Woo hoo, I'm retiring! Retirees...what should I be thinking about?

It’s not actually until year-end, but it’s public at work and it’s gonna happen. Most of my effort has been getting my finances lined up, and I have spent very little time thinking about those first weeks and months, other than a compiling a vague list of things I want to do.

So, current retirees…what’s working, and what do you wish you’d thought of when you left work for good? And anything social or otherwise that keeps you feeling active?


A basic issue is whether you should remain where you are or move.

Buy a “clock” which does not have numbers on it. Instead, it has days of the week!

We gave one of these to my sister’s husband when he retired. My sister said she hung it in the bathroom, over the toilet, so he sees it first thing in the morning!

Yeah, good question. We both have aging parents in the area and we still have teenagers around for a few years, so it’s on the agenda,but not likely for a while. But we’re thinking about it.

Lol. There are some days that I already need that.

When Mr.Wrekker first retired it took him a month or two to get his land legs. Once he was used to not having a place to be every morning he got to planning. His hobbies are many and varied. He still says there’s not enough time in a day. He’s very busy. He’s happy in it. That makes me happy. I don’t think sitting on the deck and absorbing the landscape would suit him. Find what you like and jump in head first. Good luck.

Don’t be afraid to accept that maybe you weren’t ready to retire - that’s what happened to me. I was bored within a year and after a series of temp jobs, I’m back working full time again. Retirement 2.0 may happen at the end of this year, since I’ve now got a granddaughter to fill my days, but we shall see.

On the other hand, it may suit you perfectly, giving you the chance to do all those things you didn’t have time for. Good luck as you enter a new phase of life!

I honestly think the best thing I did was to fade away. If you have the best part of a year, would it be possible at some point to go down to (say) two days a week? What you then find is that you get really annoyed about those two days, because they interfere with your retirement, and you can’t wait to stop doing them. When you do stop them, it isn’t a wrench - it was only two days, after all. I eased into full retirement seamlessly - I imagine it would have been a far more dislocating experience to go directly from full time to stopped.

And you can use the fading away period to transition into the things you want to do. I always wanted to grow my own food, so I built some raised beds and got an allotment (I think the US term is “community garden”); we cook and eat properly; I was able to up the amount of exercise I take (biking) and I’ve lost 30-odd pounds. We travel all the time (Rome next week!) I’m relearning French and want to take on Spanish and German next. I think the learning bit is important as it keeps your mind active and it adds some discipline and structure to your day. Compared to work - the challenge is still there but the deadlines go away - how great is that? And as Beck said,

It’s time to do all those things you always wanted to do but never had the time. Get on with it! :slight_smile:


I didn’t mention, but I’m doing just that - easing back into retirement… sorta. I got my boss to agree to me working 3 days a week, with the understanding that if they get really backed up, I’ll give them more hours. It’s working well so far, and I have had to give them some extra time, but it hasn’t been a big deal.

My only concern is that when I re-retire, I’ll get bored again, since spousal unit is still working. We shall see…

Medicare Supplement Insurance. You want some.

Filling your days. When I couldn’t work, I found out that sitting around doing nothing gets old very quickly.

You might want to look into doing volunteer work.

Heh. I found doing very little came very well very quickly. I also have the waistline to prove it! :slight_smile:

Seriously, though, a lot of people I know say they’ve never been as busy as when they’re now retired.

This is a great idea. I’m always losing track of what day it is.

If the OP has several IRA or 401(k) accounts from past employers, I’d consolidate them. It’s a bit of a pain, as the money has to go directly from one account to another without you actually touching the money. But a lot of people have several small accounts like this that can eventually become problematic, especially if one spouse becomes incapacitated.

Barring that, make sure all your beneficiary designations are up to date, along with your wills.

Remember to keep moving. If you sit on your ass all day, eventually you’ll rust in place (RIP).

Right idea, wrong clock. Get a clock with a day of the week arm. Something like this.

I have one very similar to that and it’s wonderful.

I’m newly retired.
So to start just sit down and rest and don’t do anything for as long as you can. That might take all of day one. I haven’t quite worked out what to do after that yet, so I just keep telling myself it doesn’t matter anymore, I’m retired, I can do whatever I want.

That will be an important thing for me to remember. Most of my income when I retire will be the teacher’s pension, which will be 40-something thousand per year. I have another annuity through my work, and my wife and I also have one together that we’ve been contributing to. Then there are a few other accounts from previous jobs.

I’m so jealous of you all lucky bastards.

I’ve been retired for over four years now. The reality is rather different than what I had planned and expected.

One big problem for me has been that for every project, big or small, there is never any hurry to get it done, because the days stretch endlessly out and there’s always tomorrow. I know this wouldn’t be a problem for some people, but it is for me. I started busy but slowed down after a while and now things aren’t getting done sometimes when they should. So self-discipline is important, to take over for the imposed discipline of getting up and going to work five days a week.

Assuming you’re married, discuss what you two might do together either on a regular basis or as special occasions, such as travel. Maybe compare bucket lists, and see what you have in common. Being retired can bring you closer together or further apart, or you can drive each other crazy.

Be prepared to be asked endlessly “what do you do to fill up all your time?”

I’ll second the suggestion of volunteer work, if you need anything to get you out of the house and out with people, that’s a great way to do it.

I’m not going to suggest throwing out your alarm clock, but turning off the alarm is a great feeling.

It’s a good time to sit down and re-examine your long time fixed expenses.

Here’s an example: we’ve always carried replacement cost insurance on our house, so it keeps pace with rapidly rising house prices, and we have piece of mind. But now, even if the house burnt to the ground, the value of the empty lot would be substantial as it’s well located. So if we carried only $100K insurance on the house, at a substantial monthly savings, we’d get the same cash in hand as if we sold our house today. It might not be the right choice for everyone, I realize.

I’m just saying it’s a good time to have an inventory of your fixed expenses. Just a suggestion!

You might consider doing a comprehensive decluttering of your house (and regular repeats). It’s very easy to store stuff in the basement or garage or whatever when you are no longer using it–and it ends up that you have large amounts of stuff which you saved because “you might use it sometime”–but almost none has ever been used again.

So if you do move there won’t be this massive burden to go through.