Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

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snackdog
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Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by snackdog » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:29 pm

My employment provides a lot of structure to my life. The spouse argues this is a good thing and that without it I would be adrift and thus, must delay retirement until as late as possible.

For those of you who benefit from structure, how do you achieve it in retirement? I don't mean a *self-imposed* schedule of daily or weekly events involving others. I guess I am looking for a structure which somehow replaces the one provided by work, keeps one moving ahead at a good pace, and keeps waste and idle time at bay.

Thanks for your input.

livesoft
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by livesoft » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:31 pm

I like to increase waste and idle time because it make me creative. This morning, I walked my dog for about 5 miles and stopped by the grocery store at the same time. I brought along an extra trash bag and collected litter as I walked.I ran into a few of my friends and we had a very nice political discussion, too.
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DrGoogle2017
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:44 pm

My husband and I signed up for classes or activity everyday. The only truly no activity day is Sunday. Whether we go to these activities is another story. So that’s how we structure our life.

delamer
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by delamer » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:47 pm

I don’t understand how you can have anything but a “self-imposed” schedule in retirement, unless you want someone else to run your life. Whether that schedule involves time commitments involving others is your choice.

The important question is what do you want to do with your time when you retire. Exercise, reading, home improvement, travel, hobbies — new or old, volunteer work, time with family and friends, TV, etc.?

Mike Scott
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Mike Scott » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:49 pm

Sounds like your spouse thinks you should keep working. What do you think? Do you need this much structure? Your goals and interests may be very different when you retire before jumping into the middle of them.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:51 pm

Of course it’s self imposed. Our health is important if we don’t exercise or stay idle too long.

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Shackleton
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Shackleton » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:59 pm

I'm not retired, but my hubby is and I work from home, so I see a lot of his "structure" in his day. It looks like this...
- Wake up and have coffee with wife
- Tell wife to have a nice day "at work" (I go off to my home office)
- check weather, if it is nice go XC skiing or mountain biking depending on season; if it's bad, read
- make lunch for self and wife (this part is excellent for me!)
- send wife back to "have fun storming the castle"
- take nap
- play video games
- welcome wife "home from work"
- fix drinks for self and wife
- make dinner
- watch Netflix with wife
- bed

It sounds very regimented, I know, but he is thriving on this "structure" :P
“Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results.” ~Ernest Shackleton

S&L1940
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by S&L1940 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:03 pm

When not playing tennis or pickle ball or golf, days are filled with whatever comes along - which does not include hunting and gathering at Walmart or Costco or Publix or Home Depot
Nights can be social, poker with the guys, Mah Jongg for the gals or just hanging out.

In between, structured time means reading, lots of reading, naps for him, list making for her and simply being social with the rest of the retired population in this part of the planet.

Somewhere in there is time for walks and workouts and twilight trips to the beach and seeing the kids and grand kids and great grand-kid

In other words, we do not plan or provide any stinking structure in our retired life, retired means there is no real need for structure except maybe to keep track of our doctor appointments...
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DanMahowny
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by DanMahowny » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:10 pm

I retired 10 years ago when I was 42.

My days are pretty much unscheduled. I wake early and stay busy all day long. Actually, it seems there are never enough hours in the day.
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retiredjg
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by retiredjg » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:39 pm

snackdog wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:29 pm
My employment provides a lot of structure to my life. The spouse argues this is a good thing and that without it I would be adrift and thus, must delay retirement until as late as possible.
Something I've heard from many women is that they dread when their husbands retire because their husband's lives are built around work and they won't know what to do with themselves when retirement comes. The husbands may then become a burden on their wives and disrupt the lives the women have already built for themselves outside of work or after retiring earlier.

I'm not married and I laughed when I first heard this several years ago, but since then I've observed this a number of times myself. A person who has no life outside of work starts depending on the spouse to provide it. Sometimes it does not go well.

Is it possible this is what is on your spouse's mind? Is it possible you have few or no interests outside of work and will not know what to do with all that time? You may think you have outside interests, but can you actually list them and speculate on how often you might participate in each one? (No need to list them here....)

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beyou
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by beyou » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:54 pm

As many on this board worked hard to accumulate assets, I am sure there are many who did not find as much time for hobbies as they might have liked to do, during their working years. Personally I commute 3 hrs/day minimum, and often worked much more than 40 hrs in the past.
Personally after decades of structure, I am looking forward to lack of structure !!!!

retiringwhen
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by retiringwhen » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:31 pm

Shackleton wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:59 pm
I'm not retired, but my hubby is and I work from home, so I see a lot of his "structure" in his day. It looks like this...
- Wake up and have coffee with wife
- Tell wife to have a nice day "at work" (I go off to my home office)
- check weather, if it is nice go XC skiing or mountain biking depending on season; if it's bad, read
- make lunch for self and wife (this part is excellent for me!)
- send wife back to "have fun storming the castle"
- take nap
- play video games
- welcome wife "home from work"
- fix drinks for self and wife
- make dinner
- watch Netflix with wife
- bed

It sounds very regimented, I know, but he is thriving on this "structure" :P
I aspire to his life! :D

Theseus
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Theseus » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:33 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:44 pm
My husband and I signed up for classes or activity everyday. The only truly no activity day is Sunday. Whether we go to these activities is another story. So that’s how we structure our life.
What kind of activities you have signed up for?

quantAndHold
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:31 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:39 pm
snackdog wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:29 pm
My employment provides a lot of structure to my life. The spouse argues this is a good thing and that without it I would be adrift and thus, must delay retirement until as late as possible.
Something I've heard from many women is that they dread when their husbands retire because their husband's lives are built around work and they won't know what to do with themselves when retirement comes. The husbands may then become a burden on their wives and disrupt the lives the women have already built for themselves outside of work or after retiring earlier.

I'm not married and I laughed when I first heard this several years ago, but since then I've observed this a number of times myself. A person who has no life outside of work starts depending on the spouse to provide it. Sometimes it does not go well.

Is it possible this is what is on your spouse's mind? Is it possible you have few or no interests outside of work and will not know what to do with all that time? You may think you have outside interests, but can you actually list them and speculate on how often you might participate in each one? (No need to list them here....)
This is indeed what I expect is happening. I know when dad retired, mom was a bit concerned that he would be underfoot all day. He pretty quickly got sucked into serving on the condo board, developed his own routine, and it was never a problem.

As far as what to do for yourself...it's all self imposed, really. What we do... Six mornings a week we either have fitness classes or go to the gym on our own. Two nights a week, we take more fitness classes. I also have a very part time job teaching a college PE class. I'm in amazing shape right now, btw. The local adult ed program has free or cheap classes in practically everything. We've each taken classes as they struck our fancy. I'm not taking anything now, but my wife is currently learning to play the ukulele.

We try to leave afternoons free for our own personal projects. All those things you've always wanted to do but didn't have the time? Personal projects.

We have both done some volunteering, but aren't currently, because we both felt like we were too busy. Go figure.

And we socialize. More than I expected to.

depressed
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by depressed » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:04 pm

Today my PLANNER told me to do nothing. Sadly, I didn't finish, so I'll be doing nothing again tomorrow.

Golf maniac
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Golf maniac » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:04 pm

I retired 3 years ago and I also like structure. It took me about a year but my Monday through Friday is very structured with golf and volunteering on certain days. My weekends are pretty non structured which is nice because when I was working the weekends were a time to catch up on everything and do yard work and errands. Trying new things and meeting new people has been great. And if you don’t like certain people or certain organizations then you just don’t volunteer there.

Another idea is to look at 55+ communities as you can be as structured or unstructured as you please. We are in the process of moving to a community in Florida right now (more golf days!). I really look forward to trying a lot of new sports, clubs, and education opportunities.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Atilla » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:16 pm

My father is in his mid-70s, retired and refers to it as "a good time of life". He lives by himself on 25 acres in the boonies about 8 miles from the nearest town.

Gets up early each day, drinks coffee and gets the paper from the mailbox.
Takes a long walk (5 miles plus) on country roads every morning, breakfast, in warmer months garden or yard work.

Noontime goes into town to Cutter's Way for coffee and to use their wifi. He is in dial up country.

Afternoon nap, maybe some more yard work/gardening.

Dinner then back to Cutter's for beer and bullsh!t at the old guys table.

Home by 10 for late night TV/sleep.

Sundays & Saturdays busy with church duties.

Sharp as ever and truly satisfied with his life. Drives 400 miles north to visit up here with family every 8 weeks.
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Teague
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Teague » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:18 pm

My retirement happened on short notice, and for the first two weeks I was rather anxious that I needed to be doing something. Doing nothing seemed so foreign, so wrong, so wasteful. But that was just the first two weeks, and I quickly got over those silly notions. Maybe give the unstructured life a chance before signing up to build an entire Habitat house by yourself, or whatever?
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by TheTimeLord » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:21 pm

Shackleton wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:59 pm
I'm not retired, but my hubby is and I work from home, so I see a lot of his "structure" in his day. It looks like this...
- Wake up and have coffee with wife
- Tell wife to have a nice day "at work" (I go off to my home office)
- check weather, if it is nice go XC skiing or mountain biking depending on season; if it's bad, read
- make lunch for self and wife (this part is excellent for me!)
- send wife back to "have fun storming the castle"
- take nap
- play video games
- welcome wife "home from work"
- fix drinks for self and wife
- make dinner
- watch Netflix with wife
- bed

It sounds very regimented, I know, but he is thriving on this "structure" :P
Sounds very similar to a friend of mine who is a happy retiree. In both cases I notice there are lots of individual activities or activities with one's spouse and little interaction others which is what tripped me up when I took time away from work.
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lws
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by lws » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:41 pm

The days go by too fast:
Reading
Gardening
Bicycling
Walking
Housework
Errands
Cooking
Volunteering (Math & Science)
Learning to code (Python)
Tinkering

EnjoyIt
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by EnjoyIt » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:44 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:31 pm
I like to increase waste and idle time because it make me creative. This morning, I walked my dog for about 5 miles and stopped by the grocery store at the same time. I brought along an extra trash bag and collected litter as I walked.I ran into a few of my friends and we had a very nice political discussion, too.
How do you bring your dog in the grocery store? Is HEB or Randall’s pet friendly?

mindboggling
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by mindboggling » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:48 pm

Need structure in your life? Get a job. Some people never learn.
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xb7
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by xb7 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:54 pm

I think that we each need to find our own way in this, no one size fits all.

If not retired yet and thinking about it, one thing to try on a weekend is to brainstorm --- alone and/or with spouse --- about all the things you might like to do, to include various projects around the house. And make a list.

After retirement, working through that list (both work and 'play' items) could help create enough structure. I find that there are always some projects on the back burner that I can pick up if I'm bored, for example, I'm slowly scanning many years worth of photo albums so that our kids each have their own digital set of photos and some videos from their childhood as well as stuff from grandparents and beyond. Or another idea we came up with recently is to do some significant earthquake/other-disaster preparedness stuff, both some larger "stay put and weather it out" items, as well as "grab and go" backpacks. There always seems to be another item like that available to work on if I think about it.

But certainly, it does take some discipline to work towards specific goals plus just maintain current health and possessions and relationships etc.

One thing that took me too long to figure out is that even with zero commitments, it's important for me to have a regular sleep/wake schedule. That plus some attention paid to what I eat, plus regular exercise, these and related things can combine for me to form either a vicious or a virtuous circle, depending on how well I stay on top of it. And my priorities. I think that often our employment can cause us to skimp on some things like this that can really impact quality of life, and we often carry our bad "during employment" habits with us into retirement.

Best of luck however you make it work for you!

Point
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Point » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:58 pm

The structure we use is to share calendars online. We book what we want if there's an opening and we invite the other to the 'event' so they know. If it's a joint thing, we book as well and the other knows they are doing it too. Then we do stuff, including working out, walking dogs, dog parks, traveling with the airstream, visiting friends, being with the kids, working in the yard, working in the kids yard.... stuff! Book and do!

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by baconavocado » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:03 pm

You make a good point, retired life has less "structure" than employed life for most people.

But I would look askew at anyone who told me that I couldn't handle a less structured life so I better keep working. Sounds to me a little like the people who say a prison inmate "can't make it on the outside".

You only get one life, you should do what you want to do as much as that's possible. After two years retired, I've adapted to a less structured life.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Fallible » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:03 pm

snackdog wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:29 pm
My employment provides a lot of structure to my life. The spouse argues this is a good thing and that without it I would be adrift and thus, must delay retirement until as late as possible.

For those of you who benefit from structure, how do you achieve it in retirement? I don't mean a *self-imposed* schedule of daily or weekly events involving others. I guess I am looking for a structure which somehow replaces the one provided by work, keeps one moving ahead at a good pace, and keeps waste and idle time at bay. ...
I've never thought of looking for structure in retirement because the many deep interests I have and the time spent pursuing and developing them provide it. Some of more passionate interests that I pursue can take years to develop and I'm usually pursuing more than one at a time. So it's not structure I'm concerned with in retirement, but simply running out of time to pursue all the interests.

Have you identified interests outside work? Or something related to work that you'd like to pursue on your own? Have you considered easing into retirement with part-time work?
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:21 pm

Theseus wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:33 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:44 pm
My husband and I signed up for classes or activity everyday. The only truly no activity day is Sunday. Whether we go to these activities is another story. So that’s how we structure our life.
What kind of activities you have signed up for?
Typical week for this semester, Saturday and Sunday are free from activities.
1) weightlifting(morning), bridge(afternoon)
2) pickleball(morning) painting(afternoon)
3) badminton(morning)
4) painting(afternoon)
5) weightlifting, running on treadmill(morning)

Next semester, I plan to take Japanese, beginning drawing, and life painting, and exercise classes like yoga, belly dancing, or Pilate.

My husband and do a lot of home improvement, I maintain my yard, and gardening. Enough to keep us fit without being excessive. Plus we travel in the summer, but we could travel during the semester too. I take everything P/NP, so no worry about grades.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:25 pm

In retirement Monday-Friday we stay very busy with Pilates and yoga classes, gym workouts, daily walks, and regularly scheduled racquet sports (4-5x per week), regular weekly volunteer work, plus 2x social outing (lunch/dinner/happy hour) with other couples. Its actually a little hectic at times but in a good way.

Weekends are where we have much more unstructured time. We tend to stay home on weekends and do chores, read, rest, nap, etc. rather than joining the "still working" herd and resulting traffic involved in weekend activities and shopping, etc.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by radiowave » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:50 pm

Still about 4 years out from retirement. This past holidays, we stayed home and had a little over 2 weeks r&r. I put my hiking boots on every day and walked the foothills 5-7 miles each, one day 9, and by the time I got back to work early January, felt better than I have in a long time, lost several pounds and actually was thinking a lot clearer. Now that I've been back to the daily craziness, can't find enough time in the day to get everything done in a demanding professional job, put the weight back on and only been hiking about twice since the holidays. I was just thinking reading through the thread, how good I'll feel when I get to retirement, thanks for the encouragement :)
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by 3504PIR » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:59 pm

My guess is that your wife is right on the money, and work both gives you the structure you mention, but also your identity on some level. I also think that this, in retirement, will give you some issues. How much it will give you issues is probably directly tied to the level of your identity your work or work persona provides you. Hopefully your identity has a wide range beyond work and you’ll be able to adjust. If not, you should pick a date prior to retirement and begin to transition, both physically and mentally prior to your retirement date with enough time to make you ache to transition.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by EnjoyIt » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:38 am

I get very long stretches of days off and I find myself losing structure as well. There is just so much to do in a day if I waste too much of it doing nothing, I miss out on so many good things. Whenever I want a day to be fruitful I try my best to not sit down right after breakfast, but instead let my day begin either by going to the gym, showering, or doing something productive. That usually sets the rest of the day right. Tomorrow my plan is to make it one of those days. Lets see how it goes?

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by raveon » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:39 am

Wake up and have coffee with wife
- Tell wife to have a nice day "at work" (I go off to my home office)
- check weather, if it is nice go XC skiing or mountain biking depending on season; if it's bad, read
- make lunch for self and wife (this part is excellent for me!)
- send wife back to "have fun storming the castle"
- take nap
- play video games
- welcome wife "home from work"
- fix drinks for self and wife
- make dinner
- watch Netflix with wife
- bed
Something is very wrong with this picture. The word 'wife' appears too much. Looks like you have been sold a very bad deal at retirement. :D

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:43 am

baconavocado wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:03 pm
You make a good point, retired life has less "structure" than employed life for most people.

But I would look askew at anyone who told me that I couldn't handle a less structured life so I better keep working. Sounds to me a little like the people who say a prison inmate "can't make it on the outside".

You only get one life, you should do what you want to do as much as that's possible. After two years retired, I've adapted to a less structured life.
This is excellent advice. This whole thing about structure may be a way to keep the bit in your mouth by those who have no idea how you will actually fare and those who have a little fear of the unknown. I'm not suggesting ill intent. But people often have strange (well-intentioned) ideas about what one may or may not "need". Who knows if you'll need "structure" or not, whatever that is. Retirement is a whole new part of your life journey. Try it and if you need externally applied structure, you can gradually commit to volunteer jobs, civic groups, meeting a group of friends same time each week, etc.

I heard from all sorts who said I should plan structure, activities, blah blah blah. Retirement at 61 (now 62) has been a blast and absolutely no problem; I have no formal external structure, except a very fun, cool four decade marriage. We rented a house and spent a month with our family and friends in our old hometown, 1500 miles from here. Back where we live now for the last 14 years, today I cleared the drive and sidewalk with the snowblower (could have hired someone), met a former work colleague/friend for lunch at a microbrewery/food truck, ran some errands, distributed some of my garage brews (based on requests) to friends at my old workplace, fixed dinner with my wife, solved world problems while we ate, worked a while in my garage brewery, watched some TV with DW and now answering a few emails and looking at a few forums. Structured? I don't think so. Tomorrow is a brew day. The following day we'll snowshoe with friends at one of our nearby mountains and everyone will get together afterwards. The days are flying by. I don't feel like I have structure. I do have lots to do.

Try it. You can always dial in some structure. A W-2 job isn't the only structured thing in the universe.
Retired 2018 age 61 | "Not using an alarm is one of the great glories of my life." Robert Greene

coacher
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by coacher » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:49 am

Find two TV shows that you like that are on daily; one in the AM and one in the PM. Get in the habit of watching them. The TV networks then become your scheduler. You now have a basic structure and the rest of your time will fill up naturally. Enjoy!

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by 3504PIR » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:53 am

SevenBridgesRoad wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:43 am
baconavocado wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:03 pm
You make a good point, retired life has less "structure" than employed life for most people.

But I would look askew at anyone who told me that I couldn't handle a less structured life so I better keep working. Sounds to me a little like the people who say a prison inmate "can't make it on the outside".

You only get one life, you should do what you want to do as much as that's possible. After two years retired, I've adapted to a less structured life.
This is excellent advice. This whole thing about structure may be a way to keep the bit in your mouth by those who have no idea how you will actually fare and those who have a little fear of the unknown. I'm not suggesting ill intent. But people often have strange (well-intentioned) ideas about what one may or may not "need". Who knows if you'll need "structure" or not, whatever that is. Retirement is a whole new part of your life journey. Try it and if you need externally applied structure, you can gradually commit to volunteer jobs, civic groups, meeting a group of friends same time each week, etc.

I heard from all sorts who said I should plan structure, activities, blah blah blah. Retirement at 61 (now 62) has been a blast and absolutely no problem; I have no formal external structure, except a very fun, cool four decade marriage. We rented a house and spent a month with our family and friends in our old hometown, 1500 miles from here. Back where we live now for the last 14 years, today I cleared the drive and sidewalk with the snowblower (could have hired someone), met a former work colleague/friend for lunch at a microbrewery/food truck, ran some errands, distributed some of my garage brews (based on requests) to friends at my old workplace, fixed dinner with my wife, solved world problems while we ate, worked a while in my garage brewery, watched some TV with DW and now answering a few emails and looking at a few forums. Structured? I don't think so. Tomorrow is a brew day. The following day we'll snowshoe with friends at one of our nearby mountains and everyone will get together afterwards. The days are flying by. I don't feel like I have structure. I do have lots to do.

Try it. You can always dial in some structure. A W-2 job isn't the only structured thing in the universe.

This is a great post!

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:17 am

Give yourself time to decompress, my first few years, we did nothing. Now it’s our 4th year,we like a bit of structure. We have CNBC on all day, we’ll up until Mad money show at least. But now we’re glad to have some places to go and meet other people. You get isolated otherwise.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:40 am

Yikes. Two posts suggest TV is the answer. I want to be respectful of others, but for me, that couldn't be more depressing. I've been in friend's homes, where the TV is on in every room all day long. Ugghhh, for me. I can't stand it. Dante's 8th level.

Everyone is different, but I don't want the OP to get the impression that TV is the only way to get structure. We are not Luddites by any any stretch. That said. we watch absolutely zero daytime TV. We do like certain TV shows or a good movie in the evening. Don't let this be the default structure in your life without trying non-boob tube activities first.
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by livesoft » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:08 am

EnjoyIt wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:44 pm
How do you bring your dog in the grocery store? Is HEB or Randall’s pet friendly?
My dog will sit/lie patiently outside leashed to a bike rack or other permanent small structure. Many people know him.
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Grantley » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:03 am

I think it depends on the person and how much work has been central to their lives. Some will need a new structure to be created so they are not lost with too much time on their hands. Others already have many interests and know what they want to do, whether it is planned on a schedule or is more lose.

Regarding TV, I loved this quote I read:

"Before deciding to take early retirement from your job, stay home a week and watch daytime television."

This is from a very good book that another person recommended to me:

The Retirement Maze, by Rob Pascale et al.

I strongly recommend it.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:11 am

Grantley wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:03 am
I think it depends on the person and how much work has been central to their lives. Some will need a new structure to be created so they are not lost with too much time on their hands. Others already have many interests and know what they want to do, whether it is planned on a schedule or is more lose.

Regarding TV, I loved this quote I read:

"Before deciding to take early retirement from your job, stay home a week and watch daytime television."

This is from a very good book that another person recommended to me:

The Retirement Maze, by Rob Pascale et al.

I strongly recommend it.
Haha, everybody is different. I don’t watch night time TV, no shows at all, but one reason why I retired early is to listen to CNBC everyday. It’s in the background while I do other stuff. Like my husband is reading the news, I surf the net.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by retired_tom » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:19 am

I have no time for TV. After retiring 3 years ago, we moved into a retirement golf course community. I play golf 5 days out of 7, usually in the mornings. Afternoons are spent with a couple hours on the Internet, perusing different forums (bogleheads, golf, food). Maybe there are committee meetings or board meetings that I will attend and see whats going on. The SO is still working, so I may have to run to the store for something. Many days, I realize I didn't have enough time in the day to accomplish what I set out to do that morning. Come 5 PM, we settle in for some adult beverages, plan dinner, and then watch a little TV before bed. I always have a list of projects that I can't seem to get to.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by laohan » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:25 am

livesoft wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:31 pm
I like to increase waste and idle time because it make me creative. This morning, I walked my dog for about 5 miles and stopped by the grocery store at the same time. I brought along an extra trash bag and collected litter as I walked.I ran into a few of my friends and we had a very nice political discussion, too.
This is a great post, thank you.

I am far from retired/not of "retirement age", but that sounds like a nice morning.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by rich126 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:27 am

retiredjg wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:39 pm
snackdog wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:29 pm
My employment provides a lot of structure to my life. The spouse argues this is a good thing and that without it I would be adrift and thus, must delay retirement until as late as possible.
Something I've heard from many women is that they dread when their husbands retire because their husband's lives are built around work and they won't know what to do with themselves when retirement comes. The husbands may then become a burden on their wives and disrupt the lives the women have already built for themselves outside of work or after retiring earlier.

I'm not married and I laughed when I first heard this several years ago, but since then I've observed this a number of times myself. A person who has no life outside of work starts depending on the spouse to provide it. Sometimes it does not go well.

Is it possible this is what is on your spouse's mind? Is it possible you have few or no interests outside of work and will not know what to do with all that time? You may think you have outside interests, but can you actually list them and speculate on how often you might participate in each one? (No need to list them here....)
I'm also not married and have seen that as well. Sometimes the wife has a set way of doing things and when the husband is now around full time, she doesn't like it. 24/7 togetherness can be too much for some couples. Of course it greatly varies from couple to couple and their personalities.

Personally I'm not one who has any interest in structure in my life, especially retirement. I'd make sure to get more exercise (gym and walking/golfing) and be less stressed. I think if you need structure there are always ways to attain it, create a schedule with activities, join various charities/sports/etc.

My longest time off was 3 months between jobs (by choice) and I never once missed working or having a schedule.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by tennisplyr » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:43 am

I don't like laying in bed in the morning. so, I get up around 7am, make coffee, play with my ipad a bit and then get out of the house. Every day starts a little different (tennis, walk, go for coffee) but it's always something I enjoy. Since I'm in FL, I try to go for a little swim in the afternoon, then get ready for dinner. If my wife and I aren't doing something together, I try to stay out of her hair, thankfully she has many of her own interests.

Taking on the free time in retirement can truly be a challenge...but a good one!
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:47 am

My brother knows a lot of ex-coworkers divorced in retirement. It’s a shock to him. Maybe that’s why he’s still working.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:01 pm

snackdog wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:29 pm
My employment provides a lot of structure to my life. The spouse argues this is a good thing and that without it I would be adrift and thus, must delay retirement until as late as possible.

For those of you who benefit from structure, how do you achieve it in retirement? I don't mean a *self-imposed* schedule of daily or weekly events involving others. I guess I am looking for a structure which somehow replaces the one provided by work, keeps one moving ahead at a good pace, and keeps waste and idle time at bay.

Thanks for your input.
My wife was afraid that without a job to go to that I would hang around the house and be a pest. It did not work out that way, we still get along well even though spending much more time together.

I enjoy having no formal structure. I go to the coffee shop, read the newspaper or a book, meet with friends, and exercise at the gym. We spend three months of the year in a warmer climate, travel a lot, spend time with grandchildren, and generally enjoy my freedom.

Idle time is great. We are currently sitting on the porch of our rental cottage on the Florida Gulf Coast, enjoying the view.
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by David Jay » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:24 pm

I’m new at this (retirement), but who has time for structure???
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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by EnjoyIt » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:38 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:08 am
EnjoyIt wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:44 pm
How do you bring your dog in the grocery store? Is HEB or Randall’s pet friendly?
My dog will sit/lie patiently outside leashed to a bike rack or other permanent small structure. Many people know him.
I have wanted to do this for some time now but scared my dogs will get stolen. Don’t you have that fear as well?

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Theseus » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:42 pm

Mornings are routinized and somewhat structured. Wake up whenever - sometimes at 5 sometimes at 8. Have a toast and coffee and hit the gym. Come home and have lunch. Browse internet and plan a trip - I like to travel a lot. Take a nap or read something. Occasionally run an errand or two based on what DW (still working) needs. Kid comes home. Spend time with her. Take her to afterschool activity twice a week. Then its a family dinner time. Watch a show on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Go to bed usually 10 - this is fixed.

Once a week I volunteer for a full day. If weather is nice I would play golf once a week. Weekends are for family & friends.

And ABSOLUTELY NO LOOKING AT THE PHONE in the bed.

I don't think I can handle anymore structure than this.

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Re: Best ways to provide STRUCTURE to retired life

Post by Grantley » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:45 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:11 am
Grantley wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:03 am
I think it depends on the person and how much work has been central to their lives. Some will need a new structure to be created so they are not lost with too much time on their hands. Others already have many interests and know what they want to do, whether it is planned on a schedule or is more lose.

Regarding TV, I loved this quote I read:

"Before deciding to take early retirement from your job, stay home a week and watch daytime television."

This is from a very good book that another person recommended to me:

The Retirement Maze, by Rob Pascale et al.

I strongly recommend it.
Haha, everybody is different. I don’t watch night time TV, no shows at all, but one reason why I retired early is to listen to CNBC everyday. It’s in the background while I do other stuff. Like my husband is reading the news, I surf the net.
I admit to watching CNBC as well in the morning and late afternoon. It's always amusing to hear people state with such confidence what is going to happen when they really have no idea.

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