how long did it take to get used to retirement

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1year23
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how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by 1year23 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:01 pm

I retired from my job 3 months ago at age 59. Although I gave it a lot of thought before I actually pulled the trigger and had 3 trips planned immediately so that I was retiring TO something I am now home and experiencing let down. I guess I was just delaying the inevitable by keeping myself so busy traveling and now I have to find a way to fill my time so that I feel productive. This has been discussed many times on the forum and retired friends tell me "it takes time" to settle into this new life. My question is for those that felt this melancholy: how long did it last and what is your best advice for dealing with it.

The Wizard
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by The Wizard » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:05 pm

It took me roughly a year to get completely set with my modified retirement lifestyle.
Just matter of organizing things that I do a bit differently...
Attempted new signature...

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Toons
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Toons » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:12 pm

Never had time to feel melancholy,
Adjusted immediately
Busy with activities all the time,,volunteer work,
learn a new language,read,cook,travel,
photography,golf,,,,,rock in the rocking chair,
Drink coffee,,watch the leaves fall,take naps
If you start to feel melancholy,,,get up and start movin.
Exercise is a wonderful way to pass the time. :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Raybo
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Raybo » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:15 pm

My suggestion is to make a list of things you have any interest in doing without regard for how much it costs, how long it takes, or the likelihood you would do them. Music, mountain climbing, art, whatever. My list had a couple dozen items. I have tried most of them and am still doing a few of them.

You will never "get used" to being retired. You simply start living a different kind of life.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

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baconavocado
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by baconavocado » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:20 pm

It's been almost a year for me and I still can't get used to it. The problem is that now that I have so much time, nothing seems very urgent. When I was working, every minute of free time was precious so I would try to cram in all my exercise, all my projects, all my socializing into those very precious hours. Now it's like, oh, I can just do that tomorrow or next week. Even though I have a list of a million things I need to do.

littlebird
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by littlebird » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:33 pm

baconavocado wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:20 pm
It's been almost a year for me and I still can't get used to it. The problem is that now that I have so much time, nothing seems very urgent. When I was working, every minute of free time was precious so I would try to cram in all my exercise, all my projects, all my socializing into those very precious hours. Now it's like, oh, I can just do that tomorrow or next week. Even though I have a list of a million things I need to do.
So what's the problem? You CAN do it tomorrow or next week. You're retired!

You'll probably get up one morning soon and feel like tackling some of those jobs. And maybe you'll decide some of those jobs don't need doing after all. Don't make retirement just another job; it's real life, relieved of the necessity of work.

Dottie57
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:34 pm

baconavocado wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:20 pm
It's been almost a year for me and I still can't get used to it. The problem is that now that I have so much time, nothing seems very urgent. When I was working, every minute of free time was precious so I would try to cram in all my exercise, all my projects, all my socializing into those very precious hours. Now it's like, oh, I can just do that tomorrow or next week. Even though I have a list of a million things I need to do.

A daily list of activites to do would help. And a volunteer job too!

The Wizard
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by The Wizard » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:36 pm

It helps if you can cultivate minor obsessions.
I have a few:
1) Creating and expanding a logging road on my GF's 10 acre property, with chainsaw and 4WD pickup.
2) Cutting and stacking excessive amounts of hardwood firewood for both my house and the GF's house.
3) Searching out and biking the expanding number of rail trails within a 50-100 mile radius.
4) Finding and visiting $1 oyster Happy Hour places in MA and RI.

These are in addition to more routine retirement activities...
Attempted new signature...

scrabbler1
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by scrabbler1 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:40 pm

I had been working part-time for 7 years before I fully retired 9 years ago, including only 2 days a week for the last 17 months. It took me no time at all to get used to not working. I already was doing stuff in my semi-retirement so going from working 2 days to zilch was no transition.

littlebird
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by littlebird » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Well, I never felt it was necessary for me to feel productive in retirement. Retirement was for doing the things I wanted to do in life that I couldn't do if my spouse and I were working. We wanted to move to the southwest, live modestly on our modest means in a lower cost environment, see the sights of the southwest that had always attracted us, and spend time together. Productivity didn't come into it.

It's understandable that you feel something of a letdown after the big trips you planned for are over and you have nothing else planned. Now it's probably time to reconsider what you REALLY want out of retirement; not what you think you're "supposed to" want, or what still -employed magazine writers have suggested you should want.

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TeamArgo
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by TeamArgo » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:52 pm

It took me about six to nine months to adjust. The biggest adjustment to me was facing up to the difference between those things I wanted to do and those things I just "wanted to want to do". After finding that I had time to make some stained glass, I really didn't want to, I had only wanted to want to. Same thing for a host of other things. It took time to weed them out, and while they were hanging around without my doing anything about them I felt that I was failing being retired.
I finally narrowed things down to real wants, and now I read books, keep up with investments and taxes, play games I like, swim, do yard work I enjoy, etc. But I don't volunteer for things like I thought, make stained glass, didn't resume my golfing that I gave up years ago, take a class, etc. I now have the time, but found out those weren't really the things I wanted to do.
There are infinite numbers between two and three, but none of them is 4.

bloom2708
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:53 pm

I'm not retired, but I am hoping to be "good" at it.

Have a list of things you enjoy and want to spend time on. Don't force things. Update the list often.

Exercise
Walk somewhere instead of drive
Go for a bike ride
Research better ways to make coffee
Prepare meals from scratch with fresh ingredients
Drink your coffee while reading Bogleheads
Go for a bike ride
Learn a language (Check out Duolingo.com for free language options)
Read fun books (fiction, etc)
Read non-fiction
Go to the library
Call a relative you haven't talked to while
Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while
Fire up the grill instead of cooking inside
De-clutter
Simplify
Meditate
Try Yoga
Listen to music you haven't listened to in a long time.
Take a nap


If you make your list, don't try to do many of them in a day, be selective.

I would not do much volunteering until you get a routine down. Volunteering might "feel" like work very fast unless you set firm limits.

A challenge for us will be that I have a hard time thinking of things that do not cost money. Something like a golf membership where you pay once and then use it as much as makes sense is enticing as long as it doesn't start to feel like work.

Take my ideas with a grain of salt as I am not retired. But hope to be someday in the next 5-6 years.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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baconavocado
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by baconavocado » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:54 pm

I would add that one major hurdle for me has been getting used to living as an investor. We've been savers our whole lives and have more than enough to live on but I found there was still an adjustment needed. Before, we always had paychecks coming in and really didn't worry about how much we spent, although we're relatively frugal. Now it's like, well, there's a lot coming in but it's all on paper. I can quantify it, but it's not getting deposited in my checking account like before, it's not like I earned it. It's probably even enough for us to keep expanding our lifestyle, but then again, is it right to do that when we're not working? Anyway, that's been my mental adjustment.

bloom2708
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:55 pm

TeamArgo wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:52 pm
It took me about six to nine months to adjust. The biggest adjustment to me was facing up to the difference between those things I wanted to do and those things I just "wanted to want to do". After finding that I had time to make some stained glass, I really didn't want to, I had only wanted to want to. Same thing for a host of other things. It took time to weed them out, and while they were hanging around without my doing anything about them I felt that I was failing being retired.
I finally narrowed things down to real wants, and now I read books, keep up with investments and taxes, play games I like, swim, do yard work I enjoy, etc. But I don't volunteer for things like I thought, make stained glass, didn't resume my golfing that I gave up years ago, take a class, etc. I now have the time, but found out those weren't really the things I wanted to do.
This is good advice. Thanks for sharing.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

renue74
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by renue74 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:56 pm

I'm 43 and a long way from retirement, but my business partner who retired about 5 years ago got antsy.

He ended up volunteering with SCORE and used his background to help start up companies. I'm not going to comment on his effectiveness in this, but he does spend a lot of time doing it.

If you're not familiar, SCORE is retired professionals who use their wisdom and experience to help new companies with business plans, financials, engineering, marketing, etc.

We're mostly goal oriented people. I would imagine that not having a set schedule, tasks to complete for a boss or client, etc. can be challenging.

sport
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by sport » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:07 pm

It took me five minutes. To me, the two most important benefits of retirement are
1. The freedom of not having a rigid time schedule.
2. The lack of stress.
For me, enjoying the lack of stress was immediate. Now, 12 years later, I still enjoy it. I also resurrected an old hobby and have enjoyed spending about 10 hours a week playing duplicate bridge. I also get to spend more time with the Bogleheads and have increased my knowledge of investing accordingly.

Theseus
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Theseus » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:19 pm

1year23 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:01 pm
I retired from my job 3 months ago at age 59. Although I gave it a lot of thought before I actually pulled the trigger and had 3 trips planned immediately so that I was retiring TO something I am now home and experiencing let down. I guess I was just delaying the inevitable by keeping myself so busy traveling and now I have to find a way to fill my time so that I feel productive. This has been discussed many times on the forum and retired friends tell me "it takes time" to settle into this new life. My question is for those that felt this melancholy: how long did it last and what is your best advice for dealing with it.
This sounds like something I was going to post. I retired in July and going through the same things :-). I have been lazing around a lot and not doing any of the million things that need done. I am attracting some mean glances from DW for just being lazy. I hope this spell ends soon :annoyed.
renue74 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:56 pm
I'm 43 and a long way from retirement, but my business partner who retired about 5 years ago got antsy.

He ended up volunteering with SCORE and used his background to help start up companies. I'm not going to comment on his effectiveness in this, but he does spend a lot of time doing it.

If you're not familiar, SCORE is retired professionals who use their wisdom and experience to help new companies with business plans, financials, engineering, marketing, etc.

We're mostly goal oriented people. I would imagine that not having a set schedule, tasks to complete for a boss or client, etc. can be challenging.
I just signed up to be a SCORE mentor. When I started my business in 2001, I used a SCORE mentor to get some initial help. So I always wanted to do that when I retired.

I went through the interview process just last week and it seems like they think I have something to offer :-). Now I am being signed up for the training.

retire57
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by retire57 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:53 pm

It took DH about 20 minutes. I realize how harsh this sounds but ... people who say they don't know what they will do with themselves in retirement have no imagination.

Lynette
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Lynette » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:04 pm

TeamArgo wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:52 pm
It took me about six to nine months to adjust. The biggest adjustment to me was facing up to the difference between those things I wanted to do and those things I just "wanted to want to do". After finding that I had time to make some stained glass, I really didn't want to, I had only wanted to want to. Same thing for a host of other things. It took time to weed them out, and while they were hanging around without my doing anything about them I felt that I was failing being retired.
I finally narrowed things down to real wants, and now I read books, keep up with investments and taxes, play games I like, swim, do yard work I enjoy, etc. But I don't volunteer for things like I thought, make stained glass, didn't resume my golfing that I gave up years ago, take a class, etc. I now have the time, but found out those weren't really the things I wanted to do.
Good description of reality of actually being retired and not dreaming about it.

I was convinced I would relocate so I spent about 6 months fixing up my house to sell. I decided to stay so fixed up my garden. I have a few favorite nurseries that I visit (and spend too much money) when I feel I need to connect to the earth. I enrolled for a few classes in Spanish but there was a problem with scheduling for the most recent one so now I'm learning it on my own. Its tremendous to actually be reading some excerpts from Spanish classics (from a reader with vocabulary!). I spent a day with my church painting a house for an elderly couple in Detroit. I don't want to become too busy as I still want to take some more classes. I vowed that I would exercise every day so I try to get up early and go to my Health Club which is 5 minutes from my house. I swim, do yoga and pilates, treadmill, rower or whatever. The club is social so I meet a lot of people .. next?? I'll see ..

vested1
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by vested1 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:07 pm

I consider myself fortunate to have had a job I loved for 31 years, and one that loved me right back. The 8 years following that initial retirement with different firms held no appeal for me because it was spent in the same industry, which I knew intimately, so retiring for good 1.5 years ago was a welcome change.

I've never understood the angst some feel over what they will fill their time with once they're retired. These are usually the same ones who look at you incredulously and ask "But what are you going to do?" The seconds it took me to embrace retirement can be counted on one hand. I think it comes down to making and striving for goals, that once reached, are replaced with others. When I was working for my long term employer my goal was to constantly improve and to outperform. Later it was to secure enough savings to ensure I could do whatever I desired. Now it's a planned trip, or our daily walk that skirt the Pacific ocean, or the planning and completion of a home project. Then there's always the grandkids, or cooking up a surprise for my wife.

Without a constantly moving goal post one becomes stagnant.

Theseus
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Theseus » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:09 pm

retire57 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:53 pm
It took DH about 20 minutes. I realize how harsh this sounds but ... people who say they don't know what they will do with themselves in retirement have no imagination.
In my case I agree. I have no imagination :D

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baconavocado
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by baconavocado » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:30 pm

Theseus wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:09 pm
retire57 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:53 pm
It took DH about 20 minutes. I realize how harsh this sounds but ... people who say they don't know what they will do with themselves in retirement have no imagination.
In my case I agree. I have no imagination :D
You and me both, Theseus. I guess writing novels is out of the question for us.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:30 pm

Toons wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:12 pm
Never had time to feel melancholy,
Adjusted immediately
Busy with activities all the time,,volunteer work,
learn a new language,read,cook,travel,
photography,golf,,,,,rock in the rocking chair,
Drink coffee,,watch the leaves fall,take naps
If you start to feel melancholy,,,get up and start movin.
Exercise is a wonderful way to pass the time. :happy
You left out "read Bogleheads".
:beer
Anybody know why there's a 20-pound frozen turkey up in the light grid?

rikki
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by rikki » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:31 pm

I had a bit of a struggle letting go of my professional identity. I would say that I had a sense of dislocation as I realized I could no longer define myself by work. Taught me some humility.
I would say a year seems about right for me, including some months exploring the idea of an "encore" job completely different from my first (good to realize I really didn't want to work anymore).
Now I stay busy with 3 classes a week, daily workout (bike ride or YMCA) and a great social life. I read more, enjoy cooking and eating more, and finally feel right with the new flow. Love being a homebody working on my home projects.
It was a mental shift and I'm grateful that I eventually got there.

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FreeAtLast
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by FreeAtLast » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:34 pm

Two and a half months. I was in the Florida Keys, visiting my father and brother. I went for a long walk in the afternoon, smoking an Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva. About in the middle of my peregrination, it hit me with a flash that I was now used to being retired.

When I got back, my dad lamented loudly that he could smell the cigar smoke on me. Due to medical reasons, he had quit cigars for years and he sure missed them. I told him about my revelation and he said, "Enjoy it the best you can for as long as you can, just like I have." A dutiful son, I have obeyed him. :beer
Illegitimi non carborundum.

munemaker
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by munemaker » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:35 pm

I retired on March 1 of this year. The first week we took a Carribean vacation. The whole time I was there, work was in the back of my mind, and I felt an urge to be checking my email and calling in. After I returned home, it took me about 2 weeks to pretty much shake the work thing.

So...it took a total of 3 weeks for me to get used to retirement.

stats99
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by stats99 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:36 pm

I am in my second day, apparently 2 days!

Woodshark
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Woodshark » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:47 pm

baconavocado wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:54 pm
I would add that one major hurdle for me has been getting used to living as an investor. We've been savers our whole lives and have more than enough to live on but I found there was still an adjustment needed. Before, we always had paychecks coming in and really didn't worry about how much we spent, although we're relatively frugal. Now it's like, well, there's a lot coming in but it's all on paper. I can quantify it, but it's not getting deposited in my checking account like before, it's not like I earned it. It's probably even enough for us to keep expanding our lifestyle, but then again, is it right to do that when we're not working? Anyway, that's been my mental adjustment.
Retired over two years here. This is our mental problem as well. It seems so strange to be SPENDING money from our savings after so many year of adding to the nest egg. A mental adjustment for sure.

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tomander
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by tomander » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:49 pm

2 years

Juliajones54
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Juliajones54 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:58 pm

I'm in my 5th month and I have not adjusted. I can tell it's going to be a process.

LuckBeALady
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by LuckBeALady » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:04 pm

I am not retired, but I imagine it would take at least a few months.

Even if your identity was not tied up in your profession, it seems like a good idea to slow down and acknowledge the huge role your job played in your daily life, to honor the act of moving beyond one season of life and into another season. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the sense of loss this enormous transition creates. Admitting that you are experiencing a sense of loss is not incompatible with also experiencing elation and excitement. This transition is no different from graduating from college, getting married, having a baby--those huge changes are exciting, wonderful things--but they also signal the loss of youth and freedom.

I think the key is to spend some time reflecting on how you want to spend the next season of life, what you want out of your time, and developing a nice leisurely plan to pursue those goals.

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Lancelot
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Lancelot » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:09 pm

I adapted to retirement like a duck to water; however, I relocated abroad, so perhaps new challenges helped me.

I'm never bored and cherish having my time as my own :)
No Where for Very Long...

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Sandtrap
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:14 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:36 pm
It helps if you can cultivate minor obsessions.
I have a few:
1) Creating and expanding a logging road on my GF's 10 acre property, with chainsaw and 4WD pickup.
2) Cutting and stacking excessive amounts of hardwood firewood for both my house and the GF's house.
3) Searching out and biking the expanding number of rail trails within a 50-100 mile radius.
4) Finding and visiting $1 oyster Happy Hour places in MA and RI.

These are in addition to more routine retirement activities...
You are quite a fellow. That's tough work. :D
Stihl and Chevy?
or Husqvarna and Toyota Tundra?
Sounds like a commercial. . . .

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Mlm
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Mlm » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:17 pm

Entered into retirement totally unexpectedly. It's been a year and a half and I am starting to adjust. All my friends who voluntarily retired said to give it at least a year. Any major life change is going to take time.
Reality has a way of catching up with you

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dwickenh
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by dwickenh » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:20 pm

Retired for 18 months and adjusted in about 4 months. I exercise 3 days at the gym and 2 days on the golf course. Volunteered as tax preparer for Tax-Aide AARP and Worked 3 days x 6 hours per week. Started giving blood to the Red Cross. Then after tax season I volunteered with United Way doing site visits. Now I go to church every Sunday and have volunteered as a trustee for next year. Lots of reading and learning about investing. I couldn't think of not being retired now.

Dan
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

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Pajamas
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Pajamas » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:28 pm

It took me almost two weeks to stop waking up early in the morning at the time when my alarm clock used to go off. After that, no problems adjusting.

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KSOC
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by KSOC » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:30 pm

I'm almost thru 5 months. I got used to it pretty quick. My job for 28 years had me leave for work at 7am & get home at 5-5:30. No breaks, seldom took lunch. So for the first time in my life I had no commitment. Didn't miss it at all. I was laid off and pretty much knew I wasn't gonna work full-time again. The longer I'm off I wonder if I'll work part-time either. I love it. The day goes so fast. DW still works full-time teaching, so I do everything. Never been happier. But the only thing is I feel guilty because I know she would love to be done too.
Too soon old, too late smart.

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Sandtrap
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:31 pm

I've always been my own "boss" so there's never been the feeling of having the "shackles off" so to speak. But still. . .
It's been about 5 years since winding down my R/E business and holdings. With most of it gone and no demands on my time, it's been quite an adjustment.

The hardest part of "retirement" has been:

0 Resist thinking about business opportunities because it has always been that way.
1 Resist buying more apartment buildings or R/E in general, though I keep looking.
2 Resist tinkering with my "Boglehead" portfolio.
3 Still wake up too darn early.
4 The lack of mental/intellectual challenge which business has always had.


The best part of retirement has been:

1
Like "Wizard", I've been doin' a bit of chainsawin' and lot clearin' and spread updatin' on our mini ranch with DW. Goin' to put a coat of stain on the stable building this week.' In fact, just puttering in general.
2
Like "Toons", I've been shoppin' fer somethin' like that cool "Winnebago Travato" that he has and plan to use it a lot.
3
Gettin' a passport and the senior lifetime national park pass, for starters.
4
Planning to do more photo journalism and such and expand my portfolio with works from abroad. Do some travelin'. . . never have.
5
Slowing wayyyyy down and resting a lot more and watchin' the cows and the tumbleweed go by and the seasons change out yonder'.
6
Takin' care of my health and lookin' out fer myself' fer a change instead of runnin' myself into the ground . . . . .

yep, . . . I reckon. . . for at least myself, it's been difficult to "hang up my spurs. . . "
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Blister
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:59 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Blister » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:08 pm

I've been retired for about 5 months and have experienced some of the difficulties previously mentioned. It is a work in progress. :?
Everthing works out in the end. If it doesn't then its not the end.

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Peter Foley
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Location: Lake Wobegon

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Peter Foley » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:22 pm

It took me about a year to stop thinking about work. We had a couple longer trips planned for the first year and those changes in venue helped (Alaska and France). Our first grandchild was born three months after we retired and our second was born seven months later.

Our two daughters both having children within a year of when we retired changed our focus significantly.

Dottie57
Posts: 2269
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:37 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:36 pm
It helps if you can cultivate minor obsessions.
I have a few:
1) Creating and expanding a logging road on my GF's 10 acre property, with chainsaw and 4WD pickup.
2) Cutting and stacking excessive amounts of hardwood firewood for both my house and the GF's house.
3) Searching out and biking the expanding number of rail trails within a 50-100 mile radius.
4) Finding and visiting $1 oyster Happy Hour places in MA and RI.

These are in addition to more routine retirement activities...

I really like #4. Nonmany oysrer happy hours in MN.

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boomer
Posts: 80
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by boomer » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:05 pm

1year23 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:01 pm
I retired from my job 3 months ago at age 59. Although I gave it a lot of thought before I actually pulled the trigger and had 3 trips planned immediately so that I was retiring TO something I am now home and experiencing let down. I guess I was just delaying the inevitable by keeping myself so busy traveling and now I have to find a way to fill my time so that I feel productive. This has been discussed many times on the forum and retired friends tell me "it takes time" to settle into this new life. My question is for those that felt this melancholy: how long did it last and what is your best advice for dealing with it.
I have been retired a year and three months, and I am still not used to it. The hardest part for me is filling my needs for social interaction and mental stimulation that the job formerly supplied. I have plenty of things to do, but it seems like too many of them involve being at home alone. And as another poster said, I am having a hard time getting things done, since I don't have a schedule imposed on me anymore.
Similar to you, I had a lot of things planned for the first year but now I feel like I'm flailing.

blmarsha123
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:23 pm

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by blmarsha123 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:22 pm

I experienced the opposite - retired almost three years ago and jumped right into it. Only just recently have I had thoughts of work or working.

I had three volunteer opportunities lined up immediately, including one every Monday morning. So in retirement, I started my week not very unlike when working (up and at it early Monday morning), except that I was doing something completely different and directly helping people in a very social environment. Plus time for trips, more reading and otherwise smelling the roses. Oh, and my wife says that I am much more on the ball taking care of things around the house. Go figure.

Suze
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:39 pm

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Suze » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:47 pm

I shook the dust off my feet as I walked out the door and never looked back. Having my life back kasted 6 weeks...then health problems kicked in. Enjoy every moment you have, cause you don't know what tomorrow brings.

2015
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by 2015 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:55 pm

LuckBeALady wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:04 pm
I am not retired, but I imagine it would take at least a few months.

Even if your identity was not tied up in your profession, it seems like a good idea to slow down and acknowledge the huge role your job played in your daily life, to honor the act of moving beyond one season of life and into another season. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the sense of loss this enormous transition creates. Admitting that you are experiencing a sense of loss is not incompatible with also experiencing elation and excitement. This transition is no different from graduating from college, getting married, having a baby--those huge changes are exciting, wonderful things--but they also signal the loss of youth and freedom.

I think the key is to spend some time reflecting on how you want to spend the next season of life, what you want out of your time, and developing a nice leisurely plan to pursue those goals.
Wise words.

Water seeks it's own level. Trust that you will find yours in due time.

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1210sda
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by 1210sda » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:57 pm

For the first year after I retired, we (dw and me) spent a lot of time planning our relocation from the midwest to the southwest. We had tons of packing, cleaning, throwing out useless stuff and just generally getting the house ready for listing with a real estate broker.

Of course, we took our sweet time about it.

Once we sold and moved, it took us about 18 months to choose an area of our new town, to find our particular lot and to build our retirement home from scratch. We used a builder, but "assisted" with the supervision on a daily basis, sometime two or three times a day. (Much to the builder's chagrin, I'm sure).

By the time we moved in to our new home, I had been retired for 2 1/2 years. By this time, I was psychologically adjusted for retirement. From that point forward it's been a breeze. Now we are 16 years into retirement and have reached the point of wondering in amazement.....where did we find the time to do all that we now do and still work before we retired. :)
1210
Last edited by 1210sda on Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

fposte
Posts: 982
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by fposte » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:10 pm

boomer wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:05 pm
I have been retired a year and three months, and I am still not used to it. The hardest part for me is filling my needs for social interaction and mental stimulation that the job formerly supplied. I have plenty of things to do, but it seems like too many of them involve being at home alone. And as another poster said, I am having a hard time getting things done, since I don't have a schedule imposed on me anymore.
Similar to you, I had a lot of things planned for the first year but now I feel like I'm flailing.
That’s the part I wonder about. I live alone and will retire before most of my friends; I’m generally pretty happy at home in my own these days but that’s knowing I’ll have work socialization waiting for me. I think I need to find some regular haunts.

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Sandtrap
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Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:25 pm

boomer wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:05 pm
1year23 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:01 pm
I retired from my job 3 months ago at age 59. Although I gave it a lot of thought before I actually pulled the trigger and had 3 trips planned immediately so that I was retiring TO something I am now home and experiencing let down. I guess I was just delaying the inevitable by keeping myself so busy traveling and now I have to find a way to fill my time so that I feel productive. This has been discussed many times on the forum and retired friends tell me "it takes time" to settle into this new life. My question is for those that felt this melancholy: how long did it last and what is your best advice for dealing with it.
I have been retired a year and three months, and I am still not used to it. The hardest part for me is filling my needs for social interaction and mental stimulation that the job formerly supplied. I have plenty of things to do, but it seems like too many of them involve being at home alone. And as another poster said, I am having a hard time getting things done, since I don't have a schedule imposed on me anymore.
Similar to you, I had a lot of things planned for the first year but now I feel like I'm flailing.
Same here. No longer interacting with fellow businessman, professionals, etc, all usually extremely bright, very educated, and witty . . conversations always substantive and goal oriented.
Now. . . Intellectual social void.
I have never been one for "chit chat" or mindless dithering and pleasantries.
However I am getting better at "dithering".. . . :shock:

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celia
Posts: 7105
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Location: SoCal

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by celia » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:36 pm

There are many days I don't feel retired, because there are more things I want to do than I have time for. DH says if I turned off the computer, I would be able to do more of my things. I agree, but I simply enjoy Bogleheads.

OP, One thing you may be missing is regular social interaction. It's difficult to hang out with people who need to go to work, but if you develop some other interests that other retirees around you enjoy, you may find you have a common bond. I would start by going on a daily walk, taking a different path or time of day each time. Stop and talk to others you see outside. See if there are classes at the local park or senior center and find those that interest you.

hawkfan55
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:04 pm

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by hawkfan55 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:42 pm

In my 7th month of retirement. I'm not as busy as I would like to be, however, as each month goes by, retirement seems to feel a little more comfortable. I've decided that I'm not going to stress out and, instead, just let retirement come to me. I am happy not to have the stress of working for a living. 8-)

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