How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

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TallBoy29er
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How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by TallBoy29er »

When it comes to retirement, a number of wise contributors on this forum have driven into my head that it is important to RETIRE TO something, not just retire from a job (God willing I get the choice and it is not made for me). I am interested in how you found your "TO":
  • Are there any resources you used, eg books and blogs, that helped you think this through, and perhaps provided you ideas that you would have not pursed otherwise and were different than your preconceived options?
  • At what point during your working career did you put a great deal of thought into this? Eg, 1-2 years from your target retirement date?
  • Is there anything you learned after you retired that would have been helpful to think through before you made your "retire to" decision, and perhaps would have influenced you to take a different path?
quantAndHold
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by quantAndHold »

I just retired. What to do wasn’t really a problem. Finding time for all of it was.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
ponyboy
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by ponyboy »

I was under the impression you didnt have to do anything after you retired.
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Raybo
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by Raybo »

I made a list of everything I would do if time and money weren't constraints. I had about 2 dozens things on the list (water colors, learn to play the saxophone, take bike tours, etc). I started going through them. Some stuck. Some didn't.
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TallBoy29er
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by TallBoy29er »

ponyboy wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:53 am I was under the impression you didnt have to do anything after you retired.
Fair point. As long as you enjoy life :sharebeer

I have read a number of posts that talk about having a plan on how to spend your time upon retiring. I think I personally will need this, as I could see myself aimless without it. I like your approach, but I don't think it will work for me.
Rdytoretire
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by Rdytoretire »

Those that say you need to retire TO something are treating retirement too much like a job. I'm doing in retirement what just comes naturally and enjoying it very much. I never worried much about what I was retiring to. .
ponyboy
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by ponyboy »

TallBoy29er wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:59 am
ponyboy wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:53 am I was under the impression you didnt have to do anything after you retired.
Fair point. As long as you enjoy life :sharebeer

I have read a number of posts that talk about having a plan on how to spend your time upon retiring. I think I personally will need this, as I could see myself aimless without it. I like your approach, but I don't think it will work for me.
You'll learn in life that everyone has ideas of what others should do. You do whatever YOU want to do, simple as that. You know what they say about opinions and well you know...everyone has one.
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TallBoy29er
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by TallBoy29er »

Raybo wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:57 am I made a list of everything I would do if time and money weren't constraints. I had about 2 dozens things on the list (water colors, learn to play the saxophone, take bike tours, etc). I started going through them. Some stuck. Some didn't.
That's helpful. List a lot of ideas, see what works.

Bike touring seems to have been a winner for you. How deep on your list did you have to go to get there, or was it a prior passion (I enjoy reading about your exploits, they are inspiration for future retired me, hopefully w my SO).
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Quirkz
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by Quirkz »

I'm not there yet, but I'd think the list starts with:
* hobbies you already have and want to keep doing or do more of
* things you always wanted to do but didn't have the time or money for
* unfinished goals and projects from your personal life

Add in some travel, reading, movies, music, sports, etc. Top off with all the stuff you still have to do every day: eat, sleep, shower. Pay bills, do appointments, hang out with friends and family and pets. If that doesn't fill up all your time ... go get a job! :P

How much you structure it or leave it freeform is up to personal taste.
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cheese_breath
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by cheese_breath »

Didn't need any help figuring out I wanted to retire to the freedom to do whatever I wanted. And if I didn't want to do anything some days, that's fine too.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
runner3081
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by runner3081 »

Will just spend more time on my current side hustle and then "dust off" some hobbies that I don't have time for now.

Also, reading. Reading will play a big role.
shell921
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by shell921 »

I'm 73 and I retired from teaching when I was 55. When I was 49 I had to take a 3 month medical leave for surgery. During that time I realized I probably
did not have another 49 years on this planet left so I made a list of what my life would look like if my physical and mental well being was
my top priority. I highly recommend you do that.
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by AerialWombat »

I’m 1.5 years into semi-retirement. I knew I wanted to have a mini-homestead to work on, which I purchased and live on. I also knew I wanted a wet stove to burn money in, and bought that boat a few months ago. I also knew I wanted to average less than 20 hrs a week of ongoing paid work, including my writing time, which I’m definitely hitting. I sat down and figured this all out about a month before pulling the rip cord. I gave it intensive, intentional analysis.
For entertainment purposes only.
SnowBog
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by SnowBog »

OP, I'm in the same boat as you it seems...

While work "isn't my life" - it has consumed so much of my life to advance my skills and as a result my career has progressed nicely. And while I'm lucky enough to have had a few recent vacations where I could actually "unplug" and spend time with the family, I found that my mind started to return to "work mode" before the vacation was up... So I'm cognizant that if I don't have something to keep my mind busy, I'll probably not enjoy retirement as much.

That said, I don't have any grand ideas yet. But here's what's in my head.

Start a "bucket list."

We want to travel more, and the idea of "slow travel" - like being gone for weeks/months at a time effectively "living" someplace else appeals to me. But even then we'll have down time and my mind needs things to focus on...

I used to enjoy reading and cooking far more when I had more time, and potentially would be able to spend more energy on both.

In reality, I should probably place a bigger emphasis on personal health. Make time to workout, eat better, and stay healthy. (Arguably I should be doing this now... But I tell myself it will be easier when I'm not working long days...)

I've also thought about going to someplace like this to get an "aptitude" test: https://www.jocrf.org/home I figured it might give me insights into skills/traits/opportunities I haven't thought of yet. Those could turn into new hobbies, volunteer engagements, maybe even work I'm "passionate" about (which isn't my current job, while we won't "need" it, I'm not opposed to a side hustle in retirement if it's something that I greatly enjoy). Coincidentally, our child is expected to be in college when we retire, and if I find this valuable for myself would be something I'd encourage them to do as well. (For clarity, I'm planning on doing this in the next few years, long before we retire. They have a location near a relative, so the next opportunity we have to go visit them, I'll try to make dual use of the trip.)
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JPH
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by JPH »

My default position each morning is to do nothing. If I'm moved to do something then I exercise my freedom to do it.
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt
pop77
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by pop77 »

TallBoy29er wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:50 am When it comes to retirement, a number of wise contributors on this forum have driven into my head that it is important to RETIRE TO something, not just retire from a job (God willing I get the choice and it is not made for me). I am interested in how you found your "TO":
  • Are there any resources you used, eg books and blogs, that helped you think this through, and perhaps provided you ideas that you would have not pursed otherwise and were different than your preconceived options?
  • At what point during your working career did you put a great deal of thought into this? Eg, 1-2 years from your target retirement date?
  • Is there anything you learned after you retired that would have been helpful to think through before you made your "retire to" decision, and perhaps would have influenced you to take a different path?
I think we fall into the trap that we need to be doing something always, otherwise we will be depressed. This is ingrained into our very being. I have started to question lot of these assumptions, try to educate myself philosophically and psychologically. Here is a good place to start..

https://www.tarabrach.com/human-doing-human-being/
jsapiandante
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by jsapiandante »

Once I do retire, my plan is to do nothing for about 6 months to just decompress. I figure I’ll have to get used to having a lot of free time. I don’t think I have to retire TO something right off the bat. Enjoy my free time and hopefully within those 6 months, I’ll have an idea as to what to do next.
esteen
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by esteen »

Rdytoretire wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:00 am Those that say you need to retire TO something are treating retirement too much like a job. I'm doing in retirement what just comes naturally and enjoying it very much. I never worried much about what I was retiring to. .
This is very person-dependent. Some don't want to retire "to" anything because they have lots of interests, side projects, family obligations, etc that take up their time anyway. Some are very job-focused, have little to no hobbies or interests outside of work, or are very goal- or structure-oriented to achieve internal satisfaction. For them, developing that stuff prior to retiring is definitely a worthwhile effort.

It sounds like the OP might fall into the latter bucket. In which case I don't have any specific advice to provide (I am neither retired nor in that bucket), but I applaud your recognition and effort.

My inexperienced idea: maybe spend time introspecting on your current daily/weekly/yearly routine and identifying what give you happiness. Not the transient "relief" happiness but a solid, permanent feeling of happiness. Take those things, and see if any of them make sense to expand upon in retirement.
namajones
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by namajones »

Rdytoretire wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:00 am Those that say you need to retire TO something are treating retirement too much like a job. I'm doing in retirement what just comes naturally and enjoying it very much. I never worried much about what I was retiring to. .
Totally agree. This retire "to" something sounds ridiculous, frankly. Glad I don't listen to that "wisdom." I'll do whatever the heck I want to in retirement. If a job or project comes along that I like, I'll pursue it. Otherwise, I'll pluck my guitar and think about lunch. No problems whatsoever being alone or contemplating the universe.

You know how long it takes me to wake up, drink my coffee, read the paper, and putter around a bit? All morning. Then there's lunch. Then I need a nap. After that, who knows?

If I get bored with that, I'll go to the Alps in Switzerland and do the same thing, except in the afternoon I'll take a walk. Holy cow, I'm getting tired just thinking about it. Starting to border on too much.

I haven't even started talking about taking pictures in the Alps, either. If I do that, I'll need a whole bunch of time to go through them, develop them, etc.

There's no end of things to do.
SnowBog
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by SnowBog »

namajones wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:49 pm
Rdytoretire wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:00 am Those that say you need to retire TO something are treating retirement too much like a job. I'm doing in retirement what just comes naturally and enjoying it very much. I never worried much about what I was retiring to. .
Totally agree. This retire "to" something sounds ridiculous, frankly. Glad I don't listen to that "wisdom." I'll do whatever the heck I want to in retirement. If a job or project comes along that I like, I'll pursue it. Otherwise, I'll pluck my guitar and think about lunch. No problems whatsoever being alone or contemplating the universe.

You know how long it takes me to wake up, drink my coffee, read the paper, and putter around a bit? All morning. Then there's lunch. Then I need a nap. After that, who knows?

If I get bored with that, I'll go to the Alps in Switzerland and do the same thing, except in the afternoon I'll take a walk.
For many, yourself included, your retire "to" is basically "nothing" or "whatever the heck you want".

Not everyone is wired the same way.

There's the person with the active thread looking for an easy job they can do on the weekend because they are bored and depressed when not at work...

Or the posters who talk about un-retiring as they were bored and unfulfilled...

Or those asking about when they should retire, what prompted people to quit work, why not OMY (as it adds so much money to their portfolio), etc.

Some people like a plan, others don't. It's all about what works for you individually.
livesoft
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by livesoft »

I have a number of hobbies, volunteer activities, and friends, so I just spend more time now with my hobbies, volunteer activities, and friends than I did when I was working. It has turned out to be rather simple to figure out.
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by bmelikia »

I kind of like thinking of the idea of retirement as being one long weekend. . .I don't really like to overthink what I'm going to do for the upcoming weekend. . .I just kind of let things just happen
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rob
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by rob »

I don't know about retire TO... but for a long time I've kept an ideas list (started when 43things.com existed)... some travel related, some just cool things, some just cool experiences, some all of those.... Whenever I trip over something I throw it on the list without doing any planning.

Sometimes I'll recall one when doing something related and will tack it on [you know you can rollerblade in Paris at night in a group of other idiots?]... I never curate the list.... figured I would run thru in retirement sometime and be more deliberate.

Obviously existing hobbies could be expanded - I have a few that I don't have a lot of time for... so they would pop.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien
wandering_aimlessly
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by wandering_aimlessly »

Though I am just retiring now I have had a great deal of increased free time since the start of COVID...
Some activities are just increases in time spent doing things you already do and know you like (for me this was running)
Other activities emerge from interests you couldn't quite find time for (for me I have an interest area that is clear to others and they have asked my advice about it for the last few years - not sure it will ever develop beyond a hobby but I can certainly get better at it - and earn certifications etc in it)
I have found that if I didn't prioritize it before (even if I always thought it would be neat) I'm probably not doing it in retirement (I have always thought I wanted to be a prolific reader - now that I could have the time, not so much)

One other note...I often heard folks say they can't imagine being retired because there is only so much golf, fishing, working out or other athletic activity they could stand...but these are all physical activities...I agree physical activities are important but you need to find challenging mental activity as well.

Good luck in finding the right activities and mix for you - as many have said - we can tell you our journey but you will ultimately have to find your own path...
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by jebmke »

TallBoy29er wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:50 am Is there anything you learned after you retired that would have been helpful to think through before you made your "retire to" decision, and perhaps would have influenced you to take a different path?
I think the main lesson is to stay flexible. As it turned out, for perfectly good reasons, the things I thought would occupy most of our "leisure time" as I thought ahead to retirement are things we rarely do now. It didn't derail me - I have moved around so much and changed job roles so many times it was pretty seamless.
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finsterfolly
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by finsterfolly »

"I wake up in the morning with nothing to do, and I go to bed half done." Jesse Ventura

More seriously, this past year has shown me that I won't have a problem filling my time when I retire in 5-10 years. Between work and personal travel, I am typically on the road 30-40% of the year. This past year, I had zero travel. My vacations were at home. I got quickly bored without travel and had to back fill it with activities and projects. Now I got so much going on that I don't know how to make time for it when travel starts back up.
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by LuckBeALady »

I retired about 7 months ago at age 56. I understand the folks who say “do nothing”-that’s how my husband rolls

For myself, I’ve always been happier when my day includes some “do-nothing” time (which includes surfing the web and watching TV), some fun exercise(mountain biking or hiking), an hour or two of work (like gardening, cleaning, vacuuming the car), hobbies like playing piano or practicing my horrible Spanish, and socializing with friends 1-3 times a week.

I’ve recently come to realize that most of those things don’t happen if I leave them until “later”. My days go better and I’m happier with some loose structure- mornings are for work and exercise, afternoons are for sedentary hobbies, and evenings are for doing nothing. Nothing rigid but it feels great to me.

So get out there and ride your Tallboy 29er!
AlohaJoe
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by AlohaJoe »

"Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life" by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans shows you how to use modern "design thinking" to approach a problem like this.

VictoriaF originally posted about it a few years back

viewtopic.php?t=215955
2marshmallow
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by 2marshmallow »

TallBoy29er wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:50 am When it comes to retirement, a number of wise contributors on this forum have driven into my head that it is important to RETIRE TO something, not just retire from a job (God willing I get the choice and it is not made for me). I am interested in how you found your "TO":
  • Are there any resources you used, eg books and blogs, that helped you think this through, and perhaps provided you ideas that you would have not pursed otherwise and were different than your preconceived options?
  • At what point during your working career did you put a great deal of thought into this? Eg, 1-2 years from your target retirement date?
  • Is there anything you learned after you retired that would have been helpful to think through before you made your "retire to" decision, and perhaps would have influenced you to take a different path?
In January an opportunity presented itself for me to retire about a year earlier than I planned, and at the same time as DW. I took it without thinking much about what to do in retirement, other than some vague ideas about deferred maintenance around the house/yard, more bicycling, more travel and maybe most importantly, figuring out, along with DW, where we want to settle down in retirement (out of the SF Bay Area, and no, we haven't figured that out yet).

For the first couple of months and to some extent even now, I felt a vague sense of urgency about everything, that I should always be doing something and hurrying up to finish tasks. Then slowly the realization occurred that there is plenty of time! I try not to worry - tomorrow's another day, and finishing today or tomorrow doesn't make much difference. So I'm doing all of the above listed things and in addition I nap extravagantly and have perfected several cocktails. Hardly a day goes by where DW and I don't comment to each other that it's great to be retired! I guess the thing I retired TO is simply being able to do whatever I want whenever I want.

Cheers,
2marshmallow
littlebird
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by littlebird »

It was there in my mind since I was a child. I wanted to see the great national parks, western life, large animals, cacti, ride long-distance trains. (I was a child in the 40’s, before tv. Books stirred our imaginations!)
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by bltn »

In the several years prior to my retirement, I was concerned about having no planned activities to retire to. This concern was reinforced by knowing several successful business people who retired in their early 60 s and went back to work after 6-12 months. Then as I thought about it, I knew many more people who retired happily.
As Livesoft mentioned above, with hobbies, friends and possibly a few planned (volunteer) activities, boredom is not usually a problem.
I ve had no problem at all filling my time.
struva
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by struva »

As someone on the cusp of retirement my biggest concern is how to replace the loss of status. There is self-worth generated in being valuable at work, both internal and in how others treat you. When I retire I will lose status in my own mind and in the minds of people I know and meet. But I have stopped enjoying work and know that I want a lot more freedom in how I spend my time. So I have to learn to live with becoming a lower-status person, and hope the people in my life can deal with it too (or I guess find new friends who will fit my new lifestyle). I will continue to do volunteer work and maybe even ramp it up some to compensate, but I know I won't fully replace the sense of being important to the world.

I am not worried at all about finding what to do with my time. I am worried about how I will view myself, and how others might view me, for spending all day doing whatever I want.
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JoeRetire
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by JoeRetire »

TallBoy29er wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:50 am When it comes to retirement, a number of wise contributors on this forum have driven into my head that it is important to RETIRE TO something, not just retire from a job (God willing I get the choice and it is not made for me). I am interested in how you found your "TO":
  • Are there any resources you used, eg books and blogs, that helped you think this through, and perhaps provided you ideas that you would have not pursed otherwise and were different than your preconceived options?
  • At what point during your working career did you put a great deal of thought into this? Eg, 1-2 years from your target retirement date?
  • Is there anything you learned after you retired that would have been helpful to think through before you made your "retire to" decision, and perhaps would have influenced you to take a different path?
I had an idea what I wanted to do in retirement, based on what I liked, what I had already done, and what I observed others doing.
- I knew I wanted to give back to the community, so I'm now the webmaster, treasurer, on the maintenance committee, and a board member for our HOA.
- I knew I wanted to get outside more, so I get in a walk every day for usually about 2 hours, ride my bike, paddle my kayak.
- I knew I wanted to get to spend more time with the grandchildren, so my wife and I babysat every week until they were old enough to attend school. Now we get to see them participate in their sports and school activities, and we get to have them sleep over on some weekends and lots more during their vacations.
- I knew I wanted to travel more, so we visit our son and daughter-in-law out west (except for last year).
- I knew I wanted to spend more time with some hobbies, so I do a lot more photography and photo editing and I play the guitar and ukelele
- I knew I wanted to try pickleball, so now I play at least 5 times per week
- I knew I wanted to socialize more, so my wife and I started Game Night in our association. We also entertain and get out to eat with friends and neighbors. And we spend time with them at our local beach.
- I knew I wanted to spend more time with my parents, so I was able to be there a lot more until their passing.
- I knew I wanted the time to read more, so I do that every day.
- I knew I didn't want to spend my time watching television during the day, so I don't. (Unless it's football, then I do.)

There's no need to have a detailed plan, IMHO, just the desire to try and do things. I had a general idea in all of these areas, but the specifics just kind of fell into place themselves. Some had to be altered due to the pandemic. But my wife and I are willing to try new things in this phase of our lives. It's been great.

My suggestion is to be open to trying lots of things. Some you won't like and you'll stop. Others you'll like and you'll keep doing them. Be flexible. Enjoy. One of the best parts of retirement is that you have the rest of your life to try things.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Wed May 12, 2021 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeRetire
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by JoeRetire »

ponyboy wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:53 am I was under the impression you didnt have to do anything after you retired.
You can do anything that pleases you, including nothing.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
trueblueky
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by trueblueky »

Somewhere recently, I read there are three types of retirees:
  • life centered on extended family and friends. Watch the grandchildren. See church friends every week. Lots of people like this in the small town where I grew up.
  • life centered on adventures, active leisure, travel, bucket list.
  • life centered on volunteering, giving back.
Of course, there's the category "not really retired", e.g., Wal-Mart greeter.
sailaway
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by sailaway »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:52 am I just retired. What to do wasn’t really a problem. Finding time for all of it was.
Some people need a purpose. I embrace nihilism and just do what I want.
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by IMO »

I think I'm in the camp that ultimately "figure it out as I go."

It's not that I don't plan at all, but I don't have this absolute must on what I'm doing each and every year as retirement moves forward (about 5 yrs in). It's ultimately just going with the flow of what makes me happy in life. What makes one happy is pretty personal. I'm sure for most it's a combination of doing the hobbies/sports one enjoys, finding mental challenges, finding spiritual challenges, travels, volunteering, etc, etc.

I don't think I've ever been a fan of waiting until this magical date of retirement that one needs to get to until they can finally now do those things. Do what makes you happy while you are still working and carry those things forward to retirement.

What I do know is that my once fulfilling/challenging career was no longer providing a source of enjoyment, so I decided to let that go when I retired.
chemocean
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by chemocean »

trueblueky wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:02 pm Somewhere recently, I read there are three types of retirees:
  • life centered on extended family and friends. Watch the grandchildren. See church friends every week. Lots of people like this in the small town where I grew up.
  • life centered on adventures, active leisure, travel, bucket list.
  • life centered on volunteering, giving back.
Of course, there's the category "not really retired", e.g., Wal-Mart greeter.
Or some combination of all three, or maybe even the fourth "not really retired"
radiowave
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by radiowave »

I'm all set to retire two weeks from tomorrow. One of the first things I'm going to do is go to a weekday afternoon baseball game, buy a hot dog and beer and just have fun :)

Seriously, I have a MS Word list 3 pages long and growing. Travel is a high priority with DW and I and looking at some bucket list international venues we've been talking about for a while. Plenty of house stuff to do this summer and looking forward to hiking every day, climb a few mountains, and really enjoy every day after 41 year career.
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flyingaway
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by flyingaway »

trueblueky wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:02 pm Somewhere recently, I read there are three types of retirees:
  • life centered on extended family and friends. Watch the grandchildren. See church friends every week. Lots of people like this in the small town where I grew up.
  • life centered on adventures, active leisure, travel, bucket list.
  • life centered on volunteering, giving back.
Of course, there's the category "not really retired", e.g., Wal-Mart greeter.
I want to be a retiree with a life centered on nothing. I wanted to retire and do some traveling and gambling, but I recently found that I am fine without doing anything, even I am not fully retired yet.
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JoeRetire
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by JoeRetire »

trueblueky wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:02 pm Somewhere recently, I read there are three types of retirees:
  • life centered on extended family and friends. Watch the grandchildren. See church friends every week. Lots of people like this in the small town where I grew up.
  • life centered on adventures, active leisure, travel, bucket list.
  • life centered on volunteering, giving back.
In my experience, most folks are a combination of all three. I know I am.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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JoeRetire
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by JoeRetire »

IMO wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 12:20 pm I don't think I've ever been a fan of waiting until this magical date of retirement that one needs to get to until they can finally now do those things. Do what makes you happy while you are still working and carry those things forward to retirement.
Agreed!

And once you are retired, you have even more time for these things that you already know make you happy, along with a few more new things!
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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Meg77
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by Meg77 »

COVID lockdowns and work from home enabled/forced me to see what retired life (or at least freedom from office life) could really look like. I am trying to keep my semi-retired lifestyle going and will ultimately retire when/if that schedule becomes untenable.

It turns out I didn't need as much structure as I anticipated - nor as much social interaction. I now understand what people say about not having enough time in the day, even with "nothing" to do. I had my actual work still, and I actually appreciated the 20-odd hours that filled where my attention/engagement was really required. But many hours of my "work week" were (are again) actually filled with commuting, getting dressed and ready, chatting with colleagues, going to networking lunches and other events, and so on. With all that gone, even with a few zoom meetings and the usual client calls and emails, I found myself with LOTS of free hours to fill and a wide open schedule to arrange how I saw fit.

I got a piano and started playing again. I pulled out my pastels and drew pictures now and then. Like many, I did some puzzles. I read more books. I worked out every day but also just was more active as I stretched out normal activities like walking the dog and grocery shopping - I walked to Whole Foods nearly every day. I cooked more (rather than just heating foods), and I did household chores while on work calls that used to be in person meetings, so I didn't have to cram those things in at the end of a long day or on weekends. I did a lot more gardening.

All this sounds fairly boring I know, but the pace of life slowed to a comfortable dreamy pace. I got 8+ hours of sleep a night. We played games on occasion and watched some good TV. I facetimed family more.

Things I'm doing now that I'm back to work to try to keep that feeling:

I don't set an alarm. I wake up around 7:15am if my husband leaves me alone, and I take my time walking the dog and having a latte at home. I get to work around 9am or 9:30am now. I used to feel guilty about that, but now I don't. Some days I decide to work from home if I don't have meetings. My boss is doing the same so luckily no one has protested (yet). Many teams seem to have adjusted into some kind of rotation schedule.

I rarely "do" my hair or makeup - at least to the same level I used to. I only wear heels to meetings. Many other women seem to be on the same page in my office. Many men now have beards too I've noticed. In fact I rarely shower before work now; I prefer to do that after my daily exercise which is never first thing in the morning.

I leave my office for a 30-45 minute walk around 10:30am each day, weather permitting. And/or I go to the gym nearby for either an 8:15am or a noon exercise class where I then need to shower afterward.

If I'm not busy, I leave at 3:30pm or 4pm. I of course field client calls and emails whenever they come in - nights and weekends sometimes. So I don't feel bad about this. Some people with kids still log in and send the most work email in the evenings; others do it from 6-8am. So we are no longer all on the same 8-5 schedule, freeing us all up to do our deep work whenever it's convenient. I've been doing this job for 15 years and have been at my firm for long enough to simply be really efficient; my production numbers have been through the roof solidly the last 24 months.

I didn't add back many of the networking groups/events/lunches that moved to zoom 14 months ago. I'm not being proactive or worrying about growth or getting new clients (the ones I have are enough of a handful). I may eventually need to (or feel the need to) step it up or go above and beyond, but not so far.

The big difference now is I can take vacations again. I had 3 long weekend getaways in April alone. :beer
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Northern Flicker
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by Northern Flicker »

trueblueky wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:02 pm Somewhere recently, I read there are three types of retirees:
  • life centered on extended family and friends. Watch the grandchildren. See church friends every week. Lots of people like this in the small town where I grew up.
  • life centered on adventures, active leisure, travel, bucket list.
  • life centered on volunteering, giving back.
Of course, there's the category "not really retired", e.g., Wal-Mart greeter.
And there are activities many of us may enjoy, but not associated with how we made a living: art, gardening, music, acting, photography, making pottery, knitting, race car driving, woodworking, making clothing, restoring antique cars, bicycling, playing bridge/chess/go/tennis/cricket/golf, stargazing, political activity, fishing, reading, birdwatching, learning a foreign language, ... Some people like to volunteer with what they did professionally-- tutoring or mentoring kids in their field.
Last edited by Northern Flicker on Thu May 13, 2021 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Raybo
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by Raybo »

TallBoy29er wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:03 am
Raybo wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:57 am I made a list of everything I would do if time and money weren't constraints. I had about 2 dozens things on the list (water colors, learn to play the saxophone, take bike tours, etc). I started going through them. Some stuck. Some didn't.
That's helpful. List a lot of ideas, see what works.

Bike touring seems to have been a winner for you. How deep on your list did you have to go to get there, or was it a prior passion (I enjoy reading about your exploits, they are inspiration for future retired me, hopefully w my SO).
I did some lite bike touring when I was younger and it was always in my mind to do more. When I retired, I bought a new (cheap) bike and started riding more seriously. I did a supported bike tour (Utah) just after 9/11 and then did a solo tour in the UK on a borrowed bike. When I felt ready, I bought the best touring bike I could find and started doing bike tours every year, except for 2020 or (likely) 2021.

Bike riding and touring is a great retirement passion. I highly recommend it!
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.
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vitaflo
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by vitaflo »

Given your username I'd think there were plenty of bike parks to visit all over the US and Canada that could take up a lot of your time.
Ependytis
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by Ependytis »

For what it’s worth, below is the list of items that I considered to do in retirement.

Partipating on the Bogleheads forum, reading news, working out, cooking, teaching, reading, playing pickle ball, traveling, living somewhere else for 3 to 6 months at a time, writing books, making a lean house, simplifying life and finances, joining an organization like Rotary, sailing club, going for walks, meeting friends for breakfast every morning, defining, starting, and running a blog on financial wellness, taking class of interest online, walking dog, experimenting, hiking, researching, meditating, stretching, joining or establishing a men’s team, having company over for dinner, participating in RHODE Scholar
Stubbie
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by Stubbie »

I had a loooooong list of things I was going to retire TO when I didn't have to go to work every day. I actually do some of them today but find that most days there is just not enough time to get everything done that I have on my agenda. I have found that I really need to prioritize what is most important to me. There are only so many hours in a day and days left in our lifetime. I think it would be really hard for most people to get bored in retirement.
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by LMR1229 »

I retired to not having to go every day to a job I hated. i worked for NYS for 35 years and was able to retire at 56 with a nice pension. I figured I'd have to work until I was 59.5, but as soon as I found out that I could use the money in my 457b after leaving state service, my papers were submitted and I haven't looked back for a second.

I've been retired now for 8 years. As others have said, I don't know where the time goes. The days go by in a blink, even when doing nothing. I play golf, pickle ball, exercise, read, surf the net, socialize with other retired friends, anything I feel like doing. There are certainly some days where I might be a little bored. But on those days, all I do is think about the alternative: getting up at 5:20 am to take the LIRR and then switch to a subway, only to get to a job I hated, and then do the same thing all over again at the end of the day. And when I think about that alternative, I just sit back and smile.

People often say, "What do you do with yourself?" I love to give them an answer that I read in a joke somewhere: "Monday through Friday I do nothing, and Saturday and Sunday i rest."

Retirement is the best. Just enjoy yourself with doing what you want when you want, even if it's nothing.
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LilyFleur
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Re: How did you figure out what to Retire TO?

Post by LilyFleur »

SnowBog wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:02 pm
namajones wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:49 pm
Rdytoretire wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:00 am Those that say you need to retire TO something are treating retirement too much like a job. I'm doing in retirement what just comes naturally and enjoying it very much. I never worried much about what I was retiring to. .
Totally agree. This retire "to" something sounds ridiculous, frankly. Glad I don't listen to that "wisdom." I'll do whatever the heck I want to in retirement. If a job or project comes along that I like, I'll pursue it. Otherwise, I'll pluck my guitar and think about lunch. No problems whatsoever being alone or contemplating the universe.

You know how long it takes me to wake up, drink my coffee, read the paper, and putter around a bit? All morning. Then there's lunch. Then I need a nap. After that, who knows?

If I get bored with that, I'll go to the Alps in Switzerland and do the same thing, except in the afternoon I'll take a walk.
For many, yourself included, your retire "to" is basically "nothing" or "whatever the heck you want".

Not everyone is wired the same way.

There's the person with the active thread looking for an easy job they can do on the weekend because they are bored and depressed when not at work...

Or the posters who talk about un-retiring as they were bored and unfulfilled...

Or those asking about when they should retire, what prompted people to quit work, why not OMY (as it adds so much money to their portfolio), etc.

Some people like a plan, others don't. It's all about what works for you individually.
And sometimes work provides things that are important when they are no longer there. I was semi-retired when Covid hit and I could no longer go to that job. Not working made me a bit lonely (I am single, mostly introverted, but I saw friends and my young adult children for walks and dinners out several times a week). I coped by taking some on-line painting courses and setting up an art studio on my kitchen table. But when a part-time work-from-home job fell into my lap last December, I took it, with gratitude. My boss is an old friend, and the daily interactions with her are very helpful. I have moved from semi-retired to completely retired several times, and it's all been OK. Us singles have to work a bit harder to find the companionship we need, and Covid made that harder.
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