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Health / Emotional affects after ER
Old 12-07-2007, 11:57 AM   #1
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Health / Emotional affects after ER

Hi, relatively infrequent visitor here...

I plan to ER in 5-7 years depending on market performance at about age 53. Today I'm in a high-stress, demanding corporate business role working 55 hours/week, lots of deadlines, late nights, some weekends, demanding bosses, and getting assignments I don't care much for. The core part of the job I like...but all the "add ons" are not so much fun (like performance reviews).

Over the 10 years I've been in such roles, I've noticed some health/emotional downsides to it...such as headaches, trouble sleeping at times, frustration, joint pain, increase in illnesses (gout, skin rashes, GERD, etc.). Of course I can't say these things were directly caused by my work...but I'm wondering if I were to ER and get rid of all the stress and time pressures whether my health would improve and I'd feel emotionally happier.

I'm looking for opinions from those who have ER'd recently to see how such things changed for you. Did your relationships with family improve? Did you feel more relaxed? Happier? Healthier? Laugh more?

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
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I'm looking for opinions from those who have ER'd recently to see how such things changed for you. Did your relationships with family improve? Did you feel more relaxed? Happier? Healthier? Laugh more?
More relaxed--yes.

Healthier---yes, as I then had time (and energy) to get on a regular exercise routine at the gym. As I lost a bit of weight, that inspired me to watch my diet more too, and the pounds, bloodpressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, etc all dropped like rocks. I got so I missed the exerecise if I had to skip a day or two at the gym. In a way I got "addicted" to the "exercise high" I felt after a good workout, capped by sitting in the hot whirlpool spa.

Happier---YES!

Started taking afternoon or early evening naps when I felt like it---yes.

ER? I highly recommend it
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finance Dave View Post
Hi, relatively infrequent visitor here...

I plan to ER in 5-7 years depending on market performance at about age 53. Today I'm in a high-stress, demanding corporate business role working 55 hours/week, lots of deadlines, late nights, some weekends, demanding bosses, and getting assignments I don't care much for. The core part of the job I like...but all the "add ons" are not so much fun (like performance reviews).

Over the 10 years I've been in such roles, I've noticed some health/emotional downsides to it...such as headaches, trouble sleeping at times, frustration, joint pain, increase in illnesses (gout, skin rashes, GERD, etc.). Of course I can't say these things were directly caused by my work...but I'm wondering if I were to ER and get rid of all the stress and time pressures whether my health would improve and I'd feel emotionally happier.
They will probably all go away.

Quote:
I'm looking for opinions from those who have ER'd recently to see how such things changed for you. Did your relationships with family improve? Did you feel more relaxed? Happier? Healthier? Laugh more?

Thanks,

Dave
Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:36 PM   #4
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Stress level went way down...I did miss the things I liked about work and that took a while to adjust to. Allergies got much better. Visits to the doctor went way down...almost never! We stay busy doing what we enjoy. Family (siblings, parents)...well they weren't too happy at first, but they adjusted to our new lifestyle. Kids were finished with education and on their own and they thought it was interesting...now they are busy working toward early retirement. Happier, healthier, laugh more...yes, yes, yes.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:54 PM   #5
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I'm sure your perceptible stress level will go down.

However, retirement, itself, is a significant source of stress. I remember reading that there is a striking increase in deaths within the first 3 years of retirement, even adjusted for age.

From my reading, having reasonable plans, reasonable assessments of your financial status, and a hobby or goal for your activities is very important. The stress of going from being "somebody" to a "nobody" is signficant.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:55 PM   #6
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I'm looking for opinions from those who have ER'd recently to see how such things changed for you.
"Did your relationships with family improve?" - Yep! We have more time to do stuff, and enjoy each other's company. Also have more time to spend doing stuff separately!

"Did you feel more relaxed?" - Heck, YEAH!!! No time schedules set-in-stone! Don't have to dread Monday mornings! Don't have to get everything done on weekends only! I do what I want to, when I want to......IF I want to! I can take take breaks from the action ANY time I want to! I can ALWAYS find time for a siesta! Doing yard work, landscaping, and gardening are all much more relaxing now....I have time to stop and smell the roses, and munch on the veggies!

"Happier?" - ECSTATIC!!!

Healthier? Far less physical aches and pains! I feel absolutely GREAT! I haven't felt this good in YEARS!!! NO stress! NO tension! NO headaches!!! I get about the same, maybe a little more exercise now, but I eat a LOT healthier now.....very little 'fast food', 'junk food', and that sort of thing!

Laugh more? - All the time! Especially about the downhill spiral at my former place of employment...it's going to heck in a hand basket...and I don't care!!!

Plus I now have time to contemplate the funny side of life!

THE ER LIFE IS THE BEST LIFE!!!
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finance Dave View Post

I'm looking for opinions from those who have ER'd recently to see how such things changed for you. Did your relationships with family improve? Did you feel more relaxed? Happier? Healthier? Laugh more?

Thanks,

Dave
Yes , I feel soooo much more relaxed . It's so freeing to be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it .
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:17 PM   #8
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Much better:

stress health retirement

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...tml#post465633
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:35 PM   #9
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I've been retired a month. I'm much happier. I'm eating better. I'm making a point of getting more exercise. Healthier? I don't know, haven't gone in for a medical check up.
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Wow
Old 12-07-2007, 04:33 PM   #10
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Wow

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I'm sure your perceptible stress level will go down.

However, retirement, itself, is a significant source of stress. I remember reading that there is a striking increase in deaths within the first 3 years of retirement, even adjusted for age.

From my reading, having reasonable plans, reasonable assessments of your financial status, and a hobby or goal for your activities is very important. The stress of going from being "somebody" to a "nobody" is signficant.
Thank you all for the wonderful responses! I'm looking forward to it. I won't need to worry about being bored, I have many hobbies including cars, woodworking, personal finance, I'd like to write a book, travel, and many other things.

I could probably retire in about 3 years, but I'd not have enough money to pursue those hobbies or to travel...so my plan is set a bit further out.

Thanks again,

Dave
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:02 PM   #11
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Not ERd yet, but have a variety of little ailments that bother me when the stress is bad...GERD, insomnia, tinnitus, achy shoulder and wrist, etc. Doc says all except wrist mainly caused by stress and tension in my case. Nothing lifethreatening it seems, but bothersome. They go away when the stress levels go down but are immediately back as soon as the stress level comes back up. Can't wait for the FIRE to put out the STRESS. (^-~)

R
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:54 PM   #12
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In scientific studies rats that have control over their lives live 30 to 40% longer than rats that have no control. Make your choice .
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:48 AM   #13
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In scientific studies rats that have control over their lives live 30 to 40% longer than rats that have no control. Make your choice .
Is that why they call it the rat race?
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:47 AM   #14
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Haven't worn a watch except for flying to Mexico and back since I retired July 1, 2007. Its amazing how that one change helped de stress me from 40 years of w**k.

The sooner you can RE the more time you have for yourself and family. There are only so many grains of sand in each of our hour glasses. When the sand is gone so are you.

I highly recommend the lifestyle
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:13 PM   #15
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I question whether those with a different experience would be inclined to respond to your post, though my guess would be most here find the removal of work stress to be very freeing and pleasant.

However, if your relationships are strained before ER, that does not mean they will automatically improve after ER. On occasion people have posted here about post-retirement family stresses.

It might be hard for some people who spend most of their time working to cultivate other interests, so don't forget to develop outside interests and friends while you are working.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:48 PM   #16
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I question whether those with a different experience would be inclined to respond to your post,
I see what you mean. Feel free to speak up if you experienced otherwise.

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It might be hard for some people who spend most of their time working to cultivate other interests, so don't forget to develop outside interests and friends while you are working.
Understood. This won't be an issue for me as I stated earlier. I have hobbies in woodworking, cars, personal finance, travel, and I'd likely try to join some groups in terms of bowling leagues, euchre tourneys, and so on. I love being around people.

Dave
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:40 PM   #17
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I'm sure your perceptible stress level will go down.

However, retirement, itself, is a significant source of stress. I remember reading that there is a striking increase in deaths within the first 3 years of retirement, even adjusted for age.

From my reading, having reasonable plans, reasonable assessments of your financial status, and a hobby or goal for your activities is very important. The stress of going from being "somebody" to a "nobody" is signficant.

I'm going through this stress now. The 1st 6-8 months of ER was great, but now I see that I need to get "a life"! I love certain strenuous physical activities, but find that I can't do them every day...too much leads to ligament, tendon injury, etc...(the mind is willin', but the body ain't).
I've looked into volunteer work...even a continuing ed. course.

Any sites that you've found helpful for ideas would be appreciated.

koby
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:02 PM   #18
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I'm going through this stress now. The 1st 6-8 months of ER was great, but now I see that I need to get "a life"! I love certain strenuous physical activities, but find that I can't do them every day...too much leads to ligament, tendon injury, etc...(the mind is willin', but the body ain't).
I've looked into volunteer work...even a continuing ed. course.

Any sites that you've found helpful for ideas would be appreciated.

koby
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:35 PM   #19
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However, retirement, itself, is a significant source of stress. I remember reading that there is a striking increase in deaths within the first 3 years of retirement, even adjusted for age.

From my reading, having reasonable plans, reasonable assessments of your financial status, and a hobby or goal for your activities is very important. The stress of going from being "somebody" to a "nobody" is signficant.
That retirement could be a source of stress is the one that caught me by surprise.

The first year was like being on vacation. My wife and I are much closer than ever before - we have time to talk, which is hard for me to slow down and do. I have to tell myself "I am retired, I am not in a hurry." But then what does one do with all the spare time? I liked building R/C airplanes but for some reason lost interest in it. But that had started before retirement. I did get a small boat, something I'd wanted but never did because water was too far, but I'm not one who can go fishing all day, every day. Good for those who can! And below 60 F I'm not going out on the water anyway.

Like kobydog, too much exercise leads to aches that I never had to deal with before like rotator cuff pain.

But I do not miss having to plan our lives around traffic and making decisions that affected other people's lives. I don't miss having to carry a hazmat suit in the trunk of my car. I do miss friends from work.

So for me it's been kind of a mixed bag, but it's the decision we made, and on whole both of us think that for us it was the right decision at the time. Friends & family say we're both more relaxed. She's adjusted better than me, which is probably why I'm going to go back to work.

I think I just want to have my cake and eat it too.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:33 PM   #20
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Walt34,

Interesting that you are going back to work.
I currently do work parttime at my original job (I "cover" when needed). The extra $ is nice, but lately I'm wondering if I should go back fulltime....it was a VERY stressful job, and when I retired it really seemed like the best thing to do!

I wonder if a lot of people get the "retirement blues". Of course, this site is likely biased the other way. I retired at 59...but I would be faced with the same issues even if I retired at an older age. Of course I might not have the same options if I retired at 65 (potentially, because of health reasons).

koby
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