What's it like to Be Retired? Interesting Commentary by Irwin!

What Happened?

by Doris

It took a couple of years for the anxiety and depression to set in and I can honestly say I have never really experienced much depression in my life - I just sort of picked myself up and moved ahead. Not this time.

I retired from a busy job in NYC with long commute time and was really ready to pack it in. I moved out of state to be near my oldest son and two grandchildren. When I first built the house I had so much to do with just settling in and at the same time my mother became ill and passed away and visiting her frequently took up a lot of time - so I really did not hit the retirement brick wall until after she passed and this new house was done.

By that time the grandkids were two years older and visited me less and I have just become someone who buys them an occasional video game!

Life changed abruptly for me. I did not realize that building a house in a development would be so isolating. What was I thinking? People go off to work and school and I sit here. There are several retirees in the neighborhood who are wonderful people but they are all couples. This is a very couples area. I advise my single friends not to retire unless they find a partner.

My son is off two days during the week and we explore places, but I do not want to be his responsibility. Hence, I made the mistake of building in a suburban neighborhood, not within walking distance of even a coffee shop, and have to drive everywhere. After two years, realize this is not for me. Have decided to put house on the market after the holidays and spend the few months, once again, finding a place to live.

I am an amateur photographer, but most of the clubs and groups are miles away! In NYC I walked to classes and workshops. I wake up at 4:00 a.m. every day in a panic. I am reading an interesting book called "Nomadland" about this country's older people who are "houseless" because of losing everything int he financial crash of 2008. These people live in mobile homes - some makeshift - and travel the country in search of temporary work to help them survive.

Helps me realize that I am lucky to have the option of finding a roof over my head that does not have wheels. Though these people have more comradeship than I do. I need more of a sense of "Main Street" - a coffee shop to go to each day where people get to know me; more walkability. Thinking of moving to Northern California near my other son who lives in a small town so I don't have to drive fifty miles every day.

Feel bad about leaving my family here, but this is NOT for me.

Comments for What Happened?

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Wish I lived Nearby
by: Tracy

I can sympathize with your situation. I am part of a couple but I am retired (he’s not) and we DID buy in a subdivision because I didn’t want to be isolated with land and not know anyone. This was a relocation so I know NOBODY and my husband’s job hasn’t brought new friends into our lives.

I am very lonely and the subdivision is young busy families with nobody friendly. I thought getting a little job with a few hours would get me out and be social but the jobs pay so little it’s not worth leaving the house. Plus the jobs aren’t hiring older people and yes AGEISM is alive and well.

I DID find some comfort at the local gym which is a nice active social place. Here’s what I am going to do:

I am going to make do with where I am NOW but I WILL move back as soon as we can and reconnect with friends and family. Life is too short to be isolated without knowing people. It’s a mid sized city and you can walk to many places. Unlike where we are now.

I tried the MeetUps but people were already connected and didn’t seem to keen on opening up the group. So you go to one of those and feel even more isolated.

I am leaning towards snowbirding in a Del Webb type facility because I heard that has a lot of social programs. My motto these days has to be "this too shall pass" because I KNOW I get more depressed when the days get shorter.

Moving
by: Char

Happiness is for sure at the top of the list -
You did not say what state you are currently in but it seems you have a solvent retirement income in your current location.

I would just mention that CA is very expensive above the national average...so that might be something you consider.

Finding Oneself
by: Ricardo/U.S.A.

Read Ricardo's comment here.

Wendy moved to it's own page because its GOOD!

Life happened
by: Anonymous

Hi Doris,

Don't be too quick to make another change. Also if you live in a family area the spring is a better time to put your house up for sale.

Look around you. You may be able to set up a small business which could lead to friends and networking. Perhaps dog sitting or house sitting or photographing kids parties, etc.

Also you probably should do some exploring where you are and see if there are neighborhoods with more facilities that you could walk to.

Also stay friends with the older couples near you husbands generally die ahead of wives (sorry to be gruesome but it's true) and the ladies will need you.
Look around for volunteer activities that interst you, sometimes "causes" lead to friendship.

Good luc, you'll be fine. Having no economic worries is awesome!

You know the answer
by: Anonymous

You have answered your own question and that is to move to a more vibrant community.

You must do what’s best for you. It is your life and the only one you have (as far as we know!).

Be happy in your retirement x

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