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Retirement Is Here
Old 01-30-2008, 08:50 PM   #1
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Retirement Is Here

Today was my last day on the job after almost 30 years working for the local government. They threw a great going away party for me and lots of good things were said about me that made me feel good. My thing is this, why do i not feel retired? Could any of you that are retired tell me what type of emotions i can expect over the next couple weeks. Also what is the best way to get pass them.

I retired from a job that i loved because i knew i would go no higher and also don't need the money anymore. Lately i had become very unhappy there but still kept producing a high volume of quality work. My mine is still sharp and i need something to keep me active. I have made few plans for retirement except to enjoy life. I'm retiring with a great pension and solid financial foundation so money will be no problem.

What are some things to do right now to keep myself busy, i really don't want to work for anyone right now, maybe later but i just cannot see myself going to a job again anytime soon.. I will be checking the threads out often and hopefully some of you will give me some good ideas to keep busy.

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Old 01-30-2008, 09:01 PM   #2
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Could any of you that are retired tell me what type of emotions i can expect over the next couple weeks. Also what is the best way to get pass them.
In my experience: all sorts of emotions, memories, reconsiderations, dreams.

Just let them happen.

Physical activity (something as simple as walking) will help your mind/body adjust.

Don't worry if you find yourself sleeping more for a while, your system is readjusting.

"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TROYRAY View Post
Could any of you that are retired tell me what type of emotions i can expect over the next couple weeks. Also what is the best way to get pass them.

What are some things to do right now to keep myself busy, .. I will be checking the threads out often and hopefully some of you will give me some good ideas to keep busy.
TROYRAY, it seems to me that you retired without a plan. Other than "I'm leaving".
I started with an outline of a) what I wanted to do, which lead to b) how much do I need to do it, at least 6-7 years before I pulled the rip cord. As I got closer (like 3-4 years out), I got a 2nd opinion from a FA. I then refined my list of things I HAVE to do in retirement (from over 4 pages (when I stopped listing stuff) down to a couple).
Originally Posted by TROYRAY View Post
Also what is the best way to get pass them.
This makes it sound like your emotions are something to overcome.
Mine were (in no particular order): success, finality, elation, relief, well-being, calm, happiness, to list a few.
I think I got over fear, uncertainty, and dread (FUD) as I was planning over the previous years.
IMO, you are where you are because you are leaving something, rather than going 'to' something (I hope I made that statement clear).
What are some things to do right now to keep myself busy, .. I will be checking the threads out often and hopefully some of you will give me some good ideas to keep busy.
A suggestion: List your hobbies, things you always wanted to do, try, learn, places you have wanted to go/see. It can start as simple as going fishing in that pond, that you past on your way to work for the past 10 years and never had the time to do. Or re-read all of those 'boring' books that they assigned in high school and now peak your interest. Or learning French, or visiting France ... or ?
People on this forum all have their 'hobbies' ... surfing, RV'ing, reading, teaching, helping, ...etc. Things that w*rk got in the way of.
What do you have an itch to do? Start there ...

Good luck to you in retirement
Life is GREAT!
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:00 AM   #4
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First of all, congratulations on your retirement! I just retired a few weeks ago and understand what you are feeling. You may feel disconnected and a bit lost at first. Don’t worry, that is what most of us go through. After all, your colleagues have been depending on your knowledge and experience for many years and you, no doubt, have made significant contributions in your work. This has given you structure and purpose. Even so, your job did not and does not define the person you are.

Just take it one week at a time to start. You may want to find a project around the house to occupy your time and energy. Nothing too big, just something to give you a sense of accomplishment and productivity during the adjustment period. Then, once or twice a week, treat yourself by doing those things you enjoy but never had the time for when you were working. This could be lunch and a movie, going fishing, or joining a gym and working out. You may want to head down to your local library or bookstore and spend a few hours browsing. You’d be surprised about the ideas that flow from wandering around looking at books.

Resist the temptation to have too much contact with your former co-workers. Most people have one or two good friends they stay in touch with. The problem is, the relationship is usually based upon fighting the same battles in the office so once you leave it’s not the same unless you shared an interest outside of the office. Now would be a good time to either rekindle a relationship with friends or relatives who are also retired or look for ways to forge new relationships with people in a similar situation.

For me, the first two weeks were the hardest. Work was still “in my system” and I even dreamed about being in the office. I am just now starting to truly feel retired. Give yourself time to adjust. I suspect you will feel a lot different about a month from now. Lastly, you may want to start planning a spring trip. This will give you something to look forward to. It can be a lot of fun planning the trip and scanning the internet for information about your destination.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:53 AM   #5
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In my experience, w*rk was all about meeting other people's expectations - bosses, subordinates, customers. Now you are in charge and that is a paradigm shift that takes awhile to embrace.

Recognize that you are in a transition period and give yourself permission to let it occur on its own schedule.

It is going to be great.
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:13 AM   #6
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The first few weeks I felt I had to be busy or I was just a slacker .Then I went thru my sleep period that lasted a few months .I'm now in the this is my real life mode . There are lots of things you probably always wanted to do or try . I started selling on ebay ,refinished a chair ,read ,poked around at litle shops , taught myself to knit ,took classes(cooking and financial planning ) and spent weeks traveling . Enjoy your life you deserve it .
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:28 AM   #7
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Try reading this:
The Joy of Not Working: by Ernie J. Zelinski, Foremost Authority on Early Retirement and Real Success

"How to retire Happy, Wild, and Free" is a book that discusses "what to do" with all that time. It might help.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:28 AM   #8
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Welcome and congrats on your retirement! Just enjoy the next couple of weeks as you would if you were on vacation. Relax, read, go for walks, just have fun. It shouldn't be too hard to slide into some sort of routine after that. Personally, I didn't want a schedule or routine. Just get up and do whatever I want is my motto. But I do play lots of golf so that takes up a good bit of my day.

Again, just relax and don't put pressure on yourself in that you have to be doing something. I think you will find where your interest are and the rest will just happen. Good luck with it all!
Full time wuss............
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:13 AM   #9
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I am not retired yet but I just wanted to add my congratulations!

As for what to do, from a working person's point of view, I'd suggest catching up on sleep, getting physically active, catching up on projects around the house, and having a great time!
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:18 AM   #10
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TROYRAY welcome to the boards. I retired in July last year and had little trouble adjusting. I had planned my exit had a list of to do's around the property that I'm still working on. Did a little traveling and just relaxed and de-stressed. I second some of the comments so far about being responsible for your own entertainment/life satisfaction. Perhaps you should see The Bucket List I've heard its pretty good. For me taking off my wrist watch and not wearing it except when traveling has helped the transition. What ever I'm doing will take how ever long it takes as I have all the time I want to do the task.
USCG regulations say you have to go out. They don't say anything about coming back.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:52 AM   #11
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Congrats! It took a while for me to get adjusted (I also had to adjust to a move right after FIRE), but you'll discover it's about being, not doing...
“It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society”.------Krishnamurti
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:59 PM   #12
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Congratulations on your retirement. You may not believe it yet, but you will adjust quickly and enjoy it. I retired 2 years ago on 12/23/05. Since I had chosen my date 3 years earlier, and let everyone I could, know about it, I had plenty of time to think about the fear, anxiety and dread and work through that before I left. Since I left on 12/23 we immediately went into Christmas, and then a week later we went on a planned trip to Florida to spend New Years with some friends who had just moved down there. So it was 2 weeks before I really "got down to it", and I felt that was good.

For me, I knew the biggest issue after retirement was going to be replacing the social contacts I left at work. Someone mentioned earlier the book "How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free". It's a great book. In that book I came across a section talking about "Learning in Retirement" or "Life Long Learning Centers". I immediately started looking to see if there was anything like that and I couldn't believe it when I found one associated with a University located very near to me.

I have now been a member with them for nearly 2 years. I attend a variety of study groups and I coordinate study groups for members. It's a blast and I have met hundreds of really great people from all walks of life and backgrounds.

In any event, my opinion is that after the financials are taken care of the most important thing is keeping the mind active and establishing a new social network (and don't forget about keeping physically active).

BTW, I haven't missed work for a nano-second!

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