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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-18-2006, 07:19 AM   #21
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Re: fear of isolation

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
Developing meaningful relationships is hard.* Keeping them is harder.* Sometimes I think the difference between extroverts and introverts is that extroverts are willing to put in the effort to understand and connect with other human beings while introverts are too selfish and lazy to try.*
We haven't found developing meaningful relationships to be that hard at all.

Occasionally we run across a couple with similar interests/outlook on life to us, and the connection is almost instantaneous. We keep in touch over the years (email, phone), and when we get together (most of us are traveling all the time), it's "just like old times".

We still keep in touch with people we formed friendships with 10 and 20 years ago. It may be years between any connection, but when we make contact it's all still there!

I am always amazed how these relationships persist and what little effort it takes to keep them fresh.

We meet these people because we are out there doing stuff that interests us.

Oh - and there may be vast age differences in these friendships - only a minority are close to our age.

Audrey
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-18-2006, 07:32 AM   #22
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Re: fear of isolation

I just retired the first of this year and so far a lot of the fears I have had about retirement have been unfounded or..... I am to happy to notice

I think you will be as happy as you want to be...

I look at every day as a gift..... I open it up thank who ever gave it to me and enjoy what I have gotten

Life is a story that you get to write as you live it, find a theme and fill it with what ever makes you happy; characters, challenges, heros, thrills, spills, romance, laughter...what ever. After all it is your story

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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-18-2006, 08:29 AM   #23
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Re: fear of isolation

claire,
having worked overseas for 20 years, on retireing, I was moved thousands of miles from every social contact I had. I am most assuredly alone and hermitized by it.

You are right to feel anxious and now is a great time to start making efforts to see that all your genuine social contacts are kept when you retire. Making arrangements that keep you in touch and keeping involved with their happenings in life is a good start.

Having a husband may help but he may be an old rusty boat anchor to drag around, kidding.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-18-2006, 02:07 PM   #24
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Re: fear of isolation

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Originally Posted by claire
what really frightens me is possible social isolation, we dont really have any family or a close circle of friends/neighbours, it has always been this way, also we plan to travel a lot and/or move abroad. I suppose that at least now that we both work we come into regular contact with people etc,
It seems to me that ER at that age is almost a magical, mystical thing, with no way of really knowing what will happen.

DW and I worred about the same thing - we retired at 43 and 44 three years ago. Couldn't really tell family and friends about our choice. ("Hello, Uncle Sparky? Hold on, my son just said his first words and they are "I wuv you, Uncle Sparky"!! Anyway, can we talk about his college fund?")

We really enjoy each other's company - we recently moved to a new area and, while we could have bought a house, we bought a condo in a large complex and, so far, have met a bunch of nice people, who may or may not become acquaintances or friends.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-18-2006, 02:12 PM   #25
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Re: fear of isolation

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Originally Posted by audreyh1
We haven't found developing meaningful relationships to be that hard at all.*
Neither have we. I'm just tweaking the INTJs a little.

Audrey, Never take anything I post seriously. No one else does. . . including me about half the time.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-18-2006, 06:18 PM   #26
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Re: fear of isolation

...in bed.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-18-2006, 10:44 PM   #27
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Re: fear of isolation

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...in bed.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-22-2006, 09:19 AM   #28
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Re: fear of isolation

thanks all for your comments, most people seem to think that being involved in the local community is the key to avoid isolation, im not sure that we will be settling down somewhere since we plan to travel, i am also looking at alternative living spaces ie boat, rv, living conventionally is not for me, i am interested in alternative ways of thinking and living...

re ed the gypseys comments, ed i have moved around all my life, there is no real place to call home, when you are younger these things dont bother you so much, but when you get older they do, it just scares me you know if anything happens to my husband i will be left all alone..... no amount of money can make lonliness bearable,

anyway at least i will be free from wages slavery, sorry for the maudlin post, just the way i feel at the moment
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-22-2006, 10:33 AM   #29
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Re: fear of isolation

I had an uncle who retired at age 62 from a steel company (read excellent union pension/health plan). Hardly ever left his house. He passed away several years ago at 80 years old. The highlight of his day was when the mailman delivered the mail. Talk about isolation!

When I began to visualize my early retirement, this really drove the point home to me that I will need to get out of the house and become involved in stuff that provides some level of social, recreational, and/or intellectual stimulation. What have we accomplished by LBYM, retire early and then sit home and be a prisoner in your own house?
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-22-2006, 12:12 PM   #30
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Re: fear of isolation

If the only people you normally see are the people at work, then of course you'll feel some isolation when you no longer see them for 40 hours a week.* I had some coworkers that I'd seen on that basis for 25 years, and when you suddenly can't turn around and tell Jeff or Mary Jo about the funny thought you just had it is a bit jarring.

But you get used to it.

I'm 8 months into ER, and I'm still keeping as busy as I want to be with all of those "when I retire I need to do . . ." projects.* Once I get some of my race bikes running I'll be able to start racing again, which means I'll be getting to see people at the races.* But even with that there is still the problem that most of those people with a shared hobby either 1) still work, so that I am not going to be seeing them during the workday, and/or 2) don't live close enough by even if they aren't working so as to allow easy visiting.

Luckily, while I'm mildly gregarious, I don't need to be surrounded with people.* I'm sure that if I get to the point where I'm feeling a real craving to see some other (than my partner) people I'll be able to think of something to do to satisfy that desire.* There is certainly no shortage of possible things to do in the world.

On the other hand, I'm not one of those people who subscribes to the "you can't make real friends and have real relationships with people on the Internet" idea.* I've got plenty of 'net friends with shared interests, and I've managed to see some of the ones from foreign countries, either here at my home or at theirs.* I have a lot more daily interaction via email with those people than I do with members of my family, none of which live closer than a couple of states away.

Nord's "you've got to take responsibility for your own entertainment in retirement" adage is just as applicable to "social interactions".

cheers,
Michael
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-22-2006, 04:47 PM   #31
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Re: fear of isolation

Quote:
Originally Posted by claire
thanks all for your comments, most people seem to think that being involved in the local community is the key to avoid isolation, im not sure that we will be settling down somewhere since we plan to travel, i am also looking at alternative living spaces ie boat, rv, living conventionally is not for me, i am interested in alternative ways of thinking and living...
If you boat, rv or live in some other unconventional manner, you will find a community that does the same. You don't have to be tied down to one physical location to enjoy community.

Audrey
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-24-2006, 06:13 PM   #32
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Re: fear of isolation

Claire, it sounds like we are alike in many ways: no kids, moving/traveling with DH and happy about it, but worried that one day I will be alone. I find myself dwelling on this from time to time, but I really have to remind myself to live in the now. Now we are happy with each other, now we are financially secure enough to leave our jobs, now we are living life how we want. No one knows what will happen in the future, dwelling on it only creates a problem in the now.



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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-24-2006, 10:03 PM   #33
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Re: fear of isolation

If you stop to think about it, any of us in a long term relationship could have been "alone" at most anytime during the relationship. Cancer, car crashes, industrial accidents etc can hit at any time/age.

And unless there's some sort of suicide pact or fluke coincidence, one partner or the other is very likely to end up "alone" no matter what.

You may as well plan for it, as unpleasant a task as that may be.

cheers,
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-24-2006, 10:09 PM   #34
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Re: fear of isolation

Fear?? How about full blown panic attacks?? *Although we had this planned for quite some time, the reality of it all didn't hit until the day we moved. *We built a house on an acre, left the rat race, quit our jobs, got rid of most of the clutter and here we are! *YIKES..
I was not prepared for the isolation factor at all. We left most of our friends and family 2 hours away! *The husband has adjusted now, in fact he went back to work at a home improvement store (to get away from me : *) *) and I am going back to work part time. *I am 47, husband is 51. *I found that I do LIKE working, although we don't have to do it for the money, I still enjoy a challenge and the social interaction. * Plus watching coyotes out my dining room window is not fun for me..... *I am a city girl at heart.....
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-24-2006, 11:10 PM   #35
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Re: fear of isolation

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Fear?? How about full blown panic attacks??* Although we had this planned for quite some time, the reality of it all didn't hit until the day we moved.* We built a house on an acre, left the rat race, quit our jobs, got rid of most of the clutter and here we are!* YIKES..
I was not prepared for the isolation factor at all. We left most of our friends and family 2 hours away!* The husband has adjusted now, in fact he went back to work at a home improvement store (to get away from me :* )* ) and I am going back to work part time.* I am 47, husband is 51.* I found that I do LIKE working, although we don't have to do it for the money, I still enjoy a challenge and the social interaction.* *Plus watching coyotes out my dining room window is not fun for me..... * I am a city girl at heart.....
Thanks for posting this dogsmum. Most people here say they are ecstatic from day one of their retirement. I wasn't!* I was off and on depressed for almost a year. I thought. What the hell have I got myself into?" Life is different when you can't easily find someone to play with. I will say that I have adapted, but if I had a bigger budget I think I would head out for town.

My wife had her set of problems too. She is easily bored, and when our kids were up she packed up and left for the city and went to work full time, actually for the first time in her life. It was that bad for her I guess.* I don't recommend this for the ER budget though, and it still leaves me to deal with my social needs however I can, which as you might imagine has its own set of tensions.

I don't think we are all that unusual either, although on this board I woujld say we are. But where I live is a popular retirement destination, and believe me, the most active businesses here are real estate sales and gas stations. There is sure a heavy turnover of dream houses!

I hope life will be better for the two of you with your new jobs.

Ha

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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-24-2006, 11:32 PM   #36
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Re: fear of isolation

Wow, you guys are scaring me!

DW and I just put our house on the market in NY and plan on quiting our jobs and moving to Florida. I thought we had this all thought out but these last two posts give me the shakes.

Ha, you actually sound depressed, is this retirement thing that bad?
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-25-2006, 03:54 AM   #37
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Re: fear of isolation

Hi shiny - I would like to hear more about your situation, do you have any close family, what are your immediate plans

I didnt realise until i started speaking to you all that a lot of you share my biggest fear.

Ha Ha, are you ok?
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-25-2006, 10:57 AM   #38
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Re: fear of isolation

Ha: I feel your pain Amigo.

When I decided I'd had enough of 100 hour weeks, and living in the city, (Kids were pretty much raised at that point) we moved 600 miles away, with my slightly under-funded funds

Built a home in the Sierras on the rim of a canyon, about a mile away from any anybody.

I was in my element, and couldn't be happier.
Walking distance to a fly-stream, and a 20 minute drive to a golf course.

My wife, on the other hand, was a City-Gal, raised in New York, and later moved to L.A.
(A real clash of cultures).

In any case, she went along with it. She was a homemaker, and was happy with that vocation.

With the kids gone, and in a totally different situation, she had quite an adjustment period.
I'm damn lucky she didn't play "Sayonara on a steel guitar".

For me personally, it has been a great decision.
For my wife, well, she's adjusted. Has made some very good friendships, and by and large seems pretty happy. (She smiles a lot).

But, I also don't kid myself. The home represents more of my net worth than I should be comfortable with, but I can't imagine living anywhere else. My wife, on the other hand,
(when the "Big Guy" decides it's my time), will , without a doubt be calling a Real Estate Agent".





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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-25-2006, 11:53 AM   #39
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Re: fear of isolation

Hey, everyone has problems now and then I'm sure. But it seems from this thread that the people who had the hardest time adjusting to er (and the lack of society caused by it) were ones that had other immediate changes as well (moving to a remote area, kids leaving, separation, etc.) so maybe that is a nugget of wisdom for us all... if it is within your control, make the changes gradually. Get used to er for a year or so before you move into the woods, wait until the kids have been gone a year before er-ing. Just a thought.

claire, I will PM you.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-25-2006, 12:06 PM   #40
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Re: fear of isolation

Claire,

I have seen some advice here that says after you retire, wait a year before you change anything drastic. Continue living where you are. Don't go on any crazy round-the-world trips. I guess the point of that is (1) discover yourself and who you are, and (2) transition you into the life of endless possibilities.

If you stay where you are, you can still make a point to get together with your old coworkers (that you like) once a month for dinner or to hang out (have tea?). Find new interests and friends. Take some trips for a few days or a few weeks. Ease into it.



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