I guess I’m getting boring. When I was working, Doug and I went out for dinner just about every weekend, sometimes during the week too. I looked forward to those evenings. I’d come home, change into something less business-y, and we’d head out for a nice dinner and perhaps, a martini.
But since I’ve been retired, we’ve cancelled more dinner reservations than we’ve kept. In the winter, we might make a fire, open a bottle of wine, and then wonder why ever we thought we’d want to leave the comfort of our own home. If we can’t throw dinner together out of something in the fridge, we’ll order a pizza. We do that a lot.
In the summer, we might go for a late bike ride and then we’re too tired to make our dinner reservation, so we order a pizza again. (We live in suburbia, pizza is our only delivery restaurant. Oh how I miss San Francisco.)
I guess an extravagant evening out isn’t as important to me as it was when I was working full-time, and the proof is in the budget. We just closed the books on our third year of retirement. The first year of retirement we lived on 50% of our pre-retirement income. I figured it would go up for inflation the next year but it went down. Again, I increased the budget for projected inflation and this year it went down again.
Almost every area I budgeted for went down, not up, but dining out went down the most. I love food, I love dining out, so this is a total shocker to me. But there it is, the proof that I’ve gotten boring.
Happiness is Cheaper in Retirement
Spare Some Change for a Retiree?
This is a post from Retirement: A Full-Time Job
If that picture is your patio I'm not sure I'd leave home very often, either. We go out to dinner or lunch about once a week and it is a special treat.
Posted by: Satisfyingretirement | March 09, 2011 at 06:52 AM
We have a standing "Friday Nite Take-out" regularly scheduled with some nearby/close friends (depending, of course, on personal schedules).
Sometimes it's just us and another couple, sometimes we have as many as 12 . We rotate houses (hosts provide simple dessert - usually fruit or some not-too-sweet/nor too expensive pastry), and try to keep the per capita expense at $7 or $8 (though we occasionally splurge and get Indian or Thais take-out). Depending on where we order the food (be it Mexican or pizza or salads or sandwiches), someone volunteers to pick up. All casually planned via emails on Friday afternoon.
Casual evenings with delightful friends around uncomplicated non-fixin's (though one friend is the only one who can fearlessly order the Indian foods). All MUCH more fulfilling than some fancy party or some expensive dining out.
Retirement smarts, I figure.
Posted by: Banjo Steve | March 09, 2011 at 07:34 AM
Love this post. We do one step better. We make our own pizza. At home. Where else?
Posted by: morrison | March 09, 2011 at 08:09 AM
@Bob: So that is our patio, complete with Pizza oven (although not so much used in the winter.)
@Morrison: But pizza is never a last minute homemade meal for us, Doug makes the dough the day before, so can't really be a "throw together from the fridge" type dinner. That one takes some foresight.
@Banjo Steve: I love that idea--wish I had some Friday night regulars, where do you live?
Posted by: Retired Syd | March 09, 2011 at 08:19 AM
@Morrison: P.S. I see your post today--I'll have to find that dough and see if it holds up to Doug's. Would be nice in a pinch to have it on hand!
Posted by: Retired Syd | March 09, 2011 at 09:15 AM
In the western suburbs of Philly, PA. Pretty much right in the Center of the Universe. :-)
Believe me, we "regulars" don't take each other for granted. It's all part of the network mode of retirement (though many of our gang still work regular hours). It ties in with one of my favorite phrases: "Sometimes you have to create what you want to be a part of."
Posted by: Banjo Steve | March 09, 2011 at 09:44 AM
if that's your back yard all i can say is valhalla! if doug is making his own pizza dough and making brick oven pizza then i think he needs to get a retirement blog so i can check it every day:)
Posted by: fred doe | March 09, 2011 at 12:43 PM
What a great patio you have! Very peaceful, so no wonder you like to be home.
My husband and I, into our 2nd year of "accidental retirement," are finding that we, too, are happier to eat just something at home instead of going out.
Dorothy was right: there really IS "no place like home."
We found out last summer that if we sit in our front yard with some wine and a couple of extra chairs, eventually our (still-working) neighbors will drift over, from up and down our little suburban street, and hang out with us, bringing their own wine, munchies, and good company. Some will even bring their own chairs!
Last month, during our spate of great weather, we had the inaugural session for 2011; today, as I see my new 20-something neighbor working in his yard, I comment on his planting. He says he is getting ready for the 'block parties.' I thank him for getting the neighborhood started on spring.
We all look forward to better Bay Area weather and good neighborly companionship very soon!
Posted by: Kathy G | March 09, 2011 at 05:33 PM
@Kathy: I love that idea of sitting out front waiting for the neighbors to drift over--there's an example of creating what you want to be part of!
Posted by: Retired Syd | March 11, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Nice yard Syd! I agree with the previous commenters, I wouldn't leave home either :)
Posted by: Bridget | March 12, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Maybe you've gotten boring but I don't think it comes from not eating out. No imagination required to drive to a restaurant, order and pay. Dining alfresco in a beautiful yard looks wonderful from here. Maybe you could be more imaginative and cook something - only if you enjoy it but there are dishes you can prepare ahead and serve in a flash when you are ready.
Posted by: [email protected] Lifestyle | March 30, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Hmm, surely there will be other ways to get out of those "boring" moments. Pizza is really delicious, yes. However, you can still find a replacement food for that. Why not try eating fresh veggies? It's good for the body too! Preparing salads would be fun! :D
Posted by: Frank Damon | July 22, 2011 at 01:42 PM
Yep....staying home is the best!....That's why we love it when you come to our house!!!
Posted by: Sara | March 09, 2012 at 02:33 PM