Retirement: Getting Out of Dodge....

by Nui
(Canada)

I am retiring in precisely 59 days, but have been thinking about it for years. I am the poster child for indolence... the queen of couch potatoes. There's nothing I like better than a good, brisk sit.

I also know that physically, mentally and emotionally, all that alone time and sedentary activity will take its toll. So, I decided that the only solution is to leave town within 24 hours of retirement, before any bad habits take hold.

I bought a motorhome and took it on a 3-month trial run this past summer. It turns out you CAN live without TV or internet services. So, that's my plan: avoid retirement boredom and anxiety by driving away from them in a hurry.

Has anyone else hit the road right after retirement? I'd be interested in hearing your stories.



Wendy: Wow... that's a pretty gutsy move! I hope you will post your updates here. It would be fascinating to hear how your retirement journey works out!

I can't tell your gender by your name, but I assume you are a woman (coach potato queen) -- and that makes your travel even gutsier -- assuming you are traveling alone, since you didn't mention anyone else.

Go Girl Go... Enjoy your new Adventures!!

Comments for Retirement: Getting Out of Dodge....

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Bravo!
by: Libby

Good for you and gutsy to take to the road. I'm very happy for you that you had the time with your brother.

I have quite a few years yet to retirement, but have already started planning where I want to volunteer.

There are so many places that need help and especially the expertise that someone like you could bring. Whether it's working with animal rescues, children groups, reading to the elderly, mentoring teen Moms, it's a good way to keep yourself from just hanging out at home every day. Just one or two days a week even helps to be aware of the day of the week, putting together an outfit, doing your hair and knowing you are out there making a difference.

It's good for the heart and soul. Good luck and enjoy your retirement. You have worked for it and now time to enjoy it.

Update on my travels
by: Nui

Well, this is month #3 of my retirement and today I broke new ground: last year at this time, I was driving back to BC to go back to work. It occurred to me (finally) that [this isn't a vacation anymore...it's my life]. I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do with it.

As mentioned, I knew I couldn't stay home because I would just sit and watch TV. My last working day was May 30th and by noon on the 31st, I was in my RV and heading for the border.

The solo trip across the USA was easy and I made it to Ontario in mid-June. My brother and I then did a 2-week tour of Eastern Ontario and then I came camping. I'm so glad we did the tour.... less than a month later, my brother died from the chronic lung disease he's been battling for years.

I have one more month to go, then I'm heading to Arizona for the winter. My 84-year old aunt is coming with me - she loves to travel but doesn't get much of a chance so this will be perfect for her. Nothing like riding as a navigator in an RV.

It still doesn't feel quite real. I've arranged to do some editing/consulting for my former employers but that is just a sideline. I still haven't come up with things I want to do in the long run, beyond driving the Beast. One day at a time, I guess.

Thanks to those who have commented. It's good to know that others have had the same fears and anxieties and have conquered them. Hope I'll get there soon.

Feedback
by: Nancy

Nui, I had a lot of the same mixed feelings you had. I liked my job a lot which is why I had mixed feelings. I didn't like a lot of the stress from clients and higher ups, which was significant.

I had brief days when I was sure I wanted to retire, but mostly, I had a feeling it was time, I felt this was a message from God.

Something bad might have happened if I continued to work. I had one wreck when I was working and 3 tickets. I traveled far and wide on my job in my own car. We got travel reimubursement, but it was still wear and tear on my own car.

I had a HUGE adjustment, it is now 1.5 years and I am still adjusting. I do like retirement, but still. I get the loss of identity too.

I just thought I would share my own experience in the hopes that it will help you.

First pension cheque a surprise
by: Nui

Got my first pension cheque today and it is a lot better than I feared. I'm actually going to be able to do this and do everything else on my bucket list as well.

I'm semi-retired at this point. I took my pension but came back to work part-time. I'm going full-time for 3 months, so replace someone who is scheduled for surgery. After that, I'm out of here. My RV (the Beast) and I are going to hit the road (preferably with all 6 wheels intact), and head for warmer pastures.

Life is looking good!



Wendy: That often happens... your pay has so many deductions, and the pension has less. It also helps with longer service, the longer employed, the higher the pension. Congrats!

Also thrilled that you'll work a bit longer,... live on working income, save your pension payments for later (fun fun!)

Very happy for you!


A bitter reality check
by: Nui

Got a call yesterday that my younger brother (age 58) has been rushed to the hospital because his health has deteriorated rapidly in the past week. He has a terrible lung disease that has gotten progressively worse in the past 2 years.

His illness forced him to retire from work and he has been bored out of his mind since them - probably more so because he has been physically restricted but also because he's a people person and thrives on being involved in an office setting (social work).

He has been the biggest proponent of my not taking retirement. He says that I'll be bored stiff and that I'm throwing away security.

On the other hand I look at him and think that I should get out now, while I'm still able to do the things I want to do. He's the perfect example of why you shouldn't wait to get a life.

I feel so sad for him. He has fought this thing for most of his life and he keeps on fighting - but he won't win the war. I just hope this latest episode is just a minor skirmish and that he'll make it home for Christmas.


Update...
by: Nui

Nui posted this elsewhere under someone else's page.. but I wanted to also publish here to those who are watching for Nui's updates....

Procrastinating about taking the leap

by: Nui

I've informed the bosses that I'm retiring at the end of December but I just can't bring myself to put in the paperwork that will kick off my pension. They don't want me to leave and are hoping I'll change my mind.

I'm sooo ready to retire - I'm sick of the commute, I'm bored to death at work and I have a ton of things I want to do, not least of which is taking off cross country in my RV.

I know one of the reasons for the procrastination is the money thing. My pension will be 58% of my current salary, plus I will get Canada Pension and, after age 65, an Old Age Security pension. I will have enough to live on comfortably for the present.

My fear is what the future will bring - will I have enough to live on when I need a nursing home? How will inflation impact my salary in 10 years, 20 years? Will I regret my decision, once boredom inevitably sets in?

On the other hand, I don't intend to die in the saddle so, sooner or later, I was going to retire anyhow. These mixed feelings are driving me nuts.

Did anyone else have a hard time making the final decision?

Wendy: Nui, I think your feelings are totally normal. This is a huge life transition... at least, instead of simply walking out the door, you are considering your options and thinking about retirement -- something many don't do!
(until it is too late).

Fear is an odd thing,... most of the time, what we fear and worry about never happens. We waste all that time and energy on worry. Sometimes we even make ourselves ILL with worry.

I considered retirement for five years... and all of a sudden, I KNEW it was the right time, I knew it in my heart of hearts. A sunny April day, and I knew I didn't want to work another summer.

I walked into the building, straight up to the managers office, and announced my retirement. No regrets...

I will say, even after you retire, it's almost inevitable that you will grieve the loss a bit. Some never look back, but many do. It's a loss of identity and until you find yourself again.. it can be a bit tough!

I really DO think you are on your way... like Ricardo writes on this site, he has also studied all aspects of his upcoming retirement, and you both gotta be one step ahead of the game that way!

Best Wishes!!

Solo RV Travel
by: Nui

The closer it gets, the more impatient I become to get out of town.

To answer questions: yes, I'm female and I will be travelling solo (although I had company on 3/4's of my maiden voyage).

It was scary learning to drive a 34'foot RV and towing a car, especially since the biggest thing I've ever driven was a minivan.

And yes, I have a blog. It was called 2 Fat People in an RV when my brother was with me. Now I call it the Big Beastly Adventure. It's at www.nuiloa.blogspot.ca, if you're interested.

Cheers,

Nui

Getting out of Doge.......
by: Barbara


I would give my eye teeth, if I had any, to do exactly what you are doing. Lost my license to aging years ago or I too would be "On The Road Again!"

Safe journey.

Barbara

I am a traveler too
by: leahaskme@comcast.net

Your adventure should be blogged, there are many
RV traveling groups. I hope you can hook up with them if you are inclined. It's amazing what you can do after retiring. May the wind be always at you back and the road treats you kind.

Hope to see you on the back roads of Canada and America. There is also a train one can catch to
travel throughout Mexico.

Happy traveling
Leah

great fun
by: Anonymous

Hope you really enjoy your travels. I don't know where you are starting from but by next summer I hope you head through Canada to Alaska and back.

Good for you!
by: Sue

How fun to get into your RV and hit the road! Enjoy your time and learn to relax. It will be so exciting to see other parts of the country. I'm retired now and my husband still has another couple of years to go before he can retire. So, we're looking forward to seeing some of our great country and just having fun! Have a GREAT TIME!

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