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fear of isolation
Old 04-15-2006, 04:12 PM   #1
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fear of isolation

Hi, myself and my husband are looking to ER in approx 4 years, he will be early 40s and I will be mid thirties.

as i have mentioned previously on this website we are not rich but will be doing it on about £400k plus an income of about 15 - 20 k pa. we are not people of luxury and are used to living well beyond our means so its not really the money that bothers me (or the small amount of it), if push came to shove we could always do something part time.

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,

I suppose also I am afaid of being left on my own ......

Is anyone else in this position?
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-15-2006, 04:34 PM   #2
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Re: fear of isolation

Quote:
Originally Posted by claire
Is anyone else in this position?
Hello again Claire. Many of us may be in this position. Many don't mind; but for me it was and is a bigger deal than I had anticipated. Do you want the burden of being your husband's main support and entertainment for 40, 50 or 60 years?

My wife decided her answer to that question was "no", so when out last child was well on his way, she decamped to the city. I missed her - I had never really been without at least a roommate, a house full of kids, etc. But after a while, I realized that helping her alleviate boredom was getting on my nerves too.

Some couples seem to be more or less complete in their couple-dom. OTOH, some need a little help from their friends.*

Ha
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-15-2006, 05:45 PM   #3
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Re: fear of isolation

I don't know if my answer for myself will help you but here it goes.
I'm single and 51 and plan to RE in June.
I had the same worries as you but, I looked at my past and it became clear that while I had friends, they weren't many. I accepted this as my life and looked as any people who came into my life as a bonus but I do not have any expectations for more people in my life than there are now.
I guess it is the same idea with other aspects of RE - accept who or what you did in the past and don't look as RE as some miracle change for if you do it most likely will not happen and you will be disappointed.
This may sound negative but I do not see it as such. I believe it is at the core of happiness - self knowlege and acceptence.
Or as others have said.
"Lord give the knowlege to know those things that I can change and those things that I can not and the wisdom to know the difference."
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-15-2006, 06:57 PM   #4
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Re: fear of isolation

I retired in my mid-50s, went through that too when we moved about 250 miles from family.* Retirement advisors warn of the adjustments couple must make when they are together 24/7.

There is an active geneology group at the new community library, no lack of interesting things to do there and a very open bunch.

I got involved in a local service district and was shanghighed into running for office.

My middle-age was starting to spread so I joined a gym.. not really social but it gets me out of the house and pumps the blood.

As I move further along life's track I hope to move into a senior community.* I have seen the social isolation of the elderly who stay in their homes and have difficulty running around - wouldn't wish it on anyone.*
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-15-2006, 07:09 PM   #5
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Re: fear of isolation

all the toys but no one to play with.

i wondered about that myself. i turned 49 in jan. and everyone i know (near my age) works. in my first few months of er i found myself going to stores and striking up conversation with the local merchants (and i don't even like to shop). now i find myself driving to my friends' workplaces and taking them out to lunch.

later i will start doing adventure vacations with other singles who have the time and money to do this stuff. if all else fails i'll have to actually start talking to the people who go to the gym during work hours. they can't all be on worker's comp.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-16-2006, 03:30 PM   #6
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Re: fear of isolation

mmm lonliness is a big fear factor, but it makes no sense being a wage slave just for social interaction i think
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-16-2006, 04:54 PM   #7
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Re: fear of isolation

I agree with you, Claire. For a while, I decided against ER because I won't have much of a social outlet either. I don't need much---am very intoverted---but didn't want to be a complete hermit. But the stress of work just isn't worth it.
And I started to think about the quality of my social interactions through work; very brief and not all that meaningful. I figure that if I think I really need it, I'll find some sort of outlet, such as volunteer work or a special interest group.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-17-2006, 01:50 AM   #8
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Re: fear of isolation

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.

Let the assault of the INTJ's begin.

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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-17-2006, 04:41 AM   #9
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Re: fear of isolation

The only cure to the fear of isolation is to not isolate yourself. It's that simple. Retirement should be the beginning of a new life. Treat it that way. Only you have the power to create that new life. Get out and experience the world the way it was meant to be seen and appreciated. Cherish friendships, enjoy nature and all the time that you have been given to live freely on your terms. Get out there and live a little.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-17-2006, 08:45 AM   #10
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Re: fear of isolation

Quote:
Originally Posted by claire
mmm lonliness is a big fear factor, but it makes no sense being a wage slave just for social interaction i think
Claire: You're very young. Please read Ha's post and think about it.

Gtmeoutootahere: How long have you been retired?
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-17-2006, 02:38 PM   #11
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Re: fear of isolation

Quote:
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.

Let the assault of the INTJ's begin.
Maybe we just think it isnt worth the effort (usually). You're indirectly assuming for us that it is. That's where you err'ed.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-17-2006, 04:23 PM   #12
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Re: fear of isolation

We just really like being alone (with each other). We just haven't found many intelligent, likeable people. I agree that it takes a lot of effort to maintain relationships, and we just are not generally interested in the pursuit of same, with a very few notable exceptions. Hence I do believe we are and always will be hermits. We are heading up North next month to look for property for our final solution to a living environment. Our number one requirement? Privacy, usually in the form of acreage with no neighbors in sight.

To paraphase George Thorogood: "We Drink Alone"

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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-17-2006, 05:03 PM   #13
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Re: fear of isolation

Quote:
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.

Let the assault of the INTJ's begin.

You know that old bit about taking your chinese restaurant fortune cookie fortune and adding "...In Bed" to them? Your posts are pretty funny if you do the same thing to them.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-17-2006, 07:33 PM   #14
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Re: fear of isolation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
You know that old bit about taking your chinese restaurant fortune cookie fortune and adding "...In Bed" to them?* Your posts are pretty funny if you do the same thing to them.
Huh . . . I'll have to try that . . . in bed.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-17-2006, 11:16 PM   #15
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Re: fear of isolation

Hi Claire,* I'm not ER yet, but planning to be in the next 3 years.* Then we will relocate to our ER home and DH will continue working for several more years to qualify for his R pkg.* I know that most of my friends will still be working and I will have a lot of time on my own.* So I have started to rediscover the passions and hobbies I enjoyed in my youth.* I'm hoping that I will meet others that share the same interests.* BTW, I'm somewhere between introvert and extrovert....depends on my mood.* *
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-17-2006, 11:41 PM   #16
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Re: fear of isolation

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
Huh . . . I'll have to try that . . . in bed.* *
That does seem to work.

I've noticed that sometimes CFB produces good posts. But often he is dissapointing . . . in bed.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-17-2006, 11:42 PM   #17
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Re: fear of isolation

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
That does seem to work.*

I've noticed that sometimes CFB produces good posts.* But often he is dissapointing . . . in bed.* *
Wow. It just keeps working.

I'm amazing . . . in bed.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-18-2006, 01:25 AM   #18
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Re: fear of isolation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarhead*
Claire:* You're very young.* Please read Ha's post and think about it.

Gtmeoutootahere:* How long have you been retired?
Since we are not retired yet, that makes us unable to help and offer assistance? I am speaking from my parents and grandparents point of view and what they have said in the past years.* I also plan on early retiring in the next few years so you think I haven't THOUGHT about the same thing?

Shame on you for not accepting other peoples point of view.* You may not agree that I deserve to respond to your ilk but others may take it differently.* I guess you are just better than us.* SEMPER FI!!!

Also, I happen to be about the same age as claire, who also is not retired yet, and thought I would show her some support.* *Don't assume anything from the younger generations.* We are more determined than a lot of the past generations to retire early.* I always thought you could learn a lot from past generations and I for one will never make the mistake of turning my back on someone because of age or status.* I never underestimate people.* Young or old.
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-18-2006, 02:10 AM   #19
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Re: fear of isolation

Hi, Claire,

There was once some good advice given here somewhere to visualize your retirement (before you get there). Imagine what you would do if free to do so.

Do you have hobbies? What interests you? Sometimes people do get this far without very many outside interests.

Search for an interest. Cruise the library. If there is the equivalent of a community college nearby, see if there are classes of interest. Take yoga classes. Teach yoga classes! Join a volksmarching group, or a book club, or a bicycle club, or a travel club, or a patchwork group. Go to museums. There are interest groups for everybody. You don't have to be a permanent member or invite them into your home if it doesn't seem right.

Be a volunteer. Write the next Harry Potter. Paint the next "Scream". Learn to sail a boat. Learn to build a boat. Take flying lessons. Hire a plane and see your county from the air. Write letters to the editor. Write letters to Punch. Become a social activist. (When I hang up the old slide rule, I am going to march around the post office with protest signs of my own. )

If you want people to talk to, talk to people. Find people with interests in common with yours.

It's really easy once you get the feel of it. Just looking for that interesting thing could keep you busy for a long time.

Enjoy!

Ed
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Re: fear of isolation
Old 04-18-2006, 02:45 AM   #20
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Re: fear of isolation

Claire,

Maybe I should mention that we have moved a lot. It sounds as if you perhaps have not moved around much. Moving to a new place is similar to retiring. My mother had a lot of difficulty adjusting to moving around. My wife, fortunately, has had a happier experience and is very successful at relocating.

My wife is a quilter ("patchwork" in Europe). When we went to Denmark, she found a patchwork class and met many interesting people, some have been friends now for 25 years. We could travel the world based on connections from this alone. She is also a weaver, spinner and smocker. I have always found weavers' Christmas parties (any weavers' parties!) to be much more fun than my company parties. I have met husbands of fibre artists who I would never have met any other way. Some very interesting people.

I am interested in amateur electronics and computers and have found interest groups wherever we have moved.

We have joined "Newcomers'" clubs when arriving in a new town. We join the 'gourmet' group--people who like to eat and drink and talk, which suits us. They also have bridge groups and so forth.

We are not really 'joiners', though. We don't join churches or the Rotarians, etc. We don't want something to take over our lives.

For what it is worth....

Ed
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