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Thread: Tell me about Retirement...The good, the bad, the ugly

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Waterford, PA

    Tell me about Retirement...The good, the bad, the ugly

    Due to ongoing health issues caused by my Stem Cell Transplant, it sounds like I'm going to be moving into retirement much earlier than I had intended. As many of you may know, I worked a ton of hours when COVID-19 first hit the USA. Well, those demands on my body caused a whole host of symptoms to reappear and I've been forced to stop working again entirely. Today I got the news that the Oncologist, Cardiologist and Specialist dealing with the chronic fatigue held their teleconference and that I need to stop gainful employment, as my body simply can no longer support that activity level. I'm not sure whether to celebrate or cry. Granted, I'll be turning 60 yet this year, but I've enjoyed my work all these years. How do you fill your days? Are you able to find meaningful activities to help maintain a structure to your life? My husband still has several years to work, so traveling or doing things together won't be able to happen yet.

    Please share your experiences and lessons.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Pickens, SC
    Blog Entries
    Find a hobby. Anything to keep busy. Not not become a coach potato.
    Inactivity is the biggest downer.
    Retired for 10 years and enjoying it. Have model railroads as my hobby.

    Howard Garner

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    N.E, Ohio
    Stay busy, find a hobby you like if you don't have one. Hopefully you will have health insurance through yor husbands employment.

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    NW Indiana
    Get well first !!!

    You will need to find activities that your body can tolerate. It is difficult. But do not panic and take care of mental health as well.

    I have chronic pain from my back and other joints. I can not do large woodworking projects anymore but have found smaller ones. I am doing more scroll saw type work. I also try to do a good job with dust collection and air filter.

    Take your time to figure out what you can do and concentrate on those

  5. #5
    Well! I'm not down with that...just down over that. I suggest trying something like hobo art . Also called tramp art,hey I
    didnt name it ! Any way it's whittled chains, whistles, small boxes,etc. I know you will find a way to stay busy. Stay
    with us.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    I will tell you that I'm very thankful that I was able to retire "early" at age 60 myself. The good is a lot less stress and I'm doing things that I enjoy. In my case, some things haven't changed...I'm the primary cook in the household, do the laundry, care for the property, etc., for example. The bad...which is also the that I seem to be busier than ever. I agree with the others that you should give good thought to how you will spend your time so that you can promote self care every day. I elevated my woodworking and other creative activities to a place I couldn't do while still working full time, especially with the travel I was doing. Try to choose some options for your time that are enjoyable to you while also catering to the reality of your physical needs.

    Your reason for considering retirement is a good one, even though it may be outside of your original plan. Your health and maintaining your recovery is a good priority to have.

    In my case, Professor Dr SWMBO is two years younger than me, has tenure at the university that she's on faculty, is the provider of our health insurance via that work and enjoys teaching her masters and doctoral students. She'll likely continue with that until age 65 for both functional and enjoyable reasons unless presented with a "package she can't refuse". (that also includes the aforementioned health insurance.)
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 08-17-2020 at 7:44 PM.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    El Dorado Hills, CA, USA
    I retired really early, at 49. As long as you have things to do, hobbies, pets, sports, reading, whatever it may be, you will quickly be wondering how you possibly came up with 40 hours every week to hold down a job. It is also a great time to start a small business of your own, and the finance side of it can work very well. So if selling wood projects is of interest, I would certainly examine the possibility, or of any other hobby activity. It can create some great tax advantages. And I assume you're going to be getting some SSD money? My wife had to retire early for medical reasons, and we never knew about SSD, never applied until we were way too late to make a claim. Don't miss that out, if it's a possibility.


  8. #8
    In retirement, health insurance is the biggest thing. Because you are going out on medical reasons, after a year, you will be able to go on Medicare, unless they have changed the rules. Same goes for SS disability. As for something to do, I don't know how I ever had time to work. Most days, the "to do list" doesn't get done, but there is tomorrow. Finally able to do some projects for myself and some needed home repairs. Anybody want to help put on eight squares of shingles? Two story, 3/12 pitch. Next after shingles is remove tub and convert to shower, plus get rental house back on line. Cabinets in my shop, plus more insulation on the walls. Get rid of forty years worth of accumulated junk from my business. The list goes on and on, plus the new additions added daily.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
    I took very early retirement... Knew I needed to stay active so my woodworking projects increased... After 2 months of retirement, I was working on a shop cabinet and wanted to finish it that day... Do not know what hit me but I realized I had the rest of my life to finish that cabinet (I am type A+ person, i.e. DO IT NOW!)....
    I looked at the cabinet and literally forced myself to lay down the tools and go to my deck, poured a glass of wine, watched the deer in the yard ....
    Best thing I ever did.... I realized then that this was just the next phase of my life...

    Take the retirement as just that, the next phase of your life to be ENJOYED....
    Stay as active physically as you can, BUT stay active MENTALLY!!! That is very important.

    Do not know your situation, but after you retire and if you stay active, you will be busier than ever and wonder why you did not do it sooner !!!!!

    The best of wishes for your future and ENJOY retirement !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Northeast Ohio
    Sorry to hear about your illness forcing retirement, but look at it as an opportunity to do things that you may not have had time for. It is very important to stay busy. Others have suggested hobbies which agree can be fun and productive. Our city has a senior center which sponsors weekly activities (bingo, cards, exercise, ...), at least it did before COVID. Look for something that keeps the mind active; take a class at local university or offer to teach or tutor if so inclined. Learn a foreign language. There are many things, just do some research. Stay positive. Best wishes on your retirement.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Primary question; will you still be able to work in the shop? That availability or denial of that activity will certainly alter recommendations.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Los Angeles, California
    I wanted to work until age 75 and business circumstances (bad) and health circumstances (good) forced me into retirement at age 69. I thought I would hate it, but enjoy it.

    I found out that after 7 years of battling cancer, that it was gone, in remission for the last 6 years, and not likely to ever return. I don't want to sound preachy, because I'm not terribly religious, but God has given me a second chance. So do I go back to work and work until I die at my desk (Plan "A") or give this second chance a completely new and different life (Plan "B"). After speaking at length with my bartender of 20 years, he convinced me to do something completely different with my life.

    So we traveled last year to China, Pakistan, Kashmir, India and Nepal. I'd still be on the road, but for this damn virus.

    I am blessed with financial stability and good health. I don't deserve this and question why me?


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    State College, PA
    Lots of good suggestions above. It is fine to just goof off some, but I wouldn't recommend it full time. Find things to occupy your time in satisfying ways, but such that you can stay within the boundaries that your health allows. I too have health issues, although not as significant as yours sound. I know my limits.

    In addition to a serious hobby or two, I highly recommend some kind of volunteer activity. There are many worthwhile organizations out there with diverse needs. For me, it was best to choose volunteer activities that are very different from what I did for a living. I've given enough of my life to statistical analysis and software development.
    Last edited by Jay Aubuchon; 08-17-2020 at 9:50 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    You will need to get out of the house and socialize with adults. Swimming and bicycles are the easiest on the joints. You pay may not go down as much as you think. Union dues,retirement and social security is not taken from the retirement checks. At some point that special hardware or wood stash you are saving for a special project should be used. About one month ago I cut up a one inch bolt I had been saving for 40 years. I used the head for a knob and tossed the threaded portion. It makes a great lock knob on my saw.
    Bill D

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Mt Pleasant SC
    We retired April 2018, I was 58 and her 59. We moved and did a remodel which kept us busy. Then after some rough patches with my elderly parents and my health issue we got ebikes. We already were bike riders but wanted these after riding ebikes in Asheville with a tour group. We get four times the exercise on the ebikes because we ride much more. We travel with the bikes too, Airbnb, iTrip, VRBO, Evolve are the ways to stay away from crowded accommodations. We had to put a 2 inch hitch on our car and order a heavy duty bike rack for these heavy bikes. You can get a very good ebike for 1500. No need to buy from the local bike shop for three times that.

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