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Old 02-05-2009, 08:07 PM   #41
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My blue-collar neighborhood has been changing as the depression/WW2 generation has died off and some houses have been turned into 4 or 5 student housing.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:09 PM   #42
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First of all, I have my husband to hang out with, so that takes care of a lot of the "loneliness" factor. I imagine things would be very different were I single, but I also think I know what I would do in that case. I think group travel would be high on the list, we've done nature travel with small groups and really enjoyed it. My experience with these groups is that the ages can range vary widely - 40 to 80 can be in the same group. It's pretty amazing doing a 10-mile steep ascent desert hike with an 80 year old man but I was privileged to experience just that. And he and his wife were thrilled to get my video of the trip for Xmas to show all their family who didn't get why they were "out there" having fun.

Anyway, we meet people socially when we are out doing the things we like to do. We have made a lot of friends that way. We enjoy hiking, bird watching, nature photography and we do a lot of it, and we meet other people who are into it as much as we are and we've made some good friends that way. Some of them are older, but that doesn't seem to matter. Frankly most people our age are still dealing with their children, even if their children are starting to leave the nest. IMO a hobby or two that you really enjoy and then reach out to others who are into it - that's one of the best way to meet people you are compatible with.

Of course, DH and I are perpetual travelers too, so that keeps things hopping and we meet a lot of people while traveling which provides sort of a transient social network but it works, and we have people all around the country we keep in contact with.

BTW - We couldn't wait to get out of our city suburb when we retired. Empty during the day, it seemed kind of sterile. Something we didn't really notice while working. But we didn't rely on our neighbors for our social network either. Out in the more rural areas and smaller towns there just seem to be a lot more people out doing stuff during the day.

Audrey
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:07 PM   #43
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I second the dance lesson advice. I just went back for the first lesson in almost 2 years, and it was just as much with a bunch of strangers as it was with my MBA classmates. I find the lessons infinitely better than hanging out at a bar.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:12 PM   #44
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Since I ER'd I have been officiating basketball games and soon will be doing baseball. Its fun!
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:32 PM   #45
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I enjoy going to the library, attend 2 yoga classes a week, 1 spin class a week, take at home piano lessons, guitar and Spanish lessons once per week.

Before I ERed I wished I was able to sleep in. Now I wake up at 6am no matter what time I go to bed. I do appreciate being able to grocery shopping at 10am on Mondays rather then trying to shop with the herd on weekends.

I have set up this years vacation trips. Going to Reno next week for 2 weeks, Peru/Mexico in March for 2 weeks, Egypt in April for 2 weeks, Netherlands in June for 3 weeks and a little ship 11 day cruise down the East Coast of the U.S. in August. We probably reduce the vacations next year - I love to go to different places but hate to travel to get there.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:48 AM   #46
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Tis always the dilemma, how to fill your days between cradle and grave (early retired or not). My own personal observation based on years of living as a curmudgeon is that the majority of people "retire" in their late twenties, cease to "live" in their thirties, and finally get buried after their bodies finally give up. Having said that, I don't care to associate with people just because I happen to be a social animal as determined by evolution. By and large, those few individuals seeking to live life to its fullest are hard to find and, generally, aren't advertising the fact.

So what's the answer. I wouldn't have a clue, but I am open to suggestions!
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:39 AM   #47
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By and large, those few individuals seeking to live life to its fullest are hard to find and, generally, aren't advertising the fact.

So what's the answer. I wouldn't have a clue, but I am open to suggestions!
I think you put your finger on the problem, and that is a huge first step.

The solution that comes to mind is to make sure that through your activities, you experience repeated contact with numerous people with interests similar to your own (since those you want to meet are few and far between). Consider that to be your job.

Realize that it may take a while to meet those you seek. So while you are faithfully making the above efforts, live and enjoy your life and learn to be happy and fulfilled independent of others. This serves a dual purpose: (1) you will get more out of life in the meantime and at future times should you end up alone again, and (2) your happiness and independence will make you more appealing to such people when you meet them.

(I always wanted to be "Dear Abby".... love it when people ask for suggestions!)
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:32 AM   #48
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I tried semi-retirement with my "lifestyle" business over the past five years (2 weeks work, 2 weeks slacking off or on vacation) and I honestly found it sort of depressing. During the day, the only people "out" around town are the elderly, housewives and I suppose the chronically unemployed. All my friends, neighbors and peers were at work, of course. It felt lonely.

Vacations were similar, it was usually me and a whole lot of conventional retirees -- mainly old people hobbling around. And yes I'm going to be there one day myself and yes they're very interesting to talk with and had great stories, but really... does ER mean I would have to spend the rest of my life with a bunch of really old people? Or was I just picking the wrong places?

So where do all the early retirees tend to loiter? Ski slopes? Europe? Where are you all?
Most people are working. If you ER, you are younger than the "hang around" crowd, this is what I'm experiencing.

So what to do?

Well, sit back, dream a bit, think of what you'd never tried, push yourself out the door and do it. Action begets action. Inaction perpetuates itself.
Not that there is anything wrong with laying around watching telly, if that is what you like.

I also get depressed, suffer from the clinical stuff, and I know very well that I can fall into a bad funk if I don't put my hand on my back, and push myself out the door. I hang out with old, young, weird, not so weird, all sorts.

Feeling of the blues are probably normal when you are used to being in the middle of something perceived as meaningful, such as w--k.

Each day, push yourself to try something new, meet someone new, do something new.

Jug
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:20 AM   #49
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Most people are working. If you ER, you are younger than the "hang around" crowd, this is what I'm experiencing.
So what to do?

Feeling of the blues are probably normal when you are used to being in the middle of something perceived as meaningful, such as w--k.

Each day, push yourself to try something new, meet someone new, do something new.
Jug
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I'm in the same boat, FIREd at 48, now 50.
I never found w*rk to be truly meaningful, outside of providing a means to pay bills, have fun on the weekends, and save for retirement.
Day-to-day: In the heavy duty snowbelt I live in, it is very easy to look outside and decide you just want to stay inside and warm. I've learned to entertain myself with a variety of mental activities and of course basic household stuff. I do get bored once in a while.
Once the snow melts and weather is more stable, my list of outdoor "things to do" will be possible.
Overall, the trick is to set a daily "schedule" for yourself. I try to accomplish 1 productive chore a day (for myself or dh2b) and use the rest of the time goofing off.
Productive items include laundry, ordering parts for household repair jobs, grocery shopping, learning more about benefits, planning dinner, reading about a new topic online, etc.
Goofing off consists of listening to music, posting here, going to lunch with the still enslaved (w*rking), researching cold hardy grape varieties for the garden, etc.
If you need more people contact, volunteer during the day. There is a real shortage of people willing to help out for no pay. I select only very short term projects so my total time commitment is always under my control. Get your name out there and the requests will happen.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:30 AM   #50
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Can't add a lot more to the list. Perhaps my view may trigger something.

In an earlier post freebird hit the key IMHO. One must like their own company first.
Depending on others for fulfillment can be a long and frustrating wait.

That said having curiosity, willingness to try whatever (in truest sense) for fun of it often leads to encounters. What if any relationship develops is usually unpredictable. Expecting good outcomes leads to disappointments, expecting adventure puts things in a better perspective.

But above all you must like your own company, there will be a lot of time spent with yourself.

In my case I always liked solitude, I know that being alone is not being lonely. I had tremendous amount of adventures, most as lark, yet were all paid for by some employer or uncle sam who needed the skills and the willingness to take sometimes unpleasant assignments.

Along the way met many people from all walks of life, some thoroughly unpleasant to put it mildly, most who were likable, yet also liked their solitude, the gregarious hail fellow well met types, the monied and paupers, brahmins and the untouchables.

My adventures have been printed as movies in my mind. I can be anywhere in a moment and "see" the past event. Figure when I'm tied w to a rocking chair, I will still have movies to play for every waking hour and not have to watch same twice. Though there are many that are well worth re-playing. Of course there is always the chance as joke goes "the mind goes first" to which I say let's hope so, for then I'll have no problems to deal with.


So get out there do stuff that is unfamiliar, out of your zone of comfort.

Just for an outrageous example: though it was long ago I did sleep on the sidewalks in Colombo Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) no I was not drunk visited both the Hindu and Muslim neighborhoods. Unescorted. Also did gravity measurements (yes people do do that sort of stuff) in the same city. Have you seen the Buddha's tooth? Was kept in Kandy.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:20 AM   #51
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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. ...
I noticed that for my area code there are 47 groups meeting within 10 miles of me. And for a 50 mile radius it went up to 688 groups! Maybe I'll look into a few of these. Here is the link: http://www.meetup.com/

One of my favorite activities is running but I've found our local running group seems to be populated by intense types and a lot of people in their 30's and 40's who don't seem that eager to meet up with new (older) runners unless maybe that runner has a very fast pace -- I'm not that slow but don't want to kill myself at something that's suppose to be pleasurable. I do enjoy the occasional person I talk with while stretching during a running break. Sometimes that's all I need for the day.
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:13 PM   #52
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I noticed that for my area code there are 47 groups meeting within 10 miles of me. And for a 50 mile radius it went up to 688 groups! Maybe I'll look into a few of these. Here is the link: Do something, Learn something, Share something, Change something - Meetup.com
Wow! This website is fantastic. Thank you for posting this.
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