Retired today: very disorienting

by Nikki CPA

Today was my final day at work. I am 55 and worked at hard accounting jobs since I was 22. I never found the perfect job, although I tried alot of different types of accounting jobs.

I always saved alot of money and started planning my retirement about 10 years ago..a meticulous step by step plan.. and I finally got there.

When I was 50 or 52, I had panic attacks due to a bad boss. That was a major sign that I needed to reduce the amount of hours worked and control the type of work I was doing.

Then, I got what I called my "final" job as Tax Accountant, after four years, I started not to be able to handle the anxiety and burnout of all the files and bad records.

I felt really bad when telling my employer and coworkers I was leaving. This was something that I did not anticipate. They were always nice and I felt sorry for leaving them, but the work was so difficult, I hated it.

My Boss kept suggesting to me certain jobs I might try in the future. I did not tell him I was retiring ...only that I resigned and wasn't enjoying the work. All of them are older than me and are not retiring so I did not want to tell them. I am not planning to go back to accounting again. I really don't intend to have any job. The stress of just having to be somewhere at a certain time became bad. Maybe only volunteering, but I do know they are hard to find.

I don't have a plan of what to do now. I feel kind of disoriented. i am scared I won't make new friends and will be lonely. I hope I find my way. I don't want to tell my family and friends I am sort of embarrassed like I have given up on life. Worried something big and bad may happen like i crash my car or some medical accident that will mess up my limited income.

What are the first things I might try to do? Can you tell me anything to make me feel better or guide me. I guess I will start reading this website .

Comments for Retired today: very disorienting

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Agree with do nothing!
by: Suzie in Colorado

You sound just like me. Retired at 56, was having horrible anxiety and panic attacks.

My job had devolved over 27 years and was planning to retire when the anxiety started. Lo and behold, it was the job causing it.

Two years in and couldn't be happier. I spent a year enjoying my garden and napping even when people tried to make me feel guilty.

I prayed to be a blessing to someone everyday, and God provided that need.

If you still suffer from anxiety please talk to someone, meditate and take deep breaths. Don't feel guilty, do something for someone and ENJOY!

There is plenty of work for you if/when you decide to do that.

Response to: Retired Today disorienting
by: Ken / San Diego CA


Wow, retired at age 55? I semi-retired at that age but needed a part time job to keep me occupied!

I think Wendy has the best advise, and too bad I didn't know about Wendy and Retirement Online at THAT time!

Being an Accountant myself (BTW congratulations on becoming a CPA - I just did my 4 yr University stint, but didn't want to pursue my CPA) I really hated Accounting (but you and I know, you can ALWAYS get a job in Accounting!)

Enjoy your time off and listen to Wendy! She is an expert on what we are experiencing!


to all that commented
by: Nickki

Thank you to all that commented. Need to keep going and see what else happens.

And Mr. IRA, we were in the same boat and I totally understand.

You will be fine!
by: Wendy,

You sound worried but it's too early to even go there. Just think -- new adventures for a new lifestyle, clear of accounting, and full of promise.

Do nothing, for now. Enjoy your hometown. Go out to breakfast with book/newspaper in hand. Invite old friends to do lunch (cheaper than dinner). Talk walks and simply enjoy the neighborhood, nature, breathing deeply in contentment. Start a new morning routine with my Morning Makeover. Consider deeply what you want in life... want to learn to paint, read more, take afternoon naps, see a movie or play, then figure out the options to do just that. One Day At A Time!

Retirement is not fun unless...
by: Anna Houston

Retirement is not fun unless you decide you will enjoy it.

You said you saved some money, therefore you could travel right?

I believe more and more people are dissatisfied because we expect too much from others and so little from ourselves (me included)…

I made a decision two days ago: I will learn to be happy with myself because I take me wherever I go. I decided (how arrogant of me...right?) that people should be glad to know me because I am a great entertainer -- if they do not like it, they do not have to accept my invitations; I am a great conversationalist … I do not gossip, I am educated, I am an author, I intelligently participate in political conversations and by the way, decided I will no longer apologize for my opinion and/or my choice, what a difference that has made in my life so far!

The road ahead
by: Sandy

Nikki - first, congrats on making such a difficult decision. You have put yourself and your physical/mental health first and that is important. You are wise to begin thinking of next steps now.

Many of us waited until we have anxiety or depression to realize that we needed to take action. (Wendy's two cents: WOOT! Big Yes!)

I think you will find this site to be a wonderful mix of people - some who are struggling, some who never struggled and others who took action to address the concerns they experienced as retirees. All will be helpful perspectives.

As for me personally, I struggled but found activities on Meetup, local fitness activities/clubs, book clubs, library events, and volunteering. And of course, I finally got to all those things in my home I never had time for.

You are obviously a smart person, so you will use all the tools you used to manage your career to now manage your retirement.

I wish you the best. You matter so take care.

Retired three months in
by: Ira

I was in Public accounting for 30 years and retired 3 month ago at 62 1/2. The past 20 was at a highly stress filled firm. About 2 years ago I started to suffer from career burnout, not wanting to do tax work anymore. I had anxiety, depression, good short term disability and tried working there 3days a week. Nothing worked. Finally decided I couldn't do this anymore and retired. Still no desire to even think about trying PT or perdiem.

It takes time to adjust and reinvent yourself. I am looking into volunteering, going to the gym, hiking once a week. I am even trying an art class to see if I like it. Try as many things as you can think of to see what sticks.

You are not alone. It is an adjustment period no doubt about it. You will feel out of sorts until things start to come together. I am still in that phase but somewhat better now

Take Time Off
by: John A. / Tyler, Tx

You are still young and have a lot left in you before throwing in the towel and retiring. I suggest taking some time off to gather your thoughts and reenergize.

Being a CPA, you have tons of savvy to offer another business. It doesn't have to be an accounting job, but something else. Over there years I am sure you have developed many transferable skills. So I suggest something else other than being an accountant.

You'll need to do a lot of soul searching on what YOU really want to do. But, I think you still have too much to offer by retiring at this time. Find something else.

This is my $0.00000000000002 worth of opinion.

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