Listen now (13 mins) | Newsletter 2022-09-26
Took early retirement due to cancer. Not fun. Now that I am cancer free I have filled my days and nights with volunteer work.
I gotta tell you James, There are some upsides and downsides to retirement. I was 'forced' into retirement by a bout of bladder cancer. when I was 68. This also ended my volunteering at the same place. When you are forced into retirement due to a life-altering illness, you end up trying to find something to do. Fortunately, I read, including books without pictures in them. Mainly just about anything that has words in a row. That includes cereal boxes.
What I guess I'm trying to say is, make tentative plans for what you would like to do.
By the way, take it one day at a time.
Well, James, you certainly wrote many truths about retirement - so many I had to read it twice. You either have been very observant with your folks and in-laws or have excellent insight. That first paragraph’s last 4 sentences was a truth bomb. [And, subtitles are the best thing ever invented as my hearing is noticeably changing now. Reading is better than saying “what’d he say?” a zillion times.]
I've been retired for 7 years now and hubby for 5 altho he occasionally goes back on 3-month contracts when they need him. I am physically limited now because of mobility issues so with that and the pandemic, I've adapted to being what others might call lazy. Things I thought I'd want to do I am unable to do or just aren't appealing. I have a bedroom of craft stuff I need to get rid of. The kids' scrapbooks I thought I'd finally finish are in the same state as before. My piano hasn't been played since I retired. Our two kids will never produce grandchildren (by choice) so that is something we thought we'd be spending time on but won't happen. But somehow the day gets filled and we still are enjoying each other's company as we face our last journey together.
Every retiree I've known has taken about a year to settle into retirement but maybe your m-i-l won't have that issue. I had a hard time getting used to the fact that the job I loved for many years is basically paying me to not show up and to do nothing now. It's really an odd feeling.
Currently our days are filled with a large and seemingly unending remodeling project. When that’s over, we’ll find something else to aggravate us, I am sure. I can tell you this, though. Knowing we are on the down slope of the life span graph, we are going to start drinking out of the crystal glasses and serving our meals on the good china. We are going to use the fluffy company-only towels and buy that fabulous painting that an artist friend has just finished. What are we waiting for?
Loved it but I listened, not read! Sometimes retirement deals hard blows like loss of vision. Just last Thursday, I gave away all my backlog of sewing, crochet and other needkecraft.projects. Also gave them a few dozen cookbooks, crochet, embroudery, and other assorted books. The wonderful HS friend that picked it all up filled her minivan! I'd love INE like hers. Has the disappears seats so it held a LOT!
Hence I will reach the retirement age set for males by polish law not earlier than in the late-2060s (currently, because I suspect this age will eventually rise; and most of my elder relatives say that it's wise financial decision to work past it), I don't make plans for that phase of my life (even assuming that I will live long enough to reach it).
But here are my grandparents' ways to approach their free time. My mum's dad is doing lots of crafting in his workshop (he mostly makes gardening tools, so he doesn't need to buy them) as well as mind entertainment - usually solving crosswords and sudoku. He also writes a lot - mainly limericks or complainments to local authorities. His wife and my grandma spends her free time in the garden, overseeing growth of vegetables and fruits, from which she makes juices and jams. As for my dad's mum, she is mostly watching TV (public and religious) and planting fruits and vegetables in her allotment garden. She is also very frequently visiting the local church. Dad of my dad is partially disabled, so his activity is mainly watching TV.
My parents' plans for retirement are simple - they dream of relocating to Ticino canton in Switzerland, and there they only want to care about their physical wellbeing and good intellectual form. The reason for Switzerland is because they fell in love with this country when they went to work there, shortly after they married (and also this is why I was born there; but we returned to Poland when I was 1, so I don't have the Swiss citizenship).
"If the only way you can value yourself is if you’re creating value for a company, you’ll be very unhappy in retirement."
This sentence got to me. I'm far far away from my retiring years but I've seen people unhappy after they retire.
How do you create values in your life though? Finding a significant other? Having kids? Doing volunteer work? It's something to think about.
“…somebody has to win, and I could rob that person.”😂😂😂
I’m with ya!
I’m enjoying retirement because, as an elementary school teacher, even my evenings and weekends weren’t free—or paid. I do believe I’d rather deal with 4 of my own, raised well in my own way, than the 24 to 27 kids I had every year for 30 years!
I have 4 years until I hit the social security years to get full benefits, and if I work an additional 3 I can get more funding, so it’s touch and go right now! I am still paying Parents Plus loans for my kids who have been out of college for 12 years……
I have been retired for 14 years and I love it. I did take on a full-time mom role for 2 foster sons. One is now a freshman in college, fully paid by grants. The other is a senior in high school. My free time I read, enjoy social media, travel to visit and enjoy my grandkids, and great-grandkids. I have 20 in all.
I’m a bit like your Mum. As in “free time, what’s that?” I am a teacher so can’t help myself but teach. Then there are all the other activities I keep on doing because, as my husband says “Pari see, Pari want to do!”. Like flying a fighter plane. Not likely as I would turn it on the western hegemony! But the flip side of teaching is learning and that is what I was born to do. I am over 60, moved to an impoverished foreign country to teach in an International school, which is more poorly equiped that an Australian public school, and am learning the language, which is also written in a foreign script. My husband, who is with me, has actually stopped working. But my greatest pleasure is to spend time with no purpose. Here, I wake up on Saturday, free of any plans and it is wonderful. I just let life happen to me 2 days a week (apart from getting Covid for the first time here, but at least it made me stop for an entire week, sort of.)
Very thoughtful and thought-provoking piece today (and of course hilarious!). I also liked reading all the comments about retirement!
As one of five girls, my father used to whisper, "elope" over us every night at bedtime
"I don’t mind reading the news, but I hate writing it, mainly because news is about people and people are the worst." 😂😂😂🤣
I am a big fan of your mom ever sincr coyote story. She sounds like sitcom material and awesome human🤓
Retired and enjoying it. But I may borrow from Bob and Delilah and watch Turkish dramas.
Hubby and I retired in June- well I am now daycare for grands, he was dealing with back issues that COVID prolonged receiving treatment for. He finally got the first shot in his back this week - I’m waiting for it to kick in enough so that we can finish the remodeling projects. Which also leads to that retirement pastime of me watching whatever he puts on the tv whilst he check his eyelids, at least until I gather strength to pry the remote from his hand. I listen to your podcast while cleaning, today was bathroom day. Don’t jump to the conclusion that the cleaning takes place as often as your podcast though. Thanks for keeping my mind out of the gutter, so to speak. Stay well