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-   -   What's Your Top Retirement Insight (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/whats-your-top-retirement-insight-79626.html)

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 :)


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum

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:


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