Saturday, August 12, 2017

Countdown to Hubby's retirement

We had a lovely lunch today with friends of 40 years who we hadn't seen for 3 years. As expected the conversation came around to my Hubby's retirement in 7 weeks, me already being retired and the woman of the couple thinking about retiring in June.

So the big question was "What do/will you do with your time?"

I think that is the hardest thing for people who have had an engaging professional career with little time or inclination for hobbies or avocations, no grandchildren (or at least none nearby), and little idea of what will replace the satisfactions of their work, the structure of work days and the enjoyment of spending time with colleagues.

I know I continue to struggle with this and lost what I had settled on with our cross-country move. I also spent the last year focused on our house sale, house purchase & move. Bit by bit I am trying out new activities to try to recreate my life in a satisfying way.

Hubby hasn't thought about it yet - or so he claims. Our friend genuinely had no idea how she would want to spend her time.

How have you approached this or seen others approach it? What has worked - or not worked - for you?

Let's get a discussion going.

12 comments:

  1. I had the same concerns before my retirement in June of 2010. That's why I started my blog, Thoughts from a Bag Lady in Waiting. Though I had financial concerns, I also wondered what I would do with my time. I settled on three goals for my first year of retirement: (1) to learn to teach English as a second language; (2) to participate in a Habitat for Humanity build in an area affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; and (3) to take a course in mediation. I did all three. #3 turned out to be a passion which I have pursued since then.

    Also, may I recommend Road Scholar (used to be Elderhostel)? There are many hundreds of trips, courses, adventures offered through that organization; it's open to people over 50.

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    1. You had some fantastic large goals! We have been on a couple of Road Scholar trips and really enjoyed them. Hopefully more in the future.

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  2. I think it's much, much easier if you are a person who has some serious hobbies while working (admittedly not always easy). I was a mainly at home spouse who had some intense hobbies already. My sister in law just lost her job and will probably not get another similar and is looking to retire, and is working on the "what will I do thing" when her husband is not retired, I sometimes think you just have to accept that the first year post work is often about "finding yourself" a second time?

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    1. Good points. Neither of us had strong hobbies by the time we retired which for me was as consulting work faded away and I had a series of health issues. Hubby's retirement is planned but he isn't sure what he will do although last night he mentioned taking a film making class as an option.

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  3. I have read, given and recommended the following book more times than I can count because it really is that good in helping with the retirement transition: The Joy of Not Working, by Ernie Zelinsky.

    Otherwise, my only advice is that it does take time to fully transition from a work to retirement mentality, upwards of three years in my case. Forward momentum, in other words.

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    1. I have also read the book and found it very encouraging! I think you advice about the amount of time it takes is wise and I have also noticed the need to change direction periodically.

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  4. I finally have time to think, read, pray and enjoy the back yard. :).

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    1. Yes, time to do what we want is the great pleasure.

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  5. For me, retirement activities are always shifting - and that's a good thing! After working for the same employer for 31 years, I enjoy being able to try new things and, if they're not for me, move on. I think the most important thing anyone can do for themselves in retirement is to be open to the unexpected...to learn new skills / develop existing interests / meet new people or redefine your on-going relationships. I think it's also essential to develop your own life balance - how much time do you want to spend on your own or with others?

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    1. Great point about thinking about how to balance one's "new life".

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  6. Still working through this. I would suggest staying busy, sampling new activities but continuing to do things you love. Congratulations!

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  7. I retired about 3 years ago and love it, although I'm still figuring things out. I found a volunteer job for a non-profit that I did once a week, and joined a neighborhood book club. I also took a Spanish class and got more involved in yoga. About a year into my retirement, we moved out of state. The process of selling the house, organizing the move, and getting settled into our new house took up a lot of time and energy. Once I could take a breath, I returned to some of the things I'd done in my prior location: volunteering, a book club, and yoga. I also joined a women's group and am taking an evening history class. I think suddenly having unstructured time after years of working can be unsettling, and it can take a while to discover your passion. It also takes time to make friends. We have family here and they have introduced us to some of their friends who have since become our friends. I am an introvert and I find that stepping out of my comfort zone and reaching out has been very helpful. As you get settled in your new town, I am sure you'll find plenty of fulfilling things to do and will make new friends.

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