Making the Change to Retirement, Sucks...

by Tom G
(Valparaiso, In)

I am still in pre-retirement stage. Became severely depressed 3 years ago. Seem to have many regrets in my past family and business aspects.

Too many thoughts. Too many people telling me what I should do with my life.

Work has been my life. Now I have no place in life that seems important.

Yes, I KNOW I should keep busy, control my thoughts, maybe work part time, etc. All good worthy advice.

But... the depression is over bearing.

Have not retired yet, but it is coming soon, Company will probably phase me out. Another negative.

Making the change sucks.

Comments for Making the Change to Retirement, Sucks...

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YES it sucks BUT it gets better
by: Judy/California

Now my Title states that Retired sucks but it gets better, and thats quite a statement since this is my first month retired.

But retirement can suck for many reasons:

*you had it all planned out and you are let go
*you get hurt so are off on FMLA
*market states a bad turn and you take a hit on your 401K

And as long as you wake up each morning and you are alive then yes it is getting better.

Bottom line: Everyone can give you thier opinion on how to do it; Everyone uses psycology for a basis on what is making you feel the way you are feeling presently.

You will find your balance somewhere down the road, and if you don't then either that is what you want from your retirement is relaxing, relaxing, relaxing; or you never had any drive to get up and make the changes you are complaining about.

Retirement sucks big time
by: James

35 yrs in an extremely stress filled & face paced career, every day was different. Good pension, savings. Did everything right. Went to pre retirement seminars, planned & planned. Had a couple of hobbies.

First few weeks felt like an extra long vacation, puttered with my hobbies etc etc. Then 2 months in I was ready to step in front of a train. Hobbies are just that, hobbies to let you unwind from your REAL job, they DONT replace your real job.

Started working part time at menial jobs with idiotic managers 1/3 of my age. Quit them all.

Bored to absolute tears. Wife can't travel because she's ill. I'm young, 58. This is my 4th year of wanting to gouge my eyes out.

My husband is driving me crazy after he retired.
by: Deb from wyoming

Deb -- moved to its own page so that others will find your post and send you feedback.

by: Rick

Like you, retirement plummeted me into depression. Tons of medication have kept me from blowing my brains out. I put in the days. But there is nothing fulfilling at all.

When I read (and yes, I search) stories of those who enjoy retirement, I can not but conclude that they are self-centred, and simple. What a joke.

Love retirement so that you can shop? Or pursue a hobby? While others support your pension plan?

Retiring was the biggest mistake of my life, and I must endure it until my life ends. I conclude, as I have in my earlier posts, that retirement sucks. Don't do it.

Wendy: Rick -- Retirement Rocks. It takes time to find yourself again, but it really can be great! WHY don't you consider a home business?

You'd have a purpose again, work if and when you care to, from your home, online... meet new people, network at conferences, its a fun world, seriously....

making the change to retirement, sucks..
by: ron

This was moved to it's own page... just put the title above into the search (top right) and you will find it!

Making changes can work
by: HansS

re: "To those whiners that say retirement sucks. They won't be happy no matter what happens."

I agree that a negative viewpoint is going to lead to persistent unhappiness, but as evidenced by the stories here, many productive people (ESPECIALLY productive people)are completely surprised by depression at retirement. It's not something for which one volunteers and its never something one can snap out of by sheer will. At least not lastingly.

The best one can do is expect change and know one needs something to replace work. Tom, I left a miserable role at work sooner than I planned but I think it took courage to walk away. I just didn't have a plan but now I'm struggling finding new things to do. But I will.

And, most important, no regrets walking away from an unhappy workplace!

Feeling the same way.
by: Bonnie

Im fairly young only 57 and retired from teaching for 35 years. I was happy that I was able to retire at this time because Teaching was becoming more of a burden than a joy.

I love not having the stress of my last job.
I volunteer in schools, I take yoga and take art classes and volunteer in schools with my dog.. but somehow I just don't feel fufilled. Everyone says I need to relax.. but all I do is worry about my family and other things. I guess it is hard to let go of controlling something.

I am definitely calling my doctor tomorrow. he told me I would be back in a few months because I would be depressed. I think I am and will call.

Retirement: Find an old dream
by: Anonymous

Pull an old dream out of your hat and do it.

Coach that team - write that book - take acting, horseback riding, yoga lessons...

Whatever you do, don't stop moving and don't hate yourself because you think geezers are sickening - they are. They're not sickening, and you won't be, because of the number of years alive.

Barring a heinous illness or accident, a geezer is someone who has forgotten what life is all about.

I'm well into my so-called 'senior' years. I never take senior discounts of any kind, and refuse to hear things like 'I'm having a senior moment'. I say, "Have another one and drop dead."

I'm currently completing certification in my fifth profession, and my years of experience make its pursuit all the more rewarding.

I also date women from fifteen to twenty-five years younger than me, who a guy fifteen to twenty-five years younger than them would love to have on his arm. Join my club, and get away from the old fart belly achers.

You're not meant to rot away.

Need help moving on
by: Anonymous

Moved here: Need Help Moving On -- so that retirees can comment on your issue separately from this thread.


Finding Contentment and Joy When Retired
by: Anonymous

Hi Tom,

I also have been suffering with depression since I took an early retirement. I think part of or maybe most of the depression in those who have retired stems from not getting involved or striving to find what they really enjoy and can do soon enough.

While I don't know if it's the case with you, it's easy to find ourselves in a rut when are "disengaged" with others or from something we might really enjoy for a certain period of time.

It's easy to sort of "drift" into retirement and find ourselves stuck in a place that just doesn't feel right and if we don't act soon enough on those feelings by actually getting involved it can easily turn into depression.

I have gone to my doctor recently and was prescribed an antidepressant and feel so much better. It's amazing how much easier it is to be able to imagine doing something enjoyable and then act on it when the depression has lifted.

The difficult thing about depression is that it changes the way we think to the point where we sometimes aren't even able to think of things we might like to do or formerly enjoyed doing, so I can understand why you are feeling anxious about not knowing what to do.

Since taking antidepressants I have now been able to reach out and have connected with someone who wants to share an art studio and look forward to developing a talent that I didn't have the chance to develop while working and raising my kids.

Regarding your comment on not liking volunteer work, I understand how you feel. I had planned after retirement to do several types of volunteer work and tried all of them, an animal shelter, a hospital, a nursing home and disliked all of this though the people I came into contact with were very nice.

Volunteer work may be great for some people and I have tremendous respect for those who do volunteer, I just don't think everyone who retires should feel as though they have to volunteer or feel guilty if it's not something they like.

Personally, I had jobs during my entire adult life that involved caring for others and also spent many years raising my four kids. To be honest, I like the idea of having time just for me and to be able to use that precious time to develop personal interests.

Is there is something you have always enjoyed or had a passion for that you could do now? Maybe you might find that you would enjoy volunteering if it was related to something you really like or is something different that you haven't done before.

Personally, I wish I hadn't waited as long as I did to be more proactive in finding something because life is so short and we only have one life on this planet.

Being a cancer survivor has made me think of that a lot and knowing how important it is to "do" life is something cancer survivors think about a lot.

I hope you will talk with your family doctor, trust me life will get better.

Wendy: Kudos to you, Anonymous! Great post.. thanks for sharing!!

depression and retirement
by: John

I'm within days of retirement myself and feeling the same depression some others experience. One of the hard things is that I had a choice, since Ontario did away with mandatory retirement at 65.

Before the law changed, I took on a long commute to accomodate my wife's work, thinking I'd have to retire at 65. Now I don't but I'm locked in to the decision, and my wife needs me at home and hates it when I stayed overnights in the city where my job is.

Cognitively, it's probably good to leave at 65 and make room for new people. Affectively, it "sucks" indeed.

On the other hand, I've seen other people at work stay on but not do a very good job. It's good to leave while I'll still be missed a bit, and while I'm young enough to re-brand myself.

Wendy: John, I can absolutely tell you that you will find your own way,.. just the fact that you used the "rebrand" word speaks oodles of your mindset.

There is much life left to live,... you just gotta figure out where you choose to take it!

Congrats on your new life!

Retirement Regret
by: Anonymous

I quit working 5 years ago at a job that I loved doing. A coworker assigned to my area absolutely drove me crazy for seven years. Finally couldn't take one more day and quit.

Tried working in a warehouse and that lasted a year. Couple part-time jobs and then gave up looking.

Drawing my pension now. Wishing I'd stayed with the job I loved.

Oh well at least we only live once...

Retirement does suck!
by: Carmel

Totally agree Tom!

We give up the stress of a busy job and go from 100mph to 0mph.

If you've always been a high achiever who loved your job and never had the time or inclination to chase a little ball around a green, being without a job is tough.

So you have money and your health some will say, but there is no substitute for being productive and feeling as though you've put in a good day's work, even with all the stress and worry that sometimes goes with a career.

I hate retirement and I hate that the world currently only seems to value the 'up and coming' not the 'survived and experienced'.

Who wants to 'fill in time' volunteering in some menial capacity or going fishing?

If you are close to retirement and love your job, don't pull the plug totally - drop down to part-time hours if possible and stay connected.

Those who are happy in retirement are often the people who didn't enjoy their jobs. I loved my job and I regret leaving it for 'a less stressful life'.

Carmel, Australia

by: Anonymous

To Dan from MN:

You are right on in everything you said and you woke me up. I felt as if you were writing about me.

I have had a lot of death in my family this past year but I was also lucky enough to retire in August with a hefty severance pay and yet I sit home and do nothing but feel sorry for myself and yes I am Lazy. Never was when I went to work everyday for the past 45 years. Guess I had to do it and so I got up every morning.

But now I just sit in my recliner watching TV and waiting for something to happen but it doesn't. I just mull over all the bad things that have happened. You have awakened something in me.

I should thank God for what I have instead of what I don't have. I'm in a good spot financially and in fairly good health and I'm able to get off my geister and do something if I wanted to.

Thanks for setting me and hopefully others like me, straight.

From a native New Yorker

Retirement is like early heaven
by: Dan from MN

To those whiners that say retirement sucks. They won't be happy no matter what happens.

They won't be happy if they are on unemployment, they won't be happy working, and they won't be happy retired. Very simply put.

In my two careers I worked around some really good people, but I also worked around a bunch of whiners. They whined about their pay, they whined about their hours, they whined about their Boss, their spouse, kids, car, everything. Whine, Whine, whine.

To those whiner that have retired and are whining, stay home, and pout and whine, and stay away from me.

I have a tough job. Saw a lot of death, suffering, shitty hours, shitty shifts, and managed a bunch of whiners. I deal with PTSD, and don't let it ruin my retirement. These whiners need someone to coordinate their happiness.

I have dealt with and managed many whiners over the years, there is also one other character trait they possess, they are also LAZY. That is why you can tell them what to do, and you can even show them what to do, but they won't do it because they are lazy. Oh, another trait, is that they live their life in a state of jealousy of others.

They do it, because they can never achieve to the level of non-whiner, so then they try to take their jealous whining skills, and tare a non whiner.

If you want to be happy, be happy. If you want to work, then work, but if you really want to retire, then do so happily, and get off your ass, quit whining, and make this time of your life the best there is. Because, I don't know if you know it our not, but the next thing in your life, after retirement is DEATH.

I don't know about you, but I will not die as an unhappy man, nor will I whine to my death bed. God gave me this life, and only he can take it from me.

I just hope in his eyes, (not the whiners), that I have lived up to his expectations.

Hey stop whining, and get off your ass.

Wendy: I do agree, there are folks who are naturally happy through life, and others who simply are not (and those folks do complain lots about anything in life, the rose is never quite red). However, sometimes due to the body itself, they have imbalances which necessitate medical intervention.... it's not always as easy as "if you want to be happy, be happy...". I wish it were!

Be Content
by: Catherine


I think you need to make some plans. When I retired, I planned a 3 month trip to India. I took my daughter with me (she was 11). That was a great way to do it. My husband came for 3 weeks and then he went back to work.

Now of course, I am home. I also get a little lonely at times. But I got a dog! I love him. He is a chihuahua, and my best companion. I walk him daily.

I also joined a gym. I also do yoga and meditation. I hope to do a yoga retreat this year.

I paint, and sell some paintings. You need to plan. Maybe take a course at a university. Travel somewhere new, and exercise your brain.

Be happy to be alive. all the best, Catherine.

by: Marge Sallee

Tom, I'm sorry to read you are still miserable about facing retirement. There are so many possibilities ahead of you, and there is life after WORK.

Do you like to be outdoors? Find a good fishing buddy with a boat and spend time at the lake. A lot of men I know volunteer to work at the various hospitals around the city doing various jobs. Is your work related to anything that could use good experience, trusted volunteers, etc.

I was a teacher so I know that elementary schools welcome volunteer grandparents to tutor kids, read to them, or just befriend that child who needs a caring adult in his/her life.

Recently visited a local animal shelter in my area and was surprised to see all the volunteers who did things there -- everything from mowing the lot to cleaning the cages to walking the dogs. What surprised me was the camaraderie among them. The jokes and teasing were a great diversion while we were waiting in the office. I almost volunteered to work there myself.

If you are interested in learning new things and having meals with others, look at the Senior Centers in your town. You won't believe all the possibilities you might find. People go there to enjoy conversations, play cards and board games. Get involved in church work if you are inclined in that area. A good friend of mine works in a food pantry/warehouse in his spare time.

When all else you can try to get a job as a greeter at Walmart, sack groceries, or hang out at places you enjoy going to now.

And maybe you should talk to someone about that depression you are feeling.


Retirement sucks.
by: tom g.

Still think that is true... Still awaiting the axe to fall. I just like to be with people and work.

Dump the RV
by: Tom G

Heard alot about RV living. Went with others in
theirs. Check the real expenses then you will stay in hotels and drive. Dump the RV, sell the house and live a little more relaxed.

Hotel, motel car travel is cheaper, if you are honest with expenses.

Disability Retirement - When Retirement is Thrust Upon You
by: Marge Sallee

Retirement is a lot like getting older -- they go hand in hand. I had a teaching career that I once felt I'd work at even if they didn't pay me. Helping students learn new things and get more sophisticated in thinking was about the most exciting thing I could imagine. It was more than a profession; in my case, it was a calling.

But my body wore out, and before I had reached those magic numbers for retirement which I wasn't particularly looking forward to, the doctor recommended that I should take disability. In my case it was a gradual procedure. I had so much accumulated sick leave that it kept me going at full pay for a semester; then I was in the sick leave bank and that kept the income coming almost for the rest of the year. I couldn't work, but I didn't lose my pay check.

But when that was over, and I did go on disability, I still felt like I was on some kind of extended vacation and would return sooner or later.

What is the answer? Get an avocation that feels like you are doing an important job and work at home. What do you enjoy most about your job? What part of it can you do at home? Can you volunteer using those same skills to help others? Some join AARP; accountants volunteer to help old people do their income taxes. Teachers can become story tellers at the local library and anyone can be a "volunteer grandparent" in a local elementary school. If you are able to get out, apply to be a school crossing guard, a busboy at the supermarket, a greeter at Walmart,a helper at your church.or Deliver Meals on Wheels. The list is long for senior volunteers who are responsible. Get your mind off of yourself and make yourself get involved with other people. If that fails, find a part-time job.

The surprising thing is that the more you think about other people, the less you think about your plight. Your time will be filled with other people who need you and your attention.

Good luck on your quest. Retirement can be one of the best adventures of your life. As the Good Master said, "Seek and ye shall find."

Now excuse me. I have to get busy on my daily goal of writing 1700 words per day on my November novel.

Planning for Retirement, by Elinor Nuxoll
by: Anonymous


I can understand why you are depressed.

You feel you could lose your job at a moment's
notice. It is easier if you are the one who decides to retire. When I told the boss I wanted to retire by March 31 that year, he asked me to stay until June 30 and help with the transition,including evaluating applicants to help choose my replacement.

I suggest you talk to the boss about your job, share opinions on when you should retire and offer to help in selecting and training someone to take your place. If your job will just be phased out and no new hire to replace you, someone will need to be trained to do your work.

If you help decide the date you should retire, you can feel more in charge and you can also be thinking of what you want to do next: Start a new career, work part-time, volunteer? Start planning and get excited about the changes you will be making.

Elinor Nuxoll, in my 80s and still writing for publication and enjoying my family.

Depression in Retirement
by: Wendy


You sound like you know what you SHOULD do, but just can't quite get there.

I hope you are talking to your doctor about your depression -- don't let it simply get worse and worse, until life comes crashing down around you.
Please see your doctor, they can help you...

There's lots more life to live, and it's your choice on how to "do retirement".... DO IT WELL as you have your work life!

You simply must get past this retirement depression issue -- I *know* what you are feeling, the anxiety, as I too have the same for 3.5 years now. The "decision" of retirement does not come easily to us workaholics.. but there IS a light at the end of the work tunnel!


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