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AtlasShrugged 11-22-2015 03:06 PM

What's Your Top Retirement Insight
 
My wife and I are close to retiring. We're okay financially, but we wonder about the non-financial aspects of retirement.

For those of you who have been retired for awhile, would you please share your top non-financial retirement insight. In particular, did you learn anything in retirement that was different than your pre-retirement thinking.

pb4uski 11-22-2015 03:10 PM

How happy I could be doing not much of anything.

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Walt34 11-22-2015 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pb4uski (Post 1660562)
How happy I could be doing not much of anything.

That's my take on it too. For a while I felt like I "should" be doing something since that's what I'd been doing since about the age of five. Then light dawned over Marblehead and I thought "Who sez I have to do anything?"

braumeister 11-22-2015 03:23 PM

Honestly, there was nothing to be insightful about.
I knew retirement would be wonderful, and it has been -- just about since day one.

travelover 11-22-2015 03:31 PM

Coming up on 9 years. I was surprised at how much I've come to resent a schedule, once retired. Even a part time volunteer commitment fits like a hair shirt.

RAE 11-22-2015 03:31 PM

Well, I guess I learned that keeping myself plenty busy is not a problem. In fact, it is sometimes hard to find the time to do all the things I'd like to do. I don't have to rush around after work and on weekends to get things done anymore, and it is hard to describe just how pleasant that is. I still get a lot accomplished, but now I do it at my own pace. It's a good life :)

bingybear 11-22-2015 03:32 PM

only been retired since the first quarter of this year, so likely not as good advice as others. Sometimes we get a hell of a lot done, sometimes not. As long as you are not a micro-manager and you did not marry one, it likely doesn't matter.
Like everything in life, take some time and see how it goes. If something isn't right (or you are thrown a curve ball (or new medical issue)) just make adjustments and and enjoy life.

Car-Guy 11-22-2015 03:45 PM

Honestly, my ~4 years post retirement insight(s) are;

(1) I now know I should have retired earlier than I did (probably by 2 or 3 years)
(2) I over estimated the amount I needed to retire (probably by 10 years but that remains to be seen)
(3) How quickly I forgot about working and settled into retirement once I retired.
(4) My mind wants me to write checks that my body can't afford to cash. a.k.a. I still think I'm 20 sometimes (no it's not senility, not yet anyway, I think) :laugh:

marko 11-22-2015 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1660570)
Coming up on 9 years. I was surprised at much much I've come to resent a schedule, once retired. Even a part time volunteer commitment fits like a hair shirt.

+1. That was a bit of a surprise for me too. (ten years next week)

I also find I'm quite busy each day (nap time included)...like so many say: "I don't know how I found time to work"

AtlasShrugged 11-22-2015 03:56 PM

Great responses so far. Can you guys give some examples of how you spend your time?

old woman 11-22-2015 04:03 PM

My problem is a sleep schedule I can't seem to find a good one. I might nap from 4-8PM then be awake until dawn then sleep until after noon. So a day like tomorrow when someone is coming to my house at 8AM will mean trying to sleep at night and get up in the morning. I hate having appointments and remembering what day of the week it is.

Bestwifeever 11-22-2015 04:07 PM

Everyone is different. I like being relatively unscheduled, and did not expect retirement to be one way or another. DH is not at all spontaneous and his retirement was triggered by a last-minute buyout. He loves having lots of things planned, and his phone's calendar is now chockfull of (mostly made-up) tasks, but he has accomplished a lot in the past seven years that he never imagined he would attempt, from getting a masters degree to being a silent partner in a very small business unrelated to his profession that has become pretty successful although he makes no money from it. I would not enjoy his retirement but it has been very entertaining to watch it!

You probably already know what type of person you are and will be quite happy to find that your retirement will adapt to it, and I hope you will enjoy the time as much as we do!

Meadbh 11-22-2015 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlasShrugged (Post 1660580)
Great responses so far. Can you guys give some examples of how you spend your time?

Here are sufficient examples to keep you entertained for years.

https://www.early-retirement.org/foru...day-37868.html

Car-Guy 11-22-2015 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlasShrugged (Post 1660580)
Great responses so far. Can you guys give some examples of how you spend your time?

1) Time to travel anytime I want
2) Time to pursue my life long hobbies (several of them) anytime I want
3) Time to enjoy watching football, NASCAR, etc on Sundays without the worry of getting ready for the work week on Monday
4) Time to go out with the DW, anytime and anywhere "she" wants :)
5) Time to do nothing, anytime I want (like right now)

Common theme = Time to do whatever I want - honestly I am rarely bored.

AtlasShrugged 11-22-2015 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meadbh (Post 1660585)
Here are sufficient examples to keep you entertained for years.

https://www.early-retirement.org/foru...day-37868.html

Perfect. Thanks

ls99 11-22-2015 05:00 PM

Work is truly an offensive four letter word.

daylatedollarshort 11-22-2015 06:45 PM

That we had been working longer hours than medieval serfs:
Preindustrial workers worked fewer hours than today's

MRG 11-22-2015 07:23 PM

What I learned was, why did I think anything I did in the corporate world mattered? That's all nonsense; reality is the corporate world existed just to make money to enjoy the rest of your life with.

I learned how much happier I can be. Get up when I want and do what I want. My projects have my deadlines and priorities not some nonsense a VP promised.

pb4uski 11-22-2015 07:52 PM

One other thing is that for the most part, any sense of urgency goes out the window. Whatever doesn't get done today can get done tomorrow or the next day or the day after that.... When I'm working on a project I take my time, measure twice, and am not in a rush to get it done before I have to head back to work.

I golf much more and do some projects for family and friends.

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utrecht 11-22-2015 08:02 PM

My top insight is that I really couldn't care less what day of the week it is.

Independent 11-22-2015 08:11 PM

I discovered that my blood pressure had been going up on Sunday evenings.
For my entire life, Monday morning meant going back to work, and I was (unknowingly) priming myself for that on Sunday evenings by thinking about what I should jump into Monday morning. Sundays became much more relaxing.

Quote:

Whatever doesn't get done today can get done tomorrow or the next day or the day after that.
Yep. I remember a month in I was removing a very large shrub and the job was going slower than expected. I was trying to hurry up to get done in daylight -- that would be my normal response when I used to do these things on weekends.

Then, I realized that if I didn't finish today, I had nothing scheduled the next day. And, heck, if I didn't finish the next day, there was a whole day after that....

marko 11-22-2015 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort (Post 1660646)
That we had been working longer hours than medieval serfs:
Preindustrial workers worked fewer hours than today's

Yeah, but they were usually dead by age 40. :laugh:

traineeinvestor 11-22-2015 08:15 PM

Two years in:

1. at the risk of being drummed out of the early retirement community for apostasy, I can't stand doing nothing. I am happier when I have at least something positive to do each day that goes beyond reading books and watching TV/movies. Having several things planned for the first couple of years was definitely the right approach for me

2. having DW on board and comfortable with my plans was essential

3. I still like a little structure to my days (with the emphasis on "little") - I don't like getting out of bed wondering what I will do all day

4. I don't miss the positive challenges of work as much as I worried that I would

5. quitting the rat race opens up even more possibilities than I expected

6. keeping up the desired level of social engagement is easier than I thought it would be (I'm a hard-core introvert) and I am even happier not being forced to do frequent firm events and client entertainment than I thought I would be

ronin 11-22-2015 08:21 PM

Retirement good. (emphasis on the period)

Mo Money 11-22-2015 08:29 PM

Quote:

Work is truly an offensive four letter word.
That's why you insert an asterisk in that cussword! (Wo*k) :laugh:

frayne 11-22-2015 08:50 PM

Been retired just a tad over ten years and a had a grandson in year one of retirement and found my newest best friend. Being young enough to enjoy grandchildren has been the high point of being retired. Next, doing any damn thing I want.

AllDone 11-22-2015 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1660570)
Coming up on 9 years. I was surprised at how much I've come to resent a schedule, once retired. Even a part time volunteer commitment fits like a hair shirt.

I really, really hate having to be anywhere at a certain time. The only thin that I hate more is driving at rush hour. I had plans for part-time work or volunteering before I retired. Forget that, too.

Tree-dweller 11-22-2015 09:33 PM

What's Your Top Retirement Insight
 
My top insight? Looking back at a job/career I was relatively successful at and thought I enjoyed while doing it, well...I look back and wonder how the hell I put up with the regimented BS for so long. It seems so alien now.

daylatedollarshort 11-22-2015 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AllDone (Post 1660696)
I really, really hate having to be anywhere at a certain time. The only thin that I hate more is driving at rush hour. I had plans for part-time work or volunteering before I retired. Forget that, too.

+1. We had too many interests at first so we dropped things with set, have to be there kind of schedules. We belong to clubs with activities but most are drop in kind of activities.

I interviewed for one volunteer job and they wanted me to work weekends. Even though Saturday and Sunday may not mean as much as they used to, weekends are still when a lot of local events get scheduled, and also when we can drive or take the train into the city and not have to worry about driving in rush hour traffic or standing room only on the train.

razztazz 11-22-2015 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tree-dweller (Post 1660699)
My top insight? Looking back at a job/career I was relatively successful at and thought I enjoyed while doing it, well...I look back and wonder how the hell I put up with the regimented BS for so long. It seems so alien now.

That hit me too. I think back on what I did all those years and simply can't believe I did all that.

One thing you might call an insight was that everything I had always been told was important, and that everyone believes is important was bs. Made up by miserable people who just wanted everybody else to be as miserable as they were. But I was already drifting to that conclusion by 5th grade

aja8888 11-22-2015 11:13 PM

When I left Megacorp, they didn't erect a life-size bronze statue of me and put it in front of the corporate office.

Helios 11-22-2015 11:39 PM

I found that locking myself into certain expectations,( ie: things I would definitely do in retirement) was just wrong thinking. I have changed the things I do and dont do, quite a bit in retirement. And all for the good.

Snowcat 11-22-2015 11:48 PM

We tried not to take of anything new (community or volunteer commitments) the first year. The idea was to allow time for us to figure the whole ER out. We are just over a year. DH held to it well. He has just started exploring an opportunity with a small time commitment along with an educational and social component. Personally, I think it will be good for him. We was mostly busy with work or sports/working out before RE. This new activity will open up a new side of him.
Me on the other hand, I seem to get pulled into all sorts of things (this is not a new problem). "No" does not easily roll off my tongue. I am getting a bit more selective with my time with every month that goes by. I have a timely commitment that will end next summer. I am already looking forward to have the time back to do as I please.
Bottom line, it is okay to be selfish with my time. How I see it is that I worked hard for many years and I deserve it spend my time how I please.


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texcurtis 11-23-2015 12:30 AM

Retired since 1.31.15:
1. How much I enjoy Sunday nights, not having to gear up for work the next day
2. How much I don't miss work (although I enjoyed it most of the time)
3. How much naps are essential for my well being
4. Having time to improve family and friend relationships.
5. Deliberately keeping an open schedule to allow retirement to unfold, allowing new interests to grow in a way I didn't have time prior to retirement.


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34rlsa 11-23-2015 12:59 AM

As I write this... I am driving my wife's new car / Xmas present back to our home in Alaska to save a total of about $700 dollars vs buying from the dealer in Anchorage. The trip enable me to visit my son and daughter in law and our beautiful 8 month old grand daughter for a few days.

Freedom brother.... FREEDOM

martyp 11-23-2015 01:44 AM

I learned that while I am proud of what I did and achieved in my career I am able to say that that time of my life is over and it's time to move on to something else. I have no regrets about my w*rk life and no regrets about leaving.

I like to have a lightly structured existence. I have activities scheduled throughout the week but not to much and anything can be skipped if something better comes along. I am thankful every day for not being subject to the stress of my past career.

I also learned that I like naps. Never did before. Once I ER'd though naps . . . well . . . they are just great.

papadad111 11-23-2015 02:58 AM

I FIRED, did a global move of me and my family to a new country/city, started a masters degree, and got into a 20 hours per week volunteer role mentoring younger MBA students. All within first 6 months.

Am working with a couple students now to develop and teach a personal finance and financial well being course for mba students - amazing how many MBAs won't reach anything close to FIRE and how clueless they are about all things money.

Am looking forward to doing my part to start educating America.

I'm as busy as I was while at Megacorp - now my activities are unpaid but I feel like k have purpose.

Some stress too -- Taking my first final exam in 25 years later today.

I learned that everyone in the corporate world is doing the elephant dance. I learned that it's never too late to keep learning. I learned that some people really really struggle with change and when you love them, it's painful to see that struggle and it's really really hard to help. I learned that I can't say no and I want to do more things than there are hours in a day. Prioritizing will be important.

Focus 11-23-2015 05:21 AM

Here are mine:

https://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ses-76016.html
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Bamaman 11-23-2015 05:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by old woman (Post 1660583)
My problem is a sleep schedule I can't seem to find a good one. I might nap from 4-8PM then be awake until dawn then sleep until after noon. So a day like tomorrow when someone is coming to my house at 8AM will mean trying to sleep at night and get up in the morning. I hate having appointments and remembering what day of the week it is.

I can second this observation. 4-5 hrs. sleep is my max at one time, and I'm up very late. Best sleep is sometimes 7-9 a.m. But it's great being able to set one's schedule.

I've been retired 7 years. and my honey do list gets longer and longer with too many toys to keep up (boats, cars, ATV's) and 2 houses.

Richard4444 11-23-2015 05:55 AM

Never under estimate the value of doing nothing.

Rich

Lcountz 11-23-2015 09:27 AM

Funnnneeeeee!!!!!!!!!

Lcountz 11-23-2015 09:36 AM

Tree Dweller and aja8888 said it perfectly for me!!!!!

I LOVE being retired!!!

I really enjoy Sunday nights now (without the stomach ache), and early mornings having my coffee and seeing/hearing people drive by on thier way to work.....while I can relax and read or just enjoy the sunrise....

I too HATE having any kind of appointment or schedule. The free time is priceless....

I left at 57. I figured that since the day I crossed the threshhold into kindergarten at age 5, then school, part time jobs, then college, then career, 52 years was enough of dancing to someone elses tune......

When I occasionally run into people still working where I did, and they start telling me about how things are and what's going on and the new "initiatives", it sounds like a foreign language. Did I really work there and talk that talk at one time???????

lem1955 11-23-2015 09:37 AM

papadad111: Would love to know more about how you made this mentoring gig happen. I want to help young people grok financial literacy too. I'm probably better suited to college age or graduate school age than high school kids, though I hope that others take up the earlier years. America needs more education about personal finance at all levels.

Danmar 11-23-2015 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1660570)
Coming up on 9 years. I was surprised at how much I've come to resent a schedule, once retired. Even a part time volunteer commitment fits like a hair shirt.

9 years for me as well. I don't really regret the scheduling, after all we travel a lot which requires planning and scheduling. It's being told what to do. Had 35 years of that.

The biggest bonus in retirement is getting healthier. More exercise and eating better. Retirement is great and being fit and mobile will extend the active part of retirement. Couch potato may be a good investment strategy but it is an awful retirement strategy!

Sojourner 11-23-2015 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by traineeinvestor (Post 1660667)
[A]t the risk of being drummed out of the early retirement community for apostasy, I can't stand doing nothing. I am happier when I have at least something positive to do each day that goes beyond reading books and watching TV/movies.

I still like a little structure to my days (with the emphasis on "little") - I don't like getting out of bed wondering what I will do all day

As a single 40-something semi-retiree with no children, I think the biggest insight for me has been that it hasn't been as natural or easy as I was hoping to maintain a healthy & fulfilling level of social involvement with the world. Pretty much all my friends and acquaintances, even those in their 50s and 60s, are still hard at it toiling away in the salt mines everyday. Makes socializing kind of challenging... especially when you consider that most people tend to want to talk about work-related things even during a casual dinner conversation. I have recently started to explore other channels like meetup.com to expand my social horizons a bit, and it's actually been a great experience just getting out there and meeting all kinds of new & different people. That's another great thing about retirement -- you can go to any meetup, anywhere, anytime, without worrying about your schedule!

I have also struggled with the "what am I going to do all day" issue pretty often. Even though I do some hourly consulting work for several organizations each week, I still have a lot of free time on my hands and haven't quite come up with a consistently satisfying way of filling those hours yet. I've only been semi-retired for about two years, so it's definitely a learning process that's constantly evolving.

MRG 11-23-2015 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danmar (Post 1660825)
9 years for me as well. I don't really regret the scheduling, after all we travel a lot which requires planning and scheduling. It's being told what to do. Had 35 years of that.

The biggest bonus in retirement is getting healthier. More exercise and eating better. Retirement is great and being fit and mobile will extend the active part of retirement. Couch potato may be a good investment strategy but it is an awful retirement strategy!

+1
On getting in shape/healthier. Since May DW and I had gone from a BMI of "obese" to "normal". I can't believe the difference. I no longer take any medications nor do I have symptoms of any disease. DW has reduced her meds by ~75%.

Things we couldn't do for years are now possible and enjoyable. Did I mention how much better our relationship is? Big bonus.

braumeister 11-23-2015 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danmar (Post 1660825)
Couch potato may be a good investment strategy but it is an awful retirement strategy!

Nice line! :)

brett 11-23-2015 12:27 PM

Don't sit around not doing all those things you planned to do. There will come a point where you are physically unable to do so.

Don't be afraid to change you lifestyle, where and how you live. Cut out the processed foods, eat fresh food, and get down to your prescribed weight. No phoney excuses-just do it. Especially if you plan to travel.

Get out and do the travelling that you planned. We do 5 months or more of independent travel per year. Now we have the time to plan and execute. Lot's of our friends go to Arizona and Florida for the winter months. Our view is why on earth go there when there are so many other interesting places we have yet to see. We want to travel this way while we can. We each have a long bucket list to get through. Florida and Arizona can wait-they probably will never make it to our list.

Don't live your life to any of the binding social mores that surround you. Do your own thing. If selling your home and downsizing or renting a lock/go then do it even if it is not the habit of your particular community.

As each day passes we realize that retirement for us is about experiences not assets or accumulation. Not only is our time limited, but our capabilities may be even more limited.

athena53 11-23-2015 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MRG (Post 1660847)
+1
On getting in shape/healthier. Since May DW and I had gone from a BMI of "obese" to "normal". I can't believe the difference. I no longer take any medications nor do I have symptoms of any disease. DW has reduced her meds by ~75%.

I LOVE reading stories like this! A lot of health problems are preventable but Big Pharma is always trying to sell you pills.

I was surprised at how easily I adjusted from a go-go schedule that started with getting up at 6:30 AM, followed by a commute and a 10-hour workday before the commute home, to very little scheduled. I do have a Toastmasters meeting on Thursdays and I get positively miffed if something else is scheduled on Thursday, too- I just can't stand the pressure!;D At first I thought about getting a PT job just to keep active and then quickly realized I did not want to sign up for anything that required me to be in a certain place at a certain time on a regular basis.

Now that we've downsized, I've developed a routine that includes a daily gym visit, housecleaning 3 to 4 times a week for about an hour at a time, and yardwork as needed. Some structure and some discipline is good.

mpeirce 11-23-2015 12:58 PM

I stopped calling it a vacation and simply call it a trip now.

Trawler 11-23-2015 01:04 PM

With time now I am finding I am much more mechanically functional than I thought. We have fixed many different things around the house that prior I would of hired out or replaced. You Tube and the intranet has been very helpful. With the saved money here I can spend on fun !!

Dog 11-23-2015 01:13 PM

Biggest surprise is that I don't miss work. I love my freedom and have been able to finally play again (XC ski, snowshoe, hike, backpack, climb, cycle and kayak). Also enjoying traveling for fun instead of business (Tucson, Ireland, and Hawaii). DH joins me next May :)


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Tree-dweller 11-23-2015 01:48 PM

It's funny reading all the posts from the nap fans. I had just started to appreciate them myself when my wife recently joined me in retirement. Now she shames me out of them with all her "newly-retired" energy/antsy-ness that I recall having when I first retired.

walkinwood 11-23-2015 02:49 PM

My 2 cents
- You'll never be bored if you are curious about the world around you
- Life goes on in ER. No hassles of paid work, but good things and bad things and just things continue to happen and always will. Working is just one aspect of life. You still have many other aspects of life to improve but there's fun in that too.

Danmar 11-23-2015 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MRG (Post 1660847)
+1
On getting in shape/healthier. Since May DW and I had gone from a BMI of "obese" to "normal". I can't believe the difference. I no longer take any medications nor do I have symptoms of any disease. DW has reduced her meds by ~75%.

Things we couldn't do for years are now possible and enjoyable. Did I mention how much better our relationship is? Big bonus.

Good for you!!!!! Being mobile is so important as we age. My mother is confined to a wheelchair mostly because of inactivity. It robs you of possibilities.

Most people on this site like to track things. So how about this. I burned about 204,000 calories doing workouts in 2013, about 195,000 last year, and about 176,000 so far this year. Average workout is about 725 calories. My motto in retirement is "burn calories". Use it or lose it.

Also nothing wrong with a short nap in the afternoon. I just got back from my trainer session where I burned off more than 1000 calories In a little under 2 hours. Little tired. Need a nap

Bir48die 11-23-2015 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Independent (Post 1660665)
I discovered that my blood pressure had been going up on Sunday evenings.
For my entire life, Monday morning meant going back to work, and I was (unknowingly) priming myself for that on Sunday evenings by thinking about what I should jump into Monday morning. Sundays became much more relaxing.



Yep. I remember a month in I was removing a very large shrub and the job was going slower than expected. I was trying to hurry up to get done in daylight -- that would be my normal response when I used to do these things on weekends.

Then, I realized that if I didn't finish today, I had nothing scheduled the next day. And, heck, if I didn't finish the next day, there was a whole day after that....

One of the reasons I went P/T was to remove Mondays from my schedule. Everyone had to leave me alone after 5:00 on Sunday because I had to zone out to get ready for horrible Mondays. Now I find that the couple of days that I do work seem like Mondays. So, what's the solution? Quit working.

FreeBear 11-23-2015 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meadbh (Post 1660585)
Here are sufficient examples to keep you entertained for years.

https://www.early-retirement.org/foru...day-37868.html

I must confessed that I was a bit worried reading these stories before I FIRED. They seemed so, well, ordinary and pedestrian. Now that I'm retired, I'm loving it! Yet virtually all of my days sound just like those in the link, ie I woke up whenever I wanted, took DW to lunch at our favorite restaurant down the street, sat there for a few hours drinking coffee while occasionally chatting with the restaurant owner while the w*rking stiffs had to scurry back to w*rk :dance:

Don't get me wrong, there are parts of days when I feel like we did something really crazy. I work through it and grow a bit. Still, I've never had a really bad day since I ER'd. Most days are very good, and I have a couple of great days every week. If you are financially and emotionally somewhat prepared, you can make up the rest as you go on to live a great life.

FB

FreeBear 11-23-2015 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tree-dweller (Post 1660699)
My top insight? Looking back at a job/career I was relatively successful at and thought I enjoyed while doing it, well...I look back and wonder how the hell I put up with the regimented BS for so long. It seems so alien now.

+1 That about covers it!!

Sometimes you put up with what you have to. After FI, then no longer have to if don't want to...

scrabbler1 11-23-2015 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlasShrugged (Post 1660559)
My wife and I are close to retiring. We're okay financially, but we wonder about the non-financial aspects of retirement.

For those of you who have been retired for awhile, would you please share your top non-financial retirement insight. In particular, did you learn anything in retirement that was different than your pre-retirement thinking.

Having worked part-time for 7 years between my 16 years of full--time work and ER 7 years ago, it was the switch from FT to PT which had a bigger impact on my day-to-day life than going from PT to ER.

Having some weekdays free to do things I liked such as volunteer work was a big plus. So was being able to do more things in the evening once I had the time and energy to do them on nights following the days I wasn't working. And lastly, being able to do common errands such as shopping during days and times the stores were not busy was the last big plus.

None of those things changed much when I went from working PT to ER. I just had far more flexibility to do them now that I had all 5 weekdays free. I was more easily able to expand on those things I liked, too, because some activities I could do only on certain weeknights and I often was working that day. Also, I often faced scheduling conflicts between two things I wanted to do at the same time on the same weekday. Those conflicts pretty much disappeared once I had 5 instead of 2 or 3 weekdays to do everything.

And one last thing which made me glad to be ERed: I had some health issues a few months ago which landed me in the hospital for a few weeks. Being able to devote 100% of my time and energy to getting well again, especially in the months since I got out of the hospital, without having to deal with working even as little as 2 days a week, has been vital to my recovery.

grasshopper 11-23-2015 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpeirce (Post 1660893)
I stopped calling it a vacation and simply call it a trip now.

+1 I call it travel, I am always on vacation.:dance:

EastWest Gal 11-23-2015 08:25 PM

Traveling for a longer time, and not having the fear of overwork when I get home.

My parents treated my sister's family and our family to a majority together week in Maui in 1995. We returned home on 12/23. I was scheduled to work 12/26. On my answering machine which I checked at 1AM on 12/24 was that I was needed to work on 12/24 and be on call for 24 hr. Needless to say my decision to seek other employment 6 months earlier was cemented with that message.

The last time I travelled was a 2 week driving trip, and I was 100% present and enjoying the experience. No worries about work when we got home.


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Options 11-23-2015 09:03 PM

The sense of calm and contentment that's come over me in such a short time.

6miths 11-23-2015 11:22 PM

It's really nice! There is still not enough time. The people at work seem to be muddling through just fine without me!

kcowan 11-24-2015 07:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by braumeister (Post 1660859)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Danmar
Couch potato may be a good investment strategy but it is an awful retirement strategy!

Nice line! :)

Probably the most insightful observation about retirement choices ever made. :dance:

kcowan 11-24-2015 07:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brett (Post 1660879)
Don't sit around not doing all those things you planned to do. There will come a point where you are physically unable to do so...

DWs friend was a model but during the last few years of her daughter's life (she died of CF at 40), she relied on cooking as an outlet. Her weight got out of control. Now she need knee replacements but must lose the weight before getting them. Catch 22 and so far just getting more immobilized.

So we travel with our fit friends and she is relegated to driving trips, getting worse.

(I had 18 months of plantar fasciitis, spider bite, and then a broken bone all in my left leg. Just finally OK lately to resume exercise. Dodged a bullet.)

Bikechuck 11-24-2015 07:52 AM

Sounds wonderful but I am conflicted
 
Reading this thread makes me realize how wonderful life is on the other side. However, I do wonder if I do pull the trigger if I will fret so much about outliving my savings that it will take all of the joy out of my retirement.

I an 62 and 5/12 years old and emotionally ready. However neither my wife nor I have a pension, so for us it will be SS and a conservative spend down of the assets we have accumulated (most of which are in tax deferred savings).

I am more conservative financially than my wife and this will be a challenge as well when the day comes.

I have two daughters, one that is still in school working on her PhD unfortunately in the humanities. She has a full ride but we help her out with gas, phone and some other expenses. I don't mind that at all while we have two incomes but it makes me think I should stay employed until she is more independent.

I also know that I need to focus on my health, lose weight etc. and that is tough to do with my current job which requires > a 40 hour week. What good is working a few more years if it takes a decade off your life?

Man oh man am I conflicted!

MRG 11-24-2015 08:09 AM

My phone hasn't rung in the middle of the night. I haven't had a 2:00 AM conference call since I left.:D

Redbugdave 11-24-2015 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Helios (Post 1660720)
I found that locking myself into certain expectations,( ie: things I would definitely do in retirement) was just wrong thinking. I have changed the things I do and dont do, quite a bit in retirement. And all for the good.

I think what Helois said is one of the most important things I have noticed also since I have retired nearly two years ago. You learn to live more in the moment and be more spontaneous. I still get up around 6am and have my day planned out, but can change it on a whim if need be. It is Wonderful. I do not have to deal with difficult people anymore.

ExFlyBoy5 11-24-2015 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tree-dweller (Post 1660906)
It's funny reading all the posts from the nap fans. I had just started to appreciate them myself when my wife recently joined me in retirement. Now she shames me out of them with all her "newly-retired" energy/antsy-ness that I recall having when I first retired.

Nap shaming? What is the world coming to?!? ;D

Most days I hate that my DW continues to w*rk. But then I think about how much of a busy body she is and that would most CERTAINLY cramp my hammock-life-style so I continue to support her in her decision. :laugh:

ExFlyBoy5 11-24-2015 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sojourner (Post 1660831)
I have recently started to explore other channels like meetup.com to expand my social horizons a bit, and it's actually been a great experience just getting out there and meeting all kinds of new & different people. That's another great thing about retirement -- you can go to any meetup, anywhere, anytime, without worrying about your schedule!

You better watch out for the riff-raff you meet on the street. There are some unsavory folks out there. Especially the ones that enjoy a nice cold beverage at the local watering hole. :coolsmiley:

jkern 11-24-2015 10:40 AM

Retired for 6 1/2 years now. The biggest surprise is how easy it is to be content, happy and fulfilled. Sometimes just poking around the house is fine with me.

Typically I play golf or go fishing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I go to the gym, hiking and home & garden on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I take weekends off for entertainment and social activities. Also, I reserve the right to mix it up and do anything I want at anytime!

urn2bfree 11-24-2015 11:53 AM

What's Your Top Retirement Insight
 
Coming up on my two year anniversary, I would say I agree with so many of the previous comments about what the Italians call Il dolce farniente (the sweetness of doing nothing) BUT you requested my TOP Insight- so I think I would say it is this:

People who are not retired understand retirement the same way people who have never had children understand what it is like to have children. You can read about it, watch others do it, imagine it, investigate it, but until you experience it, you really cannot KNOW what it feels like. But it changes you. The lack of time pressures makes things easier, but also different. You may not get the same sense of relief from things like "getting a list of things done" or "vacation," because there is no need for relief from anything.

This disconnect can make some people uncomfortable- just as childless couples and new parent couples sometimes drift apart.


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ExFlyBoy5 11-24-2015 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urn2bfree (Post 1661167)

This disconnect can make some people uncomfortable- just as childless couples and new parent couples sometimes drift apart.


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I can agree 100%. When you so young (41 in my case) and child FREE (;D) you start realizing that you are a lot different than your peers, and the things you have in common are damn minimal.

Focus 11-24-2015 12:45 PM

Along these lines, here's an article from nextavenue.org, which is a good site for aging-related stories:

Living Without a Calendar in Retirement

Quote:

You’d have to drag me kicking and screaming back to a life so regimented it requires a fail-safe system to maintain. For the most part, my routine-averse nature and I have waited a lifetime to be free.

For me — and many who by choice, or chance, now eat when we’re hungry, nap when we’re drowsy and plan as we go — retirement’s biggest perk is the freedom to concoct our own mix of solitude, socializing, purposeful engagement and…
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Taxman59 11-24-2015 12:46 PM

I am amazed at how each day is different. Some days I have energy and go for walks and get 6-7 miles in. Other days I am lucky to get much more than a mile total! What I love most though is that while my middle son has been looking for a job, I have been able to go with him to the cities where he has had interviews (not a helicopter dad, he asks me to come). He goes off to the interview while DW and I see the new city, win - win. He just got the offer he wanted (I wish it was for more $, but he isn't a materialistic guy), it is only 90 minutes away so we can see him frequently (if he wants us to 😛 ). I have felt less pressure to DO things, and have time to eat better at a similar or lower cost. Life is simpler.


Have the day you deserve, and let Karma sort it out.

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athena53 11-24-2015 01:05 PM

One interesting thing I've found is how hectic weekends seem now. With the majority of people employed, a lot of my scheduled activities (church committee meetings, a French discussion group. Toastmasters district events) tend to crowd my weekends. Weekdays are a lot more leisurely!

Options 11-24-2015 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bikechuck (Post 1661071)
Reading this thread makes me realize how wonderful life is on the other side. However, I do wonder if I do pull the trigger if I will fret so much about outliving my savings that it will take all of the joy out of my retirement.

I would not retire until I was as sure as I could be that I would not outlive my savings.


I an 62 and 5/12 years old and emotionally ready. However neither my wife nor I have a pension, so for us it will be SS and a conservative spend down of the assets we have accumulated (most of which are in tax deferred savings).

After sufficient retirement savings, have you figured out what your tax management strategy will be (i.e., roth conversions to reduce rmd's and social security taxation)

I am more conservative financially than my wife and this will be a challenge as well when the day comes.

Have you had these types of discussions (i.e., regarding handling finances, expectations regarding time spent together and apart, etc. Studies have shown couples are more successful in retirement if they have these discussions beforehand)

I have two daughters, one that is still in school working on her PhD unfortunately in the humanities. She has a full ride but we help her out with gas, phone and some other expenses. I don't mind that at all while we have two incomes but it makes me think I should stay employed until she is more independent.

It will be hard enough psychologically dealing with an end to a paycheck, let alone the added responsibility of supporting others. I would make sure I had this figured out (and agreed upon).


I also know that I need to focus on my health, lose weight etc. and that is tough to do with my current job which requires > a 40 hour week. What good is working a few more years if it takes a decade off your life?

Retirement without health is meaningless. Ill health in retirement is not only costly, but restricts all other activities. Have you made a plan to address your health/exercise?


Man oh man am I conflicted!

There is a reason you are conflicted: you raise several red flags that are looming in the background. I would think these things through before pulling the plug. Rather than out and out retiring immediately, you might want to (as I did), put less and less emotional/psychological time and energy into your work and transfer that energy into preparations for retirement. This helped me to be ready when the time came tremendously.

There is also a thread regarding things to do before retiring. You might want to search for it.

Good luck!

Christine 11-24-2015 03:44 PM

One year in. Not using all of my yearly "income" and I remember I thought I'd find some hobby or a new home - something that would cost money. But so far I have not. And I do not care!

I could start eating more expensive food or buy more expensive clothes. But naah. I can't be bothered. Not given up the idea of a new home though - but for now I really don't want the hassle. :imagine_a_smiley_rolling_her_eyes_here:

Throwdownmyaceinthehole 11-24-2015 03:49 PM

I thought I would be thinner and my house would be cleaner. Neither has happened.

brett 11-24-2015 03:57 PM

Looking backwards, the absolute best thing that I did was related to my/our health. It trumps, and enables, our other activities and decisions. Got rid of all that stress...quarterly sales targets, revenue/profit growth, expense reduction,headcount/HR issues. Friends said I looked so much better after six months.

Next was healthy eating and a 45lb weight loss....still five or so to go to my prescribed healthy weight.

We have longevity in our family. I have a DB pension. I want to get the most that I possibly can from Megacorp and be able to enjoy it for a long as possible. Plus there are still many things that we want to see and do.

skipro33 11-24-2015 04:02 PM

I shower a lot less.

I play with the grand children more. (otherwise, I wouldn't shower at all!)

Dave in VA 11-24-2015 04:37 PM

Time for enrichment
 
I loved singing and acting in musicals when I was in school, but never had time during my work life. Retired almost 2 years ago, am now taking voice lessons, sing in a church choir and a small community chorus. Have also been involved in community theater, with roles in productions of "Fiddler on the Roof", and "Annie Get Your Gun".

I think its important to have goals for self improvement and growth, even after you stop working.

kneehigh 11-24-2015 10:37 PM

You define your retirement
 
I love the comments of people here. The nice thing about being retired is that you get to define it anyway you want :)

What's my top retirement insight? I don't know if I have a top insight, but I'd say whatever I'm doing at the moment is the most important thing I can do for myself or for others.

You can actually enjoy just moving whether it's riding a bike, hiking at Koko Head in the middle of a heavy rain, washing the dishes or cooking for the wife. When you move, all those happy hormones moves with you. Smell the roses. Stop and look at the mountains, the beaches and the sky. I wish I had a painter's sight. When he looks out to the distant mountain and sky, he sees things differently every day just like a two year old. How it must be so awesome. Visit the grand-kids. Be creative and laugh with them. It's easy to make them smile and you'll learn a lot from them. The older I get, the more I want what the little ones have--a sense of wonder about the things around them.

Solve the world's problem with your older retired neighbors. They are a gem of wisdom when you share your problems with them. Help someone who can't do things unless you're there. Buy lunch for someone who can't afford it. Laugh and find things to laugh at or with. You cannot take life too seriously. Be brave and learn to forgive so you can laugh again and again. Value the present. It's a gift after all. Look forward to every day. Find your small group to keep you sane and accountable. Rest, anytime you want. Explore with your sight, smell and your mind. Do not take the same road you've always taken. Take the scenic route. Widen your interest. Learn a new trick. Definitely take time to enjoy what you have been given. Don't be jealous of what others have. Some people can't enjoy what they have and they have a lot more than you. The trick is to enjoy and be grateful for what you have. Play those music that makes you happy over and over again.

It's your book and you're the author. The pages are empty. Let your imagination splash across the pages. You'll find that you are an awesome writer. :)

FreeBear 11-24-2015 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kneehigh (Post 1661392)
I love the comments of people here. The nice thing about being retired is that you get to define it anyway you want :)

What's my top retirement insight? I don't know if I have a top insight, but I'd say whatever I'm doing at the moment is the most important thing I can do for myself or for others.

You can actually enjoy just moving whether it's riding a bike, hiking at Koko Head in the middle of a heavy rain, washing the dishes or cooking for the wife. When you move, all those happy hormones moves with you. Smell the roses. Stop and look at the mountains, the beaches and the sky. I wish I had a painter's sight. When he looks out to the distant mountain and sky, he sees things differently every day just like a two year old. How it must be so awesome. Visit the grand-kids. Be creative and laugh with them. It's easy to make them smile and you'll learn a lot from them. The older I get, the more I want what the little ones have--a sense of wonder about the things around them.

Solve the world's problem with your older retired neighbors. They are a gem of wisdom when you share your problems with them. Help someone who can't do things unless you're there. Buy lunch for someone who can't afford it. Laugh and find things to laugh at or with. You cannot take life too seriously. Be brave and learn to forgive so you can laugh again and again. Value the present. It's a gift after all. Look forward to every day. Find your small group to keep you sane and accountable. Rest, anytime you want. Explore with your sight, smell and your mind. Do not take the same road you've always taken. Take the scenic route. Widen your interest. Learn a new trick. Definitely take time to enjoy what you have been given. Don't be jealous of what others have. Some people can't enjoy what they have and they have a lot more than you. The trick is to enjoy and be grateful for what you have. Play those music that makes you happy over and over again.

It's your book and you're the author. The pages are empty. Let your imagination splash across the pages. You'll find that you are an awesome writer. :)

+1 Agreed, and beautifully written kneehigh!

All these things you mentioned that lead to a wonderful life are so much easier in FIRE. We have much more time and emotional bandwidth to enjoy our close friends and passions.

FreeBear 11-24-2015 11:14 PM

I learned that I'm a joyful and positive person. I knew that ER would be good, maybe even great. Still, it's a little surprising to find my days filled with joy.

We've spent perhaps a third of our lives in school in order to prepare for w*rk, then then at least another third at w*rk to buy stuff and save $$. A little joy was squeezed between "getting stuff done" all my life. Now after FIRE joy struts center stage, and everything else waits in line. :dance:

Snowcat 11-24-2015 11:24 PM

So true...joy and happiness. I feel blessed everyday. Maybe it comes from the feeling of 'owning' your day.


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Meadbh 11-25-2015 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by throwdownmyaceinthehole (Post 1661263)
i thought i would be thinner and my house would be cleaner. Neither has happened.

+1 😂

Totoro 11-25-2015 05:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sojourner (Post 1660831)
As a single 40-something semi-retiree with no children, (..)

I have also struggled with the "what am I going to do all day" issue pretty often. Even though I do some hourly consulting work for several organizations each week, I still have a lot of free time on my hands and haven't quite come up with a consistently satisfying way of filling those hours yet. I've only been semi-retired for about two years, so it's definitely a learning process that's constantly evolving.

It's a learning curve for me too. I'm pretty much in your situation (35, single, no kids) and still figuring things out. Haven't even ruled going back in the workforce or start a business although I have developed a tremendous dislike of the concept of something basically claiming my entire life all the time.

Did three gigs this year (all part-time), which were fun to do. Now going on a 3 month or longer trip to New Zealand, maybe Korea.

Guess my top retirement insight is not so much retirement related but more flexibility / options related. I have the financial means to say no to a very broad range of suboptimal ways (to me) of arranging my life. So it's up to me now to find an optimal one.

Also someone has/had as a signature that they reinvent FIRE every 5 years. I always really liked that attitude.

Socially I'm trying to fill in the gaps mostly with helping friends out in thinking about their business / career (under the radar) if they let me. Fun to do. Helped structure a pitch for launching a VC fund recently for example.

petershk 11-25-2015 08:35 AM

I was listening to Johnny Cash

"Money can't buy you your youth when you're old... Or you friends when your lonely... Or a love that's grown cold.

The wealthiest man is a pauper at times... compared to the man with a satisfied mind."

Preach Johnny...

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ExFlyBoy5 11-25-2015 08:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Totoro (Post 1661433)
It's a learning curve for me too. I'm pretty much in your situation (35, single, no kids) and still figuring things out. Haven't even ruled going back in the workforce or start a business although I have developed a tremendous dislike of the concept of something basically claiming my entire life all the time.

Did three gigs this year (all part-time), which were fun to do. Now going on a 3 month or longer trip to New Zealand, maybe Korea.

Guess my top retirement insight is not so much retirement related but more flexibility / options related. I have the financial means to say no to a very broad range of suboptimal ways (to me) of arranging my life. So it's up to me now to find an optimal one.

Also someone has/had as a signature that they reinvent FIRE every 5 years. I always really liked that attitude.

Socially I'm trying to fill in the gaps mostly with helping friends out in thinking about their business / career (under the radar) if they let me. Fun to do. Helped structure a pitch for launching a VC fund recently for example.

New Zealand. I have traveled the world and seen A LOT. But I gotta tell you, NZ was definitely my favorite destination. Fabulously nice people, great food, lots to do...oh, it's my closest thing to Heaven on Earth. If you haven't been...I can't recommend it enough.

kimcdougc 11-25-2015 09:12 PM

Why didn't I do it sooner! I was 50 DH 57. Life is pretty good now. No regrets...yet!

frugal-one 11-26-2015 04:29 PM

Insights...
Make a list of the things you want to do and learn.... and start to do them!!!

Make a daily list of things you want to do ... otherwise nothing will be crossed off the list. There is SO much to do that some structure is valuable.

Everyday I am thankful to have the opportunity to be retired... to do what is important to ME. I talk to others that are retired and it is interesting on how we each envision what retirement is. To me, it is the ability to do the things I want to do, with no obligations to anyone else. I refuse to volunteer at this point. I want to do the things that make me happy and do not want the responsibility of commitments. I may change later but for now this is what is important to me!

Tailgate 11-26-2015 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by texcurtis (Post 1660725)
Retired since 1.31.15:
1. How much I enjoy Sunday nights, not having to gear up for work the next day
2. How much I don't miss work (although I enjoyed it most of the time)
3. How much naps are essential for my well being
4. Having time to improve family and friend relationships.
5. Deliberately keeping an open schedule to allow retirement to unfold, allowing new interests to grow in a way I didn't have time prior to retirement.


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+ all 5.. texcurtis nailed my insights completely!


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