What surprised you the most once you retired?

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ruralavalon
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by ruralavalon »

Mel Lindauer wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:21 pm
protagonist wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:21 pm
Mel Lindauer wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:20 pm I saw a saying recently that I thought was cute and appropriate for this thread:
The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.
Funny, Mel. Of course....The flip side is that you have a lifetime off.
(going back to the glass of water and how full it is...)
Yep, it all depends on how you look at it. Is the glass half full or half empty?
The glass is twice as big as I actually need :D .
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Redlion
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by Redlion »

livesoft wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:04 pm I think what surprised me most and still surprises me every day is all the very wealthy people who are still working. You know who they are as their names are often in the news. Sure, there are some wealthy people who are not working and their names are in the news, too, but I'm surprised by all the folks who embrace anxieties and headaches when they really don't have to. I'm suspicious and distrustful of every single one of them.
Why would you be surprised?. Wealthy people who are still working are generally in a position driven by purpose and authority vs someone who has to deal with unreasonable bosses, early morning meetings, and deadline.
Think CEOs, Politicians, Aging movie stars. Why would Tom Hanks make a movie in his 60s when he is already wealthy or why would someone who is wealthy in their 70s run for POTUS
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by stoptothink »

VictoriaF wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:57 am
Limoncello402 wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:49 am Another professor here, retiring this year at 63. I guess that's early for some professors, but I can say that I loved my academic life -- until I didn't.
Ironically, this thread provides me with more insight into professors than retirees. I spent over 25 years taking courses in academic institutions (regular school, BS degree, two MS degrees, numerous non-degree courses). I admired some of my professors and thought that an academic career would be best for me. The way my career turned out, I never pursued a PhD. But I have been writing papers, giving talks, and teaching professional seminars. Now, in retirement I give one or two talks per year at social events. In 2018, my topic was behavioral economics; in 2019, Black Swans, antifragility, and Taleb's own story. In 2020, I was going to revise and repeat my Black Swans talk, but the events were cancelled due to COVID-19.

While in retirement I am doing what I enjoy, I feel somewhat deficient in not having a doctorate. Reading about professors not being completely happy with what would have been for me the top achievement gives me some (perverse?) satisfaction.

Victoria
There was a gentleman in my PhD program who was a retired college professor. Managed to teach for over three decades without a doctorate. Took him ~7yrs, but he finished. If it's something you want, what's stopping you from pursuing it now? I've had my share of academia, teaching adjunct on-and-off (totally off for 1.5yrs now) for "fun"; idea was always to teach in "retirement", but I don't have any interest in returning now. Academia has changed so much just in the last decade.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by Dodgerdiehard »

  • Its really nice not to have to rush to get out the door ever morning.
  • All the work tension headaches have miraculously disappeared.
  • After all the years of saving, spending down the portfolio has been easier than I thought. Thank you bogleheads!
  • Even time in retirement can be over-scheduled fairly easily.
  • How great it feels to be outdoors (hiking, playing pickleball, surfing) almost every day
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by LadyGeek »

ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:18 am
Mel Lindauer wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:21 pm
protagonist wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:21 pm
Mel Lindauer wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:20 pm I saw a saying recently that I thought was cute and appropriate for this thread:
The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.
Funny, Mel. Of course....The flip side is that you have a lifetime off.
(going back to the glass of water and how full it is...)
Yep, it all depends on how you look at it. Is the glass half full or half empty?
The glass is twice as big as I actually need :D .
Great minds think alike. See my signature. :wink:

Once I retired, the emotional impact of seeing my cash flow go in the negative direction hit me hard. Yes, I've planned for this and am comfortable with my finances. I had fine-tuned my budget to the nearest dollar.

Now that I've been retired a few months, I simply don't care. I know what I can afford and plan accordingly.

Dodgerdiehard, Welcome!
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
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ruralavalon
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by ruralavalon »

Welcome to the forum :)

Dodgerdiehard wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:39 am
  • Its really nice not to have to rush to get out the door ever morning.
  • All the work tension headaches have miraculously disappeared.
  • After all the years of saving, spending down the portfolio has been easier than I thought. Thank you bogleheads!
  • Even time in retirement can be over-scheduled fairly easily.
  • How great it feels to be outdoors (hiking, playing pickleball, surfing) almost every day
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by flyingaway »

Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by ruralavalon »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
The large amount uninsured of expenses for dental care (implants) and vision (cataract surgery, lens implants), which was completely unanticipated. Even with Part D Medicare insuance, drug expenses have become enormous.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by chipperd »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
How much more I am spending on home maintenance and now property improvement. Doing it all myself, as after spending a career "planting seeds" and not getting to see the results, I'm really enjoying that I can see the result of my daily labor in the moment. That, however, has lead to us going over budget on a fairly regular basis in the home maintenance/improvement category. Fortunately, the drop in other categories more than makes up the difference.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:12 am
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
The large amount uninsured of expenses for dental care (implants) and vision (cataract surgery, lens implants), which was completely unanticipated. Even with Part D Medicare insuance, drug expenses have become enormous.
Strange. I understand that both cataract surgeries and lens implants (basic monofocal) are covered by most health insurances and Medicare.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by cs412a »

av111 wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:52 pmThis thread is interesting. Most people would probably watch TV and eat unhealthy food all day after they retire. The impact of this lifestyle on health can be imagined
This may be true of some people, but for many I think they come home exhausted after work, and watch TV and eat unhealthy food because anything else is just too much of an effort. I know when I was a single head of household, taking care of myself was the lowest on my list of priorities. Now that I'm retired, I'm taking much better care of myself. It helped that in the beginning, the ACA and later Medicare made it possible to deal with some serious and chronic conditions that really sapped my energy.

Even though it wasn't very lucrative, I loved the line of work I chose and always assumed I would work forever. For a number of reasons, that didn't happen. For me, the greatest surprise was that I had more than enough money to retire. I wish I could say that that was because I was a savvy investor, but really, a great deal of that was luck.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by cs412a »

VictoriaF wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:57 amIronically, this thread provides me with more insight into professors than retirees. I spent over 25 years taking courses in academic institutions (regular school, BS degree, two MS degrees, numerous non-degree courses). I admired some of my professors and thought that an academic career would be best for me. The way my career turned out, I never pursued a PhD. But I have been writing papers, giving talks, and teaching professional seminars. Now, in retirement I give one or two talks per year at social events. In 2018, my topic was behavioral economics; in 2019, Black Swans, antifragility, and Taleb's own story. In 2020, I was going to revise and repeat my Black Swans talk, but the events were cancelled due to COVID-19.

While in retirement I am doing what I enjoy, I feel somewhat deficient in not having a doctorate. Reading about professors not being completely happy with what would have been for me the top achievement gives me some (perverse?) satisfaction.

Victoria
You could pursue a doctorate now, although nowadays graduate school is quite expensive. It wasn't always this way - when I got my doctorate, it was a bargain - I ended up with only $6000 in student loans, which I paid off very quickly. I didn't enjoy graduate school - butted heads with too many people, but my postdoc was fantastic and I have no regrets about pursuing a career in academia. I don't have any items on my bucket list during retirement because I did all the things I wanted to do in my career. I enjoyed being able to throw myself into research and teaching, and I had great colleagues. Now that I'm retired, I find that having a solid background in research has enriched my life enormously.

That said, what would you want from a doctorate? The key aspect of a doctoral program doesn't lie in taking courses, but in developing a knowledge and skill base that allows you to answer a (relatively) important and specific question that you find interesting, and that other people accept as contributing to knowledge in the field (which is confirmed by publishing the research so that other people have access to it). Is this what you want to do?
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by flyingaway »

chipperd wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:31 pm
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
How much more I am spending on home maintenance and now property improvement. Doing it all myself, as after spending a career "planting seeds" and not getting to see the results, I'm really enjoying that I can see the result of my daily labor in the moment. That, however, has lead to us going over budget on a fairly regular basis in the home maintenance/improvement category. Fortunately, the drop in other categories more than makes up the difference.
I have spent more than $5,000 on the water this year (repairing pipe and unexplained use of large amount of water).
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by TheNightsToCome »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
I'm not retired now (at 61) but I was FIRE'd at 42 (before FIRE was a thing). I left my career 19 years ago due to burnout rather than because I wanted to retire. However, my average annual expenses over the last 5 years were only 3.32% of the inflation-adjusted portfolio value I had at 42.

Based on conventional wisdom I should have had no financial worries. That wasn't the case. I worried about money for the first time in my life. That was very unpleasant.

I eventually found my way back to my previous career, but I've managed to arrange a much better lifestyle this time around -- still horrific by most standards, but I tolerate this gentler, kinder workload fairly well. Financial concerns are gone.

My previous experience with "retirement" informs my desire for a large margin of safety.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by flyingaway »

TheNightsToCome wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:25 pm
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
I'm not retired now (at 61) but I was FIRE'd at 42 (before FIRE was a thing). I left my career 19 years ago due to burnout rather than because I wanted to retire. However, my average annual expenses over the last 5 years were only 3.32% of the inflation-adjusted portfolio value I had at 42.

Based on conventional wisdom I should have had no financial worries. That wasn't the case. I worried about money for the first time in my life. That was very unpleasant.

I eventually found my way back to my previous career, but I've managed to arrange a much better lifestyle this time around -- still horrific by most standards, but I tolerate this gentler, kinder workload fairly well. Financial concerns are gone.

My previous experience with "retirement" informs my desire for a large margin of safety.
Yes. That large margin of safety is really my current concern.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by Stef »

Watty wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:25 am One thing that may not have been mentioned is that some people are surprised at is how quickly and well the company gets by without them once they leave. Some people feel like they are indispensable and it can be a bit of a letdown to realize that they were actually easily replaced.
Not yet retired (far from it), but I realized that too when I left my last employer 2.5 months ago. I thought they were screwed without me, but in the end they are doing just fine.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by tibbitts »

Stef wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:13 pm
Watty wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:25 am One thing that may not have been mentioned is that some people are surprised at is how quickly and well the company gets by without them once they leave. Some people feel like they are indispensable and it can be a bit of a letdown to realize that they were actually easily replaced.
Not yet retired (far from it), but I realized that too when I left my last employer 2.5 months ago. I thought they were screwed without me, but in the end they are doing just fine.
Sometimes people (like me!) can be easily replaced, but other times when people leave, functions can be eliminated that were previously thought to be mission critical, but turn out not to be.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by palanzo »

ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:12 am
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
The large amount uninsured of expenses for dental care (implants) and vision (cataract surgery, lens implants), which was completely unanticipated. Even with Part D Medicare insuance, drug expenses have become enormous.
Is cataract surgery not covered under Part B?
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by ruralavalon »

palanzo wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:43 pm
ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:12 am
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
The large amount uninsured of expenses for dental care (implants) and vision (cataract surgery, lens implants), which was completely unanticipated. Even with Part D Medicare insuance, drug expenses have become enormous.
Is cataract surgery not covered under Part B?
Some lens implants are not covered
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by Lynette »

When I retired I decided to take some courses for which I had not had time when I was working. I took four semesters of Spanish at a community college and despite doing very well, I was disgusted that I could not converse. I have a background in languages so now I have a charming instructor from Italki who allows me to structure my own course.

I took a course to become a Master Gardener and wish I had done it much sooner. I am surprised at how much fun I am having learning how tomatoes, and other vegetables and flowers grow or don't!

Our governor has been really strict during Covid-19 Stay-at-Home orders. But now we are allowed to go and work on some of the educational farms - after signing a lot of paperwork to follow good practices. I am going twice or three times a week. It is a relief to be able to work with other members who share my interests and teach me the practical part of gardening. Throughout the three months we have also had a constant of series of Zoom lectures on gardening - for which I was very grateful.
Last edited by Lynette on Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by palanzo »

ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:48 pm
palanzo wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:43 pm
ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:12 am
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
The large amount uninsured of expenses for dental care (implants) and vision (cataract surgery, lens implants), which was completely unanticipated. Even with Part D Medicare insuance, drug expenses have become enormous.
Is cataract surgery not covered under Part B?
Some lens implants are not covered
OK but you listed cataract surgery.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by jebmke »

Laser surgery is not fully covered.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by palanzo »

jebmke wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:24 pm Laser surgery is not fully covered.
Which kind of laser surgery?
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by ruralavalon »

palanzo wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:18 pm
ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:48 pm
palanzo wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:43 pm
ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:12 am
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
The large amount uninsured of expenses for dental care (implants) and vision (cataract surgery, lens implants), which was completely unanticipated. Even with Part D Medicare insuance, drug expenses have become enormous.
Is cataract surgery not covered under Part B?
Some lens implants are not covered
OK but you listed cataract surgery.
In cataract surgery the lens clouded by the cataract is removed, and a replacement artificial lens implanted. Some replacement lenses are not covered by Medicare.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started
palanzo
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by palanzo »

ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:22 pm
palanzo wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:18 pm
ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:48 pm
palanzo wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:43 pm
ruralavalon wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:12 am
The large amount uninsured of expenses for dental care (implants) and vision (cataract surgery, lens implants), which was completely unanticipated. Even with Part D Medicare insuance, drug expenses have become enormous.
Is cataract surgery not covered under Part B?
Some lens implants are not covered
OK but you listed cataract surgery.
In cataract surgery the lens clouded by the cataract is removed, and a replacement artificial lens implanted. Some replacement lenses are not covered by Medicare.
Thanks. Searching on medicare.gov does not provide that information.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by minesweep »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
Time seems to go faster in retirement (I thought it would be the opposite). Retired 19 1/2 years ago.
Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy - John Bogle | Learn every day, but especially from the experiences of others, it's cheaper! - John Bogle
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by hudson »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:26 pm What surprised me:
— I now prefer weekdays to weekends.
In my 7th year of retirement. I don't think that I've been surprised by anything. Life is good!
I read the entire thread. The above comment fits me.
I really like two cups of coffee in the morning and one cold beer later, if I break a sweat.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by VictoriaF »

stoptothink wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:29 am
VictoriaF wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:57 am While in retirement I am doing what I enjoy, I feel somewhat deficient in not having a doctorate. Reading about professors not being completely happy with what would have been for me the top achievement gives me some (perverse?) satisfaction.

Victoria
There was a gentleman in my PhD program who was a retired college professor. Managed to teach for over three decades without a doctorate. Took him ~7yrs, but he finished. If it's something you want, what's stopping you from pursuing it now? I've had my share of academia, teaching adjunct on-and-off (totally off for 1.5yrs now) for "fun"; idea was always to teach in "retirement", but I don't have any interest in returning now. Academia has changed so much just in the last decade.
cs412a wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:14 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:57 am
[same as above]
You could pursue a doctorate now, although nowadays graduate school is quite expensive. It wasn't always this way - when I got my doctorate, it was a bargain - I ended up with only $6000 in student loans, which I paid off very quickly. I didn't enjoy graduate school - butted heads with too many people, but my postdoc was fantastic and I have no regrets about pursuing a career in academia. I don't have any items on my bucket list during retirement because I did all the things I wanted to do in my career. I enjoyed being able to throw myself into research and teaching, and I had great colleagues. Now that I'm retired, I find that having a solid background in research has enriched my life enormously.

That said, what would you want from a doctorate? The key aspect of a doctoral program doesn't lie in taking courses, but in developing a knowledge and skill base that allows you to answer a (relatively) important and specific question that you find interesting, and that other people accept as contributing to knowledge in the field (which is confirmed by publishing the research so that other people have access to it). Is this what you want to do?
If I thought that a doctorate would significantly increase my life satisfaction I'd pursue it, even if it took me 7 to 10 years and tens of thousands of dollars. But I don't think it would be a good use of my time.

I work on a specific topic that does not require funding or a lab. I read a lot on this topic and develop my own ideas. If I were associated with academia, I'd be designing randomized studies. As it is, I am working at the conceptual level and use the studies done by others as justifications and illustrations of my concepts. The good part is that I have a complete "academic" freedom. The bad parts are that (1) I am not as focused and efficient as if I were pursuing a degree and (2) when my work is complete, it's not likely that academics would take it seriously.

Victoria
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cs412a
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by cs412a »

VictoriaF wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:33 am
cs412a wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:14 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:57 am
[same as above]
You could pursue a doctorate now, although nowadays graduate school is quite expensive. It wasn't always this way - when I got my doctorate, it was a bargain - I ended up with only $6000 in student loans, which I paid off very quickly. I didn't enjoy graduate school - butted heads with too many people, but my postdoc was fantastic and I have no regrets about pursuing a career in academia. I don't have any items on my bucket list during retirement because I did all the things I wanted to do in my career. I enjoyed being able to throw myself into research and teaching, and I had great colleagues. Now that I'm retired, I find that having a solid background in research has enriched my life enormously.

That said, what would you want from a doctorate? The key aspect of a doctoral program doesn't lie in taking courses, but in developing a knowledge and skill base that allows you to answer a (relatively) important and specific question that you find interesting, and that other people accept as contributing to knowledge in the field (which is confirmed by publishing the research so that other people have access to it). Is this what you want to do?
If I thought that a doctorate would significantly increase my life satisfaction I'd pursue it, even if it took me 7 to 10 years and tens of thousands of dollars. But I don't think it would be a good use of my time.

I work on a specific topic that does not require funding or a lab. I read a lot on this topic and develop my own ideas. If I were associated with academia, I'd be designing randomized studies. As it is, I am working at the conceptual level and use the studies done by others as justifications and illustrations of my concepts. The good part is that I have a complete "academic" freedom. The bad parts are that (1) I am not as focused and efficient as if I were pursuing a degree and (2) when my work is complete, it's not likely that academics would take it seriously.

Victoria
One of the most enjoyable aspects of pursuing a doctorate is the opportunity to discuss one’s ideas with other people - both with faculty with expertise in your area of interest and with colleagues at the same level (e.g., other graduate students or other postdocs). These aren’t one-way discussions - they involve spending time understanding and discussing other people’s research as well. It’s a reciprocal relationship that is emotionally as well as intellectually rewarding. While some people in academia might focus on credentials, others won’t. You just need to find out who these people are, if you haven't already.
I have been writing papers, giving talks, and teaching professional seminars. Now, in retirement I give one or two talks per year at social events. In 2018, my topic was behavioral economics; in 2019, Black Swans, antifragility, and Taleb's own story.
If you’ve been writing papers and giving talks, it seems like you’ve found an audience. Who are they? Do you have an informal network of peers who can critique your ideas?

One of the most important things I learned in the course of my career was that although it was well, let’s say, disheartening :oops: to receive 3 solid pages of negative comments from a reviewer, at the same time, this person was actually reading what I wrote and taking what I said seriously as opposed to a positive reviewer who just dashed off a paragraph of fluff. Even when a negative reviewer’s comments were misguided (as they so often were) :evil:, it provided me with an indication that I might not have been communicating my ideas as well as I could.

It seems like you might be considering ultimately publishing your ideas in an academic journal. If so, you should check with knowledgeable people about which journals would be the most appropriate. Then, go ahead and submit your work. You might well get scathing reviews - but for most academics, rejection is part of the academic life, and something that anyone who is pursuing “the life of the mind” should well, not embrace, but definitely accept as an essential part of the process of working through one’s ideas. Rejection isn’t the end of the world, it just means it’s time to revise and resubmit. 8-)
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by Cruise »

I'm 99% retired since selling my business six years ago, but still keep my license so I occasionally do a consulting gig.

Surprises during retirement:

1. Wife not retired yet (That was the plan, but as a professor/now college administrator, she keeps on working because of COVID-19 not enabling us to travel. Fortunately for her, she is energized by her work at the highest level of her university).

2. Not traveling myself -- due to COVID-19. Used to travel to visit family while wife worked, but no travel now.

3. Also COVID-19 related -- Muscle wasting due to gym closure.

It is all good--we are healthy so far with plenty of resources to support ourselves and increase our charitable donations to COVID-19 organizations.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by midareff »

TheTimeLord wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:09 am The biggest surprise to me is that my risk tolerance seems to have increased quite a bit. I think before I always hoped my plan would work and now that I am retired I can see my plan is working and working well. Granted the sample size is only 3 months, the market is doing well and Covid helps control spending, still things seem more real now and less theoretical.
How fast time is moving....... it took forever to get to retirement and I blinked twice and have been retired near 9 years. Also, I keep trying to catch up on all the doing nothing I was supposed to be able to do but even staying hoke with this pandemic I can't seem to get my doing nothing caught up.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by TheTimeLord »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
Positive and negative are in the eye of the beholder.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]
RudyS
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by RudyS »

ruralavalon wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:07 pm
av111 wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:52 pm This thread is interesting. Most people would probably watch TV and eat unhealthy food all day after they retire. The impact of this lifestyle on health can be imagined
Since Covid we eat at home, have coffee at home rather than at a coffee shop, sit out on the deck in nice weather, read books or websurf. Probably eat better than before.

jerryk68 wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:30 pm How my attire would go from business suits and casual Friday's attire to T-shirts with shorts in the summer and jeans in the winter. I wear those business suits to an occasional wedding but more and more to funerals.
I don't even have suits anymore. I wear a sport coat and slacks for weddings and funerals.
I had 2 good suits when I retired 20 years ago. They were years old then. I still have them! And they still fit! I guess a surprise was that I started, and kept to a moderate exercise plan.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by 3of10 »

Mel Lindauer wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:05 am
David Jay wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:46 pm
Toons wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:30 pm I am so busy
There is never enough Time in the day
This!

I have no idea how I used to fit 50 hours of work into my week.
So true! I can honestly say that I'm so busy now, I don't know how I ever found time to run a business. Lots of interesting opportunities just seemed to come my way, many because of my relationship with Jack Bogle.

Since retirement, I've:
1. Worked with Taylor and lots of others to help build the Bogleheads Community for the past 22 years, first on Morningstar and then here at Bogleheads.org. Currently serve as a forum Moderator.
2. I led a "dream team" that organized and ran the annual Bogleheads Conferences with Jack Bogle, starting in 2000 and running through 2019. Planning and executing those were about an eight- or nine-month behind-the-scenes job, leading up to the actual Conference date.
3. Become an author of The Bogleheads' Guides. (The publisher called us and asked us to do the books. We initially declined, but they persisted and we finally agreed. Glad we did.)
4. Became a Forbes Columnist (They approached me.)
5. Traveled to Europe and cruised the Caribbean several times with good friends. (Highly recommend.)
6. Served on the City's Historical Board which included organizing the City's 50th year celebration.
7. Became Chairman of the City's Board of Adjustments.
8. Was Vice President of The Daytona Beach Shores Community Foundation.
9. Served as the President of the HOA for about 10 years (I don't recommend it). :-)
10. Founded and served as the President of The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy for 10 years.
11. Was elected and then re-elected as a City Council member, and currently serve in that position. (Declined a request to run for Mayor.)

The nice part about all of this is that I was able to pick and choose things that interested me and to say "No" to things that didn't. That's the real joy of being financially secure after a lifetime of working hard and living below one's means.

In addition to all of that, I took up pickleball, do four or five miles on the beach every day and play golf and fish whenever I can find time. Other than that, I just chill out and try to find time to do nothing.

Come on it; the water's fine!
Thanks Mel, for the time and effort you and the other bogleheads have done in order to help others like me, who knew very little about investing, until finding the bogleheads website and forums.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by Keenobserver »

TheTimeLord wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:00 pm
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
Positive and negative are in the eye of the beholder.
What about a diagnosis of pancretic cancer?
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by 3of10 »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:15 pm
ruralavalon wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:09 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:30 pm
livesoft wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:04 pm I think what surprised me most and still surprises me every day is all the very wealthy people who are still working. You know who they are as their names are often in the news. Sure, there are some wealthy people who are not working and their names are in the news, too, but I'm surprised by all the folks who embrace anxieties and headaches when they really don't have to. I'm suspicious and distrustful of every single one of them.
For some people, their work is their life.
Some people enjoy the work they do, so are in no hurry to quit.
Some people see things in the one dimension :thumbsdown while others in the multi-dimension. :thumbsup
+1. That's the way I see it based on what I see relatives and friends doing. The only way they view money is when it's placed directly in their hands. The idea of generating enough investment money (so it makes it's own money), or saving money by reducing spending and debt (LBYM),.... just doesn't enter their minds.

They're one dimensional, and there's nothing anyone can do to change their mentality.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Keenobserver wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:47 am
TheTimeLord wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:00 pm
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:55 am Can we hear some "negative" surprises in retirement?
Positive and negative are in the eye of the beholder.
What about a diagnosis of pancretic cancer?
Point taken, I was more referring to the implication all the previous posts had been positive. In other words what some people see as a great way to spend their retirement might be what other people fear their retirement becoming.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by 3of10 »

Watty wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:25 am
What surprised you the most once you retired?
One thing that may not have been mentioned is that some people are surprised at is how quickly and well the company gets by without them once they leave. Some people feel like they are indispensable and it can be a bit of a letdown to realize that they were actually easily replaced.
Watty, I think that some of them know that they can be easily replaced, but it bothers them in feeling that the company will be harmed (not run as efficiently as when they were still working). And they do want their company to continue to prosper.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by VictoriaF »

cs412a wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:13 pm One of the most enjoyable aspects of pursuing a doctorate is the opportunity to discuss one’s ideas with other people - both with faculty with expertise in your area of interest and with colleagues at the same level (e.g., other graduate students or other postdocs). These aren’t one-way discussions - they involve spending time understanding and discussing other people’s research as well. It’s a reciprocal relationship that is emotionally as well as intellectually rewarding. While some people in academia might focus on credentials, others won’t. You just need to find out who these people are, if you haven't already.
VictoriaF wrote:I have been writing papers, giving talks, and teaching professional seminars. Now, in retirement I give one or two talks per year at social events. In 2018, my topic was behavioral economics; in 2019, Black Swans, antifragility, and Taleb's own story.
If you’ve been writing papers and giving talks, it seems like you’ve found an audience. Who are they? Do you have an informal network of peers who can critique your ideas?

One of the most important things I learned in the course of my career was that although it was well, let’s say, disheartening :oops: to receive 3 solid pages of negative comments from a reviewer, at the same time, this person was actually reading what I wrote and taking what I said seriously as opposed to a positive reviewer who just dashed off a paragraph of fluff. Even when a negative reviewer’s comments were misguided (as they so often were) :evil:, it provided me with an indication that I might not have been communicating my ideas as well as I could.

It seems like you might be considering ultimately publishing your ideas in an academic journal. If so, you should check with knowledgeable people about which journals would be the most appropriate. Then, go ahead and submit your work. You might well get scathing reviews - but for most academics, rejection is part of the academic life, and something that anyone who is pursuing “the life of the mind” should well, not embrace, but definitely accept as an essential part of the process of working through one’s ideas. Rejection isn’t the end of the world, it just means it’s time to revise and resubmit. 8-)
I give my talks at Mensa gatherings in the United States and Europe. They are well received but so far I had a technically meaningful discussion only once. A German actuary and I spent several hours discussing his criticism of Taleb's ideas, and he followed up by sending me two papers.

I am also a member of the Farnam Street Learning Community (a private group) focused on mental models and decision making. In this group, I participate in the online forum where I offer ideas and comment on others' ideas. One problem is that people err of the side of being nice, and it's hard to get critical comments. An even greater problem is that most participants are not professionals. (If there are professionals, they are not actively posting.)

I published several papers while I was working but not in retirement on the topics I am pursuing now. I like your idea to write it up and submit to an academic conference or publication to get critical comments.

Thank you very much for your suggestions,

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by cs412a »

VictoriaF wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:37 pmI give my talks at Mensa gatherings in the United States and Europe. They are well received but so far I had a technically meaningful discussion only once. A German actuary and I spent several hours discussing his criticism of Taleb's ideas, and he followed up by sending me two papers.

I am also a member of the Farnam Street Learning Community (a private group) focused on mental models and decision making. In this group, I participate in the online forum where I offer ideas and comment on others' ideas. One problem is that people err of the side of being nice, and it's hard to get critical comments. An even greater problem is that most participants are not professionals. (If there are professionals, they are not actively posting.)

I published several papers while I was working but not in retirement on the topics I am pursuing now. I like your idea to write it up and submit to an academic conference or publication to get critical comments.

Thank you very much for your suggestions,

Victoria
You're right, attending academic conferences would be a great way to network and get up to speed on current ideas. I found I enjoyed talking to graduate students and postdocs about their work even more than the "big name" talks. It might be worthwhile attending a few even if your paper isn't accepted, especially if you have friends you can visit in the area.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by VictoriaF »

cs412a wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:08 pm You're right, attending academic conferences would be a great way to network and get up to speed on current ideas. I found I enjoyed talking to graduate students and postdocs about their work even more than the "big name" talks. It might be worthwhile attending a few even if your paper isn't accepted, especially if you have friends you can visit in the area.
Thank you for another excellent suggestion. I will make it my goal to attend an academic conference when face-to-face conferences resume.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by praxis »

Reaching financial security allowed my wife and I to retire comfortably 15 years ago and we are grateful for the freedom from stress about money matters. I'm surprised how central this gratitude is in my life.

And I am sad during the Covid pandemic for the small business owners and families who have had their lives upended and dreams shattered by the crisis like being furloughed or losing their job or home or dealing with illness without resources to cope. This is going to be a tough recovery for many. it's scary. We are trying to be safe.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by flyingaway »

VictoriaF wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:15 am
cs412a wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:08 pm You're right, attending academic conferences would be a great way to network and get up to speed on current ideas. I found I enjoyed talking to graduate students and postdocs about their work even more than the "big name" talks. It might be worthwhile attending a few even if your paper isn't accepted, especially if you have friends you can visit in the area.
Thank you for another excellent suggestion. I will make it my goal to attend an academic conference when face-to-face conferences resume.

Victoria
It looks odd to me for a retiree to try to have new friends that are non-retirees and try to actively get into their business.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by cinghiale »

VictoriaF wrote:
While in retirement I am doing what I enjoy, I feel somewhat deficient in not having a doctorate.
Victoria, you should feel no deficiency at all. And don’t do it. Don’t get enmeshed in a formal PhD program.

The key reason for the latter is opportunity cost. You will expend a ton of life energy and years of your life pursuing the credential and the associated three letters after your name. Yes, your research may provide a fulfilling avenue of intellectual pursuit, and you may end up associating with other fine minds with whom you can cognitively and academically grow and develop. Or you may not. Some programs are overstretched, and you can end up with tired, overly-committed profs who are either preoccupied with publication and promotion or who already have one eye on the door to retirement.

Often, it is the diligent rather than the brilliant who get to the finish line and obtain the degree. My entire career was at one university. I had great colleagues. I had marginally competent colleagues. And, weirdly, many from the latter category came from “name” institutions.

You know the variables. How many good, vibrant, healthy years are we given in retirement? These early retirement years are infused with more energy, ability, enthusiasm, and curiosity than the later years— if we are so fortunate as to reach them— will have. I think you are on a good track, one that features variety as well as depth. I would be sure to be sure before trading what you have now for years dictated by institutional requirements.
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." Anais Nin | | "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." George Orwell
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by GFD45 »

Mel Lindauer wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:20 pm I saw a saying recently that I thought was cute and appropriate for this thread:
The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.
I like this one too.

One companion says to the other "Honey what are you going to do today?" "Oh nothing." "You did that yesterday." "I know, I wasn't finished."
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by Sandi_k »

Watty wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:48 pm
My last day of work was on a Thursday. Someone thought that was a bit odd and asked me why I chose a Thursday to retire on.

I replied that I wanted to start my retirement with a three day weekend. :D
Funny. :D

I have my date picked out, based on COBRA coverage ad DH's age until Medicare coverage. Because of your post, I just checked the calendar: it's a Wednesday.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by cs412a »

flyingaway wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:35 am
VictoriaF wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:15 am
cs412a wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:08 pm You're right, attending academic conferences would be a great way to network and get up to speed on current ideas. I found I enjoyed talking to graduate students and postdocs about their work even more than the "big name" talks. It might be worthwhile attending a few even if your paper isn't accepted, especially if you have friends you can visit in the area.
Thank you for another excellent suggestion. I will make it my goal to attend an academic conference when face-to-face conferences resume.

Victoria
It looks odd to me for a retiree to try to have new friends that are non-retirees and try to actively get into their business.
I guess I shouldn't continue to volunteer at the local legal aid office, then.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by cricket49 »

What surprised me the most?

Deep sleep with no stress. Waking up in the morning, every morning feeling great.

You have no idea the stress you endure while working until it is gone.

The second thing was all the years of planning and frugal living paid off. Retired three years and no worries about money.
Expect the best. Prepare for the worst.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by Van »

I discovered that I was really good at doing nothing.
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Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Post by Hubris »

With all due respect, there is a thread hijack in progress...
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