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Things that need to be replaced for a fulfilling retirement
Old 03-24-2013, 09:15 AM   #1
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Things that need to be replaced for a fulfilling retirement

Has anyone seen a list of "needs" in life that should be replaced in retirement that make the transition more fulfilling; or make someone know they are ready to retire if these things are covered? Someone I know went to a seminar put on by his workplace for those about ready to retire where this was discussed. The things were of a philosophical nature, such as this: need to have a network of friends/allies; need for structure in the day, and not really from the $ angle. I know any list such as this could be debatable, as some would not like something such as structure in the day; but I guess I am thinking of an awareness of what it takes to be happy in retirement.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:23 AM   #2
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Good question.

BTW, I'm wondering if these "needs" should perhaps not be "replaced" but, rather, verified and/or created.

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Old 03-24-2013, 09:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by simplet View Post
Has anyone seen a list of "needs" in life that should be replaced in retirement that make the transition more fulfilling; or make someone know they are ready to retire if these things are covered? Someone I know went to a seminar put on by his workplace for those about ready to retire where this was discussed. The things were of a philosophical nature, such as this: need to have a network of friends/allies; need for structure in the day, and not really from the $ angle. I know any list such as this could be debatable, as some would not like something such as structure in the day; but I guess I am thinking of an awareness of what it takes to be happy in retirement.
How about a book? How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor: Ernie J. Zelinski

Highly recommended here, BTW.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:51 AM   #4
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In addition to the Zelinski book above (which I also recommend), Work Less, Live More by Bob Clayatt is equally good RE: the (under served) non-financial aspects of a successful retirement - I read both. The $ part is the relatively 'simple, but not easy' part.

Your "need to have a network of friends/allies; need for structure in the day" are both key considerations, high on the list IMO. The other key item to me is activities, the Zelinski book addresses that well. Some people naturally fall into activities, friends and structure - others have to work at it in varying degrees. At the very least, it's something everyone should give some though before retiring IMO. Could take 10 minutes, could take a serious effort and many months to come to grips with - it took me a while, but it was a very helpful endeavor, and dispelled my final reservations before pulling the retirement trigger.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:52 AM   #5
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One thing I really felt a need to replace, was some sort of structure and daily routine. (Not all people need this, by the way, but I did). One of the great freedoms in retirement is the freedom to create my own daily routine rather than having one imposed upon me. The first week of retirement was such fun - - I did whatever I wanted, but also thought about everything as I did it and whether or not I wanted this in my routine.

For me, regular exercise at the gym provided a good starting point in developing a routine. It also provided a reason to get out of the house regularly, which I also wanted to do.

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Originally Posted by Simplet
I know any list such as this could be debatable, as some would not like something such as structure in the day; but I guess I am thinking of an awareness of what it takes to be happy in retirement.
Knowing oneself and what one truly wants out of life is a lifetime project, whether one is retired or not, IMO.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
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I read about this last night in Secure Your Future. They mentioned the same structuring and social needs that other people have cited here, and in addition, they mentioned things like:

- sense of challenge
- learning and growing in important ways
- sense of purpose or significance; sense of contributing to something larger than self, sense that your contributions are needed

For a lot of us, those needs are met mostly through work, and when you leave work behind, those are important needs to consider. I don't think everyone necessarily values these things, but some do.

Another book I read simply made reference to needing a "new identity," which sounds at least half-right to me. For a lot of men, myself included, my day-to-day consciousness has been wrapped largely around the world of work, for better or worse. One of the exciting challenges of retirement, I think, is re-inventing yourself, figuring out anew what (or who) you really want to be when you grow up. I don't mean you leave your basic values or personality behind, but your self-image (who you see yourself as) in some fundamental way changes, when you are no longer "a _________" (fill in your profession).
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:07 PM   #7
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I read about this last night in Secure Your Future. They mentioned the same structuring and social needs that other people have cited here, and in addition, they mentioned things like:

- sense of challenge
- learning and growing in important ways
- sense of purpose or significance; sense of contributing to something larger than self, sense that your contributions are needed

For a lot of us, those needs are met mostly through work, and when you leave work behind, those are important needs to consider. I don't think everyone necessarily values these things, but some do.

Another book I read simply made reference to needing a "new identity," which sounds at least half-right to me. For a lot of men, myself included, my day-to-day consciousness has been wrapped largely around the world of work, for better or worse. One of the exciting challenges of retirement, I think, is re-inventing yourself, figuring out anew what (or who) you really want to be when you grow up. I don't mean you leave your basic values or personality behind, but your self-image (who you see yourself as) in some fundamental way changes, when you are no longer "a _________" (fill in your profession).
I am finding that my friends and professional former colleagues have a lot more trouble with this than I do. They just can't understand why I do not define myself by my former career. I never did, but I just didn't tell them about it. They are still sending me information about j*bs they think I should apply for.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:43 PM   #8
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I am finding that my friends and professional former colleagues have a lot more trouble with this than I do. They just can't understand why I do not define myself by my former career. I never did, but I just didn't tell them about it. They are still sending me information about j*bs they think I should apply for.
Not yet ER'd, but I've generally found same attitudes. Many simply cannot understand (or even consider!) giving up the 'identity' defined by one's profession/j#b. Some cannot even seem to grasp the possibility of self-worth being derived from anything other than their career, inc family in too many cases. Sad that so many seem to believe that a full life means 'dying with yer boots on' at the office.
In today's Dilbert comic Wally gives his views representing on this to a newer employee.
"You want to keep some mental distance between your effort and your paycheck........Job satisfaction is what people feel just before they die from stress.....".
The official Dilbert website with Scott Adams' color comic strips, animation, mashups and more!
I love Wally
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:16 PM   #10
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It's a good topic. It's easy to focus on the financial stuff, because it's so concrete. But I think it's good to think through the psychological/relational/spiritual needs of retirement, too. Those are harder to discuss but, afaik, the thing that really trips a lot of retirees up (e.g., having financial security but little sense of living a meaningful life).

I'm also thinking of a book called The Joy of Retirement, which I wouldn't recommend because it's ponderous, but there is an interesting chapter on what he sees as the four styles or roles of people entering retirement. He calls them Grey Eminence, Seeker/Explorer, New Work Venturer, and Sailor/Gardener. Briefly, Grey Eminence is not being ready to retire, wanting to continue working in your career field, enjoying it and wanting to continue with it, perhaps in a mentor/advisor capacity. New Work Venturer is wanting to continue to do work, but something quite different, maybe start your own business or enter a new field. Seeker/Explorer is someone ready to stop working but still wanting to take on new challenges and adventures (learning new skills, exploring new places, inner exploration, etc.). And then Sailor/Gardener is someone who views retirement as a time to slow down and smell the roses, to take it easy and live a relaxed, non-work focused lifestyle.

The point there is that people have different needs and motivations going into retirement, and what would make one person happy might leave another bored or stressed out. So we're really not going to be able to come up with a definitive list of motivations/needs. It depends on the person.

Using that scheme, I see myself as a Sailor/Gardener for the first phase of retirement. I'm feeling pretty burned out with my work right now, and I am looking forward to a period of rest, relaxation, and restoration. But then, after that, I see myself moving into the Seeker/Explorer and New Work Venturer roles. I do enjoy the benefits of productive work (challenge, stimulation, structure, sense of meaning, etc.), so I don't think I'll leave it behind completely, although it will look quite different.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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Nothing with respect to working is a need. Therefore there is no aspect of my working life that needs replacing.
What I want to do is to fill that useless time I wold have spent at work with things I have only been able to enjoy sparingly because earning a living got in the way.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:32 PM   #12
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:12 PM   #13
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It depends on the person, as we are all different. A few of my former co-workers seem bored or lost in retirement, probably because their identies were wrapped up in their jobs, and they don't know how to fill their time when someone else is not giving them tasks to do. I never had that problem.......I was dying to retire and get on with a whole bunch of other activities and interests that I never had adequate time to enjoy before retirement. 3+ years later, and I haven't been bored even one day in retirement, as there are always interesting things to occupy my time. Some folks also seem to need new challenges continually......some of that is good for me also, but I also take great pleasure in enjoying the same activities year after year as well. Every year brings new challenges and provides opportunities to learn more, even about things you thought you knew pretty well......it's never boring.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:21 PM   #14
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I think the answer to the "work needs" question depends on why you're working right now. If you're working mainly for the money, then it's a fairly simple answer, once you've got the money piece figured out. You'll need something to occupy/structure your time and some people to interact with. Pretty basic.

But personally, I entered my profession not for the money but because I wanted to make a difference and have an impact; I wanted to help people and grow myself; I wanted to learn more about things that fascinated me. And so for me, preparing for retirement means trying to figure out how to continue to meet those needs. Actually, my career no longer serves those needs very well, and it's a principal reason why I'm choosing ER.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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I'm going to need a replacement for my co-workers. Retirees meet for breakfast once a month but I'll really miss all the laughter and joking first thing every morning.
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