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Retiring FROM vs. Retiring TO.
Old 10-30-2015, 10:17 AM   #1
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Retiring FROM vs. Retiring TO.

I'm about to violate the Prime Directive of ER and retire at 55 from my job of 30 years without a well defined set of things to retire to. I have a number of activities I've enjoyed, but most have fallen by the wayside in the last 5-10 years of the grind.

Yesterday I shook my manager's hand, signed the paperwork and pretty much set my year end departure date in stone. When he asked what I was going to do with myself I just said "sleep". For the moment it's all I've got planned.

Anyone else retire exhausted, without big plans, and recover your mojo over time?
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:23 AM   #2
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I'm about to violate the Prime Directive of ER and retire at 55 from my job of 30 years without a well defined set of things to retire to.
Can't say I've noticed that in the ER bylaws.

Imho, getting rid of stress and being able to rest and relax sounds like a great reason to retire.
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:24 AM   #3
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.....Anyone else retire exhausted, without big plans, and recover your mojo over time?
Sort of. I wasn't exhausted but I didn't have any particular plans. things have worked out spectacularly. Parkinson's law. You'll find plenty to do.

I recall while I was still working my Dad retired and I took a day off to go golfing with him. On the way to the golf course I asked him "How's this retirement thing going?" and he responded that he was so busy that he didn't know how he ever found time to work. I recall thinking that was the lamest thing I had ever heard. Now I understand. Parkinson's law again.
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:25 AM   #4
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Anyone else retire exhausted, without big plans, and recover your mojo over time?
I didn't retire exhausted, but I had no big plans when I pulled the plug. I left 10 years ago knowing I was resourceful enough to manage my own entertainment and certain life without work was far better than with it.

I was right.
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:44 AM   #5
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I didn't retire exhausted, but I had no big plans when I pulled the plug. I left 10 years ago knowing I was resourceful enough to manage my own entertainment and certain life without work was far better than with it.

I was right.
+1000

I was somewhat concerned when I retired, because I had only worked on the financial preparation for retirement and had not done a thing about emotional preparation, what I would do all day, and so on. People at work told me I should retire TO something, and that made me feel pretty uncomfortable. Looking back on it, gee, they weren't retired so how would they know? But I didn't think of it that way at the time. Like the OP, I was exhausted and mostly just wanted to sleep.

The first week was interesting. For a day or two I felt a little like a fish out of water - - what should I do? Nobody was telling me what to do? Eek! But I knew right away that (for me) it was important to get out of the house at least once every day. So, I went clothes shopping just to get out and walk around. I slept and napped. Then I started going to the gym every day and that worked out nicely. Then slept and napped. By the end of that first week I was pretty much an old hand at retirement and had caught up on my sleep.

Since then, I have had ZERO problems in entertaining myself. There are so many great things to do. I think that if someone doesn't feel freaked out by having Saturday off, retirement should be a breeze. It's just like a never-ending string of Saturdays....
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:56 AM   #6
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Stepford, you just described me. I'm selling my business of 31 years on 1/1/2016 and retiring FROM it. I'd compare it to someone who has his head stuck under water for a long time, you're not thinking about what you want to do next when you get your head back above water---you just want to breath again. Once I catch my breath I'll figure it out (working on my terms) I do have a new place to move to which DW & I are looking forward to immensely. I can't wait to get out of serving the public in a small town business.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:03 AM   #7
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I retired two years ago, with set plans on what to do. They are not big plans, just small schedule to do on weekdays. With addition of hobbies and travels, things become busy enough. I do not miss the stress of work. You can easily find your plan too.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:12 AM   #8
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Every day seems like a major accomplishment for me. I can't believe I worked and did other things . My day is filled up with small tasks. After I do them I feel great. Today is Friday, so I took a walk in the brisk air to the fish market, bought tonight's main course, spoke to the fish monger about his thoughts on what was best to buy, went to the vegetable stand bought a lemon and that's my major accomplishment. I'm much more fulfilled doing that than the rat race I did grinding out a living
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:38 AM   #9
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When I left work, there was no shortage of things to do, just "stuff" that I'd kept putting off "until I have time". But I just took a bunch of deep breaths too, nothing wrong with that.

Now I note those "stuff" things on a to-do list app (I happen to use one called Errands, but I'm sure there are plenty of others) and there's now time to get around to them. You'll think of plenty of fun things to do as you go along also.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:48 AM   #10
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When I left work, there was no shortage of things to do, just "stuff" that I'd kept putting off "until I have time". But I just took a bunch of deep breaths too, nothing wrong with that.

Now I note those "stuff" things on a to-do list app (I happen to use one called Errands, but I'm sure there are plenty of others) and there's now time to get around to them. You'll think of plenty of fun things to do as you go along also.
Couldn't agree more. Not only did I retire exhausted/dog-tired/ready-to-drop/totally outta gas, but have spent the last 5 months just as busy catching up on so much "me stuff". While I've resented being just as busy in retirement, it's amazed me how much it has contributed to the quality of my life.

Moreover, I definitely retired from, and am only now beginning the fun of designing this next phase of my life. It's like everything I've read said it would be: being like a kid again with all this time and so many opportunities.

You will definitely find your way.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:52 AM   #11
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I retired almost two years ago and did so because I wanted my time to be my own and I wanted flexibility in my life. I eased into retirement and slept a great deal at first. Started walking and exercising regularly and read tons of books. I knew I would need time to unlatch from my profession as an educator. There were a few rough patches emotionally in the early months, but I took a go with the flow attitude and acknowledged and worked through those feelings. After about two months, I felt well rested and started adding things. I cast a wide net and tried things that sounded appealing. Life has been amazing!

I did have a friend who criticized how I was handling things. I reminded her that there is no one size fits all retirement. Each person has to make their own path and that depends on so many unique factors. Enjoy!
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:10 PM   #12
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Anyone else retire exhausted, without big plans, and recover your mojo over time?
I ER'd 5 months ago at 58. For the first month or two I could feel the stress of the daily grind just outgas from me. I would awaken at the usual 4am and listen to the crescendo of distant automobile traffic grow and just thank my good fortune not to be part of that anymore.

I didn't have a "plan" for a new set of rules to live daily life to. I guess I'm still working on that. Although I have plenty of hobbies and recreational type things to keep me busy, I haven't adopted a "retirement" lifestyle yet. Maybe I won't.

DW & I don't use the "retired" label, we just joke about it. For us, life goes on, only without the loss of 12+ hrs a day to w*rk. That extra time to do as I please is the reward.

A co-worker of mine retired at 72, he was financially set and had all the toys you could want. At age 77 he was back to work on a contract basis. I asked him why. He said he completed all the things he wanted to accomplish in retirement sooner than he had planned for, and was tired of pulling weeds.

That won't be me.

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Old 10-30-2015, 12:26 PM   #13
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I didn't retire exhausted, but I had no big plans when I pulled the plug. I left 10 years ago knowing I was resourceful enough to manage my own entertainment and certain life without work was far better than with it.

I was right.
I'm only closing in on 9 years, but yea, pretty much the same story. My advice is to not push it, just let it evolve. Do what makes you happy and go from there. Banish the words "I should" from your vocabulary.
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:52 PM   #14
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Of course people have very successfully retired "from" without a conscious "to" in mind, it can definitely be done. Of course some of us, self included, don't want to pull the plug without giving some serious thought to the next chapter. You don't become "exhausted" in a day, so planning some in advance isn't a big ask.

My story is a corollary to REW. My first two years retired were better than my expectations, that's about how long it took me to address many of the activities I'd put off due to career. The last two years have not been as rewarding, specifically Winters can be boring at times. But like REW, I know I am resourceful enough to entertain, even reinvent myself...I'll figure it out, no fear.

Of course, it's less likely those who didn't plan and were less successful are going to reply...
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:03 PM   #15
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I'm probably equal parts from and to. I was definitely escaping an increasingly stressful and exhausting work environment. But I also had specific plans as to how I would spend time in retirement, mostly hobbies that I rarely had time for while working. I had thought this through many times in the years leading up to ER. As it turns out, many of those plans evolved into completely different activities. It's all good. As Options said, it's like being a kid again with a whole world of opportunities. Just let it evolve naturally and you'll recover the mojo in no time.
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:08 PM   #16
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Not me. I had all sorts of plans for what I would do with my time in retirement. Numerous lists, in different orders depending on how I felt when I made the list. I just passed 9 years retired a couple of months ago, and I'm planning on getting started on those list items any day now.


Don't worry about it. Your days will fill up without any conscious decision on your part.
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:17 PM   #17
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Retiring from a toxic workplace will be very therapeutic. You need to be kind to yourself and detox for a varying period of time, perhaps a couple of months, before the symptoms of stress abate and the fog clears. It's good to plan a trip around that time, something that you feel will energize you to start a new phase. My post ER trip was Maui. I returned refreshed and ready to get engaged with ER.
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:37 PM   #18
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I planned to retire very soon and have my daily schedule all worked out. I don't think I'd have enough time to do everything I want to do at ER. All my left over time in between the planned activities are set aside for "just relaxing" time.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:10 PM   #19
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Been retired 13 years now, with a 5 year work interval at a very low stress job in there. Initially I had planned on being more active with radio control airplanes, a hobby I'd enjoyed for the previous 18 years. I built the shop in the basement, had my bench tools all set up, built one airplane... and never flew it.

I'm not sure if I had plateaued with the hobby, just lost interest, or perhaps it was a stress reliever for work and therefore I didn't need it anymore. Anyway, I ended up selling or giving away all but the tools. Those do occasionally come in handy working on small items that need repair.

Like W2R, for a while I was concerned that I wasn't "doing anything productive" but then it occurred to me that "Who sez I have to? Isn't that supposed to be one of the bennies of retirement, that I don't have to do something if I don't want to?"

For a while there I was helping a friend build an airplane, a Pitts S1. That was a fun project that lasted ~2 years generally two or three days a week. He said he probably wouldn't have finished it without the help - I can see how it would be a lonely project by oneself. That's me in both photos, in one I'm just making engine noises.

So now we're just kind of day-to-day living. I read a lot of books from the library, spend too much time here, watch movies, visit relatives, take an occasional day trip, and the like. Hey, we're retired!

Nords wrote a great post a while back about The Fog of Work and how a lifetime of goal-setting and achievement can warp one's perspective.
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:02 PM   #20
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I will admit that when I retired, I did have several projects lined up. But, the difference is that there is no timeline involved with any of them. Yes, I did jump into the first project (bedroom remodel), but while the project would've been done over a couple of weekends and nights while working, this one took a couple of months. It was much more relaxing than any other past remodel project. I've also helped 2 sons with their house remodel projects (one involves flying to the east coast from the west). I've have several spontaneous projects pop up to fix old problems. After telling my wife for years that I need to fix this or that, I just decide to do it that day or that week. My wife hate it because she's a list maker and these projects aren't on her list.
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