Advice Needed (Personal)

By | June 6, 2011

Howdy, all!  I try not to clutter the shopping blog with too much personal stuff, but I wanted to pool the collective QR brain today on a personal subject:

Today is my dad’s first official day of retirement!  His last day of work was Friday, and today is his first day to not go into work at the same place where he had worked since the early 1970s.   That’s a heckuva adjustment, and I know we have a bunch of retirees or spouses of retirees among our membership here, and I was wondering what advice you might have for a new retiree (and for my mom, too, who is also going to be adjusting to this change).

How do you get used to being retired?  How did YOU handle it?  What would you do differently?

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom you might have!

11 thoughts on “Advice Needed (Personal)

  1. Yvonne Gorniak

    My husband and I have been retired for almost nine years and I seem to be busier than when I was working!! If your Mom isn’t working, all that time together may have them getting on each others nerves so they need to have things they can do together and also separately. If they have hobbies, now is a good time to really get into them. If they like to travel (ok, ok–I know, gas prices but try to work with it), then traveling to see this great country of our is a great thing to do. Day trips are always fun. Not knowing where they live I can’t give specific destinations but a lot of people never see the attractions where they live. I’m talking like living in San Antonio, TX and never seeing the Alamo. Go to the museums, the sightseeing destinations. Get involved with the local community center or senior citizen center or if either of your parents are veterans, their local VFW or American Legion. Read the books they never had a chance to (library has tons of books or so I’ve heard). Of course, they have to take into account their budget but there are a lot of free things to do or small cost items. Get involved with their church (if they attend or start attending). It’ll take a little adjustment and they will get on each others nerves from time to time and they need to recognize it so it doesn’t overwhelm them. That could lead to marital troubles. I hope some of these suggestions help and tell your Dad congratulations on retirement!

    1. Rod Barnes

      I tried being retired for a year and it didn’t take. I had set myself up financially but found I didn’t have a life outside of work. I promised myself that I would go back to surfing as I did before I went into the military only to find that life is one cruel joke..The heart was there but the body wasn’ You have more than a financial plan, you need a hobby…
      Maybe my buddy Ernie and I will find time to fish.

  2. marcie

    First of all , let him get in the days of thinking he is on vacation for a while. That is what it feels like. But then when it sinks in, help him find something to do, to give him another purpose in life. the hardest thing, especially for men, is needing a purpose.
    And it can be anothing, from helping or volenteer work to writing that book he has always wanted to do , etc. Men can get very depressed after spending their whole life working and suddenly they are not needed. For your mom, tell her to just pray. 🙂 I personally don;t think husbands and wives should retire together, but I realize it is just what it is. In the beginning it seems wonderful, time to do all the things you want, but if money is tight, it is difficult. They just need to find things to do alone and together. That way each of them still have their own identity and it makes for a happier couple. Good luck to you all.

  3. Cindy

    I know this will sound morbid, but really, if they don’t have one, they should really go get a will and trust made up. Both my mother and mother-in-law died last year and we’re still going through the paperwork. You only need to do it once and it’s done. A trust will take some time to do (to change the name on the title, deed, bank accounts) but he has time now to do it. He might need to do some roll-overs of his 401k plans from work into IRAs.

    My husband is a self-employed consultant and I stopped working so I could travel with him, so we kinda “retired” in our early 50’s. Groupon is a great way to try new things (shows, restaurants) on a budget and since they can travel during off times they can get some great deals, for example Atlantic City hotels are free during the off-seasons Mon-Thursdays once you sign up for casino cards. There’s great happy hour deals for fancier restaurants where for the price of a drink you can have great sandwiches for $1.99 or so.

  4. FloridaGrandma

    I agree with Yvonne that they need things to do, both together and separately. I also like Marcie’s suggestion about volunteer work and hobbies. Cindy is right on with her comments about wills — and I would add that you also need a Living Will. Make certain that everyone knows where your will is, especially the executor.
    One thing that my husband and I did is join a gym. We try to work out 3 times a week, keeping our cholesterol and blood pressure and waistlines all down.
    We are blessed to live close to our daughter and her family. I volunteer many hours a month with the Girl Scouts and my husband often helps. I had a troop with my daughter 30 years ago and now I work with our granddaughter’s Brownie troop. Chasing after second and third-graders is another great way to stay in shape!
    Help your parents find new ways to keep in touch with friends and family. I enjoy posting photos on Facebook and then reading all the wonderful comments that my family writes. I spend several hours a week reading and writing email and even find time to write snail-mail letters to relatives who aren’t on line.
    Now is the time for them to do some of those things that they were going to do “some day”. Make certain that every photo has names and dates and places written on the back in pencil. Write down those stories for the grandchildren and illustrate them with family photos. Show them how to make a photo book with their photos. Help them learn how to scan, and they can make one or more books from their vacation photos that they have collected. Make a drawing of your family tree and re-connect with people they haven’t talked to in years. Work on the family genealogy and leave behind a lasting treasure! Have your mother write cookbooks of your favorite family recipes and give them to everyone for Christmas.
    My husband and I have so many things that we want to do that I now use a 3-year calendar for planning. In the fall I’m going to attend the national triennial meeting of the Girl Scouts in Houston. In the spring of 2012 I’ll be busy working on celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting. In May of 2012 I’m attending a special adult retreat in Savannah at the Birthplace — home of Juliette Gordon Low. Our calendar is filled with a mix of things for ourselves and others that keep us looking forward and focused on the values that are important to us.
    Retirement is a wonderful time and I hope you all enjoy it!

  5. KC

    Depending on what he did for a living, I would suggest that he look at the various volunteer opportunities in his area. A good source is RSVP, which is the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, and it should be listed in the local telephone directory. If he likes young people, he could volunteer at local schools or Boys or Girls Clubs. Another good choice is his church if he is active. If he will ask around his community, I am sure that there are many other options.

  6. BG

    It is important to have a hobby and keep the mind and body active. I would recommend learning another language . Yoga can be practiced at any age. There are forms of gentle yoga to start . follow the news closely You can adopt an elephant in a retreat for retired circus elephants.
    Photography, gardening a diary are all things you coudl start You can always start something and stop if you do not like it.

  7. Linda

    Hello my friend..
    We did this a little different, my son talked my husband into Simi-Retirement, she just works 3 days a week now, gave up being the boss and just does his thing. So far it has worked out great since he also has 3 weeks vacation time a year he can work an even shorter week if he is not busy at the office. He has so many different projects he has created for himself he may be busy for years to come!!! LOL… my first advice is tell him to stay away from the kitchen if he wishes to have a happy retirement!!! My friends husband took it upon himself to rearrange all of
    her kitchen, she told him if he touched anything again she would start on his garage… Get hobbies, create projects, play some golf if you enjoy, garden this time of year… but make sure to give the wife her space and you have yours. Most of all do not sit and veg, you lose your body and mind to fast that way… and last enjoy…

  8. Deborah

    If he was in business, he could join SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives). I was thinking of starting a business some time ago and talked to a man at the local SCORE office. They have people from all different aspects of business that you can talk to there to help you start or grow a small business. I didn’t start a business then, but I may in the future and would talk to them again if needed. Good luck.

  9. dinah deladurante

    Your moral support and encouragement for whatever they would like to do can be a big plus. Finding the time to stay in touch with them and just
    saying hi and never let them forget, while you can, how much you love them is the biggest. Hopefully, their finances allow them to enjoy retirement instead of just trying to meet basic neccessities.
    Outside of that, I would suggest travel and sightseeing here in the USA.
    There are so many wonders right here in our own country and Canada is
    awesome as well if they care for nature’s beauty. From Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Yosemite, The Badlands, Grand Canyon, to the deserts
    of Arizona, and Monument Valley to name a few. Each is an experience of such awesome creation and beauty.
    There are many casinos across the country to keep them entertained along the way if they are into that. If they care for freah water type fishing,
    may I suggest getting some K&E Bass Stoppers and Worm Rival Spins, natural color, which is a light brown. I have had remarkable success across
    the country with the above, and eliminates the need for live bait. Fun for
    mom and dad alike and cut down a little bit on the food bill if they like fish.
    Hope this bit of insight is useful. Good luck and best wishes.

  10. Becky Post author

    Thank you, EVERYONE, for your wonderful suggestions! I’m taking them to heart, and am passing them along to my parents. If you have anything else to add, please add your response — I’ll keep monitoring this post for new comments. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!!


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