Early retirement

by Cheri

I am desperately sad. I thought this would be the happiest time of my life. My husband and I were able to retire "early". We are in our mid 50's and though we aren't wealthy we can make ends meet on our retirement pensions. Maybe even get a little travel in. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We met in our late 20's. My ex-husbands brother and his bestfriend were helping me get away from an abusive boyfriend. The bestfriend and I hit it off immediately. We were married 8 months later. That was almost 30 years ago. We definitely had our struggles to overcome we were both longtime drug users and were on assistance for several years. We met on drugs, married on drugs and together we got off drugs and turned our lives around.

When we were broke we still found time and the means to go camping or just take a road trip. Anything to enrich our and our 2 daughters lives. We had so many good times and spent very little money.

We each found good paying jobs, paid into good pension plans and retired earlier than we ever thought we would be able to.

We found a short sale house 2 1/2 years ago. 4 BR, 1 Bath, open floor plan with a detached garage on 4.5 acres in the mountains outside of San Diego for $149,000. Our mortgage is only $1100 a month which is about 1/2 of what people pay for apartments in town.

So what's the problem, you ask. Sigh. My hisband's idea of the ideal retirement is to sleep late and watch TV ALL DAY. I am bored beyond belief. I didn't sign up for this. We talked about what we would be able to afford to do and I was so excited to finally be able to start living for us and not my job.

I can hear you saying take a class, get a part time job, get a hobby. Unfortunately, I experienced a catastrophic failure of my spine in my late 30's and was diagnosed with carpal tunnel 5 years ago. I suffer from excruciating chronic pain and am unable to drive or use my hands for longer than 15 minutes every half hour. We live over an hour away from civilization.

I try to entertain myself as much as possible but I find myself just laying here watching TV in a different room as we don't watch the same shows.

This man was my best friend for 30 years. We overcame so much. He told me the other day that I have changed but he's dealing with it. I'm not the one who changed.

He still talks about doing things like go to the zoo or the aquarium but the morning were supposed to go he will ask me (after I have put my make up on and am ready to go) "How much do you want to do this because I didn't sleep well or my shoulder is killing me" etc. so we end up not going because if we do go I don't want to listen to him complain all day.

So retirement sucks. This is not how I wanted my life to end. I honestly don't know if I will stay with him but the thought of leaving breaks my heart.

Thank you for listening.

Comments for Early retirement

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by: charles

92 and a half 30 years retired and i have now only one wish... to meet my maker .actually lookin forward to it. i have hand a good life my wife passed away after having hart attack on christmas day in 2015. now i am living in a old age home along with many to talk to and keep myself busy with my laptop. don't give up never give up, only God can do that.

Retirement Blues
by: Dan in Florida

Wendy and others will give you lots of advice on things to do to get out of the house and the kinds of things you've heard before joining groups volunteer blah blah blah. Please remember that adjusting to retirement is a process and a major life event and as such it takes time for both you and your husband to come to terms with it and find your way forward.

I cannot recommend divorce as an answer to the pain you're feeling. It will only multiply your sorrow.

Unfortunately, I think retirement and Western societies forces us to face the facts of our existence and our relationships. During our careers it's easy to get caught up in the busy rat race of raising kids being a family and so on and so forth.

I would like to suggest to you that you explore and genuine search for God. When I say God I don't mean Catholic or Protestant Christian God necessarily, maybe give Hindu or Buddhist ideas try.

To see if this makes sense for you, get on YouTube and look up Sadhguru and pick any title that you want. I find this guy resonates with me. He is a yogi.

spinal troubles
by: Gerard

I know a little about back pain also so I can sympathsize. I've been able to avoid surgery but have gone to chiropractors and acupunturist. My case is scoliosis. Severe enough to have had foot dropsy...loss of bladder control.

What've found is finding certain exercises that actually help. Some yoga but not extreme, some deadlifting but not extreme, working on the core. I hope you pursue finding to deal with your back because it alone can drive a person to depression.

by: Anonymous

I retired and a year later lost my husband. I struggle when I hear complaints about husbands, I wish I had him back to complain about him!!

I too suffer from chronic pain, and finally realized I could ask my Doctor to send me to a pain clinic. It doesn't cure pain but is well worth going to one. I can't take any medication, so I must learn to manage it. We learn to live with it.

I just witnessed a friend die, too young at age 70, full of life right to the end! Life is fragile, do and think what supports your happiness, we might as well be mentally healthy, perhaps showing others along the way.

so sorry
by: Rose Raintree Arlington Wa.

I cannot imagine living as you describe and you made me even more thankful that I am single and while I too have some chronic pain due to severe arthritis and many total replacements both knees, both shoulders and have had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands which does not constitute stopping for me.

It just required me to push harder to maintain good health and good attitude. I am 72 been retired for 4 years, live solely on SS which I am blessed for it to be a good one and I live comfortably in a peaceful environment.

I think it a mistake for people of age to remove themselves so far from civilization in their retirement years. I too love the country but at this stage in life I have the best of both worlds, a peaceful community that feels like I am in the country, but have friends around me and 5 miles from town.

If you are to stay there have you considered with your 4 acres having some chickens, and rabbits and get into gardening and get a pet. I have discovered that when we invest in caring for something we get our minds off of ourselves.

After working for over 40 years I can say these are some of my happiest years as I slowed down and am enjoying my friends, family and especially my granddaughter and my daily walks with my little companion and dog chichi.

So we are the writers of our own story and we get to decide how we want it to end, and I pray that you will not allow yourself to become a victim as you have overcome so much and take charge of your life no matter what your husband does and perhaps as he sees you doing so he will join you, but either way you will find yourself and your happiness if you seek it.

carpal tunnel
by: mildred/tn

Surgery can fix carpal tunnel. Have u thought that maybe your hubby is depressed also. I have found in retirement you have to work at it. Set some goals and work toward them..If you and he have different interests go w/ seperate friends and enjoy the day. then u have something to discuss at the end of the day..Meet some new people..

by: Nancy

I hope you will excuse me for putting my substance abuse counselor hat on, but did you go to AA when you got sober? Even if you have been sober for a long time you might find AA helpful, or Al-Anon even since your husband is a recovering addict also.

I went to Al-Anon meetings when I was working. There were great meetings next door to my work. I joined a group near home when I retired. Now I just do the online e-mail groups, but for me 12 step meetings are great support.

You can do online meetings or e-mail meetings if you have transportation problems; however, you probably could find someone available for carpooling in a meeting.

Just a suggestion because I found 12 step groups very beneficial for me. I had a sponsor who helped me a lot when I first retired and had HUGE adjustment problems. She was still working herself, but helped me a lot by just talking sense to me about retirement and working the steps with me. If you could find a good sponsor too. My sponsor was via e-mail too.

A Change of Heart
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

Dear E. Retirement,

This may not be what you want to hear but it seems as if this is the pivotal time for you to wake up every day and think the following: "What little thing can I do today that may make him feel more appreciated."

Or you can tell him he looks especially nice today in whatever he is wearing. Or you may make a meal you know that he adores.

You may just pat him on his arm or back as he goes by you, and say that you think things are going to start to get better.

One day you could each sit down and tell each other what you like and respect the most about each other. You may be surprised at his answer.

If you are not church goers you could pick a different church a month to go to and discuss your thoughts afterward.

You may be astounded if you made every day a practice in saying something nice and meaning it. It can be life changing. Blessings to you both.


Wendy is absolutely right!! It is important to be involved in LIFE! This is an adjustment period for you both but don't fall into the lazy boredom trap...it's time to try exploring new places and trying new things!

Good Luck...

Get out of the house... with or without him!
by: Wendy


Try www.meetups.com and look for some fun groups locally. Have him drive you there and pick you up, if you must, but just GOOOO.

Find new friends there, have lunch out together, do day trips, leave him at home.

I wonder if he is also depressed, but doesn't realize it. It happens when you no longer have your work responsibilities, even though you both planned and voluntarily retired.

Join the Retirement Community too (right side bar here) and maybe you'll find someone locally there too.

Just get out of the house and enjoy life again!

Who Knows.. he might see you having fun and suddenly join you!

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