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57, ready to retire, not sure how to keep myself busy
Old 11-19-2020, 08:36 AM   #1
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57, ready to retire, not sure how to keep myself busy

I had knee replacement surgery a few years ago and was off for several weeks. I was climbing the walls wondering what to do with myself. I'm concerned I'll have a similar experience if I retire
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:04 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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What are your interests and what do you like to do?
The wonderful thing about retirement, you get to plan your day!
If you can't think of anything, then you may not be ready, emotionally, to retire yet.

recovering from knee surgery with limited movement may not have been a good practice.
Give a Man a fish, he will eat for a day.
Teach a Man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:49 PM   #3
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Location: City
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Since retiring at the end of 2003 I’ve done these things and more:

  • Volunteer Search & Rescue pilot & manager w. Civil Air Patrol
  • Relatively unsuccessful bullseye pistol shooter. Fun though.
  • Red Cross volunteer deployed to flooding, tornado and hurricane disasters in SE US. Declined opportunity to deploy to pacific islands/Saipan for typhoon.
  • Pro bono small business mentor for two different service organizations
  • Informal investment advisor for two or three nonprofits
  • Renewed and upgraded my ham radio license, last used in high school. Contacted >100 countries in the past year.
  • Served as flying club treasurer for 10 years, annual billings ~$300K
  • Traveled to over 40 countries
  • Written a half-dozen articles for International Travel News, got several cover photos.
  • Never watched even an hour of TV.
Lots to do out there. Red Cross alone has a huge array of volunteer jobs, including many management jobs, both local and deployments. It's a really good organization with excellent training.
Ignoramus et ignorabimus
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Old 11-19-2020, 02:37 PM   #4
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I had a rough idea of what I would do after ER. But for a good year before I pulled the plug I worked on a list of activities to consider, pursue, actually do, etc. Consider making such a list. DON'T pre-edit, just write down anything, any activity, any subject matter, that is of some interest, or might be of some interest. Then, you can start exploring how each item on the list could translate into a retirement activity.
Not all will work out, but the exploration can be fun. For example, bird watching was on my list. I joined a group and did it a few times. It was nice, but ultimately not for me. Flip side was my plan to get back to playing competitive Bridge. That has been a resounding success for my retirement lifestyle.
Retirement activities need some planning to make sure you enjoy it.
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:33 PM   #5
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Friend recommended this very easy read.
Enjoy your life and do as many things as possible while you can! There will come a day when you can’t!
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:42 PM   #6
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Now the fun starts, your new job is what you want to make it. If you don't think you can be happy doing what you want everyday, then you really should stay working. You need to make a life for you, not some company that really doesn't care about your life.
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Old 11-20-2020, 04:39 AM   #7
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Thanks for everyone's comments! I was definitely thinking too narrowly
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Old 11-20-2020, 05:09 AM   #8
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The freedom of early retirement is blissful. I also retired at 57. Even on the rare days when I do nothing, I am not bored. I liked my career, but would never work again.
There are many folks in retirement who wonder how they got everything done while working.
You will be fine.
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Old 11-20-2020, 05:47 AM   #9
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Whatever you do when you retire get up and get your body moving. I FIRE'd from Megacorp at age 51 and I never looked back. My net worth has almost doubled in a few years without me contributing $1 to it anymore. Get moving, stop watching the idiot box and enjoy. Life is too short.
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:08 AM   #10
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I retired at 61 and basically sat on my butt surfing the internet. I lost all my energy and didn't feel like moving. About 1-1/2 years later we had a hurricane, with lots of damage. This got me up and moving, cleaning up all the debris, rebuilding sheds and greenhouse, some work on the house, (most of that was hired out). It took about a year to get back to normal, then I started walking 4 or 5 days a week at least 3 miles, now I walk at least 4 miles and sometimes 6, 7, or 8 miles. I feel much better now that I'm up and out and moving. I often do a few exercises while I'm out for my walk. I'm glad there are podcasts to listen to, make my walk more enjoyable.
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:52 AM   #11
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I had the same concerns. I decided to take an Italian course at the local community college. Gave me structure (had to be somewhere at a specific time) and was something is always wanted to do. After the third semester I didn't feel the need anymore. Actually the first semester was enough of a transition, but I enjoyed the classes.
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 6%, rental income 20%
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:01 AM   #12
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This year my son moved back in with us, we did a lot of projects on the home and some fun projects for him. I also got involved helping him do some carpentry where he works. We also got a property back after selling it 10 years ago. So, I'm busy cleaning that up and installing fence. That has also added to my activity.
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:21 AM   #13
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I had same concerns but have mostly overcome. I would suggest as has been mentioned, make a list of things you like to do or want to try. I always enjoyed Christmas in April where we worked on a project home, some duffers like me and one or 2 pros to guide the work. Also enjoyed Habitat for Humanity. It took a year for me to do some neglected chores and I Haven’t had a chance to do either with the distancing this year. However I have been working at our church couple days a week with COVID food distribution.

My suggestion is set a couple items like morning or evening walk or workout, couple days a week of other activities and leave plenty of room for other spur of the moment activities. It gives me a structure I need and can work around, while still having time to ride motorcycle, go to gun ranges with my son, and do church activities with DW. Just remember as you learn to be retired, it is your schedule, you can get more or less organized depending on your journey and need for structure.
Good Luck, it is a learning journey, but isn’t that life ?
FIRE 31 Aug, 2018 - Always leave every place better than you found it, always give more than expected or Due
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:52 AM   #14
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Been retired a little over a year. I washed the dishes today!
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