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Did you "retire to" what you thought you would?
Old 07-08-2018, 06:41 AM   #1
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Did you "retire to" what you thought you would?

As I get closer the exit (ideally end of 2019), I have been spending more time thinking about my "retire to" plans. Unlike some who dread their jobs, I am fortunate to be self-employed and enjoy my job enough that ending it to "get out" is not my motivator. This gives me some flexibility to launch when I feel ready. With the financial side addressed, solving the "what to do with my time" part has been a little bit of a struggle. Interestingly, and I suppose as expected, the feedback from friends/family retired from 1 yr+ has been all over the board. Many have filled their days with golf, volunteer, hobbies, travel, grand kids, while some have said they really just like waking up each day without a plan and see where it takes them. I tend to feel I will want some structure in my RE life, but perhaps it will morph on it's own.

For those retired a few years +, are you doing what you thought you would be doing in RE? Has it gone according to your "plan" or has the plan changed significantly? What, if anything, would you have done differently to prepare for the "retire to" part of RE?
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:08 AM   #2
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I am only coming up on 1 year retirement, but so far no real surprises. I too loved my job, but it was time to go before they got rid of me.
I have some structure, but the structure is more for things which must get done - cleaning, laundry, doctor's appointments, etc.
Otherwise, we mostly keep it loose each day and as of now I wouldn't change a thing.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:31 AM   #3
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I feel almost like a chauffeur, taking my wife to doctors visits in two separate cities 90 minutes away. And with permanent custody of a 7 year old granddaughter, she has to be transported her to and from her private school and extracurricular activities. We continue to travel internationally every year but stay close to home otherwise.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:32 AM   #4
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My time is about 50% structured when not travelling. But, it is mostly around things that are of intrinsic value for me. Plus, like dtail, there's a list of stuff that, while not overly consuming, is never ending. Unlike my w*rking years, an appointment is a good reason for a lunch date with DW. Mundane tasks can lend themselves to leisurely and fun activities.

I did plan to retire to, and not from... It's worked quite well for us.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:35 AM   #5
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For the most part, it's exactly as I planned...as I really didn't "plan" to retire to "anything". Really the only thing that I didn't quite plan on was my Dad's final illness/death. Although he was almost 91 when he passed, and I *knew* that he probably wouldn't live to 100, it was still somewhat unexpected. One of the positive things about it that being retired, I was able to devote 100% to him in his last months.

Other than that, it's gone great. Even though I didn't have any specific plans to retire to, I can say with confidence that I have yet to have a day go by in which I was bored.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:37 AM   #6
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When I first retired I had an aging aunt and mom to look after. So it was not all golf and going to the beach. Doing things for them took up a lot of time....which was fine as I wanted to be close by and help. So for the the first 6 years that gave me some structure I suppose. Now that they are gone I have a lot of routine things to do such as golfing, bicycling etc which are fun and fills my day. But it just doesn't take a lot to make me happy.

To answer your question, I'm 11 years into retirement and it has gone pretty much as expected. Perhaps I haven't traveled as much as I thought but not regretting that. I go back and forth to my beach condo and I enjoy that. I do plan to take a few other trips along the way. Taking a 2 week road trip next month.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:01 AM   #7
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My days are mix of planned activities and some spur of the moment stuff. The nice thing is that I have flexibility to do things when I want, rather than having to do them on weekends or evenings.

My first year is not going to be typical of the rest, since I moved and have been busy settling new house and detached garage; plus lot of yard work outside the house as it was new construction. I wouldn't trade it for the alternative of working.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:05 AM   #8
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My original retirement plans looked like it would be a lot of fun. In the 5+ years I've actually been retired......it's been BETTER than expected.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:23 AM   #9
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Eight years in I'd have to say no. We sold our large dairy herd (where I did all the cattle chores) and my DH said he wanted to crop farm until he was about 65 and then we'd both retire, he'll be 70 when this crop comes out and I have no indication he has any plans to stop anytime soon. Our Springs, part of each Summer and all of Fall are tied down here on the farm schedule.

I find myself with too much alone time and 5 acres lawn which is becoming a big burden to me as DH is always busy doing farm stuff and doesn't have much interest in yard work.

In the last 7 years our 4 GK have been born and they are all 2 hours away. We spend a lot of weekends in the metro area with those kids, but really haven't settled into the retirement I envisioned.


My DH has had a few recurring health issues and I'm feeling that the 45 plus years I've spent living on a farm 15 miles from the nearest grocery store is about long enough. Even good medical care is 75 miles away. The flip side is we have a good business with family and my husband thrives on the family contact and physical and mental exercise that he gets from farming, but it's really not working for me anymore.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:29 AM   #10
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I'm 8.5 years into retirement. I have a lot of activities that I pursue (kayaking, fishing, gardening, etc), and I love having more time to do those things now. The really nice part is that I can pick and choose my days to do those things, based on the weather, what other things are going on with my family, etc.. There are also days where I do very little (like today, for example......too hot out there to do much, except for my early morning and evening walk with the dog, and some grilling). There will also likely be some unanticipated things that come up and change your retirement plans somewhat. For me, it was the arrival of a couple of grandsons (one just after I retired, one a couple years later). They live just 2 miles away, so I now spend a LOT of time with those guys. So as you say, your retirement will likely morph on it's own. In the end, it's all good.....
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:33 AM   #11
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I've been retired about 2.5 years and it's been better than expected.

I've ramped up my leisure activities, have been finishing up some overdue projects around the house and yard, played more golf, and have been more active with my musical activities.

Some days I'm busy from morning to night, but that's perfectly fine as the days are filled with things that I want to do. Yesterday was a long and full day (as noted in "what did you do today"), but I left today open so that I can relax.

I wouldn't change a thing...
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:37 AM   #12
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I too loved my job until the last two years or so became intolerable. Left it for a consulting job that didn't pan out and just left it all behind. I struggled with the time on hands. We've traveled a fair amount (when retired 7 years ago both kids and grandkids, as they arrived, we overseas). I have absolutely no interest in what I did (engineering). Have tried some volunteer stuff but have gotten pretty used to just enjoying free time. Best is when I have a project. Right now am refurbishing son's house 1.25 hours away - tiling, getting paint contractors and others. I really am enjoying myself doing that, and when done may re-look at some construction based volunteering. But, at 67 my knees can only take about 5-6 hours every other day!

I think someone here said that it's OK to just... be.... rather than do. Or something like that. After 35 years of constantly doing stuff it can be hard to accept that it's OK to just sit and read or do nothing. I'm learning that quite well!
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:42 AM   #13
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Totally different. When w*rking, the things I did to get away became much less interesting once I retired. My "top five things I'll do in retirement" is entirely untouched, and I have no desire to do any of them.

I found that w*rk shaped my thinking in a way I did not recognize until it was no longer there.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:07 AM   #14
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Yep. 4+ years in and living the dream. Thought I might have more of the honeydo list done but getting there. Relaxing getting in the way sometimes.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:13 AM   #15
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I retired five years ago. Life has been good but somewhat different than I expected. Parental care for my in-laws has become a high priority that I didn’t expect. We’ve been able to travel, but not as much as we might have otherwise. Our snowbirding plans have also been modified some. DFIL was a little miffed about us spending winters in Florida, thinking we should be here to help care for him and DMIL(suffering from dementia and in memory care). However we reminded him when he was our age he was a snowbird. We find we do travel back up north more than we would have. Health issues also popped up sooner than I expected. Life is a journey and we’re just along for the ride.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:25 AM   #16
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Retired 7+ years ago and my activity in retirement is playing out roughly as planned. Some people keep themselves happily occupied without thinking about it, and move from work to retirement with ease. Not me, I was one who needed to think through what I'd do all day before I pulled the trigger, it was actually the final hurdle for me to retire, years after we reached FI.

Completing Ernie Zelinski's Get-A-Life Tree was essential to me feeling I was really ready to retire, took about 15 minutes for me to come up with the prescribed 50 activities - most enlightening for me. I've done some of what came of that exercise, but not all, and I can always go back to it. I expected DW to retire shortly after me, but she did not, so that was an adjustment I couldn't anticipate.

But then life is supposed to evolve at every age IME, so I never expected the plan to carry me for 30-40 years. Life worth living is an adventure at any age IME...
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Retired 7+ years ago and my activity in retirement is playing out roughly as planned. Some people keep themselves happily occupied without thinking about it, and move from work to retirement with ease. Not me, I was one who needed to think through what I'd do all day before I pulled the trigger, it was actually the final hurdle for me to retire, years after we reached FI.

Completing Ernie Zelinski's Get-A-Life Tree was essential to me feeling I was really ready to retire, took about 15 minutes for me to come up with the prescribed 50 activities - most enlightening for me. I've done some of what came of that exercise, but not all, and I can always go back to it. I expected DW to retire shortly after me, but she did not, so that was an adjustment I couldn't anticipate.

But then life is supposed to evolve at every age IME, so I never expected the plan to carry me for 30-40 years. Life worth living is an adventure at any age IME...
Oye...that chart looks too much like w*rk to me.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:44 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Retired 7+ years ago and my activity in retirement is playing out roughly as planned. Some people keep themselves happily occupied without thinking about it, and move from work to retirement with ease. Not me, I was one who needed to think through what I'd do all day before I pulled the trigger, it was actually the final hurdle for me to retire, years after we reached FI.

Completing Ernie Zelinski's Get-A-Life Tree was essential to me feeling I was really ready to retire, took about 15 minutes for me to come up with the prescribed 50 activities - most enlightening for me. I've done some of what came of that exercise, but not all, and I can always go back to it. I expected DW to retire shortly after me, but she did not, so that was an adjustment I couldn't anticipate.

But then life is supposed to evolve at every age IME, so I never expected the plan to carry me for 30-40 years. Life worth living is an adventure at any age IME...
Guess I was lucky in a different way. Took a package but then couldn't find work for a year, but then discovered this site and retirement calculators.
I then officially retired a few months later with all my planning going into where to move to FLA, but not what I would be doing.
Nevertheless, all is great and as an aside, I also never had a retirement list to check off, so indirectly that was better for me.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:44 AM   #19
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Mine is kind of funny , I do projects when I want to and when I want to . I might start a project on the farm at 7:00 Am and by about 8:30 / 9:00 it is getting to hot to work on something outside . Before Saturday I was busting my butt all day to get a project done . We come and go pretty much when we want . One of the things I really like is I might be riding down the road and I see something , a store or even someone selling something along the road . I now feel we have the time to stop and check it out . I have lost my Ricky Racer driving habits , if someone wants around me let them go .
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:52 AM   #20
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..........I tend to feel I will want some structure in my RE life, but perhaps it will morph on it's own.............
In my 12th year, this is how it happened for me. Initially I thought I'd work part time, but my heart wasn't in it and I never pursued it. I worked for Habitat for a while but got tired of the commitment and a little disillusioned. Now I just do what ever I feel like every day with a few planned activities and vacations. It feels good when those commitments are over as the freedom to do anything I want, any day I want, seems to dominate my happiness flow. Everyone is different, but I'd encourage you to relax and let it happen.
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