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Retirement Depression

  • Thread starter Alexander Ypsilantis
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A

Alexander Ypsilantis

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I've been working or going to school-and often both-since I was 14 years old. I'm going to be 67 next week and I'm going to retire soon. I really have to, my eyes are not so good anymore and reading the laptop is getting more challenging. And I don't have the energy to keep up the pace anymore, it's physically becoming detrimental to my health.

But I have to confess, the idea of walking away from the workplace is scary for me. The virtual associations (online meetings, talking to folks, etc.) I have through work are my only real opportunity to interact with people anymore, outside of seeing my wife every other day (we're married but live separately). And retirement seems like closing a door on a major and long-lasting part of your life. As I noted, I've been working or studying and often both for 53 years. How do you downshift from that?

Those of you who are no longer working because of retirement or other reasons-how do you deal with the feeling of isolation and loneliness? I can see the first few weeks or a couple of months catching up on sleep and doing projects around the home-but then what? What happens when you face that one morning when you're laying in bed and you realize it really doesn't matter if you get up or pass away laying there? How do you deal with the depression of retirement?
 
Siegfried

Siegfried

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I cannot in any way relate to your experience or issue so take anything I may say with a significant grain of salt.

That being said, what exactly prevents you from filling your life with something else? it seems the money side is covered, so now don't you have the freedom to pursue anything you want?

Well, within reason and the limitations of your situation, but just because there's not a contract involved doesn't mean your only other alternative is to sit around watching paint dry.

You work to live, not live to work, now you get to live and decided in what you want to spend your time on. Perhaps once the pandemic dies down more take on some charity work, it seems like a great way to keep in touch with others and there's not a single place in the world lacking in the need for charity.

Or just... About any other hobby or activity imaginable. The world is just oyster, isn't this why you worked all those decades? so you could now enjoy doing whatever it is you'd like?
 
Keesha

Keesha

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Okay I have to agree with Siegfried. You work to live not live to work. Now you have all the time in the world to do what you want but men often have a difficult time retiring. For men, their entire life depends on working. Working makes life purposeful to men so you have to find something to work at.

My father and my husbands father had a difficult time retiring so I wasn’t sure how my husband would do and the thought actually scared me a bit. He wasn’t planning on retiring this year but when Covid hit the area where he worked I talked him into taking early retirement, selling our house and moving so we did.

He always wanted his own boat to go fishing in, a separate garage for all his woodworking tools 🧰 and a nice house overlooking the ocean and that’s what we got.

Of course you don’t have to move but you might want to think about what you’d like to do. Do you like fishing? Do you like to travel? Do you like woodworking or tinkering on cars? What about painting?
Some get into building model ships or airplanes. Some men start gardening or learn the art of fine dining. What about writing or even photography. Start taking pictures of the places you go traveling to.

Like Siegfried stated; the sky is the limit. You can go anywhere and do anything and for the record, my guy is having the time of his life. He’s never caught so many fish before or had so much fun. We go out boating together, kayaking sometimes, we go exploring to find new places to walk our dogs, he’s starting up a small woodworking business to sell his stuff which he was doing before but didn’t have the time. Now he has all the time in the world and enjoys it.

Maybe you need to start thinking outside the box some. What things sparked your interest before you retired? Were there things you wanted to do but didn’t have the time for it? Now you’ve got all the time in the world.

Happy Birthday again.
 
S

SadRainbow

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Not quite the same but I'm in a similar position. I haven't been in paid employment since my mid twenties and I'm 40 now. The past four years I've been very occupied caring for my young daughter. Now she's started school I feel a bit lost - I don't really know what to do with myself. My main goal is to improve my mental health but I think I need a bit more purpose for that. I've been getting on with some practical tasks - having a clear-out and taking things to the charity shop. Today I'm going to do some gardening. I have various art projects to finish too. I'm not enjoying them but I'm glad I'm getting things done. I've been looking for voluntary work and catching up with the few friends I have.

Do you have any hobbies or something new you would be willing to try? If you found something that involved interacting with others that would probably be beneficial. Years ago I would have been quite content mostly pottering about at home but right now I think I need to get out there and make some connections.

When I'm older and my daughter doesn't need me so much I hope to do some travelling, even if it's just around this country.
 
A

Alexander Ypsilantis

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As SadRainbow noted, maybe it's an age thing? When I was younger like in my 20's and 30's I would have had no problem keeping busy outside of work. I had tons of interests and energy and just needed more time to follow up on them. The job seemed like an inconvenience to all the things I wanted to do, but I had to work to make an income. So, I understand what you younger folks are saying, you can't comprehend my concerns.

But, when you've been working all your adult life, when your whole world is built around going to work every morning and the associations of the work place-combined with the fact that so many of your friends and family members have passed over the years-ending work can be a scary thought. I know that seems incredible to you-it would have seemed incredible to me when I was younger.

When you are in HS your thoughts look forward to college. When you're in college your thoughts look forward to graduation and career. When you're in your career your thoughts look forward to eventual retirement. When you're retired it seems all you have in your future is declining health and that tombstone at the end of the line. Having free time when you're younger is much different than having free time when you're older and retired-the outlook is much different.

It must be a common issue, because I've known more than a few people who retired and got quite depressed. That is my concern-I'll retire and discover that life without the daily grind is empty and unfulfilling. At the same time, your health and body eventually give-out and you can't keep up with the daily grind anymore. As hard as it is for some of you to believe, these are real and difficult concerns to older folks. We want a reason to get up in the morning after the work life has ended. And COVID isn't helping things, by cutting off access to clubs, social groups, athletic and cultural events and our interaction with each other. It's easy to say, 'Join some clubs.'. But who can do that now? These are difficult times for everyone.
 
R

rawlinsc

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I plan to tutor when i retire from full time teaching.
 
MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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I cannot in any way relate to your experience or issue so take anything I may say with a significant grain of salt.

That being said, what exactly prevents you from filling your life with something else? it seems the money side is covered, so now don't you have the freedom to pursue anything you want?

Well, within reason and the limitations of your situation, but just because there's not a contract involved doesn't mean your only other alternative is to sit around watching paint dry.

You work to live, not live to work, now you get to live and decided in what you want to spend your time on. Perhaps once the pandemic dies down more take on some charity work, it seems like a great way to keep in touch with others and there's not a single place in the world lacking in the need for charity.

Or just... About any other hobby or activity imaginable. The world is just oyster, isn't this why you worked all those decades? so you could now enjoy doing whatever it is you'd like?
"Perhaps once the pandemic dies down..."

Maybe not the best choice of words... :D
 
MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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I've been working or going to school-and often both-since I was 14 years old. I'm going to be 67 next week and I'm going to retire soon. I really have to, my eyes are not so good anymore and reading the laptop is getting more challenging. And I don't have the energy to keep up the pace anymore, it's physically becoming detrimental to my health.

But I have to confess, the idea of walking away from the workplace is scary for me. The virtual associations (online meetings, talking to folks, etc.) I have through work are my only real opportunity to interact with people anymore, outside of seeing my wife every other day (we're married but live separately). And retirement seems like closing a door on a major and long-lasting part of your life. As I noted, I've been working or studying and often both for 53 years. How do you downshift from that?

Those of you who are no longer working because of retirement or other reasons-how do you deal with the feeling of isolation and loneliness? I can see the first few weeks or a couple of months catching up on sleep and doing projects around the home-but then what? What happens when you face that one morning when you're laying in bed and you realize it really doesn't matter if you get up or pass away laying there? How do you deal with the depression of retirement?
Hi Alexander.
I can relate to your situation. We're pretty close in age (I'm 62). I had to retire six years ago, when I went on Social Security Disability for my severe depression. I didn't know what to do with my life from that point forward. (Who's going to pay a 62 year old?) I am currently volunteering in HR (Human Resources) at the local hospital, and I love it. I get to be around four other people, and we have a good time. We are sarcastic with each other and we joke a lot. Even though I'm not getting paid for what I do, I still enjoy it very much. I volunteer for 12 hours a week: four hours each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Perhaps you could consider volunteering.
 
S

SadRainbow

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Yes, I'm really struggling to find any clubs to join... Hoping things will start up again soon but I suspect Covid shut a lot of things down permanently. Even while looking for voluntary work I see a lot of organisations still aren't taking people on supposedly because of Covid. I'm keeping myself as busy as I can manage and hoping things will get better soon.
 
A

Alexander Ypsilantis

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Hi Alexander.
I can relate to your situation. We're pretty close in age (I'm 62). I had to retire six years ago, when I went on Social Security Disability for my severe depression. I didn't know what to do with my life from that point forward. (Who's going to pay a 62 year old?) I am currently volunteering in HR (Human Resources) at the local hospital, and I love it. I get to be around four other people, and we have a good time. We are sarcastic with each other and we joke a lot. Even though I'm not getting paid for what I do, I still enjoy it very much. I volunteer for 12 hours a week: four hours each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Perhaps you could consider volunteering.
Hi MAMD. I want to volunteer. I'd love to do so in Animal Rescue groups or Soup Kitchens. But COVID has pretty much put a kibosh on that stuff right now. all those groups are laying low Maybe after this DELTA variant spike subsides and things start to get back to somewhat normal?

At your hospital volunteer activity, do folks practice social distancing and wear face masks? If they do those sort of things it helps reduce the tension about infection risk. If I retire to the isolation caused by the pandemic I'll be miserable.
 
Signofthetimes

Signofthetimes

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Hi Alexander,
Some of the rescue groups may need someone to foster animals or walk dogs. They may need help with adoptions. Even through a pandemic there are things that have to get done and people will be needed. I hope you find something that you love soon. You will. xo 💗
 
MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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Hi MAMD. I want to volunteer. I'd love to do so in Animal Rescue groups or Soup Kitchens. But COVID has pretty much put a kibosh on that stuff right now. all those groups are laying low Maybe after this DELTA variant spike subsides and things start to get back to somewhat normal?

At your hospital volunteer activity, do folks practice social distancing and wear face masks? If they do those sort of things it helps reduce the tension about infection risk. If I retire to the isolation caused by the pandemic I'll be miserable.
Hi Alexander. We are required to have our temperature checked when we enter the hospital, and we are required to wear masks. Practicing social distancing is more relaxed. However, by the nature of how we work in HR, we do maintain social distancing, and only have brief close encounters with each other.

One statistic that I read has made me wear my mask indoors all of the time. It said that 1 in 500 people in the United States have DIED from covid, not just having contracted it. (The real statistic is actually 1 in 485, which is the population of the United States [333,394,863] divided by the number of people who have died from covid [687,000].)
 
Capt Hooke

Capt Hooke

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I find retirement tolerable in summer, but hell in winter (I'm in the UK). I was very happy in a job I really enjoyed, but then an American :scared: competitor bought the business. Knowing they were buying it to wind it down, most of the senior guys quit; I quit but only after I got a good severance package. I worked on my own as a consultant for 10 years but that was a difficult period.

What I'm finding now, especially after lockdown, is that time flashes by and I never seem to get anything done, whether it's chores or hobbies. I seem to have less time to do stuff than when I was a full time employee. But hey, we are short of 100,000 truck drivers...maybe a new life beckons?
 
A

Alexander Ypsilantis

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I find retirement tolerable in summer, but hell in winter (I'm in the UK). I was very happy in a job I really enjoyed, but then an American :scared: competitor bought the business. Knowing they were buying it to wind it down, most of the senior guys quit; I quit but only after I got a good severance package. I worked on my own as a consultant for 10 years but that was a difficult period.

What I'm finding now, especially after lockdown, is that time flashes by and I never seem to get anything done, whether it's chores or hobbies. I seem to have less time to do stuff than when I was a full time employee. But hey, we are short of 100,000 truck drivers...maybe a new life beckons?
I don't see myself ever going back to a salary/wage job after I retire. Never say 'Never', but if I have the energy to work I'd stay in my current job. It has a good salary and benefits, but I'm running out of gas. Our national pension starts at 67 (was 66 for my wife and I, is 67 now) and government provided health care starts at 65, so there is less and less financial reason to keep working as you get older.

You have to retire sooner or later and 67 is enough for me-my father passed away at 75 and he got an early retirement package at 58. That was too early to retire frankly, but 67 is just about right. I hope to get 10-12 happy years before I pass on, so we'll see. Just gotta stay busy.
 
MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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I always wondered what the life of a trucker would be like. It sounds romantic. But I always looked at the glamorous side. I never considered the traffic jams, the jackknifing on a snow-covered, ice-covered road, the waiting to have the truck unloaded and loaded, dealing with inconsistent sleep schedules, finding a place to park overnight, etc. Come to think of it, being retired is not so bad after all.
 
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