Making Retirement Losses Tolerable

by Peggy/Illinois

I retired on May 30, 2014. I retired early because of severe burnout on the job which caused a number of health-related issues.

I had planned to spend lots of time with my dad who had a number of health issues of his own. Sadly, he passed away suddenly 26 days before my retirement. Prior to that I suffered a number of other significant losses--loved ones and then in my retirement year, two of our three dogs a few months apart.

All these losses and then retirement (even though it was somewhat planned) nearly put me over the edge. I spent more than 2 1/2 years completely tired and sad without focus or purpose.

While I am still sad and tired much of the time, I have several things that have helped me somewhat so that life is at least tolerable:

1. I began a pen-pal relationship with an elderly aunt of my dad's. She was lonely and craved human contact. Not only did this help her and help bring me a little closer to the dad I lost, it helped me a lot too. Sadly, she passed away this past March 17. I miss her--and our phone calls and letters so much.

2. I started a part-time job this past January. My brother-in-law kept sending me listings of job openings. None caught my attention until November/December. This posting was for a Volunteer Coordinator for a ride service for older adults. I really wasn't sure I wanted to work again, but I pushed myself to send in a resume and go on a job interview. I got the job and work 2 days a week booking volunteers to provide rides to our older adult clients. It's very fulfilling work. I job-share with another retiree. Two days is plenty and it has helped give me some purpose in life.

3. I have researched flower essences which can help with emotional issues such as anxiety and sadness and have been on a selected remedy for some time now. It is all natural and it seems to take the edge off. If it's allowed on this site, I can get you more information if you want to pursue research into flower essences.

4. A couple of other things I've done when things are really bad--I sit outside with the dog in the sunlight (sometimes with a book or crossword puzzle, sometimes not) and soak up the sun's rays. I also have some coloring books and pencils and color intricate designs. This really takes my mind off of things if even for a while.

Hopefully some things that are helping me will give you some ideas that will work for you.

Please, if you continue to suffer clinical depression, make sure you get medical help. You are too precious to lose because of changing circumstances.

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Retirement Tolerable
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

Dear Peggy, Thanks for sharing your helpful story.

No matter how much money we save for retirement, and no matter how meticulously we have planned for it, if our future doesn't include somehow being of help to others….it won't work.

Many blessings to you.

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