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I Don't Know HOW To Retire

by Pat

I am still in full time work, at nearly 65, commuting 4 hours a day. I am incredibly tired and think that I should retire but what do I do then?


I am divorced, live alone and have done for 14 years but have 3 children and 2 granddaughters. I never used to feel lonely and had friends but I seem to have lost them along the way and starting to feel very lonely and depressed with no motivation.

I now seem to think and dream about the past and the bad decisions I made and the hurt I caused people through naivety and stupidity.

I don't feel a good person and thinking that this is now my punishment for divorcing and wrecking my family when I decided to divorce my husband. I know I must stop this negativity but starting to feel not in control and it all spiralling away from me if I should give up work or it gives me up if I am made redundant or get the sack for poor performance.

I have always been strong and coped but obviously not coping very well now. I have read the other comments from retirees and am glad I am not alone.

I know it's in my own hands to get out of this spiral of depression and I will try my hardest but as everyone who has written has found, it is very difficult and what makes it worse is I only have myself to blame but I can see that this can happen to anyone at this time of their life no matter how successful they have been in work and family life.

I am glad I found this page and will come back to it often now.

Comments for I Don't Know HOW To Retire

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You are not alone
by: Anonymous

I feel the same way. I'm tired... was home 8 months. thought I was going crazy. what am I suppose to do after working all my life?

I don't have any Hobbies as I see some Seniors have. I'm struggling to find my spot. so I went back to work. driving 40 miles 5 days a week. Crazy but I feel connected.

So now I can complain about how tired I am LOL. whats a girl suppose to do.???

Wendy: I think you simply weren't really ready. You will have to retire at some point, it's inevitable... so think about what you might do about it. Take a night class at the local high school - sewing simple kitchen items you might sell online, or painting for creative fun, or learn a new software on your computer.

Think Ahead and plan for the days when you retire, again...

Wonderful thoughtful
by: Pat

replies thank you to all. That is such a coincidence from the writer of Find Your Passion - I had thought a few years ago that I would like to do exactly as she has done - I too love antique shops and markets and watch all the programmes on auctions.

I could start with the few things that I've collected over the years to begin with. Finding your passion or rekindling an old hobby or interest may well be the secret to finding contentment in retirement - I read an advert for swing-dance classes - I always loved to dance and jive but having had a hip replacement in 2010, and the ending of a relationship that enabled me to go to various dinners and dances I haven't danced for about 8 years and watching the dancing shows that are on TV regularly now, that is something I think I really would enjoy trying to do again - hip allowing! What a shame we can't all get together!

Carolyn - you and I have got to get a grip and realise what we have to be thankful for - depression I'm coming to think is like a creeping dark thing determined to get into our hearts and souls determined to make every day seem unbearable until it has us where it wants us, crippled by it and incapable of throwing it off.

Well we mustn't we really must not let it. It's only now with more years behind us than in front that we realise how little time we have left and it seems an absolute waste not to try our hardest not to give in to it.

Keep Calm and Carry On is an old saying from our parents' day and printed everywhere from mugs to Tshirts but this is what we have to do - don't give in.

The thought of commuting through another winter fills me with dread even more than the thought of retiring so I think that is going to be what will finally make my mind up now that we are coming to the end of summer.

As soon as I get to a swing-dance class, you will be the first to know!

I really cannot believe my luck in finding this website - now this really must be fate - we were all meant to find each other don't you think?!


You are not alone
by: Nancy

I so have been where you are. The spiraling the last year of work. The best thing ever for me was finding this website and knowing there were many others who share my struggles. The second best thing was finding a hobby which is sewing and quilting. You will find your way too.

Thank you ..
by: Pat

so much for responding and I have read it twice and will come back to it again. Everything you say is absolutely spot on and I will try to do everything you say as I know it is all down to me how the rest of my life pans out.

Writing things down is a good therapy in itself and this website should be compulsory reading for all retirees and Boomers.

Thank you again and send love and good wishes to all who are experiencing related feelings at this time. I have to see it as a door opening on to a fresh new life and as you say, let go of the past.

Thank so much again Wendy and bless you and all your team.

The past...
by: Anonymous

...is not done until it is dealt with internally. It's so easy to say "forget it" or "there's nothing to do about it now" but if the pain is there it's real in the present.

I understand
by: Carolyn

I do understand your fears of retiring. I retired a year ago as did many friends - all of them have had some issues with retirement (such a major life change it is natural) but I'm the only one who is really having a problem with feeling purpose-less.

I have friends, interests, but I'm so down I can't seem to motivate myself to plug ahead and make myself busy - I should be having a ball but I'm not - I miss work. Its a catch 22.

You might want to talk to a therapist - if you are really down, maybe temporary medication. Let us know how you are doing and if you decide to go. And Wendy's advice about notes to those you perceived to have hurt is a good idea and you have to let the past go - maybe keep a journal and write about it all.

For me the first 6 months was a blast but then some bad things happened - (my sister got sick and other stuff) - and I just went into a depression - I'm seeing doctors and hoping it will eventually lift.

I push myself out socially too but its very hard - there are many days I want to stay in bed and read and do nothing else.

Find Your Passion
by: Newly Retired

It has taken me 5 months to figure out my next move. I'm 58 and retired when my company moved to another state. It wasn't my plan to retire so young, I wanted to work at least 2 more years.

I looked at classes in the medical field just to make a salary. My heart wasn't in it, but I was thinking only of survival. I'm married and my husband is disabled and on a fixed income...we don't have to worry about him losing his monthly income. We have no children, so it can be lonely, even though we have each other. Be grateful for your family.

Anyway, I was the one who took care of the health insurance and saved in a 401k. I ended up with 35 years of service in total and have 2 pensions and an IRA. I was also given a years salary and am collecting unemployment for 6 months. It is a GIFT.

I felt the chains of corporate America slide off and my shoulders relaxed in 3 short weeks. I finally can do what I want when I want. It was such a freeing experience.

One day I was walking on a path in the woods and put both arms up to the sun and knew I was going to be OK. I was a slave to the corporate world. Commuting, working extra hours without pay, working through lunch, going above and beyond, doing tasks behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly and giving it everything I had. Simply put, I'm a worker with an excellent work ethic.

It was right in front of me, finding something I have a passion for. I didn't see it until I came back from a vacation where I shopped antique and collectible stores and bought items at a flea market that I bargained for. I was the only one at the flea market with a cart and who asked for best prices. I WAS A PROFESSIONAL!

My excitement doing that is what finally made the light bulb go off. I've decided to pursue purchasing and selling collectives, antiques and items of interest. It's been a long learning process that I am going to use now to work for myself. I have a good eye for decorating and garden landscapes and have been told my gardens should be in magazines.

My advice to you is, please DO retire. Enjoy your family as much as possible. Take the time to evaluate your life and find what you enjoy doing even if it takes a while. After all, this is the time in life when we finally have the freedom to do what we want, not what we have to do!

I also hope you get help for your depression. I was depressed for years and didn't know it until a doctor put me on antidepressants. It doesn't make the world rosy, but it does help me cope, and that's the secret to beating depression. Don't live with untreated depression, you will miss out on today and only stay in the past. We've all made mistakes and suffered setbacks and even losses of loved ones, but we can and do go on.

I wish you well. Do it for yourself, you've earned it.

Starting Over
by: Jeff

Retirement is so much like starting over.

I have been married three times and am now alone. Yes depression will sit in if you let it and the fall can be rough if you allow it to happen. Like many people I fall into depression, but now I know enough to allow the fall to happen. Because when you hit bottom and you can't go any lower, stop look around, think about things, plan for a better life.

Then when the time is right take your first step on the ladder back up. It can be hard, it was for me but now I feel good about myself and I go out and seek out people to become friends with. It's a slow learning pathway. But the rewards to your inner self can be so great.

I speak only for myself, each person has their own needs and wants. But this is what has worked for me.

Best wishes for a very happy retirement.

letter
by: Anonymous

Hello,

Congratulations that you have overcome your problem yourself. Remain in contact with friends, make new friends, do write and read.

Develop any hobby of your interest.

This Retirment keep all senior people lively.

Remain in contact and enjoy.Om

Retire... and B R E A T H E...
by: Wendy

Pat --

My two cents...

Forget the past, get over it, there's nothing at all you can do about the past, right? If you reallly must, write some letters to those people you feel you hurt... then burn them. What a relief! Meditate to get past this, but let it go! Done.

The concern should be: what will I do after I retire?

It's a huge concern, whether married or single, family or no family, it's really all about YOU at retirement.

YOU and your attitude can make or break your initial retirement years. Think now about what you'll do, start taking time to make lunch dates (even only on the weekend if you work all weekdays). Find time to seek out new interests, hobbies long forgotten. You might even start a small online business so you can be ready to work it after retirement.

The doors to YOUR life is right there before you, consider now what that retirement will be -- and go for it!

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