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Concerned about being bored in ER.
Old 08-14-2007, 08:15 AM   #1
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Concerned about being bored in ER.

Hello. I'm 45 and hope to RE within 3 years or so. My question is not really about the financial aspects of ER, but the psychological aspects. I am 45 single, no kids. My NW is nearly $2M, so I think my finances are in pretty good shape. I really dislike my job (hate is a little bit of a strong word) so Id like to get out ASAP. My question/problem is that I really have no idea what I would do in retirement. Sure, there are plenty of things I could do to catch up on, reading, other things I've put off, etc. But I'm afraid that after doing these things for awhile, I'd get bored and miss work. And my family (even extended family) is very small, so there would not be many family obligations. It's funny, but right now, I dream of being able to RE and have all this free time, but I am also afraid of having so much free time. Is this normal? Since I have some time before I'd RE, what can I do in the next couple of years to overcome these barriers? I'd really appreciate any suggestions. Thanks
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:43 AM   #2
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David,

I am 50 and also about to FIRE. I am married and have family, so that is diffferent than your situation, but I have several hobbies/interests in music, writing, photography, that I plan to develop. Do you have any interests or hobbies that you might start to pick up on over the next couple of years? Are there church or other ordanaizations you might get involved in, wither directly or through friends? My wife voluntters tto cook/serve food at funeral dinners through the church.

Just some ideas. Try to completely open your mind and visualize that you will have plenty of time to investigate and pursue things that you couldn't even consider when you're working xx hours per week.

Hope this helps a little.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:06 AM   #3
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Boredom is the one fear we all have or if we don't have it people convince us that we will be bored .Trust me ,you won't be and you don't need to make elaborate plans to fill your days. They will just fill remember you are going at a slower pace .
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:32 AM   #4
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David..
What are the things you wish you could do, except you don't have enough time since you're working?

Make a list of things you'd like to learn. Areas where you'd like to donate your time. And start investigating them. I've been working my way through my list for 2 years and have some new hobbies that I really enjoy.

I also donate way more of my time than I even thought I'd do. Just because I found something that I really enjoy.

Just remember....if you are truly bored after retiring, you can always start a company or find some sort of a job that you'd really like to do. When you don't have to earn money, lots of other opportunities look more interesting.
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:53 AM   #5
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...I really dislike my job (hate is a little bit of a strong word) so Id like to get out ASAP. My question/problem is that I really have no idea what I would do in retirement. Sure, there are plenty of things I could do to catch up on, reading, other things I've put off, etc. But I'm afraid that after doing these things for awhile, I'd get bored and miss work...
You are not ready to retire, so look for another job you may like better and keep working.

It sounds like work has sucked the life out of you, giving you nothing else to live for besides working. You can either keep going down this path, or you can start a new life. The best time to make up a list of "Things to do Before I Die" is the next time you are at work and say to yourself "I really dislike my job."
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by David1961 View Post
Hello. I'm 45 and hope to RE within 3 years or so. My question is not really about the financial aspects of ER, but the psychological aspects. I am 45 single, no kids. My NW is nearly $2M, so I think my finances are in pretty good shape. I really dislike my job (hate is a little bit of a strong word) so Id like to get out ASAP. My question/problem is that I really have no idea what I would do in retirement. Sure, there are plenty of things I could do to catch up on, reading, other things I've put off, etc. But I'm afraid that after doing these things for awhile, I'd get bored and miss work. And my family (even extended family) is very small, so there would not be many family obligations. It's funny, but right now, I dream of being able to RE and have all this free time, but I am also afraid of having so much free time. Is this normal? Since I have some time before I'd RE, what can I do in the next couple of years to overcome these barriers? I'd really appreciate any suggestions. Thanks
David,
My situation is close to yours. I'm 50, single,and no kids. ~1.5M NW. ER'd just over 4 months ago. Very small family....Mom is the only one nearby....others are 700-1000 miles away. I w*rked 30+ years at a job that was mostly OK, but became near intolerable the last couple of years. I stayed there all those years because they had the trophy I wanted.....very good retirement benefits!

Most of the people that I talked to pre-ER, gravitated primarily to 1 of 2 opinions on boredom after retirement. Most of those who were still w*rking, said "Oh, you'll get bored real fast, and then go out and have to find a job.". While everyone who was already retired said "You'll find so much to do, you'll never get it all done."

The reality has panned out to be the latter opinion. After almost 4 1/2 months ER'd, I can honestly say that I have not been bored at all! I have a couple of hobbies that I've had time to play with....model railroading and gardening. I've also had more time to travel and take a lot of 'day trips'. I've taken a couple of 'classes' at the local community college....the last one was a trip to Chicago's Chinatown and Little Italy. The next one, in a few weeks, is a 70 mile, paddle-wheel riverboat trip down the IL River. I've taken in several concerts, and other "cultural" activities, as well as a trip up to "Medieval Times". I've gone to Chicago several times for day trips, including a Cubs game at Wrigley. (going to the Cubs vs Cards game on Friday!)

If I have a day when I don't have anything to do, I go up to the local coffee shop and visit with a bunch of retirees that gather there....neighbors, former co-w*rkers, and other folks that I've met over the years.....including my Mom's 90 year old, former employer!

So, in other words, I wouldn't worry much about boredom setting in. At least not if you have any hobbies, or if you like to travel or go places. Also check out local colleges for classes...or "classes". Also be sure to check out your local library (no pun intended), because many times they have different programs or events planned. Our library has concerts, interesting speakers, and movies (they have books too ).

I only know one person who is retired and is bored most of the time.....but he was that way while he was still w*rking. If you're not bored now, you won't be bored later!
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:03 AM   #7
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If I have a day when I don't have anything to do, I go up to the local coffee shop and visit with a bunch of retirees that gather there
I see them there, and I don't envy them. The coffee house scene may be OK once in awhile if you have other things going on in your life. But if that's what your ER is all about then I think I'll keep working ?
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:14 AM   #8
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When one of my big brothers was newly ER'd, I expressed my envy of his situation and how much I wanted to retire. He said he was newly retired (and newly divorced) and feeling a little adrift, without structure. As an exercise to help both of us, we each created a list of things we wanted to do in retirement (and then each of us added to and refined our list once we saw both).

I still have that list on my computer desktop. (I have tried to do a few of those things while I am still working, but I really don't have sufficient time to get anywhere with them.) I know I will never get bored!

On my list were such things as taking up piano seriously again, and writing a book (just to do it, not necessarily for publication). My brother wanted to write a book, too, but he wanted to write something fictional and I am more interested in writing non-fiction. He has actually written most of his book! Pretty inspiring.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:17 AM   #9
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I think all Goonie meant by this is that he has a social streak that not all ER's do. I look forward to the occasional coffee house scene as a retiree Heck, I do that now! People can be simply delightful, and it is an amazingly small world.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:22 AM   #10
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I would definitely suggest that in the next three years you take some classes in areas that you find interesting. The local highschools usually offer them for very little money. I have taken creative writing, yoga, meditation to name a few. If you have any hobbies/interests look into developing them further. You can also call the local church as see if they are looking for volunteers in various committees.
I honestly cannot wait to retire....I have way too many things in my life that get in the way of working!
BTW....I love hanging out at Starbucks on my day off, reading and watching people that have to work.....it gives me a thrill to know that one day I can do that all the time!!!
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:26 AM   #11
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Reading Ernie Zelinsky's The Joy of Not Working might be a place to start. One of the things he suggests is making a list of anything you might want to do, whether it is trivial or seems too ambitious. Start the list now, and add to it as you think of things. You might find there's a lot you'd like to do.

Even if you want to keep working, it doesn't have to be at the job you don't like. You have the freedom to quit that job and take some time off to consider what job you would like. Maybe work part-time.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:26 AM   #12
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unless the task is just completely repetitive & tedious & unending, boredom has less to do with your to do list and everything to do with your attitude.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:51 AM   #13
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The early years of my retirement were taken up with house, kids and wife. But now the kids are graduated, wife is gone, and house is on the way out. Even so I am not bored. I am somewhat under-entertained though!

However, I would be bored if I used the passive asset income strategies that many use. Say you are single and have $1.5 or so. You are ok, but you have to budget pretty carefully. There is a lot of time to fill up, and not a lot of money to throw at this project. If I didn't have annual reports and 10ks etc to read, webcasts to listen to- I would be looking pretty hard for a job I think.

It's amazing how little time it takes to do the infrastructure stuff one you are alone and living in an apartment or I would guess a condo. Home Depot, strike off! Yesterday the flapper that stops water running in the john ripped. I called my super and offered to put one in if he had it. Instead he came right up and did it. Formerly that would have taken a drive, an unpleasant hunt in Home Depot, a drive back, etc.

Stocking up bags and bags of groceries, no way! Just walk down to the corner and get what I want today and maybe tomorrow. I live where I needn't drive much, so not much time either doing or waiting for car repairs or maintenance. This is no loss for me, as I mainly hated this stuff anyway. Home Depot has always given me headache.

As it is, I work most mornings on investments, then head out in the afternoon. I walk at least 5 miles or so daily. If I don't have something to do in the evening, I may work some more before bed, or read. One night a week I play with a little band. I usually go dancing a couple times a week. I could go more but cover charges mount up. I found a nice coffee shop nearby that has free jazz performances on Sunday nights, and it is good too. Now to find someone to go with who enjoys this kind of music as I do!

The main thing I notice is that most everyone else I meet is working -and I am older than at least some of them. Still, I meet few retirees. I went to a wedding last weekend. Many of the guests were 60s to mid 70s. I only met one guy who was retired.

Married guys have little trouble because their wives don't like to see them sitting much. Single golfers should be in good shape, and in a position to really improve their games. Plus golf is an inherently social game.

For me, the main project is finding enough satisfying social events.

Ha
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:58 PM   #14
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I guess I can't relate. The only times I can remember being bored in my adult life is when I was being forced to do something I didn't want to do. That is pretty rare now that I control a good portion of my time.

I have a long list of hobbies that are still being ignored - I don't seem to have time to get to them!

If you don't have a long list of varied interests, it could be a problem I guess.

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Old 08-14-2007, 01:10 PM   #15
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Welcome to the board, David.

I've been ER'd for over five years, and I believe that "What will I DO all day?!?" is the #2 fear of all Young Dreamers. Once the money is good then everyone worries that they'll be so bored & unfulfilled.

The reality is that when you've been ER'd for a month you'll wonder what the heck you were worried about.

What RunningBum says about Zelinski's books, especially his "Get-A-Life" Tree in "How to Retire Happy, Wild, & Free". I've had this brainstorming tool on my desk for a couple years now but I've been too busy to get around to doing anything with it.

While you'll soon be responsible for your own entertainment, I think you'll find that your greatest problem won't be a lack of things to do-- it'll be overscheduling your time.
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Old 08-14-2007, 01:38 PM   #16
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[. Now to find someone to go with who enjoys this kind of music as I do!

.


Maybe it's time for internet dating ??
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I get bored easily
Old 08-14-2007, 04:03 PM   #17
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I get bored easily

and still do occasionally, but then something comes up and I am off on something else. I used to have broad interests but by now I have satisfied most of them. Now beyond the regular chores and taking care of the dog, I spend a lot of time reading blogs and thinking. That is usually enough for me although the non solitary would probably be driven up the walls.
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:25 PM   #18
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Nobody has mentioned any concern about being bored at work!! I probably have the most interesting job in the world, and although occasionally it is intriguing, often it is boring. It's a job.

If it was fun, they wouldn't call it "work"; they'd call it "play" and I'd have to pay to do it.

I can't wait to ER. I will have before me a whole world full of interesting things to learn about and do!
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:43 PM   #19
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or, go get a job. If you don't like it then quit and go try another one. You already have your nest egg so what's to lose? And, alot of jobs are fun; keep trying until you find something you like. I've been at my megacorp for 30+ years. The previous 2 years, prior to this last one when I took a new assignment, were h*ll ... I was counting the days until I could leave. But, with the new assignment, I look forward to going to work. (...welll, let's say I don't hate thinking about going to work...!)
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:48 PM   #20
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I see them there, and I don't envy them. The coffee house scene may be OK once in awhile if you have other things going on in your life. But if that's what your ER is all about then I think I'll keep working ?
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I think all Goonie meant by this is that he has a social streak that not all ER's do. I look forward to the occasional coffee house scene as a retiree Heck, I do that now! People can be simply delightful, and it is an amazingly small world.
Everyone in our coffee 'clutch' is very active in retirement. We all have a lot of things going on all of the time. We also keep each other informed of upcoming events, activities, and trips. Our community offers loads of stuff to do for retired folks, both ER and regular, and word-of-mouth is one of the best sources for info.

The retirees start getting to the shop about 6am, and the last group in is about 9:30am......the last bunch is the one I hang with. Each group is there for maybe an hour at most....a lot of them only stay about 30 minutes.....unless the weather is nasty, then everybody might stay a tad longer. A few go everyday, many go a couple of times a week, and I usually go once a week. Once in a while I'll go more often, once in a while I'll go less.

The coffee shop isn't what ER is all about, but it can be a small piece in the puzzle. We all go there to socialize and shoot the bull, it's certainly not because we don't have a lot of other things to do. It's just that our coffee time is a convenient interruption in a hectic ER lifestyle!
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