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What's Good About Being Retired?
Old 10-21-2018, 10:25 AM   #1
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What's Good About Being Retired?

Not trying to be provocative with that title, just trying to get a little support in shifting my mindset. Maybe others will benefit from the discussion, too, if they're having similar issues.

My issue is that, as I approach retirement (in about 8 months), my mind focuses on the things I will be losing -- mainly, a paycheck, and also some social connections. Having a job and paycheck are a source of security that I've never been without (at least as an adult), so it feels a little scary to let them go.

My real problem is that I am more focused on what I'm losing by retiring than on what I'm gaining. That may be because I spent years encouraging myself to focus on the good things about the job, in order to keep myself going. But now that focus is holding me back, and I need to shift. I need to stop focusing on what I'm giving up and focus more on what I'll be gaining.

So, help me out. Let's talk about what is good about being retired.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:37 AM   #2
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That is a great way to look at it (what you are gaining). When a person retires they do leave a lot on the table in every aspect of life (friends, money, status, identity etc.).

I understand that and my thinking for a long time was what I was losing and leaving on the table. Being retired now for over two years my thinking is I wish I would of retired sooner. I have plenty and could be stacking more but life is short so why not do what I want each day.

At the end of the day no one cares how many millions I have or what I accomplished in my career.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:38 AM   #3
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Being the master of my own time is a bigger deal to me than I expected. I knew it would be nice and it was one of the reasons for me to retire this year, but it might be my favorite perk in retirement.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:40 AM   #4
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As someone who still works a few hours each day, I would say one aspect is really about financial independence and not "retirement".
Having the ability to say: "I quit, I don't need the money." removes a significant source of stress.

Turning the alarm clock off removes stress. We get up when we (or, sometimes, the cats) want.
Not commuting removes stress. When you drive, you have a feeling of "I will get there when I get there".
Adding more exercise to your lifestyle lengthens your healthy life. See https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jam...rticle/2707428
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ER Eddie View Post
Not trying to be provocative with that title, just trying to get a little support in shifting my mindset. Maybe others will benefit from the discussion, too, if they're having similar issues.

My issue is that, as I approach retirement (in about 8 months), my mind focuses on the things I will be losing -- mainly, a paycheck, and also some social connections. Having a job and paycheck are a source of security that I've never been without (at least as an adult), so it feels a little scary to let them go.

My real problem is that I am more focused on what I'm losing by retiring than on what I'm gaining. That may be because I spent years encouraging myself to focus on the good things about the job, in order to keep myself going. But now that focus is holding me back, and I need to shift. I need to stop focusing on what I'm giving up and focus more on what I'll be gaining.

So, help me out. Let's talk about what is good about being retired.
For the first time in my entire life, I have complete control over my time and what I do with it. What an awesome feeling!

For 61 years I thought I was a "morning person" because I had to set my alarm to get up for school, and then to get up for work, so I was always up early. Never had any choice in the matter. In retirement, I discovered (much to my surprise) that I prefer sleeping in.

It's great to get away from the petty back-stabbing that some people engage in, in a work environment. It's also nice to not give a hoot what people think. I love not having any more performance evaluations, for example.

As for the security of a paycheck, believe me, I feel like my SS deposit is a lot more secure than any paycheck ever was. I also get income from my tiny federal pension (very secure as well), from the TSP "G Fund" (very secure, I think?) and from taxable investment dividends (so far, so good). I purposely arranged to have several income streams just in case, but none of them have failed thus far.

As for social connections - - well, personally I am an INTJ and love not having to interact with people all day long. I can make whatever social connections and friends I want, without having people "in my face" all day long. Lots of retirees at the gym during working hours, if you need new friends.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:49 AM   #6
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Specifically for me:
Have time to focus on my health and exercise.
Have flexible time when and where to book for travel.
No large gasoline bill due to long commute.
Sleep is definitely better, may help with health in the long run.
I get to watch CNBC all day, except for Cramer.
I get to garden when I like, not just weekend. This has so far fallen short of my goal because of travelling.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:52 AM   #7
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I had been working part-time for 7 years before I fully retired 10 years ago, so I was already enjoying many of the benefits of having some weekdays free to do errands, for example, and not having the long and awful commute 5 days a week.


But I had built up a rather busy personal life, especially on the weekdays I wasn't working, so there were the inevitable scheduling conflicts between work and the other activities (or between 2 or more of those activities). And I still hated the long, awful commute even as little as 2 days a week.


My only solution was to fully retire. This didn't totally eliminate the scheduling conflicts, but it greatly reduced them. But most importantly, my commute got reduced to ZERO!
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:54 AM   #8
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Freedom to do what I want , when I want to do it. I love spending time with DW, but not getting in her hair.
At meal time, I help with preparation, hence the name souschef

I feel it is important to give back to the community for all the benefits I have enjoyed. To that end, I fly for Angel Flight and Pilots n Paws. I also volunteer at a local hospice repairing wheelchairs and walkers.
I am also involved in restoring a switch engine so we can give people an opportunity to drive a real locomotive.
And I still have plenty of time to sit on our porch, look at South mountain, and read on my Kindle.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:04 AM   #9
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For me, two items did take time. First, most of us have been life long savers. Yes, it is a weird feeling to withdraw money from savings. But, you do get over it. We are now in the "regret" stage. We realize we have more money than we likely need and could have fired earlier. Second, you are correct. You are leaving one life and starting another. It takes awhile to build the new life. But, unlike the life you are leaving, the one you build can be exactly what you want. But, it does take effort and time to build the new life. Figure out what you want and build it.

As others have mentioned, hobbies, health, family, friends and travel are where we have focused. I read much more than I did in the past. I enjoy our healthy home cooked meals that we now have time to prepare. I travel with my DW and I travel on guy trips. I hike, camp, fish, hunt, cook, entertain, help family and friends, read and apparently spend way to much time on this forum. Did I mention I take naps? Glorious 15 minute power naps.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:07 AM   #10
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No commute!

That was perhaps the biggest surprise in overall stress relief.

Otherwise, I had all sorts of things I wanted to do that work got in the way of. So I couldn't wait to retire.

I honestly never felt that I was loosing anything by letting go of my job.

It took me a good 6 months to decompress. And then perhaps another 6 to focus on how I really wanted to use my time in retirement including experimenting quite a bit those first 12 months.

I year after retiring I was literally a new person!!!
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
No commute!

That was perhaps the biggest surprise in overall stress relief.

Otherwise, I had all sorts of things I wanted to do that work got in the way of. So I couldn't wait to retire.

I honestly never felt that I was loosing anything by letting go of my job.

It took me a good 6 months to decompress. And then perhaps another 6 to focus on how I really wanted to use my time in retirement including experimenting quite a bit those first 12 months.

I year after retiring I was literally a new person!!!
You are coming up to 20 years of retirement, you are a senior advisor on this subject.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:19 AM   #12
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LOL, like W2R, I am introverted. Choosing how much human interaction I have each week is priceless. Plus, as many others said, choosing how to use your time is delightful.

You can structure new ways to enjoy work-type friends. I volunteer at Habitat ReStore as a cashier every Saturday, for example, and love the camaraderie I used to have at the office.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:27 AM   #13
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My best part is not having to get up at any specific time ever, except to catch a vacation plane... but I am working on that one. No more Alarm clock. Not having to get on a plane on a weekly basis. No office politicking.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:29 AM   #14
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Retirement is just another phase in my life. I loved my career until I didn't. Now I love retirement but I don't look at it as saving me from a life of work hell, just something different in my life. So I guess that what is good about retirement is the change. I like the idea of mixing it up a bit so when we retired we also left the city we had lived in for 35 years. Our entire lives are different now and that is what is fun.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:32 AM   #15
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For me, it was all about FI. I simply wanted to be in a position to choose my future with as much independence as possible. Once I got to that point, I worked some on my terms, volunteered, and lazed around always knowing it was my choice.

Assuming you have achieved FI, make the choices that make you happy. If you are able, stay at work or find a new paycheck, if that is what your want/need. Find the things that make you happy. Having said that, I would experiment with your new found time and freedoms. You might find your new experiences are more satisfying than you expected.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:35 AM   #16
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Morning used to be peak stress. Now it's the best time of day. Very relaxing and a fantastic way to think about how to enjoy another day in retirement.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ER Eddie View Post
So, help me out. Let's talk about what is good about being retired.
I look forward to you coming here and answering your own question in about a year.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:03 PM   #18
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The best things for me are:

Time. To do what I want to do, on my schedule. I have more time for exercise to keep me healthy, to take vacations, do hobbies, or do nothing. No having to cancel plans due to a customer situation that has me staying at work longer, or having to log back in over a weekend or evening.

Stress relief: No work deadlines, customers complaining, co-worker disagreements, unreasonable bosses. I don't finish Sunday dinner thinking about how busy/awful/stressful/dull/whatever the upcoming week will be...instead I sit and relax and think about the fun or personally productive things I might be doing the next day, or if I'm going to take a do-nothing day.

The social aspect is good and bad. Even though I'm somewhat introverted, I still find friends through the activities I like to do, which means I probably have more in common with those people than the people I happen to be thrown together with at work. But it's true that if you feed off social interaction, work likely gives you a more steady supply of that. I happen not to need that, so I can't really say how it is for an extrovert, but I suspect you could just find more activities to get involved in.

As far as the money goes, you're either FI or your not. Padding is nice, reduces a new kind of stress if you don't really know if the money will last. After that, it's for luxuries, and you have to ask yourself whether working longer, especially if you don't enjoy it, is worth staying in a little nicer class of hotel, or upgrading your airline seat.

I actually had a good gig going at work, low stress, part-time flexible hours, and telecommuting so it was worth it to me to build more buffer and stay for a couple more years. That situation fizzled out, at which point it was a no-brainer for me to leave. I did consider leaving earlier, and in fact had a discussion with my boss about it, which actually led to the low stress situation I had for the last few years. I have no regrets about staying longer, but definitely no regrets about leaving.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:19 PM   #19
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We still have teens at home, so I don't get to sleep in as much as I'd like to. But there are so many other things to love!


No commute.

Can schedule medical and home repair appointments pretty much any time the provider has a slot -- no juggling work schedules.

When the weather is nice (as it has been the past couple of weeks), we can take off on a long bike ride without advanced planning -- just hop on the bikes and go!


Lots of time to putter around the garden, tinker with the landscaping, grow stuff from seed.

Weekly trips to the library during off peak hours.

All shopping/errands can be done off peak on weekdays as well. No fighting weekend crowds at Costco, etc.


Weekends are totally free to hang out with the kids.



Plenty of time to cook healthy/interesting food.

No need to worry about money. The stash is more than enough to carry us to 100+.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:33 PM   #20
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Did I mention I take naps? Glorious 15 minute power naps.
NAPS!!! I forgot to mention them. So wonderful and so satisfying.

Before retiring, I hadn't taken naps since Kindergarten. And when I was little like that, I couldn't sleep during the day and hated naps. Now I love them.
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