« Are We Allowed to Be Happy Yet? | Main | Picturing Retirement: Stop and Smell the Cacti »

July 15, 2014

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

fred doe

There's a answer to all that. Just hang with other people that are retired. But just when you think your happy,Syd doesn't post for a month. If you think you got it bad try being a retired Gov. worker. Hell, we now have secret hand shakes.

Tom Sightings

I think you've put your finger on an increasingly important issue -- the great divide, esp. among baby boomers, between workers and retirees. The relationship between the two is fraught with sensitivity, sometimes resentment, jealousy and envy. But among the people I know -- the older boomers -- the people who are still working are those who really want to work. And I say ... good for them if they still like their jobs and thrive in the work environment.

Cindi

I don't concern myself with what others think BUT I am very mindful of others feelings. I don't take 'being happy' for granted. I equate it with the same as 'being happily married', 'being a happy parent with great kids' 'being a happy camper'........well, you get the idea.
I don't brag to my girlfriends (whether now or in college, for example) about all the fab things hubby and I do. Because I know not everyone has found their SO. Lots of loneliness out there. So, I'm mindful and respectful of others feelings. I also don't brag on my children because I know there are many parents out there who are having difficulties.
I feel the same way with my retirement. I don't brag about it because I know my friends still struggle and are very stressed out over the current economic conditions.
I'm always shocked when I tell people I'm retired and they congratulate me. As if I graduated from college or discovered the cure to the common cold. I don't think I did anything special.
In any event, I am always mindful of those around me and I am respectful of others feelings. I'm a little bit freer when in the company of fellow retirees, but even then, I just won't brag about my good fortunes. I think it has to do with our current economy climate. Not everyone is doing well. In fact, too many of the people I know are just treading water.
If people are jealous or envious of me, I don't give it much thought BUT I really am concerned of offending others.
Hey! That's just me.

Barb

I think in any area, retirement or otherwise there has to be a difference between "bragging" and "I,I, I" in terms of sharing good fortune or good times. I come from an area of a wide variety of ages, incomes and lifestyles. I guess what I'm trying t say is that there is a way to enjoy a lifestyle without talking about it all the time. If that makes any sense at all. And to remember that we all have different wants and wishes.

deegee

I surely agree that being retired helps those around me. I can help my ladyfriend in many small ways, from having packages delivered to my place to being able to do things during the day at her place nearby. I have been able to expand my square dancing (which includes many retirees) at night because I don't have that work thing and its awful commute to get in the way any more. And I have nearly no scheduling conflicts wwhen it come to my volunteer work which takes place midday on weekdays. So, why are any of those people going to give me any grief when they benefit from my increased availability?

As for family members, my dad has been retired for 20 years so he benefits from being able to call me if there is a problem. I can also visit him on midweek nights as long as they don't conflict with anything else because neither of us have to get up the next morning.

I had been working only 2 dasy a week before I fully retired in 2008 so everyone around me was already used to my not working full-time. Bottom line - I'm the same person I was before I retired.

Retired Syd

Tom: Yes, there are certainly a lot more people of "retirement age" that are choosing to continue working. We are much healthier at every age now and many people still have a desire to contribute in that way. Also, there are plenty of younger people that have told me they never want to retire, they think they would be bored. We don't need to assume everyone is envious of retirement--another reason to go ahead and be honest about it.

Cindi and Barb: I agree. And there is certainly a lot of room to operate between the two extremes, bragging about good fortune and intentionally trying to conceal it. Of course, some people think anyone that is actually happy is bragging. Not a lot you can do about that. Like deegee, I think the best approach is probably sharing your riches of time in a way that helps people.

fred: I guess that's a whole 'nother issue, huh?

dgpcolorado

Can't say that I've had the same issues you mention, Syd. My coworkers and family heard me plan and plot my early retirement for so many years it couldn't have come as much of a surprise to any of them.

I did have a former boss who used to tease me by asking when I "was coming back to work" when I would visit. Since I had moved 330 miles away across the mountains, as soon as I retired, I just pointed out to him that the 660 mile commute would be "brutal" and let it go. After a couple of years he realized that I really had been serious about retiring for good, despite being in my mid-forties.

Never got any flak from my family (far away in Oregon) about early retirement. My parents knew perfectly well that I was the financially responsible, thrifty, child. They enjoyed telling their friends that I was retired when asked the traditional question about what I did for a living.

So, yes, it is ok to be happy with early retirement. As I've said before, I dealt with the "guilt factor" of no longer being a productive member of society by doing lots (and lots) of volunteer work. I find it more fulfilling than I did my career and I can do it or not, when I please, if I please. Sure beats working for a living!

Jacq

I have only one friend that is envious (I would say to the point of resenting it) of my time off - everyone else is happy for me that I have a choice to work as little or as much as I want. They know how hard I worked and that I've put that money towards my priorities (time off) - just like I'm happy for them if they buy a new Mercedes or a house $1M or travel every year to Europe plus lots of other trips.

I was thinking about this recently as a couple of people on a forum I've gone on a bit revealed that they have had significant problems with their kids (self mutilation for one and clinical depression for another). You just have to say "there but for the grace of ____ (luck) go I." I wouldn't stop being happy inside that my kids are pretty fantastic but Canadians in general are pretty self effacing.

I don't think I feel that "excitement" anymore. Sometimes, unfortunately, wherever I go or whatever I do, there I am. ;-)

Robert @RetirementMedia

Well this is true,that you get a little gun shy (as we say down south) to just telling people you are retired. They always turn and put themselves into it by saying that they cannot retire anytime soon, maybe never. You never show how happy you are to be retired.... it is almost like gloating. Well it shouldn't be because we worked hard, some of us over 35 years. You put a positive spin on this and that is probably the best way to look at it.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

My Photo

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Widgets

    • Boomers  Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory