Retirees' Regrets

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

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:59 am

For those of you who have been retired a while--let's say 10+ years--do you have any regrets about things that you could/should have done earlier in your retirement. This could include anything--life experiences, financial decisions, etc.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

shawcroft
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Retirees' Regrets

Post by shawcroft » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:01 am

Not a regret as much as advice: If you want to travel and see things/do things on your bucket list, make plans to do so and get on the road!
Shawcroft

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fandango
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by fandango » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:25 am

No regrets. My wife and I planned retirement together and are very happy.

My only observation is that I have seen many people whose lives have been turned upside down by one doctor's appointment with bad news.

Life is indeed short. So, I would "front load" my bucket list as much as possible.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:34 am

shawcroft wrote:Not a regret as much as advice: If you want to travel and see things/do things on your bucket list, make plans to do so and get on the road!
Shawcroft
I am not retired but my wife and I have tried to travel internationally while we were younger feeling that if we weren't as healthy or perhaps wealthy as we like in our retirement years we could do cars trips to U.S. destinations. As a result we visited all 7 continents before age 40. It was a lot of fun and seemed like each year we were on trips with people in their 50s and 60s who considered it the trip of a lifetime. They were a fun crowd to meet and travel with. The lesson as others have said travel early in retirement.
Last edited by TheTimeLord on Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:37 am

Only regret is wife's poor health restricts what we can do.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by littlebird » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:41 am

None at all. We retired early (spouse) and very early (me), and as the first two posters recommend, we did our traveling in the first few years, had a wonderful time, then found a wonderful place to settle down in. Had we not retired early enough to have those healthy and vigorous years to enjoy, there might have been regrets, since various types of dis -abilities (some of which are things we never heard of or could have planned for) did eventually overtake us.

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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by Levett » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:31 pm

No regrets. A lot of gratitude.

I agree that one should "front load," if possible.

One sudden serious injury or illness or death of a loved one and the nature of "retirement" can completely change.

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Lon
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by Lon » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:39 pm

It's been 25 years now and no regrets at all other than a recent divorce, and even that came off well

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Sheepdog
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by Sheepdog » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:44 pm

No real regrets, except that I believed I would not live too many years after retiring because of my heart attack before retiring, plus my father passing at 61 and because of that I took my SS at 65 and have my wife take hers at 62 rather than wait. I could have waited to get more, but it didn't make too much difference as I have more than when I retired. Anyway, we traveled in the years following retirement, and we traveled last year and this year, 16 years later. I was able to "front load" and "back load". There's nothing for me to regret, is there?
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ResearchMed
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:08 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
shawcroft wrote:Not a regret as much as advice: If you want to travel and see things/do things on your bucket list, make plans to do so and get on the road !
Shawcroft
I am not retired but my wife and I have tried to travel internationally while we were younger feeling that if we weren't as healthy or perhaps wealthy as we like in our retirement years we could do cars trips to U.S. destinations. As a result we visited all 7 continents before age 40. It was a lot of fun and seemed like each year we were on trips with people in their 50s and 60s who considered it the trip of a lifetime. They were a fun crowd to meet and travel with.
^^^ ABSOLUTELY.

We wish we had started the serious travel a lot sooner!

We took an ultra-luxury honeymoon in Paris some years ago, and even that was delayed by 2 years due to surgery/complications that kept interfering. We married after a few decades together (he claims to be a "late bloomer" ;-) ). We still refer frequently to special things we saw/did/experienced there, and don't regret the "ultra" one single bit. If we could do it over, we'd stay longer! It was magical.
We wish we had done that trip sooner, too.

DH isn't retired yet, though old enough to have done so a while ago. He isn't interested in doing so, yet, and I think he'd be miserable (or doing much the same, just not for pay - doesn't sound particularly wise).

However, we DID finally make the decision a bit more than a year ago to "start that *real* travel now", while we could.

Well... we did wait just a bit too long, but it's not too bad (yet).
(I've got a broken foot that didn't heal right, so that limits serious hiking/climbing now, or very long walks. We can pace ourselves with that.)

But... as mentioned before, we had to cancel the FIRST "big vacation" with less than 2 weeks to go, due to a health emergency. After a few months, he was okay, but we now have another "constraint" on what we can do/where we can go.

As soon as he was "able to travel again" (and thus eligible to purchase travel insurance), we started making plans like crazy for land trips and cruises. Got that trip to Rome and Florence done (hopefully the "first trip together there, not the only one!) last spring, and have northern Italy planned for next spring.

Got him on his first cruise, and (no surprise to me) he loved it, and we have about 5 more planned in the next 2+ years.
And we are planning some more land trips, including a few weeks driving around France.

(Yesterday, I found out that the recent pain in my shoulder was a torn rotator cuff. No wonder it "wasn't getting better". That's going to interfere with some activities, around the house and during our upcoming cruise. I just hope that it won't end up needing surgery, and thus cause another trip to be cancelled... What will happen next - and when!?)

We are REALLY trying aggressively to get some of the "active" goals done, and try to minimize further regrets that "we should have done this sooner".

Having a good friend/colleague (same age as DH) drop dead suddenly and totally unexpectedly last summer shook us up, too.
And of course, there are some really tragic, real-life examples of such things right here among BH'ers.

We are spending a small (maybe "medium"? :wink: ) fortune front-loading these next couple of years of travel. We are doing most of it with some degree of luxury.
We can afford it. (And we have no heirs who need any support, so it's up to us to do our best to spend it all...)
We can't even touch the biggest 403b pot yet, and there are still additional contributions going in.

We have many very fond memories of travel early on, in charming Bed & Breakfasts where a few rooms shared a bath (here and overseas). Yes, wonderful then. But not what we want now.
So this is also a partial answer to the "consumption splurging" question elsewhere, and by far the biggest expense (more than all other "splurging" combined).

We saved and saved and saved for decades. Hopefully, we will have the time and ability to achieve many/most of our travel dreams/locations.
If we can manage to stay healthy enough for the next 2-4 years, we should have most of the "big dreams" checked off. The rest will be frosting, and with some good fortune, a lot of it :happy

RM
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flyingaway
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by flyingaway » Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:20 pm

Currently, my younger son does not want to go anywhere with us, so our travel activities are seriously restricted. We plan to do more travels starting next year when he goes to a college. We are not retired yet, but I consider myself semi-retired.

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mlebuf
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by mlebuf » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:18 pm

No regrets here. For those anticipating/in retirement, this advice from Scott Burns seems very worthwhile:
http://assetbuilder.com/scott_burns/the_hedonic_clock

Another excellent article:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/7-ways-to ... 56194.html
Last edited by mlebuf on Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tennisplyr
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:23 pm

Thanks all I agree totally with do the good stuff early on, been retired a few years and realize how quickly life can change. Very thankful for everything, even the little things, probably could travel a bit more than I do. šŸ˜Œ
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by Fallible » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:43 pm

tennisplyr wrote:For those of you who have been retired a while--let's say 10+ years--do you have any regrets about things that you could/should have done earlier in your retirement. This could include anything--life experiences, financial decisions, etc.
The Big Picture: I've had too much good luck in my life and seen too much bad luck in the lives of others to justify regret and that includes in retirement. I'm just thankful for 14 years of semi- and full retirement that gave me time to improve my health before it worsened and to discover new interests and develop them.

The Little Picture: the usual problems and frustrations that I do complain about and occasionally with some justification - until I remember the Big Picture. :happy
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by Nestegg_User » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:00 pm

Like "ResearchMed", we are not yet retired ... but as seen in another thread ( http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 9&t=150114 ) we are on the list for next year :D and we have "front-loaded" some travel already.... earlier this year was in Europe for 3 weeks (part of which was a Med Cruise.. our first) but also have had some other issues (total knee replacement...didn't get full range yet after over 6 months) and spouses parents are progressively deteriorating relatively fast...

Having been to all 50 states already, and with our preparing for moving to our desired location (still haven't found the house yet).. our targets for immediate future vacations are to those locations we've been to and really liked that, in the future, will be harder to get to or would be replaced by closer locales [ hence the Europe trip this year ] while more distant will be to those more proximate to our future locale ( at least for vehicle trips). The major drawback for distant future travel is what to do with our dogs in the case of locations needing airlines as our support system would not be there in the new location, and they usually take a while to develop (and feel sucure about for the pets safety/calm).

ResearchMed
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:04 pm

mlebuf wrote:No regrets here. For those anticipating/in retirement, this advice from Scott Burns seems very worthwhile:
http://assetbuilder.com/scott_burns/the_hedonic_clock

Another excellent article:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/7-ways-to ... 56194.html
Wish we had come across something like the Scott Burns piece several years ago.
Obviously we were "sort of aware of this in the backs of our minds", but we didn't really confront the "we might not actually be able to hike from NYC to London (joke! not typo) when we are 85" or whatever.

We are trying to make up for some lost time, a few lost opportunities, and make the most of the next few years, if we can.

It's sort of surprising to find this, and the "Splurge" thread, here on BH.

For a while in the recent past, it seemed that anyone inquiring about "should I buy <whatever frivolous and/or expensive item or experience> mostly got pounced on...
... without much recognition that some may want to buy trinkets (including "expensive" ones), others might want to travel in luxury, others might want to retire early, or <choose how *you* want to spend what you've saved - and when>.

Something seems to have changed in the atmosphere here. A bit less judgmental (?).

RM
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by lululu » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:41 pm

flyingaway wrote:Currently, my younger son does not want to go anywhere with us, so our travel activities are seriously restricted. We plan to do more travels starting next year when he goes to a college. We are not retired yet, but I consider myself semi-retired.
I think that is commonplace among kids of that age. They outgrow it. Is there a trustworthy family he could stay with while you travel?

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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:48 pm

lululu wrote:
flyingaway wrote:Currently, my younger son does not want to go anywhere with us, so our travel activities are seriously restricted. We plan to do more travels starting next year when he goes to a college. We are not retired yet, but I consider myself semi-retired.
I think that is commonplace among kids of that age. They outgrow it. Is there a trustworthy family he could stay with while you travel?
We had his grandmother stay with him, but that didn't work out too well. While we were gone he took our Camaro to a party and backed into the side of another car. No damage to our car so Grandma never knew a thing. Neither did we until we got a phone call from the father of the other kid looking for payment for the damage to his car.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by carolinaman » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:18 pm

The advice to front load your bucket list is very wise, especially travel. I am 70 and DW is 71 and she already has some limitations, mostly inability to walk very far. I took a trip to the Holy Land this Spring with our church (DW decided not to go because she knew it would be strenuous). Many of the people were in their 60s and 70s. The walking and climbing was intense. It was a great trip and I tolerated it pretty well, but I doubt I will be able to do that kind of trip within the next few years.

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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by stan1 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:36 pm

For my mom it was staying in a 2400 square foot house with 2.5 acres by herself until she was 80. She didn't want to leave what she was comfortable with, but within weeks after she moved out she told us she should have sold it 30 years earlier.

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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:45 pm

stan1 wrote:For my mom it was staying in a 2400 square foot house with 2.5 acres by herself until she was 80. She didn't want to leave what she was comfortable with, but within weeks after she moved out she told us she should have sold it 30 years earlier.
Funny how we sometimes desperately hold on to something for fear of change
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:45 pm

mlebuf wrote:No regrets here. For those anticipating/in retirement, this advice from Scott Burns seems very worthwhile:
http://assetbuilder.com/scott_burns/the_hedonic_clock

Another excellent article:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/7-ways-to ... 56194.html
Thanks for sharing.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by flyingaway » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:47 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
lululu wrote:
flyingaway wrote:Currently, my younger son does not want to go anywhere with us, so our travel activities are seriously restricted. We plan to do more travels starting next year when he goes to a college. We are not retired yet, but I consider myself semi-retired.
I think that is commonplace among kids of that age. They outgrow it. Is there a trustworthy family he could stay with while you travel?
We had his grandmother stay with him, but that didn't work out too well. While we were gone he took our Camaro to a party and backed into the side of another car. No damage to our car so Grandma never knew a thing. Neither did we until we got a phone call from the father of the other kid looking for payment for the damage to his car.
Several years ago, we went for an overseas trip and put my elder son in a two-week camp. He was allowed only one day (July 4th) to be away from the camp. He went home on that day and crashed our car. We did not know anything (he did not tell us) until we were at the Detroit Airport and checked our voice mail in which the insurance company was checking with us about a claim filed by the other party. My son told the insurance company that our car had only minor damage. In fact, he had a major crash and the repair costed more than $15,000. I was surprised he drove the car home without a working cooling system.

Van
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Re: Retirees' Regrets

Post by Van » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:06 pm

I'm 72 years of age, and I have been retired for 21 years (plus a few months). You can do the math.

LOVE IT. LOVE IT. LOVE IT.

The best part is I DON'T HAVE TO BE SMART ANYMORE! (I was a high level research scientist at a major pharmaceutical company---extremely demanding)

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