85 Replies Latest reply on Mar 5, 2015 7:11 PM by canthony

    How do you define retirement?

    MyR Community Manager
      While Hollywood's depiction of retirement often consists of spending countless hours on the golf course or at the country club, the reality of retirement has changed quite a bit in recent years and varies greatly from one person to the next.
       
      Please use this forum thread to share what your retirement will look like or (if you are retired) how you're currently living in retirement.
       
        • Re: How do you define retirement?
          JoRita
          I've concluded that retirement is a 12-step program, though I haven't defined all 12 steps yet. I shudder to address #12.
           
          First, the shock of no longer being employed plunges one into denial: "I'll keep working part time." or "I'll consult for a while." Take courses and toy with the idea of a second career.
           
          As that step begins to pall, one succumbs to pleas to "join the board" of one or many charities. This feeds the ego, recharges the desire to Get Something Accomplished.
           
          That proving impossible, step three is to resign from all the boards, ignoring the voices claiming you are irreplaceable. You aren't.
           
          Step four? Doing lower-level volunteer work, where you discover that one can make a difference after all. Actually doing hands-on work at the homeless shelter, Habitat for Humanity, or the animal shelter.
           
          Then, of course, there is Travel. That can be quite satisfying, but it is a drain on the funds. Bucket lists of places begin to daunt.
           
          Or gardening, which is more affordable.
           
          The safest and best refuge may be family and human contact, if you are fortunate enough to have a good one. Grandchildren, siblings, or  close friends tie us to the web of humanity.
           
          Struggles with health may overshadow all the steps. It drains funds and energy, and only family or close friends can help keep us going.
           
          Retirement is coping with life without the shelter of our employment. With fewer funds and less energy than before. Time to put our lives into perspective.
            • Re: How do you define retirement?
              JustMe
              JoRita, I'm not sure it's as bad as all that. It's time for *me*--to do as I please, when I please--to be free to do nothing at all when I'm tired or not feeling well (as opposed to feeling compelled to go to work as long as whatever it is that's ailing me isn't contagious)--to take a trip if I want to and can afford it, without having to worry about begging someone for permission to take the time off--to work if what I'm doing is satisfying and meaningful (and to quit if it isn't). Without doubt, I'm less energetic than I used to be--but I have a different sense of priorities than I did when I was 30, too. I've learned how to appreciate just sitting on my deck in the cool of an early morning, and listen to the birds singing the sun awake. I want more of that, and less of trains and crowds and rudeness and deadlines and other people's agendas and attitudes--and I want to spend the time I have left with people I genuinely care about who reciprocate the feeling in kind.
                • Re: How do you define retirement?
                  Sharon
                  Retirement is both of the above.
                  Love sitting in the backyard and taking an hour to drink a cup of coffee and watch the hummingbirds dive bomb me.  
                  I love getting up at 6 (as I always have) and go for a long walk instead of to work.
                  I love volunteering, too.
                  But I do miss teaching the kids.
                  I do not miss grading papers or doing lesson plans or parent conferences.
                  Health does get in the way of dreams, too.
                  And money is definitely an issue as the great recession hit and many retired people lost most of their savings in the stock market crash or the housing crash and that hasn't come back since many had to use the savings to live on.
                  So travel plans are on hold for many.  And travel is more work as you age. When you are young you have the energy to travel.
                  Working is good if you love your job and would rather be there than home. Many of us retired people loved being at work.  It is a let down no longer being "needed."
                  • Re: How do you define retirement?
                    BoBraxton

                    Before retirement - not working days were Holidays. From retirement onward, all days (for me) are Holi-days.

                  • Re: How do you define retirement?
                    BoBraxton

                    Spouse especially number four volunteer work. Travel, some, yes. Gardening - we did that for three decades to that aspect is a continuation. The difference in retirement is modest decline in physical strength and ability, especially female in this partnership / marriage.

                    • Re: How do you define retirement?
                      Art

                      Your complicating things waaaaay to much.

                      • Re: How do you define retirement?
                        Laura Vanags, Vanags Consulting

                        Wonderful insights.   I was also forced into early retirement due to the economy.  Now I'm working part-time as a consultant.  Not the same life I used to have by a long-shot.  I've found much peace by growing my character (some voluntary, some a response to dire financial situations), getting more involved with church and God, and growing friendships.  I'm looking for ways to maximize my remaining working time dollars.  I called tiaa-cref to try to get some insights into how to invest.  They led me to a tool which told me I would like to invest in mid-to-high risk.  Next I had to pick funds (it seemed like there were fifty million and I'd have to read through pages describing each one - and couldn't understand what it said anyway).  OVERWHELMING.  That's as far as I got.  Any additional assistance would be appreciated.  I've been happy with tiaa-cref results over the last 30 years but this last experience was not helpful.

                          • Re: How do you define retirement?
                            JerryD

                            Laura, discussing specifics about investments is beyond the goals of this forum. But I have a suggestion that I took from a post I made under a thread on Required Minimum Distributions from IRA's: "There are a bunch of savy higher ed types over on the TIAA-CREF forum on www.morningstar.com under the "discuss" tab that really understand annuities. You might want to run through this with them."

                             

                            GOOD LUCK!

                            • Re: How do you define retirement?
                              BoBraxton

                              For myself, it was like a game. Rather than trying to figure out things (investing) in advance (I believe anyone who thinks they can do that is self-deceptive), I just used a few "rules of thumb." First, I figured that I could "afford" to "lose" perhaps 5% so if that is the maximum portion that I put into any one fund, even very "stupid" decisions would not have catastrophic consequences. I also went for moderate to high risk. For myself, I was not interested in bond fund(s) and if I did any Real Estate investment trust stuff, I would have just done it in a moderate (very) fashion. Mostly I was looking for growth but also willing to put some of my "eggs" into a Balanced fund, maybe socially conscious - all sorts of things.

                              Once my percentages (like throwing darts) added up to the required 100%, I would just let it go automatic pilot and review the movement in total dollars, share counts and such for each allocation (type) and consider (but not necessarily do) changing some (or all) of the percentages. Of course this might take a few days into the new quarter (July next, for example). I did not assume that I knew anything but my intention was to learn by looking / observing and seeing how it "felt" to me. I tend to do Contrarian things, which is figure out the gut reaction that others might have and deliberately diverge, going my own way. If you are "single" then you may have a totally different philosophy. The best to you.

                              • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                MyR Community Manager

                                Laura Vanags, Vanags Consulting: TIAA-CREF participants may call our Telephone Center at 800-842-2252 to request an advice session. Such a session provides more detailed financial counseling regarding portfolio choices based on one’s risk tolerance. Participants also may schedule an advice session in person through a local office or through our website at tiaa-cref.org.

                              • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                Art

                                JoRita, you seem to me to be over complicating your retirement. Don't forget your "me"time, lots of it.

                                  • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                    MyR Community Manager

                                    Art, I saw your post (earlier in this thread) about how you and your wife are spending your retirement together, but I'm curious to hear about what you do with your "me" time.

                                      • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                        Art

                                        Well, every morning at 6 AM I meet a few retired friends (and 1 still working) at a local Panera's to discuss last nights BB game, what our plans are for the day and of course try to resolve world problems. LOL! No politics or religion discussions. If you feel the need to cuss there is a certain seat that is reserved for cussing. The seat is dedicated to a friend that sat there and cussed a blue streak every day. He is now passed away. After morning coffee I will run errands before heading home about mid morning. My lovely wife who is a "night person" is usually asleep until about 10 AM. On Monday and Wednesday I golf with a different group of retired guys and we usually have lunch after our round of golf. My wife who has a small business creating crafts and art work is usually in her studio in the afternoons doing her creating. Tuesdays is our movie day at one of the local theaters and then dinner after the movie. The wife also stays busy attending creative art style classes such as Zentangle. She also enjoys scrap booking and attends scrap booking "crops" several times a month and a weekend long crop on occasion. She is also publicity director for a local Art League. My hours at home are spent puttering around our 100 year old home, taking care of our cars and yard work. I only tackle the small jobs these days leaving the big jobs to contractors when needed. Our 2 sons have given us 8 wonderful grand children who  range from 18 months to 18 years old. All their activities keep us constantly on the run. The wife and I eat dinner out just about every other day. Who has time to cook??? Some afternoons I just need to take a short nap to re-energize. We enjoy cruising and try to do one every other year. This past spring we sailed the Eastern Caribbean for 10 days. Our next cruise will be to Alaska or to the Mediterranean. I enjoy surfing the internet, reading newspapers and listening to music.

                                  • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                    TroutBum
                                    CommunityManager said...
                                    While Hollywood's depiction of retirement often consists of spending countless hours on the golf course or at the country club, the reality of retirement has changed quite a bit in recent years and varies greatly from one person to the next.


                                    For once I think Hollywood got it right. Of course I haven't yet retired so my opinion may not be worth all that much!
                                     
                                    I'm pretty happy with my job. It pays OK, has great benefits and I like my coworkers, boss and the job in general. That said, for the past 40 years I've requested and administered budgets, made deadlines, attended meetings, hired and fired staff, worked overtime, listened to complaints and generally done whatever is expected or needed. During that time I saved, invested and tried my best to prepare for retirement.  Once I do retire I want to, well, retire. I plan to do the things I've always wanted to do but didn't have the time. Maybe I'll get back into woodworking or volunteer for causes or organizations I support, and for certain I'll be spending more time in the woods and on the water. I definitely won't be getting up at 5:50 to be in the office by 7:15. 
                                     
                                     
                                      • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                        I have  never played golf and never will I guess.
                                         I retired to the family farm after living in big cities and working as a medical physicist in the US and Ireland.
                                         
                                        I think the best thing about retirement is not having a deadline.
                                        I can have several projects going and just go from one to the other as I decide.
                                         
                                        I have a woodworking shop, a scroll saw room, a place to do watercolor painting.  I sell stuff on ebay. and we take care of the farm.
                                        I don't farm, but we have a large garden, I grow trees or at least move them around.  We collect rain water for the garden and laundry.
                                         
                                        Today I spent an hour splitting wood, as we heat some with wood. 
                                        Stacked it for the coming winter. Tonight I will meet my brothers and their families in the little town near by for a visit.
                                         
                                        I am not sure how I ever had time to work ;>) 
                                         
                                        • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                          BoBraxton

                                          woods and water - sound great to me. My big surprise is writing (daily) poetry. I have always written - a lot - but never thought of poetry-writing process. Big help from reading A. R. Ammons, Lucille Clifton, Trethewey (poet Laureate), W. S. Merwin and especially monthly POETRY magazine and the Sun (out of Chapel Hill, NC).

                                          • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                            Art

                                            Thumbs up! But you'll still be awakening at 5:50 am.

                                          • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                            jkom51
                                            My spouse and I both retired early. He has a pension (42 yrs with one company!) and health bennies, which helps immensely. Being both in good but not great health, we have done some traveling, mostly local, and indulge in our hobbies, which make us happy.
                                             
                                            We both read voraciously, and are on the Net quite often. His hobby is wargaming; mine are gardening, cooking, and dining out. We live in a food-obsessed area and the food choices are endless/amazing. Everything from Ethiopian to Pakistani to French and Italian; we love having so much variety.
                                             
                                            MIL was living with us for the past seven years, but her dementia has gotten worse and we need to move her to a facility. Currently working through that process now. I worked for a Certified Financial Planner, as well as in insurance and banking, so both her and our legal & financial affairs are in order and up to date. We're childless and therefore have LTC insurance to protect our assets from the disability of one spouse impoverishing the other.
                                             
                                            No time to volunteer; our lives are too busy right now. We enjoyed our jobs, but retirement is a lot more fun!
                                              • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                BoBraxton

                                                More fun - that was a surprise for me. I liked having work hours and place. What I "miss" most, in a very positive way, is that 17 mile drive (each way) daily - in Interstate "parking lot." That is a good thing to miss. Soon it will be five years of not driving. It (retiring) also allowed / encouraged me to give away (literally) that old rusty (trusty) car which was 26 years old, the last 13 years of which I was the driver.

                                              • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                MISPROF
                                                This is an interesting question and one for which I suspect most retirees are not prepared. If someone has defined their identify based on their career, what does that mean when that career comes to an end? That is why many people end up taking board positions, or today many just never retire. If you are in a job for which there is no retirement age, and you enjoy what you do why retire at all? This seems to be especially true for tenured academics.
                                                 
                                                I know a number Full Professors who are in their 70s and 80s and who say they have no plans to retire. They may cut back on their course load and research output, but they still participate in conferences, advise doctoral students or at least sit on their committees, and stay active in their academic community. Retirement used to be about people stopping work because they were no longer capable of working. That is no longer true for many people.
                                                 
                                                On the other hand, if you have the money and/or don't really care for the job you are in, retirement can be an opportunity to do all those things for which you didn't have time before. I have friends who recently retired in their mid 50s, but he was a VP for a Fortune 500 company and his wife was an engineer for a large pharmaceutical company and they had saved a lot of money and he was eligible for full medical and other benefits after having 35 years service with the same company. They moved to a beach house in North Carolina and spend their time traveling the world, visiting their children and grandchildren, or on their boat. Unfortunately most of us will not be able to do that with our retirement.
                                                 
                                                So what does retirement mean? If you don't have hobbies I would suggest that before retiring you need to find some. You need to figure out what activities you like to do that will keep you active and engaged, because the alternative is to sit around and watch TV or play games. 
                                                 
                                                I'm not sure what camp I am in. As an academic, my Summers are my own anyway, especially post tenure, and I have lots of time flexibility during the school year. I would like to have some time away from the grading pressures, but retiring will do little to change my daily life.
                                                  • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                    BoBraxton

                                                    impertinent question of mine - M I S (management information services) - or gender clue? don't have to answer.

                                                    • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                      jkom51

                                                      I think many people define retirement in terms of what they won't be doing, LOL. But now that we've been retired for several years, I will say that I think the most important part of retirement is how you will handle the issue of socialization.

                                                       

                                                      We ALL need socialization. Even my spouse, who is as self-contained as anyone can be, occasionally enjoys "getting out and about with others". One of the most striking things I noticed about my MIL's decline from dementia was that her circle of friends kept getting smaller and smaller, and smaller still! They died, or moved away, or were old enough that they didn't want to drive an hour on the freeway to visit.

                                                       

                                                      Thank heaven for telephones and cell phones - without them, the elderly would be cut off from everyone. My MIL only had a 6th grade education and can barely do more than write her own name. An entire letter would be totally beyond her capability even if she didn't have dementia. Last year we moved her to a senior facility, and the increased socialization has done exactly what we hoped for her. She is so much happier than she was when living with us.

                                                       

                                                      We have friends the same age as MIL who are alert, sharp, and still living alone. The husband said to us, "Yes, we had the same problem as your MIL - our old friends were dying off. So we solved that problem - we just went out and found younger friends!"

                                                       

                                                      And that's exactly the right thing to do. One doesn't need money to find new friends. But one DOES need an interest, some initiative, and a genuine desire to get out of the house.

                                                       

                                                      Retirement is now the opportunity to do more and interesting things, than we had time to do when we were working. We don't need to fill every minute, but every once in a while, taking the time and energy to break out of a routine is liberating, even exhilarating!

                                                    • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                      taconner

                                                      When someone used to ask me about retirement my response was always living in Montana or Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico or Idaho since they are such beautiful states & the mountains are appealing. My wife is retiring in two months at the age of 65 & at the age of 66 I am now seriously wondering when to retire & my new response is that retirement is scary. I just can't imagine not going to work particularly since I now make a healthy salary & frankly hate to have to watch my pennies. I know we have more than sufficient funds to retire but I enjoy going to the supermarket on Fridays after work & purchasing $100 of food that we don't particularly need & not worrying about bills. I'm still responsible for an elderly parent & have a 28 year old living at home who has problems that may necessitate her always living at home so having the extra money is important to me at present.  I can likely stay at my current job at a university for as long as I want to, but I no longer receive calls to consider other positions.

                                                       

                                                      My wife is greatly into church stuff which just doesn't interest me. In our Sunday School class we only have two or three couples who still have at least one of them working & the others seem to volunteer for everything & enjoy it. The church seems to have an unsatiable appetite for your hours & your money. I have plenty of interests so having nothing to do is not a concern, just having adequate money is, particularly after the recent recession where I saw many of our investments fall considerably in value although most of them did eventually regain their worth. My current plan is to work no longer than 4 years & grab the maximum Social Security check & then retire unless a health issue dictates otherwise.

                                                        • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                          BoBraxton

                                                          I identify strongly with your stance regarding money, although my responsibilities are considerably less. My employer (higher education - I was computer tech support for 11 years) encouraged me to "Good retirement" in 2009. The last day I was allowed to work, 30 June 2009, finished out eleven full-time years. My spouse is some months older. When she retired at age 67, I also entered Medicare (I had turned 67) and we started receiving maximum Social Security direct deposits that October (one month delay, by design). We both are heavily involved in a church (she retired after 27 years as Senior Pastor, Presbyterian). At the house, her office is upstairs at the north end of the house, mine is down in the basement "dungeon" at the opposite - south - end of the house. That helps keep a civil relationship. I worked for about fifty years, so getting paid but not working (for pay) was a novel and new experience for me, like not going to public school the year after high school graduation - going instead to a college 60 miles distance in the state where I lived in my childhood.

                                                        • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                          Tommy P

                                                          Unfortunately, it seems like I need another 12 years to retire in order to get the best Social Security amount like taconner mentioned. Like Sharon posted, I also like to get up early. I'll let my wife sleep late for marital harmony. Luckily, we have similiar hobbies, collecting old things. She collects teddy bears, I collect old Lionel trains. I thinks hobbies like those and gardening, etc. are good to keep us active. Good luck to all and stay healthy everyone!

                                                          • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                            KwP

                                                            It means the same thing that working years mean, except we'll be working in some other less time consuming capacities (continued Church based ministry and volunteering for good causes) while enjoying greater times of rest, relaxation, and leisure as we follow the LORD's good stewardship instruction to continue to put us in a position to bless other people to the degree He calls us with the blessings that He showers upon us.

                                                             

                                                            My works won't make me righteous, better than anyone else, nor good enough for Heaven - His perfect sacrifice on the cross and resurrection and righteousness and my acceptance of Him as Savior allow me access to the eternal heavenly home He prepared for believers. Yet, He created me for good works and is greatly pleased when I engage them to help others. Retirement will be another stage of refirement for this passion and cause.

                                                              • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                MyR Community Manager

                                                                Hi KwP,

                                                                 

                                                                We’d love to hear more about your volunteering in the My Giving Back topic!

                                                                 

                                                                -Genevieve

                                                                • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                  taconner

                                                                  The more I reflect on what's ahead in retirement I think of the four individuals I watched the closest - my grandfathers, my dad & my father-in-law. One grandfather was a big gardener & you could always be assured of fresh or canned vegetables when you visited. He always had money making schemes which he was usually successful at. He was retired for 41 years from a steel mill job he hated. He was married for 77 years before he passed away at 96 & loved his whiskey & his chewing tobacco. My other grandfather fought Parkinson's & died young. My dad spent his few retirement years fighting cancer & also died young & my father-in-law was lost without his small business as he had no interests & seemed to follow his wife wherever she went.

                                                                  Staying away from illness seems to be the main objective & having some interests that you greatly enjoy. I've tried gardening & enjoy it but do not have my grandfather's green thumb. For the time being I'll opt to stay employed.

                                                                • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                  Massage@reflexology@therapeutictouch

                                                                  Retiring means getting to live your life in freedom. It is not endless sloth, or addiction to technologies, although it can be, it is also having the time of truly connecting to friends, families and old Loves. It is great,!!  it is a time of great creativity and growth, if you want it to be, and if it's bad weather, it's fine to turn over and sleep till noon. Of course, you can also eat anytime, and stay up till all hours.

                                                                   

                                                                  I've been retired almost 10 years now, and am just hitting my strides. I learned from a professional retired person, that it takes time to learn to be retired. Allow yourself that time and be patient with yourself.

                                                                   

                                                                  I travel every year 2-3 months. But last year I was away from home over 5 months. I worked overseas for 15 years which made me comfortable with all the minutiae of figuring out other countries beaurocracy, so if you've never traveled outside the US that might not be a great idea for you, except very cautiously.

                                                                  • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                    Art

                                                                    Well, it's been over 3 years since I retired and I haven't looked back. Being retired means me and the wife can do what we want, whenever we want for as long as we want. We do manage to do all we want while still enjoying our 2 sons and 8 grandchildren. We don't let any grass grow under our feet. We travel at least twice a year to places we have never been. We eat dinner out about every other night and sometimes more often especially if the kitchen floor is either to cold or to hot. LOL!
                                                                    We are both involved in several activities that gives us each our own space and it works out wonderfully for the both of us. Life is good except for the aches and pains that come as we "mature". I highly recommend retirement, but you need to save, save, save, so that you won't waste time worrying about outliving your retirement savings.

                                                                    • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                      espiros

                                                                      doing what I want to do when I want - no matter what it is and with people I enjoy.

                                                                      • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                        Chip1979

                                                                        I retired a little over a year ago.  My wife is a little older than I, and is a self employed artist, so I guess that is something you never retire from.  My wife and I really enjoy each other company, so having me around the house a lot more has not been a problem.  In years past we did a lot of overseas travel.  Glad we did it than, not sure we would enjoy it as much now.  I was 62 1/2 when I retired, but want to delay taking SS for as long as I can, have been doing some consulting work to help supplement the income. Thought I would find it interesting doing consulting for different agencies, but after 40 years of solving other peoples problems, find I am tired of dealing with other peoples problems, but the extra money is nice. Find it is nice to be able run errands etc. during the week when things are less busy. Most say I really love being retired..

                                                                          • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                            BoBraxton

                                                                            recess mealtime

                                                                            playtime praytime

                                                                            naptime readtime

                                                                              • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                MyR Community Manager

                                                                                I just read an article on Huff Post 50 titled 5 Innocent Things You Say That Make Retired People Mad. The list reminded me a lot of this discussion thread--how the old-school perceptions of retirement (lounging in Florida and taking naps) might not always ring true today.

                                                                                 

                                                                                I'm curious to hear what you all think about this list and what you'd add to it. What do you wish people better understood about retirement?

                                                                                  • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                    TroutBum

                                                                                    Wow, people are touchy, aren't they? None of those things offended me in the least. I do plan to spend much of my time in FL because of all the outdoor activities available. I'm glad naps are an option because dawn is frequently the best time to be on the water and I'm likely to be tired by late afternoon. I'd feel complimented to hear they think I can teach because I have a ton of respect for teachers even though I don't think I posses the skills. I'm looking forward to volunteering but plan to focus on things like helping to guide eco-tours rather than sorting books or pouring coffee. And, last but not least, having the liberty to search out new things to do each day is one of the beauties of retirement.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    One thing that has rubbed me the wrong way is when people assume I'm interested in a retirement community. I know they're popular, and are great for some people, but to me they seem like a pre-nursing home program. I'm not preparing for a nursing home, I'm starting the next phase of an exciting and active lifestyle.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Another thing is when the first thing people ask about is the quality of medical care in the area. I know the question is well intentioned but I doubt they would ask a younger person that same question. I am smart enough to keep health care as part of the equation but I certainly don't want it to be the primary focus. Frankly I think a person, even an aging one, is better off living a healthy lifestyle than worrying about the gout or their bowel movements! I feel bad when I see senior citizens whose only conversation seems to center upon their illnesses and what they ate that day.

                                                                                      • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                        taconner

                                                                                        I totally agree with your comments on retirement communities. I moved my mother into one about nine years ago & into another one about four years ago as she needed more attention. The first one was a regular apartment complex & appealed to me but the current one looks as you say - a pre nursing home program. Also, about every two or three weeks someone dies & they have their picture & a short eulogy at the entrance/exit to the facility. The few friends my mother has become close to have passed away unexpectedly & it significantly impacts her when it happens.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        One of the members remarked to me one day, when I was helping my mother into the car to go shopping, that my wife looked particularly nice today. I mentioned to them that she was my mother - I asked my wife later if I really looked that old & she said yes - thanks a lot.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        I read where you tend to see yourself at the age when you most enjoyed life & for me that is 33 - though I do sometimes see my father when peering at me in the mirror these days.

                                                                                • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                  BoBraxton

                                                                                  "me" time and (in my case) "we" time -- we just went on an extended trip for five nights - then yesterday, together washing some windows at our single-family house of three decades.

                                                                                  • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                    BoBraxton

                                                                                    allowance

                                                                                    benefits

                                                                                    health housing

                                                                                    • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                      jmarknielson

                                                                                      My perspective of retirement is to stay active with the things that one enjoys doing and not being tied down to other commitments.  In today's contemporary society, this is probably no longer a dream unless people have made financial sacrifices to make a dream like this come true.  My plans in retirement includes volunteering or finding a part time job at a YMCA, maybe sub a couple days a week in the schools but also to increase my relationship with my fishing pole and my bike, and maybe someday, when the time comes, grandchildren.  I seek to increase my knowledge in the area of financial growth and independence.  I think it is a sad world we are living in when so much stock is put into accomplishing "tasks" rather than living a life of "significance".  No wonder there is burnout, mental and physical exhaustion, etc.  Working hard is important, being diligent and disciplined is important, but at what cost?  Look at the world we are living in. People in the end will remember others by "who" they are rather than "what" they did in their professions or the community.  At a recent funeral I was amazed that on the front of the "bulletin" was the name of the deceased and then "Ph.D. after his name.  I thought to myself "why"?  This was a good man but dedicated his life to being nothing but a scholar within his discipline but that was it...that was all he knew.  He ended up being a very lonely man, died a lonely man after his wife died of severe Alzheimer.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I find that retirement tends to be a generational thing.  My parents, my dad who will be 89 years old in November, one of the last WW II Battle of the Bulge veterans and my mom who will be 86 in October used to struggle with retirement with regards to the type of work they were in.....education.  Dad was a college professor for 35 years after being a pastor for 20 years in three different churches...all good churches.  My mom taught 4th grade in the inner city for 30 years.  Money has not been an issue during retirement because of how financially disciplined they were, however, they always had to be needed and wanted to be involved in peoples lives in a positive way.  They had a difficult time in their early years of retirement because they had to have something that brought significance to the lives of others and their own.  They are not travelers because they see that as not being important compared with being an "influence".  In their professions they had a tremendous impact to the point that colleagues and former students still keep in touch with them.....but it is not in the form of a "job".  For the past 6 years my mom has volunteered at the local hospital and has looked at it as a "job"....which has disturbed me because she has tied herself down when she could be doing something else...but she still is living a life of "significance", which I guess in the end is ok and if it makes her happy.  As I have watched them in retirement, I am reminded that there is a world to explore and learn more about.  Jobs working with people has meant a lot to them...."a job".  I have learned that one does not need a "job" to have an influence in life.  Whether I am wading a river while fishing or bike riding, there are always opportunities to leave an impact because eventually we all run into new people.  Retirement is an opportunity to let your hair down and be "you"....."real", and not having to "be somebody".  Once again, it is not about "accomplishments or excellence", but rather it is about "significance".  Retirement is a time to turn the reigns over to the next generation as scary as that can be at times.  Retirement is a time to "pray hard" for that next generation. 

                                                                                        • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                          taconner

                                                                                          Enjoyed reading your very insightful comments concerning your parents. My mother never worked outside of the house but my dad was all about being in the military & contributing to the greater good. After 27 years he retired from the USN & sort of flailed around trying to get centered in civilian life which he never did. It must have been very difficult for him as he entered the military at 17 fresh out of high school in 1942 & retired at 44 & knew little else other than shipboard life. I remember reading we should "work to live" not "live to work" - for many that is difficult to do. Frankly, the thought of not having a profession that I can take pride in concerns me & since I contemplate working only 2 - 4 more years know that the final move into retirement looms. One of my friends & I were recently talking about the fact that entering the work force in our younger days was an introduction into a different life style that took some time to become acclimated to & that retirement will likely be a somewhat similar & perhaps trying experience.

                                                                                          • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                            BoBraxton

                                                                                            what beautiful writing!

                                                                                            when she could be doing something else

                                                                                            Today one of my short poems is about "things I have to do"

                                                                                            I have never been a fan of "to do" list(s) and one of my favorite children's book stories in Frog and Toad is when the wind blows away a to-do list. They (friends) wind up sitting down - because "find List" was not on that to-do list.

                                                                                            I do like tracking accomplishments and things completed - a sort of "Done" - but not as a list, more like a river or stream (as in stream of time or stream of consciousness) - flowing by - to take notice but not get caught into.

                                                                                            sort of meditative.

                                                                                            I like your bicycle - five years ago when I was being encouraged to retire, the employer notified my spouse that they thought of giving me a GPS. She replied, "Don't give him a GPS - give him a bicycle." That was the best retirement gift (from them).

                                                                                            I still ride it. Kept well in our garage, it is as new as that day five years ago.

                                                                                          • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                            JoeW519

                                                                                            Oh my, you want a definition? I say: Retirement is when you re-design and live for a future which -- if you're blessed -- you at last get to define (so long as health lasts and God wills).

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Lots of assumptions re: health, wealth, dreams in that, I admit.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            I've been "retired" from my career for 10 years now. I've never been so busy and would have no time for "work" which I define as "significant time spent executing the will of others." My "retirement" has seen me able to earn a bit of income, or not, from writing I now want to do. To divorce and remarry in a mature-folks relationship. To renovate a house that fit her desires to a design I like. To learn that container gardening can be fun; part of which is learning what the deer like and steering clear of all their food! Finding a personal relationship with Jesus and being reborn; ministering in the church --

                                                                                             

                                                                                            My greatest pleasure is spending time with my wife (a designer), where we get really busy talking and melding comfort with edgy design. And my greatest rewards come from my church which is in a university town; I am a mentor for university students, undergrad and grad as they learn to adjust to new life roles.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            About the notion of retirement being about resting and taking care of "just me": my Grandma worked at a job she loved as a cook/housekeeper for a group of priests and she stayed until her mental sharpness disappeared at age 84. When she would be encouraged to "take care of herself" and to "rest," she'd say "There'll be plenty of rest when I die."

                                                                                             

                                                                                            She was one of the wisest people I've known.

                                                                                            • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                              RalphShafer

                                                                                              While I was teaching full time I taught adults skills upgrade type courses.  Thus I often taught every night of the week.  This prevented me from pursuing my passion to sing choral music because all groups rehearse at night.  Once I retired I devoted my energy to pursuing my passion.  I had a long way to go and much to learn but in seven years I now sing with a large auditioned chorus that sings with a professional orchestra and sometimes sing with a professional Opera company.  I'm living my dream and learning new things every day. 

                                                                                              • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                BoBraxton

                                                                                                working / hard un- / -employed

                                                                                                • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                  BoBraxton

                                                                                                  sledding / down hills / with friends

                                                                                                    • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                      TroutBum

                                                                                                      I'd hate to think it has to be all down hill! Prefer to look at my retirement as a bit more cross country!

                                                                                                        • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                          DRJJG

                                                                                                          I like boating, fishing, gardening, biking, hiking, and golfing 365 days per year. I only stay inside if it rains.Can't keep a good man down!

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          Joe

                                                                                                            • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                              TroutBum

                                                                                                              That's exactly what I hope retirement will be like. I just returned from a long weekend grouse hunt in the mountains of PA. We averaged walking about 12 miles each day and fixed dinner on a grill or dutch oven. Today I'm sore, tired, happy and mentally refreshed!

                                                                                                                • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                                  DRJJG

                                                                                                                  If you live in the south you can do it. Just stay mentally and physically sound.

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  Joe

                                                                                                                  • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                                    JerryD

                                                                                                                    I knew that I liked your hobbies! I just returned from 3 weeks hunting ruffed grouse in the Lake Superior area. I try to do this every year now and have been doing so for over 50 years.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    Maybe you can help with some advice about shotguns. Due to my grouse hunting heritage, I am a true "snap shooter". I never see the barrel or the front sight, so the gun had better shoot right where I am looking. For 2 seasons now I have been amazed at how much worse that I am shooting with a new Franchi Instinct SL Over/Under. Due to my shooting style, I don't shoot that good anyway except in tight situations, but this gun has given me some misses that just blow my mind. I love this 12 gauge O/U with 26" barrels and choke tubes weighing only 5.8 pounds, and it is beautiful too with the aluminum receiver and shiny external choke tubes. The old 12 gauge Browning Citori O/U was getting a bit heavy for an "older guy" out in the deep woods. I can almost twirl this new Franchi while scaling fallen trees and other obstacles (Superman!!!).

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    Franchi has a 7 year warranty and I am returning it for the 2nd time after patterning it on the last trip. It shoots high at 40 yards into a 30" ring with high-brass # 6  and # 71/2 shot with modified and improved cylinder chokes, respectively. The pattern is 65% or more in the top half of the target. Franchi service claims that this may be due to the European preference for this behavior. My question is do you know of any source that states how various makes of O/U shoot. I need a gun that shoots right on (50% both over and under point-of-aim)?

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    They think that I should get used to the gun and modify my shooting. Ain't going to happen after 50+ years. This old dog ain't going to hunt if those are the rules. Time to replace this beauty, but I think that it will be much more expensive and the weight will be heavier. Maybe I will have to struggle with the 38-year old Browning. (By the way, the Browning cost $375 in the 1970's. Look at what a new Citori costs today or any other O/U. YIKES!)

                                                                                                                      • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                                        DRJJG

                                                                                                                        Jerry;

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        Since I rarely go hunting, I sold my shot gun years ago. Most of my friends go deer hunting or skeet shooting. Some of my friends have at least 5 pistils and 5 rifles in their safe and only take them out to show off to their friends. A few have pellet guns to chase of squirrels and chipmunks from their bird feeders. If you leave out dog or cat food you will get coyotes, coons, bears, or possums. I mostly get deer eating my plants, especially when it gets cooler.

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        Joe

                                                                                                                        • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                                          TroutBum

                                                                                                                          Jerry, I'm certainly no shooting expert but I'll send you a PM with my thoughts.

                                                                                                                          Mike

                                                                                                                • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                                  BoBraxton

                                                                                                                  space in which we

                                                                                                                  can just be: to

                                                                                                                  claim more and more

                                                                                                                  • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                                    BoBraxton

                                                                                                                    everybody shakin'

                                                                                                                    Stayin' alive, stayin' alive

                                                                                                                    Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive

                                                                                                                    Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive

                                                                                                                    : Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive Lyrics

                                                                                                                    • Re: How do you define retirement?
                                                                                                                      BoBraxton

                                                                                                                      lifetime’s

                                                                                                                      work the

                                                                                                                        rewards