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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-10-2006, 05:36 PM   #21
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

I would like to be able to distinguish the things that really have been improved in retirement Vs the image. I think there would be some, like maybe less stress if one had a stressful job. But I expect most of a persons experience of life comes from their own personality. I think a person who is depressed in their work life is likely to be depressed in retirement after some happier adjustment period.
If this is not true and the nervous person is suddenly and permanently no longer nervous I would like to hear about it. The people I remember as being busy at work are busy in retirement. What may happen (my wife is retiring in a few weeks, so I'll be closely observing) is that the one thing that does happen is there is more time. And if there is a pressing interest (say, in our case a 1 year old grandchild) then retirement is a real opportunity.
But in general I would assert (without even a poll !) that after a while a person is not happier in retirement than before retirement. Of course, it could be that ERs are a separate personality category and only flourish when there is nothing they "have" to do.
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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-10-2006, 05:46 PM   #22
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

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Originally Posted by yakers
Of course, it could be that ERs are a separate personality category and only flourish when there is nothing they "have" to do.
That's how I feel.

My spouse & kid tell me that I've completely changed. In a good way.
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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-10-2006, 05:50 PM   #23
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

But the stress of work has a HUGE influence on quality of life. * Yes, people have certain personality traits and outlooks on life that affect their happiness. *But removing a (probably the) major source of stress and frustration improves things across the board I would think.

[OK - I grant you those who are more comfortable/secure if someone else structures their life, or needs the ego strokes of their position in an organization - they may have a hard time of it]

Working people in the USA rush around like crazy - rush, rush, rush, sleep deprivation, constant multitasking, juggling everything. *It's terrible. *

Yes, being able to go to the restaurant, drive through town, go shopping, run errands, etc., etc. when everyone else is working is FANTASTIC! *

And having enough time to do stuff is PRICELESS. *Being able to slow down and take a leisurely pace - just wonderful.

Ditto all the stuff Starry Night said!!!

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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-10-2006, 09:50 PM   #24
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

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i loved recently reading about billy and akaisha on this very forum. more than inspirational, i find their story confirmation of dreams i've always held to be true.
Thank you so much, LazyG4NB!* ** You are very kind.. Your ideas of interacting with your environment in the peace and quiet of the 'off hours' is just our style as well. aaaaahhhh.....* no chaos.* 8)

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I have some ideas about what I want to do eventually in the back of my head, but I'm not rushing to get to them at this point. That's the best part so far...making it up as I go. Work was just the opposite. I was always doing what other's had planned for me and that didn't change when I became management; it got worse.
I understand. We like making it up as we go along too. The freedom and creativity is so enriching! so exciting!

What you say about conforming to work demands is also something I identify with. I always had to take my lunch hour during my most productive time, and a coffee break right when I was finishing up a project. I'd get back and have to find my place. I would have preferred to save up my coffee breaks and my hour lunch, take an hour and 1/2 lunch break at 2 in the afternoon,* come back to work with only an hour and a half left. I got more done that way, but it didn't fit into the schedule they wanted.

That's one of the reasons I became self employed -- so I had no time at all to take my lunch -- oooops I mean so I could choose when I could take my lunch! *

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I'm in year 4... we need more Mondays, and less Fridays!
When Billy and I first retired, we felt like we were playing hookey. We purposely 'forgot' what day it was and only received the Sunday paper. We didn't pay attention to the names of any of the days (it was a game for a while) and looked forward to 'Big Paper Day' when it came. What fun!

(I know, I know, such simple pleasures...!!) We still call Sunday 'Big Paper Day'.....

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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-11-2006, 04:16 PM   #25
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
I would like to be able to distinguish the things that really have been improved in retirement Vs the image. I think there would be some, like maybe less stress if one had a stressful job. But I expect most of a persons experience of life comes from their own personality. I think a person who is depressed in their work life is likely to be depressed in retirement after some happier adjustment period.
If this is not true and the nervous person is suddenly and permanently no longer nervous I would like to hear about it. The people I remember as being busy at work are busy in retirement. What may happen (my wife is retiring in a few weeks, so I'll be closely observing) is that the one thing that does happen is there is more time. And if there is a pressing interest (say, in our case a 1 year old grandchild) then retirement is a real opportunity.
But in general I would assert (without even a poll !) that after a while a person is not* happier in retirement than before retirement. Of course, it could be that ERs are a separate personality category and only flourish when there is nothing they "have" to do.
good points. i didn't used to think people could change. rather, i used to think people simply became more of who they were. maybe they don't so much change but instead become more of one part than another that was there the whole time. regardless, as much as we might be in this world rather than of this world, fact is, while we're here, life does stuff to us.

i found that my brother's children benefited him in a big way. growing up he was a crappy big brother. but his first wife knocked much of that huge chip off his shoulder and his second wife and three kids opened his heart. he became a wonderful brother to me and finally i am glad to have him around.

but as you note, some traits linger. i think it was dan streech, pres. of pae (nordhavn trawlers) who said something to the effect that a boat will enhance a happy person's life but will only frustrate a miserable person. and generally this might be true.

while a happy person will find a way to be happy even in hard times, sure, a miserable person will find a way to be miserable even on easy street. but sometimes life offers a chance to change. maybe the miserable person had never gone snorkling off the swim platform of a boat before. maybe that person will discover a new world there, a new self here.
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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-11-2006, 09:51 PM   #26
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

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while a happy person will find a way to be happy even in hard times, sure, a miserable person will find a way to be miserable even on easy street. but sometimes life offers a chance to change. maybe the miserable person had never gone snorkling off the swim platform of a boat before. maybe that person will discover a new world there, a new self here.
Very well put. I am the kind of person who believes in the possibility to change one's life. We might have our particular bent or slant to the opportunities presented to us, but the opportunities are there.

It's up to us what to do with them.

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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-12-2006, 02:10 PM   #27
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

For me being retired for a month or so has been much more mellow than I thought. I had the idea that all the time I was formerly at work would be spent going out and doing fun things. The reality is that I mostly do things around the house most of the day, and then go out and do things with other people in the evening after they get off of work. Sadly, I end up in the same rush hour traffic jams as everyone else going out in the evening.

The unexpected bonus is the feeling of relaxation and integrity from not trying to pretend I'm interested in my former work.

My inner lazy bum was repressed (barely) while working and is now fully unleashed. It feels like a healthy stage for now but one of my big to-do items is figuring out how to motivate myself by attraction to positive goals, rather than motivating myself by fear of bad consequences as I have most of my life. Some people are naturally motivated towards what they want, but in the past I've been motivated more by avoiding what I don't want. I think this is a form of depression, and I would have to say I'm still in that depression, but it feels a lot better!
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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-12-2006, 02:21 PM   #28
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

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Originally Posted by free4now
My inner lazy bum was repressed (barely) while working and is now fully unleashed....
...I think this is a form of depression, and I would have to say I'm still in that depression, but it feels a lot better!
After 10 months, my inner lazy bum still wakes up each morning with a big grin on his face.
Depression? Wasn't that something that happend back in the 1930's.

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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-12-2006, 03:31 PM   #29
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

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Originally Posted by free4now
figuring out how to motivate myself by attraction to positive goals, rather than motivating myself by fear of bad consequences as I have most of my life.* *Some people are naturally motivated towards what they want, but in the past I've been motivated more by avoiding what I don't want.* *I think this is a form of depression, and I would have to say I'm still in that depression, but it feels a lot better!
when you can see yourself so clearly and honestly, new worlds can not help but to make themselves accessible.

"if you look in a mirror you discover it has infinite potential, beyond limitation. it could be a small mirror, yet even a small mirror can reflect a whole view of a countryside. the reflection is beyond the size of the mirror. through the reflection you find in the mirror, you can discover its infinite potential; the reflection is very important for discovering that nature." ~~namkhai norbu rinpoche
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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-13-2006, 07:31 AM   #30
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

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... one of my big to-do items is figuring out how to motivate myself by attraction to positive goals, rather than motivating myself by fear of bad consequences as I have most of my life.* *Some people are naturally motivated towards what they want, but in the past I've been motivated more by avoiding what I don't want.*
I understand! A good deal of my earlier life was spent clearly knowing what I didn't want, but was hard pressed being able to verbalize or visualize something I actually wanted. I mean something attainable and reasonable - not magical thinking... It was a rebellious stage, I guess.*

I agree, with the comments on self reflection by namkhai norbu rinpoche. It's the only way we can find out what motivates us in a positive, purposefully directional way. Otherwise, we are simply rebelling once again, and we don't genuinely know ourselves.

Good luck! It's worth the personal journey. You will find your strength there.

Best,
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Re: Romanticizing retirement
Old 04-13-2006, 08:54 AM   #31
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Re: Romanticizing retirement

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Originally Posted by free4now
The unexpected bonus is the feeling of relaxation and integrity from not trying to pretend I'm* interested in my former work.* *

My inner lazy bum was repressed (barely) while working and is now fully unleashed.* It feels like a healthy stage for now but one of my big to-do items is figuring out how to motivate myself by attraction to positive goals, rather than motivating myself by fear of bad consequences as I have most of my life.* *Some people are naturally motivated towards what they want, but in the past I've been motivated more by avoiding what I don't want.* *I think this is a form of depression, and I would have to say I'm still in that depression, but it feels a lot better!
Well, if it feels a whole lot better - it's hard to call it depression.

If you start staying in bed all day - then it might be depression!

The "feeling of relaxation and integrity" because you are no longer pretending - that is a REALLY BIG DEAL.

Enjoy unleashing your repressed inner lazy bum! Gosh - it could take a year really to decompress for all those hard working years, so give yourself plenty of time and don't worry too much if you aren't pursuing positive goals just yet.

I bet if you just focus now on getting enough exercise and doing at least one enjoyable thing every day, that will give you time to "heal" and then other important things will follow. What you want will start to come more tangible.

It seems like it's taken me decades to learn to switch from avoiding the bad, to moving towards the positive goals. Be patient with yourself. This is a major transition with a lifetime of habits to overcome.

If you really feel lost about what you really want out of life, Barbara Sher has several really good books on the subject. Wishcraft isvery good and is available free on the net: http://www.wishcraft.com/ It's just as important to a satisfying retirement as it is to a satisfying career.

Audrey
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:29 PM   #32
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OK - last one I promise!

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Old 09-06-2008, 10:35 AM   #33
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And what if your spouse's idea of the ideal retirement are drastically different than yours? How do you compromise on something as major as that??

I would be interested in how your plans have differed or stayed the same when you actually reached your goal.
No spouse.

No surprises; I knew my nature would not change after ER.

I think after awhile in ER you will become back to the personality qualities you had before you started working. In the beginning you may do things on your "Bucket List" but after awhile you will revert to and be guided by your true nature. I've come to this conclusion from the book below and my personal experiences and observations of other people.

Welcome to the home of Barbara Sher's WISHCRAFT!
"OK, let’s take the three characteristics I named as defining genius—great brilliance, original vision, incredible determination—and see whether you had them when you were 2 years old"

The concept is to use your earlier self to guide you to your passions and enjoyment of ER. This person got lost through the socialization process. It isn't as easy as it sounds.

Most of the clichés you have heard are true – “Life is too short.”, “No one regretted working more on their death bed.” When you turn the phrase “I will believe it when I see it” on its head to “I will see it when I believe it” you will be on your way to finding your path to early retirement. Once you have been retired for awhile the fears you have now will seem a distant memory.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:38 AM   #34
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PS - I replied to the first post before reading the others. It seems great minds think alike - Audrey referenced the same book.
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:37 PM   #35
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18 months into retirement for me. No problems but haven't been able to travel as I had hoped. I need to stay close by to look after my mom and aunt, 90 and 96 years old. But I do slip off for a few quick trips to the gulf coast for a change of pace.

No complaints though. My mom and aunt are both in good health, so I'm happy for that. Plus I get to play golf almost everyday and that is my real retirement passion anyway. Traveling can wait.
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:42 PM   #36
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18 months into retirement for me. No problems but haven't been able to travel as I had hoped. I need to stay close by to look after my mom and aunt, 90 and 96 years old. But I do slip off for a few quick trips to the gulf coast for a change of pace.

No complaints though. My mom and aunt are both in good health, so I'm happy for that. Plus I get to play golf almost everyday and that is my real retirement passion anyway. Traveling can wait.
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:48 PM   #37
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And what if your spouse's idea of the ideal retirement are drastically different than yours? How do you compromise on something as major as that??
I retired 2 years ago, DW was out of work which evolved into ER for her too. I had been talking about FIRE and what I planned to do for at least 10 years before pulling the trigger, so I assumed we were on track together.

So I was surprised at her reaction when I told her I was planning to bail in about a year. She sort of freaked out, and said she didn't know what we would do in retirement. (This is after we got through all the financial discussions, with her paying attention this time). She just figured I had been "talking" all that time, but not serious about it. Just goes to show that communication isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Of course, we worked through it, and are having a wonderful life. We talk about working here or there occasionally (me at Barnes & Noble for the free book access), but so far we're having too much fun just doing whatever we feel like whenever we feel like it. There are more things to do than there is time to do it, so I doubt we'll ever get too bored.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:08 PM   #38
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I (and DW) have been "retired" so long we have almost forgot about what it was to have done anything else. Have to really jog the memory to remember some of the "early years". I do remember about 22 years ago she lost her job due to downsizing and I said "good me, too" lets sell the house and go to Florida. Knocked around there for 19 years and said lets move someplace else. OK, one of the DD and family is in Ohio, lets go bother them for awhile; and we did and have. Now after 3 years here we are "planning" on another move in 2 to 4 years; have to hurry a bit this time as Ohio has almost run out of restrictions to put on my driver's license (got to use rear view mirrors and wear glasses to drive now). Never plan just do what you want.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:27 PM   #39
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We are playing it as we go. MIL just died this year at 92 so we have some new options. Moving to Mexico next month for the winter. Thinking of Europe on a river cruise next June. Maybe Australia in September.

We both had high profile jobs when we retired in 2002 and so suffered a bit of withdrawal but have gotten over that entirely now.

Like any other change on life, there is no substitute for personal experience.
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