1 yr in, retired at 60. I had every one of the feelings and psychosis listed on this page
There are two sides to the retirement coin, those represented by the do-it-now, FIRE, love doing nothing retirement pages/blogs and what I call the wandering pages/blogs.
I have been almost chastised on the pages of the do-it-nowers for searching for more personal fulfillment and purpose from retirement than just working on hobbies, having unlimited "me" time, and enjoying being away from the working grind.
On the other hand, I have found myself in agreement and alignment with the worries, issues, and complaints of the retirement wandering pages.
The following are the roots of the prominent issues that have almost a circuitious way of popping up at intervals throughout year
1: Self worth- we have all been mostly defined by decades of working life. Our lives away from work, families, and sometimes church, surely added to that definition but none actively defined us more than the participant sport of work, getting up every morning and actively participating in something that contributed to our very existence
2: The collegial experience- no matter what you did for a living, the relationships, workplace, and even conversations you had with co-workers and family/friends about your work and co-workers was an inexorable part of the entirety of your adult life.
The very things many of us despised about our work environment also were the fundamental basis for doing something that provides a daily personal diversion.
When you retire, that part of your life ends immediately. Yes, you absolutely have new retirement friends to discuss current events and glory days, and the occasional discussion with ex-colleagues, but a vaccum has developed in a major aspect of your life.
3: Ground hog day- it seems no matter how hard you try, eventually you wake up one morning staring at the same ceiling, preparing for the same breakfast and routine, and wondering how you got here.
You probably did the same thing when the alarm clock rang every working day, but you didn't have time to reflect on it or think much about it, there were expectations that you would get up and get on with it.
Retirement is delightfully cruel in its ability to promote daily self analysis and provide ample time for extended appointments on your personal analyst couch.
4: Wealth and health- for many, retirement provides an almost continuous backdrop for inspection of and calculating our personal and financial well being.
Worrying. Back of the brain nag.
While most don't focus on retirement as the beginning of the last chapter or cresting the hill into the realities of our health past 60-ish, there is a drive to want to continue to accomplish meaningful
things for as long as our health and money will allow. And how long exactly is that?
While we have a good financial plan based upon the facts and years of calculations, will it be enough to allow for our desired quality of life, not be a burden on our families, etc etc.
More than that, personal health can interrupt the best laid plans. Is there enough?
As a 35 year Silicon Valley executive, I retired thinking good riddens to that rat race, thankful goodbye to 5 million miles of international business travel, and hello to a midwest cost of living retirement that allowed me to climb off the perpetual stress hamster wheel.
I didn't realize that those four categories above would constantly influence my thoughts and that multiple parts of "me" require a different timeline to adapt to all aspects of retirement.
One thing comes through from almost every retirement book, blog and study I have read, it takes more time to adapt to this life changing event than what any of us thinks.
9 months into retirement I began to make plans to go back to work. I realized I needed to convince all parts of "me" that the time, money, etc was right for retirement. I started to lay the foundation for going back full time in my previous industry with 1 year in mind as my target commit.
This allowed me to actively think through the life trade-offs I would again be taking on over the months as I got prepared. 2 months of prep and planning helped me to realize I didn't want to jump headlong back into the environment and issues I retired from, I have now reduced my personal commit down to a 3 month consulting "test."
Over the past month I have thought through this further and looked at other options deciding to go to work part time for a local business that I am interested in.
I have limited the stress risk, provided myself a chance to really weigh the values of retirement and what was missing from my life, and made myself an active participant in resolving the elf-worth, collegial experience, ground hog day, and health-wealth issues that have plagued me over year 1 retirement. Funny, the actions of considering this part time job has made me much more at peace with my retirement decision and day to day life.
It's erased many aspects of depression and, more than anything, I have created an environment that allows me to evaluate my time and continually build evidence that I am as valuable and happy in retirement as I was working.