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Doing Nothing in ER
Old 12-31-2006, 03:51 PM   #1
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Doing Nothing in ER

I've recently had very interesting conversations with retirees/elder folk. Many of those in this category went into retirement and after that last day of work did absolutely NOTHING. Of course they'd get up and take care of the mandatory "functions" etc. but nothing else. Many of them seem to have what I'd call subacute depression and seem to have over the years regressed mentally/ intellectually. I'm wondering if anyone has noticed this amongst some folks who've ER'd.
I frankly plan to FIRE later in 2007, but still do some of what I did when I worked for "a living", only on a "at will", optional level; this I believe will offer me the mental stimulation and the peace of mind in knowing on any given day, week, month, or year that I don't have to do it.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 12-31-2006, 05:07 PM   #2
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

Use it or lose it applies to brain cells too.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 12-31-2006, 05:16 PM   #3
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferco
I've recently had very interesting conversations with retirees/elder folk. Many of those in this category went into retirement and after that last day of work did absolutely NOTHING.
That's probably because they did nothing even before they retired.

One big problem with working is that it consumes the best hours of your life during the best years of your life. Doing this repeatedly, day in and day out for decades, sucks the life out of many people.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 12-31-2006, 10:01 PM   #4
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferco
I frankly plan to FIRE later in 2007, but still do some of what I did when I worked for "a living", only on a "at will", optional level; this I believe will offer me the mental stimulation and the peace of mind in knowing on any given day, week, month, or year that I don't have to do it.
If you truly, truly, enjoyed what you were paid to do, this makes sense.

But you don't need "work" or something resembling work to provide mental stimulation. There are lots of great ways to use your leisure time that will provide mental stimulation regardless of whether it might be considered "productive" in most people's minds. All that matters is that you find it engaging and enjoyable.

Audrey
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 12-31-2006, 10:42 PM   #5
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

When I was working FT at my megacorp job, all I wanted to do was retire and do absolutely nothing. My goal all along was to have enough money to do nothing... After leaving the job and starting to do something I truly enjoy, on a PT basis, I quickly realized that doing nothing might not be the best idea. I think it was more about being able to do nothing than it was about actually doing nothing. So now I have choices.

I might be guilty of always pointing out the obvious, but regarding this topic, I like the idea of having something productive to do to stay engaged and involved. At least to some extent.

Happy New Year!
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 01:59 AM   #6
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

When I was working I worked with many people who had "subacute depression" and seem to have over the years regressed mentally/ intellectually on the job. It's not about whether your working or not.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 05:55 AM   #7
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

I recently travelled and noticed that their was tremendous stress and strand on the faces of my fellow travelers at the airport. The long lines, security issues, cancellations, delayed flights, sometimes customer no-service....I began to think is this what life after ER is all about. For those who don't fly but have to deal with on land travel issues. To be fair the stress that the service agents have to endure through no fault of their own...its any wonder the whole thing just doesn't implode on itself.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 10:28 AM   #8
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

I can see how people who had a job that they associated with who they were could have trouble.

I am kinda walking around my new home and driving around my new home state thinking . What did I do??

Then I say well I got rid of a 225K mortgage moved to a home with a 40K mortgage, taxes from 9K to 3k, sure my pension is about 1/2 of my old salary but financially my ER was the smartest thing I have ever done, the stress of the old job the commute and the awful city I was working in well its now all good.

I think it becomes a state of mind, being happy with yourself is very important.

Sure the different surroundings make for some lonely days away from old routines and old friends, but when you look at how many times you saw those old friends while working 60 hours a week and commuting 15 maybe 2X a month?

Well now I can get on an amtrak train or a southwest air flight on off times and visit.

Man this ER is a good thing.

Live for everyday, you are never promised the next day.

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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 10:42 AM   #9
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

I recently finished a book "Get A Life"

It is an easy read - several interviews w/ happily retired people/aolong w/ their life stories etc.-No ER discussion at all.
The main message from this book is how important it is to maintain/nurture your family, interests, passions, hobbies and friends from youth through middle age. If you allow your job to suck your full time - you will possibly end up lonely and bored. Thinking that you will get back into a hobbie/friend you enjoyed years ago often does not work - you may find it/they no longer float your boat. It is very important to continue to make new friends as well as nurture your current ones - making younger friends is really stressed - to help keep you "up to date".......and so you don't have quite as many crossed out names as you start to really get on in years.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 10:45 AM   #10
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
But you don't need "work" or something resembling work to provide mental stimulation.
I wonder?

Today my work is largely self-directed. Beyond very broad parameters, nobody tells me what to do, or how to spend my days, weeks, or even months. As long as the result at the end of the year is profitable, nobody really cares how I get there.

It wasn't always that way. Many years back, I had a job that was tightly scripted and controlled. I had very little autonomy. From the outside looking in, the current job is much better than the previous one. But the transition wasn't easy and not one that everyone can make successfully. There is a certain "laziness" that develops from having someone tell you what to do every day. You don't really have to think about, or manage, large portions of your life. In many respects, you can shift large amounts of responsibility to others as long as you do your appointed task correctly. Ironically, there is a certain liberation in ceding control to someone else.

In retirement, you become responsible for managing 100% of your time. You alone, are responsible for your own happiness - for making your dreams come true, or not. No one else can be blamed for goals left uncompleted and promises unfulfilled. As much as everyone thinks they want the opportunity, not everyone is prepared to handle the responsibility.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 10:49 AM   #11
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donzo
I recently finished a book "Get A Life"

It is an easy read - several interviews w/ happily retired people/aolong w/ their life stories etc.-No ER discussion at all.
The main message from this book is how important it is to maintain/nurture your family, interests, passions, hobbies and friends from youth through middle age. If you allow your job to suck your full time - you will possibly end up lonely and bored. Thinking that you will get back into a hobbie/friend you enjoyed years ago often does not work - you may find it/they no longer float your boat. It is very important to continue to make new friends as well as nurture your current ones - making younger friends is really stressed - to help keep you "up to date".......and so you don't have quite as many crossed out names as you start to really get on in years.
The one thing I do NOT have a problem with is making younger friends. I run 10 miles a day and the people over 50 well most do not do my type of exercising.

I also coach High School varsity track teams and will do so in my ER and contacts with their parents again a younger group of people. I will have a hard time not hurting my wifes parents, many time I want NOTHING to do with my father in laws 70 something attitudes. Spending days at the elks club or the other meeting places that he would like me to accompany him to meet his old friends. Sure I will visit but his deppression is something I sure hate to be around.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 10:52 AM   #12
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER


In retirement, you become responsible for managing 100% of your time. You alone, are responsible for your own happiness - for making your dreams come true, or not. No one else can be blamed for goals left uncompleted and promises unfulfilled. As much as everyone thinks they want the opportunity, not everyone is prepared to handle the responsibility.


You are on point here.

The transition is probably the hardest.

I again am just done and will sub teach this week a couple of days. I have meeting which I set up to meet my new athletic director for my spring coaching position.

It is fun knowing what I want to do and going about doing it on my schedule.

That sub computer calls every evening.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 11:26 AM   #13
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I have been thinking about this issue this year. Doing nothing or Doing Something. I think all that matters is that you enjoy one or the other. After you're gone, does it really matter?

Here is a favorite story of mine.

A wealthy entrepreneur from New York went on a two-week seaside holiday on the coast of Costa Rica. On his first day there, he was impressed with the quality and taste of the exotic fish he bought from a local fisherman. The next day, the American encountered the native Costa Rican at the dock, but he had already sold his catch. The American discovered that the fisherman had a secret fishing spot where the fish were plenty and the quality superb. However, he only caught five or six fish a day.

The New Yorker asked the local fisherman why he didn't stay out longer at sea and catch more fish.

"But Senor," the fisherman replied, "I sleep in late until nine or ten every morning; I play with my children; I go fishing for an hour or two; in the afternoon I take a one- or two-hour siesta; in the early evening I have a relaxing meal with my family; and later in the evening, I go to the village and drink wine, play guitar, and sing with my amigos. As you can see, I have a full, relaxed, satisfying, and happy life."

The American replied, "You should catch a lot more fish. That way you can prepare for a prosperous future. Look, I am a businessman from New York and I can help you become a lot more successful in life. I received an MBA from Harvard and I know a lot about business and marketing."

The American continued, "The way to prepare for the future is to get up early in the morning and spend the whole day fishing, even going back for more in the evening. In no time, with the extra money you could buy a bigger boat. Two years from now, you can have five or six boats that you can rent to other fishermen. In another five years, with all the fish you will control, you can build a fish plant and even have your own brand of fish products."

"Then, in another six or seven years," the American continued while the Costa Rican looked more and more bewildered, "you can leave here and move to New York or San Francisco, and have someone else run your factory while you market your products. If you work hard for fifteen or twenty years, you can become a multi-millionaire. Then you won't have to work another day for the rest of your life."

"What would I do then, Senor?" responded the fisherman.

Without any hesitation, the wealthy American businessman enthusiastically replied, "Then you will be able to move to a little village in some laid-back country like Mexico where you can sleep in late every day, play with the village children, take a long siesta every afternoon, eat meals while relaxing in the evening, and play guitar, sing, and drink wine with your amigos every night."


The moral of this story is straightforward: Like the Costa Rican fisherman, you too can experience more leisure time - a full, relaxed, satisfying, and happy life today instead of fifteen or twenty years down the road. Tens of millions of people in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and many other countries have such a lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, however, such a lifestyleis not based on being a multi-millionaire. A full, relaxed, satisfying, and happy life is achieved by living the principles laid out in The Joy of Not Working.
Thank you for that CT.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 02:41 PM   #14
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donzo
I recently finished a book "Get A Life"
I've read that book a couple of times. (several other books also) It's helped me get a better grip on what MY future will hold. (actually just started re-reading it AGAIN) Though I have a few (short) months to go, I've already been renewing and reaquainting myself with some of my old favorite hobbies. Especially, my model railroad which has been sitting virtually untouched for YEARS, because I was TOO busy with w*rk and other sh*t.

I've spent HOURS out there the past week and half, since with all that time off of w*rk for the holidays it's been like a practice run for FIRE! I get out there in the miniature world that I've created, and the time just flies by......just like it used to!!!

Between railroading, gardening, and travelling, I don't know if I'll be able to find the time to do nothing!!! W*rk sure has interupted my life!!!

I can hardly wait for April to get here!!! Come on FIRE!!!
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 03:54 PM   #15
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

I've been ER'd about 3 years now. There were times when I've felt somewhat useless but they pass away real fast now. Went back to work on a part time basis and this helped me to dispell some of the work myths I'd created for myself. Right now I'm probably 100% ER'd. Nowadays I get a lot of pleasure out of small things like running in the park and standing in front of a small lake watching the ducks during my stretch break. I do a lot of oil painting and meet a lot of interesting people this way. Have taken several art JC classes. Then there is always the computer and web. Plus right now we're planning a European trip and I'm going to study a language and am reading lots of history books.

So life is good -- no time to feel sorry for myself.

Les

P.S. Enjoyed the Costa Rica fisherman's story Cut-Throat.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-01-2007, 04:29 PM   #16
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

I'm fortunate to lead fitness classes in a small gym several times a week - PT work because I enjoy it. My FT job is a cube job for the money. Anyway, there are many ER people that attend my classes. I find them to be very inspirational and are a source of motivation for my ER. They lead productive lives and have wonderful hobbies (cycling, horses, skiing, hiking, writing, travel, PT work, etc.). In some cases, the clients have become good friends and plan outside activities together . I guess my point is that there is plenty to do in retirement...just remember what you enjoyed doing before you had to grow up and the list will be endless.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-03-2007, 10:42 AM   #17
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

I love "doing nothing" in retirement. I've been very good at it for almost 13 yrs now. (retired at age 39) Hubby, OTOH, needs to be doing something so he works approx. 50 hrs a month at something he really likes to do. (it helps that it pays very well)

I keep myself mentally and physically stimulated since I have a vast array of interests. Reading, finances/investing, news, outdoor sports, time with hubby are just a few. It also helps that 2 of my 3 sisters retired early (50 & 55) and we spend quite a bit of time together since we thoroughly enjoy each other's company.

I have to admit that 15 yrs ago I thought for sure our roles would be reversed. I loved work and he couldn't wait to retire and do nothing. The nice thing is, though, we're comfortable with each other's decision on working or not and it's never a problem between us.
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-03-2007, 03:02 PM   #18
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

"In retirement, you become responsible for managing 100% of your time. You alone, are responsible for your own happiness - for making your dreams come true, or not. No one else can be blamed for goals left uncompleted and promises unfulfilled. As much as everyone thinks they want the opportunity, not everyone is prepared to handle the responsibility."

I do not think that many people are prepared to manage all of their time. While w*orking, not only are those hours accounted for, but all of the extras (grocery shopping, cleaning, visiting friends, etc.) get compressed into short time spans.

Even before w*rk, while in school, the scheduled tasks are developed for you. We are giving many of our children even less opportunity to learn to entertain themselves (learn how to schedule their own time with their own priorities and dreams), by overscheduling them into structured activities rather than letting them "play".
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-03-2007, 03:21 PM   #19
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

Get this I started to subsitute teach this week, yes my first week of ER. Yesterday I went to our local high school and taught a science class to 11th graders.

Today science at our local middle school

180.00 2 days of work, really not work. More like fun!!!

Oh I walked to each school!!!
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER
Old 01-03-2007, 08:39 PM   #20
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Re: Doing Nothing in ER

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Originally Posted by newguy888
Get this I started to subsitute teach this week, yes my first week of ER. Yesterday I went to our local high school and taught a science class to 11th graders.

Today science at our local middle school

180.00 2 days of work, really not work. More like fun!!!

Oh I walked to each school!!!


NewGuy, I don't get. I've been reading your posts for about 8 months and you kept saying that you couldn't wait to retire. You were counting down weekly on the forum and seemed very happy when you retired a week or so ago. Now you seem to be happy that your back at work.

If working makes you happy by all means work. But I for one don't get it.

Good luck to you.
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