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Old 08-29-2015, 11:31 PM   #41
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Sometimes I like the solitude, too. Just tell folks you're busy, gotta run, see ya later, etc.

I usually have to run the people gauntlet when I'm walking the half mile to/from school to pick up or drop off kids. There's a lot of older neighbors of traditional retirement age that looooove to stop me and chat. Then there are the friends that might be in their driveway or driving down the street wanting to chat, set up a playdate for our respective children, etc.

The whole time I'm thinking "I really want to go home and play computer games for the next two blissful hours" or "I just need to get to school to get the kids at 3:00 sharp".

"I gotta run but we'll catch up later" often does the trick.

As for real friends, those social encounters are easier to control. Don't feel like hanging out this week? Tell your bud something came up (even if it's only you wanting to sit at home, sip coffee or beer and read a book).

This week has been kind of crazy socially with a lunch with an old friend and an afternoon with friends fixing cars, talking business and investments. Tomorrow is coffee with another 30-something early retiree. Monday is play date at the park with our 3 year old and a neighbor and her twin 3 year olds.

Tuesday is an empty day on my schedule (so far) and I'm looking forward to taking the day off. But I also enjoy the company of others in moderation, otherwise I'd refuse to hang out with them. Definitely loving the complete lack of forced socialization that was the office environment. Now I get to choose who I hang out with and exactly zero of them are jack asses.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:33 AM   #42
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I was the CEO of a company of 650 and I was the subject of their gossip. When I moved to the west coast and they recruited my replacement, I spent 6 months mentoring their selection in the east.

Then I managed a startup for 5 years. The main challenge was answering questions from my friends of why I retired. I said being good at somethings does not mean working at it for life.

Retirement requires developing a new set of skills.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:35 PM   #43
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My melancholy moment:

This seems to be about letting go and moving on. The older we get, the more we are forced into letting go. There is both pain and freedom in this process. Our best neighbors just told us they were moving to a retirement/condo community. Ouch!

My dearest former work colleague moved halfway across the country two weeks ago. Ouch!

I moved from all that I held dear except DH and DS 16 years ago. Ouch for those we left behind.

It seems this process accelerates in ER and in our later years.

What I find the most difficult to grasp is the "what ifs" my imagination embraced for my life.

Those who I loved should have been together more, but w**k and children got in the way.


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Old 08-30-2015, 03:54 PM   #44
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I think you are articulating well the sad flip side of having such great freedom as we have in America, where the grass is always greener.


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Old 08-30-2015, 09:02 PM   #45
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In retirement, you can become who you want to be, instead of who you had to be in order to do your job.
Can you imagine reading a book, cover to cover in one day? Retirees get to do that.

During my second year of retirement, I found volunteer work that suited me well. The first 6-8 years of retirement were the best years of my life. I wish you the same.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:54 AM   #46
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In a way, I feel lucky that my Megacorp was struggling and all the opportunities for creative and interesting work that had existed in the past disappeared for the last few years of my career (along with most of the co-workers who I considered friends). I naturally replaced the creativity and social interactions that once existed in the office with endeavors and a social life separate from w*rk. So when I pulled the plug, my retirement identity was dominant, and my w*rk identity barely existed anymore. It made the transition very easy.
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:01 PM   #47
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I have always fancied myself as an introvert, so my retirement has been great...I simply slipped off of everyone's radar. I get the occasional e-mail or text but it's never related to my previous j*b.

Now that I am doing the law school thing (not to be a lawyer, just one of those things I thought I'd 'give it a try') I am very annoyed at all the "networking" that goes on. Not the networking per se, but people trying to DRAG me down that road. Some classmates have threatened to nominate me for the student bar association "class leader" position...they don't seem to understand that I am ONLY there for the education and I'm there FOR ME, and no one else. We will see if I make it past the first semester!
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:59 AM   #48
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It took me a few years to go from being a high achiever total extrovert to a calm relaxed FIREee. I still have some thoughts about "I should be doing something, achieving something" but then I go play with my plants and that feeling passes.

I'm FIREd since 2007, so I should be chilled out by now. 80% of the time I'm good about just doing what the hell I want to do. The other 20%...I'm getting there.

For the OP, you will find the path to your steady state.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:24 AM   #49
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I usually have to run the people gauntlet when I'm walking the half mile to/from school to pick up or drop off kids. There's a lot of older neighbors of traditional retirement age that looooove to stop me and chat.
I faced the same thing as a kid, and hated it. I grew up in a neighborhood of mostly older people and retirees, and the neighbors loved to stop me and chat as I was coming or going from the house. We didn't have a garage, either, but an open carport, so it was impossible to dodge them. As a teenager with places to go and people to see (at least to me, at that age, LOL) the last thing I wanted was to get ambushed by the old fogy neighbors for a chat
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:42 AM   #50
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Mead and Healthy brought up another struggle I am going to have to face;
personal identity and professional persona. In reading "how to retire wild, happy, and free", I realized that my personal identity is almost completely wrapped up in my profession. Somewhere, along the way, I lost almost everything else that I was and i either have to find that person again or develop a new one.
I thought I would be one of those people who may be lost without my job, but several months into my semi-retirement (I may still get a j*b later on, but most likely not, the way things are going...), I don't feel I have lost myself at all. I was still in contact with my old work people for the first 2 months, but now, my work feels like a distant dream. It probably helped that I moved out of the area right after I quit my j*b. When people ask me at gyms etc what I do for a living, I just say I don't work. Also it probably helped that I was totally done with my profession. (I cannot imagine ever enjoying doing it again.) One thing I think about is, I used to talk to a lot more people when I was w*rking...although looking back, I didn't even like half of the people I talked to at w*rk, and even the ones I liked, I didn't like them all that much (except for a small handful)! I have become more social now that I have very little social interactions.

So, anyway, you may be right with your concern that you have expressed, but it's possible you will be pleasantly surprised.

One thing I would like to say... If you enjoy your j*b, even if you are ready to FIRE, you may want to keep on w*rking.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:52 AM   #51
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So, anyway, you may be right with your concern that you have expressed, but it's possible you will be pleasantly surprised.

.
I know that as I (involuntarily) entered RE I was looking for some amount of certainty.

In the safety of hindsight I think I would envy someone who'd just look at it as a new life adventure and just jump. Just go for it! Learn new stuff, meet new people.

Be "Pleasantly Surprised" as you open yourself to new things.

Again, easy to say but I'd sure be impressed by someone doing that.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:03 PM   #52
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Here is also what can happen as an ER.... My very elderly neighbor who still is a pretty good golfer has been inviting me for 6 years to play in this monday senior golf outing where over a 100 will show up to play. First time I go I am teamed up with a 72, 79, and 84 year old and we won(Im 51). Im afraid I wont be allowed to come back. I bet there weren't 2 other people there that were in their 50s. I had a great time and my partners were very nice, but it was a very odd feeling as I felt out of place. Outside of my neighbor I have only played with people my age. As my neighbor said to me on the way home...."Nobody can retire in their 50s anymore like we did".


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Old 09-01-2015, 09:24 PM   #53
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As an introvert, I welcomed the chance to eliminate the personal contact from working (part-time). I still have my small circle of friends (mainly my ladyfriend and my best male friend) and my volunteer work and hobbies which is fine. Otherwise, I welcome the added seclusion.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:07 AM   #54
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Now that I am doing the law school thing (not to be a lawyer, just one of those things I thought I'd 'give it a try') I am very annoyed at all the "networking" that goes on. Not the networking per se, but people trying to DRAG me down that road. Some classmates have threatened to nominate me for the student bar association "class leader" position...they don't seem to understand that I am ONLY there for the education and I'm there FOR ME, and no one else. We will see if I make it past the first semester!
Interesting, I've thought about law school too, but to actually become a lawyer and volunteer somewhere. It's expensive though. How do you justify spending $100K-$150K for your J.D. if you don't plan to do anything with it?
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:39 AM   #55
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We moved to a rural area where we didn't know anyone, built a house in the middle of 60 acres, and enjoyed the solitude. After about 5 years, we've worked ourselves in to the small community a bit through some volunteer work and seem to have the right bit of social contact- I'm one of those people that can strike up a conversation in a parking lot and talk for an hour with someone I've never met- just yesterday met a guy who was still running a local apple orchard 60 years after buying property to get started. He's been through a number of rounds of trees and finally getting ready to hand off the business to his adult sons- he is about 85 years old.

I think the key is to set your own pace on interaction- moving helps a lot! We have some family that moved here recently and still getting used to having them around so close by. I'm not big on people dropping by without calling at least so having to work things out- I also don't like to have a lot of company or phone calls in the evening and not answering the phone seems to be an issue for some others when they know you are at home, lol. Hmm, maybe I'm more of a curmudgeon than I thought?
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:09 AM   #56
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Interesting, I've thought about law school too, but to actually become a lawyer and volunteer somewhere. It's expensive though. How do you justify spending $100K-$150K for your J.D. if you don't plan to do anything with it?
Well, between a pretty good merit scholarship (it's not a great LS, so they offered LOTS of $$$ to bump up their LSAT/GPA #'s) and the GI Bill...I am getting paid about 12K a year to go to school.

If I had to pay A DIME, then no, I wouldn't do it. No way. No how. The market for lawyers is atrocious.

The toughest part for me is trying to get folks to understand that I am NOT trying to be a lawyer. There constant barrage of extracurricular activities is just annoying. Also, the ABA has pretty strict rules on attendance and the school I am in does enforce this, so it's difficult to skip if I am not just "feeling it" when the weather is beautiful is out!
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