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contact with former colleagues
Old 04-17-2016, 03:36 PM   #1
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contact with former colleagues

Do those of you who retired early tend to keep in regular touch with your former business/professional colleagues? It would feel odd (for me) to cut off contacts with all these people suddenly; they are so much a part of my daily existence. On the other hand, I can see some value in making somewhat more of a clean break.

Also, do you think the adjustment to retirement tends to be easier for those who move to a new place after retirement, or those who stay put for some time? I am sure there are many other factors that contribute to the ease or difficulty of adjustment, but am wondering about this one. On the one hand, staying put for some time would provide an element of consistency/stability when going through a major life transition. On the other hand, the "clean break" that I referred to above might have some value too -- moving on (physically as well) to a new stage of life...

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Old 04-17-2016, 03:46 PM   #2
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Do those of you who retired early tend to keep in regular touch with your former business/professional colleagues? It would feel odd (for me) to cut off contacts with all these people suddenly; they are so much a part of my daily existence. On the other hand, I can see some value in making somewhat more of a clean break.
I didn't cut off contact - whenever one or more of them invited me to get together I would agree to do so. But I certainly didn't initiate staying in touch, meeting for lunch, etc.

After a few years the invitations declined to the point where I may hear from an old colleague only once or twice a year. I'm perfectly happy with the way things turned out.
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Old 04-17-2016, 03:54 PM   #3
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I have one old work colleague that I talk to weekly. We talk about stocks not the old job.
Most of the others have become Facebook "Friends" where we throw a like at each other's pictures of the Grandchildren.
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Old 04-17-2016, 03:56 PM   #4
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I think a lot of that depends on the cohesiveness of the people and the organization. In my case there is an alumni association that I maintain membership in, there is a weekly (yes, weekly!) emailed newsletter, monthly breakfast meetings in MD, NC, and DE if one is inclined to go, and an annual dinner or picnic. I would go to the MD breakfast meetings but I'd have to get up at 0430 and that's just too early.

But I worked in an environment where our lives depended on each other. It is a rare retiree who cannot say that "I'd probably have died if so-an-so hadn't__________" so that creates an entirely different working relationship than most people have.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:03 PM   #5
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Working for a company for 25 years can result in developing a few real friendships amongst your colleagues, so yes, I do stay in touch with those. The work colleagues, not really. My 4 or 5 real friends I talk to weekly, and see regularly. I'll occasionally run into a previous colleague at the range or something, and end up having lunch, but nothing pre-arranged. Once I quit working I quit existing to most of them, and vice versa.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:05 PM   #6
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I stayed in touch with few folks for the first year of retirement. Now just exchanging emails with a former colleague who moved to FL when he retired 6 months after I did and lunches with another colleague every 3-4 months.

I find that you start running out of things to talk about after a while.....
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:16 PM   #7
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I'm still in touch with a few of my former coworkers. My "office husband"*** performed in a flamenco recital the other weekend and I ran into a mutual friend and former coworker and his wife at the recital.

I'm going to lunch with another friend/former coworker tomorrow.

There are 4-5 folks I stay in touch with.

*** He and I shared an office for 5 years, then had cubes next to each other for another 8 years... we bickered like old married folks but have a good friendship. My IRL husband also refers to him as my office husband... and the kids call him uncle Dave.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:20 PM   #8
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Do those of you who retired early tend to keep in regular touch with your former business/professional colleagues? It would feel odd (for me) to cut off contacts with all these people suddenly; they are so much a part of my daily existence. On the other hand, I can see some value in making somewhat more of a clean break.
I wanted to keep in touch with them, but honestly the pressure to consult after ER was so heavy. I am a bit of a pushover at heart, so it seemed really hard to stay firm about not consulting. At the beginning of ER I wanted to make a clean break for that reason, and then planned to contact some of them after a few months.

But after a few months, the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill occurred. Unfortunately that meant that the pressure to consult surely would be over the top, and all my co-workers would be up to their eyeballs in extra work duties due to the oil spill. Terrible timing.

To make a long story short, I didn't keep in touch with any of them. I think about them now and then, and occasionally search online to find out what they have been doing at work. I saw a couple of people from work around town at different times since my 2009 retirement, and exchanged pleasantries. That's about it.
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Also, do you think the adjustment to retirement tends to be easier for those who move to a new place after retirement, or those who stay put for some time? I am sure there are many other factors that contribute to the ease or difficulty of adjustment, but am wondering about this one. On the one hand, staying put for some time would provide an element of consistency/stability when going through a major life transition. On the other hand, the "clean break" that I referred to above might have some value too -- moving on (physically as well) to a new stage of life...
Surprisingly, I think for many of us it may be easier to adjust to retirement without moving. I really wanted to move when I retired, but didn't. There was no more work or workplace for me to get away from, so moving lost part of its appeal.

By staying in the same place, I was more easily able to focus on adjusting to retirement, figuring out a new retirement routine, and getting a handle on what I really want to do in retirement. I didn't get overloaded with the extra tasks involve in moving and getting settled in a new place. Instead of occupying my mind with, "I wonder who's a good internist in this new town? Dentist? Lawn guy? Handyman? Where should I live? How can I make friends?", I was able to occupy my mind with "I wonder how much sleep I need? Am I staying within reasonable spending limits? What really makes me happy at the end of the day? Does my life feel complete?" and so on. YMMV
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:50 PM   #9
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I didn't cut off contact and do occasionally see some of the people that I worked with. However, I cannot go to visit where I worked without considerable paperwork. It is a class A military site and one has to have a current secret clearance to get unescorted access. Once in one has to be escorted where ever you go in the building.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:51 PM   #10
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I didn't cut off contact and do occasionally see some of the people that I worked with. However, I cannot go to visit where I worked without considerable paperwork. It is a class A military site and one has to have a current secret clearance to get unescorted access. Once in one has to be escorted where ever you go in the building.
Same is true at my former workplace, but my original plan was to call my supervisor and get someone to come down and escort me. That's pretty much what all the returning retirees did.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:55 PM   #11
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I stay in touch with the one former coworker who was/is also a close friend outside of work. Other than that, the day I left was the last day I saw anyone who I had worked with.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:59 PM   #12
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When I left, there were only two people I wanted any further contact with. Unfortunately, they both moved up to the Bay Area from Southern CA.
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Staying in touch
Old 04-17-2016, 06:47 PM   #13
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Staying in touch

I see my coworkers all the time. Some due to living in a small town and some through church, the chamber, volunteer work at our college and a charity. But I also chose to have a part-time retirement career to stay active and stay in touch with the business leaders and government folks I rubbed shoulders with before retirement. Not for the money but for the feeling that I'm still part of the action. A bonus is that some of the people I work with at my paying and volunteer gigs are my former coworkers and are still good friends. But I don't talk shop with them, as the guy who used to run the company I can't afford to gossip or criticize the new leadership., That would be terribly inappropriate.
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:50 PM   #14
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No. DW and I moved 200 miles away a few weeks after escaping.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:19 PM   #15
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I have had very little contact with any of my former coworkers. One coworker who was also a friend of mine at work, I speak to a few times a year and we have met up twice in the 7 years since I left - once in Manhattan when my LF and I were visiting NYC (we live on LI) and again in Atlantic City (he goes there a lot) when my LF and I went there about 4 years ago. A few other coworkers I have exchanged a few emails here and there, but I don't have any big desire to stay in touch.


I live so far away from my old office, more than an hour on the trains and it would cost me $20 for a midday trip, that I have zero desire to ever return there. I absolutely despised the commute there, even as little as 1 or 2 days a week, so going there again for any reason is inconceivable.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:19 PM   #16
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I'm having lunch this week with two guys I started w*rking with in the mill 38 years ago. One of them ended up w*rking with me at Megacorp after we both left the mill in early 80s.

I'll have lunch with a couple guys I was close to a couple of times monthly. The conversation is less and less about Megacorp, more about life these days.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:37 PM   #17
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There are perhaps 4 people who I worked with closely who I keep in touch with but even that has waned. Occasional email or text but that is about it. My AA was also AA for one of the four people so I chat with her every so often as well.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:08 PM   #18
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I have lunch regularly with my former colleagues and not all at the same time. It is fun to get different perspectives of the same stories. But more often than not, we actually don't talk about work that much. We mostly talk about other things in life and our families.

And I have lunch or dinner every few months with a mentor that I have known for almost 40 years even though we do not live close to each other.

You gotta keep friends and work at friendship.
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Old 04-18-2016, 06:14 AM   #19
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I go to the office to visit about 10 times a year. Talk with everyone (about 25 coworkers) and then leave. I'm still an expert witness in an ongoing eminent domain case, working on and off about 2 weeks a year with 2 or 3 former coworkers. Facebook friends with my former assistant, receptionist, and my replacement.
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:14 AM   #20
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The only one I stay in touch with quit at the same time I retired and moved away. She now lived 1500 miles from us. I've visited and DH and I get along great with her and her husband. I'm hoping we'll vacation together in the coming years, as we have common travel interests.

Other than Facebook, probably no one else.


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