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Post ER goals?
Old 06-02-2010, 08:37 AM   #1
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Post ER goals?

Another thread got me thinking this morning about setting goals once you GET to retirement. I was a goal setter and planned obsessively to be able to RE, but I don't have any goals set up now that I'm in ER, other than the standard "get the kids through college, be a good husband and dad, don't screw up the nest egg" type of goals, so I think I may need something more personal to make ER more satisfying and less, um, meandering.

Has anyone done this type of thing, and can you give me some examples of your goals, and how doing this helped (or hurt) you ER satisfaction levels?
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:44 AM   #2
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Sounds too much like w*rk, IMHO.

I'm retired (3 years) and I yet to form a plan or a must-do list.

Freedom is not overrated (at least in my life) ...
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:59 AM   #3
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I think we may be a bit alike Cardude. I've always been goal oriented. Top grades in college, passed the CPA exam on the first try, earned regular promotions and received lots of awards at w*ork. Even though I was financially and mentally ready to leave my professional life, it took me a while to adjust.

I've replaced my old goals with new ones. Since retirement, I've done all the paperwork necessary for 4 charity groups to be approved by the IRS. I volunteer at the animal shelter and am VP/Treasurer of a local charity. I had lost the passion in my old line of work. Now I'm working on things I feel passionate about again.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:26 AM   #4
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Sure, I have goals even though I'm retired. Here are some of my present goals:

1. Fix up my house so that it is ready to sell when the local housing market recovers.

2. Lose more weight and exercise to become more physically fit.

3. Figure out when I really want to go to bed and get up. Right now, I am going to bed around 3:30 AM and getting up around 11:00 AM, which means the day is almost gone before I get up. Is this what I really want?

4. Explore various mysteries of the universe in whatever ways appeal to me (and there are many). An example would be to learn as much about the JFK assassination as I can, and to figure out to my own satisfaction what the real story might be on that. I want to know before I run out of time. My interests are broad, though, and not all such mysteries are historical in nature as is this example.

I have a lot of possible future goals, such as learning to paint. Maybe I will pursue them, or maybe not.

Look, after much delayed gratification, ER allows you to indulge in whatever gratification you have put off until now. Surely there are activities and interests that you wanted to pursue when you were working, but didn't have time for. I would suggest that a great goal for any retiree would be to identify these activities and interests, and to pursue them.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude View Post
...(snip)...
Has anyone done this type of thing, and can you give me some examples of your goals, and how doing this helped (or hurt) you ER satisfaction levels?
Here are some example goals for me:
Run 20 miles per week
Get the garden in shape and have a lot of blooming flowers going all the time
Read 2 novels and some nonfiction per month (satisfy that curiousity gene, current nonfiction includes geology and light dose of physics)
Oil painting in plein air (started out improving my drawing skills in ER)
Research and analysis of market timing (some original stuff here that I get a kick out of)

These are activities I was doing before ER but I now have the time to indulge in them more heavily.

P.S. Forgot to add, I do all this stuff with a happy face. If it becomes any sort of burden then scale back or drop that activity.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:43 AM   #6
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In no particular order:

1. Enjoy life
2. Enjoy life
3. Enjoy life
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:52 AM   #7
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Figure out how to live as long as possible. Work stress and lack of time no longer stand in the way of living a healthy life. I want to make the fun last as long as possible. Once I ER I want to focus on that for a while. :-)

And of course what REWahoo writes!
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:14 AM   #8
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...(snip)...
I have a lot of possible future goals, such as learning to paint. Maybe I will pursue them, or maybe not.
...
Just a couple of comments on learning to paint. I've seen some people start out and get discouraged. I'd recommend getting into a class that starts out with drawing. Or if doing it on your own there's a great book (particularly for us left brain, analytical types), link here: Amazon.com: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A
Best to get the most recent edition. Most libraries will have a copy.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:17 AM   #9
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In no particular order:

1. Enjoy life
2. Enjoy life
3. Enjoy life
Agree with all 3
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:18 AM   #10
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Just a couple of comments on learning to paint. I've seen some people start out and get discouraged. I'd recommend getting into a class that starts out with drawing. Or if doing it on your own there's a great book (particularly for us left brain, analytical types), link here: Amazon.com: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A
Best to get the most recent edition. Most libraries will have a copy.
Thanks! I am not in any great rush on this one. Your suggestion of taking a class might be a good idea for me.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:23 AM   #11
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I suspect many of us are/were goal oriented, and that was a quality that enabled FIRE. Now, getting up and spending a leisurely morning without thinking about goals is also something to look forward to.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:14 PM   #12
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My goals are to spend time doing what I enjoy (in no particular order):

- digging up all the flower gardens (full of weeds) and getting them ready to plant perennials next spring
- cook without multitasking some other 2 or 3 things at the same time
- lose more weight
- get more exercise (possibly by doing the gardening)
- read books that are a bit more weighty than murder mysteries - that's about all I have the stamina for now
- make art again - I was trained in studio art and did a lot of types of art over the years - my job has taken away the energy to do it and I miss making things
- watch my investments closely so I don't run out of money (I enjoy doing this)
- hang out with friends, go to museums and galleries and lectures
- go hear live music as much as possible
- travel while I still have enough energy
- loaf! Not HAVE to do things!

ALL of these are activities that have been curtailed by the amount of stress my job has caused me.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:18 PM   #13
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Thanks! I am not in any great rush on this one. Your suggestion of taking a class might be a good idea for me.
I studied studio art intensively in college - drawing was the first thing we did, 2 years of figure drawing classes - as a background for other things. I don't know that 2 years is necessary but drawing and learning to see in an artist's way is a good background for painting. This is if you don't already do some art work - if you do, you may just want painting classes for technical skill training.

It also depends a LOT on whether you want to do realistic drawing/painting, or more abstract stuff - I don't think you need as much classic training in drawing for that
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:35 PM   #14
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I write down weekly goals they may be small but just seeing then written down makes me accomplish them or work towards finishing them . Right now my list includes
1- paint & new carpeting in the den & bedroom
2- buy new office chair
3-new molding for the living ,dining area
Since I have started doing this I do not procrastinate as much and things get done . The rest of the time I just enjoy life .The one personal goal I have is to be more spontaneous . I want to go on a last minute trip at the spur of the moment instead of overplanning .
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cardude View Post
Another thread got me thinking this morning about setting goals once you GET to retirement. I was a goal setter and planned obsessively to be able to RE, but I don't have any goals set up now that I'm in ER, other than the standard "get the kids through college, be a good husband and dad, don't screw up the nest egg" type of goals, so I think I may need something more personal to make ER more satisfying and less, um, meandering.
Has anyone done this type of thing, and can you give me some examples of your goals, and how doing this helped (or hurt) you ER satisfaction levels?
Quote:
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost."
J.R.R. Tolkien
I'm not as focused as REWahoo, but some goals stay constant:
- Surfing. After seven years I even took an advanced class for a week. It's greatly expanded my knowledge, skills, & options. Someday I'll try stand-up paddlesurfing, windsurfing, and kite surfing. Every day I'm the best surfer I've ever been.
- Writing. Turns out that I enjoy it. It works even better when I have a subject to write about, but that's not always necessary. I can spend an hour or two tweaking a paragraph without having to feel obligated to meet some arbitrary deadline.
- Reading. I can spend an entire day offline with some books, not even bothering to read e-mail. ER gives me plenty of guilt-free time to do it.
- Investing. I've read about nearly everything and tried some form of it. After 10 years I'm just about done experimenting and ready to settle down to some form of low-effort value investing with a little testosterone tinkering. Or maybe in just 2-3 more years.
- Engineering. I really enjoyed the challenge of designing/building our photovoltaic & hot-water systems. We'll expand them in the next five years or so.
- Exercise. I'm taking my taekwondo 2nd dan test early next year. I still need to add an aerobic/weights habit to my weekly workouts.
- Empty nester. Nirvana is almost here! The best part will be more last-minute get-up-and-go travel opportunities. I'm also looking forward to not having to set a good example 24/7. It'll be nice to go out for dinner just because we feel like it (or to eat cereal), and to once again keep chocolate around the house.

When I feel that I've beaten the heck out of those goals, there's always Ernie Zelinski's "Get-A-Life Tree". It's been sitting on my desk for years waiting for me to do something about it.

When I wrote my original "goals" list a decade or so ago I broke it down into weeks, months, & years. These days its timeline has stretched to months, years, & decades.

I think the most valuable ER skill you can acquire is the ability to just "be" without feeling relentless pressure to "do". But if you must "do" at the expense of sacrificing everything else, then you could come out here to help with our yardwork...
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:01 PM   #16
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I think the most valuable ER skill you can acquire is the ability to just "be" without feeling relentless pressure to "do". But if you must "do" at the expense of sacrificing everything else, then you could come out here to help with our yardwork...
Gee - are you offering a free place to stay in Oahu?
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:14 PM   #17
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In no particular order:

1. Enjoy life
2. Enjoy life
3. Enjoy life

Sorry, but I disagree on the last one
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:18 PM   #18
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Sorry, but I disagree on the last one
I suppose it may have lost something in translation, eh?
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:26 PM   #19
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Gee - are you offering a free place to stay in Oahu?
Let's call it "fee-free occupational therapy"...

... and bring your mango chainsaw.
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:41 PM   #20
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What with all the hobbies I have and general house upkeep, just have not found a good reason to have a goal. Having a goal seems like the dreaded 4 letter word w*rk.
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