Surprised by Things not going according to "Retirement Books"!
by Hans S
My retirement was planned to happen in about 2 years when my wife reached 60 (me, 62). Ive had a 35 year career I loved (mostly) but recently a job I grew to hate.
A mining company with an oil division I was part of. Actually our division was the division with the highest return on capital within the company. We were gearing up for new ventures that would replace dwindling reserves and I was in the thick of it. Pure gravy - flying around the world, mentoring good young people to promote, exciting opportunities... except senior management kept putting us off with no reason given despite annually budgeting a decent investment amount that somehow was just never in `quite the right country`. Slow learners we were but the harder we worked the more we were ignored.
To shorten the story, the harder I tried to make it good enough the more burned out and cynical I became.
On the edge of exhaustion, I reviewed our finances, talked to my wife and retired at age 60. No problem right? Or at least not my problem anymore!
Wrong. Just as I was getting rested and looking for some fun, I fell through my emotional floor. Suddenly!
I've been depressed for several months, mostly just sad, not anxious but really without motivation.
For now, my career is over - I do not want to go back even to a different job or consulting while I am so down. My critical thinking skills aren't helping as the normal business data, facts, objectives, intuition just are not clear. This is not a problem of logic, this is an emotional issue and I'm a neophyte at feelings problems.
If this sounds like complaining, this is not my intention - just sharing my story. Of course the ending hasn't happened yet and I have some faith the good stuff will start as I adjust. But it has not been a picnic.
Sounds too familiar to many who have retired. It seems there is nothing to be down about - voluntary retirement, you weren't forced out, finances are ok, then WHAM! What happened?
You'll be fine... I say that simply because you have the common sense not to simply brood on it, but that you are sharing your experience.
Consider a new interest to get busy with. You were busy during your working years, not quite ready to work again in any capacity, but need to do something. Consider your childhood/teen years... did you have any interests that you had to leave behind due to working and family? Is there a committee that you might volunteer on? Any community groups you might take part in?
Perhaps you have a specific knowledge to share with the world... like I am doing here on my retirement website. Working from home but totally interacting with retirees online.. love it! Build a website, create new income...
it might be about woodworking, drilling for oil, fishing in Calgary, vacation spot website, use your imagination and think about what you might write about and share with the world, for income.