Hedonic treadmill in retirement

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Re: Hedonic treadmill in retirement

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:05 pm

rj49 wrote:You might read "What Color is Your Parachute? For Retirement", one of the best book on retirement I've read. The part I took to heart most is that in retirement you have to find a way to recreate the positive aspects of a working life you're leaving behind: structure, being part of a group, daily social interactions, a sense of status and a certain amount of power and control, and a feeling of being a part of something larger. Travel and golf and gardening don't really deal with the loss of those values and aspects of your life, so unless you find a way to replace them, it's difficult to be happy and fulfilled. I have hobbies I love (reading, biking, films), but replacing the things from work is something I haven't managed to do yet, but will probably involve volunteering, hiking/biking clubs, and other forms of productive engagement.


rj49,

I agree that it's important to replace the positive aspects of working life and that it's far from being trivial. Self-imposing a structure on one's life is very difficult. In a way, travel is good in providing it, I never procrastinate while I travel.

Finding groups and social interactions is not difficult, but not all of them are satisfying and intellectually stimulating. Status in retirement is based not on the position or the degrees but on one's knowledge and personality.

rj49 wrote:I like the idea of Road Scholar as well, since it gives travel around a purpose or learning, and you get group interaction and more off-the-beaten-path travel if you want it, along with a variety of domestic and international travel.


I'll check them out. But I also belong to a group that holds regular educational/social meetings around the world. So far, I've been attending those in the U.S. and Europe. I want to go to several others.

rj49 wrote:If you fantasize about the idea of perpetual travel, I recently read a book by an early retiree couple who listed a page of various couples and individuals who live such a lifestyle or otherwise inspire their retirement dreams. The happy travel people tend to be couples, though, and after 8 years of post-retirement travel on my own, I find it lonely and often uninspiring on my own (which is why I'm doing a 3-week Rick Steves European tour in a few days, instead of going on my own):
http://www.webetripping.com/WhoInspiresUs.asp


Enjoy your trip.

When I travel alone, I meet many people, and socializing with them provides variety without the challenges of coordinating with a travel companion. Of course, the desirability of traveling with a companion depends on the companion.

rj49 wrote:Finally, I found this page by an early retiree single guy very enlightening about the challenges of retirement for a single person:
http://philip.greenspun.com/materialism ... etirement/


Thank you for the reference.

Philip Greenspun wrote: He [a newly-retired wage slave] is waking up at 9:30 am, surfing the Web, sorting out the cable TV bill, watching DVDs, talking about going to the gym, eating Doritos, and maybe accomplishing one of his stated goals.


This is funny but probably true for many. I'll do my best not to let it happen to me. As I am reading Greenspun, I am getting some answers to my questions including those related to choosing a place to live and non-profit work. Your recommendation is very timely.

Thank you,
Victoria
Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Re: Hedonic treadmill in retirement

Postby Jazztonight » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:35 pm

Victoria,

I've been following your thread here with great interest as I myself retired just one month ago.

Having read hundreds of your intelligent and thoughtful posts through the last few years, I have no doubt that, despite the over-thinking you're putting into this, you will create for yourself a wonderfully productive and satisfying life in retirement.

I promise that you will not let yourself get bored.

Go for it!

Jazztonight
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche
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Re: Hedonic treadmill in retirement

Postby likegarden » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:49 am

You might want to plan your retirement, I started that, but then life took over and changed our retirement forever. After I got stressed out I retired while 62 1/2 years old. I appreciated it to be asked to return to work half-time which actually eased me into full retirement in a very relaxed fashion. I always loved to work and continuing that way was very good for me. I fully retired at the age of 69.
The big change was that we became grandparents the following year as I was 63, and the daughter-in-law was unable to take care for our grandson. Our son divorced the following year. We stepped in and raised a beautiful and very smart boy, who is still living with us, calls my wife 'Mama', me 'Papa', it is a new life for us. We do not need any hedonic treadmill.
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Re: Hedonic treadmill in retirement

Postby Hexdump » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:40 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Levett wrote:"And if I am not what I think I am? It's a serious question"

Yes, Victoria, it's an extremely serious question--one for which I have neither a glib answer nor for which you would like a glib answer.

Lev


Do you have any recommendations for how to look for the answer?

Victoria


Hi Victoria and have you verbalized "what you think you are" ?
Try it by talking to yourself in the mirror. I have done that a few times when I was struggling with some serious self doubts.
Looking myself in the eye, in the mirror, I would start with "George, you are such a wimp".
Then let your responses run their course.
It's can be quite enabling.
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Re: Hedonic treadmill in retirement

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:00 pm

Jazztonight wrote:Victoria,

I've been following your thread here with great interest as I myself retired just one month ago.

Having read hundreds of your intelligent and thoughtful posts through the last few years, I have no doubt that, despite the over-thinking you're putting into this, you will create for yourself a wonderfully productive and satisfying life in retirement.

I promise that you will not let yourself get bored.

Go for it!

Jazztonight



Hi Jazztonight,

Congratulations with your retirement. I am over-thinking mine, but it's a part of fun.

I've read many papers and books on behavioral economics and find that BE concepts apply to a surprisingly wide range of topics. And so I am musing about Behavioral Economics of Retirement (BER), Behavioral Economics of Travel (BET), and some others. One relevant to this thread finding is that to derive a greater pleasure from an experience, one has to spend time, thought and effort preparing for that experience.

Thank you for good wishes,
Victoria
Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Re: Hedonic treadmill in retirement

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:01 pm

likegarden wrote:You might want to plan your retirement, I started that, but then life took over and changed our retirement forever. After I got stressed out I retired while 62 1/2 years old. I appreciated it to be asked to return to work half-time which actually eased me into full retirement in a very relaxed fashion. I always loved to work and continuing that way was very good for me. I fully retired at the age of 69.
The big change was that we became grandparents the following year as I was 63, and the daughter-in-law was unable to take care for our grandson. Our son divorced the following year. We stepped in and raised a beautiful and very smart boy, who is still living with us, calls my wife 'Mama', me 'Papa', it is a new life for us. We do not need any hedonic treadmill.


Hi likegarden,

You are right about life's propensity to taking over and changing our plans. But in the absence of information on what life has in store for me, I am trying to do my best with what I know.

Enjoy your grandson,

Victoria
Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Re: Hedonic treadmill in retirement

Postby Minot » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:12 pm

VictoriaF wrote:...to derive a greater pleasure from an experience, one has to spend time, thought and effort preparing for that experience.

Thank you for good wishes,
Victoria
For me, much of the thought and effort preparing for a desired experience is itself pleasurable.
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Re: Hedonic treadmill in retirement

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:17 pm

Hexdump wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Levett wrote:"And if I am not what I think I am? It's a serious question"

Yes, Victoria, it's an extremely serious question--one for which I have neither a glib answer nor for which you would like a glib answer.

Lev


Do you have any recommendations for how to look for the answer?

Victoria


Hi Victoria and have you verbalized "what you think you are" ?
Try it by talking to yourself in the mirror. I have done that a few times when I was struggling with some serious self doubts.
Looking myself in the eye, in the mirror, I would start with "George, you are such a wimp".
Then let your responses run their course.
It's can be quite enabling.


Hi Hexdump,

I usually verbalize what I think I am in discussions with other people. These discussions keep me sincere as I am trying to avoid projecting deceit or delusion. Still, there are some things that I keep to myself and things that I just don't think about. Your mirror exercise seems helpful in getting the nuances and possibly some new truths. I shall try it.

Thank you,
Victoria
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