Unwanted Retirement Advice

(Long Island, NY)


I too am suffering from a very difficult adjustment, or buyer's remorse, as another blogger had called it.

I retired primarily b/c of some chronic health issues & am considering applying for disability. I'm finding, however, that everyone I know or meet wants to know what I'm doing with my time, and has advice for what I should be doing now that I'm retired.

Join various groups, travel, volunteer, find another job, etc... If I were able to do these kinds of things, I probably would have chosen to keep working. I don't like discussing my personal situation with others.

What can I say to politely decline their suggestions - I know they mean well.

Thank you,

Comments for Unwanted Retirement Advice

Click here to add your own comments

Be honest
by: Char

When someone ask what your doing in retirement,
tell them "exactly what I want to do, when I want to it and if I feel like doing it."

If they suggest things to you, keep an open mind and a smile and be honest. If they suggest something you have not considered (you never know) - smile and say never considered that, I "may" give it some thought. If I decide its something I would be interested in, I might consider it.

If they suggest something you have no interest in tell them clearly that might be something they may enjoy or are looking forward to doing in their future but it is NOT you and you would have no interest in it. "period"...

Honestly is a good way to keep good friends and if they are good friends, they will appreciate that. If they get their tail feathers ruffled, then perhaps they are not really a great friend after all.

Sadly sometimes people tend to want to control others so they can feel important. If that is the situation then you would probably not loose much if they don't like your blunt honesty.

Keep smiling.........

by: Craig

Simply complain to people that you have no spare time due to the time and energy that you have committed to completing writing your novel.

What's the book about?

Your policy is to not discuss the content of your novel until it is completed. Given how evidently strapped for time that you are, there will be no more suggestions to do this or that. Moreover, you will gain some mystique for being a novelist. Problem solved.

Me too!
by: Janice/Toronto Ontario

My situation is similar to yours. I have also found it difficult what to tell them.

I have found that if I say that I am keeping busy and then turn the questions over to how they are doing that might just keep them from inquiring further. If they inquire further, then the other suggestions from the retirees below are great like "that's a great suggestion I'll surely think about it".

It is your life and only you know your own capabilities and what you can do from day to day. Coffee friends are great-just spend a little time together either at home or out for an hour or so!

All the best.

Also searching
by: Elizabeth , West Virginia

I did not retire until I was 82, it has been a difficult adjustment for me due to a sudden decrease in mobility. My mind is 45 but my body is 83.

I have tried to find some weekly volunteer work, but find my cane, whose name is Fred, and I are not met with open arms. So, at the moment I am knitting for charity and Christmas, have 12 snail mail friends and do a lot of reading.

I find my pen pals add so much to my life, learning from each other and sharing ideas. I do miss the work atmosphere and friends, but I keep looking for things to keep me busy here at home. We old bitties have so much to share, the trick is to find the place where it has some value. If you enjoy writing, I have begun a journal of memories, just pieces of the past in no special order, my children told me they knew nothing about my younger days. It is amazing how events long buried will surface.

I will keep searching and hope you will find an outlet for your talents and energy.

by: freddy/jersey

Is the advice in response to something you're saying or bringing up ? You may be able to change the exchange by simply not starting "that" conversation.
Just a thought...

perspective alternative
by: Anonymous

Well, I would be grateful if anyone gave ANY thought to me. It is a gift to have someone share an idea with you. But it is all in the perspective, this is one perspective you could try.

In response
by: mary

Society itself pushes us to "do", volunteer, join groups, classes etc. sometimes I wish someone would just say "hey, it's ok to just putz around your home, garden, read, watch tv, get on the computer, do a home craft or sit and think! It's almost like its a push to stay young, as our society fears getting old like the plague.

Nice one!
by: Gordon G.Kinghorn

Nicely put Elna Nugent, I couldn't have penned my own sentiments regarding this particular issue any better than your own - the proverbial nail firmly thumped on the head - great response most definitely. x

Wayne Dyer Suggestion
by: Anonymous

In retirement you are the CEO of yourself and nobody has the power to tell you what you should do. The late Wayne Dyer was a master of psychology & philosophy.

Wayne's possible suggestion to people that want to express their feelings and thoughts toward what your life direction should be would say, "Thanks you very much for your kind suggestions. I haven't thought about that. I'll give your idea some serious consideration."

Then as the CEO of your own life you are Free to decide what is the best answer for yourself, without having to worry about what other people are thinking about you or what they want for your life should be like.

Joe W.

Unwanted Retirement Advice
by: Paula

I know what you mean, Elaine. I went through the same thing, even lost a friend because I rejected her "advice".

People do mean well but if they aren't suffering from illness that keeps them from being active it's hard for them to understand or relate to someone who is. I think you just have to smile, say thank you for the advice, and do what pleases you.

That's all that matters anyway. You may not be able to stop them from giving advice but you can choose how you will respond to them.

I hope it works out well for you.

by: Sheila, Cambridge Canada

When folks offer advice, just nod, smile,thank them for their interest, then move on. Keep them as friends, however. In your position, you can't have too many.

what r u doing since retirement?
by: mildred/tn

Why do u ask?

Figuring it out
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

Dear Long Island:

Here are some things you might say or do when people give you unwanted personal advice.

You could turn it around by saying, " Hey, enough of me, how are you doing? ( We never know what other people are struggling with)

Or you could say,"Thanks for the advice- and given enough time, I think I will eventually figure all this out".

You said you know these people mean well and that might be the most important thing to remember...that they care enough to care and want to help.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Write Your Own Story Here (others can provide feedback).