5 months in

by Ira
(New Jersey)

I thought the volunteering would come easier meaning faster. I have just begun to get a bit more involved in two organizations but the process Is slow and I am getting down on myself again. I was doing ok for a bit.

I found it necessary to retire from my field because of stress/anxiety issues. I just couldn't and didn't want to do it anymore after 30 years in public accounting- business and corporate taxation department. No desire or motivation to look PT or per diem in the field.

I feel that I am putting pressure on myself to "do something" but completely feel at a loss what that is. I go to the gym everyday and read intermixed with a volunteer meeting here and there but feel there is alot of pieces missing to fill up my day.

I may have to decide to find some lower level part time job to keep busy but don't know doing what.

Have gotten more down on myself because I feel kind of mentally trapped with indecision.

Need some guidance from those that have been through it or just have different perspective.

I am 63 now...

Comments for 5 months in

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Pets provide both comfort and social interaction
by: Dianna / Maryland

My retired CPA bachelor friend got a cat about three years ago. Being the fastidious person that he is, I never, ever thought he would take in an animal. Last week he called to say that he had just adopted two more!

Small dogs are great because they give you a reason to get out at least twice a day. If you walk in the park or dense neighborhood, you will meet other pet owners or other people who like pets.

My friend also started traveling overseas every couple of years with a local travel group. I went one year with my husband. There were as many single travelers as married ones. Travelling opens up a whole world.

5 Months in
by: Jim

I also felt like my demanding and stressful job as a manager/supervisor was requiring more mental energy than I had left to give and so I retired at 60.

The first 9 months or I was wracked with anxiety and I suspect depression. The emotional aspect of retirement was never emphasized in retirement planning but not sure I would have understood anyway prior to retirement.

I started walking for exercise and volunteer a few hours per week now and otherwise stay busy taking care of the household.

I have to say that anxiety medication in the lowest effective dosage was helpful to take the edge off and return me to a "normal" feeling when I felt a periodic anxiety attack coming on.

After 1 year I feel better but unsure if the existential crisis we experience as retirees will ever completely end. It's terrible but I often have to take comfort in the fact that so many people have it worse than me.

Thanks to all responses
by: Ira

I am going to try out a martial arts class and a gym called Orange Theory which mixes cardio with weight training this week. Will see how I like them.

Unfortunately I felt forced into retirement because of an anxiety disorder that stemmed from work. Was at my firm 20 years with the last two horrible because of anxiety.

Wasn't planning on retirement yet but felt my health had to come first...that's how bad it had become with anxiety. Close to a breakdown after 20 years at firm. Even working PT there didn't solve the problem

Now I am trying to see how to fill up my time. Volunteering is coming slow with these organizations. I may take some classes in the winter session at local community college depending upon classes offered.

I guess I was expecting to slide more easily into retirement mode

Glad I can open up in this venue. It helps to vent.

Some ideas
by: Sandy

Hi, Ira - we are very close in age, so I know that we have so much left to do and give. Although I did some volunteering, it was not enough for me either. So, I work part time at a non profit.

Check with the nonprofits in your area and even offer to volunteer in their finance department, given your background. And if it is too stressful, you can always opt out. Many of these volunteer opportunities can turn into part time jobs, as mine did.

Another thing you can do is register with a contract agency which will send you out on jobs. Yes, it is scary but it is also exhilarating. You don't have to go into your old field if that is too stressful. But even registering with the contract agency will open you up to jobs you never thought of. And then there are "gigs" locally where you can work or volunteer for an event. Give some of them a try.

Now, I know I sound like Miss Sunshine - I am not. I have periods of feeling down but they are getting less and less. Just find somethings you like and keep trying. If something doesn't work out, there is a whole world out there. It doesn't mean you'll be giddy with joy every day, but it will help you feel good most of the time.

I started thinking that I don't want to look back on my 60s when I am in my 70s and realize that I wasted those precious years. I hope you can come to that realization, too. You will find your groove, Ira, but only by trying things. It does take courage, but you can do it!

Many blessings to you and let us know how you're doing. Sending you a virtual hug.

Take your time...
by: June in Deerfield WI

Sounds like you are still stressing out...it takes a while to adjust to retirement. It took me a year to get used to the freedom. Now I lunch with various friends, go to chair yoga and the gym, walk my dogs, and read. Take it easy; you do not have to fill every minute with activity. I feed the birds and enjoy their antics at the feeder. There are lots of free events and visits to the library for free movies etc.

Read to children at your local school or better yet teach someone to read at your literacy initiative location. Enjoy your time!

Plenty to do in retirement
by: Anonymous

Best advice is to find more volunteer opportunities. If you are a musician, join a community band or choral group. Social and Civic organizations like Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis have ample opportunity. Certainly church or synagogue groups need help. Do a blood drive through Red Cross or other bank. Animal rescue leagues. Walk, jog, play a sport, all opportunities. join a book club, use your library. Get into politics, get active with your community. Plenty of options.

5 months in
by: Sherry Stewart

I know what you are going through, Ira, I have been and still sometimes in the same situation. You are doing the right thing by going to the gym ; it will keep. you moving everyday and you can find fiends there. Try different "avenues" in life and you will find something you enjoy!
I am thinking of you and good luck!

Give yourself time and keep coming back here
by: Nancy

5 months in to my retirement, at age 63 also, I was frantically looking for another full-time job similar to the one I had retired from, and seriously regretting leaving that job.

It took awhile to find my niche; however, retirement adjustment didn't exactly turn out like I had hoped. My hobbies saved me. Mainly quilting and sewing.

I found that I really don't care to be around people too much, and in retirement I don't have to socialize which is good. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

seasonal tax work
by: pLp

Why don't you just do seasonal tax work like HR Block. I work at HR Block, seasonal, and it is OK....something that gets you through the winter months. WHO knows the future!

Make arrangements, choose carefully
by: Similar Boat/Northeast US

My advice:take your time choosing how to spend your time while continuing to do something as opposed to doing nothing, which it sounds like you are doing.
After 3 decades of going to work, those of us who weren't self-employed now have the opportunity to create our own paths, albeit with little experience in how to do that.

I made a little daily schedule for myself to start, letting it evolve as needed.I felt a strong urge to latch onto a new job, simultaneously fearing getting sucked into something.

This is a huge change so be understanding and gentle with yourself.

There are SO many things you could do, that it can be hard to choose or find what is right for you, but by getting out into the world, you can learn more about how to use your newfound freedom.

Think of a morning getting ready for work-is there anything you wished you could do if you didn't have to hustle off to work?

If you don't need the money, I recommend not finding a paying job right away.Give yourself a break, do something fun, satisfying. See where it leads you. Make the world a better place by giving it one more relaxed, kind, caring person.

Maybe it would help to work with a therapist while negotiating the big life change.

You can do it!!

I am with you
by: Debbie

I feel much the same. I had some projects at the house i wanted to finish and got those done so now am feeling lost also. I think it is a very big adjustment. And i think we need to find somerhing to feel passionate about. How about finding a new hobby? Exploring a new field of learning? Learn how to play a musical instrument? Pickelball classes? I think we need to move out of our comfort zones and learn something new.

Do Something Different
by: John A. / Tyler, Tx

Being burned out is no good for anyone. No amount of money is worth your physical/mental health.

I am sure you have many transferable skills that can be used elsewhere in business. I suggest taking stock of those skills and pursue something else. You also need to see what type of work you think you want and tailor your resume using the inventory of transferable skills.

Start thinking of people you can use as a network to land your next job. Most people land jobs through people they know. So that is an important thing to keep in mind.

For each job you apply for you'll need a resume tailored for that job. If you apply for 10 jobs, you'll need 10 different resumes tailored to each job using keywords from job descriptions.

Practice your interviewing skills. Have someone experienced with resumes review the ones you have written. Expect your job search to be a full time job in itself.

Good luck!

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