Retired educator Six months in

by Dana
(North Carolina)

I retired July 1st after 30 years as a school counselor mostly in middle schools. The problems were getting more difficult as was the stress. I would go home at night and be a limp noodle.

I did like connecting with my students and hopefully making a difference for some. I also decided to retire because I was one of the oldest in my district (age 63) with most teachers being able to retire at age 55 after 30 years. I had started my career late (age 33) after working a bill paying job and putting myself through college for years.

Now I find myself like many on this site wondering if I should have continued on my stressful but rewarding job.

I've been single for a number of years and didn't want to stay in my small hometown as there were little cultural opportunities and the friends I had were all involved with their families (husbands, grandchildren). Also the winters were bad.

I moved South to try a new area for 6 months and have rented a furnished apartment. It is a nice area and I have explored and taken part in events here (classes at the retirement Institute, volunteering for the holiday home tour, attending lectures, walking in nature, etc.) however I feel that I'm still floundering.

I miss the structure of my work where I was busy all day and connected with many. I'm somewhat of an introvert and my job kept me talking with others and I felt needed. Now I feel kind of invisible. It seems like everywhere I go, people are with other people, mostly couples or families together. Guess I'm feeling alone and my job kept me from that.

I tried substituting here a number of times however when you're a substitute, no one really knows you and kids being kids take advantage. In my previous position, everyone knew me and I'm missing that community.

It seems difficult to find another one although I've tried different avenues and will continue.

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RE: Retired educator Six months in
by: Sheryl (California)

Thank you Dana. I just saw your reply and so appreciate it.

I used to live in Lake of the Pines, CA and many of the golfers let and moved to the Villages so I have read many stories about it. Saw all the golf carts on the streets (which I liked).

I went to Ft Lauderdale this past Dec. and will have to make another trip to explore more. I have landed in a 55+ community rental for the next year so I will see how it goes.

Appreciate your story. Sheryl

Retired Educator 6 months - Update
by: Dana

Sheryl, Thanks for commenting on my previous post.

It’s difficult to believe however it’s now been 2 1/2 years since I posted so thought it would be good to update my retirement journey as most seem to be traveling this road or soon will be.

Hopefully, it may be of some benefit to others. I know before I retired I tried to read everything I could about others’ experiences since new retirement is such foreign territory.

I had moved to the beautiful mountains of NC from the Northeast and lived there for about 9 months. After the winter I decided that I hadn’t gone far enough South as the Carolina mountains attracted ice and snow, something I had had enough of! I returned to the Northeast where I still had a house and then went to Florida after the fall.

I found a large over 55 retirement community in central FL called the Villages and have rented there for the past 2 years, essentially becoming a snowbird.

When she found out where I was planning to stay, my 20 something granddaughter wanted to know why I would want to go to a "retirement" community. I told her it’s definitely not what you may think.

There are 135,000 baby boomers who live there and who want an active lifestyle. There are so many things to do both outside and inside that one should never be bored. Besides the active lifestyle, what I like most about it is that I meet so many people my age who have worked hard all their lives and who now can choose what they want to do whether its one of the many activities, volunteering or working part-time.

So being a single person it definitely suits me as I can choose as much or as little socialization that I want, which was not the case in NC as I had to constantly seek out people and activities.

It took me a while to let go of my working world however now, I’m happy to say, I’m there, and so grateful.

Hope you’ll find it interesting although I know it’s not for everyone. Wishing you and everyone all the best on your journeys.

Retired educator Six months in
by: Sheryl (California)

Dana-I too recently retired as a Counselor and I can so relate to how you feel.

I sold my house, got in my car and drove around a few states. Then I freaked out and came back close to where I left in June. Kudos to you for actually moving! I have been reading whatever I can and it is nice to know I am not the only one who feels this way.

I hope you are now settling in as I do not know when you wrote your post. I also hope I find my mojo soon!

Rings true !
by: Sara weisman-sheinocation

I’m also a newly retired educator ( as of this past Friday 🤗) and totally agree with my fellow teachers about how things have gotten more difficult in recent years.

I struggled for 2 plus years before making my exit. I really should have left 2 years ago ( so stressed) but a good friend, psychologist and career counselor posed this question. What is your purpose ? I was so annoyed. I mean - what is your purpose ? To pay my bills and save for retirement - what an annoying question. Of course he was right.

And so I began a 2 year journey of fits and starts until I made the leap. I joined meetup groups (20! Only attend events I’m interested in) became a podcast fan and developed an interest in starting my own podcast. I’’m also interested in Egyptology and space exploration.

My husband who is 9 years older than me is still working at a job he loves and will do (God willing) for a few more. I told him I’m the advance scout. I’ll check out the lay of the land and report back ! And no he can’t retire either without a purpose .

I see this time of my life as a blessing. But it took effort and missteps to get here.

Wishing my fellow travelers luck on their journeys - happy holidays - Sara

by: plp

This is not to be critical but I have noticed many times in this forum that "former" teachers have difficulty with retirement. Makes me wonder if teaching is one of the best careers one could have? Anyway, be thankful for your pension and you can actuallty try different things.....Find happiness or at least joy.

I had a good job but retirement is better.

Retired educator Six months in
by: Sherry/ NC

You have courage to move to a new community!! This is a great learning experience. I have always said you can move to another state in America and things are different, people, traditions, food, etc; though you are still in America.

It takes a long time to get use to people, learning your way around town, and all things involved in your new environment.

Doing for others will give you a purpose!! Please help others and it will bring happiness in your life. Go volunteer!

Good luck to you and Happy Holidays!

teacher 6 months in
by: Anonymous


I just posted this on another answer, but I was a PE teacher and planned every 15 seconds in lesson plans. I got 100 new students every quarter, and the classes I taught changed every quarter, so I spent a lot of time with making lesson plans. I quit because I never got past hourly part time, even though I had been led to think I would if I got my master's, which I did.

Anyhow, skip forward. I may be receiving 3 foster brothers for 6 months or so. I can't stand to think of these little boys, grades 1,3, and 6 being separated, and I have 2 extra rooms, so why not?

I miss the warmth and interaction I shared with my students. I agree the problems got "thicker". Try being a PE teacher with outdated locker rooms and toilets at community college these days. A walking setup and fall guy for political gender issues. Bad administration!! Get it together already. But they did not and I am glad to be gone.


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