Think Hard Before Retiring

by Sally
(Chula Vista, CA)

Retirement is only enjoyable if you have no financial worries, plenty of money, your health, and endless activities you love to do.

You'll also need friends who love doing what you do -- as well as have the money and time.

As with anything in life, the newness of retirement eventually wears off. Then you'll be challenged to keep a good sense of self with the feeling of "belonging" because once that wains, loneliness, sadness and depression sets in.

Then you'll have too much time to "think" and you may even begin to envy those who have jobs. The realization hits you that even if you wanted to work again, you're not the youngster everyone wanted to hire back in the hay days. So you might settle for a minimum wage job with kids young enough to be your great grand children -- although that might be better than listening to a bunch of old people complaining about their aches and pains.

Friends and family will start dropping off one by one faster and faster. Funerals will become life's main event.

My advice is if you have a decent job you like when the choice of retirement comes along, stay with the job unless you absolutely hate it. Either way, stay as physically and mentally active for as log as you can.

Think hard and get good advice when you do consider retiring.

Comments for Think Hard Before Retiring

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After Effects of Retiring
by: Sal

I really like this website. It is so interesting to hear what others have to say. So many of us feel the same way and have the same thoughts.

You know, there is just something about having a job. I think it is the feeling of belonging and having a purpose in life, something to get out of bed for each morning. The socialization with people. Routine. Oh and let me not forget, the reward is a paycheck! LOL

After the newness of retirement wears off, you gradually begin to feel like you're fading out. Then it gets to the point that it seems no one knows or cares if you are alive. It feels weird living on social security too. This "fixed income" BS I am not happy with.

So what's next after this? Where do we go from here?

Wish I had Read This First
by: LZ

I just retired from my job of 20 years and wish I had waited one more year at least. I left due to cancer treatments & was going back on gradual return. I panicked & opted to retire instead.

I want to go back to my job but I can’t. I would have to start all over again as my seniority is gone. I feel lost with out my job.

My husband is retired and loves it. He doesn’t understand me. I think it is a good idea to wait until you are ready. I’m 63 & feel too young for retirement. What a mistake

Response to Comments
by: Sally

Thank you, everyone for reading my post. While I am a bit cynical these days, I realize many folks are happy when they retire.

I'll sound self-centered when I say this, but I was very dissappointed, to say the least, after working, saving, and planning for retirement all my life, just to lose the majority of my savings and investments during the recession.

In addition, I was laid off from my job, lost health insurance, 15 year marriage went to pieces, and had to short sale my home. I walked away with zero dollars. I've been alone for awhile, renting an apartment and had to surrender my dogs, and it goes on.

I am 64 and alone, living in a place I don't like, I tell myself every day that my happiness depends on me. I've learned how family can betray you when you need them most, how they decieve you, leave you, all for money and their own security.

Everything I said in my first post has happened to me. I don't feel I deserved this, but I understand very well, life isn't fair. I wish everyone much happiness.

Raw Nerve of Retirement
by: DaveinCalif

It’s obvious by the responses that you've hit a "raw nerve" of retirement. I agree with you.

I’m almost six years into retirement and still not enjoying it very much.

But I’ve found a website that has some very useful tips and suggestions for improving your lifestyle. It has given me some help and direction.

Lifehack is not a retirement related website. But it gives advice and suggestions to anyone "stuck" in any phase of their life. The above article is just one of many you may find useful if you browse around their website.

There’s other useful and inspirational information as well. I hope some of you may find it useful, too. And thanks again to you, Wendy, for enabling this great information exchange.

There's no perfection
by: Laura in Vermont

Hi Sally,
Your first line about a happy retirement only being possible under certain conditions really hit hard.

I personally don't know anyone who has no money worries ever, whether retired or not. As for the rest, stuff is out there to be enjoyed.

Retirement is a stage of life in which, yes, we do see our older friends and relatives pass on. But there are ways to stay in touch with the younger ones in our lives so we can still see the births, wild birthday parties, prom dresses and graduations too.

Those of us who have jobs we value probably could stay longer, barring health problems. That would keep us in a comfortable loop. But too many of us feel like things are passing us by and we can't do all that we would like to do and work too. So we leap.

It is so sad that we overly identify with work and let it take over our lives. We can be so much more than draft horses for hire!

So no, there's no perfection in retirement, it's just another stage of life, but the key word is life. So don't waste it. Try something, anything, and if it doesn't captivate you, move on. The real waste of time is deciding to do nothing!

What? Gee - Find Your Niche
by: Judy - Columbus, OH

What kind of advise is that? Most of us work till we are 62, 65 or 66 so we can look forward to retirement - To write something like this is very depressing news for people still working and looking forward to their retirement - You shouldn't tell them to stop working at all.

My Husband retired in 2012 and loves-loves-loves not working - I think most people feel this way - Some do not - But, you just have to find your niche.

You certainly deserve this time for yourself - I, myself at age 62, found a part-time job that I loved - Now 72, I only work 1+ day a week (Admin).

I'm in a theater group that I love - and I have been a volunteer in an assistant nursing facility for 13 years - You can be very HAPPY :-) in retirement.

You just need to find what makes you happy - Yes, Find Your Niche!

Think hard about retirement
by: Weez R

Wow, it is a great big world out there and things to do! People need to get out of their comfort zone and try some new things!

Read some books on explorers:

Some of you on Medicare can get free exercise thru Silver Sneakers program.

Other activities:

Work is done! Time to live!

by: Sandy

Sally, when I read your note, it made me sad. Why is work our only main source of joy? Why can't we find a replacement whether it be volunteerism, hobbies or improving/maintaining our health?

I ask these questions rhetorically and not judgmentally because many of us feel as you do. but when I see it written down, as you so honestly did, it seems sad.

There are several wonderfully optimistic people on this site who have unlocked the key to their retirement satisfaction without work.

I hope it will help you and me, and others who feel the same way, to find joy in the present, gratitude in what we have and hope for the future. Blessings on the journey.

"Reality of retirement"
by: Ricardo

Your observations of retirement are "spot on", AND very practical........births, baptisms, graduations, and weddings lead later in life to illnesses, hospitals, nursing homes, wakes and funerals.......the cycles AND realities of life.

MANY never reach the age of greying hair and grandchildren, appreciate the positives in life and accept the negatives, for they build character and strength during this trip thru life.

Grab the moment, tomorrow may not come!

Surplus Time
by: Joe W.

Too much time to think could be a positive factor in your retirement. With too much time and a serious pursuit of lifelong learning us seniors gain more valuable wisdom, and that can be a good thing.

Younger people often claim that the wisdom gained by seniors throughout their working life is already obsolete. I agree when they talk about us in the past sense. But we all can show them that we have the power to upgrade our skills and concentrate on those activities that makes us happy.

When we are in our 'happy state' nobody can tear as down as being unimportant or useless but we are a re-skilled 'grey power' source that is eager to participate meaningfully in our own communities.

To Sally
by: Anonymous

Oh my do I ever agree with you. I loved my job and, as a teacher I had two plus months off every year if I didn't wish to teach summer school.

I retired to help out my daughter (5 kids, meant moving many miles away) and then my son married and had two little girls. It was fun playing and watching them.

But my son has moved away to Ca, which I dislike and won't move to and my daughter's pretty much are now grown to an age where they neither need or are too intersted in grandparents. Would love my job back but you are quite right, people don't rush to hire an old one.

We makes our choices and take the goods and bads with them but definitely think and don't assume retirement is a wonderful thing.

Very True!
by: Anonymous

Truer words have never been spoken, and spoken quite eloquently. Thank you for voicing my exact feelings.

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