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Help Me Out - What Can I Do When I Retire?
Old 05-18-2021, 08:21 AM   #1
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Help Me Out - What Can I Do When I Retire?

Hi All

So I can retire any day now but will stick it out for a few more years more to pump up post-retirement benefits in terms of health care and pension.

I'll be in my early 50's so want to continue to do meaningful work to keep me sharp and grounded.

So what do people suggest?

I don't want a full time job but 5,10,15 hours a week would be great.

My background is:

a) PhD in Computer Science
b) 5 years experience in Silicon Valley in the 2000's
c) Last 15 years in Academia
d) Live in CA but can/may move
e) Lots of experience giving presentations, managing a small team of students
f) I can teach well but am not a natural.
g) I have hobbies (biking, golf, investing) but nothing that's something I want to do each and every day.
h) My job involved lots of travel so I will travel but not that much.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:09 AM   #2
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Do you have any hobbies or activities you like to do, not related to work? Said it here many times, you may have a job to retire from, but you need something to retire to. I think you are in that position of figuring out what to retire to.


As for things to consider:
1) Part time job doing something you enjoy, different than your computer stuff. Like maybe work in sporting goods store, or an arts place, or museum, or zoo, or ?? Lots of possibilities.
2) Volunteer helping a charity or two with your computer skills.
3) Travel can take up your desire to learn about new places.
4) Hobbies as mentioned above, get something you are interested in but never had time to get into seriously.
5) Become a mentor, organizations such as SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) or similar to help younger persons starting out.


It really comes down to what you like to do, and find something that fits that. The beauty of retirement is you can work because you want to, not because you have to. So even if you work part time for real money, it is just for blow the dough type expenses.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:21 AM   #3
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None of the above...at first. Take a good 6 months or a year and do relatively nothing, before deciding. Folks who jump into another thing (volunteering, part time, local boards, etc.) often report they should have waited as, even with the reduced schedule, it didn't feel quite retired, and they might not have committed as readily with a break first.

You might find (as many do) that the things you thought you'd love to do in your free time aren't the same once all day is free time.

The answer is that you "can" do pretty much anything, but what you "want" to do might well be different just a few months after you retire.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:22 AM   #4
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None of the above...at first. Take a good 6 months or a year and do relatively nothing, before deciding. Folks who jump into another thing (volunteering, part time, local boards, etc.) often report they should have waited as, even with the reduced schedule, it didn't feel quite retired, and they might not have committed as readily with a break first.

You might find (as many do) that the things you thought you'd love to do in your free time aren't the same once all day is free time.

The answer is that you "can" do pretty much anything, but what you "want" to do might well be different just a few months after you retire.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:24 AM   #5
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Thanks in regard to your comments/suggestions

1/2) Volunteering is a good idea or even a part time job, but I'm curious how rewarding these are. Do these organizations really value the time of volunteers?

3) I traveled a lot for my job and even lived overseas in Europe for a bit so I like to travel but already done a lot.

4) I don't have any hobbies I want to each and every day. Rather I have passing interests i.e. cycling and golfing but these are once or twice a week things.
5) Now that's interesting. I'll look up a thread on that or if you have something to point to let me know.

Thank you again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
Do you have any hobbies or activities you like to do, not related to work? Said it here many times, you may have a job to retire from, but you need something to retire to. I think you are in that position of figuring out what to retire to.


As for things to consider:
1) Part time job doing something you enjoy, different than your computer stuff. Like maybe work in sporting goods store, or an arts place, or museum, or zoo, or ?? Lots of possibilities.
2) Volunteer helping a charity or two with your computer skills.
3) Travel can take up your desire to learn about new places.
4) Hobbies as mentioned above, get something you are interested in but never had time to get into seriously.
5) Become a mentor, organizations such as SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) or similar to help younger persons starting out.


It really comes down to what you like to do, and find something that fits that. The beauty of retirement is you can work because you want to, not because you have to. So even if you work part time for real money, it is just for blow the dough type expenses.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:34 AM   #6
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The beauty of retirement is you are free to do what you want. I also would advise taking a few months to decompress from the work world, don't jump into a new job/volunteer/mentor thing right away.
If you haven't read Ernie Zelinki "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free", I recommend it.
There is an exercise "get a Life Tree" that is pretty darn good for looking at what you are interested in.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:34 AM   #7
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Aerides has good point, in that just the act or retiring takes adjustment time. Just be aware that there is a change in being retired itself. Not having the daily work interactions, the schedule, the regular paycheck, etc.


I also traveled for work, so now my traveling is with my motorhome and staying longer and enjoying the location more than the roads and work location visiting. Work travel was nearly always flying and rental cars with hotels. I have had enough of that. I also have done my old cars hobby for years, and while I have more time now than when working, I don't do it everyday. That would make my hobby like a job. I spend a lot of time on my yard (2.5 acres), helping my wife with here stuff, or just general putzing around. With no formal schedule or due dates, I have no pressure for most projects besides the desire to get it done and enjoy the results.
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Experience is a good teacher, but the tuition can get expensive real fast

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Old 05-18-2021, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos View Post
Thanks in regard to your comments/suggestions

1/2) Volunteering is a good idea or even a part time job, but I'm curious how rewarding these are. Do these organizations really value the time of volunteers?

3) I traveled a lot for my job and even lived overseas in Europe for a bit so I like to travel but already done a lot.

4) I don't have any hobbies I want to each and every day. Rather I have passing interests i.e. cycling and golfing but these are once or twice a week things.
5) Now that's interesting. I'll look up a thread on that or if you have something to point to let me know.

Thank you again.
How rewarding is volunteering or a part time job? It's as rewarding as you choose it to be.

Some people help folks do their taxes in the winter and spring. Some volunteer in music, community theater, trail cleanup, nature conservancies, local historical societies, the local food bank, etc. Part time jobs can be anything.

The point is you wake up and decide what to do that day. It isn't decided for you.

You may also want to look at a couple of books by Ernie Zelenski, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, and The Joy of Not Working. They have been referenced numerous times on this forum and I have found them helpful in the past.
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Old 05-18-2021, 12:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pacergal View Post
The beauty of retirement is you are free to do what you want. I also would advise taking a few months to decompress from the work world, don't jump into a new job/volunteer/mentor thing right away.
If you haven't read Ernie Zelinki "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free", I recommend it.

There is an exercise "get a Life Tree" that is pretty darn good for looking at what you are interested in.
+1. I’ve said this many times before. That exercise, which only took about 10 minutes initially, and a few follow up sessions - was the necessary final straw in my decision to retire. Once I’d done that, I was completely comfortable with pulling the trigger. A generic example:

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Old 05-18-2021, 01:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos View Post
... 1/2) Volunteering is a good idea or even a part time job, but I'm curious how rewarding these are. Do these organizations really value the time of volunteers? ...
It varied. Some organizations just use the volunteers for dog work, paying no attention to the volunteers' talents or experience. DW volunteers at a local hospital but despite having retired as a megabank SVP and having 20+ years of experience participating and chairing nonprofit boards, lately they have been using her as a greeter at a vaccination clinic.

I have been blown away, however, with the way the Red Cross uses volunteers. There is an extensive range of specialties and excellent training for them. Everything from local jobs like blood banks and support to clients after disasters like apartment fires, to public first aid and other training, to (what I do) national disaster response. The other striking thing is that there are many full-time or near-full-time management jobs that are staffed with volunteers. If you have a nearby chapter I suggest that you talk to them before retirement to see what they might have to offer you.

Re valuing volunteer time, they do a great job recognizing volunteers at events and individually. At least once a year I get a personal phone call from a local chapter board member thanking me for volunteering and soliciting comments and feedback.

All organizations have personalities, so you will have to divine the personality of your local chapter as it applies to your style. But that's just life, not Red Cross specifically.

https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/v...rtunities.html
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Old 05-18-2021, 02:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
As for things to consider:
1) Part time job doing something you enjoy, different than your computer stuff. Like maybe work in sporting goods store, or an arts place, or museum, or zoo, or ?? Lots of possibilities.
I made the same assumption as OP about part-time work after retiring. One thing I've learned is that low-wage work is hard to justify when you are in a high-enough bracket to pay significant Federal taxes.

In the 22% or higher bracket, commuting costs (for 4-6 hour shifts) and taxes for are simply draining below $20 an hour. My wife has a part-time gig from home that pays more than that, but my best-paying opportunities would be full time, and are at a substantial distance from home.

I will be looking at some volunteer opportunities in the late fall.
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Old 05-18-2021, 02:22 PM   #12
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None of the above...at first. Take a good 6 months or a year and do relatively nothing, before deciding.

Agreed. I did nothing for 1 year except catch up on projects around the house and heal up from work related stress, as well as various stress related health issues. All projects were at my own pace. Dropped about 20 pounds and got into the best shape in my life. Then I got involved in various volunteering options through our church and a local benevolence organization. Everything is now at my pace and I find so much more joy than ever before.
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Old 05-18-2021, 02:33 PM   #13
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Retirement is a process not an event. Treat it like that.
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Old 05-18-2021, 03:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
None of the above...at first. Take a good 6 months or a year and do relatively nothing, before deciding. Folks who jump into another thing (volunteering, part time, local boards, etc.) often report they should have waited as, even with the reduced schedule, it didn't feel quite retired, and they might not have committed as readily with a break first.

You might find (as many do) that the things you thought you'd love to do in your free time aren't the same once all day is free time.

The answer is that you "can" do pretty much anything, but what you "want" to do might well be different just a few months after you retire.


+100. If ďMake no commitments in Year 1Ē isnít a thing, it ought to be. Iím on month 10 and am just finally starting to believe the numbers and that I donít have to keep the old network warm, etc.
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Old 05-18-2021, 03:56 PM   #15
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Retirement is a process not an event. Treat it like that.


+1

I like it!!

Itís been a big evolution for us over the last 6 years retired. First, we were big into volunteering at church. Then we moved cross country and the pandemic shut down churches and many other things. Took a big break from volunteering and we realized that we might have ďretiredĒ from formal volunteering. Just want to do our stuff while we are able. Weíre exploring the west via RV. Sure beats business travel!!
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Old 05-18-2021, 05:03 PM   #16
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... So what do people suggest? ...
First question: do you want to continue to do technical work? Some techies do, some don't. My sympathies on this topic are with author Conan Doyle, speaking as Sherlock Holmes:
Quote:
My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.
YMMV.
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Old 05-18-2021, 05:15 PM   #17
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I semi-retired 11 years ago and worked extremely part-time for several years before retiring fully a few years ago. I have more things to do each day than I have time to do them. Most of these are for things that didn't exist when I retired or were not things that I did back then. One thing is that during retirement I've been able to try new things and find new interests.
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:56 PM   #18
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One thing you may find rewarding is volunteering or even starting a small business to help seniors with technology. My 85 year old MIL loves her iPhone and iPad, and uses Instagram to keep up with her grandkids. However she has frequent technical problems and itís hard to help her over the phone. Iím sure she would gladly pay someone to come to her home and help her as needed. My 65 year old sister was the same. She retired from work at 42, so she never learned a lot of the technology many of us find basic. She had a contract with Geek Squad but they werenít very consistently available when she needed them.

I also love mentoring university students. They really need help with basics such as resume preparation, interviewing techniques, and career planning. Many universities have formal mentoring programs and use alums and other local professionals who are willing to volunteer their time to help students one-on-one, and/or speak to classes as a group on relevant topics.
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Old 05-19-2021, 03:14 PM   #19
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You may be surprised regarding how many opportunities for work and fun activities pop-up after it is known that you are retired. The only thing that might be useful to plan is your limits on commitments so you can respond to the opportunities.
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Old 05-19-2021, 04:59 PM   #20
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I did the FIRE thing 2 years ago and have struggled with the lack of structure. I’m learning but I set a bare bones schedule for myself. One day a week we volunteer at church, one day is mowing lawn, one day is other outside work. Not a lot of time and I can change or ignore it when I want but it helps. I also do a walk on days I’m not getting my steps otherwise.
Every experience is different, and what works for one may not work for others. If you are organized then set some structure. Just remember you are the boss and can change or toss the schedule at any time, or not.
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