Story Idea 12.5.10

Ahhh, retirement. I left the ranks of the living rat race at the end of May this year. No more early wake-ups, stress, always being a beat behind. Now I have all of the time in the world.

Sigh.

But…

…there are times I’m bored, overwhelmed with too much to do, procrastinating…and missing my old routine. Trying to fill the hole that was taken up by a job is challenging. Doing it in such a way that is meaningful and enjoyable, more so.

Story idea: what makes for a successful retiree?

Some folks invest so much of themselves into their jobs that when said job is history, they have nothing left to do but twiddle their thumbs. What should they do?

Some folks have outside interests that carry over into retirement and have lots to do.

What happens if one spouse retires and the other plans to (as in my husband’s case) keep chugging along for a few more years?

Retirement is, after all a goal we all aspire to. The end of our work life and beginning of a new life focusing (hopefully) on all of the things we put off. Successful retirement depends on successful planning…enough income, debt-free, worry-free. It also is dependent on good post-retirement planning. Which means, what the heck are you gonna do with all of that time.

I’ve seen cases where retirees just waste away because they no longer know who they are. I’ve also see them taken advantage of by friends and family, becoming free caregivers and babysitters to the extent they have no free time for themselves.

So how do you define a successful retiree…what makes them successful? How busy they are…or how happy they are? Figure it out…talk to some folks…and let me know. I’m still looking.

3 thoughts on “Story Idea 12.5.10

  1. Interesting post. I hadn’t given much thought to retirement until recently because my husband – a teacher – is just a few years from it. At least he was thinking about it until I mentioned how he can then do all the grocery shopping, cooking and laundry. Now, he’s not so sure! But, seriously, I have always felt like I would have no trouble staying busy. I think scrapbooking all my pictures would take up a lot of time – that’s something I love to do but just don’t have enough time right now. I love getting together with friends, traveling, exercising, going to sports events, reading, cooking. I’m sure reality would be a bit different than my fantasies, but I’m starting to look forward to it.

  2. It’s quite natural to “flounder around” for a time, trying to discover your “true retired self.” In my own case, I’ve found that I missed the intellectual stimulation which came from my profession. So I’ve returned to part time work. And I’m working on another book. And I’ve developed a blog. And I’m, at long last, bringing “retirement” into balance. But none of this came overnight. A newly retired person would do well to expect such “floundering around,” and not be discouraged (depressed?) during the lengthy discovery. Bill

  3. Libby…some folks have a life outside of work…hobbies, volunteer work, and more…that keep the occupied after retirement. It is the workaholics (say hi Bill) and those whose careers consume their lives who may have more difficulty finding peace (or as Bill says, balance) in retirement. Me – I’m back to substitute teaching and doing the occasional video gig and volunteer gig.
    And FYI – this posting wasn’t meant to be about me (although maybe there’s too much “me” in it)…every week I post story ideas for journalists to consider covering for their organizations. Hopefully not ideas that are too obvious or overdone.

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