ELDER MUSIC: Sibling Duos
REFLECTIONS: On A Devil and a Saint

Cool Things About Being Retired

I didn't ask to be retired and if it had been up to me, I would still be working - I liked what I was doing.

At first, I choked on the word “retired,” but I'm accustomed to it now and don't mind ticking that box when asked. Even better, after five years I've discovered that there are a whole bunch of terrific things about being retired.

I don't need nearly as many clothes and I don't need to spend as much as I once did on what I do buy. No more dry cleaning either.

Although the cat makes it difficult, theoretically I can sleep in as late I want.

There is as much time as I want to cook, so I save a lot of money on food.

If I fade at midday, I can have a nap.

I can avoid crowds at markets and stores by shopping when everyone else is at work.

For the same reason, I can avoid traffic jams.

I can go to the movies during the day and avoid those crowds.

No more pantihose torture!

If the book is that good, I can stay up all night reading.

No more rushing through house cleaning on weekends; I can spread it out all week (or even over two weeks if visitors aren't expected).

There is time for quiet contemplation without feeling guilty that something else isn't getting done.

No more deadlines.

Oops – did I say that? I have a 5:30AM deadline on this blog every day and I had multiple deadlines for so many years, I suspect I'd be uncomfortable without them. But the difference, now, is that my deadline is self-imposed and as tight as it is, I meet it on my schedule.

Plus, on days when I don't feel like doing a “real post” involving actual work that might take all day or even several days, I can knock off something like this in about ten minutes.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mary Jamison: Tales From the Nursing Home: Dan


Retirement should be spelled FREEDOM. As you pointed out, a retired person can set his/her timetable and be as busy or lazy as he/she wants to be. In addition, I have the security of knowing that the check will be in the mail on the 3rd of every month and I can't be laid off. Thank you, FDR.

I love being retired.

Although I still work part time, I love being "retired" from my own business. On days when I don't work, I love the ability to sleep in without a care.

One of my delicious pleasures in retirement (I work part time) is going to my local library, choosing a pile of magazines, same ones I used to buy when working full time, settling like a cat in a big wing chair, and reading for hours, and hours.

Cheap thrill!

No commercials in books!

In my not yet retired household, posts like this inspire what I call "retirement lust"!

Retirement has been everything I'd hoped for and more to this point. I keep as busy as I want to be doing things that I love doing.
If the other shoe fell today I'd be thankful that I'd made it out of the cubicle to this point in my life.

RETIREMENT! How about 'giving'
Now is the time to volunteer and help all those who are 'hurting'. The economy is LOTS worse than the media and/or politicians describe and help is desperately needed! Our local food pantries are emptied earlier and earlier and MORE requested.
I am 82 pushing 83 hard and do it every day and all days!

Unless I move to Mexico or Thailand, I cannot retire. I do enjoy a slower, more flexible schedule and pace these days. Couldn't do life as fast as I did anyway. There's a good article in today's NY Times about how workers over 50 are dealing with unemployment which may wind up to be forced retirement. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/business/economy/20older.html?pagewanted=3&hp

I love retirement.. I am free to do exactly as I please with my time and I seldom look at my watch anymore unless it's to see what time I am meeting someone for lunch.

Darlene, I love that you credit FDR for your Social Security check.I agree! And I add that I am also delighted that I no longer worry about medical bills thanks to Medicare...Thanks,JFK&LBJ...

The money is less, the needs fewer but the enjoyment of life greater.
Ah to window shop the world via computer, to rest for the pure joy of it, to play with time in pjs.
The pot at the end of the rainbow {if your over 65} is retirement.

Can't remember when I last wore a skirt. Come to think of it, I doubt I could get into them. But it is nice to be cheered up by sharing the experiences of retirement with other bloggers. Thanks, Ronni

Somebody said something like "I've tried rich and I've tried poor and rich is best"
To coin another cliche," Working (at a day job) vs. retirement?" Don't be ridiculous cousin!
Like one of the sages preceeding this morning mentioned, it's all about freedom. Freedom to do what you want when you want and not according to someone else's whims or compulsions.
Ten years ago, after about 50 years as a wage slave, I hung up my yoke and joined the "leisure class" (somewhere where I've belonged all my life) It's not that I have any trouble with work, even hard, physical labor, I just don't want to do what somebody else thinks I should just because she thinks so.

I love your comment:

No More Panty Hose!!!!!


I'm with you in loving retirement, for all of the reasons y'all mention and a few more. Its benefits go a long ways towards making up for the aging body. I chose to retire early, and could do so because I worked for an entity that allowed it, albeit with reduced pension, but also with continued full participation in the group medical insurance program. Those, combined with SS, make for a modest but comfortable living. And my forward mortgage is very nearly paid off, so a reverse is always an option (thanks for the very informative tutorial). I'm vividly aware of how lucky I am to have been able to opt out at a reasonably young age and to be free of a very stressful and demanding job that I'd grown to dislike. Especially in the last couple years I've become further grateful to be out of this terrible job market with its risk of being laid off and difficulty in finding a new job, especially when older. Much harder then to start over, certainly at anything like to same level, yet too young to retire, sometimes far too young to get SS. I get cold chills reading of the despair and ruin of so many. I, too, have always had a bit of a "bag lady" complex, that fear of the worst case. So yes indeed, I thank FDR and LBJ, knowing that even were my pension to vanish (no sign of that, but who knows in this crazy world? it's certainly happened to others), SS (and in a couple years, Medicare) would be sufficient to keep my head above water and me off the street.

Ah, Ronni, this is a VERY real post. I, too, enforce a daily blogging routine on myself and I am proud to say that I have yet to disappoint the boss. To me, that's the best part of this stage of life - I am responsible to and for myself. I am old enough to look askance at those who tell me what I "should" be doing. I have lived with this body for a long time and we know each other pretty well. Like you, I try to stay out of the way of those who are still ensnared in the race, but I do so like watching them run.

I too choke on the word "retirement." I prefer to use "adventure retirement." For Adventure Retirement is more descriptive of those retirees who make the most of this new chapter in their lives. Bill

I appreciate retirement for being a time to get to know myself again. Ditto again the no-more-pantyhose. Plus I can watch the good stuff that comes on PBS later and no longer get up at 5 and coffee my brain into functioning until it wakes up. Packages that arrive on the porch are taken in before some straggler takes a shine to them. And motel/hotel rooms are often cheaper Sunday through Thursday as well as quieter. I like it.

Enjoyed this as my last day to work is the middle of October...a 12 hour shift on a Saturday!!! So, a good read for me today!

Ok, but how many of all of you are married? I am still working and think I have more independence and freedom because of it - I do work part time, but it gives me freedom to come and go and not worry about anything at home, because my spouse is more or less retired. (I admit when he goes back to work, as he's apt to do because he likes it also, it's harder for both of us.)

I thought taking a demotion and cut in pay for a less stressful job would be a semi-retirement for me. I guess my timing is bad because I just put myself in a vulnerable position to be laid-off and that did happen. It crossed my mind that would be possibility, but it was a GREAT year and I enjoyed doing the job. (I still think it was a good way to deal with letting go of a position that others would be better suited to attend to.) So one great thing about being REALLY retired for me now (when I get there) will be no threat of being laid off!

Thanks for listing out the positives and thanks Gaea for the link.

I'm a bit too old now for "adventure retirement," but I like my dull retirement just fine and wouldn't go back to work if I could.

It took a little while to get used to, but it was so great to get rid of the constant stress. At first, when we were still healthy and strong, we did a little traveling--one shouldn't put that off too long.

Some of us do like pantyhose, those who need some elastic on the poor old legs! But I very seldom have to wear skirts, thank goodness. As long as I'm neat and reasonably color-coordinated, who cares if the clothes came off a sale rack somewhere?

I love being able to sleep in late when I'm tired, then take time over coffee and read the paper. My only deadline comes once a week, and I can write that in advance, so there's no pressure.

We always were pretty frugal, so there wasn't any problem living on a small income. It's nice to have more time for gardening and pets.

I agree, many thanks to FDR and LBJ. I wish our younger people realized how much they'll rely on these programs when they become elders and how grateful they'll be to have them.

And you make us all happy with words like these too. :)

Further retirement tips:
Buy extra cutlery so that you only have to wash the dishes when you've got through the dozen knives and forks. You can stretch that out by having Chinese and Japanese food – make sure you have a plentiful supply of chopsticks.
Similarly, you don't need a lot of plates. Use bowls for Chinese food and soup and the like. I have specialized Japanese plate for the sushi – a good time extender.
Alternate what you cook – something that require saucepans one day, frying pans the next. Something in the oven. Raw food.
You'll need a large selection of wine glasses (well, you will if you're like me).
I hope this helps.

Loved this post about retirement. Leaving one's work may feel scary at first but Ronni certainly spells out the great joys of having unscheduled time!

"Freedom to do what you want when you want and not according to someone else's whims or compulsions."

That is fine if you are not married. My retirement was "forced" at 62, but my husband is still working. He feels he is fulfilling his part by still bringing home a paycheck, so he makes snarky comments when he comes home and I have chosen to do something else besides tidy the house or cook.
If I have gotten involved with a library book, I still keep an eye on the clock because the guilt that I am not "doing something" is still there.
Otherwise, it is wonderful to be able to sit here with a cup of coffee rather than sailing out the door at 7:15 AM.

It is definitely a challenge to get creative with money and it certainly frees up lots of time to see off-beat movies from other cultures-
Here's to Retirement!!!

Plus, on days when I don't feel like doing a “real post” involving actual work that might take all day or even several days, I can knock off something like this in about ten minutes.

You've heard it before but here it is again: You are an excellent writer! Your ten minute "knock off" is the kind of post anyone would love to be able to craft.

Well, here's a high five to the class of "not working 9-5 or more" It was great to read everyone's comments on this stage of life. I found myself forced into retirement at 64, before I was ready. I figured I would work at my job part-time until 68. So it has been an adjustment to the "great life." I must admit that though financially sometimes its a struggle, I love spending a lot of time with my pets, reading, napping and exploring new territories (classes, etc).
I just can't get over feeling there is something more to do...volunteering and being of service is something I already do....what else is there? Having time to ponder this question is also a gift...I guess I felt it just
crept up on me when I wasn't looking. Thanks for opening up the pandora's box.

Haha! This is a great post, and you make me want to retire right now!

Now that you're retired, it's time to relax and do those things you always wanted to do.

I've been retired -- twice -- and I couldn't wait to get to it the second time around. I'm very proud of the time I spent in my career, but look forward to everything else I can do now (while all of my colleagues are still working to get to just more year on their retirement pay). Life is too short for that and panty hose. I have those up long before retirement. :)

R= relax - you are above the grass
E=enjoy being above the grass
T=treat yourself to what YOU want
I=imagine and dream
R=read what you want
E=experience what you need
M=make life count in the ways that work for you
E=eat well and healthy
N=never explain yourself-unless you want to do that
T=treasure your life by making it count for yourself and others (if you choose)
MAY THE MEMORIES OF FDR AND LBJ ALWAYS BE FOR A BLESSING for without them this "old" lady would be up the creek!!!!

All I can say is that you happy retirees must not be scrimping like I have to. I was forced into retirement at 62 and had planned to work as long as I was in good health. I wish I could be as happy as you are, because everyday is hell.

I started my job as a young man and paid into a pension for 35 years and at 55 I was elligable to retire and I did just that. I now enjoy the benefits of all those years I contributed to my pension and I paid my dues and don't owe anybody anything and I certainly do not feel guilty about retiring fairly young as far as retiring goes.
Still paying income taxes and all the other taxes everyone else pays. The only difference is I don't have to work for the money anymore.
I still keep a proper sleep pattern but it's nice if I want to stay late and watch a movie I can because I no longer live by the clock I sleep in a couple hours extra, no big deal.
I watch others going to work now as I did for so many years. It' s nice having freedom to enjoy or do whatever I want but it took a lot of years of work to get here and I'm certainly not guilty about it. Lots of people never worked a day in their lives because they inherited money someone else worked for but all I have I worked for and now I get to enjoy the profits of my labor.

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