Botox and Disrespect of Aging
The Outrageously Ageist Media

Retirement Quandaries

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Until 1 May, The TGB Elderblogger Survey is open for bloggers and blog readers age 50 and older. It will be good to have as many participants as possible, so if you haven't done so yet, clicking the link above or the survey badge in the right sidebar will take you directly to the survey.]

One day at the coffee machine in 2004, when I was 63, I felt blown off my feet when a young colleague idly asked, “Why don’t you retire, Ronni?” I had no answer for her.

Call me stupid, but the idea of retirement had hardly crossed my mind throughout my working years and at the time she asked, I still hadn’t considered stopping work or what I would do when or if I did.

About three months later, both of us were laid off in a cutback and after a year of futile searching for a job, as I sank more deeply into debt with each passing month, I did what was necessary to survive. I sold my New York apartment and moved to a less expensive city.

At the time of the layoff, I had recently launched Time Goes By and during the year of my job search and the subsequent year of making the move to Maine, the blog became my full-time “job.” So I slipped into retirement without actually making the decision, without ever having asked myself what I would do when I stopped working.

A couple of days ago, I ran across a blog post from lacochran of lacochran’s bloggery. She appears to be in her early or mid-50s and is wondering these days who she will be, what she will do and how she will identify herself when retirement arrives:

“…the first question almost always asked is "What do you do?" as in "How do you spend your day?" The assumption is that you work, or go to school, or take care of children. Or, if none of those, that you do philanthropic work or creative endeavors. This is how we define each other when we meet. This is how we create context.

“…once we are retired, then what? Do I work part-time in something that is less stressful than my current job or even enjoyable once salary isn't an issue? Do I volunteer and make the world a better place? Do I start drinking lime daiquiris at 11 am? What?”

For a short while, a year or two ago, I struggled with identifying myself as retired. I disliked the word with its implication of idleness, unimportance and daily rounds of golf. But thanks to this blog and particularly to other elderbloggers who continue to educate me, I wear it easily now as I continue trying to figure out what getting old is really like and to lobby for respect for elders.

But my personal experience doesn’t make lacochran’s quandary less consequential. I could be wrong, but I suspect there are few who have definitive plans or goals for retirement.

It is complicated by the fact that, unlike our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, we can expect another two or three decades of healthy life after the common retirement age of 65 which, if you count eligibility for full Social Security as the “official” retirement age, is gradually being moved up to 67 over the next few years.

Assuming corporate America doesn’t shove employees out the door at about that age or even younger (not a rational assumption given the continued prevalence of age discrimination in the workplace), some will continue to work for many years.

Still, the day will arrive when, by circumstance or choice, most of us are retired from full-time work – and I have a bunch of questions about that transition.

  • If you are still working, what are you thinking about retirement? Do you have a solid plan you’re happy with?
  • If you are retired, how is it going? Do you have enough to fill your time? Are you ever at a loss for something to do?
  • How do you feel about saying you’re retired when asked what you do?
  • Did or do you have trouble identifying yourself – who you are within yourself - when you can no longer say you are a doctor, an engineer, a teacher, etc.?
  • How has the transition gone for you from decades of full-time work, a place to go every morning, to not having that obligation?
  • If you’ve been retired for some years, have you made any major changes in how you spend your days? If so, why and how?
  • Retired, do you feel less involved with the world, your community, the culture at large - or moreso?
  • Are you happy in your retirement? What’s good and what’s not good about it?

Personally, I believe if a retiree wants to stay home and read mystery novels all day or watch television, that’s fine. I don’t think there should be a requirement in old age to do something other people consider productive. It’s a personal choice.

Maybe when the Elderblogger Survey is done, I’ll do another on attitudes about retirement. Meanwhile, I’m curious about people’s answers to the questions above and I’m betting lacochran is too.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Bill Parker recalls his years of sports car rallying with a special friend in The Navigator Rules!]


Comments

I was reading through your list of questions and thought that I could see another survey coming on. Sure enough, you thought it too. I look forward to the results of that one.

Jen...

Yes, probably another survey but surveys, by their nature, make thoughtful answers difficult, so I'm hoping some readers will choose one of today's questions and run with it to give us an idea of what others have considered regarding retirement.

I read this post and my head is swimming.
Past 70, have built 3 homes and created beautiful gardens at each over the last 10 years.
Now almost settled in this last creation.
Spring through fall I stay busy in my garden.
I have started reading blogs and have started one.
My stack of unread books grows higher and higher.
I am up at 5:00 AM and before I know it the sun is going down.
My list of what I want to do is shorter but I do not think in this lifetime it will all be accomplished.
This almost makes me sad.
How could anyone be bored.
TV - what is that.
Retirement - what are you.
Am I retired and do not know it.

I plan to retire at age 63--in about nine months--if our debts are paid off by then. I love my job but want to plant gardens, work on my home, travel etc. I have a feeling after almost 30 years, I will miss it and probably have an adjustment.

I will say I am receiving quite a bit of pressure to retire from those who look to move into my job. Some of it borders on age discrimination.

I will probably have to work till I drop, or physically can't any more. My husband left our finances in a huge mess, and it looks as if retirement is not going to be an option. To be honest, if I did not love my job, the future would be pretty bleak.

A year ago, at 62, I was laid off from my job. I had been debating continuing to work there because of the brutal hours and stress level, but I had hoped to make that decision for myself, not have it made for me.

I found that I love being home and planning outings at my leisure. I would love to do more traveling, but the constraints have changed from not enough time to not enough money. I have done some volunteer work and have started doggy sitting for friends and former clients. I do charge for this, so it does bring in a small income.

I do miss the people at work and have to be careful that I don't become a hermit (it is SO easy to be too comfortable in pajamas at home) so I keep in touch with friends by phone and try to get out for lunch/movie/gallery with them every week. I joined a book club that meets monthly and I joined a Bible study that meets weekly. I am a permitted wildlife rehabilitator, so orphan animals are brought to my door on a regular basis. I spend WAY too much time on the computer.

Hmmm..when I look back to read all of the above, I guess I am not as sedentary as I thought I was! :-)


I retired from teaching high school at 61. But before leaving, I got a university position supervising student teachers. I still had a foot in education, plus, I could do all the things I did on the margins of my career.

After retiring (and I loathe that word) I cleaned and re-decorated my house, did and still do renovations, took night courses, mosaic tile course, joined a cycling group, gardened my butt off, built a sidewalk, renovated more, walked, kayaked, read a ton of books, wrote a memoir on teaching, started a journal, read motivational books. But every now and then I felt out of step watching others go to work.

We travel, we walk, we volunteer a bit. But still, there were times when I cried. I felt a bit sad, missing my colleagues? I don't know. But gardening was the only thing that took me away from worrying about my possible 30 year future.

I even applied for some minimum wage jobs, but just half-heartedly, as I didn't want to be locked into working nights or weekends. Finally on Mother's Day last May, mom suggested I garden for others.

I made a flyer, stuck it in 50 mail boxes and went home. The next day I was bombarded with calls from seniors, people who can't do physical work but want to remain in their homes, and a few celebrities! I already had the tools, LOVE gardening, so off I went on this new adventure.

I LOVED it. Now I am already getting calls for this season & will work mornings only for more $ than I would make subbing for whole days. (I will never sub!) I also sold some of my articles to magazines and newspapers. I know that I can legally go back and teach if I want to, but I keep that ace card in my back pocket "in case."

Gardening for others gives me that hero feeling I had when teaching. So when people ask me what I am doing in retirement (I hate that word) I say I exercise for money and teach student teachers.

Am I retired? No! Am I happy? Yes! I realize I can not sit on my butt. I was made to achieve, and for me there is no finish line. If my other retired friends want to sit and etc. no problem, but don't ask me to quit learning, working and making my way on this earth.

I believe there will soon be a huge demand for senior workers, and when that time comes, get ready for a large attitude adjustment from those who think anyone over 50 should slink off on an ice floe. I am here. Here to work. Here to achieve. I will not get off the dance floor of life no matter what my number says.

By the way, I am now 64. Everyone has natural skills that can be used in retirement. But you have to find your bliss. Discover your bliss and you won't feel retired.

I never officially retired. Instead, I kind of morphed into retirement without noticing it. During the later years of my career I had my own private psychotherapy practice and I loved my work so planned never to retire. I knew for sure that I would happily 'die in harness'. Also, as part of the plan, my partner and I were building (literally, out of adobe) our own retreat centre on 30 rural acres, and as time went on I was spending fewer hours in my city practice and more hours on the land. That was also according to plan.

But gradually, round about 60, I noticed that everything inside me seemed to be getting kind of fluid. I began to discover that all the things I had thought I wanted weren't what I wanted at all. New ideas and interests were popping up. The ground seemed to be shifting under me.

At first, I tried to hold myself to the program, but that resulted in a bout of depression. So I was finally forced to let go and accept that I was changing in lots of ways, like it or not, and that the future was in fact wide open and totally unpredictable.

Through homesteading, we had learned to live so simply that we could manage on a very small income. So over the following three years, we moved countries twice, tried out several different lifestyles - including joining an intentional community for a while - and just followed our interests and inclinations.

These days, we both have so many projects on the go that we can't imagine how we ever managed to find time to work for a living. All we have is our Social Security, but it is enough for our needs and we feel very blessed. At almost 72, I dutifully write 'retired' on the forms. But for me, 'retiring' from work was kind of like 'retiring' from the dining-room into the drawing-room, like the ladies in old-fashioned novels used to do. Simply going from one room of my life into another. And I love this one. It's wonderful.

I'll be 59 in June and can't wait to retire. I have worked for the state for 20 years now and am trying to make it for another 4 and a half to collect a pension and benefits (I'm counting the months) so I can leave. I'll really feel like my life is mine again.

Retirement has gone well for me and I almost feel guilty till I remember the 28 years of service time I put in to earn it. I also remember times during those 28 years when I was envious of friends who weren't working and who's lives seemed like one long summer vacation. These days though, the shoe is on the other foot and thank goodness I stuck it out.

I've been more or less retired for a few years. It was a gradual process, not on purpose but I never saw myself working much beyond 55 or so anyway. Money is tight, but I am thrifty. My plan is, I'll spend till it's gone and then maybe get a job as a Walmart greeter if I have to. Or an art school model, that pays better. Whatever.

I had a hard time with "I'm retired" at first, but so many people expressed envy when I said it that it got easier. Not everybody has a job they love, lots dream of being "retired". They imagine I'm rich, I tell them I'm not, but they don't believe me. My expectations are a lot lower than most people's and I did set aside every spare penny I had when I was working, so I probably saved more than a lot of people at my income level did.

I like not working and I don't get bored. The only thing I miss is having other retired people to play with, most people I know of my age are still working. I travel, I volunteer, I spend time with family, I make stuff, I read, I write, and go to museums and art galleries and free lectures. Not enough time for it all!

I wouldn't mind working again, but my expectations there are high. If I ever worked for money again it would be because (a) I absolutely loved the job, and/or (b) I badly needed the money.

I 'retired myself' four years ago shortly before my 56th birthday. This year I will start to receive pension when I hit 60.

I had worked very hard for many years at various levels in education and was ready to stop. By selling everything we owned in UK my partner and I were able to buy a piece of land in Turkey in 2003 and in 2004 we moved out here and built our house.

I had calculated that we had enough funds to survive the four years till my pension would be paid - but I got it wrong. However, we have managed with loans from friends and judicious use of credit.

As for what we do with our time: we are creating a garden; I translate written Turkish to English; we read obsessively; I am a member of a Turkish Folk Dance group comprised of retired British residents; in summer I organise weddings for foreigners who want to be married in the romantic beauty that is so easy to find here.

By the way, the translation and weddings are paid work, the rest voluntary. In winter, we give free English lessons for people in our village. I spend a fair amount of each day on-line as I also help run a community information website for foreign residents.

We are never bored and don't have TV. From May to October we are rarely without friends visiting from UK and other countries. When I am asked if I am retired, I honestly don't know what to answer. Sure I have retired from full-time paid employment, but that to me doesn't seem to be the meaning of 'retired', and I do still work albeit on a part-time freelance basis.

My usual answer is 'I am a retired teacher' which is true but if 'retired' does imply a kind of netherworld existence of filling time with gentle pursuits whilst waiting for life to draw to a close - I am definitely not retired. Maybe Ronni you could put your mind to coming up with an alternative word to describe us eclectic, active elders - just as you have popularised the use of 'elder'. I get the feeling I am not alone in disliking the word 'retired'.

Much food for thought in your questions, Ronni. In addition to looking forward to the survey,I also feel a possible personal blog post coming on.

But my general assessment of my now six years of retirement is that I have actually done few of the things I had originally planned on doing, not because I have been frustrated in doing them or lacked opportunity, but because in retirement I have found new interests and pursuits that appeal to me more, and I have become too comfortable where I am now.

For example, I had a wonderful experience some years ago teaching overseas, and had planned to do that again; but now, the idea of preparing daily lesson plans, then having to be in a certain place at a certain time every morning has no attraction whatever.

Also, speaking of new interests surfacing: when I began serious retirement planning back in the late '90s, I never once thought, "I'm going to devote a part of every day to reading and writing blogs." In fact, the word itself was unknown to me.

I believe structure is important, although how much depends on the individual. Just as I did for those many years I was working, I still maintain a desk calendar in which I plan out my days, but now every item on my schedule is something I have willingly put there: most days, it's writing in the morning, gym and lunch
midday, web work afternoons, then reading or a movie in the evening. I love it.

I guess my point is, while retirement is great, it's possible to over plan it in advance because as the times change, so might you.

An early retirement was forced on me due to a worsening hearing loss. At first I was devastated, but it was mainly because of the loss of income. When I became eligible for S.S. it got easier and I gradually adjusted to a new life style. I volunteered playing the piano for a nursing home, made small home improvements (I proudly changed all the door knobs and locks on every door in the house) and felt a sense of pride in accomplishing things I never thought I could do. I traveled and achieved a life time ambition of seeing 'strange looking places with strange sounding names.'

As time went by I reveled in the freedom that comes from not having to punch a clock and of being master of my own fate. Did I miss working? Never. Possibly because I really didn't like my job to begin with.

I am not especially fond of the word retirement, but it does denote a change in lifestyle and I can't think of a replacement that says it any better. I don't believe anyone associates the word with a granny sitting in her rocking chair knitting anymore. We are not defined by a word and the ones who matter know how busy we still are.

(It must be my computer, but your page doesn't remember me any more. I have to sign in anew each arrival.)

Yes, do make that a survey. Are there other survey's out there on this topic. I learned one important thing this winter between jobs. I have to keep moving or I lose it....in this case a hip. You bet I am moving again. When I have time later, I'll answer those in a blog entry.

For years, I've described myself as feeling "retirement lust." Heck, that started in my early 50s.

I figured out that the feeling meant that I had a lot of things I wanted to do that didn't fit into life as defined by my employment. So I just started doing some of them even though I still had jobs (I'm a consultant) -- at 55 I climbed Kilimanjaro, because I still could.

As I move into my 60s, still a pretty active consultant, I run into another aspect of this "retirement" thing. Being a consultant means repeatedly starting new projects. Every time I do this I find myself saying -- "never again -- I've got to retire." I understand that this just means that finding the energy to make a new start, even doing work that I know well and am good at, is simply getting harder.

I discussed this recently with a friend who also works as a consultant -- and is 78. She has all the same feelings -- puts in bids on jobs, hopes she won't get them, gets them and feels overwhelmed by the need for energy to start up, and feels gratified once doing them because she is using accumulated skills well.

So that's where I stand on this at the moment -- barring future physical disability.

I may get involuntarily retired if groups stop hiring me. And you know, that wouldn't be so bad. The money wouldn't be so easy, but I think we can get by (my partner is five years younger, so we are out of phase on this.)

Hi,

I'm honored to be quoted on your site and very appreciative to all the responses here and at my site. Lots of food for thought!

Thanks,
lacochran

I retired two years ago at 69. The violence against women organization where I had worked for nine years was forced to close because of mismanagement by the director and the board. I had been a fabulous job within a very stressful environment. I had assumed I would work until my mind or body gave out because I was honored to do the work and because we never made a lot of money and have modest savings.

Now my husband and I live very simply on social security plus his work at a store where he gets health insurance for both of us, and money I bring in from independently facilitating workshops and from fabric art. We do not have children. Someday we will not have private insurance and will have to depend on public help when our health and little money run out. But that is not now.

Although the past few years have really been recovery years - grieving for the loss of the work, part of my identity and my colleagues - they have led to the happiest time of my life.

I love being in charge of my own time and my own direction. I focus on being a good and peaceful person in the present. Sometimes that means sitting in the sun, reading, walking, nurturing and being nurtured by family and friends, being politically or socially active, teaching or creating art, but even then it means doing so with as little schedule and as few “shoulds” as possible. I find that the health and rhythms of my mind and body signal what the time will be like, and I delight in the freedom to do what is creative, loving, and contributing in that space. I try to be easy on myself and on others. I am not guilty when I do nothing or when I say “no.”

Tomorrow I will be at a conference with many of my former colleagues. We will sit in a circle and identify ourselves. I am visioning saying the words “old” and “retired.” It will be somewhat humiliating not to identify myself by a work I do. And I will try to be proud of just being, and being me.

Being single and going on 49, I'm counting down the years to retirement! Bought a tiny bungalow 10 years ago (when the buying was good) and through the extra payments I have been making, will have it paid off in 8-9 years. Then, quit my job where I'm a paper pusher and have been for more years than I care to mention. I volunteer at a local animal shelter that is a quick bike ride from my home. I love spending time there, so I'd like to get a part time job just doing the grunt work, cleaning out cages, feeding and socializing with the dogs and cats. Someone at the shelter said I'd be a great volunteer coordinator or marketing person. But, no, no more paper pushing and event planning for me. Just let me hang out with the animals.

Great topic. Will give some thought to all your questions and write a bit at my place later. "Retired" is an interesting word which seems to carry emotionally-loaded feelings for a number of readers, some positive, some not-so. Wonder why that is?

Basically, at 73 yrs, guess I could say I'm semi-retired, but I really have never given much thought to that once it became apparent the life style with domestic travel anticipated for these years would not be possible due to my now-deceased husband's poor health.

BTW your blog doesn't remember me either any more, so have to put in my name etc. every comment.

Perhaps it doesn't matter that much, but I just noticed I wrote I was 73 -- not true for another six months, but I am in my 73rd year I guess.

I'm glad to see what Judith wrote about hanging out with animals. This is what I plan to do when I retire (become involved in caring for animals at a shelter). Happy to see this doesn't grow stale (like pushing paper).

I am well into my 60's and still work full time. Fortunately I work in a place that promotes older workers. I hate, dispise and loathe the word retire...retire means end. I cannot imagine not working or at least finding some area in which to shed my creative craziness and continue to learn and be challenged. I live on adrenalin highs.

I am close to family and friends and have always enjoyed the social and familial part of living also. I see no reason to compromise any of this now. So when I chose to leave my gainful employment, I will not lose my identity. I refuse. I am a person, female, who happens to be in her 60's (and proud of it), loves people and interacting with all types of people and places. I love to laugh. That is the most important part of living: enjoying life, no matter what you do.

Mage and Joared--I don't think it is just Ronni's blog that has the issue. I think that TypePad is having a problem. At least, none of the TypePad-served blogs that I visit seems to have remembered me for the last two or three days.

I worked until I was 69, wanted to quit, but they laid me off first. This was a good deal: clear conscience since I had just completed an MA on the company's dime, severance package, small pension--hadn't been there more than five + years, and unemployment compensation. Even though I was not unhappy, it was a big shock, creating a whole new lifestyle.

It's been almost five years now and, for many reasons, I'm not happy with my situation. I'll do a post about it on my own blog later. But I've decided to spend the next year traveling, maybe doing some English teaching. After a year of that, I'll re-evaluate. Maybe get a cat and settle down, or maybe not.

I saw my Great Uncle retire and live well into his 80's. What I saw was he was always busy. They moved out to the country and he started a big garden. I thought then that the key to retirement was to stay busy. Later I saw Aunts and Uncles sell their homes, buy RVs, and travel full time. At a family reunion my Aunt told me what fun they were having together moving around and seeing the nation.
Most of the people that I saw transition into retirement led active involved lives.
When we started planning our retirement my husband and I agreed we wanted to travel full time. We also decided to retire as early as possible because we saw his father die of a heart attack less than a year after his retirement.

It has been 12 years now and we had 10 1/2 wonderful years on the road. Then my husbands health made it necessary to settle down near good medical care. Now I am a full time caregiver for my spouse which was not part of my planning for retirement. Somehow I had overlooked that aspect of growing older.
I loved waking up each day and saying "What do I want to do today?" Now it is planning the week around how many medical appointments are there this week?
My other plan for retirement was to read all the unread books I bought.

I much prefer the word retirement to the word unemployed.

A friend of mine would respond to the question, What do you do? with "about what?" and keeps living her life and activities. Other friends, in their 90s, are anthropologists which is a field that one lives and never retires from (even if some other of us can't earn a paid living).

I thought this article was interesting, too-

Whatever You Do, Call It Work
By WILLIAM L. HAMILTON
Published: April 21, 2008

"RETIREMENT used to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, life’s reward, time as enviable as wealth. But in an age-defying, competitive culture, it has become something of a dirty word."

I'm 65 and have been "retired" (I guess) for about 3 years. I never had a career to retire from and was THRILLED the day I decided to stop working.

I now work part time writing for the local newspaper, raise puppies for the SPCA, design web pages, and spend too much time on the Internet, but I love that.

I figure I paid my dues and if I want to end my days as a sloth, I've earned the right.

I keep a postcard posted by my computer that has the most wonderful answer to the "what do you do" question. It is a quote from W.S. Gilbert (of Gilbert and Sullivan) when asked what he did:

"I do nothing in particular, but I do it very well!"

Man, does that confuse people when you tell them that....

Ronni, apparently I latched onto your blog at an old page and thought you might have died! Happily, I find you still blogging in 2008 (I must stop leaping to conclusions!) As a new blogger at the age of 85 may I introduce myself: I am Dorothy Vining at www.musingsat85.com

You have a very cool blog and I'm happy to meet you.

I don't do anything useful for my community, I don't work and I'll tell you what, I just thoroughly enjoy doing just that and being able to afford it, being a former civil servant. I was on committees and unions and all sorts of useful things all my life and just enjoy not having useful things to do. Honest, I love just puttering arount with my camera, and my computer(s).
I don't even feel ashamed of myself ;)
Tongue-in-cheek, of course

I have been continually losing jobs, being unemployed and underemployed for the past 4 years. I will be 60 next month. I am very worried about how to earn a living until I can afford to retire -- certainly not when I become eligible for partial Soc. Security in 2 years. I am never bored, so occupying myself in "retirement" will not be an issue.

Thanks for all these comments. I'm planning on retiring at 62 - 5 1/2 years from now. I'm also budgeting as if I'll live to 82, a reasonable expectation with my family's medical history.

I used to be self-employed, and kept the S-corporation I set up. I'm presently in the process of reactivating it, so I can earn some money when I retire to supplement the pension/social security/savings that I hope will be there.

As a professional writer, I've kept an eye on what kind of communication makes $$$, so I'm focusing my efforts in that direction.

I know I wither if I'm home alone too much (I'm single, no kids, no partner, 2 dogs), so I think working will be important for me, as long as I can do it. I look forward to gardening & animals & volunteer work with an organization I truly believe in. And one that doesn't require miles and miles of daily driving.

I really appreciate these comments -- they're very helpful, especially the reminders to stay flexible and open to changing desires and dreams--and also to constraints.

I spent a long 7 to 10 years watching my mother decline from parkinson's syndrome and Alzheimer's, 6 of them in a nursing home. Should that be my fate, I may be at the mercy of the American public.

P.S. - Yo, gardening lady! You're not in Western New York by any chance?!

I'm 62 and have been retired for 2-1/2 years. The last five years of working I counted the minutes until the big day. I punched out and never looked back. I am very happy being retired. I teach an ESL class once a week. I've done other volenteer work, but I've found that once the news is out that you're available you have to learn to say no and only do the volunteer work that you really enjoy. I garden both vegetables and flowers. I baby sit the grand kids. I read one book after the other (I've been doing that since I learned to read in first grade) My wife still works so I keep house and have dinner ready when she comes home. I'm remodeling the house. We travel as much as we can. A year ago I applied for a job and was hired then quit before my first day. I was afraid I might start depending on the pay and then be trapped.

I love the idea of the freedom; love to read, write, do consulting (I'll probably never stop that if the work keeps coming...) travel, see my kids, help my synagogue etc. BUT we are in terror re health insurance. Any thoughts on that would be greatly appreciated...

Mary, I live in Montreal, but would shoot right down to your place if I had a private plane & make your garden look beauty parlor sweet. Take care.

I sometimes wonder if I am retired or "retarded" for not continuing to work full time (if I even had the energy) after age 62. I teach Hebrew School 3 1/2 hours per week and that is enough. My energy level (maybe its the depression) is not that great so I have discovered that by doing my own daily things on a revolving schedule helps me "go on." There is piano to play, papers and books to read, Judge Judy - Dr. Phil - Net Flix and such. Plus with computer, shopping and cooking for hubby of 45 years - it seems that each day goes by rather quickly. So long as we can live on SS and Thank God for Medicare etc. we can make it. Very interesting reading what your people are says, Ronni. You are wonderful for having this site "chock a block" full of interesting info and folks.

I am retiring early...in 6 days...and am doing so because I am sick of the meaningless work i face each day. I hope to be able to select what is important and meaningful to me in the future. When people will ask me "What do you do"...my reply will be "Anything I want to."

It appears that some people have a very clear vision about what they want to do in their God given retirement life. I just hope that more people will think about becoming more productive and contribute creatively to make this a better society for everyone. My persoanl mission at age 62 is to empower seniors to become entrepreneurs.

I LOVE being retired! The word doesn't bother me at all because I earned it. I taught high school and younger gifted students for 37 years and also had part-time jobs. I enjoy the silence, no bells, no schedules, sleeping late, staying up late, and the freedom. I try not to do anything I don't want to.

Right now I read mystery novels (and all the Harry Potter books in a row) and watch TV but also work part-time now and then. I don't feel guilty.

I am active and social but enjoy my alone time. I'd like to keep traveling and doing things with friends and family.

I'm 64 and have been retired almost 3 years. I'm giddy when school starts every fall and when I drive by schools and am not there. I haven't missed it at all but enjoyed it when I did it. I was ready to move on.

Sixty-six and still working…
I have no solid plan for retirement, but do have some concerns—
• Will I feel isolated?
• Will I be called upon to care for grandchildren more than I’d want to?
• Is my daughter correct in thinking that I might kill my husband (retired) should I retire?
• Will I have more time to sit and worry about my mentally ill son’s life?
However, when the time comes in a few years, I suspect I will—
• Read more
• Take classes (always something new to learn)
• Return to being a certified advocate for the institutionalized elderly (their term; not mine)
• Continue to connect with elder bloggers

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