how long did it take to get used to retirement

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

Post by GerryL » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:45 pm

In the years leading up to retirement I started making a list of things I might want to do so that if I got bored I could look at the list and pick out an activity. Everything from clean up garage to take a geology class to planning African safari.

When I actually retired -- a year earlier than planned -- I figured it would take me at least a week to stop scanning the news and flagging articles for co-workers (my first task each day, and one that I enjoyed). As it turned out, it didn't take me 10 minutes to appreciate my new status. More than 3 years later and I only rarely have even looked at that list, and only out of curiosity.

Some people thrive on structure and feeling productive. Some of us don't. I'm guessing the people in the latter group adjust to retirement more easily.

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

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:47 pm

No time at all. It came very naturally. I'm always as busy as I want to be doing things I want to do. Since we've moved to a 55+ active community we've made the best friends that we've ever had and our social lives are full. I've been retired for over 14 years and have never regretted one moment. Retirement life is good!
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

sil2017
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by sil2017 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:35 pm

Delete
Last edited by sil2017 on Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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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 11:41 pm

celia wrote:
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.
+1
DW says the same thing to me.
Always look forward to your input. :D

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

Post by Nearing_Destination » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:21 am

Sandtrap wrote:
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. . . .
Stihl and Ford F-250 superduty for me...

but to the OP's point, it can take a bit of time to find your way

For me, I made sure I didn't take on too much volunteering; as I relocated, I also had tasks getting the new place up -- and each season has its own tasks: right now we're getting ready for winter (finishing some painting/staining, winterizing equipment)

I also agree with the poster that mentioned that we need to be cognizant that retirement is a big **stressful** change, although it's a good change, like marriage, your body still may feel stress. I know it took a few months to more fully get into retirement, with an occasional hint some months after, but with a lot of tasks to do...and the seasons demanding their attention, it feels normal now after almost two years.

and now we just snicker that we're glad not to have to get up and face traffic like so many of our neighbors...

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

Post by The Wizard » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:18 am

Sandtrap wrote:
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. . . .
Husqvarna and Ford F-150.
Plus an assortment of ropes, chains, yellow crane straps, and a steel cable.
The truck also hauls a ton of 3/4" stone from time to time to fill in low areas on that road.
While tough work, the idea is to space it out, no more than a few hours at a time...
Attempted new signature...

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

Post by The Wizard » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:27 am

Dottie57 wrote:
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.
In both MA and RI, it's not legal to cut prices on adult beverages for "happy hour". Whatever price you set has to stay the same all week.
But you can cut the price on food to get customers in, so some places do that on oysters and wings...
https://boston.eater.com/maps/dollar-oysters-boston
Attempted new signature...

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

Post by vtMaps » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:36 am

I have been retired for about a decade. The question you ask doesn't make sense to me... I never really got used to working. I am so busy... I don't know how I ever found the time to work. I think retirement is my natural state.

--vtMaps
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. --James Branch Cabell

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

Post by carolinaman » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:51 am

I have been retired almost 7 years. The first 2 years were extremely busy. I was taking care of my sick mother in another state, also did a lot of remodeling and honeydo work, did some volunteering and was still involved in a couple of professional organizations. As all that wound down by the 3rd year, I was looking for things to do. A guy told me this was fairly common that the first couple of years are filled with stuff you have wanted to do and once that is done, you have to figure out what is next. Once things slowed down was when I had to figure out how to adapt to retirement. I am still working on that. You are still young enough that you should have plenty of options as to how to adapt to retirement. Find things you enjoy doing and that give you a sense of purpose. Do not worry about what others do or think that you should do. Every retirement is different. Figure out what works for you. Best wishes.

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

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:18 am

I retired on January 3 of this year. I am now the "househusband" in our home. I've been kept busy by doing all the chores at home (laundry, cleaning, shopping, cooking, yardwork, etc). Plus, I'm continuing to educate myself on financial matters, I'm learning new computer skills (mainly Excel / LibreOffice), and have provided (very) occasional support visits to my old workplace to help my successor get up to speed. DW had some signficant surgery back in February, which occupied my time for several weeks, plus we took a vacation in Europe in May. We just finished a remodelling of our home office, which (being the stay-at-home person) occupied me at least a bit. I'm now looking forward to a Caribbean trip later this year (which got rescheduled literally at the last minute, thanks to Hurricane Irma) and a trip next spring to the Grand Canyon (per DW's bucket list). And I have a wonderful view of our front yard with our garden and a bunch of bird feeders from our home office.

On the (few) days that I do get "cabin fever", I take a day out to go eat lunch somewhere, or head to the gym.

Combine all that with the fact that I no longer have to worry about emergency phone calls at any hour of the day or night, and I can honestly say that it took me just about the length of time it took to drive home on my last full day of employment.
Anybody know why there's a 20-pound frozen turkey up in the light grid?

MikeG62
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by MikeG62 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:25 am

I early retired (at 53) two years ago. For me the transition was easy. I love being retired - so much so that I never, ever think about what I used to do at work or what I would be doing if I were still working (I retired from an intellectually stimulating and challenging C-Suite level position). It's almost as if I never worked a day in my life.

Why am I not bored? Well, I am in the gym six days each week (always been a gym rat). Also, no rushing in the mornings as I used to do when working. I get up when I want (no more alarm clock waking me out of a deep sleep) and take my time each morning before I even am ready to leave the house (making/eating breakfast, checking/writing e-mails, managing finances, reading/posting on Bogleheads, watching the news - local, world and business). We are traveling a lot (trips have us away from home approximately two months a year spread over 8-10 trips). So that requires an extensive amount of time planning those trips (where to go, where to stay while there, what we might want to do while there, where to eat, etc...). There really is not all that much time to sit around and be bored.

My advice to others still working would be to make sure you have enough money saved to "live life to the fullest" when retired. After all, we all only go around once. If you retire with just enough to scrape by, living a frugal lifestyle sitting at home, then you may well find yourself bored. We try and have as many life enriching experiences as we can, and a lot of that requires money. So it may mean working a bit longer to have a full and enriching life in retirement.

Full disclosure, I did transition from full time to sort of part time (working 3-4 days per week) 9 years before I fully retired, so that may have helped in my transition. I really looked forward to and enjoyed the weeks where I was working only 3 days per week (enjoying my four day weekends). Now I am enjoying so much more my seven day weekends. It is so liberating to do what you want, when you want. It truly has exceeded my every expectation.

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

Post by Blues » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:38 am

I've never spent a moment regretting my decision to retire at 51. That was over a decade ago.
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

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

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:34 am

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 don't have enough experience to really help much, but just thought I'd point out a warning to others from your experience.

Retiring TO something doesn't mean a handful of trips. It's actually a plan of what you're going to do with your day to day time for the next few decades. It might be volunteer work, or a side business, or a lot of golfing (like 18 holes a day) etc. You planned for a 3 month sabbatical, not a retirement. So I'd spend some time thinking about what you want to retire to.

Very common problem though. I have a family member with a related issue. Retired, but now with health problems that keep him from doing all the stuff he's loved to do for decades. You need to have at least a few hobbies/activities that you can do in much worse health than you enjoy now.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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

Post by Sheepdog » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:51 am

It took no time for me. Running my retirement finances and in-retirement life, instead of running my factory, became my new business. I budgeted my time like during my business life. I watched utilization of assets like in business. I had my home and other assets to maintain. (I just didn't have maintenance to call to fix something...I was maintenance now.) I watched my bottom line like in business. I made plans for future growth and when incomes would be down like during those working years. I made future vacation plans like when I worked.
I didn't have a paycheck anymore so I had to run my retirement like a business. I actually enjoyed it (as long as I was successful at it.) I no longer had many employees to monitor....only one coworker now (my dear wife.) :wink:
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

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

Post by Toons » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:06 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
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
Bingo :sharebeer
"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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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by dumbbunny » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:12 am

1year23 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:01 pm
My question is for those that felt this melancholy: how long did it last and what is your best advice for dealing with it.
My retirement started when I was terminated from my workplace - much earlier than I had planned. At first there was shock and then it turned into melancholy - whole process was about a month. I beat it by finishing projects around the house, exercising, and volunteering at my church. Ironically, after two years the volunteering led to a two-year full time job as operations manager. No melancholy after officially retiring from the church gig.
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"

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

Post by Frisco Kid » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:24 am

Retired 3.5 years now, transitioned immediately and seamlessly. Had a bucket list of things to do so there was a path to follow. Volunteer work plus gardening and other hobbies along with taking care of the house with shopping,laundry, etc keep me more than busy. Throughout most of my career I worked in outside sales from a home office so never really experienced a corporate "team" type environment. I suspect that made my transition easier as all of my social stimulation was with customers at their locations. My fellow volunteers now provide that.......

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

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:31 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:34 am
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 don't have enough experience to really help much, but just thought I'd point out a warning to others from your experience.

Retiring TO something doesn't mean a handful of trips. It's actually a plan of what you're going to do with your day to day time for the next few decades. It might be volunteer work, or a side business, or a lot of golfing (like 18 holes a day) etc. You planned for a 3 month sabbatical, not a retirement. So I'd spend some time thinking about what you want to retire to.

Very common problem though. I have a family member with a related issue. Retired, but now with health problems that keep him from doing all the stuff he's loved to do for decades. You need to have at least a few hobbies/activities that you can do in much worse health than you enjoy now.
+1
Good point.
"Erosion of human capital" :shock:
Lifestyle adaptations.
j

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

Post by Teague » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:55 am

Nonmany oysrer happy hours in MN.
But plenty of regular ones? :D
Semper Augustus

mak1277
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by mak1277 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:04 am

vtMaps wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:36 am
I have been retired for about a decade. The question you ask doesn't make sense to me... I never really got used to working. I am so busy... I don't know how I ever found the time to work. I think retirement is my natural state.

--vtMaps
I'm not retired yet, but this encapsulates my answer. I feel like I "get used to retirement" every time I take a day off...and then I'm rudely snapped back to reality the next time I have to go to the office. I don't find disconnecting from work to be difficult at all though. I rarely check email on weekends or vacation days.

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

Post by carolinaman » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:25 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:34 am
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 don't have enough experience to really help much, but just thought I'd point out a warning to others from your experience.

Retiring TO something doesn't mean a handful of trips. It's actually a plan of what you're going to do with your day to day time for the next few decades. It might be volunteer work, or a side business, or a lot of golfing (like 18 holes a day) etc. You planned for a 3 month sabbatical, not a retirement. So I'd spend some time thinking about what you want to retire to.

Very common problem though. I have a family member with a related issue. Retired, but now with health problems that keep him from doing all the stuff he's loved to do for decades. You need to have at least a few hobbies/activities that you can do in much worse health than you enjoy now.
Health issues and physical limitations can definitely throw a curve in terms of your retirement plans. I retired at 66 and find that I can still play golf, go to the gym and work around the house, but I have more limitations than I used to and it will not get better with time. This may not be an issue with younger retirees, at least for awhile. As stated, adjust and adapt to new realities when (not if) they occur, and enjoy life.

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

Post by SQRT » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:07 am

I retired 11 years ago at 56 from a senior exec position. Up to that point I was fully invested in my career and my identity was closely connected to my position. Retired cold turkey and I think it took about three years to fully get used to “the new me”. Boredom was not the issue, rather it was identity. Everybody is different. Many people are “used to retirement” long before it happens.
Last edited by SQRT on Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by baconavocado » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:25 pm

SQRT wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:07 am
I retired 11 years ago at 56 from a senior exec position. Up to that point I was fully invested in my career and my identity was closely connected to my position. Retired cold turkey and I think it took about three years to fully get used to “the new me”. Everybody is different. Many people are “used to retirement” long before it happens.
I'm encouraged by this and similar comments. There may still be hope for me!

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

Post by Jazztonight » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:05 pm

Looking over the many responses, it's obvious that some people take to retirement more easily than others.

I was semi-retired for a number of years, and filled my days off with significant activities and projects, including going back to college for another BA degree. I've been fully retired for the last 5 years, and I love it.

There are so many things to do once your time is all your own. It's up to you to decide how to fill each day.

A few years ago I came up with the concept of "The Big Four." Each day I try to engage in four activities that will, at the end of the day, allow me to say to myself, "It was a good day."

Your Big Four (or whatever number you choose) would depend on your interests, desires, hobbies, avocations, and lifestyle.

For me:
1. Physical activity (work-out and/or 3+ mile walk)
2. Foreign language study (I've been studying Spanish for years)
3. Music - I play piano and flute, and practice each as well as perform at a number of retirement facilities and restaurants
4. Creative pursuit - write letters, journal, work on some type of writing or music project.

This is, of course, in addition to all the other stuff I've always done involving DW, our home, friends, socializing, reading, spiritual activities, special projects, travel, looking at BH site, and so on.

Good luck to you in finding your retirement zone!
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

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

Post by Houe » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:06 pm

I'm not retired yet but I don't think I'll have too hard a time to adjust.

I'm a 41yr old electrical engineer. When I retire I'd like to take up astronomy... maybe grind some big mirrors and build some scopes. I enjoy doing machining on a lathe and milling machine. Grow a large garden with a lot of grapes and other fruits and vegetables. I'd like to build a exercise room in the basement including a steam room and just soak each and every day. I'd like to learn to weld and build a 2 axis solar panel tracking system for the house. Maybe build some furniture. I guess I like to build things....

Or maybe when I retire I will have already done all those things and have another list or I will do nothing at all :)

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John151
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by John151 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:17 pm

sport wrote:
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.
Me too! The day I retired was the second happiest day of my life. I won’t say what the first happiest day was, because I’m hoping I haven’t had it yet.

3504PIR
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by 3504PIR » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:56 pm

I retired from my chosen career in 2008 and am now in my "second career." As I started my second career I was 46 and decided to set various goals for my final - final retirement which I decided would be in 10 years at 56. The key decision for me was to buy a small horse farm as a retirement home. I lease the pastures and barn out to neighbors and look out onto their horses grazing which is very nice. I may or may not get a horse or two of my own. My time will be spent with a variety of chores and projects around the farm. I'm not particularly handy, but its amazing what you can learn on youtube. I will have plenty to do, when I want to do it. I retire in 15 months and have a list of projects I'll try out or do that is pages long, none of which are urgent. Within 3-5 years of retiring we plan on buying a second home or an RV which will add some adventure. I cannot imagine retiring in a subdivision or condo/apartment, that would be a challenge between the ages of 56 and 80 or so to me.

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

Post by Levett » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:49 pm

"Do the best you can do, and then when you are through with it, don't try to live it again."

Do this and you won't have to "get used to it." You will be ready, willing and able from day one.

Who am I quoting (with complete agreement)? Sparky Anderson. :beer

Lev

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

Post by mrc » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:59 am

Levett wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:49 pm
"Do the best you can do, and then when you are through with it, don't try to live it again."

Do this and you won't have to "get used to it." You will be ready, willing and able from day one.

Who am I quoting (with complete agreement)? Sparky Anderson. :beer

Lev
Got married during the '84 World Series. Fond memories for sure.

The only adjustment I experienced was that lack of dread/anxiety that hit Sunday afternoon on the thought of having to finish up a project because I had to go to work Monday. It's been 9 months and that is finally not happening any more.
A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you're doing it right, but not enough to know you're doing it wrong. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

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

Post by JBTX » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:29 am

I can see myself having the same issue as OP. I’m 54 and not working at the moment. DW is breadwinner. I find that necessity has dictated my scheduling in the past. Work. Kids. Some household project (which I usually outsource.) It is to the point I really have no hobbies anymore. Now that I have some time I am having a hard time motivating myself to get to the gym. I really have no desire to take up golf again. I can’t really travel with kids. Plus there is the money aspect. Most things i would like to do cost money. We are already a bit loose with money, I can’t imagine what happens when we have more time on our hands. If and when my wife retires she will be worse. She will want to do something and it likely will cost money!!

I’m guessing the answer will be to try to schedule things and get some structure. Maybe walk more. Read more books.

My weakness is forums such as these. I find i spend too much time on them. At least here I have learned a lot of useful knowledge. Others I have participated in I have little to show for it.

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

Post by TonyDAntonio » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:55 am

If you have some hobbies, if you have some minimal house chores or maintenance duties, if you have some minimal exercise routine I don't see how you can't fill your day. It took 0 days for me to feel comfortable in retirement after a 30 year IT career. If you have no hobbies, if you don't do any work around the house, if you don't exercise, if you don't cook, etc. you are spending too much time working or you are really lazy. If it's the former, keep working but back off and get some outside-work interests. If it's the later you should do ok retiring. Lazy works in retirement.
My hardest retirement transition was going from adding everything to my investments to adding nothing and starting to spend. That took a fair amount of time to actually put into action a withdrawal plan. I was laid off so I had about 1 month to figure it out.

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

Post by boomer » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:27 am

3504PIR wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:56 pm
I retired from my chosen career in 2008 and am now in my "second career." As I started my second career I was 46 and decided to set various goals for my final - final retirement which I decided would be in 10 years at 56. The key decision for me was to buy a small horse farm as a retirement home. I lease the pastures and barn out to neighbors and look out onto their horses grazing which is very nice. I may or may not get a horse or two of my own. My time will be spent with a variety of chores and projects around the farm. I'm not particularly handy, but its amazing what you can learn on youtube. I will have plenty to do, when I want to do it. I retire in 15 months and have a list of projects I'll try out or do that is pages long, none of which are urgent. Within 3-5 years of retiring we plan on buying a second home or an RV which will add some adventure. I cannot imagine retiring in a subdivision or condo/apartment, that would be a challenge between the ages of 56 and 80 or so to me.
I think this is a good plan for people who enjoy this type of life. I talked to a 92-year-old guy yesterday that was still actively taking care of things on his ranch. I think his lifestyle has probably helped keep him young. Hope you have the same experience!

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

Post by mrgeeze » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:55 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.
+1

I feel very much the same. In fact I think its gotten worse the last few months.

I'm starting to get a little worried about it

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

Post by Masterblaster » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:10 pm

Everyone is different and everyone has a different response to retirement. Sorry to break it to you but...

An academic study on actual large groups of retirees on the post retirement contentment topic finds that retirees except for some initial months immediately after retirement are not as happy/content as when working until some time around 7 years after they retire. There is quite a variance in response but the low point averages around two years post retirement. ( This study was done by Pascale (et al) and documented in the book "The Retirement Maze")

Again everyone is different and everyone has a different response to retirement. But the takeaway from the study is that not everyone having retired is happier than when working.

Many of the posts on this thread are in agreement with the research

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

Post by 1year23 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:36 pm

Masterblaster,

Thanks a lot! 7 years....that's depressing!

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

Post by vbdoug » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:38 pm

Ten minutes.

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

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:39 pm

John151 wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:17 pm
sport wrote:
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.
Me too! The day I retired was the second happiest day of my life. I won’t say what the first happiest day was, because I’m hoping I haven’t had it yet.
If it compares at all to the day I got out of the military, it's going to be pretty awesome!
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

DrGoogle2017
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:09 am

I think it takes about 2 years, thats how long I’ve been retired and finally don’t feel bored. Plenty of time for regular exercise. Plenty of time to catch up on my sleep. Plus now I’ve developped a regular programming for my husband and I. We’re are enjoying our retirement life. Plus I have a long list of things to do if I’m bored.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Rocco Sampler » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:53 am

I can’t believe what I’m reading. Buck up, people! I’m not retired yet, but I know I’m going to love it when I get there next year. Here are some suggestions.
1. Adopt a cat or a dog from a shelter. If the unconditional love you receive from one of those guys doesn’t make you happy, you’re a lost cause.
2. Volunteer at the local animal shelter. They need people to socialize kittens and puppies, foster animals until they get a real home, take bottle babies home and feed them until they’re eating regular, etc.
3. Learn a foreign language. It’s hard as heck as an adult, but very rewarding. The world is twice as big. Literature is twice as big. Vacation potentials are twice as big. Potential friendships are twice as big. Cuisine is twice as big. Plus it keeps your brain fresh and minty. There are even immersion courses in various countries where you live with a family there for a week or more. Get out of your comfort dot!
4. Get a library card. Free enrichment the Bogleheads way.
5. Take a course at a local college. You’ll learn and meet people – people who can introduce you to other interests.
6. Start a poker night with people you like. You’ll keep up with what’s going on and can pontificate on whatever you like, while drinking good scotch.
7. Exercise. Hike, bike, run, whatever, do pushups after you get out of the shower. Park the car far from the entrance.
8. Learn something different. I took a traditional woodworking course a few years ago and became obsessed with it for a couple of years and still enjoy it. It was like learning an ancient secret and taught me new ways to think. Here’s one, but there are plenty out there: http://www.woodwrightschool.com/. There are all kinds of short term learning vacation options on different topics around the country or the world.
9. Learn to fix your car and fix your house. You’ll save money, get some exercise and get some satisfaction. Youtube will show you everything.
10. Go see the national parks. It’s not expensive and is awe inspiring.
11. Learn a musical instrument. That will also keep your brain fresh and minty.
12. If you have a master’s degree you can teach undergrad courses at the local college. Doesn’t pay great, but you’ll be with young people and that youth will rub off on you. Plus you’ll have a schedule to keep.
13. Hike the Appalachian Trail. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail. All at once or in sections.
14. Learn to fly a plane.
15. Take a mountain/rock climbing course. http://exumguides.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwva ... -dEALw_wcB
16. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
Last edited by Rocco Sampler on Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by BTDT » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:03 am

Took me about two weeks to quit waking up at 5AM to go to work, and about six months to quit having dreams/nightmares about work.
My to-do-list continues to grow, but retirement to me is having lots to do but only doing what I want to when I want to :sharebeer
If past history was all that is needed to play the game of money, the richest people would be librarians.

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

Post by basspond » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:12 am

The first work day that I awakened. Had family matters that took most of my time the first couple of months, getting setup for my volunteer career, spending more time on my hobbies, several house projects that took several weeks, and being a full time domestic associate.

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

Post by DaleMaley » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:28 am

In my 22nd month of retirement. At the 14th month point, I was called back to work. But after 8 weeks back on the job.....I retired again. It was good I went back to work, because it reinforced that I had made a good decision to retire in the first place. I like new products/processes, and in our industry.....there is no longer regulatory changes driving forced product updates........so there are almost no new products or processes now to work on. That is too boring for me.

Fortunately, I have so many hobbies and community volunteering activities.........I never run out of things to do in retirement :D :D
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by flyingaway » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:40 am

Rocco Sampler wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:53 am
I can’t believe what I’m reading. Buck up, people! I’m not retired yet, but I know I’m going to love it when I get there next year. Here are some suggestions.
1. Adopt a cat or a dog from a shelter. If the unconditional love you receive from one of those guys doesn’t make you happy, you’re a lost cause.
2. Volunteer at the local animal shelter. They need people to socialize kittens and puppies, foster animals until they get a real home, take bottle babies home and feed them until they’re eating regular, etc.
3. Learn a foreign language. It’s hard as heck as an adult, but very rewarding. The world is twice as big. Literature is twice as big. Vacation potentials are twice as big. Potential friendships are twice as big. Cuisine is twice as big. Plus it keeps your brain fresh and minty. There are even immersion courses in various countries where you live with a family there for a week or more. Get out of your comfort dot!
4. Get a library card. Free enrichment the Bogleheads way.
5. Take a course at a local college. You’ll learn and meet people – people who can introduce you to other interests.
6. Start a poker night with people you like. You’ll keep up with what’s going on and can pontificate on whatever you like, while drinking good scotch.
7. Exercise. Hike, bike, run, whatever, do pushups after you get out of the shower. Park the car far from the entrance.
8. Learn something different. I took a traditional woodworking course a few years ago and became obsessed with it for a couple of years and still enjoy it. It was like learning an ancient secret and taught me new ways to think. Here’s one, but there are plenty out there: http://www.woodwrightschool.com/. There are all kinds of short term learning vacation options on different topics around the country or the world.
9. Learn to fix your car and fix your house. You’ll save money, get some exercise and get some satisfaction. Youtube will show you everything.
10. Go see the national parks. It’s not expensive and is awe inspiring.
11. Learn a musical instrument. That will also keep your brain fresh and minty.
12. If you have a master’s degree you can teach undergrad courses at the local college. Doesn’t pay great, but you’ll be with young people and that youth will rub off on you. Plus you’ll have a schedule to keep.
13. Hike the Appalachian Trail. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail. All at once or in sections.
14. Learn to fly a plane.
15. Take a mountain/rock climbing course. http://exumguides.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwva ... -dEALw_wcB
16. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
17. And lastly, take this advice from Don Corleone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niP-uHBg-pU
If I need to do so many things in retirement, I'd rather keep working and making money.
I just want a retirement in which I do not have to do anything, at any time, for the rest of my life.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:48 am

Before I retired, I was reading about other people deteriorating in retirement. I thought their fate would not apply to me, but Behavioral Economics have taught me to start with the base rates rather than my personal features. And so I have taken this risk seriously and prepared for it. By the time of my retirement date, I had three challenging projects in mind.

I have accomplished the 1st one relatively quickly: I walked el Camino de Santiago (800 km on Camino Frances) 6 months after my last working day. And, of course, I spent these six months in intensive preparations. My other two projects fell out and got replaced by several other, more exciting, ones.

Only you know what matters to you. Define it to yourself clearly and start pursuing it. It helps to start with a single project and put aside everything else until your project gains momentum.

Remove distractions. If you spend too much time watching TV, talking on the phone, using social media, or surfing the web--go for several days without these distractions. Focus on your priorities.

Good luck,
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: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by hoops777 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:26 pm

I owned a very small business which I did everything but install the flooring.Every sale,appointment,phone call,bookkeeping,etc., was done by me for 23 years.I came across some unknown liability issues which put me as a sole proprietor at great risk.Instead of making big changes at 65,I abruptly closed down and was retired within 2 weeks.I was planning on going another 5 years or more,then all of sudden,nothing.I had been preparing the financial aspects for awhile but nothing else.I have never been a social butterfly so to speak,so almost all of my social interactions were work related.It has been a bit strange instantly deleting 95 pct of my social life.It has been difficult to wrap my head around no more money coming in,ever.It has been about 5 months now and I am adjusting but it was quite a shock.It was all so final.
Last edited by hoops777 on Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

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

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:56 pm

This is a fascinating thread with much to share and learn from.

Humorously and very very inaccurately:
Diehard Bogleheads retire seamlessly because everything is wisely planned and on a spreadsheet.
Employed professionals can't wait to leave, have it all planned out, 401K's/pension in place, enter retirement somewhat smoothly.
Entrepreneurs and businessman or those self-employed are having withdrawals. :(

Actionably: for me, it has taken years. . and still a work in progress.

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

Post by Spudman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:44 pm

OP, I'll have to get back to you next week on this. I turned 62 last Friday and will be retiring from 20 years of federal service this Saturday. I stayed on until 62 to keep the FEHB and 20 years gives me a bump in my pension. I still have an active business I started 40 years ago to go to Monday but no more 50+ hours of shift work and juggling to get everything done. :sharebeer

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

Post by BolderBoy » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:23 pm

First time (age 47) I made it 8 months and was bored out of my skull. Returned to work x2 (worked two jobs.) Second time (age 61) I was pretty panicky about it so continued to work part-time for 3 years, then quit. Been okay since then.
“Where you stand, depends on where you sit” - Rufus Miles | "Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities"

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

Post by pennywise » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:27 am

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:40 am
If I need to do so many things in retirement, I'd rather keep working and making money.
I just want a retirement in which I do not have to do anything, at any time, for the rest of my life.
I took the list as a specific set of activities that allow one to keep challenging oneself, in whatever ways work for the individual. My husband and I are probably a year, two at the most, away from retirement and as we talk about the future one thing I worry about is transitioning into a life that is more than the absence of work pressures, etc. For me, spending all day every day online, watching tv or reading-which I could easily do as a default lifestyle-isn't really a full life so I spend a lot of time contemplating what that retirement should include, that elusive thing or things that gets your mind engaged and helps you move your body around to do whatever it is you find inspiring, gratifying or simply enjoyable.

An example-we have been surprised at how enjoyable it has been to have a retirement home. Finding it, buying it, setting it up and planning on what we want to do with and to it takes up a lot of very pleasant time and it's a project we are doing together, not to mention a project that is ongoing and will engage us for a long time to come. Everyone has different dreams and goals, so while many will find having a goal list is positive and helpful others may feel the ABSENCE of a goal list is the goal :happy . Doesn't mean people won't find meaning and joy, just that it might be more holistic or serendipitous. Then too, on a discussion board populated with a lot of educated, type-A professionals it's no surprise to have a lot of planners and organizers!

I can only speak anecdotally but as many of my colleagues, friends and relatives approach this stage I hear overwhelmingly positive talk from them about life after the retirement party is over. The most common surprise seems to be just how pleasant it is regardless of whether or not they loved their jobs and worried about what they would do with themselves after the big R. I'm excited and eager to get started on my own list of goals.

sil2017
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Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Post by sil2017 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:12 am

I was used to retirement right away.

I am 56 years old and newly retired as of June 2017. I loved my job but still wished I had retired at 55 years instead. I have always been very physically and mentally fit till the last 4 years when I slowed down on exercising and had back and neck herniation.

Since retirement, I have slowly gotten back to my exercise routine and I am about 80 percent cure of herniation. I go to the the fitness center in the mid morning (when everyone is at work!) 3 to 4 times per week for cardio, strength training followed by a relaxing swim and whirlpool. Two to 3 times per week, I would go for a short run. I will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro early next year.

I bought a movie pass for $9.95 per month which allows me to see theatre movies daily. Today, I will see "Only the Brave". I also pay $12.95 for unlimited car wash which is within a 1/4 mile from my Massage place. I go for a massage twice per week.

I am eating much better as I have time to cook healthy meals. I have time to go to Barnes and Nobles and the library to read, work on my gardening and learn a new language . I have a list of to do things which I will eventually get to .

I have always been an avid traveler (one reason I wanted to retire early as I needed lots of time to travel) Other than the Mt . Kilimanjaro trip , I have planned a trip to Hawaii, Europe and Family Cruise for the upcoming year.

Everyday, I wake up with a smile not having to go to work. Many days, I feel like I don't have enough time to do what I want. So much to do in life.

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