About Schmidt is an R-rated movie about retirement, from 2002, with Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates.
Nicholson plays a newly retired insurance guy, who finds retirement isn't quite what he had hoped for (like so many of us). His wife dies, daughter is marrying someone he doesn't like, and life isn't good...
It's really a great retirement movie and so interesting to see how they portray this new retiree! This is not a feel good movie, so beware -- it's pretty truthful about the retirement transition and kinda sad.
The show opens showing him sitting in an almost empty office, staring at the almost 5:00 pm clock, and waiting to walk out that retirement door. Then off he goes with one last look. R E T I R E D...
Then there is the Retirement Party, the speeches, and his half-smile. One already retired guy does a speech, saying something like: "The retirement gifts don't mean a thing, the retirement party doesn't mean a thing, pension and Social Security don't mean a thing. What does count - you did great work and you were a productive member of society, worked for the top rated insurance carrier in the nation, well-respected by community, and have wonderful lasting friendships. At the end of his career, if a man can say I did my job and did it well... that's being rich (beyond the monetary) and you are looking at a very rich man!" Schmidt is still half-smiling...
At 6:59 am, the next morning, he is up and working on a crossword with his cup of coffee. Wife makes breakfast and you can tell his heart simply isn't in it.
He watches TV, flipping from channel to channel, uninterested in most of it.
Dressed in a suit, he goes back into the office asking the guy who took his former job if he needed any help. Did he have any questions? Anything that needed explanation? Nope. Nope and Nope. BUT when he returns home, he tells his wife they DID need help with "Loose Ends"...
He writes an introduction letter to an Adopted Child and gets some of the underlying stress off his chest about the new replacement worker, talks about wrinkles and ear hair, and where he thought his life was headed early on - before family. He talks about his wife of 42 years, and everything that irritates him about her. Then his daughter...
This is where the wife dies. His minister talks about anger, and why it's ok. Daughter returns home. Funeral done and over. He is alone.
His sad single life begins... he tries an RVing adventure, travels down memory lane, attends his daughters wedding. He is a Lost Soul, just simply not happy with life, and doesn't seem to know what to do or who he is. Sound familiar?
** THE END **
Hey - Did you expect me to spill the beans on the whole movie? This is it... if you are new to retirement, this is an especially thoughtful movie!
I saw this movie, for free, on Comcast/Xfinity... Look for it, and maybe you'll find it too!
I'm watching a 1987 movie with Diane Keaton that's pretty funny. She is a single, educated attorney, and she suddenly adopted a little girl... and moved to the country.
I'm enjoying all her professional business suits with the huge shoulder pads... Too funny! Memories...
Kinda like the retirement transition for many of us, she is clearly "lost". Her life transition is a great comparison to our own retirements....
At one point she screams out something like: "I'm from Harvard, I was a professional, I used to be cute, I need work, I need sex, I need dinner meetings...." and more. Does that sound kinda familiar? Yep!
She is suddenly both playing the mom and the country gal... lost in her self, no professional identity, what now?
She says: "I moved here from NY, thought the country would be good for me... put things into perspective."
Yep, the grass is always greener, isn't it?
When you are 30, 40, whatever -- the idea of retirement is everything you ever dreamed of and you just can't wait to get there. Give me time off work, time to play with the kids, time to read a book, perhaps to smell the roses.. sounds so good!
That is, until it's YOU who has retired and needs to figure out who you are and what you will do for the next 20-30 years!? You can only smell the roses so long, the kids are long gone (or so we'd hope), it's just not that simple.
Anyways, back to the Baby Boom movie, it now looks like she is both falling in love, developing a new career as a baby food entrepreneur, and finding happiness in her new country world!
Just like retirees, we do find ourselves, it just takes time. We find hobbies, clubs, new part time jobs, volunteering, or even becoming entrepreneurs (online, like me) or not.
So many options, so many adventures left in life -- just get past that Retirement Transition Phase, and figure out who you choose to be now!!
Enjoy your Retirement each and every day!
P.S. I've always LOVED transition movies...
"Baby" growing into an adult in "Dirty Dancing" with Patrick Swayze was great! Loved all the dancing!
Melanie Griffins played the secretary turned professional in "Working Girl"... I wrote a college term paper on this movie! I loved her transition.
Finally, Wendy turned retiree.. wonder how this one ends? Hmmmm...... one year four months and counting!