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Struggling with retirement
Old 05-16-2016, 11:03 AM   #1
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Struggling with retirement

FIREd 1st time in 2004 @ 52. Got bored and started a business. Closed it in 2014 and started seasonal work. Now off again. In that most 'friendships' were thru work and others still work elsewhere, what now? I don't miss getting up at 6, fighting traffic, unrealistic client / boss expectations, never ending deadlines. But wonder how to fill my day

Hate yard work and gardener does a better job
Housework takes minimal time as I'm single
Trading only fills a few hours
Wrong temperament to be a landlady

Suggestions?
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:39 AM   #2
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FIREd 1st time in 2004 @ 52. Got bored and started a business. Closed it in 2014 and started seasonal work. Now off again. In that most 'friendships' were thru work and others still work elsewhere, what now? I don't miss getting up at 6, fighting traffic, unrealistic client / boss expectations, never ending deadlines. But wonder how to fill my day

Hate yard work and gardener does a better job
Housework takes minimal time as I'm single
Trading only fills a few hours
Wrong temperament to be a landlady

Suggestions?
Just some reflections upon reading your post:

Somehow I get the sense that you haven't ever felt fully retired at all. "Retired the first time"? Maybe you felt more unemployed than retired.

I think that most people find that those "work friendships" that aren't actual, genuine friendships often dissolve upon retiring because they aren't really built on a solid foundation. With lots of time available after retirement, it's pretty easy to make some new friends and develop stronger friendships.

As for what to do all day, here are two threads covering 2008-present, on the topic of "what did you do today".

http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f29/what-did-you-do-today-2008-2015-closed-37868.html

http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f29/what-did-you-do-today-2016-version-80192.html

Personally I found it incredibly liberating to be able to decide on my own what I want to do with my time, and to set my own goals. It does take some initiative to come up with plans and ideas, but it's SO worth it IMO. I pretty much get to do whatever I want. After 61 years of school and work, it is so nice to get out from under.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:44 AM   #3
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Sounds like you need a few hobbies.

I like fishing, cooking, astronomy, woodworking, riding motorcycles, gambling (Texas Hold 'em), walking the dog, shooting sports (archery, pistols & rifles and shotguns (trap, skeet and sporting clays)

Have fun!
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by gayl View Post
FIREd 1st time in 2004 @ 52. Got bored and started a business. Closed it in 2014 and started seasonal work. Now off again. In that most 'friendships' were thru work and others still work elsewhere, what now? I don't miss getting up at 6, fighting traffic, unrealistic client / boss expectations, never ending deadlines. But wonder how to fill my day

Hate yard work and gardener does a better job
Housework takes minimal time as I'm single
Trading only fills a few hours
Wrong temperament to be a landlady

Suggestions?
Volunteer, get involved in the community. Apply to serve on local government advisory boards and commissions. Assist at a social service agency. Start another business.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:54 AM   #5
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Golf lessons! I thought I would never pick up a club to play such a boring game..man, was I wrong... I find it challenging, fascinating and humbling. YMMV
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:55 AM   #6
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Sounds like you need a few hobbies.

I like fishing, cooking, astronomy, woodworking, riding motorcycles, gambling (Texas Hold 'em), walking the dog, shooting sports (archery, pistols & rifles and shotguns (trap, skeet and sporting clays)

Have fun!
Also, it helps some of us to develop some structure to our time. Every day Frank and I eat lunch together, and on MWF we go to the gym together. If I have laundry, I do it while drinking my morning coffee and perusing the forum. In the evenings I stay at home and listen to podcasts that I find to be intellectually stimulating, while playing my video games (or else watching TV - - tonight if The Voice is on, then I'll watch that). It's nice to have some expectations for the day.

I find it helpful, even comforting, to have some structure as described and also to make a point of getting out of the house for at least a couple of hours every day, even if to just go shopping and walk through stores without buying anything.


Edited to add: BTW, I don't do any of the things you listed, either! They don't appeal to me one bit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayl View Post
Hate yard work and gardener does a better job
Housework takes minimal time as I'm single
Trading only fills a few hours
Wrong temperament to be a landlady
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:03 PM   #7
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Suggestions?
I really like the Philip Greenspun take on early retirement

Early Retirement
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:07 PM   #8
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We have several hobbies each, belong to a few clubs and the senior center, have a couple of at home businesses, a money pit house that always needs some work or repair, a pet, have a few seat filler memberships for free or discounted event tickets, and do a little travel.

Like W2R, I also try to plan some event or outing every day. Some days it might just be going to a local dive bar for happy hour and other days it might be an afternoon at an art museum. But I keep the calendar pretty much filled a month or two in advance.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:11 PM   #9
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Somehow I get the sense that you haven't ever felt fully retired at all. "Retired the first time"? Maybe you felt more unemployed than retired.
the first time, I felt retired. Worked only on days I wanted -- maybe 10 out of entire year for a decade -- income irrelevant. This last time I guess I do feel unemployed. And yes, work friends aren't real ones.

Like the suggestion of golf, do volunteer at synagogue, problem with a lot of volunteering is that there's still deadlines. I'm volunteering wrong

Trying to plan 1 thing each day until I get comfortable with no deadlines. Guess I'm the only one who had a weird adjustment period

Has anyone done college emeritus?
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:18 PM   #10
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Like the suggestion of golf, do volunteer at synagogue, problem with a lot of volunteering is that there's still deadlines.
I feel like we should do some volunteer work but we also like not having set schedules and deadlines, so we tend to favor clubs with drop in activities.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:59 PM   #11
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Trying to plan 1 thing each day until I get comfortable with no deadlines. Guess I'm the only one who had a weird adjustment period

Has anyone done college emeritus?
You are not the only one. And weirdly I tried to retire once too, unfortunately in 2008. I went back to state college to get a BS in computer science since I had been in the field almost all of my working life with a BA in Psych and was interested in learning more. I was 1 semester shy of the degree when I got scared about sequence of return and took a job. I know a couple of people doing college emeritus who complete all of the assignments and take the exam and enjoy it because there's no cost to failing. But they don't fail.

The first time I felt retired and just enjoyed it until money worries got the best of me. I retired again 8 months ago at 57 and had a much harder time. I went from carrying a beeper 24/7, which was soul-killing, to ... nothing. I left because I could not stand it another minute, so it was somewhat abrupt. I knew I was OK financially but did not do a lot of planning about what I would do with my time.

Things are better now. I took a very part-time job tutoring for pin money. I am lucky in that if I need it I can increase my hours. Right now they let me work 2 half-days a week and sometimes sub a third day. They have asked me to work more this summer but I think that might turn it into a J*B for me.

I find that having some structure makes the off-days and weekends sweeter. I still like the Friday feeling. Crazy I know.

It does get better. I have had many "I can't believe I'm not dreaming this" days. You will too.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:59 PM   #12
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Try any of these:

21 Fulfilling Ways to Pass Time in Retirement | On Retirement | US News
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:05 PM   #13
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retirement is a different for different people. Many people don't recognize how much of work is social. It also sets a schedule of things to do or to be done. Some people need a detailed schedule... and some don't. Some people derive their self worth based on their employment.... "I'm the manager" or whatever.
It sounds like you need to find some activities an set some kind of schedule at least for a while. You may need to find activities (golf or volunteering as mentioned before) that get you in connected with other people.

DW supported my sailing hobby even though she hates sailing. But most of my friends at the time were engineering related. Now that I'm RE, a large % of my friend are sailing related.

You may have experience retirement for you where you were bored. When I was a kid and was bored, the solution was usually to go out and do something. Search out thing you like to do.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:07 PM   #14
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Some people are just not made to retire and are happiest working. Don't fight it, do what makes you happy.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:37 PM   #15
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I really like the Philip Greenspun take on early retirement

Early Retirement
Thanks, great read IMO.
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:19 PM   #16
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It sounds like the social aspect is what you miss most. There exist many groups for socializing, or if you like to feel productive at the same time you can always volunteer somewhere.
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:31 PM   #17
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I volunteer at the food bank run by my church. Its every wednesday from 9 to noon. I make a point of not going there every week. I don't want them to come to expect my help and I don't want it to feel like a schedule to me.

I didn't retire to force a new bit of structure onto myself. So on some wednesday mornings myself and the dogs go for a hike on the AT or the forest service roads in the area if I don't want the 10 minute drive. If the weathers poor, I'm in the mood or I haven't been in a while then its the food bank. My wednesdays have been like this for a couple of years now and all is still good.
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:34 PM   #18
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Trying to plan 1 thing each day until I get comfortable with no deadlines. Guess I'm the only one who had a weird adjustment period
I also had an adjustment period since most of my social life involved work friends . I joined a gym and signed up for classes . It is easy to meet women at the gym . I joined a weekly lunch group and two years ago I joined a book club . With these groups I have plenty of social life . I have an SO but when I retired he was still working plus I needed women friends .It took me a couple of years but I now have a well balanced social life .
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Struggling with retirement
Old 05-16-2016, 11:13 PM   #19
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Struggling with retirement

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Volunteer, get involved in the community. Apply to serve on local government advisory boards and commissions. Assist at a social service agency. Start another business.

+1. I get a lot of personal satisfaction from volunteering - working with young people- teaching - and being around others who are both professional and behave with a "giving" attitude.

Like yourself, I was bored after about 30 seconds of FIRE... In mid 40s I find I still want some feeling of belonging to and impacting something bigger.

Edit: Missed the college emeritus part. Yes. I'm doing a masters degree currently too ... Just a bucket list item for me.
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Old 05-17-2016, 12:02 AM   #20
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Trying to plan 1 thing each day until I get comfortable with no deadlines. Guess I'm the only one who had a weird adjustment period
So herein may be a clue -

No, you are not unique. Many, many people have gone through same. What you may not have yet come to, however, is understanding that just because you are FI, you are not done setting and achieving goals, assuming that is an aspect of w$@rking you enjoyed. I'm FIRE'd, but oh man do I have an ever growing list of goals to work on - becoming fluent in a foreign language in order to spend a little time living abroad, spending large amounts of time at the gym and outside (running, hiking, biking, etc) in order to participate in long distance events (backpacking the Grand Canyon, hiking across Scotland, biking the Oregon coastline), learning about art ( and joining an art club as a result). I'll stop, in that I think I've made my point, but I could go on a good deal longer, truly.

My gut tells me you are at a point of passivity in your own life, possibly having relied on your job duties to fill your time and define your goals previously. The good news is that it is much more satisfying and fun to do so yourself once you get the hang of it. I highly recommend 'The Joy of Not Working' by Ernie Zelinski for an excellent primer on exactly how to do so.
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