Recently retired, now have buyers remorse

by Mark David
(Baton Rouge)

Hello my name is Mark. I recently retired from the public school system here at age 60 with 22 years of service.

I had originally had intended to stay for 25 years of service but the system was starting to drain the life out of me and we got IT manager that was the crazy, intimidating, micro-manager type. This system itself was also in financial difficulties all the time.

So I took a deep breath after talking to the retirement people and retired at the beginning of July.

I'll have a decent pension and share a house with my brother in which we split the expenses. (most everything is paid for).

However with only 2 months in, I find myself growing increasing restless for something to do, the mornings being the worst time (as I would be getting up to head to work).

You can only do so much stuff "around the house" and I not really the leisurely "watch TV" type. I'm already doing a daily job search and looking into volunteering. I miss the challenge of work (I was a pc repair/electronic tech for the district) and the people I worked with (don't miss the negative drama however).

Most people say "relax" "enjoy your retirement" but I find it a struggle to do at least so far. I guess work was a big piece of my soul.

I'm having issues sleeping now and doing a lot of "what if I had stayed" type thinking now. (I tend to be the OCD type)

Any feedback or advise would be welcome

Comments for Recently retired, now have buyers remorse

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Buyers Remorse
by: Anonymous

Mark, I was laid off in 2011 and didn't have the option or luxury of walking into HR and telling them I am retiring. They gave me my papers a small package and kicked me out the door.

Previously I had worked for 18 years at another place and was given a very generous package when they closed their doors. I have been grieving for a long time losing these jobs. I don't have a special talent like you do.

My suggestion would be to look into teaching an adult education program. In my town we have spring and fall programs. Anyone with a talent can teach these programs and get paid to do so. Some are a few sessions and others are many weeks. It might satisfy your need to get out of the house and you would be doing something people would like to learn.

Maybe you could also become a Temp and could fill in for other companies or schools who might need someone to fill in for a few months.

If early mornings seem to be an issue, maybe you could take a walk around the block or be a mall walker. You could also get into a routine of getting showered, dressed then go to a local coffee shop and bring a newspaper and eat breakfast. Become a regular! It will give you a routine, somewhere to go and meet new people.

Maybe you could also check out some Singles cruises to relax, see some new sights and get into a more vacation/retired frame of mind.

I need help myself and hope I can come up with my own solutions.

Good luck to you and try not to look back, look to the future. We all seem to forget the bad days we endured at work and only remember what made us happy.

Selective memories and I am guilty of that!

Volunteer suggestion
by: Jean , Shropshire

Hi Mark

If you are a 'geek' (your words!) how about:

-volunteering at your local library to teach computer skills

-putting an ad in your local newspaper to teach whatever your skills are to people in their homes (or in yours). You can charge for this, just keep an eye on tax liabilities but the tax threshold allows plenty of scope for a small business

-check out what volunteer opportunities there are near you, you can find that out by researching online or asking at your council or library. It is true what people say, volunteering at something you like to do is brilliant, it raises your self esteem and gets you out there.

Keep exercising, join a running club maybe. I found it really important to just keep busy, then things fell into place.

Good luck!

by: Len/Palau

I am from a country like others that need people with knowledge and skills in education. However if one is looking to make a lot of money then places like ours may not be the best.

Nevertheless life is much more laid back, a different culture/language, and a tropical island type life and an opportunity to share your profession with a country that need and will appreciate it.

You could go online and check Republic of Palau: then click bureau of public system. You will see all types of job vacancies including the ministry of education.

I am in education too. I am up for retirement at 60 (3 months from now) but have been asked to extend for another two years. Reading your email does help with the decision I have to make. Thank you.

let me know at lenseng2257 at if you have any questions on this. Take care and good luck!

update, buyers remorse
by: Mark, Baton Rouge


Panic Mode describes how I feel exactly.

I've already turned down 2 jobs that I didn't think would suit me. I'm still trying figure out what I want and how to "enjoy" my freedom.

My doctor has prescribed a low dose anti-depressant to see if we can ease the anxiety and pick up my mood .

I Can Relate
by: Cindy, St. Louis MO

Mark, I so appreciate your story and the responses to it. One of the people who responded said the word "panic," and that describes me so well. I feel in a constant state of panic.

I have no advice for you but hope you'll continue writing about how/what you're doing.

Thank you for sharing your issues, and I hope you find what brings you joy and contentment.

by: Anonymous

Hi Mark, Do you have any hobbies you really enjoy ? I am 57 and have been retired 4 years after 33 years in an IT position.

Was in management when I retired and received no raises for the last 10 years that I was working. I wanted to work longer, but the place was getting crazy and there was no chance at a raise. So I walked away and have been very happy every since.

My hobby is my two horses where I spend most of my time, riding them. Hopefully you will find a hobby or a volunteer position that you will enjoy.

Volunteer Opportunity
by: Len/Palau

Hello Mark.

I am sharing again on this project. For short the agencies/programs who applies for a volunteer would be in charge of housing accommodation and a monthly stipend (transportation).

Our program applied for one and she arrived 3 weeks ago. Our volunteer is a speech pathologists. There are others at the main office of education; a retired school principal, a teacher and a IT person. So far its going well.

There are others in various agencies of the government. Since Feb. this year we now have 12 volunteers from Peace Corp Response Volunteer.

We as an island nation are greatly appreciative of this project. Take care and best of luck.

stick with it
by: Mike / Canberra

Hi Mark, I am also two months retired however I have no regrets and am not missing the office and the latest management fad. Dont worry you will find your groove you just need to keep busy and find that activity that floats your boat. Number one is to look after your health. I would caution you about going on medication as that can be a slippery slope.

Dear Geek,
by: Wendy,

How about doing something online (perfect for introverts like us, we can connect with people, and yet, walk away when not in the mood!

Maybe take a class and then make apps for small businesses, or do contractual online IT things?

by: Kaylee

I also come from the IT field and had a hard time at first. I started doing short term IM/IT contracts through various organizations. After a few of these, the novelty wore off as I went through the same hassles and politics. The saving grace it was short term. That made it easier for me to stop altogether as I made some new friends in the 18 months I was contracting.

I now appreciate my retirement.

Am there, Doing That
by: Deborah

Retired from classroom 2013 after 35.5 years. Still looking for that door of opportunity, miss teaching but not the administration.

Having said that, I enjoy volunteering in the national park, reading for fun, swimming at a nearby natatorium, joined a bowling league and clog dance troupe. I LOVE geocaching daily, and I teach a craft class once a week at a retirement apartment.

All you have to do is change your thoughts, and the rest will come.....Just ask and it is given. Always, no exceptions.

Thanks for your replies
by: Mark, Baton Rouge

Thanks for all the feedback guys. As for some of your questions. I'm in good health, do go to the gym everyday. I'm also a runner, but I fell out of it in the last year. I used to run a half marathon every year for the last 1o yrs. or better.

I'm also thinking about counseling and perhaps seeing my doctor about about antidepressants..

I never figured that I'd be grieving for a job..
And yes I liked being part of the big machine making a contribution and I am a loner in ways.

Volunteering in something I enjoy?

I'm geek, think big bang theory.....I'm open to suggestions on that one.

me too
by: Rose Raintree Arlington Wa.

Mark after working for over 45 years when I retired I felt as you do right now. Part of this is an adjustment period that takes about a year to adjust after working for so many years.

I too am an early bird and was not one to sit and watch TV/ So I bought a little dog and she and I are best buddies and she keeps me moving. My first thing in the morning routine is to get dressed and she and I take our morning walk in the woods it is wonderful. And energy and weather permitting we do 2 more that day. Now I volunteer and that keeps me busy every day. And I am a home body so being at home for me I can find many things to do. Like gardening and I enjoy being on the computer.

I would suggest perhaps finding a volunteer program you can enjoy, perhaps Habitat for Humanity, however there are 100's of volunteer opportunities for seniors and it keeps us healthy and busy.

Good luck and enjoy these years

Volunteer is good!
by: Len/ Palau

Hello! I read your message and decided to share. I am in the public school system too and will probably retired early next year if I decide not to accept extension which has been offered. Anyway there is a new peace corp initiative called Peace Corp Response Volunteer. They have a website. There are 12 volunteers now with our government in various programs. Check it out. You might find it interesting. Take care and best wishes in future endeavors!

Keep on keeping on
by: Sherry Wilmington, NC

Hi Mark, I get bored easily so I read. I enjoy going to the library and looking around to see what I can find. I also do volunteer work because it gets me out of the house.

Make yourself a list of things you want to do. I have done this and I keep adding things when I think of them. I read over them sometimes to remind myself what I can do and try.

Your volunteer work should be something you are interested in trying. I enjoy being outside so I think of things I can enjoy in the outdoors. I wish I had someone to go fishing with. I live at the ocean and love it!!

Retirees always have doubts after they have retired. You did the right thing. I am glad I am not going to a regular job everyday, for sure!

New Life beckoning
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

Dear Mark: You haven't mentioned your physical health so can we assume you reasonably okay ?

Do you have any other relatives beside your brother...and how wonderful that you have him???

Why do I get the feeling that you are happiest as part of a large enterprise, where you are able to contribute something worth while... Yet you are still a bit of a loner and need to be able to do your own thing when you feel like it.

If you are the type that likes mental stimulation, or going on trips, you could join an OLLI group ( Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) You can check to see if there is one in your state. You have to be at least fifty years of age to join.

This morning I just entered two paintings in the 7th OLLI Art Exhibit in our area showing work by OLLI artists who are members.The art exhibits are always open to the public.

If you can go online and google OLLI you can find the listing of all the states that have at least one OLLI group listed.

Also I think every retiree should see a recommended counselor who can be of amazing help in the early retirement process.

The stages of retirement
by: Sandy

Hi, Mark - if you read the posts on this site (especially under Depression/Anxiety), you will see that your experience is similar to many. Some of us who retired really regret it and struggle with the new place we are at. Given I have never found anyone who went back to their old job doing the same thing, that means that we all began our journey on a different path.

So consider yourself at stage 1 of your journey. You are still "letting go" of the life you knew and entering new world. I know that once I began to think of it as a new world and starting forgetting the old, I was free to create my new reality.

So, you may work part time, volunteer, take up hobbies, join Meetups, etc. You can actually fill your day, just differently. It may take you a month or years before you settle in.

I have been retired three years and am finally in a place of curiosity and peace, rather than panic, sadness and regret.

Also, talk to others, even a therapist, about what you are feeling. It seems like many people feign enjoying their retirement as it seems odd to say one is not having a great time.

Read this site in its entirety - you won't feel alone - and your journey will be your own.

I wish you the very best and hope that your entrance into a new place brings you joy.

Give yourself time
by: Nancy

What you are going through is totally normal. The only advice I can give you is don't listen to advice!

I had a terrible time adjusting to retirement 4 years ago. Everyone said, "get a job, volunteer". So easy for them to say. The problem was I wanted my old job back, simple as that. Wasn't going to happen, of course. Same with you, thinking "what if". But same with you, if I looked at it under the microscope, I saw that I was well out of the work world.

You will make it work. Reading all these stories here helped me immensely.

I understand
by: Anonymous

I retired nearly four years ago and it has been a big mental challenge. I've managed to find some part-time work teaching at home, but not a great deal.

We actually moved to a an urban town for financial reasons, which has made retirement more difficult. Can't meet up with old work colleagues.

I try to exercise; walking and that. Also gardening, but it has been a big challenge.

I wish you all the best and hope you can find some activities to occupy your time. I understand your situation. Good luck.

To Mark David - Baton Rouge
by: Toronto

Mark - I went through exactly what you are going through when I retired 3 years ago. I felt without purpose, didn't know how I would keep busy 7 days a week, began to regret my decision.

I basically had a nervous breakdown although I did not go to hospital - I had trouble sleeping too. I went on anti depressants - had to try several until I found one that worked (one made me cry and have anxiety attacks so its not fun trying to find the one that works).

Anyhow a year ago January I could barely get out of bed but this January I was completely well and went on a Caribbean cruise with old university friends where I swam with dolphins and sea turtles - I am volunteering for the Toronto Humane Society, most of my friends are retired so I meet them for lunch, I go to the art gallery, I visit my out of town friends by train or bus - and I am loving it. I am planning a trip to Dublin in the spring.

You are fortunate to be financially comfortable - that's a big help. It takes time to adjust and what you are experiencing is totally natural.

I did not know that until I found this website by Wendy where so many people wrote of feeling as I did - and suddenly I didn't feel alone anymore or weird!

You will find your groove whether it be work or volunteering or whatever. I never thought I would be happy again but I am and no longer regret retiring.

Don't Look Back
by: Linda/Nevada

What you are going through is common and natural. Even though I am not completely at ease with the idea of being retired, I know that my job was costing me my health both mentally and physically.

Give yourself some time and do some soul searching to find out what activities would be fulfilling for you. It has taken me over a year to find ideas about volunteering.

While you are figuring things out, if you don't already exercise, make a commitment to yourself to exercise on a regular basis and take advantage of being able to eat healthy meals at home without having to pack a lunch or eat at restaurants. I lost 20 pounds and my blood work numbers get better and better.

The first stages of retirement are like the grieving process that people go through when a death occurs. It takes time.

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