What's your usual retirement day like ?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:31 am

Retirement represents closing of a door, the final exist from a room in which one has spent most of his/her life. Generally, people are reluctant to close doors, however useless or even harmful various rooms may have been.

Retirement also opens doors to new rooms. The best parts of this discussion are descriptions of these new rooms.

Victoria
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby bhead33 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:37 am

VictoriaF wrote:Retirement represents closing of a door, the final exist from a room in which one has spent most of his/her life. Generally, people are reluctant to close doors, however useless or even harmful various rooms may have been.

Retirement also opens doors to new rooms. The best parts of this discussion are descriptions of these new rooms.

Victoria


I really like this way of thinking - thank you!
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby midareff » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:45 am

get up around 7:15 - 7:30 .. after coffee and Joe Kernan, depending on temperature, go out with wife and fast walk 2.25 miles. After a shower there is reading, news, movies until lunch. Afternoon can be window shopping, outside chores, any appointments .... walk around a mall or outdoor people watching. Perhaps photography (hobby), music (hobby), research on the net .. early dinner followed by news, TV shows, movies, etc.

The days fly by .... retired last April and can't stomach the thought of having to answer to anyone (besides wifey) about anything ever again. As another poster said .. if I got nothing done today it's because I wasn't finished from getting nothing done yesterday. done today. Don't know how I ever had the time to go to work. LOL
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Slow016 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:10 am

Best. Thread. Ever.

Not being sarcastic or smarmy, very much enjoy the insights and information this is providing.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Toons » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:15 am

dewey wrote:I'm reminded that Bertrand Russell once said that enjoying spending time doing nothing is never time wasted.


+1 :happy
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby JBmadera » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:29 am

obgraham wrote:0800 Get up. Ablutions. Read online paper.
0900 Plan rest of day
0930 Revise plan
1000 Nap
1200 Lunch
100 Wander aimlessly, then waste more time on internet
500 What's for dinner?
600 Eat
730 Jeopardy
800 Do stuff I planned to but never got around to
1100 zzzzzz

Repeat as necessary. No time for being bored!


I just love this post!
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby reggiesimpson » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:37 am

I was 35 when my Dad retired at 70. Six months into his retirement i said to him "Dad are you not bored being retired?" He said..."What are you kidding me. I absolutely love getting up when i want walking to the end of the driveway, picking up the newspaper and reading it at my leisure over a cup of tea." I didnt understand.................i do now.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Fallible » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:19 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Retirement represents closing of a door, the final exist from a room in which one has spent most of his/her life. Generally, people are reluctant to close doors, however useless or even harmful various rooms may have been.

Retirement also opens doors to new rooms. The best parts of this discussion are descriptions of these new rooms.

Victoria

Agreed and I hope one of the new rooms you enter in retirement is a writing "room" to express more good thoughts like these. :happy
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:14 pm

Fallible wrote:Agreed and I hope one of the new rooms you enter in retirement is a writing "room" to express more good thoughts like these. :happy


Thank you, Fallible. I try...

Victoria
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby RenoJay » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:35 pm

I'm not retired, but I've been living like a retired person since I was a child. I was always one of those guys who would focus on the task at hand, figure out the quickest, most efficient way to get it done, do it, and then be bored silly. For years I wondered how others spent their days. In college, I remember having long conversations with my roommates (who seemed to need much longer than I to do their homework and study for exams) about what people do with their time. After college, I went on binges where I would attempt to pick up many new hobbies at once, like the year I traveled to my 6th and 7th continents, ran a marathon, scuba dived, took saxophone lessons, took sailing lessons and took a wine course, all while starting a new business and dating new women on the weekends. Most of those new hobbies didn't stick for long. Eventually I got married and realized how much time a wife and kids take up. Also, I realized I accomplish more productive things in an hour than my wife does in 10 hours, but she never seems to worry about being bored. In fact, she often complains about being too busy. (Go figure.) Finally, and most importantly, I start accepting that things I always considered mundane (shopping, cleaning) are legitimate ways to spend time and don't need to be absolutely rushed.

The thing I'm starting to learn is that boredom is more of an emotional judgement about what I'm doing than an objective evaluation of it. When I hang out with friends, I realize they're doing the same stuff (or lack of stuff) as me, but they do it slower and with less pressure on themselves. Usually I feel better after hanging with friends.

That said, I am who I am and tend to put pressure on myself. My biggest joys are:
1. Time with the kids when we're either having real fun or learning something new. If you have grandchildren, try this. If not, start pressuring your kids to squeeze some out ASAP! :D
2. Learning something new on my own, often from a book while killing time at Barnes & Nobel.
3. Travel, although this is a lot harder to do for me now with little kids.
4. Exercise. There really is a high that comes from exercise, especially if done outdoors.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Whatyear? » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:28 pm

Great thread! I actually expected to be "put off" about the thought of retirement by reading it, thinking people would be saying they were bored, or else cautioning that you really have to have a "plan" to retire. But I'm happy to see there are plenty of people just enjoying life at a more leisurely pace. That's what I look forward to!
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Bustoff » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:52 pm

RenoJay wrote:The thing I'm starting to learn is that boredom is more of an emotional judgement about what I'm doing than an objective evaluation of it.


RenoJay, you magnificent ******* ! You just helped me realize that this nagging discomfort may not be boredom, but rather a self-imposed guilt trip that I should still be working, or that I should be doing something productive at all times. Thanks for sharing.
“There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can.” | ― Mark Twain
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby gatorking » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:20 pm

Some notes from the book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free - Ernie J. Zelinski"
Fundamentals for attaining personal fulfillment during retirement:
1. Finding who you truly are and being this person
2. Recreating your life through personal interests and creative pursuits, possibly through a new, part-time career
3. Making optimum use of your extra leisure time
4. Maintaining physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
5. Spiritual fulfillment
6. Great relationships with family and friends

Best indicators of whether individuals will find retirement easy:
- ability to cope financially
- satisfaction with life prior to retirement
- ability to retire at the time preferred

Get A Life Tree: Options for Retirement
- Activities that turn me on now
- Activities that turned me on in the past
- New activities I have thought of doing
- Activities that will get me physically fit
pg. 85-91 have ~300 activites!!

Three Important Needs: Structure → Community → Purpose
Commit yourself to be a lifelong learner and your life will never be without purpose.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby chaz » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:24 pm

Relaxing time for me.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby hicabob » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:32 pm

gatorking wrote:Some notes from the book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free - Ernie J. Zelinski"
Fundamentals for attaining personal fulfillment during retirement:
1. Finding who you truly are and being this person
2. Recreating your life through personal interests and creative pursuits, possibly through a new, part-time career
3. Making optimum use of your extra leisure time
4. Maintaining physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
5. Spiritual fulfillment
6. Great relationships with family and friends

Best indicators of whether individuals will find retirement easy:
- ability to cope financially
- satisfaction with life prior to retirement
- ability to retire at the time preferred

Get A Life Tree: Options for Retirement
- Activities that turn me on now
- Activities that turned me on in the past
- New activities I have thought of doing
- Activities that will get me physically fit
pg. 85-91 have ~300 activites!!

Three Important Needs: Structure → Community → Purpose
Commit yourself to be a lifelong learner and your life will never be without purpose.



+1 - Mr Zelinski has really thought about retirement extensively and written a couple books. Not the most high-brow tomes perhaps, but well-considered.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby bengal22 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:30 pm

Not sure I have a typical day but I now can do those things that I love more often:

1. Golf - 8 months out of the year I try to play 3 times a week with friends. Before retirement I would play 10 times a year(usually on vacation)
2. Volunteer - I now have time to tutor kids after school and we also volunteer at the local theatre association and do work for our church
3. Read - I am now reading more than I have since I was in college.
4. Gym - During the winter I have been going to the Y and spending 1.5 - 2 hours in the morning lifting and doing cardio
5. Pool - we have a neighborhood pool that is 100 yards away that i try to hit during the summer about 4-5 times a week
6. January - that's when we go to Florida and relax(walk on the beach, eat fish, blow the conch shell, yada, yada, yada
7. Learn about investments through boglehead
8. Talk to my wife
9. walk the dog every day
10. Take naps in the afternoon instead of crashing in the recliner after dinner
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby feverdoc » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:09 pm

I've been retired from the practice of medicine, as an Infectious Disease Consultant, for two years. Retirement is wonderful!! I never realized how stressed I was at work until I no longer had to work 12-14 hours a day caring for very ill patients. I now play golf with my wife or golf buddies or fish almost every day living in Florida. I read my medical journals, monitor the market, cook, and surf the net. I spend almost all my time with my wife of 42 years who shares my interest in golf and fishing and most of my other activities. We play duplicate bridge and meet with friends fairly frequently. Unless illness should limit our activities we are rarely bored. I also play chess on line with one of my grandsons and I'm teaching one of my grandaughters to play golf and do schrimshaw. We travel mostly to see family and have little interest in travelling other than this. Unless you have few outside interests from your work, it's unlikely that you will be bored.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby SC Hoosier » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:28 pm

I have bookmarked this thread. I need to read it often. I am 37 and I look forward to retirement too much. I love my life and my job. I am a super saver, sacrifice today for a better tomorrow, kind of guy. I need to read this post often to remind me that I need to enjoy today, because it's not like retirement is heaven. Life will still have stress and struggle. I honestly can't think of what I would do with my time after a couple months. I would need something to make me feel useful. Someone needs to benefit from my life besides me. I don't want to change that about myself. I'm so glad I've found this forum. Maybe I'd like to take a couple months off and then go back to work. :D
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby graveday » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:49 pm

Definitely enjoy your life today and spend what it takes to do that, with a weather eye to the future. I would hate to be one who scrimped and sacrificed and put off enjoying what money can do and then had an early death.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby CaliJim » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:24 am

I'm in the middle of reading "Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, and the Truth About Reality" by Brad Warner. He talks about the very human and common phenomenon of the dissatisfaction felt when achieving a goal [such as retirement]. We dream IF ONLY I [was retired/had a cat/had a million dollars/insert other dreams here]...

Werner wrote:We want to keep our dreams as dreams. Once we achieve our goals, when our dreams become real, we see that they aren't quite as thrilling or as fulfilling or even as interesting as we'd imagined they'd be.... When your dreams come true to the letter it's even harder. You can't bullshit yourself with any more if only's


Werner wrote:Once I'd achieved my goal I had to admit to myself it wasn't what I expected and that it did not in fact make everything perfect. And this will happen to anyone who attains any kind of "success" no mater how it is defined - even if success is defined as complete, unsurpassed, perfect enlightenment. You will discover upon reaching it that whatever it is, it's not what you expected and nothing is any more perfect than it ever was.



So let this boredom in retirement be a lesson about the cycle of seeking and grasping ever higher levels of achievement.

Let it be an invitation to savor this very moment, drink tea, read the paper, chat with a spouse or friend, and let the dog take you for a walk.

What you see, feel, touch, taste, smell, and do, this very moment, is enough.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:23 am

CaliJim wrote:I'm in the middle of reading "Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, and the Truth About Reality" by Brad Warner. He talks about the very human and common phenomenon of the dissatisfaction felt when achieving a goal [such as retirement]. We dream IF ONLY I [was retired/had a cat/had a million dollars/insert other dreams here].


It's true that achievement of a goal depreciates it, but I think there are qualitative differences among goals. Attainment of a specific goal such as a house, a car, or a trip to a dream destination quickly fades away. In contrast, a general goal such as a professional degree, financial independence, or retirement brings with it new opportunities and new goals.

I think the key to successful retirement is to uncover and realize these opportunities--not all of them, not too many of them at once, but moving naturally from one to another, staying with each of them while it is bringing pleasure and then changing to something new.

Victoria
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby CaliJim » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:17 pm

VictoriaF wrote:the key to successful retirement is to uncover and realize these opportunities--not all of them, not too many of them at once, but moving naturally from one to another


Yes. I agree. There is a flow from goal to goal. And I like that imagery of "moving naturally".

Werner's point, possibly, is trite: good goals are good, BS goals are BS. We need to have goals; we need to eat. Only - strip away the BS, the "If Onlys", from the goals, and MOVE NATURALLY!! 8-)
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby graveday » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:47 pm

Moving naturally as one can given age related osteoarthritis, that is.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby EternalOptimist » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:51 pm

Read this book, it's easy to digest, is interesting and you can see what others are doing. The author is good at addressing the various components/challenges to retirement. I read it and go back to it when I feel the need. Enjoy :D PS, we all need a reason to wake up in the morning, the challenge is to find that reason.

"How to Love Your Retirement: The Guide to the Best of Your Life" by Barbara Waxman
Last edited by EternalOptimist on Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby EternalOptimist » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:54 pm

SC Hoosier wrote:I have bookmarked this thread. I need to read it often. I am 37 and I look forward to retirement too much. I love my life and my job. I am a super saver, sacrifice today for a better tomorrow, kind of guy. I need to read this post often to remind me that I need to enjoy today, because it's not like retirement is heaven. Life will still have stress and struggle. I honestly can't think of what I would do with my time after a couple months. I would need something to make me feel useful. Someone needs to benefit from my life besides me. I don't want to change that about myself. I'm so glad I've found this forum. Maybe I'd like to take a couple months off and then go back to work. :D



Yes, many young people think that 'retirement' is the answer to all the world's problems. It is not, you need to have plans for it as you did in any other stage otherwise there wil be frustrations and disappointments.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby EternalOptimist » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:59 pm

Bustoff wrote:
RenoJay wrote:The thing I'm starting to learn is that boredom is more of an emotional judgement about what I'm doing than an objective evaluation of it.


RenoJay, you magnificent ******* ! You just helped me realize that this nagging discomfort may not be boredom, but rather a self-imposed guilt trip that I should still be working, or that I should be doing something productive at all times. Thanks for sharing.




Right, baby boomers feel the need to keep "moving the ball down the field" when they don't they think something is wrong. We need to change our mindsets and embrace our freedom
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby LFKB » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:43 pm

Slapshot wrote:A typical day goes something like this: Get up around 7:00, have breakfast with the wife, and read The Boston Globe cover to cover, beginning with the sports page. Then we take the dog out for a 30 minute or so hike in the woods at various places in town. After that I head to the gym every other day for an hour and a half workout. There's a good crew of other retirees to chat with and compare notes. On the other days I head out on my bike for a 15-25 mile ride. By now it's around 12:30 or so. I make lunch and eat in front of the computer while checking numerous sports, skiing, news, weather and investment websites. This can involve as much as 2 hours or more. Sometimes I'm researching stocks or just educating myself on a wide range of topics. I also write in my blog on occasion. After that we run our errands, go shopping, etc. By then it's time for dinner. After dinner we take the dog out again, if it's winter we go around the neighborhood; at other times we'll head out somewhere to let him run. Then it's time to settle in for the night, me to read and watch sports on the downstairs TV, while my wife and dog retreat to the bedroom where she reads and watches her shows.

Besides this typical day, I occasionally do meals-on-wheels at the local senior center. Plus we have our seasonal activities. In winter we head up to Maine every other week from Jan.-April to ski. Spring and fall we mountain bike a lot, and during the summer we head to the beach a couple of days a week if the weather is good. Often we combine biking with the beach. We also head out once a month to visit my wife's 94 year old dad, a 3 hour drive away. He still lives on his own, drives, does his own shopping, etc. But we help him with some stuff that he has a hard time doing himself, plus we give the house a good cleaning. We also travel 3 or 4 times a year for a week or so at a time. Our kids live far away, so a couple of those trips are to visit them.

The key for us is our health, something I thank God for every day. I've been retired for 8 years and have never been bored. In fact, I tell people it's like being a kid on summer vacation, only with the funds to do stuff.


Sounds like you're doing it well :beer
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Lon » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:37 pm

This is one of the reasons that I live in a very active Retirement Community. I play Water Volley Ball for two hours on Monday, Wed, Friday, 18 holes of golf on Tuesday and nine holes on Thursday, Bocce Ball most Saturday mornings, occasional Table Tennis. Go to bed usually about 11 PM after watching a movie or doco on Netflix. Usually up a 6:30 AM, grab coffee and spend two hours more or less on the computer. Read a biography or new novel.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby natureexplorer » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:39 pm

jsl11 wrote:My preference would be to select something that does not have a fixed schedule, so you can particpate as much or as little as you want, whenever you want.
Excellent advice.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Lon » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:45 pm

natureexplorer wrote:
jsl11 wrote:My preference would be to select something that does not have a fixed schedule, so you can particpate as much or as little as you want, whenever you want.
Excellent advice.


A fixed schedule of activities is only fixed for you if you choose to participate at that fixed time.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Exuberent » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:19 am

Week days I wake up at 6 AM when my wife is getting ready to go to work, have breakfast with my wife then get dressed and head over to a nearby thoroughbred racing stable by 7:30 AM where I help muck out the stalls until about 11:30 AM - then I usually either get a riding lesson from one of the exercise riders in a enclosed ring up the street or ride out in the forest on a stable horse if any of exercise riders or the trainer wants some company when they take thoroughbreds out into the forest for some R & R. Then it is a 10 minute walk back home for some (more) exercise and stretching, a shower and lunch. An hour or so of internet / email, then an hour of French lessons (using a text book and the radio) and then time to think about what to make for dinner (I am in charge of that on weekdays - mostly salads as we don't eat until about 8 PM), make dinner and look forward to my wife getting home. Dinner and conversation with the wife, some reading and then off to bed about 10:30 PM. Am taking sessions in Alexander Technique one afternoon a week, my jury is still out as to whether or not it will help me with my riding (the original purpose) but it has made me much more aware of my (bad) posture and is helping to correct that. I will admit that learning to ride a horse at this point in my life is probably the most difficult thing I have tried - it looks so easy when you see little kids doing it. Any frustration and the horse picks it up pretty quickly - you get annoyed at yourself and the horse starts to get annoyed with you and the spiral begins... In any event, I am hoping to ride (on a thoroughbred) in a race for charity later this year. Weekends we sleep a bit late and then do whatever - relax, see a movie, go to a museum, talk a long walk, have friends over for dinner (my wife loves to cook and entertain). Fortunately we get to travel a bit too as my wife has a rather generous vacation time allotment and we have heeded the advice of the good people on this forum in regard to savings and investments.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby gd » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:18 am

One minor thing that struck me when free from an external routine is that I spend a lot of time watching the wildlife in my semi-feral yard-- it's hard to get stuff done outside, because I'm always distracted by birds, or squirrels, or dragonflies, or whatever. I've discovered that other animals spend a lot of time quietly resting but (usually) attentively watching. Even the crazed chipmunks that always seem relentlessly hyperactive can be found sitting quietly when I'm patient and persistent enough. Then I watch people recreating with their cell phones in hand, or iPods, or gasoline-powered toys, or just never, ever stopping in their busy boomer lives. Their only waking quiescent time comes while barraged by devices pouring other people's thoughts and voices into their heads, absorbing rather than observing. It disconnects people from the world around them, and while it may narcotize and satisfy the individual, it's probably not a good thing in the long run.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:20 am

Exuberent wrote:An hour or so of internet / email, then an hour of French lessons (using a text book and the radio)


Your location is "France," and still you are using books and radio for learning French?

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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:26 am

gd wrote:One minor thing that struck me when free from an external routine is that I spend a lot of time watching the wildlife in my semi-feral yard-- it's hard to get stuff done outside, because I'm always distracted by birds, or squirrels, or dragonflies, or whatever. I've discovered that other animals spend a lot of time quietly resting but (usually) attentively watching. Even the crazed chipmunks that always seem relentlessly hyperactive can be found sitting quietly when I'm patient and persistent enough.


But is the wildlife quiet due to the need for introspection and contemplation? Or it's simply driven by an instinct to survive?

Victoria
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby More Please » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:29 am

:wink: 0600-0630 wake up,
Pat and scratch dog to get dog up
Go downstairs and make a cappuccino , let dog out, fix dog's breakfast
Get back in bed with cappuccino and dog, read on ipad news and Boglehead site
08:30 dress and walk dog
09:30 eat cereal
10:00 work on list of chores left by my husband ie. fix damaged sprinkler heads, mow lawn, vacuum mother in laws house, repair toilet at mother in laws house, mow lawn at mother in laws house, grocery shop, do ironing, vacuum my house, water plants, pay bills, buy stuff at Lowes, laundry, go with mother in law to get insurance on house that she doesn't think she needs.
1630 scratch off the 3 chores completed from list and have a cup of tea. Think of excuses before husband returns home.
20:00 bed :happy :D :D :D
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby graveday » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:21 pm

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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby bowest » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:43 pm

obgraham wrote:0800 Get up. Ablutions. Read online paper.
0900 Plan rest of day
0930 Revise plan
1000 Nap
1200 Lunch
100 Wander aimlessly, then waste more time on internet
500 What's for dinner?
600 Eat
730 Jeopardy
800 Do stuff I planned to but never got around to
1100 zzzzzz

Repeat as necessary. No time for being bored!


Love it! If you don't mind, I've entered this in my calendar for July 1, 2030 (and hopefully can use this plan sooner).
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Exuberent » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:29 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Exuberent wrote:An hour or so of internet / email, then an hour of French lessons (using a text book and the radio)


Your location is "France," and still you are using books and radio for learning French?

Victoria


What happened initially was that it was very easy to fall in with the English speaking ex-pat community for social / volunteering activities hence not much conversational practice - I am trying to remedy that now by speaking French as much as possible (just about always) when I am out but I am still having problems with listening comprehension - I get the gist of the conversation but miss some details. I'll get there.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:19 am

Exuberent wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Exuberent wrote:An hour or so of internet / email, then an hour of French lessons (using a text book and the radio)


Your location is "France," and still you are using books and radio for learning French?

Victoria


What happened initially was that it was very easy to fall in with the English speaking ex-pat community for social / volunteering activities hence not much conversational practice - I am trying to remedy that now by speaking French as much as possible (just about always) when I am out but I am still having problems with listening comprehension - I get the gist of the conversation but miss some details. I'll get there.


Thanks.

I am thinking of coming to France to study French for a few months to a year, but you are way past that level. Best of luck with mastering the conversation,

Victoria
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby gd » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:45 am

VictoriaF wrote:But is the wildlife quiet due to the need for introspection and contemplation? Or it's simply driven by an instinct to survive?
Victoria

10 years ago I'd have said instinct to survive, such as watching for predators, guarding territory. But I've become a squirrel watcher in my retirement, and have seen too many examples of playfulness, moods, relationships, personalities to view them as simple fuzzy little automatons. Introspection and contemplation? It's a question of degree. I know and see people I'd claim are largely incapable of introspection and contemplation, particularly when given access to electronic media. And it's a question of imposing ethnocentric, or maybe speciescentric, personal values on someone/thing else. Human intelligence and self-awareness is an evolutionary trick whose long-term effectiveness is still unproven. That squirrel sitting quietly on a branch sunning itself probably knows things about my yard that I or an ecologist can't even imagine. My squirrel-watching retirement is slowly revealing that the meaning of life and my role in it is most likely being played out in the obscure details of my backyard, and the squirrels have been sitting there on their branch watching it all along, knowing pretty much exactly what's going on as I flounder. Which one of us is clueless? And I'm jealous of the tails, too.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:01 am

gd wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:But is the wildlife quiet due to the need for introspection and contemplation? Or it's simply driven by an instinct to survive?
Victoria

10 years ago I'd have said instinct to survive, such as watching for predators, guarding territory. But I've become a squirrel watcher in my retirement, and have seen too many examples of playfulness, moods, relationships, personalities to view them as simple fuzzy little automatons. Introspection and contemplation? It's a question of degree. I know and see people I'd claim are largely incapable of introspection and contemplation, particularly when given access to electronic media. And it's a question of imposing ethnocentric, or maybe speciescentric, personal values on someone/thing else.


An imposition of values would be claiming that one specie's values (our) are of higher quality than other species' values (squirrels'). But if we accept that our respective values are incomparable then the concepts of playfulness, moods, relationships and personalities also become distinct and difficult to translate between species.

gd wrote:Human intelligence and self-awareness is an evolutionary trick whose long-term effectiveness is still unproven. That squirrel sitting quietly on a branch sunning itself probably knows things about my yard that I or an ecologist can't even imagine. My squirrel-watching retirement is slowly revealing that the meaning of life and my role in it is most likely being played out in the obscure details of my backyard, and the squirrels have been sitting there on their branch watching it all along, knowing pretty much exactly what's going on as I flounder. Which one of us is clueless? And I'm jealous of the tails, too.


The squirrel's knowledge of your yard is only impressive because the knowledge of your yard is important to you. Your squirrel does not know my yard, but neither the squirrel or you care about it. I also bet that your squirrel is unaware of fat tails however beautiful her tail is.

Victoria
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby graveday » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:39 am

gd wrote:
Human intelligence and self-awareness is an evolutionary trick whose long-term effectiveness is still unproven.



Oh, I don't know. I'd like to think that someone like Marie Curie would go a long ways to refuting that assertion. But that is only at the individual level. At the species level you're probably spot on.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Fallible » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:05 pm

gd wrote:One minor thing that struck me when free from an external routine is that I spend a lot of time watching the wildlife in my semi-feral yard-- it's hard to get stuff done outside, because I'm always distracted by birds, or squirrels, or dragonflies, or whatever. I've discovered that other animals spend a lot of time quietly resting but (usually) attentively watching. Even the crazed chipmunks that always seem relentlessly hyperactive can be found sitting quietly when I'm patient and persistent enough. Then I watch people recreating with their cell phones in hand, or iPods, or gasoline-powered toys, or just never, ever stopping in their busy boomer lives. Their only waking quiescent time comes while barraged by devices pouring other people's thoughts and voices into their heads, absorbing rather than observing. It disconnects people from the world around them, and while it may narcotize and satisfy the individual, it's probably not a good thing in the long run.


You are a true Observer of life, and I'd say it's not the animals that are the distractions, but the yard work. This quote from Charles Baudelaire may apply to some of what you've said: "Nature is a temple in which living columns sometimes emit confused words. Man approaches it through forests of symbols, which observe him with familiar glances."

I first learned that animals watch humans (though sadly we'll never know quite what they "think" of us) when I was a kid riding with family on a drive in farm country. A flat tire forced us to stop on a roadside next to a barnyard full of cows. We were all busy helping change the tire and not until we were done did we look again at the cows who now were neatly lined up along the fence watching us.

One of the more delightful experiences of my life was watching squirrels make a nest inside an old wood box off my porch. They had to enter the box head first through a tiny area that had warped open and would often get stuck part way into it. They'd finally squiggle their way in, then pop out again to get more nesting material. One time a squirrel arrived with a piece of cardboard almost as big as he was and I thought he'd never get it and himself through the hole. He fooled me. First he went inside, and from then on it was just a matter of his yanking the cardboard again and again through the hole. It took several minutes and all I could see was the cardboard gradually going down the opening. After the cardboard, I wished I could see what this nest looked like, but of course it was not to be. I was allowed one more fun part, when the babies had arrived and grown some and began sticking their little heads out the opening to see their new world. All this beautiful nature in one ugly box. :happy
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:03 pm

graveday wrote:
gd wrote:
Human intelligence and self-awareness is an evolutionary trick whose long-term effectiveness is still unproven.



Oh, I don't know. I'd like to think that someone like Marie Curie would go a long ways to refuting that assertion. But that is only at the individual level. At the species level you're probably spot on.


As all highly intelligent people, Marie Curie was probably striving for greater intelligence. As for self-awareness, she probably wished she were aware of the impact of the radiation on her body. Animals are sensitive to various ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum, but I don't think any can detect radioactivity.

Victoria
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby CaliJim » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:24 pm

Where is this self that we are aware of? We and the squirrels are one.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby caroljm36 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:09 pm

I am kinda worried about it.

Ten years ago I had all these plans for what I would do if I didn't have two jobs, got impatient and quite my night job as a musician. I went into "premature retirement mode"..did a lot of long distance biking, cross country skiing, competitive shooting, political activism, and volunteer work, while keeping my day job. Even a little travel.

But, sheesh, I pretty much got burnt out on everything and went back into music. Now that's gotten to be a grind, with the late hours and the equipment hauling and noise.

So I'm not sure how I'm going to handle real retirement. I can't think of anything I'd like to do that I haven't already done. :confused
Last edited by caroljm36 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby Fallible » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:20 pm

gd wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:But is the wildlife quiet due to the need for introspection and contemplation? Or it's simply driven by an instinct to survive?
Victoria

10 years ago I'd have said instinct to survive, such as watching for predators, guarding territory. But I've become a squirrel watcher in my retirement, and have seen too many examples of playfulness, moods, relationships, personalities to view them as simple fuzzy little automatons. ... That squirrel sitting quietly on a branch sunning itself probably knows things about my yard that I or an ecologist can't even imagine. My squirrel-watching retirement is slowly revealing that the meaning of life and my role in it is most likely being played out in the obscure details of my backyard, and the squirrels have been sitting there on their branch watching it all along, knowing pretty much exactly what's going on as I flounder. Which one of us is clueless? ...


Just wondering whether you have or have had pets of your own - dogs, cats (in particular, two or more of either or one of each), pet mice, birds, rabbits, the usual hamster, etc., - or if you've spent any time around large livestock like horses or cows, or other farm animals like sheep, pigs, mules/donkeys, goats, etc. Spending time around these strange and wonderful creatures often leads to studying up on them and getting to know them on their own terms. I read up on squirrels after watching the box nest and appreciated them even more.
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby SandraConcordCA » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:38 pm

30 years of working 9-5 - Telecommunications industry - retired 60 days.

7:00 - Make Coffee
8:00 - Check email and Facebook Accounts
9:00 - YMCA Water Aerobics class (3-4 days a week)
10:00 More Coffee & Breakfast
11-1 Surf the Web and Play Scrabble on Facebook
1:00 - Lunch Time
2-5:00 - Kindle Fire Time - read or play games on my Kindle fire. My favorite games: Where's my Water, Where's my Perry, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope
5:00 - Wine Time - Have a glass of Wine while waiting for my husband to cook a gourmet meal - he loves to cook and has a great wine cellar. Sometimes he sends me out for parsley, tomatoes or other ingredients.
6:00 - TV Time - Local News
7:00 - Nightly Business News - Love Suzie!
8-10:00 - Watch TV - Favorite shows - NCIS, Vegas, Top Chef and Housewives of Beverly Hills, House Hunters, House Hunters International.
10:00 - Watch News
10:15 - Time to sleep

Future goals: I plan to be more productive - I am thinking of becoming a YMCA Water Aerobics Instructor, volunteering for Wounded Warriors or Stand Down - for homeless vets, or working part time as a Cruise Agent - so I can go on free cruises - but not today - I am enjoying doing nothing....
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby reggiesimpson » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:57 pm

A common theme i have seen in these threads is that retired folks certainly have a terrific sense of humor. Retirement is worth it just for that alone!
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Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:07 pm

CaliJim wrote:We and the squirrels are one.

Especially when we squirrel money away.

Victoria
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