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Old 08-02-2015, 06:54 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by BBQ-Nut View Post
I will admit to being a creature of habit, familiar ritual, and routine.

I cherish the early morning ritual of the sunrise, coffee, and quiet start of the day.


the afternoon will draw to an end and the evening meal will loom and I'll begin preparations for dinner.

After dinner, the usual rituals of clean up, a movie or a favorite show or two on the tv with a sweet for a late dessert before the end of the day.

Retired just 3 months, I've been very surprised at how much structure there is in my day. I've been busy every single day since retired, mostly catching up on so many, many neglected projects. However, I still go grocery shopping the same day of the week, still work out the same days of the week, and still use Saturdays to complete various chores.

I, too, love the early mornings and an alarm wakes me so I can go down to the coffee house, sit outside alone, have that mocha, and watch the morning sky begin. I loved doing this on my days off before retiring and now I can do it every day. In the afternoons, I take a break, go down to another great place, sit outside and read. Heaven.

Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
I do use an alarm - I usually wake up just before it goes off. I don't like to miss the magical early morning time.

Yes, I generally do go to bed at the same time each evening - early!

I usually have certain exercise goals each day.
Me too, go to bed at about the same time and get up early at the exactly the same time before retired every day. I do get to take lots more cat naps though!

Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
Structure - yes I have one.

For the first six months I was retired I was busy catching up on maintenance chores around the house, and catching up on much needed rest.


NOTHING scheduled on Thursdays or Fridays - so I can practice my "goofing off" technique, until I perfect it.
The maintenance chores continue to suck up much time, and it's been somewhat exhausting accomplishing so much in such a short time. How much I put off! I was just thinking today how much I neglected in order to maintain a laser focus on achieving my retirement financial target. I've realized just how much I sacrificed in order to accomplish this great goal. Now, I've spent more money and bought/fixed/replaced more stuff in the last 3 months than I've spent in years, and spent a small fortune!

I'm jealous of the luxury of having nothing scheduled on Thursdays/Fridays. I probably won't be able to have some days where nothing is scheduled until next Spring. To keep to my schedule, I wind down the evening with a movie or book in order to be prepared for the next day. I keep telling myself the current structure is temporary, but I now know it's in my nature to always have some kind of schedule.

Bored in retirement? I would love to experience some boredom right now!

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Old 08-02-2015, 07:35 PM   #42
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My structure is like a pergola: it doesn't look complete, but is. The key diff between pre- and post- retirement is, the structure/routine is self-imposed and of my own design, and not meant to meet external requirements, so there are always "FIRE"-escapes.

"The future's uncertain, and the end is always near. Let it roll, baby, roll." - The Doors
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:00 PM   #43
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I'm not retired yet, but I work a three-month-on, three-month-off schedule. During my downtime, I still get up at 7, because otherwise it feels like I'm wasting the day. I do 15 minutes of qigong and then have breakfast. In the mornings I focus on whatever personal project I'm working on - right now it's working on my will and health care directive.

Three times a week I go to the gym at lunchtime and do a fitness class and then come home and eat. In the afternoons I watch a movie. I always wanted more time to watch movies and quality TV shows and now I have it! At some point I do a 10-minute guided meditation using a meditation CD. Often I then read a bit and take a short nap.

Since I live alone, I always try to have some kind of social time built into my day, even if it's just a long phone call with a friend or family member. Often in the evenings I go to some kind of Meetup event, meet friends, or go to a meditation or yoga class. So much easier to have energy to go out in the evenings when you've had a nap and haven't worked all day!
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:07 PM   #44
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I prefer to have a degree of structure in my days - so long as it is mostly of my own making. Having absolutely nothing to do and nothing scheduled would drive me as crazy as having a day packed full of meetings and conference calls and an in-box full of e-mails demanding instant responses to things which have become urgent because people have sat on them for weeks.

Getting up early and not going to work is one of the things I enjoy most about retired life. Being able to schedule all the things I want to do and know that there is unlikely to be anything stopping me doing them is another.
Budgeting is a skill practised by people who are bad at politics.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:37 PM   #45
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Mostly unstructured for me. Scheduled travel stuff, but if I'm just around the house, I do whatever. I do have a pad I keep. Usually I have a day or two where I have a lot of ideas, and write down a bunch of stuff. Then for a week, I have no ideas and not so much motivation, so I work off my list. Some items on the list can be closed out in a stroke, and other items just need one small step toward the destination. It's nice to look back and see all the ideas I have turned into reality.
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:38 PM   #46
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Very little routine for me in ER. Then again, my work life was completely unstructured as well... I traveled extensively, worked projects, changed roles frequently, teleconferences from the hotel at 5am, ate bizarre food in the backstreets of Beijing, slept mostly on planes, etc.

DW is still working so I usually get up when she does, help get her lunch pulled together and send her off with her favorite coffee. I also prepare dinner every weeknight and try to have it ready around the time she gets home. Beyond that it's a complete free-for-all.

I sleep whenever I feel like it, including naps. I go through long phases of staying up very late, but then drift back to a 10pm-6am pattern. I often sleep in two 3-4 hour segments, separated by several hours. I enjoy reading in the quiet early mornings, 2am-5am.

I eat breakfast or lunch, but rarely both. And I eat whenever I feel hungry. Midnight snacks are common. The only routine meal is dinner with DW on weeknights. I go to the grocery store every 4-5 days (no specific day) whenever we're running low on fresh vegetables.

I ride my bike on average 2-3 times per week, but only if the weather is nice. During the blazing hot Texas summers and icy winters, I might not ride at all for a couple months. We travel internationally at least once per year, but no specific timing, routine, or destination. We make 2 or 3 smaller domestic trips every year at random times, usually to visit family around holidays or other events.

Both kids live nearby, so we see them frequently, but the schedule depends entirely on them, their jobs, etc. We spend a lot of time with DW's parents who are both mid-80s and increasingly dependent on us for everything. No regular schedule to that; it usually corresponds to their needs, doctor appointments, etc. We also try to get them out of their house at least 1-2 times per week for a concert, movie, or maybe just a walk around the block.

I go through obsessive phases with my hobbies, where I'll do a specific project (like a woodworking project) for 12 hours a day for 10 straight days. Then nothing for 2-3 weeks other than small checklist stuff around the house. Then I'll remodel a bathroom for a month or two. There's a long backlog of these projects, but I just do them at my own pace, and in whatever order I feel like. But once I get started, I tend to be obsessive until it's done.

Again, this is all very similar to my prior work MO; just a different list of items on the backlog, and I get to set the agenda.
Retired at 52 in July 2013. On to better things...
AA: 55% stock, 15% real estate, 27% bonds, 3% cash
WR: 2.0% SI: 2 pensions, some rental income, SS later
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:54 PM   #47
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I keep a to-do list and update it every Mon. Some items are easy and get crossed off pretty quickly (laundry, shopping, etc), while others are longer term projects (plan month-long backpacking trip, read a particular book, etc).
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:00 PM   #48
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We have a mix.

Some activities are quite structured.

At bedtime we watch the 10 o'clock news - usually falling sleep right after the weather. DW gets up from 6 to 6:30 and I follow once she's done with the bathroom. Then I make breakfast of coffee, eggs, and maybe sausage or bacon. I sleep so much better when I keep to a schedule. She always makes dinner. Lunch we handle individually.

A few other items are structured. We visit the Y for exercise on MWF right after lunch. Almost no one else is there at that time - which is why we picked it. Dinner is at 6 if we're not traveling. On Saturday & Sundays (if we aren't traveling) we do the NYTs or WSJ crossword puzzles together during lunch - we actually work on the same puzzle at the same time. Not sure we would finish it alone.

Things like walks are depend on weather. Same with gardening and mowing.

When we're traveling we break the mold. We enjoy the break from what structure we have.

Something just work better for us as a couple when you know when to expect them.
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:39 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
For the first few years, I slept whenever I wanted. However, I found that my body wants a 25-hour day so every night I stayed up later and every morning I slept later. After a few years of retirement I had had enough!
This was me too, but my tolerance was much shorter. My brain was all screwed up after a month, and although my alarm clock coincidentally and profetically died a week before ER I ended up replacing it and feel much better now. I've ended up adding some early morning routine but by 11am the day is MINE all MINE.
"For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." ~
Hebrews 12:11

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Old 08-03-2015, 05:56 PM   #50
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Now that I am home more, the dog has elected me to take him for the 7:00 am walk. Who decided that?

After that walk, I go to Burger King and meet with the ROMEO guys for an hour or so. We cover the daily commitments (of each of us) and tell the same stories we told in previous days.

Some guys head to Harbor Freight or Home Depot to look at tools they will never use. That burns up about two hours. One guy has to be home by 9:30 am when his DW calls from work with his daily to do list () One fellow goes to his mother's house to cater to her whims - she's mid-90s and he's an only son. I believe there is a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow in the future.

Then it's pretty unstructured until dinner, which could be DW cooking or us going out for a cheap meal.

After that, the dog needs a walk.

I need to get a better handle on this retirement stuff.
......."Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:12 PM   #51
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Just back from a 56 mile ride

One thing I thought about since I retired there is a bit more procrastination then there used to be. Before it was "I need to get this done this weekend..." Now it's more flexible and as a result some times things slip. Like washing the dog...was going to be Sunday, then Tuesday now Thursday since that will be the warmest day this week :O
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:13 PM   #52
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I have relatively little structure but find myself falling into a natural routine. Obviously, there is SOME structure (doctor apts., social engagements, etc.). Bed time and waking take care of themselves (go to bed when tired, get up when I awake to the sunshine.) It's all very much as I envisioned retirement. YMMV
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:47 PM   #53
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You guys are taking this retirement too seriously. My schedule is no schedule. Somedays I'm up at 6, others I may sleep until 8. Have a couple cups of coffee while I check email and forums. Then walk a few days a week. Eat homemade granola and yogurt. Then start my day which sometimes may consist of doing absolutely nothing productive. Other days I'll do what needs doing.
Seriously though I thought in retirement that I would sign up for volunteer work but haven't been able to commit to anything. So I'm just enjoying whatever comes my way.
Tomorrow we may take the Rzr for another ride up in the mountains.
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Old 08-16-2015, 10:55 AM   #54
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We seem to be settling into a loose routine of getting up about 8 am, walking for 45 minutes to an hour 4-5x a week, then seeing our grandchildren 2-3x a week, doing a chore or two and reading or watching something in the evenings. We also have been cooking some great home cooked meals, which was hard when we were working. We are also spending a lot less money than before. My husband is volunteering with the dog shelter each week, too. I've been cleaning out and organizing. I am under so much less stress and have lost weight.

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