Retirement: Don't know if I am going to make it.

by Mark
(U.S. )

Took a voluntary severance offer at age 53. I was smart about saving, etc. and I am good financially.

Always thought about early retirement and reinventing myself.

Long story short, I had a nervous breakdown (no sleep for a week, thoughts of death, on and on) about a month in and became very depressed. Still depressed 5 months later and constantly second guessing my decision to take the voluntary severance offer, as I was asked to stay on.

I am on medication for the depression, which has helped but still can't see a path forward. I feel like I am living in an alternate universe and I never would have imagined this. So upset with myself that I am barely hanging on.

Didn't realize how much the work meant to me.

Comments for Retirement: Don't know if I am going to make it.

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I hear you!
by: Barbara NorthEast NJ

Mark, I was downsized at 59.5yrs old from a job I liked, with 21 years with the company. It was a large downsizing (I wasn't the only one affected.) but, it hit me like a ton of rocks!

I'm married and my husband makes a decent salary (and he's four years younger and still working) so, no financial worries. Yet, after a while, I felt anxious - I needed something to do (the mind is a dangerous neighborhood when it is not busy).

At 62, I signed up to start my master's degree in counseling (NJ State give seniors a waiver) and am now almost finished.

Why am I telling you this?

It's because of the title of your post, Retirement: Don't know if I'm going to make it. You should see a counselor/therapist (medication can only do so much) right away.

I would also suggest you make plans with family/friends to go out with or visit - you must socialize. I would also strongly suggest you get something to keep you busy, and have a routine (ex: a part time job).

Don't be fussy about what it is (you can always quit) - get something that involves people.

Don't worry about the pay - think about your mental health.

I so understand...
by: monica

Hi Mark- I have worked full time for 30 years teaching and now I am lost. Having severe anxiety and depression. I am starting Soc Sec in June and have been tutoring and subbing. I dread each day and I have a wonderful family that supports me.

I live in San Diego and have been thinking about volunteer work. I have been in therapy and taking multiple meds-but still have anxiety attacks. I would like to start a support group if any one is available or lives near by.

Keep talking on line-we can all support each other!!! Monica

Other options
by: Eleanor


If you don't go back to a full time or part time of some kind, have you thought about volunteering somewhere? No pay of course, but you are giving back to someplace that can use help.

You can be around people, make new friends and have the satisfaction of doing something worth while.

For example: I have always loved all kinds of animals and after I retired, followed up on a newspaper ad looking for volunteer help at a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary.

I started and loved it so much I volunteered there for 19 years.Got to meet some wonderful and caring people, saw animal and bird species I'd never seen before, saw the spirit in some that were badly injured and had such a strong will to live they overcame their injuries and were released back to the wild.

That's just one example.

Wish you luck in finding something to make your
life intersting. There is so much out there.

Help Yourself
by: Wendy


Yikes! Do something to help yourself... Please contact me (bottom right column) and let's talk.

You seriously need to think about your future. At 53, you have many more years to "work" in some manner. You don't have to work full-time, but you can work part-time, contractual, or own a small home business... like I do here on my website. You need to share your life and knowledge with the world in some way... and yes, its possible to find your life again.

Please contact me. Two heads are better than one, especially if that one is stuck in the never-ending loop of anxiety. OK?

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