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February 25, 2013


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Retired Syd

Sven: Scared is a normal response. I think it's when the other emotions (like being miserable at work or really yearning to do other things) gets bigger than the fear, then you know you're ready.


'nuff said.

Syd, I look forward to reading your future posts and I am grateful for your excellent writing and keen observations on the "retired life".


First of all I love your blog because it doesn't judge people and it acknowledges that we're all very different.

I have had the good fortune to have the means to le to retire and am so looking forward to it. But I am amazed by people that have the means to but really don't want to retire. I've run in to a lot of these people lately - some very wealthy successful people who just love what they do and cant wait to do more of it.

I may have picked the wrong career - I was a tax attorney, cpa, etc. But I never felt like it was my calling and I really don't think I'll miss it one bit when I leave. Luckily it provided a decent living and as a single (relatively frugal) person I don't need to work any more. I keep trying to quit but keep being talked into just a little more. My friends make fun of me and offer to come to work with me to help me to quit once and for all.

I've cut back significantly and am doing work I like much better now - but am looking foward to the days of getting up, having coffee and reading a book. I know they will be here soon and in the meantime going to this job has gotten a lot easier - other than the sometimes not so nice comments from co-workers. I assume they're a little jealous - and I don't blame them - I did my 14 hour days and they're no fun.

Keep up the good (un)work and thank you!

Thanks again for your openness. I can so relate to your feelings about retirement. It gives me so much more excitement than anything at work does or could.


It's a shame that some people have become so ravenously aggressive when it comes to politics - especially to defend either current political party. This is not a political blog but there are people that can't seem to see or read anything without being outraged from a political standpoint. It seems to infect every part of their daily life - to their detrement. I'm not suggesting not being involved or not voting. I recently changed to Independent because of my dissatisfaction with both parties. I will continue to vote my conscious and then go on with my life attempting to be the best happiest person I can be. Don't let politics ruin your day - or your life! It's not worth it.

Retired Syd

Dave: Your story reminds me of an old "Friends" episode where Chandler wants to quit his gym but keeps being talked out of it each time he tries. Then Ross goes with him to help him and then instead of Chandler quitting, Ross joins too. But that's ok, you're just easing into it, right?

Sven: Maybe Dave is on to something, maybe if you eased into it you could conquer that fear!

Retired Syd

Dave: Excellent advice, one of those accept the things you cannot control tidbits. Works for me too!


Not to change the subject but what gets me out of bed in the morning is Fit Camp. LOL

Retired Syd

Leslie: Yes, PLEASE, change the subject!


I can relate that I loved my job until I didn't love my job. Everyone has that tipping point where it's just enough already and I'll make do with what I have. Some never hit that point, others hit it sooner doing whatever they can to make their "number" work. What gets me up in the morning? That I can do anything I want to do other than work!


Whew! I'm glad that's over. It was exhausting to read.

I haven't used an alarm clock in years, and still wake up around 7:00 a.m. to start my day. As consciousness returns to a well-rested, stress free body my mind explores what I will do for the next twelve or so hours. Sometimes I have an early tennis match across town to hurry to, and sometimes I just linger in my PJ's over on-line news or interesting blogs (like this one) while drinking my coffee until it's time to get to a committee meeting or have lunch with a friend or take a bike ride with hubby.

The point is, it's entirely up to me. That's what gets me up in the morning. Knowing that I get to make all the decisions for my life regardless of outside influences.

I liked your line Syd "it's all noise." Isn't it really! Now, off to Zumba!

Banjo Steve

One of the things I enjoy about waking up in the morning is the opportunity to plan my day, prioritizing things of the few "gotta-do" " with "wanna-do" and "might-do". Pre-retirement, the overwhelming amount of "gotta-do" stuff would make me want to stay in bed. Plus, the opportunity to lounge in bed simply contemplating the day is just glorious.

As for the political stuff here, I find demonizing ANYONE to be a truly toxic venture, full of bile, a waste of time, and quite a distance from what is the actual reality. But fear and hate have always been easy, stirring cards to play with.

Hopefully not too naive, agree or not, I try to understand different points of view. My friends run the whole political gamut but what is common among us is our willingness to maintain an attitude of respect and appreciation for each other in the midst of our disagreements. And as a bluegrass musician, I sure do find vastly different points of view around me. :)


Having the time and interest to study the merits of ALL political points of view is a boon of my retirement. I try to keep an open mind, adopt some ideas / dismiss others, and gently try to challenge the prejudices of those who parrot the cable news channels.

Unfortunately, a challenge to a FOX viewer brands me a bleeding heart liberal and a challenge to an MSNBC viewer brands me a brown shirted facist. Rational, thought provoking give-and-takes are rare. Rants are common, tend to be loud, and have become very boring.


Yes, I think that if I was doing something that was more of a self-employed nature like a lawyer, it wouldn't bother me. It's this expecting you to be there even though there's nothing to really do - or nothing interesting to do - that bothers me. I've started an experiment where I take time off when I deem that there's nothing for me to do. As a consultant, I can get away with that and just bill less hours. That's why I stepped down from being a manager to being an "individual contributor". Companies expect managers to be around all the time and that doesn't work for me. If it doesn't work for them for me to be there only when it's busy, they can find some other huckleberry.
I've felt remarkably happier at work since implementing this - moving to where I can see the sun rise every day may have something to do with this. :-)
I also endorse the movement of weighing every day. Dollars to doughnuts (no pun intended) - when I stop weighing, it's a sign that something's going up - and I don't mean the stock market.

Retired Syd

Steve, Suzanne, and Banjo Steve: Love your answers and so had to write a whole post to respond. Banjo Steve, I never really thought about it, but I do that too, think about the gotta-do, wanna-do, and might do. (I also tell myself what day it is before I get out of bed--a good test for the retiree.) The best days are ones like today where I say, "Today is Wednesday, and I have absolutely nothing on the books!"

Jacq: I think that's why I liked my little part-time gig so much. Most of the time I didn't really have to go in even if there was something I had to do. I just went in when I felt like a little human companionship. If I didn't feel like it, I just worked from home. Good for you on your plan, there is a certain freedom that comes with not really needing the job, isn't there?


My alarm still goes off every morning at 4:50 am. I drag myself out of bed and make my husband's breakfast and pack his lunch while he showers and dresses. We have breakfast together and he leaves for work at 5:45. It's our favorite time of day. Once he leaves, I turn off all the lights and head straight back to bed. Sometimes I sleep (usually very heavily) for an hour, today it was three! Sheer bliss!
He loves his job and can retire with full benefits in seven years. I love being "retired" and am enjoying this period of adjustment to retired life. Great to know I'm not alone in taking a while to find my way in this wonderful new world. Thanks, Syd!

Retired Syd

Diane: Wow, you are a much nicer wife than I am. It's still dark at 4:50 am for heaven's sake! He's lucky to have you indeed.


Well, it's all new and exciting to me. Besides, he's the one who gave me the final push into retirement. Without his healthcare benefits, I would have been afraid to pull the plug, no matter how much I had saved. Happily though, that benefit is way down on the very long list of his good qualities!

P.S. Our new house is three blocks from his work. The plan is to add walking to work together (along with the dogs) at 5:45. We'll see how that works out. At least it will be lighter in the morning by the time we move in.

Retired Syd

Diane: Oh, well now that you point out dogs are in the picture, I fully support your early rising for that family walk!


It was unexpected but during my career I was the antithesis of a "morning person": I would generally get to work at 11 AM or so and work until 7 or 8 PM (which meant bicycling in the dark most of the year. But after I retired I gradually became a morning person. Some, perhaps, is just sleeping less as I get older. But it occurs to me that just being able to look forward to a day doing what I want rather than what I must is a big part of it. My father was always a morning person and it surprised me to have become one as well.

I do set the alarm clock once a week because my carpool partner for my volunteer job works ten hour days so I have to get up at 6:25 AM, which is a bit early for me, although I am usually awake before it goes off.

As for the morning need to pee, well, it gets worse and I think you will find you make multiple trips to the bathroom at night as you get older! IME...

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