Energy industry casualty

I was near the end of a great career in the energy industry. Had 32+ years of exciting projects working for a great company with great people. The industry turned down in 2014.

At 56 years old, my role was eliminated and I received the Golden Handshake. We left with Health insurance, a lump sum pension and a severance package that has lasted 2 years.

The first 6-8 months was wonderful. No alarm clock, no traffic, no deadlines or office politics, etc. Now I feel a bit lost.

For so much of my life I've been the provider for my family, husband and father raising two great children. Now that the kids are gone, and our financial future is 'secure', I'm at a loss for purpose.

What does a 58 year old male do with all this time?

I can only play so much golf. My wife is a school teacher and loves her job - so she's not ready to retire. The kids are self sufficient. So I'm struggling to find out 'who I am now'. I'm in this gray area of transition. I don't want to go back to the corporate world, but can't identify what I want to do. Wondering if others have had similar experiences and what worked well.

Who would have thought that retirement would be stressful ????

Comments for Energy industry casualty

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Remember Your Passion
by: Mark in Maryland

Dear Casualty,

What you have now is the most precious commodity on earth: TIME. Yes, volunteering is a wonderful and fulfilling thing, but don't hesitate to do something entirely selfish as well.

I personally have cycled through several activities that I was very good at and enjoyed as a child, and then of course life got in the way and I somehow forgot how essential creativity is to human wellness.

For the first couple of years in retirement I painted, as in art projects. Last winter I felt I needed a change of pace, so I actually wrote a book and crossed off item #1 on my Bucket List! Seeing my own words in print was like nothing I have ever experienced before.

So take yourself back to those days before marriage and children, and remember what made you completely lose track of time. It's still there, I promise you. "Everything you ever wanted can be found one single step outside your comfort zone."

Take that first step.

Great ideas in this book!
by: AMV/MO


I suggest you read this great book, "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free" by Ernie Zelinski. Full of amazing ideas and quite thought provoking...

Unfortunately for me, some of my favorite ideas from the book also need some amount of good money, that I don't have. But as I read your story, you are well settled, financially, and so you can pursue some of those recommendations in the book.

If nothing else, you can kill some time just reading the book; it is interesting and humorous - I have read it many times!

Good Luck!

Energy Industry Casualty- Say No More
by: John A / Tyler, TX

Like you I worked in the energy industry. I managed a large nuclear plant in one of the western states. It was a plant owned by seven different entities and basically had seven different bosses on top of what I had in the operating company.

I got out of that mess back in 2009 and haven't looked back. When I first retired I enjoyed not waking up to the alarm clock, driving the 50 or so miles to work and dealing with a whole passel of different problems each day.

After a couple of months I seemed to lose my way and wondered what on this earth am I going to do?

I found volunteering fulfill that need at a local hospital. It is nice helping folks who don't feel well and being a part of hopefully making them better. Perhaps this is a route you may consider.

My volunteering at the hospital came to an abrupt end about over a year ago as a result of falling from a ladder as I was painting the house.

Now I am doing a different type of volunteering where I can sit at a workbench helping restore WW II aircraft. I have found this a very rewarding endeavor even though I know these airplanes are never intended to fly again. They are just museum pieces dedicated to the Greatest Generation.

It is my wish for you to find something worthwhile to occupy your time and give purpose. There are tons of things you can do to fulfill this need. Until you find that thing, don't stop looking. Say no more to not having a purpose.

Response to 58 yr. Old Recent Retiree
by: Anonymous

Hi...I just saw that on May 13, in Fort Lauderdale, at the Convention Center, there will be an all-day ,9-4, free workshop discussing a myriad of after-retirement topics targeting just what you are asking about.

I am in a similar situation at 58, but don't belief my "security" is as secure, looking ahead 30 years.

Hope this helps you...Good luck!

I think the event is called "Successful Ag8ng."

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