Retired Early and Miserable

I took a voluntary redundancy from the public service at age 50, after being there nearly 26 years. The workplace had become toxic and my manager was not supportive of me going to another section.

I was unsure whether to take the redundancy when it was offered, but colleagues and work friends told me that It would be crazy to stay. Even my spouse said he thought I would be burnt out if I stayed.

I did not trust my own intuition, which was to stay until 55 and then see how things were at my workplace. I ended up accepting the redundancy, and left on 24 Oct. I have applied for jobs but not been successful. I volunteered at the school where my spouse teaches, but did not enjoy this. So I spend most of my days alone with little to do but housework. I do not see the people I worked with anymore.

I have become anxious and depressed, which is scary.

I do not like waking up in the mornings and facing a day with no life, no purpose. I have been told by people that I'm crazy, and that they would love to be in my shoes. I tell them they don't know what it feels like unless they have experienced it. I know from reading your forum that I am not the only one experiencing this. I feel so lost and hopeless, and nothing seems to help. Even thinking about all the bad things at work that I no longer have to put up with doesn't help.

Comments for Retired Early and Miserable

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Hang in there
by: Doreen

Losing a sense of purpose will lead to depression in retirement. I'm not an expert, but it really helps if you can connect with others in your area so that you don't experience a sense of isolation. has groups in your area that reflect a variety of interests. Join the local gym or try to get out and walk everyday. It is amazing what a little fresh air does for the mindset.

by: David in San Diego

I retired in 2013 after a total of 28 years military and local government service. I was miserable also and I have returned to the government, but different job, twice. It would s the only thing that saved me.

by: Judy, Denver Co

I understand completely what you are feeling. I worked for the same organization for 40 years then they decided to outsource my job. I decided to retire, but I was so depressed for the next 6 months because I realized my whole life was tied to my job.

I still get a feeling of dread when I wake up in the morning, but I have 2 dogs and a cat to care for so I get up and suprisely I feel better. I have started volunteering and that does help.

I know as time passes it will get a little easier. I wish you the best.

take care of self, then find some to help
by: Anonymous

First, try very hard to get up with the sun, and stay up and enjoy being outside for a while every morning.

Make sure you are eating healthy and exercising some.

Now all that said find someone else to help, especially older people, if you do you will feel better.

Your Future
by: Carol aboard Singularity

I am sorry to hear you are not enjoying your life.

Our time on earth is so precious it is a shame to spend it being miserable. There are life coaches that can help you find your purpose.

If your purpose is not "just" to make money there are thousands of volunteer possibilities. You might try more than one to find your joy. Depending on what your career was, you have specific skills. Those specific skills, the activities that you enjoyed about your job or your life before retirement can be used in some not for profit.

You might also try working with temporary agencies. Tempo assignments are often extended to permanent if you like the job and they like you.

You might have skills that you can use to start your own business.

Start by writing a list of what you really like to do... Is it just structure that you miss? Is it a challenge? The social aspects of the workplace? If you can journal your feelings for a few days/weeks you might be able to pinpoint what your life is lacking and then have a better idea of how to enjoy yourself.

Been There
by: Judy - Columbus, OH

Been There - And I was going up the wall - My Solution: I joined a senior theater group that really helped - but most of all - I found a "Part-Time Job!"

Believe me, this will help you tremendously!

Wow, sounds like me bro! You are not alone! Chin up
by: Brian

I was a Lieutenant/EMT/Firefighter for 30 Years with a very busy metropolitan Fire & Emergency Services, firefighting and saving lives for 30 Years, took a toll on my neck, after 2 neck surgeries and looking at another one, I was forced to be medically discharged at age 50, i wanted to work until I wa 55 years old as well, I wasn't ready to retire, I was on the captains list to be promoted, all

That came to a halt, after my neck surgeries, I feel lost with no purpose everyday as well, very depressing to say the least. I pray something will change.

Does anybody have any suggestions for us? Cheers, Brian

by: pat

Retiring is the biggest decision people make, i Retired in jan 2012, at 61, with my pension.

Dont be too hard on yourself, At 50 you,ll get another job, your too young to remain retired.

After working f0r 42 yrs in my case, getting used to it is very hard, after 6 months the novelty wears off, your personality is what defines how you enjoy your retirement.

after 4 years, im used to it now, but i still miss the people at work, as i had a nice bunch of people to work with, you had,nt that luxury.

so i cycle, walk, meet my grand childen, twice a week, read, but still im not fullfilled, im not a leader, im slow to mix, my family say im not one that goes here and there meeting new people, so that makes it hard to settle into retirement.

there,s no total happiness, at work or retirement, its normal to feel like you do,so dont be hard on yourself, at 50, a new job is what you need, im now 66, and 50 is too young to stay retired, work away until your 66, if i had my decision to make again, id have done that.

This isnt much help to you, but it makes you realise theres nothing wrong with you feeling like that, its how most people feel when they retire, your very lucky, your only a young 50, so a new job is what id recommend, hopefully this letter(too long)will help, all the way from rainy ireland.

cheers for now. pat

Your Early Retirement Anxiety
by: Cindy, St. Louis MO

So sorry to read this. Maybe a career counselor could help you find a job you'll enjoy. You express a lot of the reasons I'm scared to flat-out retire. Hugs to you!

understand completely
by: Mark, Baton Rouge

I can sympathize with you about lacking a purpose.
It's been a struggle for me so far.

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