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Old 02-04-2009, 10:13 PM   #21
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Take some classes at the Adult school or community college, the gym, volunteering, find a significant other, hang out at the college libraries, check out the library for interesting events, the local wellness center, coffee shops....I like hanging out with the older people because I like their wisdom and sense of humor.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:28 PM   #22
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I notice more younger working age people when I take days off from work and hang out at stores, etc, but you are right. They look like housewives or stay home moms. The only places I notice a bunch of old people are in some restaurants (they must have mini meals, or senior discounts or whatever.) and they are all dining with other old folks.

Anyway, I hear your concerns. When I take days off work for no reason, it's not like I can hang out with my friends since they are all working, so I find other things to do, but I am one of those people who don't have many hobbies that involve other people, so that is a concern for me too.

I am still actively working and I spend a lot of time working and then when I come home, I don't do much. I feel too tired to socialize after work (I need alone time to unwind). Maybe when I retire, I will have more energy and like to do more stuff maybe in the evenings with my working friends. I still wouldn't know what to do in the daytime though except for a few things.

For now, I have decided to keep on working even if I had enough money to retire on. Knowing that I could retire any time would give me the stress relief I need at work for sure and I have a feeling I would enjoy working more than staying home struggling to find things to do when all my friends are still working.

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Old 02-04-2009, 11:18 PM   #23
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Age is a state of mind. I have found that I actually have more fun with folks who are more chronologically experienced...
Yes, they really are more fun, because they've been where you've been and have seen what you've seen, they're far more wittier than you, and they will readily put you in your place.

But when 2pm rolls around and you're ready to head into town on the local city bus for a new adventure, they're ready for a nap. Not really fun for a semi-young ER.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:54 PM   #24
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That could be what a lot of ER's are doing, but other than "volunteering" those seem to be pretty solitary activities.
Which seems like it would be lonely? Hence my question... I just missed interacting with peers during the day.
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But when 2pm rolls around and you're ready to head into town on the local city bus for a new adventure, they're ready for a nap. Not really fun for a semi-young ER.
Apparently you haven't been surfing the same beaches I've been on. I'll trade you any of my local breaks for one of your "solitary" spots.

If I was going to suggest solitary activities I could've said "painting the house", "gardening", "cleaning my desk drawers", "changing the oil on my car"... everything I suggested in that first response gets you out and about.

This would be a good point for you to get up off your assets and go try some of those activities. Or you could continue to complain to this thread about how hard it is to meet people.

If you can't be responsible for your own entertainment, let alone for getting out to meet others, then perhaps the structure of the office social environment is a better way to ensure that you'll be able to interact with your peers.
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:41 AM   #25
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I think it depends on your personality. My mom has a very hard time dealing with the loneliness of retirement despite seeing family members several times a week, living in an area offering many outdoors activities, very active travel and hiking clubs, etc... She misses interacting with people all day long (she used to work in retail).

I know for a fact that I won't miss it at all. I am very independent and I like being by myself. I sometimes spend entire weeks by myself (off from work and wife traveling around the world on business) and not once do I get bored. I take care of projects around the house, go shopping, spend a few hours at a coffee shop or a bookstore, have lunch with friends (which you can do with friends who are still working), watch movies, walk around town, cook, clean, play with the cats, play video games, chat with people on this board etc... I also socialize with friends and relatives on a weekly basis (mostly on week-ends), either in person or on the phone. Yes, some of those activities are rather solitary but, as far as I am concerned, it's OK.
+1 We take ourselves with us wherever we go. I do a fair amount of volunteer work, which adds a little structure to my days but much of the time I am puttering around doing the sorts of things FIREDreamer talks about. If anythng, I end up feeling like I don't have enough time to read all the books I order from the library - two are getting ready to hit the due date now.

It sounds like you are not comfortable with solitary activities so you should probably do something to add regular interaction with others to your life. The gym might still be too solitary. Volunteer activities can fit the bill if you find something you like. Part time retail sales in something you like could fit the bill. For example, if I found myself needing that kind of contact I would try to see if I could get a gig at my local bike store. How about a bartending gig at a Cheers type joint?.

Good luck.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:21 AM   #26
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Most of the houses in my middle class neighborhood were built in 1972, give or take a year, since it was just swamp and a great place to hunt before that year. On my block, the original owners or their grown children occupy nearly all of the houses.

I would say 2-3 people on the block (including me) actually work. The others participate in what I regard as a real life soap opera, given that the families have known and interacted with one another for 37 years. They sit outside in their carports and wave when neighbors drive by. The wives get together during the day and gossip. The husbands do, too. Not my cup of tea! But it sounds like what you are looking for.

That is not the existence I am seeking in retirement. I plan to go to the gym each morning, to have lunch with my companion, Frank, and then maybe I or we might go shopping, garden, go to the library, or do whatever appeals to me or us in the afternoons. My vision of ER sounds pretty blissful to me. It is unlikely that I would feel lonely, but if I do then I might join a bird watching group or volunteer.

People are everywhere, doing what interests them. So follow your interests and you may find people that you like that are doing the same sorts of things. I have a list of 22 activities and interests that I want to especially focus on in retirement. These are things that I don't presently have enough time for, but always wanted to do. Examples are bird watching, brushing up on my piano playing, and taking beginning classes in finance and economics. Some of the activities and interests on my list are solitary, some not.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:48 AM   #27
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What is that old cliche? It's what you make of it. Kabekew, How much of a life do you have outside of work situations? Any friends or interests that are not work related? If most of your social contact is job related then you will have to build a non-work related social circle. For me the chance to ER was worth that effort. So reinvent your life now that you have the time to do it.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:57 AM   #28
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Just wondering how old you are and where you live ? I live in Florida so there are retirees everywhere of all ages and ready for social interaction . Plus with the great weather people are usually out and about .
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:45 AM   #29
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I retired 2+ years ago at 48. I bike, work out, travel, and hang out with my 3 dogs. Just like when I used to work (programmer), my best days (and most of my days qualify as best days) are usually when I do not interact with anyone. I like to hang out with my few close friends, but otherwise not so much. Sometimes I practice socializing (going to a wine dinner alone, etc), but that will drain my mental energy for days.

This long term introversion has left me well prepared for retirement. I suspect those who need alot of human contact have a much tougher time.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:34 AM   #30
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I retired 2+ years ago at 48. I bike, work out, travel, and hang out with my 3 dogs. Just like when I used to work (programmer), my best days (and most of my days qualify as best days) are usually when I do not interact with anyone. I like to hang out with my few close friends, but otherwise not so much. Sometimes I practice socializing (going to a wine dinner alone, etc), but that will drain my mental energy for days.

This long term introversion has left me well prepared for retirement. I suspect those who need alot of human contact have a much tougher time.
True. I'm spending another day with my best buddy. Golf course closed until tomorrow. But will take my furry friend on a hike today.

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Old 02-05-2009, 10:56 AM   #31
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But when 2pm rolls around and you're ready to head into town on the local city bus for a new adventure, they're ready for a nap. Not really fun for a semi-young ER.
You need to perfect the fine art of siesta.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:59 AM   #32
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Kabekew,

Have you considered relocating to an area where there are more ER's? IMO, if you live in an area where nearly everyone else your age is working, you will naturally feel out of place. I know I would. So, unless you are wedded to where you now live, I would recommend investigating relocation.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:33 AM   #33
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I've moved a lot over the years so I think that has given my an idea of what it is like to be isolated and on how to get out there and meet people.

Things that helped me in the past are as follows:

1. I took up tennis at the Y. I joined the Thursday morning class where I got to meet some other people. I also took some private lessons so I was one of the better players. As a consequence when some of the gals were getting together to play outside of the class I would get invited to play. Also I would make an effort to be super friendly with everyone, ask them about themselves etc. As an introvert this was hard, however knew it had to be done.

2. If you get talking to someone anywhere who you find interesting, throw them an invite for coffee someday. Exchange cell phone numbers and give them a call. This has worked for me. I'm having a facial today with a friend who I picked up at the beauty salon and coffee tomorrow with someone from the change rooms at a clothing store at the mall.

3. There is a site Meetup.com where you can find groups in your area which have all kinds of interests. Take a look, I have joined a couple of expat groups, never been to one of their main functions but have had lunch with a couple of people from the site.

Personally I don't mind being on my own for the majority of the time. Everywhere you go there are people to talk with if you make the effort. How about volunteering somewhere that you have an interest in i.e zoo, art gallery, acquarium, environmental cause?
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #34
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Been spending a lot of time with my younger layed off unemployed friends, they like to joke that they are "retired"... Makes me feel fortunate to have ER'd at 39
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:28 PM   #35
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Kabekew,
Don't beat yourself up -- it can be hard to make the transition -- sort of like riding a bike and at some point you get the hang of it and can do an "ER day" or week smoothly. But I also remember the first few months and there did seem like a gap there in the socializing part in particular.

I don't know about you, but I'm a list-maker. Just write down all the stuff you've always wanted to do or can think of doing, post it somewhere obvious, and take a stab at doing something on that list every day. It will get you out of your head and into new activities that will get you out with people who share your interests. Working out/exercise classes are always a good fall-back position. Think about creating a new (temporary perhaps) structure in your day to mimic a bit of the old structure work gave you. Wake, bkfst, exercise class, library, lunch, do something from your list, learn a new skill, read the paper, chill, whatever. Then it's dinner time. After awhile it won't feel so contrived and your interests will take on a life of their own.

Make a point of socializing when your friends are free, too. Good luck with it.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:48 PM   #36
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This book was a lifesaver for me when I first FIREd. I still pick it up and re-read it if boredom hits.
How To Retire Happy Wild and Free, author Ernie Zelinski
see pgs 85-91 for ideas
A preview of the book index and 1st chapter can be found at
http://www.thejoyofnotworking.com/

Good luck
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:08 PM   #37
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Your original post really echo's much of my thoughts on RE, which is why I plan on only semi retiring when the time comes. I think you get the best of both worlds when you only work part time. Your 2 weeks of work then 2 weeks off seems like an ideal situation.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:23 PM   #38
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Maybe the 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off kept you in the ‘almost working’ mode. What if you had a month or 2 off? Where would you go? Break free from your regular routine of ‘almost working’ and do something completely different.

Take up a sport like tennis, golf, surfing, martial arts or even salsa dancing where you get physical activity and get out of yourself, getting your endorphins going and being able to meet people at the same time. You will also need to practice, so whenever you don’t have something to do, you could practice.

Learn to play a musical instrument, take a language class, learn how to paint or make pottery or go to your community college and see what they have to offer.

Join a club with other people who have common interests the same as you do.

Learn to cook, then ask someone over to your house for lunch or dinner.

Ask your local Hospice how you could help. Be a big Brother or Sister to someone who need help, friendship and direction. Go to your local animal shelter and see what they need.

Get your mind off yourself and see how you can help others. Your life will expand in really wonderful happy ways.

Best of luck!

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Old 02-05-2009, 07:12 PM   #39
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During the day, the only people "out" around town are the elderly, housewives and I suppose the chronically unemployed.

It would be nice to be retired and be able to golf with peer friends and not have to wait for the weekend, or decide to head up to Alaska on a fishing trip until we get bored and decide to come back... or rent a sailboat and hop around the Bahamas. Isn't that what early retirement is all about? How do we hook up?

Maybe country clubs are an answer, but at least the few in my area I've checked out are pretty dead during the week. So where are you guys? Alumni clubs? Yacht clubs? Or mostly just involved in solitary activities?


When I retire, I don't expect to be hanging around yacht clubs, country clubs, and the like. I suppose those folks are out making more $$ so they can buy bigger yachts. Maybe you need to hook up with some trust fund beneficiaries, and not LBYM ER folks?

--Aspirant to the status of "elderly housewife"
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:51 PM   #40
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So where do all the early retirees tend to loiter? Ski slopes? Europe? Where are you all?
We have traveled around 20,000 miles exploring these United States in our RV since June. Spending 2-3 weeks on the road and then returning to Denver betweeb trips. We are, right now, in Beaumont Texas. Where are you?

The retirees we meet -- and there are a very large number -- are a very active and happy bunch.

Get up, get your body in motion.

Ron
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