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Pre retirement jitters.
Old 03-16-2016, 06:51 AM   #1
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Pre retirement jitters.

Did anyone experience them??
So I'm officially retired in two weeks. On one hand I'm super excited. I hate my present job, don't see that changing with mega corp. I've been offered a "go away" package (6 months salary and 6 months health care). On the other hand I've anxious.... What if I'm bored, what if I'm hit by a meteor and need super expensive health care, ...

Anyone else experience this before taking the plunge?
financially I'm fine, I've run a number of different financial calculators, got healthcare cost taken care of until medicare (I'm currently 55) and have a plan for what I want to do after I retire.

Nervous nelly
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:56 AM   #2
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I had some misgivings, but nothing serious. It may not be universal, but it's perfectly normal for many/most, you're taking a big (irreversible) step. Many of us felt the same as you before our last day at work.

Some people don't experience boredom in retirement, some do. But if you find yourself bored, it's curable with a little work. The Get-A-Life tree exercise in Zelinskis books might help, I did it before I retired and it was very reassuring. YMMV

You'll be fine...
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:23 AM   #3
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Based on what I read repeatedly here about folks nearing the big date, I think it is probably typical and will pass once you discover how nice it is to cross the finish line.

That said, I can only relate to your excitement, not to your nervousness. I was so darned ready to gain my freedom I couldn't wait!
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:28 AM   #4
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I was nervous in that short window between when I gave notice and my last day. I'd run every calculator and worried I was missing something. Plus I had people asking me, every day, "how can you afford to retire so young? It's impossible!". That added to my doubt.

I had a bit of nervousness about the finances for the first few months of retirement.... but that went away because I was too busy to think about it....

You'll be fine! Congrats on your upcoming retirement!!!!
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:30 AM   #5
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I agree with those replies thus far. Even if you have yourself ready financially (sounds like you do), it's still an unknown. Like your first day in a new school, maybe even in a new town. You'll settle in at your own pace.

There's talk about people asking you, "but what will you DO all day?". The response to that I use (to still-working friends, and in a friendly way) is to ask, "what do YOU do all day?". Almost always they smile and say, "oh, I see".
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:30 AM   #6
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I was nervous in that short window between when I gave notice and my last day. I'd run every calculator and worried I was missing something. Plus I had people asking me, every day, "how can you afford to retire so young? It's impossible!". That added to my doubt.

I had a bit of nervousness about the finances for the first few months of retirement.... but that went away because I was too busy to think about it....

You'll be fine! Congrats on your upcoming retirement!!!!
I've gotten that and "what are you going to do all day without work" question every single day.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:50 AM   #7
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I am feeling it now. If I was 45, not 56, I would even be more worried.

I am taking the plunge, even if I see a few sharks. Life is short.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:54 AM   #8
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I am feeling it now. If I was 45, not 56, I would even be more worried.

I am taking the plunge, even if I see a few sharks. Life is short.

I agree! My FIRE date is April 8 - the sensation is bit odd, but very exciting!
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:57 AM   #9
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As long as you have enough money, it will all work out. Worst case, go back to work, maybe in a different field for less money but more fun.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:58 AM   #10
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Your feelings are quite normal. Once you get to the finish line it will change to "why did I wait so long"?


Plus, if for some unforeseen reason you don't like retirement, you can always go back to w*rk.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:00 AM   #11
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I didn't have any jitters - probably because I eased into retirement. I worked 1-2 days a week my last year of work, so full retirement wasn't much of a change. I had plenty of hobbies in place to keep me busy, and I retired in early April when I also had plenty of home and yard work to tackle.


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Old 03-16-2016, 08:01 AM   #12
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You'll be fine. If you are confident in your financial planning for retirement, then you will get a chance to prove that it works in the real world. What a victorious feeling, to develop a plan from scratch, see it put into action and watch it WORK!

Often people just wish they were retiring too, and the kneejerk response for them is to ask those questions.

Even though I was 61 when I retired, I *still* got the "How can you afford to retire? It's impossible!" question that you younger retirees got. So I'd ask them if they max out the TSP every year like I had been doing every single year, and they'd always say no, they didn't have the money to do that. Instead, they were accumulating consumer debt and had payments on that. It's just priorities and my first priority was to retire; theirs wasn't and I guess they were hoping that Santa Claus was going to come along and give them a nice retirement without having to save for it.

As for "What will you do all day?", I thought a pretty good answer was to say, "The same things I do now on Saturdays."

I did not prepare psychologically for retirement at all, and that concerned me. But it turned out that everything worked out just fine. I felt a little lost for a few hours on the day I retired and maybe the next day a little since I didn't exactly know what to do with all that freedom (so I went clothes shopping! ). After that I was ecstatic with retirement and remain so to this day. I am hoping your experience is the same, but if not, I have heard that the Zelinski book that Midpack referred to is pretty terrific. Here's a link to it.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Retire-Hap...words=Zelinski
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:15 AM   #13
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Sure, I would think just about everyone has some trepidation. But I remember what an old flight instructor told me. No decision is irreversible. I think this holds true for retirement also. If you read this forum long enough you will find people that retired and it worked exactly like they thought it would, some that changed their minds and took up new hobbies, and some, a minority, that went back to work. The retirement choice is not life or death. For us it was life and more life!
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:21 AM   #14
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I was very nervous that I didn't have enough to retire. My sister had retired a few years before me and was wonderful about reassuring me I could do it !
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:29 AM   #15
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Your jitters are very normal. Humans are creatures of habit and change is unsettling. Things will be fine.

Many people who know me thought that I would go crazy not working.... I wasn't sure... I took the plunge and have been pleasantly surprised how happy that I can be puttering around and not doing much of anything.
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:05 AM   #16
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It's useful to remember that retirement is a life event, like many others individuals go through throughout their lives. These include education, marriage, kids, possible divorce, financial problems, etc. You've made it to 55, so it's highly doubtful you won't successfully navigate this new transition.

For me, retirement was like that Munchinkland scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy walked from black and white into color. I can't conceive of how I put up with working and all the nonsense that goes along with it.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:28 AM   #17
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Worst case, go back to work, maybe in a different field for less money but more fun.
No, the worst case is that he gets hit by that murderous bus and dies on the way home on his last day of work.

bclover, this is all normal. It's a big change, usually irreversible, and there is bound to be some anxiety over it. After a while you start to wonder how you had time to work.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:33 AM   #18
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Going through this excellent "checklist" (of sorts) may help you feel more prepared as well:

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/vie...rt=50#p2786486
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:43 PM   #19
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"For me, retirement was like that Munchinkland scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy walked from black and white into color. I can't conceive of how I put up with working and all the nonsense that goes along with it."

I LIKE this!!!! Expresses PERFECTLY how I felt/feel today after three years retired...

I'm gonna use this next time someone asks me what it's like to be retired.......
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:00 PM   #20
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"For me, retirement was like that Munchinkland scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy walked from black and white into color. I can't conceive of how I put up with working and all the nonsense that goes along with it."

I LIKE this!!!! Expresses PERFECTLY how I felt/feel today after three years retired...

I'm gonna use this next time someone asks me what it's like to be retired.......
The witch had told herself, "I'll just work 'one more year' to be sure that I have enough/won't get bored...."
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