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March 15, 2009


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In my case, work was so interesting that I partly left before I became a "lifer." Even in that job, some boredom was inevitable.

But that applies to all parts of life. Brushing our teeth daily is quite possibly boring, but it's got to be done.

As you rightly point out, any boredom in retirement beyond the minimum required is not excusable.

Whatever may be the fears of those who are considering retirement, boredom should not be one of those fears.


Canadian Money

I have been retired going on 5 years now. I left at age 55. I am honestly less bored now than when I was working in a job that others would have admired. Great pay and benefits. Some jaws literally dropped when I told them I was walking away from that job.

The key is to follow one's passion. For me, at this time, its forecasting the stock market, doing some art, and spending as much time enjoying nature as I can when the weather cooperates.

I guess one needs to know themselves. I have been lucky I guess.


Retired Syd

@Ram: You bring up an interesting point. It seems MANY people are concerned with boredom before they actually retire, but I have yet to meet someone that is retired that says boredom is a real issue. (Maybe some bored retirees will chime in here.)

@CM: That is the key, I think, knowing yourself. I've always considered myself to be someone that knows myself pretty well, and yet, the first year of retirement surprised me a bit in what I learned about myself. Sometimes, you get so wound up in the work persona that it's a little hard to separate that out until you stop working and let go of that.

Alice Patterson

My husband and I have been retired since June 1. I taught for 27 years, and my husband for 34 years. We have a 13 year old (can you say SURPRISE?) with Williams Syndrome. I am only 55 years old. We have kept pretty busy, but there still is time for boredom. Especially when there was bad weather and you were stuck inside. However, we got a Kindle (LOVE IT), read, do sudoku and crosswords, blog, get on the computer, play cards, etc.

I love being retired!!!!!!!

Chad @ Sentient Money

This is because the majority of people have lazy minds. They can't think for themselves and require others to provide a purpose in their lives. Of course, how anyone could describe themselves as fulfilling their purpose by working 70-80% of the jobs that exist is beyond me.

If you take it to the extreme it's one of the reasons atrocities are allowed to happen.


I am not old enough to retire but I was unemployed for a year. It was absolutely fantastic. I wrote, I did volunteer work, I did political activism, I had a life. Then near the end of the year, I can't believe it, but I got restless. Maybe even bored. I never thought that would happen, but it did. My conclusion was that I didn't have enough people around. Everyone else was working.

Retired Syd

Rhea, I think there's something to that. I think if my husband weren't retired with me, I would struggle with boredom more. The truth is, I don't really need much in the way of social interaction to prevent boredom, I enjoy many do-alone activities. But I feel like having a companion along for a hike or like playing tennis or going out to lunch, it's great to have at least one non-working friend at my disposal to fill that role.

The other thing I am finding, which your comment reveals and I may have to write more about soon, is that I'm seeing that each year of retirement is going to have to be different than the last one to keep what I'll call "forward-movement." I think that restlessness is a symptom that you need something new, a new hobby, passion, or general direction. The restlessness is from getting kind of stuck--we all need to feel like we're growing, changing, evolving, even if we're no longer doing that within a work environment.

Thanks so much for your thought-provoking comment!

Alexander Stone

Hi, Syd...

I just had to let you know I think your blog is absolutely amazing. I've been prowling around it for weeks now, and I keep encountering terrific eye-openers for me. Not just informative -- super illuminating. And your attitude is inspiring.

Keep it up!


Retired Syd

Alex: Well now, that's a lovely comment to wake up to! Thank you.

Patricia S 'Alberta

I'll be 65 in January; I've been with the same company for 24 years and still LOVE my job (I'm working 4 days a week for last two years - - aka 'retirement mode'). I'm in excellent health but some days I'm tired .... a different tired . . . is it because I'm 5 years away from 70?!?!? I'm thinking it's time to throw in the towel . . . . . (Feb. 28 2013). (Patricia Alberta)

Retired Syd

Patricia: Wow, I don't know, if you love your job with all CAPS, it's hard for me to argue that you should throw in the towel. You are very lucky to have a job you love. Maybe what you need is just a nice long vacation?

Nick Minton

Iam still bored nothing posted seems good to me,but then again ive only been retired 2mos. Bored at work now bored at home.


My husband and I are both retired. The difference is, he has a hobby! I do not. It's winter in New England and I hate the cold. Yes, I'm bored. My working years (33) were in a health care setting and I have gone back there to volunteer, but that's just one day a week. For my next idea I plan to join the local Bone Builders organization and that will be for an hour, a couple times a week. I'm so looking forward to spring, for the yard work and gardening. Hopefully my mood will improve with time!


researching prospective retirement - my understanding is before retirement most people cannot imagine being bored (grass is greener effect) - first year tends to be honeymoon phase - finally I'm free to do what I want! - second year tends to be uncertainty - gee I'm not sure what to do with all this free time

and of course, if you've been a type-A workaholic, then suddenly leaving may soon find you climbing the walls at home - the cafe near me is run by a Mercedes-driving couple - he retired with enough money but I think his wife was going to kill him - now they work 7-4am 7 days a week at their little cafe - keeps them busy - I guess they have no internal/intellectual life ...

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