Pre-retirement Anxiety

by Linda W.
(Manitoba, Canada)

I am retiring in 6 weeks and 2 days... my choice, everyone's happy for me. I honestly have been flying high for the past 3 months.


After 38 years of full-time work, it is finally time to have time to do what I want, when I want, how I want. It is time to never run out of energy in the evening, or have only 1/2 the garden weeded before the weekend maliciously ends.

So now, when there are only weeks to go before I leave my current position (which I enjoy, by the way) and the people with whom I have worked along side for so long, why am I starting to get 2nd thoughts?

  • Wendy: It's natural... you are simply stepping beyond your own comfort zone, into the unknown of retirement.

    Our jobs were our security all these years and as much as we want that freedom, it also scares the heck out of us! Grin! We've never had it since we were teens!

    It's funny, coworkers who are 30 or 40 would tell me "if I could retire..." not understanding my fear. You can't really "get it" until you are there.. it's an odd feeling!

    I did the same a year ago worked 36+ years with one employer.. that was LIFE. What will I do all day when I retire? I needed a new life (and found it building this website).

    I bet you will soon do the same.. take time to smell the retirement-roses, then figure out who you are and what you want to do in retirement!!

    Best Wishes!!

    p.s. Hope some other retirees who have been there and done that chime in below to help you think this out!!

  • Scared to Death!

    by: Jittery & Undecided

    I have worked for the same employer for 36 years with enough leave to buy 4 years. I'm only 56. There are many unpleasant things about my job, such as being front & center dealing with difficult people in person and by phone, the 30 mile commute each day with all the crazy, aggressive drivers, and the fact that I'm just "tired."

    I want to retire but I'm scared to death. I keep playing the "what if" game in my mind morning, noon and night! What if my retirement income isn't enough, something happens to my husband, oil goes to $5+ a gallon, the skyrocketing cost of food, etc., etc.?

    We just got our commitment forms today to commit to another year (or not). Just seeing that form has caused some anxiety and palpatations!

    I just don't know what to do. All my husband says is, "it's up to you, hon."

    I'm glad I found this site and know that I'm not alone.

  • Scared!

    by: Anonymous

    After 32 years in Law Enforcement, I finally made the decision to retire. I have looked forward to this moment my entire adult life but now that it's here I can't sleep and am scared to death.

    Admittedly I could be in a better position financially and with the economy where it is now may not be the best time.

    If I stay my position will not increase dramatically and with the way my benefits are being cut I risk losing what I have now. I have some investments but they have taken a beating.

    My pension will be 75 % of my salary so if I stay I will be basically putting my life on the line for minimum wage each day. I have not paid into S.S for all these years and need to work elsewhere part time at least to earn my needed quarters ( also a scary proposition since I haven't worked anywhere else since I was 22) I am wanting to move to another state as my kids and friends have all moved elsewhere and with the housing market where it is now is the time to buy low and hopefully sell for more when the market improves.

    I always thought this would be a no brainer when the time comes but now I'm struggling. Will I be able to make it in retirement? Taking a big leap of faith here!

  • Wendy: I retired a year ago, after 37 years with one employer.... saw many in law enforcement retire. All "macho" on the outside but I always wondered how they were REALLY doing.

    Anyways, life is good in retirement -- it takes time, you gotta figure out who you are and what you will do day after day, year after year, but you will get there!!

    P.S. I bet your 75% pension is LOTS more, net to net, than you realize! If you have any questions, write to me under "contact me" (bottom left).

    Best Wishes!!

  • The Delightful First Year of Retirement

    by: Anonymous

    I received this gift from a friend who knew I was anxious about retirement. It really was wonderful. Each month it gave me ideas of what I might do to enjoy my new life as a retiree.

    I recommend you get one and let it help ease the the anxiety. www.thefirstyearof.com

  • Do it - Do It Now

    by: ronaldj

    Retirement-my last day of work with the company was two days from now! two years ago? yes two wonderful, marvelous years that have flown by!

    Ok I did go back for a couple weeks this summer and a few days last winter. I am a carpenter and the company need help. but most of the time I am helping my children - five with dad can fix it projects or making something for my grandchildren. Wooden airplane swings whatever's, have helped sub a few classes in our church school, cleaned and fixed so many things around the house. My wife says its starting to look like an old person house!

    i can find almost any tool I need right now... amazing? i heat with wood and have almost two years worth stacked up. speaking of Grandchildren have spent weekdays playing chess, swimming and just plain fun stuff.

    I like week days almost better then the busy weekends. retire and don't look back! the people you work with would in a heart beat! enjoy!

  • Changing Gears

    by: Rob

    I sort of retired almost ten years ago when I was 62. I had not planned well or prepared well for the cost of retirement, and neither did I have any grand ideas about where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. So I stayed put and got involved doing stuff.

    Social interaction is the basic ingredient for a pleasant retirement, I believe.

    I like not having fixed hours every day, even though I work everyday. I like not having to "go to work" but I still enjoy work of every kind. And although I have my share of aches and pains, I am still more than grateful for the joy that each day brings.

    Maybe it's having once visited death's door that allows me the peace I have, but as long as the adventure continues I will praise God for his goodness.

  • Unretired

    by: Anonymous

    I hear some people do good in retirement but some like me can not take it.. after three, I went back to work but this time I took a job I like!

  • After retirement

    by: Pam

    You will probably be lost for a few months. It takes that long to wind down from the busy life of going to work full time and fitting everything else in as well. Once you are over that hurdle though, you should find that you are pleased you are retired.

    I have been retired for twelve months now, and find that I can't fit everything in to the day that I would like to.

    I found out early in retirement that it is important to keep in touch regularly with your friends.

  • Nothiing like it

    by: Anonymous

    I don't want to get up right away so I don't. Some of the people I miss others could care less about including other supervisors above me at that time. Enjoy and do what you wish when you want to.

  • RETIREMENT IS FUN!

    by: Barbara

    Once you get used to it you will LOVE IT!

  • Comments for Pre-retirement Anxiety

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    Jumping into the Unknown Retirement
    by: Kevin F

    I'm soon to retire after 48 yrs. I'm scared and don't know what I'll do now...

    THIS IS TO BE THE GOLDEN YEARS. wHATS SO GOLDEN?

    Wendy: Once you get yourself past the initial months of retirement, past the "Who Am I Now?" stage, you will love it! At least, I certainly hope you do and bet you will...

    It is scary. You are leaving a life you are totally comfortable with and stepping into the unknown. It happens when you graduate from high school into a big world you know little about. It happens when you get married and you are suddenly responsible for anothers well being. It happens many times during life... only this time it seems more permanent.

    It's not really. If you totally dislike retirement, you can find a part time job, start a small home business, find volunteer work in the same field.... the difference is that you can do it IF and WHEN you choose to. It's great!

    Give yourself plenty of time to simply THINK about what you choose your retirement lifestyle to be -- easy and laidback, busy and energetic, something in between... then go for it!

    About to retire in 9 months...
    by: Betsy

    I am 61 and about to retire in about 9 months on my 62nd birthday from my government job of 23 years. I am both nervous and excited, but mostly I am stressed about money. I won't be able to afford where I am living right now, but I don't like it anyways. I only moved here to be close to work for my last year so I wouldn't have the 2+ hr commute everyday (on a GOOD day!!) this winter. I do not own a home so I won't be able to feel 'settled in' like some folks that have their home and are looking forward to their 'nest'.

    I am an Artist, Photographer & Writer but have been too exhausted to get creative, so I am hoping I will relax and become inspired again to do that. As far as where I want to move? NO CLUE!! I am a minimalist. My dream has always been to drive away in my mini SUV with only what will fit into the back of that and just GO!

    Now I am scared and apprehensive about all those dreams. I need to find support ahead of time and I am so glad to find this site. I haven't read much here yet, but I have bookmarked it and plan to study it in these next few months.

    Intuitively, I know I have found a place I can call 'home' for my pre-retirement jitters!! I do plan to retire no matter what so I may as well get started.

    Thanks to all of you for being here for me.

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