Retired: Life After the Military - Who Am I???

by Jay
(Ft Bragg, NC)

I'm 38 years old and recently retired from the military after 21 years of service. Sounds great huh? I thought so too at first.

But not long after my transition, I started wondering, Who Am I? My entire adult hood and majority of my life thus far, had been defined by the military. I was an exceptional Soldier and I enjoyed it.

But as a retiree, when I began to strip away the layers of camoflauge, I began to question my decision to exit the military. Before retirement, each morning i got out of bed was a blessing; I was alive and I had purpose, to serve my family, my country, and my brothers and sisters-in-arms.

Now I drink alone at night dreading the next day. How can being free to do whatever I want to do, be miserable. I struggle with trying to be fruitful. Is it enough that I'm home now? I toil everyday with the simple question, "Who Am I?" and it bothers me that I can't answer it.

Wendy: Jay, your question "who am I?" is so familiar to many of us who are newly retired. We all wonder why -- if we are "free", we can do whatever we choose to, suddenly, and yet - we aren't happy. How can that be?

YOU are way too young to "retire retire".. yes, you can stop being military, but you need to figure out your new direction in life. There are many doors, many adventures, open to you -- you simply need to start looking for them.

I hope others who retired from the military will respond here!

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Next Chapter
by: Anonymous

First I would like to thank all of you who made comments on this blog. I am sitting at 32 years of service now and I am considering throwing in the towel. It scares the hell out of me.

I did almost two decades of enlisted time before I commissioned and my look for LTC is in 2022.

I have not fared that well in my evaluations and figure I have about a 15% chance of being selected. Part of me wants to stick around for as long as I can and the other part of me wants to get busy starting the next Chapter.

Either which way there is comfort in knowing that the anxiety I feel is common. Take care

So True
by: HR Manager

First and foremost I am happy to find this website. I will retire in a year (30 years) and I can truly understand the issues that so many veterans are experiencing.

In my current job I am around a lot of civilians and I get along with those who are prior military but the ones that have not served tend to test my patience. I don't have any patience for people who get wrapped around the axle over petty stuff and whine when things don't go their way.

I am trying to fit in to this new world but this is hard.


I have a similar story except I am retired Navy(2006) and now I am 62 yrs old. And I ,definitely, have had a little trouble fitting in. Fortunately I do have an exceptional family (wonderful parents etc.) I think I have discovered that my identity must not anymore be strictly defined as "military sailor/soldier" but just an unique whole individual;and yes served 20 years in the military.

So lost as to how to help
by: Michelle/ California

Hi all, thank you for your service and sacrifices,
My ex and father of our baby daughter is recently retired (last year). I met him at the tail end of his active duty service and his transition into retirement after 23 years in the marines with an E9 ranking.

We had a very quick whirlwind relationship that ended as quickly as it began. He used to call me his retirement present, he would go from being the gentlest creature, so good with kids and so loving to being very aggressive within a matter of seconds. I seemed to get the brunt of most of his anger.

He impulsively left the home, claiming he had to escape my abusive behavior, i was at a loss, he ran out and bought the first house he saw which has lots of problems, he bought a sports car, put tons of money into it, traded it in for a huge loss, bought a truck and did a bunch of work to it, bought lots of toys, has his Harley, etc. just a few months later he is filing bankruptcy and can’t even afford a plumber to fix an issue in his house.

He attacks me for everything, trying to help him, trying to talk to him, i am the enemy in everything. I love him, i hate that he is in this current state and i fear for our 7 month old daughters future with him being so erratic.

How do you help someone when they think you are the enemy? He’s so cold, so mean, so distant. Since i didn’t know him during his active duty years, i don’t have a track record of knowing him when he did serve, i just know he is not the man he was this time last year. I’m terrified for him, he has always provided for his family first and met their needs, now he buys video games and the kids lost their health insurance because there was no money in his account to cover the premium, it’s just not like him.

Please tell me there’s hope.

Do not isolate yourself
by: Kevin

Hello all,

I won't bore you with my career details. Just want to add that it took me a few years to figure out what to do with myself after retirement. My original plan failed... but my second plan succeeded. Please don't give up just because you hit a few stumbling blocks.

Most importantly though, do not isolate yourself. Talk to people, fellow vets, family members, anyone who will listen. I found it very cathartic. You will too.

Finally, just a bit of advice. We all need to work on our "soft skills". The ability to get along with people is one of the most prized skills that employers value. Smile, act pleasant. You will be surprised at the response.


Don't wait for life to come to you.
by: Anonymous

Wow, I'm really sorry to read all of these comments on divorce and a piss poor life after service. I'm retired after 25 years CG.

I work part time to help pay for my hobbies, travel and extras that I've taken up after retirement. I spend a lot of time with family, riding my motorcycle, boating, fishing, camping, building up my house and garden and doing many more of the things that I love that I couldn't while in service.

My wife and I have been married for 28 years and I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else. My retirement and VA comp combined allow me to live a comfortable life while working part time (20hrs a week at $12 an hour.)

My wife is a teacher and has Summer and school holidays off which gives us the time to do all of these things. I volunteer at my church one day a week feeding those less fortunate.

The point is, I'm a busy man because I choose to be. I enjoy living life to the fullest and plan to do that right up to my last breath. I'm also deaf, having lost my hearing after service. I used to play guitar and banjo but now I can't hear the simplest sounds. I have had to adapt and overcome. I started taking sign language courses to better communicate with my family and friends. I'm hoping to one day be proficient enough at it that I can help those at my VA that have lost their hearing by whatever service I can provide.

This is who I am and I couldn't be happier. If you try and want it, you can and will find your life again. If your just sitting there waiting for life to come to you, you could be waiting a long time. Perhaps a lifetime.

Thank you, all for your service!
by: Anonymous/HI

Hello, everyone. I do understand a little of how you all feel. I was prior service, but now my husband is retiring and is always angry.

We fight all of the time and the sound of my voice makes him angry, as he's always telling me to shut up. Divorce is in my mind, but I also am trying to be patient as can be and live on a day-by-day basis and trying to stay empathetic.

Thank you for all of you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I really appreciate it and it feels good to relate. I am not a retiree, but I remember leaving the military due to pregnancy and having felt deeply lost and depressed.

Staying active and pro-active does make a tremendous difference, although easier said than done at times, and communicating with others.

Thank you, all for your sacrifices and making it back home. You all are a great asset in any way in our society with the experiences that you all have been through and have endured.

Thank you and take care, all.

by: Anonymous

I retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years of service in 2014. Life was great for about a month. I've tried different jobs but just can't connect to the civilian life. I lost interest at just about everything in life. Now I spend my days drinking. It there anything else to life now?

Wendy: Drinking is NOT the way out.

go get it
by: Anonymous

Go find that purpose, you're more than a suit

Do what you want
by: Dan

I'm probably not going to be much help to everyone because I have different viewpoints on things. I'm at 13 years in the military and plan on retiring right at 20 years.

I see this as a job, it's not my whole life and it's not who I am. I just see it as a means to an end, an early pension payment.

Why did everyone retire as soon as they could if you didn't have a plan for afterwards?

You know that you're probably going to live for another 40 years, right? It sounds like everyone's looking for meaning in life in their job, so just turn around and get another job. I also know lots of people that retire from active-duty, then turn around and get a civilian job with the military, then retire again at 65 with two pension payments. That's probably your solution, it sounds like you retired before you were ready.

Life after the Army
by: Jon /FT Campbell

I feel the same way

Who am I?
by: Mike/Utha

I take no solace knowing I am not alone...............

Wendy: Everyone is different. Some retirees feel better knowing they aren't "Crazy" feeling anxious at retirement. Others simply work through this odd time of life, alone.

Either way, there are so many retirees out there who aren't happy with their current state of retirement. I get it, and I hate it... I only pray I help a bit in this world in some small way.

Retired identity
by: Carl/Houston

I retired after 22 years active duty, the words that a speaker said during our pre-retirement seminar still stick in my mind. She said that what we wear on our collars or sleeves is not who we are, it's just what we do.

There are aspects of every military job that are applicable to the civilian sector, segments of things you did that can be understandable to a potential employer. For example if you ran an ammo dump you were doing logistics, if you worked in the motor pool you were doing transportation, the key is to break down your job to the jargon free essence of the tasks you did and you start to see opportunities.

I was fortunate enough to parlay my skills into jobs which led me to working in the space industry supporting the international space station for several years now.

Don't sell yourself short, you have skills that people want - but you have to package those skills to your audience.

Medically Retired
by: Marcus

Moved Here: Medically Retired from Military.

Lost after retirement and now alone.
by: James G

I was medically retired in 2013 after 25 years in the army. I had a loving wife and a daughter I adored.

Now it's 2016, I'm divorced and my daughter won't speak to me. I have alienated everyone that was close to me. I'm mean, hurtful and I have turned into my father after he retired.

I'm always angry, mainly because I was forced out of the army after 3 deployments cause of a genetic liver disorder that made me non-deployable.

I tried getting a job but in the end I get fired for being nasty to people. I tried counselling but was told I had to find someone else because the Dr. was scared to talk to me.

I don't know what to do, I have tried being nice to people but i cant stand stupid and blow up at the weirdest things.

I am pretty much a hermit now with my two dogs as my only company.

How can you get out of a rut when the the people you are told to see don't what to see you?

I'm never physical with anyone just can't stand to be around people anymore.

by: Darryl

HI I'm in exact same boat. Does anyone one have advice to stop over thinking everything. My chest hurt daily because everything even simple thing give me anxiety. Which make me angry.

20 year in army, never really question my decisions and never had issues leading soldier in combat and garrison. Now I wake up with chest pains trying to figure out my place in life.

Can anyone tell me how to stop over thinking everything I do.

Wendy: Darryl, it kinda sounds like you already know you are over-thinking life, Isn't it strange, we lived our lives all these years, and suddenly don't know who we are or where we are headed! So very weird.... All I can say, TAKE ACTION (any action, do anything, just get out of the house and DO something).

a new mission
by: Barney Brady / Fallon NV

Figuring out what to do after retiring form the military is a challenge. Not working really isn't an option unless your an O6 or E9 retiring at 30 years and probably not even then.

Too many service members think they will just live on their retirement and whatever they can get from VA compensation and/or SS disability. Yeah you can do that but I would argue that you have a lot more to offer your community and should not just check out.

Allot of folks they will just go get a high paying contractor job or Federal job so they make a bundle and secure a second pension. That's great but you should really take the time to find a career or trade you are passionate about and want to pursue.

You have a steady monthly income so you can probably afford to do something that pays less but really excites you.

For me it was in a substantially lower paying entry level law enforcement position. I still get to put on a uniform, I have a mission, I am serving my community, I have a whole new bunch of brothers and sisters who are doing the same challenging and sometimes dangerous tasks (many of whom are veterans).

Find your passion and go for it.

Making a Plan
by: 18 months b4 Retirement

Good morning Wendy,

I read your response on Mad Dog's blog and I would like to talk with you in assisting me with putting a plan together before I retire.

When I scrolled down to the bottom left of the page, I could not find the COACH page. Do you have an e-mail address or phone number I can contact you on.

Thank you for your time!

Soon to retired...

Wendy: You can contact me here:

Marriage issues after hubby retired
by: tlc

My husband retired after 24 years of active duty service. He tells me one day that he is not in love with anything anymore.

He has been feeling like a rat in a wheel with his job and life now.

Then, a few days ago he lets me know that he loves me but he is not in love with me anymore and is considering a divorce.

The way he talks about it I feel like he has already decided he wants a divorce. I want him to see a counselor about his not being in love with anything and hope he will find that I was just a part of all of it and there is a chance we can save our marriage.

Anyone else go through this?

Retirement is hard but don't give up
by: Chris/Destin, FL

I retired at 42 as an 05 because I wanted to be more available to my wife and kids. Additionally, I was offered a GS position on my old base, so the transition has been somewhat easy. However, I've struggled with depression, and I constantly find myself looking at pictures from Afghanistan & Iraq and thinking about my life in the military. All I can tell you is stay active, stay connected to others, and if you need to talk to someone - do it. It's so weird being a civilian since I've basically been told the what, where, when and how since I arrived at the AF Academy when I was 17. You are not alone. I would also check out the local VFW or American Legion and get to know the guys and gals there. Good luck.

I feel exactly the same
by: Andy

I felt EVERYTHING you wrote on this blog. Im 42 yrs old, 20 yr retirement, and every morning when I wake up...I HAVE NO IDENTITY. I knew before retiring that I would feel "lost" at time but waking up everyday to it...It is humbling. Im having anxiety attacks at night that I couldnt sleep, feels like someone is sitting on my chest. I still try and get to the gym 3x a week and eat as healthy as I could. My relationship may taking its toll on this as she doesnt know how to help me or handle it.

by: Anonymous

Except for a few proactive retirees, I would say 78 percent, feel the need to reinvent themselves. Yes, I feel the same way trying to find what I love to do after retirement (21 years US ARMY) last year 2014.

At 51, I use u-tube a lot trying to experiment doing something that I might fall in love with. I know if I just keep trying one small work every day I will end up loving one work of those days and eventually stay on it like it is my last day.
So I keep moving while being thankful of what I already have.

I really don't know... I am lost
by: SFC Ret.

I have sat here and read some of these stories. I am retired for 2 1/2 to 3 years. Going through a Divorce Lost everything that I had and am not sure where I belong.

I had moved to Tanzania, East Africa and am living with a beautiful woman, her two sons and our 4 month old baby boy. You would think I would be happy that I have so much to include My first child at the age of 51.

I am 55% disabled which I think they under rated me by far. I believe I have PTSD along with all the injuries from the Military.

I do not really have a so called home anymore and still think I do not belong anywhere. I am in a relationship that seems like I am only mostly criticized and snapped at most the time. Sometimes I think I am only being used for what I can give. I no longer have goals and have given up on all I used to want or believe in. Basically I am unhappy and have no place to go to or even remotely want to.

Anxiety attacks. full of meds and full of boredom. Life pretty much sucks lately. I do not know to cry or just run... but to where?

Wife of retired Military
by: Anonymous

My husband retired after 20 yrs service and has been doing nothing for a year and a half. He plays games on computer and watches TV and holes up in a small room rarely coming out. He is staying up all night and sleeps all day and does not eat healthy and has gained weight. He is moody and critical now.

I don't know what to do as you can not make someone do something or goals or interests. I think it is a real issue people have and maybe too much free time leads to lethargy.

Wish I could help but don't want to be a nag or harp on him as that makes him mad.

What to do after Retirement
by: Mad Dog

Hey bud, I think any of us that retire from the military after 20+ years and are in our late 30's to early 40's struggle with what to do when that door in the military closes.

This is coming from a guy who has used the military to earn an MBA, was about to embark on a career working with a college until I realized one thing that many of us as Senior Level leaders want - FREEDOM TO BE IN CHARGE.

This is where the "entrepreneurial spirit" comes into our lives after we leave the military.

We are so use to Planning and Executing the Mission, that when we become civilians, we tend to go work for someone, only to find out, we really want to BE IN CHARGE again.

I say, Start your own business and DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

I had a construction business with my brother, it failed because I couldn't control him and he wanted to do what he wanted, so I cancelled it, but I still have my small fitness boot camp business.

It's great, but I now realize, I have a new struggle, going back to college and being there for my kid and wife.

How do I manage the time and be there? Do I really want to go to school again at 45yo? The program I want, in the medical field, will take me until age 51-52yo, do I do it or stress the hell out?

So, you see, we all have struggles of what we WANT to do, now what we have to do. We control whatever we want to do with our life and if we lose that control, then I feel we lose a part of ourselves.

The key to a successful retirement:

1. Make a Plan
2. Make sure it's what you LOVE to do
3. Does it fit your life without causing problems
4. Talk it over with the family before you do it
5. Once you have 1-4 figured, GO FOR IT...EXECUTE
6. Follow-up every 3-4 months, whether it's a new career move, going back to college, etc... kind of like a After Action Report (AAR) to see if you are still in love with the new career or college, is it something you still control (your own business or you in charge), and are you on target to succeed and make it happen or do you need to reevaluate and make changes?

I figure those are some simple and doable steps to get out of any post-retirement funk. How do I know, I am going through it right now with my struggle to go back to school and that long term goal of getting that medical degree in 5yrs....time will only tell if it's for me.

Take care and HOOAH !!!!!

Mad Dog

Wendy: Love it! That's exactly what all retirees should do - only we let the negative voice in our heads rule over our retired days. There are so many things we can pursue - we have a lifetime of knowledge to share with others. Build your own business, mentor or coach someone, volunteer to help your community, take classes simply to keep your mental capacities (and it feels soo fulfilling).

If anyone wants help making a plan, write to me using the COACH page (bottom left), and we'll simply chat for l/2 hour to see if I can help you focus on what you really want to do.

Best Wishes! Wendy

p.s. Kudos, Mad Dog!

Harder Than It Seems
by: Stryker0331

I think there are a lot of individuals that don't grasp what 'early retirement' does to some people. I was medically discharged from the military at only 27 and it was the worse experience of my life.

There is one thing good/bad that I can say that wouldn't do over again, especially being infantry...the guard posts, constant deployments and the 0530 five-mile runs. There are no uniforms to press, boots to clean, or rifles to pull out; no more field ops, vehicle appreciation hikes or First Sergeants chewing you out for an out of haircut Monday morning.

What I've noticed most about the transition; which is now coming up on three years, is that with the idea of moving on and finding another path to follow, there needs to be an understanding from those who you meet on these paths. I never thought I would see the day that those who have served their country and did their time would have such a difficult time adjusting in the civilian world. I've been ridiculed by the way I carry myself, been the target of inappropriate questions/comments from various levels of employers and have hit rock bottom on a number of occasions.

Before seeing this post, I was reading a post about life after the military and how the Marine Corps is the worst. It talked about how other services seem better suited to mend back in with civilian population, while Marines tend to stick to those same aspects as if they were still in (overconfident, cocky, somewhat aggressive, etc).

For all those who think it's that easy to just transition; Try on the latest TBI, squeeze into the PTSD and for those who are ready for the summer, you have to endure the popular anxiety diet.

For all the others who know what it feel like to miss your second family, it's the skills you learned from the military that keeps you going and defines who you truly; that hunger to climb higher, run faster and be better than you were the day before. One day we'll all find our destined niches and continue to do good more things.

Life after retirement
by: Anonymous

I completely understand how everyone on this blog feels. I was medically retired after serving 17 years in the Air Force. I was blessed with a "tip of the spear" job, which gave me identity, purpose which is to say that it define me as an individual and as a warrior.

In 2006, I was injured in Afghanistan as a result of an IED blast. I managed to fight my symptoms and diagnosis, but ultimately resulted in a Medical retirement.

My transition has been blessed with many opportunities; but none have been able to give me a sense of fulfillment as I had in the military. I miss my career, I miss my friends; some still alive and others gone.

Wendy: Sending prayers and energy your way!

If you were smart enough to be in the military and find opportunities afterwards, you will logically find your way. Don't look backwards... Look towards a new future.

p.s. We lost a 21-yr old family member in Afghanistan, stepped on a mine, so many are not as lucky as you... you know that, but just saying to Count your Many Blessings and Move Forward!!

dreaded retirement
by: Anonymous

Just wait my young friends. Face 60, 38 years of service and suddenly there's no boots to put on the ground, no stripes to put on, no mission and too old to compete for mission orieented careers that you all are applying for. No matter that Im still in good shape mentally and physically, no one wants to hire a 60 year old man. Now how do I not feel that Ive wasted a life time. Sometimes I envy the brothers that Ive lost.

Life After the Military
by: Dawn

I am soooooo happy I stumbled on this. I, too, am a 39 year old retiree. I am still on transition leave. i was so happy to retire and yet I feel so "useless". Thank you for all the military retirees that have posted on here. I thought I was alone here. What do I do with the rest of life????

Wendy: You are ONLY 39... find your path and go for it! You have a lifetime in front of you... Woo Hoooo!

Retired from military and miserable, -- Who am I !?
by: Jay K.


You are not alone. I'm dealing with this same thing right now. I had returned from a very difficult time in Afghanistan in January 2010.

The very day I returned to my shop, I was barely welcomed home by my shop and the only thing I was told was that for all E-7's that were in for 24 years, the HYT was changed from 26 to 24 years, and we had to retire.

I was contemplating retirement but I had two years to think about it. I was not given a choice.

At the time I was so angry after returning from Afghanistan that being told that I had to get out both made me more angry and yet I didn't care anymore. I was approaching 24 years by July 2010.

I've been retired now for 17 months and even though I've got a job and my family, I feel just as miserable as I did in Afghanistan and all I can think about is how much I want to be back in my uniform serving my country.

I miss my life.

There is so much pain in my chest from this that it feels like an elephant walked all over me. There are days that when I wake up I wish I had not woken up but here I am. This said, I know I'm not suicidal.

I used to drink years ago but gave it up. The temptation has been there to pick up the bottle again but I so far haven't mostly because I've tried to live a Christian life and because I believe in being a good family man without drinking.

Everyday, I get flashbacks of my past and Afghanistan at an alarming rate which makes this worse. These people I work with now are all civilian and don't understand.

The job I took on was clear across the other side of the country which means there isn't a familiar soul that I work or associate with. In fact despite being 45 minutes drive from another Air Force base, it might as well be a million miles away. Before I took on the new job, I thought I would run into fellow airmen or retirees but that was not the case.

I am completely alone here isolated away from fellow servicemen and women with the exception of my family.

I used to supervise a shop full of airmen but now, I'm nothing. I never thought that I would miss that but I miss it terribly. So after 17 months, I'm still attempting to discover who I am.

Wendy: You sound absolutely miserable. Would you consider professional help? It sure sounds like you could use some.

You are employed, family with you -- but Afghanistan sounds like its really still biting at you. Do you need to get this out of mind? I bet you do.

Please Please see a counselor -- military or not.

Give yourself the GIFT of HAPPINESS... get your military memories in check so that you can live out a happy retirement -- working or not.

Retired Navy 21 Years
by: Anonymous

I feel your pain, I too feel the same way after dedicating 21 Years of my life to the military and choosing to retire in 2012. I also began to doubt that getting out of the military was the right choice.

I feel confused, not sure what to do with my life or the direction I should take it. My military career gave me purpose and made me feel like I was doing something very worth while. I have realized that who I am was largely defined by the military.

Then there is the whole financial security aspect. The income is enough to pay the bills, I have options for schooling and have managed to save money over the years but still don't feel secure. One great thing the military gives us is a sense of security. We know every morning that we will have a work filled week and a paycheck every two weeks that we have a future within.

When I complain to others especially to my civilian friends they don't fully understand because truthfully we are a lot better off than most. When I reflect, this is very true, we should never have to worry about a roof over our head or starving.

Keep your chin up this is a process, I am sure you have been told that before. Your bleeding out military and breathing in civilian freedom it's going to take a while.

Everyone I have spoken with says that this transition is not easy and many I have spoken to who have gotten out have had to deal with this mental and emotional process said they experienced many of the same feelings.

My recommendation is First accept that your choice is already been made now way to go back now and no sense in dwelling on it.

1> Eat right
2> Work out
3> Decide what you want to do now and make a plan and execute it.
4> Spend quality time with friend and family. If you need help don't be ashamed to seek out counseling that options there for you through TRICARE.

Stay strong and remember you are never alone.

Wendy: Thanks for posting! Great post!!

Military or not, retirement transitions aren't easy to many retirees. I've learned to go with the flow, enjoy life, smell the roses some -- but Keep Busy!

We aren't the same retirees as generations before us -- we are still active! Even if not physically active (disabilities), our Minds are Active!

On Finances, how do we ever know when Enough is truly Enough? We can trust our financial advisor.. or simply lay our lives into working, volunteering, and good deeds and let the cards fall where they may.

Life is good.. just find your new niche out there.

God is good.

Too many ( retired ) cooks spoil the broth ....
by: Durgesh Kumar Srivastava New Delhi India

The incident that I narrate here took place nearly 55 years ago in my home town Allahabad in North Central India. There was a Hindu religious feast hosted by our family.It is called BHANDARA in which anyone and everyone is welcome to join and have a meal.

There were to be six or seven courses but all items are served not one by one but all together on plates made of large leaves of wild trees. These plates are called PATTALS and are deemed to be purified and uncontaminated They are also eco-friendly. While the food items are being put on the PATTALS (which are placed on the washed and cleaned ground before lines of people waiting for the food) guests loudly sing poems in praise of the Lord.

People had begun to gather for the first service of BHANDARA. Inside the house the last item, KHEER was cooking in a large brass-alloy vessel called HANDI. KHEER is considered a delicacy. It is made by boiling dry, lightly roasted rice in cow's milk, mixed with sugar, almonds, resins, shavings of coconuts and safron.

The HANDI along with its cooking contents must have weighed over 50 kilograms. A hot fire was burning under the vessel, tended by the ladies of the house The KHEER was done and had begun to over-cook and stick to the bottom of the HANDI giving off that typical burnt-food smell.

The ladies tried to take off the HANDI from atop the fire-stove but its huge weight and very hot temperature prevented them from lifting it off. It was a while before someone thought of dousing the burning fire below and save the KHEER from being burnt. But the damage had been done The strong hurnt smell had spoilt it. It had already become unfit for consumption.

Now began a double round of criticism of the ineptness of the lady cooks and a series of prescriptions to undo the damage and make the KHEER somehow palatable. Some of the ladies were almost in tears. A very senior cook from a local sweet shop was called for his advice. He asked for some pure butter,2 pieces of mace(an Indian condiment) and some cardmum (a tropical herb) He prepared a concoction from these and mixed it slowly with the KHEER. Yes, the burnt out taste had become light but still the KHEER was far from being totally acceptable. Now what to do !

There was present in the gathering a very old man, a retired Royal British Army cook. He came forward and offered a solution. Let the KHEER be the first item to be served on the PATTALS and the hungry and waiting guests be requested to start eating. Other food items be served a little later. The suggestion, born out of long years of actual life experience, worked like magic. Guests lapped up the KHEER. No one made any negative comments about its burnt out taste. The BHANDARA was a grand success.
Durgesh Kumar Srivastava NewDelhi,India 9-9-10

Retiring young isn't what it's cracked up to be - but it can lead to great opportunities
by: Keith Weber


As a financial advisor for 20 years, I've seen a lot of people just like you who were able to retire very young. In fact, I was one of them. But like the old saying goes, be careful what you ask for. Our society constantly tells us that retirement is the goal we should all shoot for, and the sooner we can get there the happier we'll be. Through my personal experience and having watched hundreds of clients, I can tell you this is simply not the case.

The image of retirement is being redefined. Unfortunately many of us don't recognize that until we get there. We tend to seek retirement as a way out of jobs or careers that have become dull and meaningless. The reality is that work is not the enemy, but meaningless work is. Even after we leave those jobs, we still need a purpose.

I have created a website and written a book that addresses many of these common problems at Please visit and search under the resources section for all kinds of self-discovery exercises that may help you figure out where you can go from here. Good luck and I hope you find the info helpful.

Read Keith's article here!

Joy in retirement
by: Anonymous

The biggest joy in retirement is helping others.

Get in touch with health or social agencies that use volunteers, take their training and get busy.

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