8 months into retirement - partially forced

by Ira
(New Jersey)

I worked as a senior tax manager in the corporate commercial department of a large regional CPA firm. I retired about 8 months ago at 62 1/2 ( after 20 years at this firm and 10 years at another prior to that).

Original plan was for 65, but Retirement was sort of forced. It built up over the past two years where the stress got to me and I was either close to or had a breakdown ( extreme depression and anxiety).

I went from complete top performer to struggling daily. Received my first poor performance review in all of those years. My partner became a dick to me. Could not do it anymore so for health reason, retired ( plus I did not want to get fired. Wanted to leave somewhat on my terms).

It has really been up and down, still struggling with my demons, seeing a therapist which has been a long difficult haul. Thankfully doing better than when I started. Made it through the winter months while struggling within myself.

I volunteer twice a week at a Nature Center (very nice people) about 10 hours per week since December 2018, go the gym couple of times a week, recently started taking tennis lessons once a week for an hour, plan on riding my bicycle and possibly joining local weekend bike club to get out with people now that the weather is getting nicer and signed up for 4 week digital photography class starting in July.

I was hoping that I would feel more fulfilled after 8 months, but still feel empty pockets of time and emotionally.

Unfortunately, my wife is not into doing similar things, but we do go out to eat, museum periodically, take walks when weather is nice and talk politics (luckily we have same party affiliations) . She has become a FB and Instagram addict (about politics), but I cannot sit there like that.

I apologize for rambling on.....

..... Has it taken anyone else this much time to adapt to retirement ?.. I am really trying to establish new life, but still feel that my old life was cut short involuntarily. No desire whatsoever to go back to Public Accounting even PT and not sure what if any job I would want right now.

Comments for 8 months into retirement - partially forced

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8 months in
by: Ira

It's officially a year now with alot of ups and down given how I was forced to Retire ( mental health issues ) after 30 years in same field.

Started to get antsy, missed making some money, but more to fill the hours. Supposed to call in and report for training for PT position at front desk at local Tennis club end of July, beginning of August. Will see how I like it and whether they like me. Would be nice if it was a joint fit.

Would account for that big gap in time

Retired and hating it
by: Anonymous

Hi Ira

Was in similar position after 34 years, I try to get out of it by doing something entirely different from my previous job, just do part time in another industry..it might help..all the best

It's true, it take time...
by: Nancy

To get out of the work mode. It sounds like you made the right decision to leave your job at the right time, that doesn't translate to having an easy ride getting used to retirement, however. I know that from experience.

You are doing exactly the right thing by involving yourself in activities. My husband's and my relationship evolved after retirement into something different from what it was when we were working, and the something different was good.

Opportunity to Explore New Things
by: Joe Casey - NJ


I'm 61 and I appreciate your experience, having gone through the same thing. One suggestion, if I may...you may find our podcast interesting and useful.

Twice a month we interview authors, experts and retirees on the non-financial aspects of transitioning to retirement. It's been a learning experience for us and may be helpful.

The Retirement Conversation


Move on
by: Wee-zer

Ira, What you went thru is so common today. It happened to me three times! One time my company shut down after I worked there 10 years. The next time I worked at a company 18 years and it also shut down and moved out of state. The third time I was laid off after 4 years. The company is still there and had another lay off a year or so after I left. So many big box companies are shutting down everywhere.

You sound like you have made a very good attempt at finding things to do which is half the battle. You seem to still be in work mode. By that I mean you are used to being at work 8 or more hours a day 5 days a week. You were used to having rigid timelines and it was hustle bustle every single day.

Now, you don't have any real 'urgent' business to do. You pick and choose pleasant things to do and maybe you feel you don't have your nose close enough to the grindstone.

You say you don't want to get back into accounting stuff. What if you get yourself involved on some boards where you volunteer.

It might give you the feel of being business like but you'd be volunteering your expertise whether it be organizational skills, time management, money management. Even when organizations have fund raisers, things have to be planned from A-Z with much skill. Such as venue, parking, food, how many people are expected to come to the event. Is it an indoor event, outdoor event. So much planning is needed and that is where people like you would add value. This might give you some feeling of accomplishment and you would truly be appreciated for what you can give.

Do some stuff that you might never have done in the past. Watch movies that aren't typically your thing. I guess, just try to get out of the box you are in and find new and different things. Listen to audiobooks and pick ones that are offbeat and thought-provoking. Find books that when you read them you will want to talk about the subject matter with others. Read online newspapers and stay current on world wide events.

Maybe you need a nice long vacation. Do you like to travel? I used to go to Aruba for vacation. We bought a timeshare and went there for around 23 years. It is a fun place to vacation. So many beautiful beaches.

My husband and I had very high pressure jobs and would go there for 10 days and it actually took us about 3 days to unwind. Then we got into the island life. I would recommend some kind of a vacation to see and do fun things!

Good luck Ira!

Be patient, give yourself time
by: Tech at heart/Northeast

I t sounds like you are managing your life pretty well on the outside, but I totally understand that it may feel different from the inside looking out.

For me, it's been almost 2 years and I am beginning to get used to life as it is now. I was so unhappy and in physically in pain from the job, combined with having critical health benefits threatened, that I felt I had no choice.

My advice is to keep working on it as you are and give it more time.

Change is harder as we age and the longer we have been doing one thing, the more ingrained it becomes. 30 years, about half your life, is a long time to "turn on a dime", but you needed to get free, find a new path, and you very bravely accomplished the huge step out the door.

Congratulations on your embarkment! You behaved bravely and safely and you are doing a great job establishing the new life!

Give it more time, keep working on your life now, and things will likely improve for you, I hope.

Look forward, Not Back...
by: Wendy, retirement enthusiast

That last statement "but still feel that my old life was cut short..."

I simply want to say -- stop doing that to yourself. Yes, you were pushed out like many others are. It happens.

Do not let that get in your way for retirement... whatever retirement ends up being for you! So many options. Every day is a new opportunity to do exactly what you want do, busy or chilling out.

It happened -- please let it go! Don't continue to stress over it as you can't change it. You can only move forward, right?

Best wishes!

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