34 Comments

  1. The first time I tried to retire I found I enjoyed the retirement planning more than the actual retirement. I was quite pleased when I was asked to go back to work part time. I had always enjoyed my job. I was a nurse. The second time I was ready but I think it is worth asking yourself if you are ready for the transition.

    • Few things in life turn out exactly as you imagine. It’s nice to be reminded that most decisions are not permanent. What’s right for you today may not be what’s best tomorrow, and there are always choices.

  2. I try to get my heart and head to work in tandem but it seems one or the other always wins out. And they rarely seem to agree!

    I made the decision to retire or to first contemplate retirement from the heart. And then as I began really thinking more about it, my head got involved. Retirement was truly an option, my retirement check would be sufficient, my health almost required it.

    Looking back now, I probably should have taken FMLA and kept my job but had the cervical spinal surgery I needed and moved to a new campus to get away from the dreadful administrator that caused my heart to contemplate retirement in the first place. But we can only look forward and I can’t dwell on the past.

    My only advice would be to have a plan. Not a financial plan but a plan for filling your time. A realistic plan. I was going to write my book, yeah, right, and scrapbook and paint. And in reality, I have just toyed with each activity. Still floundering some days to know what I should be/really want to be doing.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience, Leslie. I guess with big life-transition decisions, all we can do is gather the information and analyze the best we can. At some point, you have to take a leap of faith. There’s rarely one right choice. I appreciate the advice on having a plan for how I will spend my time in retirement. Right now the luxury of being flexible to do as I please sounds wonderful, but I also know in reality I crave some structure as well.

  3. We are looking at our Super now – it’s just not enough. Lots to think about. I think for a lot of people, retirement isn’t what they expect as they discover all the good things work gave them (mentally). It’s hard to become nothing in society and see that reflected in those around you. But some people love it. I know so many men who have started to retire then pick up something else (work wise). Good post – as for advice – only you can decide as you know you best. And if you decide ‘incorrectly’ there’s nothing stopping you changing path. #MLSTL

    • So many of us do identify ourselves or others by what we do for a living. Of course, we are all so much more than that. Then there’s the social connections we make on the job. I’ve worked for the same company for more than 20 years now and have made some good friends. As you point out, there is a lot to think about.

  4. Hi Christie – I took a one year leave and tested my own plan of leaving full-time work, both financially and non-financially. I enjoyed my work and had a very good career. At the same time, I always wanted to spend time on my terms sooner rather than later. I’d say I used my head to evaluate the financial aspect of leaving work, and my heart for the non-financials. I’ve been very happy with my decision. #MLSTL

    • That sounds like the perfect combination of head and heart, Natalie. No wonder it worked so well for you! I also love my job, but long for the freedom to come and go as I please. That’s not asking too much is it? 🙂

  5. Hi Christie, I am sure this isn’t the first time you have heard the saying, “how did I ever have time to work?” Many of us likely over schedule our time, when we have the freedom to pursue many activities. I am very much an analyzer, researcher, list maker. Yet, I also listen to my intuition, my gut. The right path will feel right. We must be on the same wavelength Christie, since I shared a post about “Instinct” for my inaugural #MLSTL post. Shared SM 🙂 Erica

    • Hello Erica. You are right. Several of my friends who have retired say that very thing. I’m thinking that since I have a little time, I continue my analysis and then just let everything simmer for a while. Who knows what the next several years will bring? I’ll definitely check out your post on instinct. Have a lovely day. #MLSTL

  6. Hi Christie, I am so guilty of over-thinking things rather than just going for it. I struggled to adjust to retirement and I think with the benefit of hindsight I would just revel in the moment of not having to be anywhere at any particular time. Yes, I’m driven and always looking for new projects but I worried so much about what my life would be like rather than just enjoying the moment that I spoilt my first six months. Thank you for sharing with us at #MLSTL and I hope you have a beautiful week.

    • Thank you for sharing that Sue. Perhaps those of us who like to plan and set goals would do well to proactively plan a period of rest and rejuvenation for those first few months. Thank you for sparking that idea. #MLSTL

  7. Well you know all about my thoughts on retirement Christie – it seems to have been the focus of the majority of my blog posts for the last couple of months! I don’t think you can really prepare for it completely because “life happens when you’re making other plans” I had anticipated working for another 10 years and then BANG I’m home and gainfully unemployed! I thought I’d be itching to find things to do, but I’m loving this time of rest and reflection and not constantly planning my next move. My days and weeks have filled themselves with pleasant pastimes and I’m finding that I don’t need to be so focused and obsessed any more – I can just “be” and it’s all rather lovely – I will be hoping the same for you when your time comes.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Yes, I have been following your journey, Leanne. I’m pleased to hear that you are settling in and enjoying the experience. I have been practicing mindfulness over the last couple of years, teaching myself to rest more in the present and savor the small pleasures. It’s a work in progress. I love that you said your “days and weeks have filled themselves with pleasant pastimes.” That is exactly what I hope for. #MLSTL

    • Yes we are, Debbie. Reading everyone’s thoughts and formulating my own responses has helped me take a step back.I feel more at ease and ready to let things simmer for awhile. Thanks for the well wishes! #MLSTL

  8. I’m a planner, but sometimes I just throw all the planning out of the window and do something else. That happens when I feel like I’ve planned myself into a corner that I can’t get out of!

  9. I tend to over think at times, depending on what it is. I can’t offer any advice for retiring as I had to quit my job at age 41 due to my health issues. It wasn’t something I wanted to do but had to do. Thank goodness everything was ok financially as we did not rely on my income to support us. Successfully navigating a major life transition took work as I was so ill in the beginning. I wish you the best with the upcoming decisions you have to make.

    • That’s the thing with planning, Dee. Often the Universe has something else entirely in store for you. I’m glad the finances were there for you. Health struggles are challenging enough on their own. As always, I’m sending wishes for the best health possible your way.

  10. Christie – I am totally an analytical over-thinker! (I can tell you are not surprised.) One of the tools I have in my book Retirement Transition is to take a couple of the activity ideas and evaluate them versus your values and/or vision. A spreadsheet in fact. 🙂

    I would also say to keep working with your values, interest and strengths to create a lifestyle vision…. thinking through different life elements (i have 6 in my book). It took me a few months of this thinking to get to my original lifestyle vision statement. And it was revised a few times over the next 2 years (and simplified). Today I say my lifestyle vision is to be “active, connected, & creative” so I look for activities every week (if not every day) to achieve that.

    • What a great vision statement Pat. Like you say, simple but powerful. I am reading your book now and doing the exercises. Sometimes I catch myself filling in the blanks with what I “know” about myself or how it’s been in the past. I’m trying to make sure that what I’m listing is what’s in my heart today. I’m really trying to use my heart and my head. I’m loving the book, by the way. Nice job!

  11. A great post and one which resonated with your readers. I can offer my experience from “the full retirement end”. I thought about retirement from my full-time work a lot. Then I had to leave (health) abruptly and it was nothing like I imagined. I might have had free time but I was left with a legacy of regret and a sense of not finishing my long career as I had hoped. I went back…to work…part-time in education again, and had some days at home caring for grandkids. I got, for me then, the best of both worlds. Until It was not for me. By 2009 I no longer wanted my role in schools. I did grandparent care at our house and loved it….till 2014 for some days each week, I also consulted in a pre-school setting to help families and I worked as a Uni tutor to pre service teachers. Then I got tired of it all. Even the grandkids. I was ready to stop but we needed my income (smaller than before) so we took a big decision and sold the house, moved away and rented and that was that. Until the first weeks passed and I was so NOT liking any of it. I had NO idea that transitioning my life this way would affect me so much psychologically. No home to call ours, no family or friends nearby and no career anymore. I was rudderless. I had to have counselling and time passed. Not in a great way but it did. Then I got cancer….and my life worries disappeared as I dealt with this life challenge. No-one can predict our future of course, but I was not someone who thought I would have the grief I did as I had post selling and moving. Just allow for the emotions is what I would advise..I wish someone had shared that with me. Let me know how you go!! Denyse #mlstl

    • Thank you Denyse for sharing your personal experience. It reminds me that all the planning in the world won’t guarantee things will go as you imagine or that you will feel a certain way. It’s also a good reminder that no decision is the final decision. Circumstances change, and you can make new decisions. I wish you much happiness in your journey.

  12. I’m definitely an overthinker. But the retirement decision was easy for me. As soon as I felt financially ready, I was out of there!! Not because I hated my job. I was ready to live life on my terms. There were a few curveballs – I got married and my boss asked me to stay for six more months. I think all the changes threw me for a loop for a while even though they were all positive. But I have never regretted any of the changes. I have so many interests that have been revived since I retired. There are days when I get frustrated because I can’t get to everything!!

    • Life has a way of throwing us curveballs, doesn’t it Linda? I love hearing that you’ve never regretted your decision and that you are actively pursuing your interests. Enjoy!

  13. Hi Christie

    I started my blog a year before I retired. Its main focus was trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to become in retirement? I looked closely at all of the things I enjoy doing and incorporated them into my first year of retirement. You like to hike and run and are into wellness. Me too. I also love people and am an encourager. I think you are too. It took a while but I finally found a place to spread the wealth of what I love most. In my work life, I was an event coordinator. Our community is working toward becoming a ” “Blue Zone.” I’ve signed up to volunteer with Blue Zone events in my area helping others learn how to become healthier all the while learning more about how I can stay healthier as I age. I may even apply for a part-time position.

    So give it some time. Something will pop up the will be right in your wheelhouse too.

    Enjoy the process
    Laura

    • It would appear we do have a lot in common, Laura. In addition to the similarities you pointed out, I also started my blog as a way to work out my next phase of life. I’d heard of Blue Zones, but couldn’t remember exactly what they were, so I just Googled it. I am intrigued and going to do some further research. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.

  14. Sometimes you’re just meant to click on a link, thanks, Christie, this was the link I needed today. And thanks #BloggersPitStop for helping me follow this link. Hope this weekend is treating you kindly. 🙂

  15. Hi Christie,
    I’m right there with you…overthinking, over-planning, over-analyzing. I’m not a really good “go with the flow” sort of girl; but I am actually putting more effort into being in the moment.
    We did some retirement planning, but some of it (so far!) has been nothing that we expected.
    I’m working at more flexibility.
    But, by the way, having now been retired for almost 10 months, I wonder how I ever had time to work! I love this lifestyle – it’s like I am rediscovering myself.

    • I’m so happy to hear you say that you are rediscovering yourself in retirement, Nancy. That’s what I am hoping for as well. And I guess you can only plan so much for that. Then you have to go with the flow and be in the moment. Thanks for joining the conversation. Have a lovely day!

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