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Ten weeks in, what next?
Old 09-14-2013, 06:09 AM   #1
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Ten weeks in, what next?

Ten weeks in and here are the changes/observations so far:

1) The date and day of the week are less readily available. If you ask me what day of the week it is it takes me moment to recall, because its not as important. Today is Saturday, bike ride east and up day. But I have to remind myself of it, it is not automatic.
2) I thought that I would live without a calendar/schedule of events. I now need this even more because I have a bigger chance of event conflicts. I also need to to insure I schedule some 'me' time.
3) Money worries are gone. The OMY lifestyle that put my brain in a constant 'planning' loops is gone. The plan is set, either we got it right or got it wrong. Time to execute it is here, so thoughts of money are just diminished.
4) New identity. The new people that I meet have absolutely no interest in what I did (who I was). I am needing to forge me new identity. I have made a few stumbles trying to rely on the old me, but quickly found out that no one cares.
5) Domestic bliss. This is one area where we are still working on. Finding the right mix of shared and individual activities has not reached an optimal level yet...it either direction it seems. This is one area where week 1 and week 10 seem fairly equal so far. Still working on this.
6) A working job. One of the first things that I did was to send out some feelers for some interesting summer activity employment next year. Now I see that was way premature. The other day I met with a retired person who wants to return to the workforce in 5 years. That just sounded crazy.

What are the next steps? I feel like the new normal is just around the corner.

thanks
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:53 AM   #2
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Sounds like you're doing great.

Relax and enjoy.

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Old 09-14-2013, 09:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooked View Post
Ten weeks in and here are the changes/observations so far:

1) The date and day of the week are less readily available. If you ask me what day of the week it is it takes me moment to recall, because its not as important. Today is Saturday, bike ride east and up day. But I have to remind myself of it, it is not automatic.
2) I thought that I would live without a calendar/schedule of events. I now need this even more because I have a bigger chance of event conflicts. I also need to to insure I schedule some 'me' time.
3) Money worries are gone. The OMY lifestyle that put my brain in a constant 'planning' loops is gone. The plan is set, either we got it right or got it wrong. Time to execute it is here, so thoughts of money are just diminished.
4) New identity. The new people that I meet have absolutely no interest in what I did (who I was). I am needing to forge me new identity. I have made a few stumbles trying to rely on the old me, but quickly found out that no one cares.
5) Domestic bliss. This is one area where we are still working on. Finding the right mix of shared and individual activities has not reached an optimal level yet...it either direction it seems. This is one area where week 1 and week 10 seem fairly equal so far. Still working on this.
6) A working job. One of the first things that I did was to send out some feelers for some interesting summer activity employment next year. Now I see that was way premature. The other day I met with a retired person who wants to return to the workforce in 5 years. That just sounded crazy.

What are the next steps? I feel like the new normal is just around the corner.

thanks
Interesting to read about your experiences in adjusting to the retired life, #3 and 4 in particular. I was surprised to hear that the money worries went away, and I liked hearing about your struggle to find a new "identity." I think the latter is a piece that we often don't talk about, but it can be an interesting process. Lots of room to experiment.
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:25 AM   #4
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Interesting to read about your experiences in adjusting to the retired life, #3 and 4 in particular. I was surprised to hear that the money worries went away, and I liked hearing about your struggle to find a new "identity." I think the latter is a piece that we often don't talk about, but it can be an interesting process. Lots of room to experiment.
I liked hearing about finding a new identity, too, EREddie.

I have been thinking about that a lot these days. Also about finding a new circle of friends in this stage of life.

I've been working very parttime at a bookstore, with co-workers who do not have the same background as me: advanced degree and 30 years in megacorp. But it's so interesting to get to know them. Same thing with people I meet in the classes I take (ballet, French, jewelry making). Most are "types" of people I would have never have had relationships with in my previous work-work-work-keep up lifestyle.

Hanging out with different kinds of folks has helped me establish a new identity, more or less independent of what I "was" during my previous career.

I would be interested in hearing from other folks about this topic.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #5
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Terrific post! Congratulations on your retirement and I enjoyed reading about your observations so far.

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Originally Posted by Cooked View Post
Ten weeks in and here are the changes/observations so far:

1) The date and day of the week are less readily available. If you ask me what day of the week it is it takes me moment to recall, because its not as important. Today is Saturday, bike ride east and up day. But I have to remind myself of it, it is not automatic.
I usually know the day of the week, even in retirement. After all, MWF are our usual gym days, and trash days are Tuesday and Friday. If I didn't know the day of the week, the trash would never go out in time for the trash truck. Also, I try to avoid shopping on the weekends because the stores are crowded. It's always good to know when it is Saturday because I wouldn't want to miss SNL (now that I can stay up late enough to watch it).

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2) I thought that I would live without a calendar/schedule of events. I now need this even more because I have a bigger chance of event conflicts. I also need to to insure I schedule some 'me' time.
I don't really have events. I get lots of "me time" and that is very important to me. Often "me time" results in ideas of things we can do together the next day. If I remember them, fine, if I don't, well that is fine too. I do jot down doctor appointments and such in an Excel file. Usually there are not very many to remember.

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3) Money worries are gone. The OMY lifestyle that put my brain in a constant 'planning' loops is gone. The plan is set, either we got it right or got it wrong. Time to execute it is here, so thoughts of money are just diminished.
So true! We have what we have, and now all that is necessary is to live within the income we have established for ourselves. I do keep checking to make sure I am doing that, and I record every cent I spend. Recently I began Medicare so I have to pay $104.90/month for Part B, and I have been paying a little more attention as I try to crowbar this into my normal spending patterns.

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4) New identity. The new people that I meet have absolutely no interest in what I did (who I was). I am needing to forge me new identity. I have made a few stumbles trying to rely on the old me, but quickly found out that no one cares.
Nobody cares, so true. But in a sense, that is a relief. Nobody asks me dumb questions that they think must be related to my profession. Still, like you, I am in the process of trying to figure out who I really am. Luckily I think that I have a pretty firm self-concept and I do not feel even slightly insecure. I know my own strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise I suppose this could be more of a problem.

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5) Domestic bliss. This is one area where we are still working on. Finding the right mix of shared and individual activities has not reached an optimal level yet...it either direction it seems. This is one area where week 1 and week 10 seem fairly equal so far. Still working on this.
Although I am not married (and we do not live together), Frank and I had to figure this out too, especially because I retired 3 months before he did. We both wanted a routine in retirement but I had to change my initial routine after those first 3 months. Originally I went to the gym every single day, and after coming home to shower and change I would then engage in shopping or other activities that involved walking and staying active. Now, we go to the gym together on MWF, have lunch together every day, and spend the afternoons together, sometimes shopping or running errands and sometimes not. That seems like the right amount of shared activities for both of us right now.

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6) A working job. One of the first things that I did was to send out some feelers for some interesting summer activity employment next year. Now I see that was way premature. The other day I met with a retired person who wants to return to the workforce in 5 years. That just sounded crazy.

What are the next steps? I feel like the new normal is just around the corner.

thanks
I am determined to never work another day in my life. But then, my original username was "Want2retire".

On November 9th I will have been retired for four years. I like the routines we have set up and hope and assume they can stay in place for a long time.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:54 PM   #6
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Thank you guys for your responses.

The new identity this is the issue that concerned me the most in this transition. Upon reflection it was clear that the workplace provided too much of my social content. Stated more clearly, I needed to get a life.

My most significant step is to get involved with some adult education. This is proving to be a useful approach. The staff, other tutors and the adult learners are providing quite a bit of diversity across interests, ages and ethnic backgrounds. It also makes me thankful for what I have.

The next step is to find something that offers exposure to youthful energy. I am not sure what this should be, but only ten weeks in...I have time.

I want some good interactions with a diverse set of people and still plenty of 'me' time.
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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For youthful energy, I have found plenty of meetup.com groups (with a focus on hiking, bicycling, and 'adventure').

Since retiring, I also began ballroom dancing. The local university (which has a fabulous student ballroom dance team and club) sponsors a weekly public dance (and free lessons beforehand) which is typically attended by 150-200 people from ages 18 to 80! And, in keeping with the LBYM spirit, they sell an annual pass for $60.

Attending many of the concerts and lectures offered on campus (usually free or low cost) also puts me in contact with "youthful energy".

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Old 09-14-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooked View Post
Ten weeks in and here are the changes/observations so far:

1) The date and day of the week are less readily available. If you ask me what day of the week it is it takes me moment to recall, because its not as important. Today is Saturday, bike ride east and up day. But I have to remind myself of it, it is not automatic.
2) I thought that I would live without a calendar/schedule of events. I now need this even more because I have a bigger chance of event conflicts. I also need to to insure I schedule some 'me' time.
3) Money worries are gone. The OMY lifestyle that put my brain in a constant 'planning' loops is gone. The plan is set, either we got it right or got it wrong. Time to execute it is here, so thoughts of money are just diminished.
4) New identity. The new people that I meet have absolutely no interest in what I did (who I was). I am needing to forge me new identity. I have made a few stumbles trying to rely on the old me, but quickly found out that no one cares.
5) Domestic bliss. This is one area where we are still working on. Finding the right mix of shared and individual activities has not reached an optimal level yet...it either direction it seems. This is one area where week 1 and week 10 seem fairly equal so far. Still working on this.
6) A working job. One of the first things that I did was to send out some feelers for some interesting summer activity employment next year. Now I see that was way premature. The other day I met with a retired person who wants to return to the workforce in 5 years. That just sounded crazy.

What are the next steps? I feel like the new normal is just around the corner.

thanks
Thanks for putting this up. I ER in three weeks and have thought about all of these, with #5 being my biggest worry (what if we get on each others goat, no matter how we balance it).

#3 is probably next, but I have around 9 months worth of unused leave to fuel me at my current income level. I get my golden handshake in Feb 14 and, despite the comfort I get from my readings on (not) market timing, I still fear the share market dropping 50% the day after I put it in there. DCA will help I think.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:25 PM   #9
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This is really interesting stuff (which I'm new to) as it highlights just how common all our thoughts and fears are. I was convinced nobody else could possibly understand that it was difficult to quit working as most people I know don't actually like their jobs, but it goes way beyond quitting to leave something behind, it's what's out there to head TO that seems to be the big question, for me anyway.

Thanks for the insights!
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
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Six months in, I'm just starting to struggle with filling my days. I'm still working part time from my house, but I was used to a lot of travel. Already had a vacation, and took a cruise, but I want to go all the time. Not sure if I can stay home this much.. I am a gypsy at heart and hubby is stay at home. I have been doing one new thing a week, this week is dance classes and baking a pie for the county fair - way out of my comfort zone, but I'm still a bit bored.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:38 PM   #11
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Retired 3.5 years ago, went to part time work of 15 hours to continue to hold up some probably unneeded reserves, then shut that down 6 months ago. Some of my observations.... 1) my pace has slowed considerably. I have become a consummate piddler. Things I could get done after work take me all day to get done now. I am not upset about it, just amused by it. 2) Circle of friends have narrowed to my original 4, plus extensive time with GF. Do not want any more friends nor need any social time beyond these people and my family. 3) I have a general daily routine and like to stick to it, including my hobbies. 4) I have really learned to enjoy and embrace my alone time. 5) I thoroughly enjoy retirement and will probably never work again. Nice to shut it down for good at 49!
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:31 AM   #12
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Great discussion. I'm thinking about many of these issues as I'm planning to retire in the next few months.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:11 AM   #13
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Ten weeks?? It took me 2 years to get to that point! Congrats!

The identity issue is something that many don't consider. After 30 years of corporate crap, I now get to be 'me'. Just me. No one calling, no one wanting/needing something done/fixed, no one needing a decision/approval. Just me.

I have found opportunities to hang out and interact with college age folks a few times a week which is a great way to stay active and involved. As "gardenfun" said, getting with types you normally wouldn't associate is also a great mind stretcher!

Enjoy!
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:39 AM   #14
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Only 18 weeks into ER. Mornings are great, but the afternoons are starting to test my mental state. I get up around 5am to start my day and enjoy my coffee, news and checking-in different forums online. However after lunch time I have to admit I'm starting to get a little bored. Not bored enough to think I made a mistake of leaving a MegaCorp job. I can not see that ever happening. I think I want to eventually work part time, but I think I'm not mentally there yet and do not know what I want to do for work. I guess I'm still in the soul searching phase. Live in AZ so the temps are still over 100 by the afternoon so not a lot of incentive for outdoor activities right now, but that will change soon when the highs are in the 80's. I make a point to have lunch once a week with my core friends from work as well has happy hour every Friday. I do want to start reading more & exercising more, but that damn 65 inch TV keeps getting in the way ....
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:59 AM   #15
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Only 18 weeks into ER. Mornings are great, but the afternoons are starting to test my mental state. I get up around 5am to start my day and enjoy my coffee, news and checking-in different forums online. However after lunch time I have to admit I'm starting to get a little bored. ....
Uh....after lunch is nap time, bud
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:10 AM   #16
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Uh....after lunch is nap time, bud
I must have not gotten the ER memo on the after lunch naps ...... I do the occasional "power" naps, but those only last 20min... I guess I need to step it up.. Thanks....
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:14 AM   #17
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The new identity this is the issue that concerned me the most in this transition. Upon reflection it was clear that the workplace provided too much of my social content. Stated more clearly, I needed to get a life.
I had thought I would miss my identity. As a physician, so much of one's life is wrapped up in one's career. To my surprise, it is a pleasure to leave it behind. I now realize it was a burden. I relish no longer having to act, communicate or frame my thoughts in a certain way which was not natural to me, but which I adopted and maintained for decades as a means to an end. A few weeks ago, someone offered me a job. It was very easy to say no.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:34 AM   #18
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I make a point to have lunch once a week with my core friends from work as well has happy hour every Friday.

It has been 7 years since I left MegaCorp. I still enjoy getting together with my core former work buddies on occasion. However, when they start talking about the corporate politics, who got promoted (and why), and the latest "flavor of the month" initiative my eyes simply glaze over (and I thank my lucky stars that I don't have to deal with that cr@p any more ).

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Old 09-17-2013, 11:41 AM   #19
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I'm just about 4 years in and the hardest part is getting things done. Having to handle multiple errands or enduring a few 'busy' days in a row is much more challenging. Or I will get inspired to handle something, start the process of getting ready then realize it's Sunday and what I need to do is not open.
I also have developed a tendency to not do things on Saturday because that's when everyone else is running errands too. Costco is so much nicer on a Wednesday.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:33 PM   #20
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... Live in AZ so the temps are still over 100 by the afternoon so not a lot of incentive for outdoor activities right now, but that will change soon when the highs are in the 80's. I make a point to have lunch once a week with my core friends from work as well has happy hour every Friday. I do want to start reading more & exercising more, but that damn 65 inch TV keeps getting in the way ....
My Phoenix area dweller alert just triggered. Hop on I10 and drive on south. It will be a manageable 98 today... I do get your point. Starting this transition in the midst of summer was not in my plan. The summer does seem hotter when we don't spend the heat peak at the office. Next summer we will spend the hottest part cycling the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).

We switched off cable a few years ago. This summer we are streaming a few series on Netflix. We do not stream more that two per day and many days its down to zero.

We have a weekly breakfast with cycling buddies which is important, as you note. There are a small group of veteran retirees that meet at the diner every day. That seems a bit excessive, spending prime cycling time at a diner every day.
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