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projects after retire
Old 05-07-2015, 04:21 PM   #1
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projects after retire

I am 57 and planning to retire this year (class of 2015, yea!)

I am wondering what kinds of "projects" people engage to get them occupied, especially those in the first few years after their retirements.

Even though I am so tired of the projects and "initiatives" coming down every quarter in the mega corp, I think I need some on-going projects to be happy after I retire. I already have a few in mind: backyard improvement (DIY), get myself in shape to do some long backpack trip, computer projects (person finance and market related), or maybe take up cooking and painting.

I'd love to do a long travel (around the world), but right now I am home bound with aging parents, only short trips here and there.

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Old 05-07-2015, 04:45 PM   #2
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Volunteer at the library and church. Expanded the home garden. Read a lot (the local library can get almost anything on interlibrary loan). I generally have one online course “in progress”, at the moment I’m enrolled in a permaculture course.

My top priority project though is convincing the wife to also retire...

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Old 05-07-2015, 04:46 PM   #3
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Who has time for projects?
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:57 PM   #4
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Winter stinks here so I will set some broad goals that have to be done in a certain period of time. Last winter it was painting 4 rooms. This winter it was replacing all my brass knobs and fixtures with satin nickel and installing a wood floor in downstairs bathroom. If I don't set a deadline it doesn't get done.

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Old 05-07-2015, 05:23 PM   #5
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First 20 years of retirement, spent a lot of time in social activities... teaching, emceeing, organizing and running sports, parties and organizational stuff in our north and south communities.
Now, not so much of that, but the list of projects and "things to do" is endless. Never, ever, ever bored. To some degree, maybe 30 hobbies... "master of none", but toe in the water for all.
Cars, repairs, boating, bikes, computers, gardening, astronomy, birdwatching, music, music groups, classical music, five instruments, pool, reading (only audio books now), photography but not pro, fishing, coin collection, stamps, fine art, poor woodworking, world religions, and a news junkie... International affairs...
And anything new that comes down the pike...

Am gonna run out of time, before running out of projects.
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:45 PM   #6
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Current project: the in-laws house.

We're chiseling away at the hoard, and slowly making the house more or less livable for a pair of ailing 80-something folks who really don't want to leave.

Family responsibility can create projects that you don't see coming in advance, especially if they make unexpected decisions.

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Old 05-07-2015, 06:16 PM   #7
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I'm restoring (and/or hot-rodding) a couple of old cars. After DW's 'projects' and our kid's housing projects, nothing gets done. How did I find time to spend at work?
I'm not crazy. Honest, the judge had me tested.
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:23 PM   #8
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I made a list before FIRE of projects that I wanted to get done, but never seemed to find time while still w*rking.

And, I'm slowly knocking stuff out and getting great satisfaction of gettin' stuff done!

But, I'm also balancing "projects" with "adventures" - where I just pick someplace to go and explore such as parks, lakes, trails, hikes, whatever.

And these have been great fun!

I'd hate to think of retirement as a long list of projects....
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:33 PM   #9
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only 2 months in and down selecting. right now working building a model engine from bar stock. Have not done machine shop since Jr. High.

Getting back in shape to hike New England this summer... with full packs.

Racing sail boats.

bike riding.


still working on what hobbies/projects will come from my engineering career.

just a quick list of the top of my head... not much down time yet.. to much yard work, etc.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:24 PM   #10
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We had a daughter in our late 30's and her two young kids keep us busy. I feel like a bus driver.

I bought the daughter a large fixer upper house and I'm a part time carpenter/painter.

We also have a lake house, and it's almost a full time job maintaining the place. I also had to rebuild the lake side balcony and screen porches the last year.

And to keep our sanity, we travel extensively. By August/September, 2015, we'll have been to Europe, Scandinavia and Hawaii in the last year. Oh, yea--took a cruise to Aruba in October.

After all, we never know how long we're going to have good health and the ability to see the world. We're grabbing all the gusto we can first time around.
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:10 AM   #11
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I've been restoring classic motorcycles to museum quality. When I finish one, I enter it in a classic car and motorcycle show, then sell it to fund my next project. This has turned into a money making activity!

I also got a kayak and use it for fishing. A lot. Next week is a kayak fishing tournament. Most of these are on the ocean. A little kayak on the big blue a couple miles off shore with a 30 pound salmon, halibut or ling cod is a real adventure!

Learned to fly a helicopter and learning to play guitar. I do a lot of skiing too. Reading, gardening, RVing. Movie and dinner date once a week with DW too. Having the time of my life.

Retired December 2012 at 55 years old.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:22 AM   #12
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Landscaping / yard work takes up most of my time in the summer. Now installing a whole house backup generator.
Bath remodel, hardwood floors, staining house exterior trim coming up. Helping BIL build a garden hut.
Woodworking projects - camp stool, barnwood map frames and 2 bowls currently.
A couple repair projects on the corvette.

And I need to brew a batch of beer.

Hiking, biking, boating/kayaking, photography, travel and flying my drone when I get the time.
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years" - Abraham Lincoln
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What to do
Old 05-08-2015, 07:07 AM   #13
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What to do

For the first six months, I tried to do something different every week - yoga, paddleboard, pie baking, painting, etc. to see what would hold my interest. And then my friend introduced me to sailing...that stuck. I've now got two boats, no extra time and no extra money. I'm a sailor

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Old 05-08-2015, 07:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Throwdownmyaceinthehole View Post
For the first six months, I tried to do something different every week - yoga, paddleboard, pie baking, painting, etc. to see what would hold my interest. And then my friend introduced me to sailing...that stuck. I've now got two boats, no extra time and no extra money. I'm a sailor
I have to ask... what kind of sailboats? I have been doing that for a while (B4ER). But just one boat
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:39 AM   #15
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Since I ERd almost 2 years ago, I've gotten a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment from tasks that require a lot of physical effort but only a small-to-moderate amount of thinking. House projects and bike riding have been the two most time-consuming. I guess I had enough mental challenges while w*rking, and my brain needs a break.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:23 AM   #16
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Our hobbies changed a bit after retiring. We used to sail a lot, but that changed as we started to travel more.

We did a lot of traveling after retiring. And we got into nature photography big time. We joined a few photography tours - birds and other wildlife.

Once you retire you have time to discover more interests. It's hard to figure out ahead of time.
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:46 AM   #17
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I ER'd at 55 four years ago. It's good to have a list. A few things on my list, like house projects, got done in the first 6 months. One or two things never got done because they no longer seemed important once I crossed over into ER. A couple of things like going to the gym, occasional travel, and taking classes have stayed with me. I've found a few things I never thought of that keep me busy. I think it is important to find something social to do each week.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:48 AM   #18
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I ended up overcommitting to major volunteer work just as I was ERing in 2010, so never got to most of the projects I thought I would do. I finish up a 5 year United Way board term next month (although I'll stay on a few committees through the end of the year), lead a spiritual retreat at the end of August that will keep me very busy until then, and will finish up a 6-year term on a major regional committee of our church denomination at the end of 2016. I also led the project to create a new website for our church in 2013, and now am finishing up the first year of a 6-year term on our endowment committee. And knitted more than 40 prayer shawls (mostly while watching TV).

Not sure what I'll pick up as these activities wind down, but I am certainly intrigued by the variety of online classes now available.
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:53 AM   #19
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Pre-retirement, I've assigned myself an annual project to work on throughout each year. Thus far, I've undertaken (and completed):
  • Paper Conversion - scan to .pdf all paper documents in our life, only retaining the absolute minimum required paper documents. This has been a huge several unexpected ways.
  • Cost-savings and optimization - analyze everything from insurance coverage, utility bills, subscriptions, credit cards, etc. and reduce overlapping services, optimize expenses, and make things run more efficiently. We're saving at least $200/mo. on an ongoing basis (and investing the savings).
  • Health Focus - I managed to lose about 90 pounds, become much more active, and get off almost all of my prescribed medications. Benefits include better health and potential longevity increase, saved costs, and more energy.
My ER project list is a bit less regimented and includes:
  • Get a dog. I currently travel a fair amount for work, so it would not be fair to have a pet...only to neglect it. I'd like a chocolate lab...
  • Daily hike. I live in the vicinity of several beautiful places to explore. Some of my retired friends take a daily morning 1 to 1-1/2 hr. hike, and have invited me to join them. Thus far, I've only been able to go twice, and found the walks/talks to be wonderful. Plus, I could bring the dog.
  • Read the paper cover-to-cover. Currently, I download the WSJ on my iPad and skim it when time permits. I'd like to settle in at a local coffee shop and actually read the physical paper, cover-to-cover, on a daily basis. With no phone or e-mail to interrupt.
  • Auto travel - with no agenda. I wonder where that road goes?
  • Fly fishing. I've got the equipment, some of the skills, and access to legendary local rivers and streams. The only thing I'm missing is the time...which is what ER is for - right?
So...that's my list.
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:43 PM   #20
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I started with a sunfish last summer for $300 bucks, did some restoration which I found I very much enjoy. Then this winter I bought an older Capri 18, fixed it up, put it in a slip and sail every day if can 4-5 days a week. I set it up for solo sailing. If I have one regret, it's that I didn't take up sailing earlier, I just love it. I will probably sell the sunfish at the end of this summer. I'm near a good sized lake in Texas, so I can sail year round.

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