Retirement: All of this scares me....

by Jerry

I actually retired with a pension and health care three years ago at 56. I then took a similar job at another university. The job was pretty taxing (IT manager) and did not connect with my boss. I left after 2.5 years. I went to a third similar job at a small private college. They had a smaller staff that was jus okay. I put a lot of pressure on my self to advance things fast. I also had to live away during the week to do the job. Cut to the chase, I recently left after only 10 months.

I am now almost 60. We moved back to the original hometown, where we own our house. My wife had an on and off career as we raised the kids so she has no pension. We do have a decent nest egg and all things put together (pension and piece of nest egg) we can generate $80,000 a year. All sounds good, but I am petrified. I didn't really plan on leaving, but there were circumstances and I was burned out.

I have had bouts with anxiety and depression. I am having a major one right now. I guess I have a major fear of the unknown. The fear has cut into my sleep and energy. I am anxious all of the time.

It has only been a week since we quit and moved back home. Maybe I need to give it a few weeks, but it's a challenge. Advice?

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Thanks for the thoughtful advice
by: Jerry

It has been almost 11 weeks since I stopped working. Based on what you are all saying this is a VERY short time. The depression is better, thanks to the meds.

I still find myself drawn to find a job or maybe a couple of part time things. I can consult in my field. Maybe the model of easing into retirement might work best for me.

I know now that I had no hobbies and my life was all about work. This time around, I want a better balance. More time with the kids and grandkids. Maybe less responsibility. It's hard to change personality.

I appreciate all the advice and would love to know how you made the transition work for you. Does it tal 1-3 years for the "who am I and how did I get here feelings " to go away?

Wendy I think everyone is different... if you find something you enjoy doing, BAM, you are retired and satisfied. If you are a depressed couch potato, you remain a retired couch potato, until you do something about it. You are getting there -- one day at a time!

Be Your Own Best Friend.
by: Anonymous

My advice is, just know that the process of getting used to being retired will take at least a year.

I think it's helpful to have some sort of daily routine and include journaling, and keeping physically fit. That way you keep your mind and body healthy. Make a to-do list every day so that you feel like you've accomplished something.

Most of all, be kind to yourself at this point in your life. It isn't an easy process, but try and look at things objectively and be your own best friend.

Retirement Plan
by: Joe W.

Jerry, this seems to happen all the time i.e. the Financial adviser works on your Financial plan but he/she doesn't have a clue about what you should or could be doing in your retirement life.

I would start from ground zero with your wife and list all those things you wanted to do if you only had the time to do them.

Burnout, anxiety & depression are critical signs that you should make a change from your old ways and habits and take a look at some new possibilities.

Joe W.

New Life Ahead
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MAY

Dear Jerry:

You probably have an amazing life ahead. Expect it to happen but not necessarily on your own desired timetable. We have to allow life to develop for us like seeds germinating.

You have a whole history that has propelled you into today's situation. Are you reasonably healthy? If you find you have gained more weight than you want...realize it may be due to pent up hurt, anger and feelings you have never expressed. Some people prefer to run or walk a mile rather than express in words the deep hurts of the past. Writing them in a journal helps. You can let it all out on paper and actually get rid of it. Whatever works.

Since fear is the antithesis of faith, it may help to surrender each day to trusting the astounding unconditional love of the universe. You have no idea how much love and possibility is readily available to you but first you have to ask for it . Then xpect it to happen-- just as if you had ordered something online and assume it will be sent at the proper time. Many blessings. You deserve them.

Take a break.
by: Your Name/Location

I took a sabbatical. A year off to travel and think.. Took a new tac after that and changed my work life.. Worked another 10 years mostly part time and loved it. Now 71 and so glad I did retire. Takes about 3 years to be fully in the retired mind set I have found talking to others in my age group. Good luck and no matter what you do try to enjoy it. Linda

Yep, it is scary!
by: Wendy

Jerry --

First, it does take time to mentally remove yourself from the workplace setting -- but I promise you, after you get through this transition period, there can be retirement bliss.

Retirement Bliss definition: whatever that means to YOU and you alone. Everyone is different. My bliss is running this website and being very busy on my laptop. Someone else wants to live by a lake and veg out. Another retiree might want to tutor kids as they were a teacher and still need the contact from children.

Retirement is totally what you make of it. TOTALLY.

Yes, d*&^ scary, at first. But you've got the income... all you need to do is figure out what makes life worthwhile. What are your interests outside work? Are you the type who can never work again, or do you need to be busy like me (busy when I want to be, slacker when I feel like it.. grin!)? Might you start a website to teach about IT in some manner? Start a website about your new hometown? As it grows, people will know you again... review restaurants, local attractions, all that?

Just rattling off ideas. Contact me under Retirement Coach if you'd like a free consultation and see if we can figure out what you might like to do, then you can research more!

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