Preretirement anxiety

by Sam
(Sant Ross California)

My name is SAM and I am very nervous about retiring as a public school teacher for almost 32 years.

Almost my full self esteem has been wrapped up in being a teacher and I am very nervous about retiring and feeling lost, without direction and depressed.

My mother was forcibly retired at 65 and her life become very very very DEPRESSED UNTIL SHE DIED 10 years later. I feel I have the same genetic make up although I have evolved a great deal more than my mother.

I am 66 years old and would like to work one more school year but I kind of think that this MAY be my last year-retiring in June.

I am at war with myself trying to decide whether to retire this year. There a constant battle in me because I want to put off the dread of retiring although financially I could do it this year.

I wish I had some other job to HOLD ON to during this ongoing transition or something that I could be excited about. i have some interests but they are only interests and my whole life has been based on being a teacher and the self esteem that accompanies that teacher position in life.

I want to still feel I have a purpose-something more than spiritual, something to want to get up in the morning and be productive and still make money.

The money part is the accountability I would have to the job , my life self esteem and purpose for living. I desperately want to avoid getting very depressed by lack of purpose and focus in my life.

Any suggestions about what I should do-whether to retire this year or not-if I do -what can I REALLY do to avoid a terrible depression which I feel is already coming on I also have to say that teaching has not been easy but I battled through it sometimes with enthusiasm, sometimes not.

I have a very strong spiritual background. My wife would like me to retire but would let me work if I do not unload on her after work each day. I also have a Mother in law who recently took a terrible fall and is in rehab and we do not know whether she will recover or not-this is not an easy time in my life although I am very lucky to have good things in my life too.

Additionally I would like to drop the whole teacher self esteem and just be me -- how can I get there where I am just me, not the teacher me, and be happy?

Thank you for reading this.

Comments for Preretirement anxiety

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retirement anxiety
by: mildred/tn

Sam- You can retire from full time teaching. Just do part time, fill in when others are sick or on maternity leave etc.

There is also tutoring students .You can meet at the library to do this.

Your anxiety does not have to be genetic. If You become depressed go to the doctor and get a medication for it. Do not suffer for 10 years like your mom. Stay busy. You are starting a new adventure...

I retired at 56 from 38 years of being a registered nurse. It was a difficult adjustment. I started a day care nursery in my home, added on w/the back to work program put on my the government for kids, got custody of one of my brother's grand kids and did not have time to be anxious. Later became a foster parent, adopted a 6 day old son when I was 60 and now at 77 and he is 18 we are making a great life.

Hang in there. Please write back and let me know how You do..

One year out in retirement
by: Former Teacher

I went through all similar emotions and doubts. This is a huge transition and change is hard.

For one year I allowed myself total freedom, but after the honeymoon period of retirement I signed up to substitute a few days a month, I volunteer a few places, and I stay active with friends. I had too many friends die before they had the opportunity to retire and I did not want that to happen to me.

Staying fit and eating healthy each day is a job, but the investment is health is so important. Teachers are guilty of taking care of everyone except themselves.

Would you regret your life if you did not get to enjoy life in retirement without the daily grind?

That question kept me focused, and I retired with 32 years in education. You can hope back into the rat race if you want, but you can't jump off the track to enjoy FREEDOM if you are dead!

Let go and Let God direct your steps. :)

Emotional Fitness Coach
by: Sharon

Give yourself some time to consider what it was you enjoyed doing prior to becoming a teacher. What were your passions as a teenager? What would your life look like if it was the way you wanted it to be? What would you be doing, thinking and feeling that would make you happy?

We all have to take a look inside at some point in our life to find the place where peace and serenity resides. Our positions and egos are not who we are.

Do not be to hard on yourself an adjustment period is always part of retirement. Your not giving up living you are changing positions, and this one you get to choose.

The perception of retirement can be viewed by you in a way that suits your needs. You get to decide what that means for you. Make some great choices and schedules for yourself and. you can be very happy working as little or as much at those paying passions. Enjoy😀

The New Life Journey
by: Anonymous

Hey Sam, retiring is a life process and requires
time to adjust to a new life. You are not alone in
feeling lost and without the sense of purpose you shared with the world of teaching for so many years.
I speak with experience of having recently retired and searching for continued meaning.

But your greatest hope and blessing comes from the
spiritual bond you share with a loving and very personal God. He understands your needs as you journey through life and don't hesitate to come with all your feelings and concerns. For the bible says, ask and you will receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.

I know it sounds like words but prayer is an everlasting connection with the Lord.Share and see
how his love and presence will direct you to those
options in life where you will be as always as a
teacher a blessing to others.

It takes time to relax, find time hobbies or ideas
you have an interest in and explore their usefullness to your life. It may be a job part-time or full time teaching at colleges through education programs to those who never had a chance to finish highschool where adult students will benefit from a gifted teacher, someone who cares about their success in gaining good education;or maybe you can teach reading skills to those who don't know how to read or a job that taps into other skills like customer service where customers receive front line interest in assisting their needs with a company's services and products.

Take time to go for a walk with your wife, and maybe take up a recreational activity together like golfing. You are so blessed to have family, others
are alone; volunteering with the elderly and shut ins can be very rewarding. If you are up for the
challenge, I am sure the education system can provide both the contacts and the agency to volunteer on the front lines in Greece with incoming refugees.

Remember, Sam God Love you. Pray up a storm and allow God to pour out blessings into your new life.

Take care.Moira.

Post retirement anxiety
by: Atlanta lady

Single very active single female (no children) who chose to retire one year ago at age 60. Everything was good the first year. Took a few really nice trips, spending time with my few close friends, lots of exercise, some yoga, volunteering, restarted a few hobbies and then WHAM.

Woke up one day after about 8 months with the realization the vacation is over and this is my life for the next 20+ years.

Been dealing with high anxiety and a bit of depression that came out of nowhere. Doctor has prescribed low dose Rx to help, which I have just begun to take....hope it helps.

I have no regrets about retiring and have no desire or need to go back to work. I would like to know if anyone else has had this it a bump in the road ?

How'd you push through?

Turning Point
by: Elna Nugente/Location

Dear Sam: I am impressed with your honesty and expressiveness. You are going to be all right. You just don't know it yet.

You have two options. (1.) If you don't want to retire right now, don't. You are past the usual retirement age but if your school system is willing to let you teach, just do it.

Option (2) You can also use the year ahead to explore what vocation/vacation possibilities might really turn you on. If your wife wants you to quit, maybe you could both put your heads together and come up with plans that excite you both. There is something new calling to you that can help accelerate your physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.

Change is uncomfortable for us as we get older but retirement is like a door opening that offers you lessons from the ultimate Teacher. Be free to be who you really are and maybe plan to be a hero and examine changes whenever they call to you.


what to do
by: Anonymous

pick up a copy of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor

By Ernie J. Zelinski

it helped me a lot .you have to redefine yourself........... you area who you are ....not your job tile! get to know your self are worth it!


You've come to the right place! Life is about change and often it can be frightening. FEAR NOT! You will discover there is plenty to explore and a world outside that is wonderful! Give it time and be open to new ideas. You will learn a lot from others on this site. Welcome!

by: Rox/BHC

'There is nothing to fear, but fear itself'...I KNOW you've heard this. MY mother liked to live by this. I find myself a bit like her, but I'm still me. ME.

THAT'S the key word...who are you? BE YOU.

You did it when you walked into the school and classroom for the first time. You still ARE. Realize it and you will be you. Everything else comes to you.

REMEMBER? Try a walk, write, look in the mirror, get better acquainted with home, put up a budget toward saving for SOMETHING or even anything later.

There are SO many things to do and see out there. Look in the local paper. Get with friends. MAKE friends. Ask your church elder.

Talk. Do not keep things bottled up, I mean, what for? :)

BE HAPPY. The world will notice you in a more positive way. Honest.

You're're alive!

Preretirement fear
by: diane

I remember that feeling well. I had a high profile job and nothing else. for me it has been an amazing journey rediscovering myself and trying to gain confidence in myself. In retirement we are all the same no matter what we did in work life. Try new things meet new people get involved. Do the things you never had time for before.....don't think about what you left think about what you have gained.

plan b
by: Marilyn

I was just the same a few months ago, and decided I wouldn't retire till I had something to take the place of work. Something to look forward too.

Found a local U3A group with 500 members, and numerous different activities. Picked May1st to finish now, and cannot wait. So get your plan b in place before you finish

Let go!
by: Lydia/Pepin

I, too, was a teacher/principal for 32 years. I retired from the principal portion of it, and still teach part-time. It feels weird at first, but then it starts to get better. Honest!

Maybe you can sub? That way you can 'keep in the game' although, trust me, soon you will want "all the way out".

Please remember, like Wendy said, you are NOT your mother-so her experiences will be different from yours. I keep telling myself that, as my one grandfather retired, and passed away 5 years later, he thought his work was his life.

Your work is not your life! See if you can't 'ease out' by working part time. If you live in an area that is bigger, maybe that even means a different school. We become 'valuable' when benefits do not have to be paid us when we teach. I don't know which state you are in, but in WI we quit paying into the retirement system as soon as we retire, so I am a 'good deal'.

Write more when you get the chance!

by: Wendy

I totally LOVE this: " how can I get there where I am just me, not the teacher me, and be happy?"

Most folks don't even realize they aren't their occupation. We may enjoy our work, we may mold ourselves into work identities-- but we definately should be our own selves too!

I feel I am a totally different person than the gal who worked for local government. I still know that gal, but I played a very conservative, very introverted role at work -- at least, that's how I saw myself. Now -- I like to be a bit bolder, I like to call myself the retiree-hippy, which my sister laughs at... just because I wear jeans daily, no more dress clothes. All Good!

Finally -- YOU ARE NOT YOUR MOTHER. Yes, you may have some of her characteristics, but don't limit yourself with that mindset.

I am taking a class about limited beliefs and much more, and you do not want to be stuck with that idea, and it loops around in your subconscious forever more.

Try this: Find and/or write yourself an affirmation. Read it daily, several times a day if possible. What happens is that your subsconscious will start to believe it, and you will live it.... seriously. Sounds weird, but it can't hurt to try... right?

Download my free book "I RISE ABOVE" here. Rewrite one of the affirmations, rinse and repeat! Best Wishes!

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