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Robbo60

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@artie: I must agree 100% with the above posts - those that talk about volunteering in various ways. Also don't forget the "Mens' Sheds" organisation (which we don't have here BTW).

All the above point toward one of the things I consider VERY important, i.e. meeting & "working with" new people. IMO it's important that whatever your interests are (or become), that you don't restrict yourself to something solitary with no interactions with others.

Again, HTH.
Dead right. The ONLY thing I miss about work is people. Colleagues or customers. Luckily I play golf three times a week so have plenty of interaction there
 

planesleuth

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lol There are 4 options for retirement because all old dinks have very little imagination and so follow the crowd. 1. The lower class option; claim even more benefits than you did before and spend the rest of your days watching the tele. 2. Working class; spend most of your days in your shed avoiding the missus and trying to recreate the past. 3. Middle class; trawling around the countryside in your camper vans and vintage cars getting on everyone's nerves and trying to recreate the past. Upper class spending your days talking about your mental health and setting up charitable institutions that no one else gives a poke about. Good luck with the option you choose. The only limiting factors are how much money you rammed into your pension and your failing health (which of course, again, no one actually gives a poke about), they just want to make sure they feature in your will.
 

Keith 66

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I sort of retired last spring. After being self employed most of my life & working a lot on my own I ended up working in a school as a D&T technician, at times it was a great job & at others horrible. A long term injury was getting to the point where i couldnt do the heavy work anymore & I was lucky through mums legacy to be in a position that i could pack it in.
It helps if you have stuff to do, I never stop.
I dont see it as in the above post "You try to recreate the past", I have gotten into musical instrument making something that a few years ago i would never have thought of, I do that, i garden, grow stuff, brew beer, sail & row. Most of this is done with my good lady who shares the same interests. Everyday is a schoolday!
 

pils

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@artie having only just noticed your (custom) "Career Title", I think you should be satisfied you have sufficient humour to take on the world.
 

Anthraquinone

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My wife and I retired 13 years ago from jobs we both liked. Eventually corporate bs for both of us and and for me the Health and Safety system as well drove us out. Luckily we both had final salary pensions through no skill on our parts it was just what happened if you worked for a large company or the NHS.

What worked for me in retirement was to completely cut off from the previous life and start a new one. My wife wrote a text book base on her university career. Once that was finished lots of hobbies and more travel - taking my wife to some of the places I had been when I worked. The best thing about retirement is being able to do what you want when you want. If it is rainy, cold and windy when we wake up why not have a cup of coffee and read in bed together for an hour of so. The jobs will wait for a few hours or days.

We did think about volunteering but the organizations wanted us to commit to certain hours/days each week - I totally understand that - they needed to know when they would have staff etc but that did not fit with our new philosophy of doing what we wanted when we wanted so that idea did not work out

Everyone is an individual and what works for us would not work for others. Retirement gives you a choice to do what you want when you want. Relax, do not worry too much, and make the most of what years you have left. In the UK, once we get back to a normal life, the U3A is a brilliant organisation for retirees with lots to do and new people to meet.
 

Amateur

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A lot depends on the person.
In general we work for money, despite what myths folk come up with.
I've heard people waffle on that you have to be happy in your job...but sometimes happy jobs don't pay the mortgage or feed the kids.
While its fine to say sod it and open an aerobics class in Timbuktu, that niggle of getting older, no pension and how you will cope in retirement keeps popping into your head.
If you stop working too late you will regret the time you lost by not retiring years before.
If you retire too early you will end up working more hours than when you were at work.
Some folk like the money. They get hooked on it. So continue to work.
At 60 years old friends I knew requested pension statements every six months. Then sat working out their pensions, obsessed, calculator buttons throwing of steam and that strained look of concentration mixed with constipation on their faces.
Should I stay or should I go.? They asked.
I'm going.....then,..no I'm staying.
Another six months will give me an extra ten quid a week pension money.
The majority stayed.....till the next month at least, then repeated the process driven subconsciously by the smell of all that lolly, and how they would spend it.
I've seen a few friends retire telling us all down the pub how they will spend their retirement.
The holidays, the new car.
Sadly many lose their partners, or they themselves become sick.
Life's a lottery.
Everyone is different.

No one can plan for retirement, for when retirement comes other challenges unknown to us enter our lives, and what's left we fit round those challenges as our retirement dreams.

Good luck
 

Gant

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I retired a year ago after 32 years in pharmaceutical research, a high stress, big budget job with long hours and loads of travel. Immediately I stopped work, COVID-19 messed everything up and some of my plans are on hold, and my father’s death didn’t help. But I took a woodworking course and took up this game, and have got myself a job one day per week delivering sausages to pay for tools and wood. That with birdwatching, the allotment and mother moving house I am really struggling to find time to do what I want.

So do I miss my career? Yes, like a fish misses it’s bicycle. Not for one minute have I regretted leaving. As long as you have plans, go for it.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Planning for retirement should take place many, many years before the actual event.

I frown when I hear someone say, "I am waiting until I retire to do woodworking/travel/knitting/navel gazing/whatever". Retirement is not something one starts, as if it were a new job; it is something one continues, transitions into gradually or increasingly, it is an extension of ones' existing interests.

The problem is that some simply do not have interests outside their daily job, and then hit a wall or take up what ever is offered to them ... and generally struggle with it as they lack both interest and passion. I recall my father, an award-winning architect, retiring at 71 years to read cowboy books and watch sport on TV until he was 101. He knew little of the world outside his own. Had not developed a passion in anything that he could do for himself. I shake my head in horror. My mother, a journalist, writer and art-gallery owner, continued going this until a stroke in her late 80s, and then consulted in art until her 90's. She remained a socially active person aware of the news and world politics. She passed away a few months ago aged nearly 96. Stuck in her apartment owing to Covid, and nearly blind, she continued to explore the world of art and make new friends via the Internet.

I am now 71, work as a clinical psychologist, and plan to "retire" in 4 years. What this means is that I shall consult one day each week via Zoom to outlying areas in Oz offering specialist services in child development. The remainder of my time I shall spend more time designing and building furniture. Perhaps sell some? Also travel even more. However, none of this is new. I've been doing it all for decades. I always say that I take my retirement in advance, and when I can. We could be more comfortable financially if we had saved instead, but I just do not wish to get to "retirement age" (whatever that means), and not be able to then do all the things I waited to do. Life does not wait for you. Find your passion now.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

D_W

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I guess the question I'd have is was your dad happy doing that? I like my work, my mother liked hers - both her job and her part time business - I'm sure she'd do it into her 80s if her memory would've lasted.

My dad, on the other hand, could work 4 hours every other day at a golf course and make nothing of the other days and be totally happy.

Idle time in the last year as memory issues have made things too difficult for my mother have not been good for her (my dad would've been happy as a lark, but he obviously has a budding carer role, now).

A golf job for my dad wasn't planned in retirement - golf was. He's (both parents) incredibly cheap and the idea of working 10 or 12 hours a week to golf another 20 free is his idea of paradise, but he doesn't try to get better at golf and never took it seriously. He just goes out and plays. Someone who had a lifetime of achievement would think he's an silly person, and not recognize that he's far more contented and stable than them.

I think as time goes on and we're constantly tied in to things, people will have less and less ability just to "be" and be happy with themselves rather than neurotic. My mother's father continued physical work into retirement, probably 25 hours of work a week cutting and splitting firewood, a little less in the winter. He said it "cleared" his head, but I also remember that he had the ability to sit in a chair after dinner for hours, TV and lights off, awake, worrying about nothing and being content. I could never do that. Neither could my mother (his daughter).

Dad's dad was a public official, and also owned a farm (common back then). When he retired, I used to wonder how everyone always knew him as I never knew him to do much other than sit at local club sporting events. And not professional events - he'd take a radio and a folding chair and go to the community park and watch slow pitch softball. If the yankees were on, then he'd listen to the yankees.

Most people in his profession would've said he "did nothing" in retirement (his farm had gone to rent by then - he had no money spending or travel interests, either). He wanted to listen to sports and watch sports. He was also one of the happier and more contented people I know because like my mother's father, he'd gotten away from thinking there were things he had to do based on the expectations of anyone else.

(This western thing must be a male western society thing, though. Dad spent a good part of his "nothing" days the first few years renting westerns and watching a western channel on TV, and my FIL did that for a while, too. Both have settled into things more unique to them (sports and following finance, respectively), but both are content). The only person not content with what my parents do is my wife, who thinks they should be obligated to offer assistance or visit or whatever to us on a regular basis (we're 4 hours away). I cannot convince her that it's not our place to obligate my parents into anything. Her parents aren't more available, but they suggest often they will be and that seems to be enough).
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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David, my comment was to the OP, who wrote ...

Problem is, all my life I never knew what I wanted to do and still don't...

I would like to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Was my father content reading the same cowboy books over and over? He did spend a lot of time finding fault with the world. I would not have called him a contented man. This was a highly successful and creative architect in his day. Earlier, he had been a Rhodes Scholar. He did not stop because he wanted to - everyone has a life span, and the younger generation went to younger architects. Work/expression for him was all or nothing, and in the end it was nothing.

My advice is that, if one's life work is coming to an end, seek a new path for one's juices. It can be an extension of what is, it can be a new development of what was, or it can be the continuation of a hobby already there.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Phil Pascoe

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I remember years ago my cousin doing some sort of motivation course and coming back and saying one thing that stuck in his mind (then mine). The lecturer asked them in turn what their aims in life were .......... then asked them what they were doing to work towards those aims that day - which of course in every case was nothing.

I think much depends on the person in retirement - my wife works with two people in their early fifties and says they are are both old, and she doesn't think of me as old and I'm disabled and sixty seven.

Citizen's Advice was mentioned before - a relative was looking forward to working with them, as she felt she had a lot to offer. (She's a very clever and kind lady.) She went for an interview and they asked what her employment history was. She told them she'd been a lifelong teacher and head teacher. The interviewer said she'd been very lucky and she said no, she'd worked hard for her degree, her post graduate qualifications and throughout her career - luck had nothing to do with it. They turned her down out of hand as they said there was no place at the CAB for people with attitudes like that .:dunno:
 

D_W

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David, my comment was to the OP, who wrote ...



Was my father content reading the same cowboy books over and over? He did spend a lot of time finding fault with the world. I would not have called him a contented man. This was a highly successful and creative architect in his day. Earlier, he had been a Rhodes Scholar. He did not stop because he wanted to - everyone has a life span, and the younger generation went to younger architects. Work/expression for him was all or nothing, and in the end it was nothing.

My advice is that, if one's life work is coming to an end, seek a new path for one's juices. It can be an extension of what is, it can be a new development of what was, or it can be the continuation of a hobby already there.

Regards from Perth

Derek
Derek, you will know much more about what makes people unhappy than not, and if no good information is known about a particular case, what the odds are.

I couldn't glean from your post whether or not your father was happy, but you've illuminated that. My grandfather on my dad's side held political office as well as a few management jobs at defense contractors (a feat for a man with 9 kids at home and a wife who was off her rocker - she was a sweet woman, but crippled by worry her entire life).

I think it's popular to find fault with the world these days, and it's a trap that robs us of being happy with what's right in front of us. As you described your dad unaware of what's going on outside of his bubble - sometimes that's happiness, and sometimes it's a recipe for discontent due to lack of familiarity with what you're angry about - or realistic expectations).

My grandfathers in both cases moved into their own bubbles - the paper told them enough about the rest of their world and they had the opposite reaction - they were entitled to live in their bubble and be pleased.

It's hard to know what'll make someone go. Both of my grandfathers worked like bonkers when they were in the "main sequence" of their lives, they were born in a time when you were to fear idle time and knew your days were limited. 20-25 hours a week of firewood cutting for my mother's father was more or less 1/3rd time or less vs. his working life.

We're PA germans, so the notions may be different than yours. If you "push the plow" as your dad did until he's 71, then expectations from others can blow away like a fart in the wind if someone else doesn't like it, and then happiness and contentment is really the only question. Some of our friends come with more family involvement, and when someone retires (Especially if involuntarily eliminated from a corporate position), then they often feel pressure to keep performing for other people. I think that's sad (actually, it's pitiful) unless that's what makes said person happy.

Viewing through the lens of a PA dutchy background, post-retirement meddling in the younger generation's business would be considered shameful, and leaving an egg for the next generation obligatory. Mother's father left us abruptly (literally while eating lunch at 79 between cutting trees). Her mother let us know they wouldn't have done a thing different, fought until her second to last day, and one evening said "i'm ready to go" and was gone within hours. They bristled at anyone else's expectations of them above and beyond family obligations.

I've heard a term for this. "downrounding". "Yes, your grandfather was the hardest worker I ever met. But I have no idea why he wasted his retirement cutting and splitting firewood. what a waste. When I was a kid, he had 15 hands and could've built an empire if he'd have kept going. He should have _____ and would've done better if he wasn't so stubborn".

He was confident enough to dismiss them.

But whether or not it's achievement or lack of it, he knew exactly what he wanted to do in retirement - that part was, as you say, worked into in stages.

I find the people who get canned from private jobs and still have their motor running (thus they slid into volunteer positions and make things difficult for everyone else, stirring up trouble, refusing to sit and watch for a while but rather trying to unseat everyone and everything) far worse than those who flip off the switch.
 

D_W

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I remember years ago my cousin doing some sort of motivation course and coming back and saying one thing that stuck in his mind (then mine). The lecturer asked them in turn what their aims in life were .......... then asked them what they were doing to work towards those aims that day - which of course in every case was nothing.

I think much depends on the person in retirement - my wife works with two people in their early fifties and says they are are both old, and she doesn't think of me as old and I'm disabled and sixty seven.

Citizen's Advice was mentioned before - a relative was looking forward to working with them, as she felt she had a lot to offer. (She's a very clever and kind lady.) She went for an interview and they asked what her employment history was. She told them she'd been a lifelong teacher and head teacher. The interviewer said she'd been very lucky and she said no, she'd worked hard for her degree, her post graduate qualifications and throughout her career - luck had nothing to do with it. They turned her down out of hand as they said there was no place at the CAB for people with attitudes like that .:dunno:
I had a coworker once who lined me out as I wasn't moving forward that fast. She asked if I wanted to bump up further and faster. I said "yes, I do". I got an ear-ringing lecture from her "if you wanted to do that, you'd be doing that".

Most of those motivational speakers are con artists and they are fodder for hypomanic middle and upper management to irritate employees in the idea that a company full of chiefs with the authority of indians would just be fantastic.

The risk of a lack of self-examination is setting people down a path they don't really want to go down - that's not that great.

The interviewers for CAB (unfamiliar with that) sound like duds. Getting bounced by dumb interviewers isn't really a loss - it's a good indication that the job was a bad fit and sometimes a loss is a good one.
 
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Retired

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Hi,

I retired from active conflict in 2000 aged 53 and was glad to walk down the works yard for the last time from an highly stressful job.

My wife and I planned for retirement when we first married so paid into my final salary pension scheme meaning now in retirement we're far better off than whilst grafting for a living. We both have hobbies and have had lots of interests all our lives even from childhood; work got in the way but now we're free to graft doing what we like and are making the most of it. So many people retire then drop dead the day after only ever had work in their lives which is truly sad.

I enjoy leaving my comfort zone to try anything new which grabs my attention; for years I adopted restoring vintage valve radios during winter and enjoyed the hobby. During warmer weather we have a detached bungalow and gardens which are high maintenance so I'm forever busy; last year really flattened me as I completely removed a 60' long huge hedge including stumps and roots it being incredibly hard work but I managed to complete it just as winter arrived.

Last year I learned Tig welding aluminium having only ever arc welded steel for over 50 years it was a lot more difficult than I imagined; I rebuilt a scrap Suffolk Colt petrol mower only to find the petrol tank to leak hence the Tig welding; I decided to make a new aluminium tank from scratch and the first tank I made involved domed ends so I learnt how to metal spin aluminium breaking a rib in the process due to the amount over leverage required on the long tool handle; I succeeded with both metal spinning and Tig welding.

I've created a wildflower meadow at the top of our very steep garden which many walkers along the lane stop to admire and ask how it was created some taking pictures; I've restored lots of machines and I've made lots of our furniture both fitted and free standing; I enjoy all aspects of wood/metal work; I've learned how to veneer and French polish too; I'm awaiting warmer weather allowing me into the workshop where I want to have a go at making a brazing machine using a 1,950W commercial micro wave transformer also I want to do work with induction heating; I've already gathered the components but it's too cold to play out at the moment. I've just made a cyclone extractor though because a week ago it did become milder I also rotavated the meadow and broadcast new wild flower seeds.

Because it's been so cold I've just taken up doing a 1,000 piece jigsaw which I find very interesting indeed in fact I'll buy more jigsaw's to pass away the terrible weather days.

In short there aren't enough hours in a day and we're both looking forward to warmer weather then we can move around without feeling frozen. We're never bored we've just watched how jigsaws are made on YouTube.

Never be afraid to try something new but do something to keep busy; many are selling their homes and moving into flats but we never will we don't want to move into a "God's waiting room".

I'm 73 and can run rings round many half my age because I don't sit day in day out watching someone kick a ball around on TV; I'd much rather do a jigsaw.

Here's just an example of how I enjoy retirement;

Cyclone_0005.JPG

Made about a week ago; my new cyclone trolley.
Cyclone_0007.JPG

The cyclone almost complete but it's turned cold again to play out.
Jigsaw_0002.JPG

I'm now doing a 1,000 piece jigsaw here it's all set up; note wainscot paneling I made and above it I installed a coffered ceiling.
Rear garden_0002.JPG

At 73 I'm still grafting but I do tire a bit more these days; here's one of the laurel root balls I took out last year; it must weigh over a ton and all on my own using 24 tons of hydraulic jack pressure to break it free then a 2,500lb winch to drag it out of the way; I finally got rid of this last one just as winter arrived breaking it up and taking it to our local tip.
Reworked pyrography cat.JPG

Another new hobby I'm working on; pyrography.
Workshop_0001_02.JPG

Here's the new front porch I made and installed.
Workshop_0001_03.JPG

Two new aluminium petrol tanks with the original steel tank; metal spinning; Tig welding and my first attempt at panel beating. I can't wat for the weather to improve; I've worked out in all weather but now I'm being a bit more careful with my health after a lifetime of grafting.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Geoff_S

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A few years ago I had to go and see my GP. Nothing serious, all was well.

However, whilst there, she explained to me that she was going to get involved in something called "Men's Sheds". She explained that the purpose of the organisation was to help retired men who had maybe lost their way and needed help in understanding how to make the best of retirement and thereby create new meaning to their life.

She asked me if I would like to come along? Of course I would! I explained that I would be happy to help and be more than happy to share what I did
to make my retirement a wonderful thing.

Apparently I had misunderstood. 😕

The invite was withdrawn.
 

Alpha-Dave

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I remember years ago my cousin doing some sort of motivation course and coming back and saying one thing that stuck in his mind (then mine). The lecturer asked them in turn what their aims in life were .......... then asked them what they were doing to work towards those aims that day - which of course in every case was nothing.

I think much depends on the person in retirement - my wife works with two people in their early fifties and says they are are both old, and she doesn't think of me as old and I'm disabled and sixty seven.

Citizen's Advice was mentioned before - a relative was looking forward to working with them, as she felt she had a lot to offer. (She's a very clever and kind lady.) She went for an interview and they asked what her employment history was. She told them she'd been a lifelong teacher and head teacher. The interviewer said she'd been very lucky and she said no, she'd worked hard for her degree, her post graduate qualifications and throughout her career - luck had nothing to do with it. They turned her down out of hand as they said there was no place at the CAB for people with attitudes like that .:dunno:
Hi Phil,

Honestly it sounds like that was the right choice to me. A successful career needs ability, hard work and luck; not just the first two. Anyone who is successful and does not recognise where they have had luck or advantage would be offering poor advice to someone ‘down on their luck’. Not trying to read too much into a 4-line anecdote, but if some going to CA because they couldn’t pay their bills, had maxed out all their cards etc, I don’t think that a recommendation that they should work harder would have been helpful.

The flip-side if this is that the group who does need encouragement to work hard would be those with less ‘work experience’, so youth generally, until it clicks that if they work hard they can get where they want to be.

Veritasium explains the luck versus hard work idea better than I can:

 

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Problem is, all my life I never knew what I wanted to do and still don't.
That probably means you are quite versatile and could do a number of things well, so its probably a matter of finding the right options. I had the luxury of going on a management course 25 years ago, when corporations had the spare money for these things, we were encouraged to make a life plans considering four boxes; work, family, self, friends (& wider community). None of us had thought to do it in such a structured way, and it had a profound impact on most of us who did this course, helped us make some important life choices. The other thing to consider is your partners needs and interests if you have one. As retirement has a big impact on the whole family. I also support the comments earlier about making it a journey more than a destination and agree its important to do something, I've known too many people drop of their perch shortly after stopping a full-on job. My father stopped for a while at 57 utterly exhausted, but ended up working part time for my brother and that kept his mind going (without the stress) for the next 30 years. You have sparked off an interesting conversation on quite a philosophical topic.
 

TominDales

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My Dad retired from his job as a financial director in 1986 and died in 2020

34 years of retirement!
Crikey, my dads coming up to 32 years of formal retirement, golden generation, paid his mortgage off by 40 and generous pension
 

Phil Pascoe

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Honestly it sounds like that was the right choice to me. A successful career needs ability, hard work and luck; not just the first two. Anyone who is successful and does not recognise where they have had luck or advantage would be offering poor advice to someone ‘down on their luck’.
That's as maybe - but it's incredibly stupid to tell someone successful they got where they got by luck.

An afterthought - I suppose it would be more logically for failures to work there, because they could advise how to fail better?:dunno:
 

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I must say this has been the most enjoyable off topic thread I have read on here, (along with the cars thread!) It's been a treat to dip in and read all your years of experience and wisdom. Which is a tonic to the other unmentionable threads in the off topic section.

Cheers James
 

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