Retirement: Not What I Expected!

by Debbie
(Baton Rouge, LA)

How to Retire book

How to Retire book

I "retired" at the young age of 60 (1 year ago) because I was sick of my co-workers & bosses, burnt out on the work, didn't want the responsibilities & stress & was eager to spend more time with my kids and grandkids.

Ironically, I have come to realize that my unhappiness and depression I have experienced after retirement is because I "miss" those things I was so "sick" of!

After I read How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor by Ernie Zilinski, I understood that I was not alone in this transition and that most people miss the very things they retire from. This book helped me come to terms with acceptance of where I am in my life today.

I actually felt guilty for retiring after 31 years of working. I have worked most of my life and was raised with the thinking that to be somebody you have to work hard and develop skills.

Reflecting on my life during this time has been life changing for me - for the better.

I will no longer be who others think I am "supposed" to be and I have accepted this life of leisure that I deserve. I am in the process of developing "me" and who I want to be.

I will finally be free and happy - something I've struggled with for most of my life.

Comments for Retirement: Not What I Expected!

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Tales time to feel free
by: Linda Morin

I retired at 67. I felt at loose ends even though I had no worries. I missed the stress. Counselor for 36 years. I missed the Structure of hospitals and treatment programs. Not using my skills made me feel empty and unproductive. I would say it can take up to 3 years to feel really retired and in a new life style. Be patient.

by: mem37814/tn

I retired at age 56 after 38 years of working as a registered nurse. It became more of a business and not serving and caring for patients.

I joined AARP at age 40 to prepare for retirement but I was not ready. I got custody of a toddler of my great niece, started a small day care in my home, baby sat for other foster parents when had to work, and became a foster parent for babies. I fostered 8 and at age 60 adopted a 6 day old son who is 18 now.

I continued my side line of flipping houses, selling as land contracts and owner financed. Now I am teaching my son the real estate business bec he has had 10 ear surgeries and likely will not be able to hold a public job. He sees the benefits of being his own boss etc...

Retirement is a second job to keep up w/ your budget, reinvest, stay healthy, provide for you and your home.

About to take that leap….
by: Jean

Hi I'm a (very) young 61 and have worked in finance since I was 16. We are about to relocate to a seaside area.

My husband who is 47 will be woking from home with occasional travel or his job, however I will have to leave my job as the commute is too far.

I left a very well paid corporate job 8 years ago as I was fed up with the long hours and I thought I would work at a small therapy business of my own. That didn't turn out as I thought, I guess I was too conditioned with the office work ethic.

From too busy to not enough to do. So I found a part time finance job in a local hospice which I love. We don't have children so my work has always been a defining thing.

The comments on this site are very helpful,I will keep reading. Good luck everyone.

by: Debbie

I hear ya! I'm going to try a bowling league this morning - hahaha, I don't even bowl!

I am also beginning a training to be a Court-Appointed Sponsor Advocate for abused & neglected children in October. I may or may not like it, but I have to get out there and try to make myself a productive part of society for some reason.

I'm sure it has something to do with my thinking of "work hard to be somebody". I always feel guilty when I'm not doing "something".

Always wanted to start a business, but for the life of me, can't think of anything I'm "passionate" about enough to invest money in. Read all the books and it seems you have to be "passionate" about something in order for a business to succeed.

I actually enjoy hearing about others who are in the same boat I'm in. At least I know I'm not alone in my struggle to "find myself" at 61!

by: Anonymous

I retired at 62 (2 yrs ago) and am still adjusting to having all this time on my hands. I miss the day to day interaction with everyone at work and getting dressed and putting on makeup each day. I worked for over 40 years. I guess my identity was connected to my job.

My husband still works full time with no immediate plans to retire yet. That's ok, I want him to be happy.

Hope I can find something constructive to do soon and snap out of my funk.

Finding "Me"
by: Anonymous

Hahaha. I went on a part-time job interview Friday. Not sure what I was thinking! STILL trying to "work" to feel like a success, I guess.

The work described sounded so boring, exactly like what I retired from, with much, much less money. Go figure.

Guess I'll get back to the drawing board tomorrow morning and try to "develop" a creative mind.

Retirement feels scary
by: Toni

I was a teacher and I've only been retired two weeks. I have always felt low when school breaks up - an anti-climax and time to fill. But this year it doesn't have a seven week end point.

So I started searching for activities to fill the weeks. I could be busy every day with volunteering, new hobbies, U3A. Friends and family have told me to wait and experience just being for a while. I hadn't noticed how institutionalised I was. Well, maybe I knew but it made me feel safe. Now there's no safety net.

I joined this community for some inspiration and advice. No experience of social media - discouraged as a teacher - so I hope to make the most of this community. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing.

Totally Get What You're Saying
by: Paula Ramirez

I totally understand how you feel. I actually didn't retire until I was 67, two years ago, and then only because there was a 'buy-out' I couldn't resist.

I'm single and have been for years now - but that never bothered me until I retired. I can't believe how much I miss working - the challenge and the satisfaction of meeting the challenges, as well as the people that I worked with on a daily basis. We keep in touch through Facebook but it's just not the same.

Thank you for the book recommendation. I just bought it and am hoping it really helps me adjust.

Unplanned Retirement & Loving it
by: Anonymous

It is a transition especially after working all my life. At age 58, my company moved to another state and I had no choice but to retire because my husband and I weren't keen on the new location.

We didn't want to get stuck there or move again to a more desirable part of the country. The company I worked for didn't have the best management and favoritism was a fact, but I endured it, earned a descent living and appreciated the benefits.

In my first weeks I went through withdrawal from my close circle of female friends. I also had to adjust to being with my disabled husband 24/7 who was having a very bad health episode. Not the best of times.

After adjusting to the new life style, I felt the freedom I'd been denied all my adult life and can now do what I want, when I want, or do nothing at all!

I don't wake up to an alarm at 5 am any more, am more active than ever and have no regrets for leaving the work force. I'm into my 5th month and am grateful for the unplanned gift of retirement in my 50s. (I also had 35 years).

I don't know if I'll return to work, but if I do, I won't work an 8 hour day with a 2 hour commute ever again! I gave my time to the company, now it's my time.

Working to be "free"
by: Debbie

It seems that our generation of boomers have all had to break the bond of thinking "work is life".

Most of our parents were raised during the Depression years of the '40's and that's how they survived.

We have so many more resources than they ever had to enjoy life - and, we have become a lot more selfish than they were, and our children are even MORE selfish than we are - lol.

It's just weird to me that I worked so hard to achieve a great career so I could "retire" and be a lady of leisure, but I find myself "working" to find leisure and freedom.

My "friends" I had during my employment still work - and actually, they were co-workers, not "friends". I enjoyed going to lunch with them and after work cocktails, but all we had in common was what was going on at work!

I'm finding it difficult to connect with others who share common ground. This site has offered me that & I am grateful!

I retired early, too..
by: Janis in New Hampshire

I retired from nursing at age 62+ after approximately 30 years. Though I loved being in nursing, I was becoming burned out- mostly from the changes I was seeing in the medical field.

In many ways I am glad to be retired- no more shift work, more time to do the things I have always wanted to do, more time to spend with family. But the strange part of it is, I don't really see my family as much as I would've thought I would, mainly because...they still work! Lol And have their own families, and things they want to do with their spouses and children.

I never dreamed I would be able to afford to retire...always thought I would die on the job, literally. :) And though I miss the connection with other people, and the income I received from my job, I think I am much happier and content being retired.

It gets lonely sometimes and even boring. But I can usually find some way to alleviate the loneliness and boredom.

Sounds Familiar
by: ET

Your story sounds a lot like mine. I retired a year ago at 59 and I have had a difficult time adjusting to my life of leisure.

My Dad had always told my brothers and me to never quit working, that your life is your work. I thought I would be different from my family and enjoy my new life.

I am working on it, some days are wonderful and like when working some are not. I am thankful that on the days I do not feel well I do not have to go to work and try to make it through the day.

I too have read the book on Retiring Wild and Free. We have been able to travel a good bit since my husband and I both retired, and will be traveling again soon.

It is the limited income that is also causing me to have to adjust. I loved to shop especially for grandchildren now I have to budget more and spend less.

Yet my life is still blessed and I will continue to adjust! LOL

by: Sharyn~~~CANADA


l really LOVE your last paragraph! I'm with you on that point.

by: Sue in Colorado

Oh we could be related. I was laid off at 61 and have been retired for four years now.

Always been a huge people please, but am learning that it's okay if not everyone likes me. Time to be free and happy!

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