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Old 06-27-2007, 04:35 AM   #1
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Post Retirement Planning (Non-Financial Stuff)

I saw whitestick' post about his wife and her early feelings of "buyer's remorse" regarding retirement.


This is an issues that has been on my mind. DW and I will ER in the next few years. DW may RE earlier... depends. She does some volunteer work and has some hobbies. I think she will ease into ret fairly easily.


I am have been considering what I will do when I "down-shift". I can see where it would be easy to drift along and wind up in a boring rut in retirement. So I am giving it some thought.

We do plan to travel. I will do some work around the house to keep it up. Plus, I have some hobbies. I will spend more time on at least one hobby. I may explore a few other hobbies. But I need/want to identify something to keep me engaged and active... Something that is out of the house. I feel that there is a difference between working for a paycheck and helping for a cause.

I have several ideas. Some involve volunteer work for charities or other worthwhile endeavors.

I have been considering getting more politically active. Not as a politician (yuck). But to work toward improvement in an area that takes political organization. Or assist in an existing organization. I am not talking about helping some clown get elected. Instead, I would prefer influencing the clown on some serious issue that needs attention/improvement... something along the lines of lobbying for change. I can think of a couple of areas that need improvement that I have encountered over the last several years.

Anyone on the board politically active or active in the furthering of a cause?

Do you volunteer or plan to volunteer?
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Old 06-27-2007, 06:08 PM   #2
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I tried to volunteer at a few places but they couldn't get my fingerprints! It turns out I have very smooth hands and the ID stuff that organizations require nowadays is a real pain. After a few tries I gave up since I figured it wasn't worth the bother. Also the person doing the "hiring" was paid for their job and seemed to treat the volunteers as something lower in status -- what do I need that for? I'm sure not all volunteer positions are like that but life is too short.

One nice thing is I won a trip to Paris from a local radio station (wouldn't have won if I'd been working ). So DW and I took a conversational French class at the JC and went to France. Also read a lot of history before the trip. Now we want to go back. So there are always nice things that come up in retirement that you may not have planned for. Somehow having all that free time forces me to think out of the box.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:41 PM   #3
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I might volunteer with older people when I retire. I'm not sure exactly how... maybe I could deliver "meals on wheels" or take one of them shopping or something. I could push a wheelchair through a zoo, mall, or park and get exercise myself while helping an older person out.

I have to admit that part of my motivation is the hope that what goes around, comes around, and it would be nice to have someone help me later on when I am old.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:25 PM   #4
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I might volunteer with older people when I retire. I'm not sure exactly how... maybe I could deliver "meals on wheels" or take one of them shopping or something.


Usually Meals on Wheels is a paid position. Often you can sub for people taking vacations or sick-leave. Way better than volunteering. The only people who are treated well as volunteers are working for Mother Teresaís outfit, or are high powered business people who serve on symphony boards and other high profile positions.

Another place where volunteering works I believe in at a church where you are a regularly attending member.

One reason ,may be that the paid staff has an irrational fear that you will do everything, thus removing the need that they are supposed to fill.

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Old 06-27-2007, 09:26 PM   #5
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One nice thing is I won a trip to Paris from a local radio station (wouldn't have won if I'd been working ). So DW and I took a conversational French class at the JC and went to France. Also read a lot of history before the trip.
Travel does provide a great excuse (and a deadline) to work on language and cultural reading, both of which enrich your time while there. While I'm not in position yet, I am looking forward to using some of my post retirement time in foreign volunteer travel (e.g. habitat for humanity, joining with some local groups that do regular medical missions, etc.), thereby having something to work for during months leading up to departure as well as whatever experience and contirbution can be made while there. Most organized volunteer programs that I've identified require you to cover your travel costs, some modest living costs and sometimes an addiitional program fee or contribution. I hope to be able to find good programs with opportunity for meaningful contribution while staying in country longer and working more closely with a different group of locals than prior vacation travel has allowed.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:51 PM   #6
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Instead, I would prefer influencing the clown on some serious issue that needs attention/improvement... something along the lines of lobbying for change. I can think of a couple of areas that need improvement that I have encountered over the last several years.

Anyone on the board politically active or active in the furthering of a cause?

Do you volunteer or plan to volunteer?
An update today on my DW, she now wants to join the "militant" faction of the AARP. She says that she wants to push for changes in the tax, presriptions, and health insurance areas. She went to an AARP meeting today, and apparently she was so ....aggressive.... that a comment was made, that she should go to the State Capital and attend the international groups for AARP, as they had never done anything like that at the local level.
Well, maybe that will divert her from returning to work - we'll see.
It looks like it may be an interesting ride.
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:06 PM   #7
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One reason ,may be that the paid staff has an irrational fear that you will do everything, thus removing the need that they are supposed to fill.
The opposite happened when I volunteered to be the Treasurer of a non-profit with no paid employees. I couldn't get away from the tar baby, even after serving a three-year term.

I'm still "wrapping it up" after 4.5 years. But this time I'm really finished!
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:50 PM   #8
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The only people who are treated well as volunteers are working for Mother Teresaís outfit, or are high powered business people who serve on symphony boards and other high profile positions.

Ha
I was on the symphony board and man I had to work. I spent hundreds of hours negotiating a union contract with musicians. We ended up with having to have a NLRB mediator come in to bring us to a resolution.

The whole thing was kind of weird as my old violin teacher was one of the negotiators for the union.
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:24 AM   #9
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Wife and I both are mid-level wonks in local government and we've had all the politics we can stomach over the last 20 years. I don't actually remember a single instance of "satifaction" from the political aspects. To the contrary, it has almost universally been frustration, disbelief or downright disgust, tempered by a very few nail-biting 11th hour saves. I have really enjoyed the professional side of the house, though.

My feeling is I'm ready to let others have their turn saving the world. Me - I want to LEARN about everything I can... auditing college classes, travel, Elderhostel trips, kayaking, fencing, biking... you name it and I'll try it.
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:06 AM   #10
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Anyone on the board politically active or active in the furthering of a cause?

Do you volunteer or plan to volunteer?
I went to a non-profit to ask a few questions about my situation, and donated a small amount. They funneled me into the next room where the director and I exchanged information. In a few minutes I realized she was sizing me up to see where I would fit into the volunteer organization. At the next protest, she asked me to do a radio interview which went well despite my lack of public speaking ability. My main function there is as a liaison between my small group and the non-profit; I just relay e-mails and news from the organization and summarize concerns back to them. This takes a nanosecond of my time. Of course, Iíll continue into R, this cause isnít going away. P.S.: Iím a card carrying member but they didnít ask for fingerprints.

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For several years I did grunt work on the creation of a charity; that ended when they set up their own office and hired a staff. I also did pro bono work (horrible as clients didnít follow up); worked the polls (paid job); explored paid "development" work (politically charged and interesting); and volunteered for a candidate.

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