Approaching Early Retirement

by Ilette Surtain
( New Orleans)

I will experience a job layoff in 1 week after 36 yrs of employment. Came across this site and wow, I am really scared after reading some of the posts.

I am 55 young and will not let this situation define me, people pull yourself up and enjoy life. God woke you up this morning, although you woke up a little stiff, lol, you woke up.

Early retirement/ retirement is time given, to smell the roses that we plant and walk by(when working) unable to smell, to sit in quiet and listen to nature and talk to God, to do all of the things that we have been unable to do, while working and raising a family.

Sure the money will be tight but there is a lot of things that are free, volunteering, community work, become active in your church and or local school. Listen brothers and sisters, be creative, for all of those years we used our creativity to benefit our employers, surely we can use it now to benefit ourselves!!!!!

I live in Orleans (lifelong), I plan on becoming a tourist in my own city, to discover what so many people travel here to explore(of course the free stuff first) then I will ask for birthday and Christmas gifts from kids, to pay for the paid excursions.

Comments for Approaching Early Retirement

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Early Retirement at age 55
by: Ken San Diego

What is it with the age of 55? I too, decided to retire early at age 55 (well that's after working about 40 years) BUT I ended up working for another 8 years part time, otherwise I would be checking myself into Bellevue!

Now I am fully retired as of Aug 11, 2016!

I liked it the first two months, now I have to figure out what to do with all my free time. I took to traveling, and want to do volunteer work, so who knows what that will entail.

My friend runs an orphanage in Thailand and I might go there and help her out a few days a week. (I have a place in Thailand) but everything is still "up in the air" ...

Well off I go ... OFF is an understatement!

Ok maybe I should watch another re-run of Mama's Family?

Life after retiring at 55
by: James from Arkansas

Yes! There is life after retiring at 55! It took awhile to find fulfilling direction, but it happened.

I have been involved in short and long trips, part time teaching, politics, and local government. Most important, I have met many wonderful people.

Thanks to Tom of Plano for the reassuring post.

Both Sides of the Coin
by: JoAnn/Corpus Christi

Many have praised Ilette's comments, but I wish to praise your comments, too, Linda/Nevada. You have succinctly outlined many of the challenges retirees face. Not acknowledging these challenges would be disingenuous.

However, Linda, with your ability to be honest, I think, you also have the ability to see that you have a choice to assess your situation and acknowledge you have situations to be thankful for also. This assessment must be yours, of course, and not an assessment of what others think you should be thankful for.

You have a choice about responding to situations. Exercising this choice requires being creative, thinking "out of the box."

by: Ilette/New Orleans

For anyone that felt that I was being judgemental, please do not. I am caring person and would never intentionally judge or offend.

I had only 1 employer, my entire 36 yr career, so this job lost is a heart breaker but I believe, when one door closes, others open.

Volunteer work is on my agenda!!!!! I just find the positive in every situation, just my nature. In life we need to give positivity and encouragement, in what we do and speak. If I encouraged ,even one person to turn their situation around then God is smiling on both of us.

For everyone that is suffering from depression or medical issues, prayers sent up for a miraculous speedy healing.

I believe when you put out negativity, then that is the environment that you create (excluding those suffering from depression and other medical conditions).

My journey is new and I am aware there is a lot that I will experience but believe, that Ilette will step into each new experience with positivity.

Most important, again, WE WOKE UP, many did not!!!!!!!

Pain in the Neck
by: Opiner

Let's face it, for many retirement is a pain in the neck. Having spent a lifetime being busy and socializing with work colleagues at work and after work, to find yourself permanently out of work with nothing to do is a huge challenge, which some find difficult to overcome, like yours truly.

I agree with Linda from Nevada
by: Nancy

As Linda from Nevada said, many on this site are stressed. Many of us suffer from depression.

It is easy for others to be judgmental and give advice to "look on the bright side" like Ilette from New Orleans said. Also it is easy to give advice when you yourself have not experienced retirement yet.

A drastic change like retirement can trigger depression. Also if one is already experiencing depression, it can get worse after retirement.

There are a lot of changes you, Ilette, have not experienced. I hope you will have a happy retirement, and I'm sure you will, but that doesn't mean you can be judgmental of others who are having a hard time. Saying you should just look on the bright side for someone with depression is like saying to my husband, just stop eating sugar and your diabetes will go away.

Benefit Yourself
by: Joe

I'd like to suggest that when you get tired of benefiting yourself try utilizing creativity to benefit others.

Joe W.

Plano, Texas (Formerly from Metairie).
by: Tom Damron

I retired at 55 voluntary and believe me now at age 82 and retired for 26 years, I have no regrets and offer nothing but it has been an awesome trip! You have a lot of living ahead and it will all be good so long as your attitude remains positive.

Like you, I'm back in Naw'lins every year doing the tourist routine because as strange as it seems, we just don't do it when we live there.

I eat at Dennie's, (I only lived about a-block away when I actually lived there --Martin Behrman), Acme Oyster on Veteran's, Drago's, and we explore Gretna, Algiers, Des Alamands, Houma and it is eye-popping with a different viewpoint.

Best of luck to you!

Good for you!
by: Sandy

Ilette - aren't you a ray of sunshine! It was refreshing to read your post and feel your optimism.

From what you have written, it sounds like you will be having a wonderful time in your retirement years.

As for the frightening posts, there are many of us who struggle with retirement. As for me, I know that I should be happy and enjoy it, but no one says depression is rational. So I, like others, must go through the journey of self discovery, grief and healing to eventually find the peace and joy that you already have.

You are so fortunate! Enjoy yourself and keep sharing your sunshine with others.

Great Post!
by: Char/TX/USA

Good on you for the great attitude and you are 100% correct! Love what you said about giving 100% to enjoy each day - we all gave so much to our employer as you said and while most of us did get a benefit to those years, they did reap many rewards for our hard work and dedication.

We should embrace each day and use the time God has given us to do those things we have yearned to do over the years and had no time to do them!

IMO - Not only should we do the things that we want for ourselves and families - but great joy and fulfillment is derived from doing for others outside of that circle where the gift of your talents, wisdom, compassion and time can change lives. I can think of no better way to spend my winter years than to touch a life that can make a difference that can ripple like a pebble in a pond.

It's Hard to Smell Roses When You Are Stressed
by: Linda/Nevada

I appreciate an upbeat attitude about forced retirement but when the stress of barely having enough money for food, rent, utilities, etc. overshadows you, it's hard to think about the "free" things you can do.

Those of us who are new to Medicare are dealing with the high cost of Medicare premiums, substandard healthcare and illnesses that are in our future.

Those of us who are renters have the stress of having our rent raised when Social Security threw us a bone of a few dollars. These real life stresses will not go away just because someone tells us to look at the "bright side" of retirement.

The rejection of being forced out of our jobs when we are less employable and less attractive to employers who are trying to save money is not something that goes away easily.

Life for the elderly is hard, sad, and challenging. I live in a senior apartment complex and I am exposed and reminded of just how hard it is to grow old.

It's hard to be cheerful when you see loneliness, poverty, and sickness on a daily basis. I stay inside my apartment most of the time because the reality outside my apartment door is just too much to deal with sometimes.

The United States may be a rich and mighty country but when it comes to dealing with its aging population, it falls short. God Help Us All!

KUDOS to You!
by: Wendy,

Love your post... you are so positive.

YES, retirement is a time for new dreams, new adventures, and simply whatever you choose it to be.

I also took an early retirement at age 55, I am 61 now... and it's been quite a ride.

Live each day!!

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