Retired and regret it

by Dean

After 38 years of corporate sales and climbing the ladder to a high paying and high profile job, I hit a wall one day and turned in my retirement notice.

I had been contemplating it for a long time. I was burned out and hated my boss and was tired of fighting and waiting out bad bosses in my career.
Though some were very good. As it would happen, she got fired right after I left the company.

Talk about kicking myself-daily. Have tried making the best of it. I Volunteer with three organizations, Meditate/pray daily, employ Wim Hof breathing and cold showers, Peloton and yoga daily, eat well, write and produce a weekly podcast and try to be as social as is possible these days.

I was incredibly depressed in May/June and felt guilty as I know I am immensely blessed. I just regret not staying another year or more as I feel I gave it up too soon.

Despite all of the effort I'm putting into reinventing myself, I'm still struggling with regret and fighting depression.

I know, its a bit of a pity party that I'm trying hard to leave. Thanks for letting me vent.

Comments for Retired and regret it

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Retirement Regrets
by: Canadian Retiree

I can certainly relate to how you are feeling about retirement regret. Retirement is a huge step even for those who claim they are prepared. I sure wasn't.

I was on sick leave for breast cancer when I decided to retire. I had planned on returning to work for one more year at the end of my treatments, but for some strange reason couldn't get myself back in work mode.

I'd made the mistake of looking at retirement options while on sick leave and I guess it was easier to take that path than return.

I soon realized I had made a huge mistake and started regretting my decision. It was a very miserable year for both me and my husband. Like you, I wondered "what now?" why did I do it?

My job suddenly looked better than ever, even though I had my fill of a toxic work place and micromanagers over the years.

It's been a couple of years now, and I've finally found some hobbies and interests - although Covid restrictions have decreased a few activities, but at least I'm over my depression for the most part. I still sometimes dream about work and wonder what it would be like to return.

Retirement is a strange journey for most and one of the most misunderstood parts of our lives.

One thing for sure, we all end up here eventually. All the best to you.

Retired and regret it
by: Anonymous

Well, I can relate so well. Much of my experience is the same.

I left my company (earlier than I wanted to) and went through all these feelings. The reason is that I retired without having any plan. My financial plan was okay but I hadn't planned any of the other aspects of my life.

I wouldn't have the connections any longer, I wouldn't have professional goals, I didn't know who I would be and what I would do.

If I had to do it over again, I would have created a holistic retirement plan. Maybe it wouldn't have turned out exactly the way it was planned, things seldom do, but I would have had a much easier time adjusting the plan than floundering around.

I finally found my place but it took three years, which is a long time!

It isn't too late to create a plan. There are many resources and people who can help. Being here is a great place to start.

Retired and Regret it
by: Dean

Again thanks everyone. Support def helps. For those asking about the podcast: Tim Talk: Believing is Thinking. On Apple podcasts, spotify and Amazon music...hope you like it.

Retired and regret it
by: Dean

Just a note to thank everyone for your comments and support. It really helps so much to know I’m not in it alone and you all provided hope. Thank you

reply to Dean
by: Mike Drak

Dean, I feel for you having experienced exactly what you did almost word for word. I'm better now but it took me some time to get over my retirement shock.

If you could send me your address I will send you a free copy of my book 'Retirement Heaven or Hell which will be released in a couple of months. I think it will help you.

You can send me a note through my website

Mike D

Been there Done that
by: Nancy

Can really relate to the feelings of regret which I had in triplicate my first year of retirement. It was awful. You are doing the best you can. It will get better. It did for me. You are doing all the right things.

Retirement and men
by: Anonymous

My hubby had a difficult time with retirement, as his job defined purpose for him. He was in management and like being in charge of things and people. Without all that, he became bored, then slightly depressed and then irritable and critical, often towards me. He has since passed away, but it never got better for him.

My advice would be to get involved with some mentoring program or charity, where you could even work into a position in the management of it.

Also something that might take your overseas to get a worldly perspective of other cultures. Something to get you out of your own head...

an abrupt retirement
by: heidi

I too put in my retirement notice abruptly. I did have regrets afterward, but it has been a year now and I am letting it go. My regret was more on a financial level.

I never had a career. I was a blackjack dealer, which is not anything I miss. I was almost 67 so it was time I suppose.

At first I was sleeping a LOT. for months. exhausted and burned out. I had thought I would accomplish a lot more in this first year of retirement. not so much. Low energy.

But have got organized for this new way of life. Now I finally feel like my retirement has started. Though still some mixed feelings about not having a job. Particularly because I could seriously use any extra income. Otherwise I don't think I would have any regrets.

I am always busy sort of. House and dogs and exercise and cooking and cleaning and meditation and yoga and reading. Maybe writing. I have appreciated every day that I didn't have to go to that job. Maybe it all just gets better over time. I never feel bored.

I could do lots of projects if I had the means. But I am happy enough on most days.

Wish you all the best. Sounds like you are doing good things.

p.s. As it turns out, my whole department was closed and never reopened a few months after i left because of covid. so it is probably easier for me to let go than in your situation.

I think walking is a great thing too.

Look forward to the future
by: Michael - Venice Florida

Dean - take comfort in knowing that you made the best decision for yourself at the time. You can't go back and change the past.

You don't know what would have happened if you had stayed in your job where you hated the boss.

It sounds like you are very qualified, and could find new ways to explore a professional career if you wish to do so.

Give yourself more time to explore who you are and where you want to go. The future looks bright and the best is yet to come!

You're comment helps others
by: Elliott Katz

Retirement is a new chapter of life. The transition can be difficult. Your story is not unique.

Keep doing what you're doing and the feelings of regret and depression will dissipate.

What is the name of your podcast. I'd like to listen to it.

Hi Dean - never regret retirement - never look back
by: Bernard Kelly - Geelong

Hello Dean

feel free to vent - you are entitled.

But as for your mental health, maybe I can assist - in particular, as you obviously enjoyed your career so much, why not just continue (but in another form).

If you still have contacts, go back and ask for directions - some of them may need your wisdom. Make sure that they understand that you are now a consultant, and that you'll need to be paid the going rate.

Your only investment is going to be some business cards.

But at the same time, organise for yourself a teaching gig at your local community college. You need to get out and about, and have some credibilty

Let's keep chatting

Bernard Kelly
Geelong, Australia

Retired and regret it.
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox.MA

Dean: Do you have any interests like taking daily walks, drawing a picture of your house,
going to different churches on Sunday, even if you don't go any at all now?

Do you have any interest in going to places where senior retirees gather in your town or city.

Retirees seem to find the most satisfaction by helping another senior who is having a difficult situation?

Life can be very boring it we don't find a way to be of help to someone or just make them laugh,
You have what it takes to make someone smile.

Sounds Familiar
by: John A/Tyler, TX

Reading your post sounded so familiar. I too had a very well paying job, responsible for over 2000 employees and a large plant. After working up the corporate ladder I thought I achieved all that I was shooting for in my career life by taking on that final job position.

Instead, it turned out to be the job from hell for four years. I had lot's of regulatory reporting requirements to many different agencies in addition to managing and leading employees along with many other things. All of these responsibilities were expected and nothing new; they were everyday things.

What was new was my boss and his antics. I had to constantly walk on eggshells and never knew what would send him off on one of his verbal attacks and tirades. One minute things would be fine and walk out of his office and return five minutes later only to be subjected to more abuse and threats. Everyone in the company knew he was a nut job.

Finally, I said enough was enough. The top corporate bosses did absolutely nothing and they encouraged his behavior by accepting what he constantly did. So after more than 30 years, I decided to retire. After I retired, he was eventually pressured out and moved on to another company. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

When I retired, I left a lot of money on the table for retirement. I had another year to go in order to received full retirement benefits provided to executives.

Working another year under those conditions was not worth all that I would have to go though to collect the nice retirement package. The stress was taking a toll on my health and the money would do me no good while planted six feet in the ground. Chest pains, high blood pressure, headaches and the abuse became the daily way of life and it was just not worth it to continue.

Since retiring 11 years ago, it was the best decision I ever made. Sure, the money would have been nice to make life much more comfortable. But there is more to life than money. It does not make a person happy; it only makes life more comfortable.

When one bases his happiness on money, it can cause a person to make a lot of unwise decisions in life. I am glad I got out of that trap and mindset.

One must plan on doing something in retirement that gives purpose and satisfaction.

The best thing to do is not second guess yourself in the decision you make to retire. Living with the could haves, should haves, might have, etc are only judgment calls after you pull the trigger to retire. Those are things people say to beat themselves up. Don't do it!!!

My guess, there is probably something elsewhere in the job world that you could easily use your skill sets developed over the years. You could volunteer for a hospital, school or some other social agency. Make use of what you have to offer and derive satisfaction elsewhere in life. Doing something is a lot better sitting around doing nothing and being on the pity pot you mentioned. The problem with doing nothing in life is that you don't know when you are finished.

And if you look through this site, I am sure Wendy will offer some solid advise on other things you could do to make money or stay occupied.

Hang in there, Bud!!!

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