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Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-05-2005, 07:58 PM   #1
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Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

When you quit working, did you know you were done forever?

I told my little story a coupla weeks ago--not a great amount of money saved, but we'll have two pensions coming in between me and the spouse.

The closer I get to my retirement date, the freakier I'm acting.* I actually perused for jobs today--worked on my resume and everything.* *What is WRONG with me?

My husband (retired for 3 years) thinks I'm nuts.* I've never had more than 10 days off in my entire life.* Am I brainwashed?* Why can't I just BE? Why do we have to constantly produce to be considered viable human beings?* It doesn't help that I get bombarded with "Why aren't you having a retirement ceremony?" and "Where are you going to work/what are you going to do?"* "Um, nothing, " I say, ignoring the blank stares of disbelief.

I need to chill out.* As a side note, I am encouraged that most of you are drinking LESS in ER than while you were working...sometimes a couple of glasses of wine is the only thing that lets me sleep at night.*

How long 'til I'm "normal" like you guys and gals?* ** *
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-05-2005, 09:41 PM   #2
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie
When you quit working, did you know you were done forever?*

I told my little story a coupla weeks ago--not a great amount of money saved, but we'll have two pensions coming in between me and the spouse.

The closer I get to my retirement date, the freakier I'm acting.* I actually perused for jobs today--worked on my resume and everything.* *What is WRONG with me?

My husband (retired for 3 years) thinks I'm nuts.* I've never had more than 10 days off in my entire life.* Am I brainwashed?* Why can't I just BE? Why do we have to constantly produce to be considered viable human beings?* It doesn't help that I get bombarded with "Why aren't you having a retirement ceremony?" and "Where are you going to work/what are you going to do?"* "Um, nothing, " I say, ignoring the blank stares of disbelief.*

I need to chill out.* As a side note, I am encouraged that most of you are drinking LESS in ER than while you were working...sometimes a couple of glasses of wine is the only thing that lets me sleep at night.*

How long 'til I'm "normal" like you guys and gals?* ** *
Well Leslie, I'm not too sure how many of us are "normal", or even if we want to be. I was 100% sure that I was done (except for part time work) in 1993 but ended up going back to fulltime in 1994. However,
this just fell in my lap and I told my employer that I would not stay for long.
They hired me anyway, Other than this "accident" I never really did any backsliding and certainly never worked on my resume'. OTOH, I had
worked for myself pretty much 100% since 1987, so there was no
way I was going to start down that road, no matter what happened.

JG
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-05-2005, 09:53 PM   #3
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Enjoy retirement for a few months. Then arrange for an interview or two. If you're really ready for retirement, the shock of office politics, commute, and grunts in cubicals should be enough to send you back to retirement permanently. Just being back in the work environment should bring everything back into focus for you. If it doesn't, you're not ready for retirement.
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-05-2005, 09:58 PM   #4
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie
The closer I get to my retirement date, the freakier I'm acting.* I actually perused for jobs today--worked on my resume and everything.* *What is WRONG with me?

My husband (retired for 3 years) thinks I'm nuts.* I've never had more than 10 days off in my entire life.* Am I brainwashed?
You've been conditioned to keep working. *That's a sad part of most peoples' lives. *They never get a chance to enjoy life. *What's more, by working and only taking less than a dozen days off for yourself, your job has sucked the life out of you because you never got a chance to explore all the interesting things that humans should explore.

Try this, WRITE down all the things you want to do before you die. *Be specific and be realistic. *If you want to travel, where do you want to go? *If you want to make an oil painting, what do you want to paint? If you want to learn a musical instrument, which one? *Then, write down WHEN you plan on doing those things and how you are going to do them.

I think you will find that you have a lot of things you do want to do before you die, and that if you don't quit now, you may not have enough birthdays remaining to do them.
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-05-2005, 10:04 PM   #5
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

I agree with retire@40, and without being unecessarily morbid,
nobody knows how many more birthdays they will have.
Statisically speaking, some of the visitors to this site won't have
any. Chew on that for a while......................

JG
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-05-2005, 10:20 PM   #6
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Leslie, I really, really related to your post. My husband is definitely retiring in October. We just attended his pre-retirement seminar yesterday. We spent 5 1/2 hours listening to speakers telling us about benefits, etc. My husband has never waivered in his plan to retire. For the last year, I would keep changing my mind about what I would do. All the "what if" questions kept popping up. I finally came to grips with 'life is short' and you can't take it with you. We have had many family and friends die the past year, many tears shed, so that was a major factor. Also, I had a bout with cancer 8 years ago, so that is foremost in my thoughts. I just finished reading a wonderful book entitled "A Year to Live" by Stephen Levine. Book theme reiterates to live each moment, each hour, each day - mindfully and that most of us go to extraordinary lengths to ignore or deny the fact that we are going to die, and that we should strive to find "our true work. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-05-2005, 10:48 PM   #7
 
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie
When you quit working, did you know you were done forever? ...
No. I retired earlier than I expected at age 49 without a real retirement plan.

My employer offered a voluntary early retirement package and gave eligble employees only 1 month to think it over. I was unhappy with the job, had a nice nest egg saved, a working wife, and so I jumped at the offer.

For the first 2 to 3 years after retirement, I felt more like an unemployed engineer than a retiree. It was awkward when others asked my occupation.

I am pretty well adjusted now and don't ever want to return to a full time job. I interviewed for a low paying, part library job recently. After the interview, the thought of losing 20 hours/week of freedom started to give me the creeps!
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 12:43 AM   #8
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

I was going to snap up a company offer for a years pay and great benefits, take a year off with pay and then go back to work for the same place with repriced stock options and a higher salary.

Discovered a couple of months into it that I really didnt have to go back to work. Just adjust my style of living from Lexus and $100 bottle wines and a mcmansion to something a little simpler, along with a good investment plan.

I have no idea how I'd fit a job of any kind into my schedule these days. Even before the baby.
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 05:11 AM   #9
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by th
I was going to snap up a company offer for a years pay and great benefits, take a year off with pay and then go back to work for the same place with repriced stock options and a higher salary.

Discovered a couple of months into it that I really didnt have to go back to work.* Just adjust my style of living from Lexus and $100 bottle wines and a mcmansion to something a little simpler, along with a good investment plan.

I have no idea how I'd fit a job of any kind into my schedule these days.* Even before the baby.
Good morning th! I have a bit different view of this
(fitting a job into your schedule) than when I first retired. I know I will never run out of adventures and things I wish to do. However, if you are used to a very active
lifestyle, age eventually will take away some options (unless you drop dead
on the motorcycle or hiking the Rockies ). Thus, for some folks the idea of employment
might creep back onto their list as other things fall off. My main outdoor
pre-ER leisure activities are already history (this does not unclude sex ).
Anyway, under certain circumstances I can see myself working again. Only for myself
of course. Right now I seriously doubt this will ever happen. Wish I enjoyed and
was good at home improvement and DIY stuff. Got enough of that to fill five
lifetimes.

JG
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 05:48 AM   #10
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by parnass
No.* I retired earlier than I expected at age 49 without a real retirement plan.* *

My employer offered a voluntary early retirement package and gave eligble employees only 1 month to think it over. I was unhappy with the job, had a nice nest egg saved, a working wife, and so I jumped at the offer.

For the first 2 to 3 years after retirement, I felt more like an unemployed engineer than a retiree.* It was awkward when others asked my occupation.

I am pretty well adjusted now and don't ever want to return to a full time job.* I interviewed for a low paying, part library job recently.* After the interview, the thought of losing 20 hours/week of freedom started to give me the creeps!
Geez parnass..........sounds like my story (quit at 49 with no plan, working wife,
part-time work interesting but losing the hours gives you the "creeps").
The main difference (based on your post) was that I never felt "awkward"
about my ERed status. However, I know from the others here that is a very common
reaction.

JG
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 07:25 AM   #11
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Thanks for all of the insights. I have been aware that I have more birthdays behind me than ahead of me...it does make me appreciate whatever is left.

Ginger, thanks for the book recommendation--I need to read that! I have read a few books on people checking out of life for a year or so ("A Year by the Sea" Joan Anderson) etc., but they always return to their other life with newly found "wisdom." And get right back to work. :P

Parnass, why do you want to work again?
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 07:27 AM   #12
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
*Wish I enjoyed and
was good at home improvement and DIY stuff.* *
Puhkus! *It's not like designing nuclear reactors...Our house came with an outbuilding, shingled roof, high ceiling, windows, that the prior owners used as a storage shed. DH went to the library, checked out some books, and wired electricity through the whole thing with enough juice to do just about anything he desires. *Unfortunately he applied for a permit, so we recently got a new higher tax assessment. *
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 07:30 AM   #13
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Me too - except I was layed off at 49. Similar variety of mental adjustments including starting perhaps a small business.

Took about a year to 'settle in' thought wise to ER.
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 07:37 AM   #14
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Thanks Retire@40--I'm starting my "50 things to do before I die" list. Today.

1. See the pyramids
2. Learn to make homemade beer
3....
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 07:48 AM   #15
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Accept the the mental gyrations as normal for this transition in life.

Do a "POGO cartoon character' - look in the mirror - blow yourself a kiss - write down your dreams - and start planning/acting on them.
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 08:13 AM   #16
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

I FIRE in February of this year. I was still having thoughts about whether I had made the right decision until yesterday. Yesterday morning I had an early appointment which meant I had to deal with the traffic. One day of dealing with traffic made me realize I had made the right decision. Now thinking back on it, work seem like anthor lifetime. Was that really me in my work life? FIRE is great, I love it!
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 09:58 AM   #17
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

At 57, I had unofficially planned to ER in late 2005 or early 2006. Being single, my ER date was a moving target. Several weeks ago, my former employer made the decision for me and laid me off.
I am now officially unemployed but getting a my salary and health insurance for the next few months. If my plans work out, I may remain unemployed for the next 40 years.

MJ
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 01:22 PM   #18
 
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie
...
Parnass, why do you want to work again?
Actually, I don't want to work again. My wife suggested that working at the library part time might be a good way to get out of the house more and meet more people. At this point, I'm thinking that performing volunteer work for 5 to 10 hrs/week might be a lot more satisfying than a low paying 20 hr/week job.

BTW, I make it a point to leave the house each day to walk or bicycle a few miles. I like the freedom to choose when and where.
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?
Old 05-06-2005, 01:44 PM   #19
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Re: Did you have to ease into it? Or dive right in?

Yes you are brainwashed into believing that non-working people [evidenced by never taking more than 10 days off in your entire life] have nothing to do. I thought of doing a small side business once retired but don't have the time. You'll find this out once you've cut the strings.

FYI: I decided to help out the elections dept by teaching poll workers how to use the new computerized voting machines ... then they told me that I would be considered a 'project employee' .... max 173 hrs per year. YUCK! Now it's not nearly as interesting!
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completely ignoring Leslie's question
Old 05-06-2005, 02:54 PM   #20
 
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completely ignoring Leslie's question

and doing little to further along this thread...

Somewhere, in a small village in the western outlands of Somalia, a small group of men while away the afternoon, trading stories and swatting flies.* One of their number, Dahir Hassan, has just returned after a nine month absence herding goats, and a drive to market in Mogadishu.* Dahir is set to return to his herd tomorrow, and has been lamenting the loss of his old relaxed life.* He misses the good old days.

The elder of the group, Mohammed Farah Ahdi interrupted, "Dahir, are you crazy?* You spent twenty years of your life sitting around and chewing khat.* You were conditioned against work.* Our society brainwashed you into thinking that this was acceptable behavior for an able-bodied male.* Now you have a life.* Go out and make something of yourself.* Go produce.* Contribute to the community. Double your herd!..."


Quote:
Originally Posted by gayl
Yes you are brainwashed into believing that non-working people [evidenced by never taking more than 10 days off in your entire life] have nothing to do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by retire@40
You've been conditioned to keep working. *That's a sad part of most peoples' lives. *They never get a chance to enjoy life.
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