The psychology of retiring
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Thread: The psychology of retiring

  1. #1
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    The psychology of retiring

    I've been thinking of retiring for 5 years. Easy year, I thought "let's put in one more year, just to be safe.". It never felt real.

    Two weeks after my dad passed in March, I knew this would be my last year. I toyed with the idea of immediate retirement but decided to finish my current contract.

    Now I don't know how I will make it to the end of the year. It seems like, now that my heart has decided to retire, my brain is having trouble staying on task.

    Others must have been through this. I would appreciate some advice on managing this. It's not a financial problem but I know there are some smart people here and look forward to criticism, advice, anecdotes, or whatever. How did you hang on?


  2. #2
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    There's no formula for managing retirement, because each case is different. Some define themselves by their work, and as much as they looked forward to their retirement, they do a horrible job of the whole thing because their worth came from the work. Others hate their occupation and flourish once retired as they can finally pursue what they enjoy.

    The amount of finances available have a large effect. If you're able to do what you wish without worrying about the pennies, then it's a lot easier.

    The first year or so is like being on vacation, and I don't believe anyone should make too many decisions in that honeymoon period. After that time has passed you start to feel retired and then you can decide. Be prepared for everyone who still works to ask, "what do you do all day?". My pat answer has always been, "whatever I want".

    I set my own sights on retiring at age 55 and it was a bit distracting in the last year or so, but once I was 55 I pulled the plug and that was that. I've been retired for 11 years now and can't imagine how I found the time to work. What a nuisance it was. Now I do what I want.

    ltr

  3. #3
    Senior Member Beaver101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by like_to_retire View Post
    ...

    I set my own sights on retiring at age 55 and it was a bit distracting in the last year or so, but once I was 55 I pulled the plug and that was that. I've been retired for 11 years now and can't imagine how I found the time to work. What a nuisance it was. Now I do what I want.

    ltr
    ... quite inspiring despite your moniker says you would like_to_retire ... and you were determined to do that with Freedom 55.

    Unless you love your job to death, working seems to be prostituting your time.
    Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.-A. Einstein

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  5. #4
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    TomB19, just do it. If you're stuck ask yourself the real reason for staying at work and not retiring. Go from there.

    My story which may or may not be relevant to you.

    I retired at 55 - a few days after my birthday. That was nearly 3 years ago to the day now and it was a great decision for me and my wife. We are really enjoying retired life.

    I retired after 2.5 years working 24hr/wk (semi retired) in the same role I worked at 40 hours/wk for 2.5 years prior, in my "phase down" career of 5 years after selling a small business I owned, which was preceded by a challenging corporate sales management role for much of my working life. I had planned on retiring a few years earlier and I stayed on PT "just to be safe" as you described it, although it probably is real for us. What made me leave and fully retire was I like to give whatever I do my all and I was starting to lose the motivation to work really hard and do the most for customers. Although it would have been easy to still do fairly well "floating". To me that wasn't fair to anyone, and I wasn't going to be as happy so I pulled the plug, giving my employer about 4 months notice and haven't looked back since. I had no problem those 4 mths once I made the decision and knew my destiny; and had my most successful sales period then. LOL, made it harder to leave.....no.... not true!

    My wife fully retired about 6 mths before I went P/T.

    It's nice to do completely what we want now and choose how busy we want to be. Life is very good.

    G/L whatever you choose.
    Last edited by RBull; 2017-05-08 at 07:25 PM.

  6. #5
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    My take is the OP has made the decision to retire and finances are not a concern. What is debilitating right now is the obligation, or at least the moral and professional 'duty', to finish his contract. I found it tough, once I made the decision to retire, to make it to a 'set' date. In my case, it was the 3-4 months to get to a new birthday to reduce the discount I would have gotten with my DB pension. It was one of the longest 3-4 months of my life. My heart and mind was no longer in it and I could hardly wait to turn in my keys.

    It is a long way to the end of December. If the OP is counting the days and weeks, he really should find a way to cut the remaining time dramatically if possible. He is not doing his client/employer any real favours and is certainly not doing himself any favours.

  7. #6
    Senior Member GreatLaker's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience to AR and Tom.

    I left a j*b where my company was downsizing to sell itself, then was bought by a US firm that downsized it even more. All of my age and experience peers got laid off years before I did, so I was like walking dead, but somehow still had the drive to keep w*rking because I had not planned to leave quite yet. Then after I left I investigated doing some freelance work and got one contract. It was not fun. Lots of arguing among different members of the team. Someone would give me info to w*rk from, then another person would say the first person's info was all wrong. And they could barely figure out how to pay me on a contract; you wouldn't think that would be very hard. While doing networking investigating freelance opportunities all I was was dweebs filing in and out of big offices. I had a plan, goals and enough money to do it... lost interest entirely.

    What kept me going in the contract role despite the difficulties was the person that I was mainly working with had some hard deadlines and I would feel remiss if I let her down. So despite all the setbacks I did my best to communicate well with her and w*rk together complete the requirements.

    So Tom if you would be leaving someone in the lurch by pulling the ripcord early, then have a frank discussion with that someone and ensure you can w*rk productively and get the j*b done. If not, don't torture yourself. Two guys I w*rked with got laid off then died within a couple of months. My 2 best friends died within 3 years, one of aggressive cancer, and the other I found sleeping with his eyes open after a heart attack. Life is too short...
    Eschew obfuscation. Espouse elucidation

  8. #7
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    Two guys I w*rked with got laid off then died within a couple of months. My 2 best friends died within 3 years, one of aggressive cancer, and the other I found sleeping with his eyes open after a heart attack. Life is too short...
    This is very individual.... My former manager (and btw my friend) got divorced, got laid off and ... died from heart attack 2 months later .. and he was 48!
    My other friend died at 46 from cancer and he was really suffering last 6 months...

    I was planning to retire at 55 , but I knew that very likely I will be laid off earlier as our company got sold to Indian one and outsourcing was very agressive .... and yes, I got laid off at my 50th B-day ... So far I;m retired ( or maybe better to say semi-retired as end of may I should start getting EI for 38 weeks) for 9 months...

    So far I was enjoying my new status... Finally I was able to take better care of my health, as truly while working I couldn't afford going to doctors as I needed, signed into gym and enjoying workouts, started cooking , do more home chores, a bit renovate house , have more time to learn Spanish ...

    My wife is still working and likes her job , so now she has more time to concentrate on her job ...
    I hope she will retire in several years that we can enjoy life more...

    btw, my dad also passed away at 48 from heart attack and major reason was his very stressful job... it was in USSR, but in this case country doesn't matter
    Last edited by gibor365; 2017-05-09 at 01:06 AM.

  9. #8
    Senior Member My Own Advisor's Avatar
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    Very interesting insights...(from someone who is not retired and cannot do so yet).
    Hidden Content - Working on a $1 million portfolio and $30k per year from it.

  10. #9
    Senior Member pwm's Avatar
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    I worked at "MegaCorp" in a cubicle farm for 35 years and cannot even comprehend how someone would want to keep working one single day longer than they had to. I quit at 55 which was 12 years ago. Every day I wake up feeling blessed that I no longer have to drag myself in there. My advice is just finish up on a cordial basis and move on. Consider your career as a closed file. Your work place will have forgotten you faster than you can imagine.

  11. #10
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    I had a great job as a CEO and made good money and did a merger in 2001 at the age of 55 and the deal was that I would be the only one losing their job. While I had been discussing the matter in confidence when my wife she just about fell off her chair when I told her it was going to happen. Her first words were "what are you going to?" with obvious panic in her voice. I think she was concerned that I would be under her feet all the time and would cramp her style. Anyways, it happened and while I was very happy in my work I just loved retirement and 16 yrs later have never looked back. The first week or two I really missed the people, the coffee break chatter, lunches, and day to day interaction with my business contacts, etc. However, this quickly passed. Two months later we took possession of a lovely house which required significant updating and on a large lot which was also in disrepair. Spent the next 9 months working side by side with my wife doing updates, often putting in 12 hour days. We loved every minute of it. What a change from sitting behind a desk! We were fortunate in that we both had joint and individual interests (wife: shopping, tennis, knitting, gardening, etc) (me: badminton, fishing, hunting, yard work, etc) (joint: skiing, hiking, travel, yard, socializing). We still live this active lifestyle and our health is good. Thought I had lots of $$ when I retired but inflation, kids, and spending does take its toll 16 years later and I do worry about this a bit but am sure we will be ok. Pension income of about $40,000.PA and investments of around $1.6(mostly GICS, MIC's, and $450,000. in the market) but I have some bad debts, ski condo special assessment, and gifts,etc this year which will bring the amount to about 1.45. Unfortunately my 15 yr sizeable annual payment when I retired finished last year. It does take money to retire and is the one thing I worry about a bit. In any event, life is great, work was great, but for us retirement is even better!


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