Who here is retired and what are you doing?

I am starting to plan for retirement and would like to learn of other people’s experiences. I think that I am decently prepared financially, so that’s not an immediate issue. My main concern is what to do with my time; I don’t want to end up in front of a TV all day.

What was your experience transitioning into retirement?

Was it what you expected? Better? Worse?

What are you doing with your time?

Have you gone back to work?

Is there anything you would do differently?

It’s probably too late for you but I would have gotten with a good, long term financial advisor as early in life as possible. I am comfortably off but I probably could have been pretty wealthy if I had done that. Of course money isn’t everything but it isn’t all that much of a drawback either.

And if I had it to do over again chances are I wouldn’t run my comments inside your original quote. Sorry about that.

Well, I’m not quite there yet, but my husband is going to cross over to the world of Guys Without Jobs in about two years. He’s a muscle car fanatic, and he is hoping to work at a Mustang restoration shop doing anything they’ll let him do, just so he can breathe the exhaust fumes that come from the cars. That and play with his own car.

My dad is retired and alone. He walks the mall every day, does his own housework, plays crossword puzzles every day to keep his mind agile, reads voraciously, and records DVDs like it’s his job. He has close to 6K movies in his collection. He gets together with friends a few times a month and sees family just as frequently. It doesn’t sound exciting, but he’s doing exactly what he wants. The only down side is that he can’t do it with my mom. :frowning:

The transition to retirement was very easy for me, but admittedly I did make sure that financially I would have at least 85% of my pre-retirement income by making personal investments over the past 25 years. I looked upon retirement as an opportunity to completely redefine myself and so everything about my life and my SO’s life was on the table for consideration…until retirement, I had always done the “right thing”, living a very traditional working life and family life.

I’ve been retired for 3 years now. My transition was somewhat different from most folks in that I moved from the small rural N. California town I had lived in for 30 years…to a large city in the southwest. We knew not a soul in our new town, but quickly became involved in volunteer work. I have a “hobby job” that is in my field of interest, and I get to choose the hours that I work and what I work on.

We travel more than before retirement, and have a lot of days where we just decide to “go with the flow”, which means that we may go on a day trip, or visit friends, or go shopping.

I exercise about 12 hours each week, and take care of my plant collection in between projects around the house. My entire day is filled (except for the 2 hour naps that I take in the summertime)…but I am doing what I want.

Best wishes for your retirement.

I’m not sure if I’m retired or just don’t plan to work anymore. I quit nursing a couple years ago.
Now I do stained glass, I paint, as well as a few other experiments in the realm of arts and crafts.
My husband and I have spent the last 7 years slowly remodeling the house. I’ve learned alot about practical stuff in the process.
We try to take a cruise each year. I highly recommend one at the very beginning of your retirement. It will show you what its like to be the center of attention. In fact, after a 10 or 12 day cruise, I have to relearn how to pick up my clothes, do laundry or cook meals.
My husband thinks we should install a Steward’s call button in the bedroom. I don’t have the heart to tell him he would be answering it.

I’m not retired yet. I am planning on following my parents path when I do get to that point. My Dad has been retired for ~10 years, my Mom ~12.

My parents have a hobby that they absolutley love, they are RVers. They have a big new slide out Bounder RV and take off for months at a time. They do things like drive up to Alaska for two or three months at a time and really seem to enjoy it. They are also in the Bounder RV club. The club has ‘Roundups’ where all the Bounder RV owners meet at some campsite and they do potlucks etc. They are gone roughly 6 months a year. They do have a nice house and have other hobbies when they are in town but they really enjoy the RV stuff. Even their cat likes it.

They do have some friends that are full time RVers. That would be kind rough in that, even with a slide out, you don’t have all that much room.

My Dad did have a pretty big issue with retiring. It took him a while to stop working. Before he retired he worked alot. He would put in 8 hours at his job (running a nuclear reactor saftey division at a national lab) and then come home and put in about 4 to 5 hours of work in his study. Even now, when he is at home, he spends 4 or 5 hours (at least) every day working on my parents investments. He recently told me that he might just toss everything in mutual funds because, while he is doing better than most funds, he’s not doing good enough to really justify the time he spends on it. We’ll see what happens but my bet is that he doesn’t stop the investing stuff because I think he really does enjoy it and it keeps him sharp.


I retired two years ago, earlier than expected but my employer made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Moved to the coast; finished paying the mortgage; bought myself a sports car.

Now learning how to help 999 with the garden. I’ve got a Seeburg juke box which I plan to restore. Forty years of movies and tapes to transfer to DVD.

Not enough hours in the day - don’t know how I managed before. Best move I ever made!

Good luck with yours. :slight_smile:

jegert, will you forgive me for adding a question to your list? (Thanx, I hope).

My dad says retirement is “the biggest life adjustment you’ll ever make”. He claims it’s a bigger change than marriage, entering the work world, or kids. Do you retirees agree? (I find this hard to believe)

I retired at the age of 60 , eighteen months ago. I could have stayed on a work till I was 65 but decided to take the plunge. Luckily I had made good pension provisions and I probably have as much disposable income as when I was working. I do not qualify for my state pension till I am 65 but both my company pensions allow me to take higher annual payments for these 5 years until the state pension kicks in. Then the company pensions reduce and I end up with the same money. There are also other benefits for over 60’s , I only have to pay half fares on all the local buses and trains in the area , free prescriptions, a £200 a year winter fuel allowance from the Government and other concessions for the over 60’s.

My wife and I downsized and moved from a 4 bedroom, two story house in Essex to a 2 bedroom bungalow in Nottinghamshire. This released some capital and the running expenses of this new house are less.

As for pastimes , I work 2 days a week as a volunteer at the local Oxfam bookshop. This I find very interesting. As well as general shop duties, such as sorting and pricing of books and serving customers, I also do a lot of work researching old and rare books on the internet and doing general IT work, such as keeping track of the finances and collecting statistics on books that we sell.

My wife and I have always liked travelling. This still goes on. This year so far we have spent a week in Portugal, a week in Tenerife and we are travelling to Krakow next month. Because I have the time I am able to shop around on the internet for the best deals for flights , hotels and car-hire. So a full and interesting life and as 666 has said , not enough hours in the day.

I’ve been retired 2 years. For a few months, I would feel terribly guilty if I didn’t get anything accomplished in a day. I got over that. I gained weight. I’m working out regularly now, though, and I lost the weight.

Was it what I expected? I dunno. I’m one of those guys who “never had dreams, so they never came true.” I didn’t know what to expect, so I don’t have an answer to that.

My time? I’m gardening, and I built a big raised flowerbed around the patio room. I’m reading a lot of books. I do some target shooting, which I’m not very good at. I spend a lot of time on the SDMB. I’ve taken up breadmaking.

Sadly, I’ve withdrawn a lot. When I think about going to see somebody, I have trouble believing they really want to talk to me. When I post here, I hope somebody likes to read it. If thousand of members are ignoring me, at least I don’t have to watch them turn their backs.

In retrospect, I wish I had put aside more into investments. My wife has to work, so we can make the mortgage payments. My pension isn’t quite enough.

I retired at 62 about 15 years ago, and it is Greaaaat!, best time of my live, really the Golden Years. Always read about people who withered away in retirement, but in my experience, those are the ones whose work was their whole life and who had no other interests in life.

Every retiree I know is as happy as a pig in, er, mud.

I keep busy with a large variety of things, both physical and mental to keep my muscles and my brain exercised.

I strongly recommend volunteering. Check with your city, county or state volunteer bureau. There are a vast number of very interesting and fulfulling opportunities. Many prefer doing something similiar to their careers, others like to find something completely different.

I did work in hospital ERs, helped Special Olympics, did a stint on a suicide hotline (but quit after a year as it got too depressing), tutored for Literacy Volunteers, and now work with the state Foster Care Review Boards.

Think about animal shelters, mentoring kids, groups that clean up highways, visiting nursing homes, helping local police departments or libraries, etc, etc. All this is very good for people who like to keep busy and to help others.

I was too busy working to do such things, but as I’ve been very fortunate in my life, it is a pleasure to give something back.

Good luck and have fun!