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Why it's hard to retire
Old 09-12-2016, 01:49 PM   #1
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Why it's hard to retire

As I've been contemplating retirement the last few months I've come to the conclusion that there are the following factors in play.

1. I've spent my whole life aiming for something, working at a career, is it really over?

2. I feel as if I add value at work, but....

3. I feel frustrated that we can all see the inefficiency in the organization, and...

4. i have seen colleagues die and after a couple of days mourning, someone is in their office and the world has moved on.

5. Will I be bored in retirement?

6. I think I might want a really expensive car although I know they are a total waste of money

7. What happens if 12 months down the road I realize its a mistake, but..

8. I want the freedom to just be.....lazy

The prioritization of the above tends to change on a daily basis, so please either:

A. Tell me you felt the same things (and how you got over them).
B. Add your own insecurities
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:53 PM   #2
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I was concerned about all those things (well, except the car) and found it was a needless concern. Granted it did take a few years to adjust, and it is a big adjustment, but everyone finds their way. And note the tagline...
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:54 PM   #3
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Sure, I felt all of those things. But I quickly realized there is a big world out there and set about doing things that made me happy every day.

But retirement is not the same for everyone. If you are happy, keep working.
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:05 PM   #4
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An expensive car is on my bucket list. The rest of that stuff in your list is what we all (most?) go thru.

Ask yourself if the Company is planning to erect a full size bronze statue of you to place in front of the main office to remind all who enter the building of your accomplishments over your illustrious career.
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:13 PM   #5
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Ask yourself if the Company is planning to erect a full size bronze statue of you to place in front of the main office to remind all who enter the building of your accomplishments over your illustrious career.
When you pull your hand out of a bucket of water, does it leave a hole?

That's your value to your employer. So don't spend too much time worrying about your w*rk-related questions.

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Old 09-12-2016, 02:29 PM   #6
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Ask yourself if the Company is planning to erect a full size bronze statue of you to place in front of the main office to remind all who enter the building of your accomplishments over your illustrious career.
+10000 Well said.

Quote:
A. Tell me you felt the same things (and how you got over them).
B. Add your own insecurities
A. None of the worries presented by the OP as reasons not to retire, ever amounted to any problems at all for me despite my fears and timidity. So, the way I got over them was to just go ahead and retire. Yes, retiring is sort of like sky diving in some ways. All you can do is to thoroughly prepare yourself for it, and then believe in yourself and your preparations enough to do it. Pretty exhilarating.

B. Another worry would be the fact that no matter what day one chooses to retire, there is always a day a few months later that seems better. I retired on 11/9/2009, but it occurred to me that if I waited until 2010 I could contribute more to the TSP. And then if I waited until 6/2010, I would have been 62 and would have had a better monthly pension. And so on, and so on. There are a million little reasons to put off retiring. That said, I'm glad I decided that enough was enough, and that I was done.
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:58 PM   #7
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Some of us eagerly looked forward to it with no trepidation at all.

We planned for it, we clearly envisioned what it would be like, and we leaped at it at the first opportunity.

We have never regretted it an iota.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:18 PM   #8
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Another worry would be the fact that no matter what day one chooses to retire, there is always a day a few months later that seems better
Yes, i am afraid that maybe I fall into that category. I originally intended to retire at 50 but I've been delaying due to OMY syndrome and now, at 52, I'm still here. In reality our finances were not really where they needed to be but they are now. I'm currently looking at October as that's when bonuses for last year are finalized and I know if I go beforehand they would cut that right back. Hopefully your words will be ringing in my ears and I will actually then!
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:23 PM   #9
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To the OP: I am glad that you have had a successful career where you feel very valued. Most of us have also felt that same way; at some point you realize that it is time for the next chunk of time which is whatever we choose it to be (pretty much). When I left my busy career, I found other ways and new interests to keep as busy as I care to be. As Walt34's tagline says - I say it just a little differently: "Never underestimate the value of doing - nothing "

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Old 09-12-2016, 03:25 PM   #10
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.

Retirement is a big life change and it does take a while to adjust to all that personal freedom.

I have always been my own person with many different interests and never connected my identity to my corporate job.

I am hardly ever bored. But what a blessing it is to have the opportunity to be bored.

.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:29 PM   #11
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OP - you forgot:

Why don't you want to contribute to society ?
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:33 PM   #12
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I've always lived by your first item;

"1. I've spent my whole life aiming for something, working at a career, is it really over?"

What I was aiming at by working long and hard at my career was not working.
That was the goal - retirement - not working
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:54 PM   #13
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I felts some of those you listed:

1. I've spent my whole life aiming for something, working at a career, is it really over?-- Thought a lot about this one as I had worked many years to get into my ideal job. Until my role changed at the end of my career, I really enjoyed that job. But I realized how much I had also invested in my family, my hobbies and other interests. So retirement changed from "is it really over?" to "I'm just dropping some of my interests (work) to allow me to focus on others that had become more important to me (family and health)."

3. I feel frustrated that we can all see the inefficiency in the organization, and... Yes, I think this wisdom is a natural outcome of years of experience. I tried for about a year to influence some of the key issues I saw at work. My lack of success at changing much helped me make the decision to retire.

4. i have seen colleagues die and after a couple of days mourning, someone is in their office and the world has moved on.....yup, this is a tough lesson to many of us....our importance is pretty limited in the grand scheme of things.

6. I think I might want a really expensive car although I know they are a total waste of money....this issue was a big one for me. Not a car.... but other possible big expenses (family health issues for example) made me worry about having "enough" to retire on. End result was I ensured we had a big enough safety factor to cover what I thought was reasonable.

One other concern of mine was how will retirement effect the relationship between my wife and I - ended up just talking about this with her long before retiring and got quite comfortable that we'd both still have our interests and still enjoy each other as much as ever. So far, so good.


I think it's great you are mulling all these issues over. If you are like me, one day things will click in place and you will know the time is right to retire. Until then, keep testing the waters with this thinking while you enjoy the good aspects of work.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap_Scarlet View Post
As I've been contemplating retirement the last few months I've come to the conclusion that there are the following factors in play.

1. I've spent my whole life aiming for something, working at a career, is it really over?

2. I feel as if I add value at work, but....

3. I feel frustrated that we can all see the inefficiency in the organization, and...

4. i have seen colleagues die and after a couple of days mourning, someone is in their office and the world has moved on.

5. Will I be bored in retirement?

6. I think I might want a really expensive car although I know they are a total waste of money

7. What happens if 12 months down the road I realize its a mistake, but..

8. I want the freedom to just be.....lazy

The prioritization of the above tends to change on a daily basis, so please either:

A. Tell me you felt the same things (and how you got over them).
B. Add your own insecurities
I spent about 20 years in school preparing for w*rk, then spent more than 20 years w*rking. Now I'd love to get at least 20 years just living my life, doing whatever is important to me, even if/when it's absolutely nothing.

Don't get me wrong, I greatly enjoy some aspects of w*rk, but had to tolerate the rest. Sometimes, even often more recently, I just hated to be there.

I too felt like I added value, but I wasn't on the same page as those making decisions. Now, as someone has said here, "not my monkeys, not my problem"!

I've been FIRED for about 19 months. I was quite jittery at first. Had serious w*rk-mares for months. Also worried about money and "keeping busy". Now DW and I seemed to have found our stride and are settling in.

To our surprise, we travel far less than planned. We've only spent about half of our yearly vacation budget, which was the same as when w*rking, despite the extra time on our hands. So much for my brief fantasy of buying an RV! On the other hand, we spend much more time involved with clubs, church, and personal friends, typically several days each week. As introverts, we need the rest of the week to recover and do our own stuff...

Time just flies by in retirement, much faster than while w*rking!
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:50 PM   #15
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All I can say is I had been planning retirement for many years. The moment I had lost all passion for my job , all my concerns about quitting my job evaporated. It has been almost 4 months now. I do not regret it one bit. YMMV.
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:01 PM   #16
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I didn't have any of your concerns. None of them were realized either. However, I've lost nearly 60 pounds, exercise regularly, travel when I want, do nothing when I want, don't worry about finding time for appointments with whomever I need one with, and enjoy driving my Lexus. Basically, I do what I want when I want. Beats the w*rk thing any day!


Enjoying life!
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:23 PM   #17
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1. I've spent my whole life aiming for something, working at a career, is it really over?
As RobbieB said, I pretty much spent my whole career aiming for retirement so this was never a concern.

2. I feel as if I add value at work, but....
you could add even more value (to society?) by not working at a job but volunteering particularly if you feel the need to do something. A friend just retired and he will be working to help with a charity doing IT work for them, as he used to when he worked, but now it is his choice not someone else, and for the benefit of those less fortunate

3. I feel frustrated that we can all see the inefficiency in the organization, and...
working probably won't make it better...or better for long

4. i have seen colleagues die and after a couple of days mourning, someone is in their office and the world has moved on. That is life

5. Will I be bored in retirement? Only if you are not very imaginative IMO

6. I think I might want a really expensive car although I know they are a total waste of money
Can't help you there, I've had the same inexpensive car for 20 years and maybe will have it for 20 more. Ultimately a car is just a means of transportation so spending a lot on one doesn't make a ton of sense to me

7. What happens if 12 months down the road I realize its a mistake, but..

If you've given this enough thought and time I doubt this would be an issue. Then again there is always my answer to 2 if it is

8. I want the freedom to just be.....lazy

I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted not what someone else wanted me to do. That was important to me. Some days that means riding 60 miles in 4 hrs some days that means writing long replies on the internet
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:25 PM   #18
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I have some of those issues but not all. It took me 20 years to get where I am in my business- but I thought I'd enjoy where I am now, and it turns out I don't. I am just thoroughly burned out, and I don't really care about my job anymore- or at least I care about my job a great deal less than my (young) family, and one is interfering with the other.

I have never been bored in my life. I am interested in everything, and I have dozens of interests I haven't had time to pursue- when I retire I have a list of things I have always wanted to do, or learn, or try and never had the time.

Mistake- I do worry about this one- although I have an MBA and work experience, and could certainly get another job, I probably couldn't make what I am now. Then i thought about this- I don't WANT to do what I am doing now- like ever again. AND I don't need to make what I make now. We spend something like 30% of what we make. And have rather a lot of money saved.

I only have two colleagues I would ever care to see again- though I will miss my clients.

Once upon a time I cared about being productive- but I don't think I care anymore. I plan to spend a whole year after I retire not doing anything remotely considered productive.

Hope this helps-
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:03 PM   #19
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I'll bite- here's a perspective from someone who FIRED four years ago, after 33 years in high tech (with credit to help from this forum).

1. It's not over- it's just beginning! You are much more than your former occupation. From now on you don't need to play politics or kiss up to anyone. If you still want to climb a ladder or work towards a title, maybe you want to stay working for a while longer. While titles and promotions are nice, after you retire you'll find very soon that no one cares two hoots for what you used to be or do. Maybe if you were the POTUS.

2-4. Business are full of problems, and always will be. It took me a while to let go and not think about my former world, but I am much happier now. You will be too. I do miss former coworkers (though few of those in "management"). I had to find a way to make new friends.

5. If your former occupation sucked up all your time (like mine did), it could take a while to find "the real you". Most people who retire tell me they are so busy they can't figure out how they ever found time to work. Me too.

6. Whenever I see an older person in a convertible sports car, I tell myself that's not me. Suum cuique. That's not saying it wouldn't be fun though.

7. Depending on your skillset, you might go back to work. Some do.

8. To me, "lazy" is a bit pejorative. I like how the germans describe it- "im Ruhestand", literal translation is "at peace".

It's amazing how fast the past 4 years have past.
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:29 PM   #20
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Some of us eagerly looked forward to it with no trepidation at all.

We planned for it, we clearly envisioned what it would be like, and we leaped at it at the first opportunity.

We have never regretted it an iota.
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