AdmiralJJ wrote:As I read these posts I often see people talk about retiring at a set age, say 55, and I'm just wondering if the goal for most of you is to quit working totally.
That is, go from being a thrifty, no-Starbucks, pavement pounder for 30 years into watching Arsenio reruns 7 hours a day?
You have a rather limited viewpoint on what it means to "quit working totally". Perhaps you are too young to imagine keeping yourself busy in ways that don't qualify as "working".
I retired last year at 60, after 45 years of work.
My plan was to spend at least a year trying out different non-work activities, in order to determine what I really liked, and how I wanted to plan my week. One of the great things about not "working totally" is that you have time to try things out and see how they feel. In my case, my wife is still working so that limited the selection somewhat (no "travel around the world" scenarios), but I still found it difficult to fit everything I wanted to do in a week.
In summary, I spent more time doing things I had always enjoyed, but didn't have time for while working.
I took long walks more, I volunteered more, I cooked more, I spent more time outside, I played my guitar more, I babysat my grandchildren more, I went to lunch with friends, family, and neighbors more, I read more, I exercised more, I visited my parents more. In short, I did much more of what I liked, and much less of what I didn't like.
Recently, I was contacted by a former employer and asked if I could help them out. I agreed to consult with them on Mondays and Tuesday for the next few months, then we'll see where it goes. I don''t ever intend to work full time again. And if part-time work doesn't feel like fun, I'll simply stop. It's amazing how different it is to work, when you know you are financially independent.
One thing I haven't done is start watching television. Perhaps that's your vision of what you will do when you "quit working totally", but I don't share that vision.
I wonder if folks who work very, very hard expect that they'll be happy if they go from very full work lives to "full-time" retirement.
I worked very, very hard my whole life. I do expect to be very happy. If my less-than-one-year experience so far is any indication, I certainly will be. The future looks great to me.
In my limited observations, the people who are happiest in that type of transition were people who pretty much hated their jobs (I come from auto worker country). They have that 30 years marked on a calendar the day they started. For the engineers and software people here, I wonder what they think retirement means.
That's a very limited observation. I have been in software for over 35 years. I loved my career. And I liked many of the jobs I held, while loving many (not all).