Question for the retirees (post-retirement activities)

Cpb2020

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For those that have retired from your primary job/career, what have you done to keep yourself busy post-retirement (specifics would be great)?

- hobbies?
- part-time work / business?
- daily exercising?
- volunteering?

Also, at what age did you retire?

Context: we have a goal (may not be achievable, time will tell) of semi-retiring and moving to a lower cost area when I hit 55, in less than 6 years. It will coincide with my youngest graduating HS. Given that I’ve largely been a workaholic, we’re starting to put a plan together so I don’t implode if our plan works out.

Plans presently include:
- gardening, beekeeping
- part-time volunteering / working 20 hours/week (something outdoors, ideally on the water)
- reading
- daily exercising / healthy cooking
- taking mandolin lessons

Thanks!
 

Harry Styron

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Branson, Mo
I'm 70, as is my wife, and I haven't retired, though she has. I have changed the way I work to allow me to spend most days at home and do some other things that I didn't do when my focus was on my children and my work. Here are some of those things:

I was 62 when i took my first guitar lesson, though I had played since I was 16. I started playing in a big-band five years ago, which is a charitable organization, charging a nominal fee, paying only the director and singer and subs; the band mostly plays benefits.

My wife and I are also hospice volunteers, primarily playing music for assisted living center residents and hospice patients.

I donate blood and plasma.

I provide free legal advice and services to arts organizations, including assistance with getting 501(c)(3) designations from the IRS, occasional governance issues (revising bylaws, elections, employment contracts, mergers, etc.).

I engage in professional education activities without compensation, mostly writing guidebooks and editing. I'm doing much less teaching, because I'm not spending so much time trying to stay on top of new developments.

I make an effort to get regular exercise and maintain contact with neighbors, friends and relatives, old and new.

Work toward ridding my house and office of clutter.

Write more thank-you notes and occasionally send somebody a gift (usually through Amazon, so I don't have to ship it myself).
 
Last edited:

Cpb2020

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What is this “ retiring” you speak of?….
That’s why I’ve got the caveat of “semi” retirement. Full retirement will not likely be feasible or desirable.

Further context. I seem to have aged 10 years from age 45-49. If this keeps up, I can’t imagine how I’ll feel at 55, so I’d like to have some enjoyment between 55 and 62, and if I have to take a part time job during that and beyond, so be it.
 

Freeman Keller

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I
l'll rise to that bait. My wife and I are 77, we retired from long professional careers at 67. First I will say that these have been the best years of my life, I'm sure she would say the same.

We have always been active people with lots of interests - many of them centered around outdoor activities - we hike, bike, ski, climb, paddle... but have always had to cram those things in on weekends. Now we do them at a relaxed pace during the week and keep the weekend for chores - the lawn gets mowed on saturday instead of some midweek evening. We've had the opportunities to take those activities to farther locations - two weeks in New Zealand, two in northern Italy. The pandemic got in the way and that gave me a chance to get some surgical issues resolved, we are now back to our "normal" lifestyle.

When I first retired I thought that I would keep my professional certifications and do some contract consulting, tried it but it was just too much like work so I let my licenses laps. I tried teaching a couple of technical courses at the local junior college but frankly just couldn't get myself committed. Same thing with my wife, she thought she would do some tutoring but decides it was time to just put all of the behind.

I had started building guitars before I retired and have continued to do that - I just finished my 30th. Mostly I build and give away, sometimes I do pro bono repairs for local musicians. I keep thinking that with all the extra time now I would learn a whole lot more about playing guitar, it hasn't happened. I play daily, but just haven't felt like learning anything new.

One thing I have been doing the past couple of years is putting everything in order so my heirs don't have a lot of crap to deal with. Sold most of my climbing gear and skis (kept enough to get out if I want to), sold my motorcyle and vintage cars. Will be selling off some of the guitars and I have a plan to get rid of the lutherie stuff.

So, short story, we are doing exactly the same things that we did for 50 years up until retirement, but now I sleep in until 7 each morning, have an extra cup of coffee, work on a guitar or go for a bike ride or a hike. In retrospect I should have retired earlier, but I can't change that now.
 

Cpb2020

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I'm 70, as is my wife, and I haven't retired, though she has. I have changed the way I work to allow me to spend most days at home and do some other things that I didn't do when my focus was on my children and my work. Here are some of those things:

I was 62 when i took my first guitar lesson, though I had played since I was 16. I started playing in a big-band five years ago, which is a charitable organization, charging a nominal fee, paying only the director and singer and subs; the band mostly plays benefits.

My wife and I are also hospice volunteers, primarily playing music for assisted living center residents and hospice patients.

I donate blood and plasma.

I provide free legal advice and services to arts organizations, including assistance with getting 501(c)(3) designations from the IRS, occasional governance issues (revising bylaws, elections, employment contracts, mergers, etc.).

I engage i professional education activities without compensation, mostly writing guidebooks and editing. I'm doing much less teaching, because I'm not spending so much time trying to stay on top of new developments.

I make an effort to get regular exercise and maintain contact with neighbors, friends and relatives, old and new.

Work toward ridding my house and office of clutter.

Write more thank-you notes and occasionally send somebody a gift (usually through Amazon, so I don't have to ship it myself).
Thank you! All concrete things that I can see myself filling my time with.

My dad is still working at 76, although a few years ago cut back to half-time. He thinks I’m just a kid.
 

Milspec

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Read this book about 5-10 years before retiring. Despite the title, it isn't really so much about the financial side as it is about the art of leading into and enjoying a retirement.

It was written by a lawyer who interviewed a ton of retired folks and compiled the data looking for trends. He discovered that all those who were happily retired, followed a similar path and those that didn't....well, they were not happy.

As for me, I will never be retired. In the military, forced retirement parties were called funerals, because we all knew that the person was going to be miserable after losing the only lifestyle they had ever known. Many took jobs driving base cabs, working for base maint., etc. just to try and be around that old life. Some just took their own life.

You have to have a purpose or there is no reason to get out of bed. Those without it, just fade away, develop health issues, and die in a few years. It has happened way too often to people around me. No, I plan to be carried out on the clock or maybe go self-employed again after retiring from my present occupation, but I will never be just retired.

 

Cpb2020

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Read this book about 5-10 years before retiring. Despite the title, it isn't really so much about the financial side as it is about the art of leading into and enjoying a retirement.

It was written by a lawyer who interviewed a ton of retired folks and compiled the data looking for trends. He discovered that all those who were happily retired, followed a similar path and those that didn't....well, they were not happy.

As for me, I will never be retired. In the military, forced retirement parties were called funerals, because we all knew that the person was going to be miserable after losing the only lifestyle they had ever known. Many took jobs driving base cabs, working for base maint., etc. just to try and be around that old life. Some just took their own life.

You have to have a purpose or there is no reason to get out of bed. Those without it, just fade away, develop health issues, and die in a few years. It has happened way too often to people around me. No, I plan to be carried out on the clock or maybe go self-employed again after retiring from my present occupation, but I will never be just retired.


Yes, that’s the goal: to have a purpose. Thanks for the book suggestion!
 

Cpb2020

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I
l'll rise to that bait. My wife and I are 77, we retired from long professional careers at 67. First I will say that these have been the best years of my life, I'm sure she would say the same.

We have always been active people with lots of interests - many of them centered around outdoor activities - we hike, bike, ski, climb, paddle... but have always had to cram those things in on weekends. Now we do them at a relaxed pace during the week and keep the weekend for chores - the lawn gets mowed on saturday instead of some midweek evening. We've had the opportunities to take those activities to farther locations - two weeks in New Zealand, two in northern Italy. The pandemic got in the way and that gave me a chance to get some surgical issues resolved, we are now back to our "normal" lifestyle.

When I first retired I thought that I would keep my professional certifications and do some contract consulting, tried it but it was just too much like work so I let my licenses laps. I tried teaching a couple of technical courses at the local junior college but frankly just couldn't get myself committed. Same thing with my wife, she thought she would do some tutoring but decides it was time to just put all of the behind.

I had started building guitars before I retired and have continued to do that - I just finished my 30th. Mostly I build and give away, sometimes I do pro bono repairs for local musicians. I keep thinking that with all the extra time now I would learn a whole lot more about playing guitar, it hasn't happened. I play daily, but just haven't felt like learning anything new.

One thing I have been doing the past couple of years is putting everything in order so my heirs don't have a lot of crap to deal with. Sold most of my climbing gear and skis (kept enough to get out if I want to), sold my motorcyle and vintage cars. Will be selling off some of the guitars and I have a plan to get rid of the lutherie stuff.

So, short story, we are doing exactly the same things that we did for 50 years up until retirement, but now I sleep in until 7 each morning, have an extra cup of coffee, work on a guitar or go for a bike ride or a hike. In retrospect I should have retired earlier, but I can't change that now.
I think the issue that I have is not having a bunch of time pre-retirement to maintain hobbies long-term. But it sounds like you’ve tried new things but have been flexible.
 

Chester P Squier

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I retired at age 69. I play one of my guitars every day. I probably spend too much time here.

Our younger son and his family live two blocks from here. His wife got a better-paying job last year. So we pick up their kids from school every schoolday afternoon except Friday. This usually takes up two hours, since they are in two different schools which let out one hour apart, and we watch the first two until we pick up the youngest one, and then wait for their mother to come home.

During the fall, two of them are in the marching band and stay after school for rehearsals.

If you are at retirement age, there is a possibility there is some decluttering to do.

I go to cardiac rehab three mornings a week. I had a stent placed in my RCA in August. So I get regular workouts. They only started last week.

I have a little book that I write do to lists in. I can't imagine not having anything to do.

Edited to add: Take a long road trip. My wife and I did this in July, just to get away from it all. One of the best trips we ever took. It was spontaneous and not planned. I started a thread about it in July.
 

brindlepicker

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Went at 55. I don’t miss the job after 33 years in the trade working on call for about 28 of it. I don’t get bored, and I have no desire to have another boss again.

Your specifics request-
Got turned off by a desk sales guy I gave
my no. to for a part time job hauling campers for just for something to try for my sons friends business. Maybe if I just dealt with the main guy, but it’s good to just be able to say see ya I’m gone.

We live in the country with a little property, so I can always go out and find something to do. Don’t think I could do a city. I’ve cut and split with a maul about 7 pallets of wood 6-7 feet high from downed trees. Got about another 2 to cut and split, and more in the woods. Get at least an hour of walking in taking the dog 2x/day. Got a canoe 2-3x week. 2 river landings are 5 min away. I’ve been clearing deadfall in the shallow river to help out me and others. Done some camping and hiking, bow hunted elk 3 weeks last year.

Went to KY for tornado clean up in Dec. and need to do more volunteer type work.

I had to travel for work 1/3 -1/2 the years and I’m here for my last 2 kids now. Checking 7th grade advanced math keeps me tuned up.I decided years ago my career wasn’t my sole purpose for living, bosses can make you think that when you work on call.
Good luck.
 

Cpb2020

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Went at 55. I don’t miss the job after 33 years in the trade working on call for about 28 of it. I don’t get bored, and I have no desire to have another boss again.

Your specifics request-
Got turned off by a desk sales guy I gave
my no. to for a part time job hauling campers for just for something to try for my sons friends business. Maybe if I just dealt with the main guy, but it’s good to just be able to say see ya I’m gone.

We live in the country with a little property, so I can always go out and find something to do. Don’t think I could do a city. I’ve cut and split with a maul about 7 pallets of wood 6-7 feet high from downed trees. Got about another 2 to cut and split, and more in the woods. Get at least an hour of walking in taking the dog 2x/day. Got a canoe 2-3x week. 2 river landings are 5 min away. I’ve been clearing deadfall in the shallow river to help out me and others. Done some camping and hiking, bow hunted elk 3 weeks last year.

Went to KY for tornado clean up in Dec. and need to do more volunteer type work.

I had to travel for work 1/3 -1/2 the years and I’m here for my last 2 kids now. Checking 7th grade advanced math keeps me tuned up.I decided years ago my career wasn’t my sole purpose for living, bosses can make you think that when you work on call.
Good luck.
Thanks. It really helps to see that others have been able to do it (or, if not, why).
 

Knows3Chords

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I had to retire way too young because of medical reasons. Getting out and moving about are hard, but essential. I guess the motto for retirement is "keep moving!". My mon retired and just sat around the house. Her health just got worse and worse the more sedentary she got. Her last few years were in a nursing home because of it. I am bound and determine not to let that happen to me, even with how challenging it can be. My wife is a great motivator. My Dad was retired three days and started a part time job. He was an avid RC builder and pilot, so he was always at some flying field or club. He and many of his friends volunteered at the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run, were the B-24 Liberator was built in WWII. He lived a full and productive life until a heart attack at 94.

For me I have had to find things I can do at home. I have always been big into Flight Simulators. I have got back into guitar. The dogs keep me busy too. If I can get the strength up, I would love to do so volunteer work at the hospital I used to work at helping cancer patients navigate the whole scary process of treatment. Maybe some type of support for cancer survivors too. I've seen people that do that work, and they are an incredible help. That would be some purpose.
 

telleutelleme

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72. I helped start and am now chairman of an education foundation promoting survey and geomatics. We help kids get interested in the fields I and others have worked in. Since my wife passed, I have been doing consulting again and along with some friends have been working on the issues around Orphan oil & gas wells that are or may be leaking. I really have to and need to stay busy.
 

Cpb2020

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I had to retire way too young because of medical reasons. Getting out and moving about are hard, but essential. I guess the motto for retirement is "keep moving!". My mon retired and just sat around the house. Her health just got worse and worse the more sedentary she got. Her last few years were in a nursing home because of it. I am bound and determine not to let that happen to me, even with how challenging it can be. My wife is a great motivator. My Dad was retired three days and started a part time job. He was an avid RC builder and pilot, so he was always at some flying field or club. He and many of his friends volunteered at the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run, were the B-24 Liberator was built in WWII. He lived a full and productive life until a heart attack at 94.

For me I have had to find things I can do at home. I have always been big into Flight Simulators. I have got back into guitar. The dogs keep me busy too. If I can get the strength up, I would love to do so volunteer work at the hospital I used to work at helping cancer patients navigate the whole scary process of treatment. Maybe some type of support for cancer survivors too. I've seen people that do that work, and they are an incredible help. That would be some purpose.
Part of this is my motivation: to retire on my own terms and not forced due to health, which is what I fear if I push it beyond 55.

I have two friends that were in similar shoes to you and one remained very positive and leads a very productive and happy life after many procedures related to oral cancer (new jaw, lots of radiation). The other largely gave up, in part because his dad died young and he assumed he would too.

There’s a very good chance I’ll be more active in retirement than before.
 

sudogeek

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Retired at 64 because I was sick of it. We sold our big house, moved into a much smaller house close to the beach. Now, I work in the yard, help take care of the remaining parent, baby sit the grandkids, mess with amps and guitars, and go to the beach every dawn with my coffee for a wave check. I surf every day there’s waves. Last two weeks have been good; today, 3-4’, a bit bumpy but fun. I can’t complain - life is good.
 




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