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#298214 - 01/18/17 10:48 PM Retired ? Is it what you thought it would be?
Jim D (FreeThinker) Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/15/04
Posts: 3242
Loc: Rafting on Phelgathon
For us old farts here is a question.

Is your retirement everything that you thought it would be?

So far, for me it has exceeded my expectations. I am sure some of that is not having to work for or answer to someone else anymore (except for my wife.)

Even with the unpleasant winter weather I am able to keep busy and not feel like I should be doing something, anything.

My days are as full as I want them right now, and, starting at the end of January I will be starting some volunteer work for the Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland.

So, do manage to keep busy and do you have regrets about your retirement?

If not do have any advice for people considering retirement, early or otherwise?
_________________________
Jim

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

--Mahatma Gandhi

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#298226 - 01/19/17 04:03 PM Re: Retired ? Is it what you thought it would be? [Re: Jim D (FreeThinker)]
Jim D (FreeThinker) Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/15/04
Posts: 3242
Loc: Rafting on Phelgathon
I have two pieces of advice for anyone contemplating retirement:

1. Have a plan on how you will spend your time because you will have a lot of it.

2. Maintain some structure to your day.
_________________________
Jim

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

--Mahatma Gandhi

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#298228 - 01/19/17 05:58 PM Re: Retired ? Is it what you thought it would be? [Re: Jim D (FreeThinker)]
Phil Hoskins Offline
Administrator
Bionic Scribe

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 21134
Loc: West Hollywood, CA
Because of choices made early on my retirement plan is to keep my law practice going.
_________________________
Life is a banquet -- and most poor suckers are starving to death -- Auntie Mame
You are born naked and everything else is drag - RuPaul

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#298229 - 01/19/17 07:35 PM Re: Retired ? Is it what you thought it would be? [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Jim D (FreeThinker) Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/15/04
Posts: 3242
Loc: Rafting on Phelgathon
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Because of choices made early on my retirement plan is to keep my law practice going.


If you enjoy what you are doing, great.
_________________________
Jim

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

--Mahatma Gandhi

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#313244 - 08/07/19 02:48 PM Re: Retired ? Is it what you thought it would be? [Re: Jim D (FreeThinker)]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 17110
This thread had become moribund, but seemed like the right place for me to interject some experience. Some of you have heard this story before (a retiree's lament), but bear with me. My wife was forced to medically retire at 55, after a botched (in my view) procedure left her with a permanent tracheostomy. I was, at the time, in an Army civilian position that unexpectedly came to an end for budgetary reasons. I then finished my military career with a new Active Duty assignment, retiring at only 53. I spent about a year contemplating "new" career paths, including studying to become a financial planner. That experience, however, literally taught me that I didn't need to work anymore. So, living off savings and investments (until my military retirement kicked in), I joined my wife in "retirement".

Shortly after retirement, after paying off the mortgage, we bought a small RV, a Travato. In the nearly 5 years since we have put over 60,000 miles on it, which, for those who know RVs, is a LOT. We've covered most Western States, and the "Northern Tier" West of the Mississippi. So, travel being one of my passions, that itch is being scratched. We also visit Disney at least twice a year, taking friends or family whenever we can, and have a timeshare we visit once a quarter.

I have given up being my own landscape and house maintainer, now hiring those services from others (it is time for a new roof, new fence, and new "lawn guy" - I had to fire the last one, sadly). It's more expensive, but it saves me from falling from roofs and being laid up from overexertion. For a time I drove a truck for a friend who was starting a new company (now defunct, he wouldn't take my advice).

My wife is after me to "downsize" (I think we are just right-sized) and wants to move to a "retirement community" like her (older) sister is contemplating. We've visited some, and while they have some advantages (activities, food, limited medical support), the average age is literally two decades older than me. I told my wife they'll refer to us as "the kids" for at least a decade. The rent for a unit 1/3d the size of our house is three times our current monthly expenses - and that doesn't include that vaunted medical support. Thank you, NO!

But, truthfully, I have entered a doldrums of sorts - I've ridden my motorcycle a total of once in the last two years, and that was to a car show - and my circle of friends is shrinking. I read a lot, chat/post on the internet, and visit friends whenever I can. We just joined the community "Senior Activity Center", but have yet to attend any activities - that may help.

Anyway, that's my story, I'm sticking to it, and I hope this reanimates the thread. You may now outdo me, ridicule me, sympathize, or suggest alternative lifestyles. I'm open to suggestion.

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#313247 - 08/07/19 04:09 PM Re: Retired ? Is it what you thought it would be? [Re: Jim D (FreeThinker)]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline

It's the Despair Quotient!
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 14327
Loc: Whittier, California
Jon, since you've now let the cat out of the bag re Disney visits, next time you go see The Mouse, you are required to allow us to take you guys out to lunch or dinner, because we are only about ten miles from Disneyland.
I'd say "breakfast" was an alternate choice except Karen does not wake up till around eleven.

"I raised my two kids, up at 5 AM every weekday, I am done with early rising"

Only thing that gets her up early is a VA appointment!

Anyway, Karen and I are feeding you two next time you get down here.
_________________________
The only people pushing the Athenian Straw Man Nonexistent Threat of Slippery Slope Windyfoggery (ASMNSSW) RE DEMOCRACY are people who have a misunderstanding/problem or hatred of democracy. (See AUTHORITARIANS)

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#313250 - 08/07/19 07:24 PM Re: Retired ? Is it what you thought it would be? [Re: Jeffery J. Haas]
Greger Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 15493
Loc: Florida
Nah, Jeff, he comes down here to Florida! The real Disney.

And he never comes to visit me so don't get your hopes up.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."ó Oscar Wilde

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#313251 - 08/07/19 08:53 PM Re: Retired ? Is it what you thought it would be? [Re: Greger]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 9466
Loc: One of the Mexicos
Originally Posted By: Greger
And he never comes to visit me so don't get your hopes up.

60,000 miles and he never came to see where Billy the Kid grew up, and the town where Ol' Dan Tucker was Sheriff? And America's first wilderness, and where Aldo Leopold saw the Green Fire fade from the wolf's eyes? And the birthplace of The Trollworks, from whence deliverance from Global Warming shall spring forth?

He may be senile...
_________________________
You canít solve a problem without first understanding what the problem is.

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#313253 - 08/07/19 09:20 PM Re: Retired ? Is it what you thought it would be? [Re: NW Ponderer]
Greger Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 15493
Loc: Florida
You retired better than me. I was in construction, a carpentry contractor. At the end, specifically a stairbuilder. I built houses for 35 years. Mostly upscale stuff, this is the Disney area and has consistently been one of the fastest growing areas in the state. Lotta money and a lotta jobs here.

The end was 2008 when the housing market crashed. The month I voted for Obama I couldn't make the rent on my shop, a 5000 sq ft unit in an industrial park, full of lumber and machinery. The employees helped me move everything out and we locked the doors. I was 55. Since I was an employee of my corporation I was able to collect unemployment. When that ran out there was nothing but food stamps. I found a few side jobs but no one had any money to get repairs done and certainly none to build anything new.

Sort of forced into semi-retirement/unemployed.

I was broke, in debt, eating white bread and vienna sausages. There was no work and I sat right here at this desk and went slowly mad. Suicidal depression is not a happy place but I went there anyway. My ex had me committed to a mental institution. You learn things about people in the psychiatric ward, things you never wanted to know.
After a few weeks there they let me come home with some pretty awesome drugs. There were social worker visits and counseling required.

All the while my physical health is going downhill faster than my mental health. I had problems with my legs. They just weren't working right. Doctors ran tests and found nothing. Blood tests on the psych ward showed I was diabetic, there was something wrong with my liver, and a childhood epilepsy thing came back in the form of dizzy spells.

Now...It aint like I didn't see all this coming, divination was my hobby even then. Before we closed the doors of Absolute Hardwood Stairs Inc. I had filed for disablity, figured I'd get ahead of the rush. Eventually I landed a job washing dishes and doing prep work in a Thai restaurant. Made about $100 a week and only if the owner had it to spare. Maybe $30 if it was a bad week. Times were hard.

One night I came home from work and there was a car in my driveway. My former housekeeper and her 15 year old daughter. Homeless, needed a place to stay. Eventually she abandoned the daughter and went somewhere out of state.
So on top of everything else I had a teenager to raise.

I was 58 when the disability claim finally went through. I quit the restaurant and retired with nothing but a somewhat meager Social Security check. But compared to the way I'd been living it was like manna from heaven. And it came with Medicare!

I've got a nice house, it's paid for. Bankruptcy dissolved all my debts. My car's paid for. I get $1240.00 dollars a month and it's plenty, I'm even able to set a little aside for emergencies and have a couple thousand in savings. In a pinch my ex would help me out if I needed it but mostly I don't. The kid is 25 now and just moved to Maine to marry her girlfriend. It was a sad parting but I'm happy for her. I'm an empty nester now and finally I can walk around the house in my boxers!

I am absolutely loving retirmenent. I was built for this! It's like being a teenager again! Freedom without responsibilities. I can sit on my ass all day long, drink coffee, smoke weed, and eat marvelous food because I'm one of the "amateur chefs" who bakes his own bread and makes everything from scratch. I'm pretty crippled up now and can only be on my feet for a couple hours a day, I can't really go anywhere or do anything, the risk of falling is too great and I refuse to get in a wheelchair. But I don't especially want to go anywhere or do anything. I love it right here with the dog at my feet and the chickens clucking out back, an occasional rooster crowing or the rabbit banging on the door wanting to go in or out.

I have found peace. I'm content and happy.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."ó Oscar Wilde

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#313256 - 08/07/19 10:36 PM Re: Retired ? Is it what you thought it would be? [Re: Jim D (FreeThinker)]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline

It's the Despair Quotient!
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 14327
Loc: Whittier, California
I have no one to blame for my "retirement" except myself.
But it is not quite so terrible, it's just not what I envisioned.
I was hoping/expecting to keep being able to do my job well into my seventies.

For a few brief years in the 1980's/90's I was making almost three thousand a week as a unionized film editor. During especially busy weeks where I was getting outside work I sometimes pulled down as much as five or even six thousand a week, but stupidly I chose to get most of that in cash more often than not, when doing it above board would have helped my Social Security.
The 1989 Leon Russell VHS was selling like crazy, but again I put that in my pocket or sunk it directly into more gear.
Sloppy financials, I didn't bother with expensing stuff properly.

At least my above board union work and above board production gigs filled the gap. Then the union gigs fizzled away into nothing thanks to the rise of cable and satellite. I didn't have enough credits on the experience roster and eventually returned to doing my own work, a lot of music videos and steady VHS duplication jobs. It wasn't three grand a week but it was more than enough.
I put a lot of it up my nose, there's the really stupid part.
That all ended 25 years ago, but I wasted a lot of money.
What I didn't party away I invested in even more equipment, a LOT of equipment.

The 1994 Northridge Quake wiped me out and I fell back on IT work as a substitute. I lost even more money, thanks to Chuck Quackenbush's sleazy backroom deal with the insurance companies.
I got two cents on the dollar for an almost 300 thousand dollar loss.
Most of that equipment was damaged and now worthless.

Finally after leaving L.A. and moving in with Karen (Texas) I started to reinvent as a digital video guy and got back into production and editing again around 2002.
The 2005 Leon Russell re-release on DVD became a steady revenue source once again.

We moved back to SoCal with the idea that I would resurrect a lot of old production connections and it worked for a little while but my health began to sag, specifically my eyesight and hearing. There isn't much market for half-blind/half deaf directors of photography with bad knees and diabetes, so by around age 58 or 59 work started to slowly fizzle away.
My last "real" professional production shooting gig was back in 2016.



At least the Leon show was still selling steadily.
Meanwhile with what I inherited from my mother my brothers and I invested in real estate, so...another small but steady revenue stream.

So together between selling my little DVD and getting income from real estate I have a couple/sometimes a few thousand a month coming in. Together with Karen's VA pension it is enough.
I doubt I will get the full SS amount but I guess it will be a few hundred or maybe as much as a thousand but that's still a couple of years away.

Eventually as we all age and if the market goes well, us three brothers will liquidate our real estate and reinvest in something else.

In retrospect, staying in Texas and investing in a home in Texas was also a mistake. We barely got above water after the 2008 debacle and didn't make very much on selling our starter home down there, whereas had I insisted on bringing Karen and the kids out here in the 90's we might have purchased a home here when it wasn't quite yet outrageous, and by now we would almost have a paid off home worth plenty more.

But the house we have now has appreciated quite a bit so if the day comes where we downsize, we will definitely make a decent chunk on the sale. To be honest though, I wouldn't mind just staying here in this house till the end. It is fully handicap accessible.
Let the kids profit off the sale.

I don't know if the Leon show will continue to be a revenue stream for long, that stuff is hard to quantify. If a generation "rediscovers the old stuff" it may enjoy a big revival and I want my kids to understand how to leverage that for their own edification, but it is difficult to help them understand. He's some old guy with long white hair who plays music they don't relate to at the moment, and the whole thing with the technical aspects leaves them mouth agape. In a few years DVD's will be obsolete so if they sell the product it will probably be a download.
My customers are all pretty old so most of them don't understand digital downloads. Many of them are confused by DVD's and Blu-Ray is a mystery to them.
I've had hundreds of old farts asking me to re-release on VHS over the years, it's hilarious.

All in all though, I consider myself lucky, but I would much rather still be an old fart with a really nice camera and eagle eye for instant focus.
_________________________
The only people pushing the Athenian Straw Man Nonexistent Threat of Slippery Slope Windyfoggery (ASMNSSW) RE DEMOCRACY are people who have a misunderstanding/problem or hatred of democracy. (See AUTHORITARIANS)

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