirt and favorite pair of old jeans with the big hole in the knee.

The next big challenge will be DH and I being around each other 24/7 when he retires. That might be the time I actually do go back to w*ork Hey, we've been married since 1974, but have always spent our days at work. Did you and Mrs. Nords have an adjustment after she joined you in retirement?
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:40 PM   #53
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DH was particularly impressed with what I did with the kitchen cabinents. They are solid wood, but were really cruddy looking. Were were thinking replacement (expensive) or painting them (big PITA). Instead, I scrubbed the dickens out of them, did some minor repairs, and used a wood scratch covering product and they look GREAT! Today I'm heading over there to continue painting walls, trim and ceilings.
Cabinet refurbishment sucks. You got great value by avoiding refacing or replacing.

Our tenants think we're such great landlords for planning to reface their bathroom cabinets. The fact is that we'd rather do the work on their time (and their rent money) than to do it in a vacant property (with a mortgage) between open house Sundays.

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The next big challenge will be DH and I being around each other 24/7 when he retires. That might be the time I actually do go back to w*ork Hey, we've been married since 1974, but have always spent our days at work. Did you and Mrs. Nords have an adjustment after she joined you in retirement?
Sort of, but not so much between us as around other events.

She resigned from active duty in early 2001, was getting ready to join the Reserves, and was home alone on terminal leave. I was getting ready to retire in June 2002.

On the day she was officially off active duty, the governor's combative contract negotiations forced the state's school teachers to strike for three weeks. So we spent most of March homeschooling. The debate continues on who suffered more-- the teachers, the parents, the kids, or the governor's political party.

Shortly after we got the kid back in school, spouse's parents moved to Hawaii. Our tenants weren't yet out of the rental home so her parents moved in with us for a few weeks. (This is fantastic motivation for renovating a rental.) Lots of quality time discussing her "unemployment" and my retirement plans, including the parts where they'd worry that I was impoverishing their daughter. (We've been married nearly 23 years but the jury is still out on that one.) After a few weeks of renovations, once again we got the house back to ourselves and heaved huge sighs of relief.

A few months later she had ramped up her drill weekends into occasional stints of 10-20 days of active duty. When I was on retirement leave in early 2002 she'd either be working half a month or sleeping off the midwatches. Not much interference.

By the time she was dialing back to drill weekends, I was fully in the retirement groove. We've always been introverts, and over the last few years we've happily morphed into hermits. We're each capable of being responsible for our own entertainment. I have a large network of e-mail/discussion board contacts and my investment/writing projects to occupy the attention that I'd otherwise focus on her, and she has her own social network & projects. Although we have entire schoolday mornings/afternoons home alone together, we don't spend it gazing soulfully into each other's eyes-- unless, of course, she wants to.

The usual routine is each of us in a different part of the house working on our own or watching TV/surfing the web. We work out together. We work together for an hour or two on chores or errands or a home-improvement project. I go surfing, she volunteers for a non-profit. We alternate fixing dinners. Most of her nagging is directed at our kid. Our kid and I go to taekwondo three nights a week with occasional weekend clinics or tournaments. She and the kid go do grrrl stuff. Now that our kid has her own driver's license, outside of school hours we're usually just on duty for emergency response-- or emergent financial support.

We probably spend less than an hour a day actually sitting next to each other alone in the double-wide recliner or having a discussion. Most of that sitting/discussion stuff happens during quality parenting time. Evenings, weekends, & school breaks are family time and we're glad to get the house back to ourselves on Monday morning.

Tomorrow we drop our kid off at the airport for five weeks of Mainland college programs. We're following her next week for a few days of family vacation between the two programs but we have a week home alone followed by three weeks alone. Neither one of us parents comprehends the angst about empty-nester syndrome, but we're eager to get started on the research!
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:45 AM   #54
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The next big challenge will be DH and I being around each other 24/7 when he retires. That might be the time I actually do go back to w*ork Hey, we've been married since 1974, but have always spent our days at work. Did you and Mrs. Nords have an adjustment after she joined you in retirement?
We had a similar adjustment period. After a while it started to feel like we were "joined at the hip" with the move to a new area, getting the house set up, and dealing with some issues with FIL's house that had suffered much benign neglect. That was about the time I bought a small boat and decided to explore the North branch of the Potomac River.

Then she decided to go back to school and finish her BA degree which took a lot of her time, and a while later I got a job and bought the motorcycle and some other toys with the income from that.

The first year was stereotypical - like being on an extended vacation, but then we both started to look for more to do.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:06 AM   #55
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I've always felt that there's some basic human need to feel like you're moving towards some goal. I think a lot of people get fulfillment from their j*b, not that they're workaholics, it's just that sense of doing something useful, contributing to something good, moving toward some goal. In retirement these people might feel like something is missing.

Some might fill that void by doing volunteer work for a good cause. Some might realize that spending more time with family & friends, or just sitting on the deck watching the sun set is a very worthy goal. And contributing to your own inner peace is in some small way helping to achieve world peace, and that's one very worthy goal.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:37 AM   #56
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I've always felt that there's some basic human need to feel like you're moving towards some goal.
It may be. A friend once said that I was "very goal-oriented".

Of course, he's also the only person I ever talked to about the divorce who didn't understand why I'd refuse to take out a loan for a vacation when we were already flat broke, had a house with an "iffy" septic system, 20-year-old appliances well past normal life expectancy, fire-prone aluminum wiring in the basement, curling shingles on the roof and thinks bouncing a check is no big deal.

But you're right. Watching a nice sunset is a worthy goal.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:11 AM   #57
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I think 'that there's some basic human need to feel like you're moving towards some goal' is more of a modern way of thinking that a deep seated human need! I guess if you say that the caveman had the goal of surviving another day, then maybe we do, but for much of human existence the majority of the population wanted little more than that. Even retirement is a fairly modern idea. I believer spurred on by SS. Very few people, if any, in the 1400 retired, and their goal in life was to have enough to eat. Kind of the basic subsistence of Maslov. While there may have always been a few folks around that set around and pondered man's existence, IMHO, it was not till the 19th and 20th century that we were afforded the luxury.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:51 PM   #58
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From a card I received at my send-off lunch...

Retiree's Motto: I don't want to and I don't have to.

That´s my motto exactly! I tell everybody who want to hear it that I don´t have to take anybody´s c**p, pardon my Spanish!
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:58 PM   #59
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That´s my motto exactly! I tell everybody who want to hear it that I don´t have to take anybody´s c**p, pardon my Spanish!
I have that card positioned on my dresser mirror, so every day at wake-up time, it is right in my line of vision.
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:01 PM   #60
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That´s my motto exactly! I tell everybody who want to hear it that I don´t have to take anybody´s c**p, pardon my Spanish!
Sentiment on a graduation card: "Always carry a bag of **** with you, then you don't have to take any from anyone else."
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