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Retirees Biggest Regrets

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Message 21 of 38

If you thought you were busy prior to retirement, the best advice I can give any new retiree is to stay busy. Keep learning and don’t be afraid to try new things. I learned early on that retirement is NOT the time to put up your feet. You have complete control over how you spend your time, so don’t waste it. Throughout your life, you’ve used your skills, your strengths and inner resources to navigate the journey to this point, so keep moving, celebrate and be grateful for every new day.

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Re: Retirees Biggest Regrets?

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Message 22 of 38

I retired at 68 after 44 years in the same industry. I traveled about 2 million air miles, hundreds of thousands of miles by car, visited all fifty states, and most countries in Western Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Staying at home is a delight. I spend 4+ hours most days doing yard work and minor projects around the house. My wife and I were so busy raising five kids that we watched little TV so we are catching up on classic shows, reading lots of our favorite authors, taking care of the grandkids, and doing some volunteer work with the homeless. It’s easy to stay active and go with the flow when work is no longer a necessity. 

 

So my only major regret is that most of my siblings and their families live 2600 miles away and I haven’t spent enough time visiting them. I expected that being retired would give me more time with them. Distance and not wanting to get on an airplane again have worked against me. 

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Re: Retirees Biggest Regrets?

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Message 23 of 38

Having been Retired for 5 years.I say don't sit around get out there and do things you want to do.Travel,Health Club  what ever you want.Dont wait we did a little traveling.Then my Husband had a Stroke,Heart attack two years later. And never recover.Passed away. So I am now doing  the things we always talk about. Take life by the horns if you can and don't look back.

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Re: Retirees Biggest Regrets?

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Message 24 of 38

I am grateful for the many wonderful opportunities that exist.  Some of the opportunities we have taken advantage of are:

  • volunteering for the National Parks - we have volunteered making maps but there are probably hundreds of ways to volunteer.  You don’t need to be super-fit.  Some parks need people to help at the Visitors Center, others need gardeners.  Other parks need photographers or people who know about fishing.  Check our volunteer.gov.  
  • digging for dinosaurs and documenting petroglyphs with the US Forest Service.  Check out http://www.passportintime.com.  You might have to apply quite a few times before you are selected but keep trying.  Just looking at there opportunities might give you an idea of something you want to do closer to home.  Seeing an opportunity to work cleaning up dinosaur fossils might be the spark that encourages you to visit your local museum and ask do if they have a volunteer activity like this.
  • working as interns for a conservation group.  All of the pictures showed interns in their early 20s but when we asked, they said you just needed to be a student of life and didn’t need to be young.  We had great opportunities  surveying campsites and making maps with them.  We earned enough Americorp education grants to go back to get a community college associates degree.
  • going back to college.  This was a bit scary since most of our classmates were about 19 years old.  But it worked out great.  We all had different skills and backgrounds and could help each other.  We helped students with some of the math they needed for some of the classes.  We knew we were seen as OK when we got asked to go on a spring break trip with them.  Many colleges offer free or discounted tuition.  We took advantage of senior citizen scholarships and our Americorp education grants.  Most of our credits transferred over - although finding the course description for a class I took 40 years ago did take some digging.   Two classes short of graduating.  It might be worth checking with a local college.

-   working as seasonal for the government collecting natural resource data.  The pay more  than covered our costs.  We had fun outdoors and got to live in another part of the country.  Working 4 10 hour days gave us time to travel and explore.

 

There are a huge variety of opportunities available.   None of our opportunities have cost us much - maybe the cost of driving to a different state.  

 

We each have skills to share with others and contributions to make.  Some are volunteer - some pay - check out coolworks.com.

 

Sometimes it is a little scary trying something new and sometimes I hear “no, sorry we don’t have an opportunity for you”.  But we have found so many people that really need our help and are willing to teach us what we don’t know, we are encouraged to keep asking and then contributing.

 

Just one additional thought, we have found that by our taking advantage of these opportunities we have provided an example for others (young and old) that good opportunities are possible.   We have, inadvertently, left a legacy of people living a more fulfilling life.

 

Please share your opportunities below as a reply, in new posts and with other folks you know.  

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Re: Retirees Biggest Regrets?

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Message 25 of 38

Become a friend of the library is a great tip. It doesn't have to be only your library. I have attended some many free programs at neighboring libraries.

 

Also, volunteer at hospitals, arboretum, museums, schools, nature centers, your park district, garden center, etc.

 

Advce: If you are taking  spousal social security, I believe there is no advantage to delay past full retirement age. 

 

Also, I plan to work part time for as long as I can to supplement social security. I planned ahead and have some investments I can draw on. I will need all three sources of income to live on.

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Re: Retirees Biggest Regrets?

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Message 26 of 38

No regrets and I retired at age 50. Partly due to health issues, PTSD and a company that was down-sizing its middle management.

I offer two bits of advice:

1. Start saving for retirement early and max out any employer matching contibution plans available.

2. Get your home paid for by when you plan to retire. Retirement money produces a more comfortable retirement w/o a house payment.

 

Enjoy!

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Re: Retirees Biggest Regrets?

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Message 27 of 38

Retired at 62. No regrets! The things I like best: no alarm clock, sleeping in, no more packing lunches the night before, more time to peruse hobbies, hitting a good sale first thing in the morning, and an altogether leisurely pace.

I miss the daily social interaction at work, but that's about it.

We worked with a financial advisor the last 10 years, so we were comfortable in knowing when we could retire. 

 

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Re: Retirees Biggest Regrets?

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Message 28 of 38

There have been no regrets. My wife & I are in our 12th year of retirement now. I had planned for early retirement & we did it just before my 59th birthday. We both now can enjoy life and we volunteer at our own pace within the community. Our biggest benefit was moving to Mexico to retire, where cost of living is about half of what it is in US, and climate is great year-round. We actually feel safer and healthier here than we ever felt living in the United States. Gives our daughter and grandkids a wonderful place to visit too.

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Re: Retirees Biggest Regrets?

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Message 29 of 38

Do not fear having nothing to do!  For 35 years I worked in an exciting environment.  Exciting, but lots of pressure.  Our company had several major customers, I was assigned one of them as the primary business contact.  If our deliveries to the customer were late, they called me.  I thn had to find out internally  why were we late, what steps are we taking to fix the past due situation and get back on schedule, when can we make our first shipments.  I needed to interface with manufacturing, procurement, quality, engineering, assembly and test departments.  Then communicate with the customer on our recovery plan. 

 

I dreaded Monday mornings, even before email and the internet, I'd walk into my office and the message light would be blinking on my phone.  It is always the customer and never good news.  Here we go again.

 

Or the final customers that used our products in their fleets would be experiencing failures during the warranty period and far in excess of our realiability predictions and guarantees.  Now I have to get with the Engineering managers and ask them if we have a design weakness (which means we pay to retrofit the fleet) or if our parts are breaking because they are being used improperly by the fleets (which means they pay for the redesign and retrofit).  If our engineers could convince me it was the fault of the fleet, then I had to go the customer and tell them, not only did they buy stuff from us that filed prematurely, but it is their fault and they need to pay us again to redesign and retrofit their fleets!  This was always a long and protracted struggle and certainly not a relaxing process. 

 

So when I read the articles that said "Do not retire before you understand what hobbies and activities you will fill your time with, or you will likely be lonely and disappointed."  I was happy to accept that challenge.  While working I dreamed of retiring early and having Nothing to do!  By this I meant, no phone messages from unhappy customers, no text messages at all hours of the day and night from customers and internal departments, or cell phone calls or messages from customers.  I looked forward to getting rid of the stress and deadlines and meetings and program reviews and traveling through airports and flying in cramped commercial seats for hours at a time.

 

I was able to retire at 61.  It has been over three years now.  I am still incredibly happy!  I am relaxed and relatively stress free and Never Have Been Bored (in a bad way).  Tired, take a nap.  Want to stay up late, go ahead.  Want to sleep in, go ahead. 

 

Retirement is delightful!  I do not need activities or titles or responsibilities to provide me with an identity or a "purpose".  I have time to help my neighbors.  I can be flexible when scheduling health appointments.  I can go to the movies and shopping during the week and avoid the weekend crowds. 

 

If you are secure in yourself and who you are, do not fear "having nothing to do".  It can be the time of your life!

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Re: Retirees Biggest Regrets?

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Message 30 of 38

Don’t feel guilty about doing nothing. You’ve earned the right to do just that. I wanted to be a stay-at-home all my life. I just didn’t know I’d have to wait to have grandkids and to do it. Took a long time to get here but it’s worth it. 

Become a friend of the library they have a lot of fun stuff to do and it’s all free.

i stay so busy I don’t know how I found time to work.

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