How's a man supposed to adjust to retirement?

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

howejoyous

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Posts
12
Hi All!  I am finally on my way to our RVing lifestyle.  The problem I have is this question of how to retire.  I have read everything on this site connected to retirement, including pros and cons of RVing styles, costs, etc.    My problem is the adjustment.  My hubby is a hard worker, as I am sure you all are, or have been, and he just doesn't know how to stop.  He is entering this lifestyle with extreme trepidation at having "nothing to do".    I read some books on the real issues of making the transition from the work that defines you to a retirement phase, so I understand this is not uncommon.  He is afraid from the rumors, statistics?, myths?, etc that he has heard that people who retire are prone to early deaths.    Any suggestions you can give me on how you handled your fears, adjustments, etc. would be tremendously helpful.  I am afraid he is about to "flunk retirement" without even experiencing it!  I also might add, just so you know, he's not prone to seek help, read self[help books, etc....a very independent fellow with regard to problem solving.    I'm just looking for some life stories that are positive to share with him.

Thanks for sharing your lives and ideas on this site.  I really love it.

Oh, and he has agreed to attend the Quartzite rally in Jan 07....I'm hoping that will be a good start.

howejoyous
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,857
In our case I was more concerned about how my wife would handle retirement. I predicted she'd go shopping for three days, then be bored. That's the way it worked out initially and it drove me nuts watching her always looking for something to do. She soon found other interests, including volunteer work, to help fill the gap when we're not busy seeing new places and meeting new friends.

I'm sure others here will have some good advice.
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
We addressed the matter of retirement by my not completely retiring :)  I still work part time from our motor home while my wife does some volunteer work (mostly at libraries) and we just enjoy the many places we get to visit during the year.  Most of our retired friends are busier now than they ever were when working.  There is more time for hobbies and those can consume enormous amounts of time.  Volunteering is another popular way to stay active.  Camp hosting is another popular way to not only keep busy but earn either money or free camping or both.
 

Smoky

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
Ned has some VERY excellent advice IMO.  The beauty of retiring is that you do not have to stop working, you just have more freedom to do what you like when you like it.  After a 30 year corporate career, I "retired" to captaining a fishing charterboat on the Chesapeake Bay.  I also did some consulting work.  I finally stopped fishing when waking up at 4:30 am to load a boat after being in the hot sun all day long on the previous day, and swabbing down boats and cleaning fish became too tiresome.  It was a decade of fun though!

Tell him that when he retires, the only thing that changes is that he becomes his own boss.  If he takes on a job he does not like, he is free to quit it.  When he wakes up in the morning he can do what HE decides to do, not what someone else tells him to do.

Except of course when the household Admiral speaks!  ;D

 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,421
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Workamping (helping out in a campground in exchange for your campsite and maybe some modest pay) is another way of filling some of the time and giving a sense of accomplishment, without the stress often associated with a "real job".  It's also good for folks who like to do "handyman" stuff, since many workamping jobs involve routine repairs around the campground. And you will always meet a lot of interesting people - some who become good friends and some others who become the subjects of hilarious campfire stories.

Workamping jobs are part time (you choose how much and where to work) and the pay isn't great enough to  to worry about losing it - if you don't like the job you can always get in the RV and drive away!
 

blueblood

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Posts
1,082
howejoyous said:
Hi All!? I am finally on my way to our RVing lifestyle.? The problem I have is this question of how to retire.? I have read everything on this site connected to retirement, including pros and cons of RVing styles, costs, etc.? ? My problem is the adjustment.? My hubby is a hard worker, as I am sure you all are, or have been, and he just doesn't know how to stop.? ?He is entering this lifestyle with extreme trepidation at having "nothing to do".? ? I read some books on the real issues of making the transition from the work that defines you to a retirement phase, so I understand this is not uncommon.? ?He is afraid from the rumors, statistics?, myths?, etc that he has heard that people who retire are prone to early deaths.? ? ?Any suggestions you can give me on how you handled your fears, adjustments, etc. would be tremendously helpful.? I am afraid he is about to "flunk retirement" without even experiencing it!? ?I also might add, just so you know, he's not prone to seek help, read self[help books, etc....a very independent fellow with regard to problem solving.? ? ?I'm just looking for some life stories that are positive to share with him.

Thanks for sharing your lives and ideas on this site.? I really love it.

Oh, and he has agreed to attend the Quartzite rally in Jan 07....I'm hoping that will be a good start.

howejoyous

I took the approach that retiring simply means doing something different. So, I have been retired for 20 years, i.e.doing something different. First , lived a dream and moved to Switzeralnd for a winter and skied my heart out. Then took a consulting job for a year. Then worked five years as a substitue executive serving a President and Group Executive of three companies that were in real trouble, then began to help my son's and daughter do business startups. then began -well you know something different.? ? ;D In fact, under the old definition my wife tells everyone I flunked retirement at least three tiimes so far.? ???? ??? ;D  BTW- a lot of this invoved using the motorhome as a home away from home; in several cases the companies installed hookups inside plants so I could live right in the plant - very convienent and didn't have to mess with the problems of hotels, etc.
 

BernerGran

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Posts
108
Location
Albuquerque, NM
My husband is a retired minister and we retired last December, 2005. Prior to that we went to a retirement conference sponsored by our church's pension fund - how to's, what to expect, etc. One workshop that my hub atteneded shocked him. Just how many of his fellow clergy didn't know what to do with themselves when they retired and didn't have an altar, so to speak. So your husband is not alone in his quandry.

The advice from the "professionals" was to try to look for another interest. Might be a part time job, hobby, volunteer, etc. So all of the above thoughts are good ones.

For the two of us, that was never an issue. We had so many things that had been put on the back burner for over 30 years, we could not wait.

Does your husband have any hobbies, etc? Anything he has always wanted to do or go? Last year we subscribed to Workamper News (.com) to get some ideas of what might be out there. For around 20 years we have spent some time in Silverton, CO a small mining town - the end of the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. We have said for years that we were going to go there when we retired and spend the summer. And this past summer we did. My hub got a job, which he loved, and I spent the summer taking care of the dogs, learning to bead, finishing my nearly 3 year old grandson's Christmas Stocking, watching the NY Mets, and a few others. It was magnificent.

We are back home now, hub is repairing a fence where someone ran into it last spring, we're getting ready to go off to dog shows for most of November, and then home until the spring, when we head out again for Silverton. Not knowing where you live, I can tell you that if you want to spend a delightful summer in Silverton, Co at 9300 ft altitude, there were jobs going begging all summer. The trick is to reserve a campsite soon as they go wanting in ?three month or four month blocks pretty quickly. If you want more info, contact me privately, and we can visit. The people were lovely, and we feel now like it is our summer home.

We love being retired. We completely enjoy just hanging out together or with our kids and grand, and friends and neighbors. We worked so hard over the years, that just "being" is wonderful.

I sincerely wish your and your husband the best as you work through how you want to use this great gift of time that we all get.

Best,
BernerGran
 

Wendy

Site Team
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
12,547
Location
Colorado
I "retired" in 1978. Mike retired in 1995. We work more now than we ever did when we were "working." The difference is, we work when we want to, where we want to, doing what we want. My parents retired in 1975 and also work more now than they ever did when "employed." You can stay busy by finding part-time jobs (check out mystery shopping and merchandising or work camp jobs). Or do volunteer work at church, local parks, the humane society, antional and state parks and campgrounds. Shoot, traveling and doing "touristy" things takes up a bunch of time. Most people who retire wonder where their time goes because you will be so busy you won't know how you ever fit "work" into your schedule.

Dive in and ENJOY.
Wendy, Mike, and Sam
Navajo State Park, New Mexico
 

Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
Well said, Wendy! I can no longer imagine how I fit a working job into my schedule, all those years!

I also echo the volunteer suggestions made by several. Jobs that don't pay, go begging. You can find one. I volunteer for the Police Department. I do patrol and related stuff, but most volunteers do other types of work for them. It multiplies the value of the professional officers, a real bargain for the citizens of this city. That is the case with all, or nearly all volunteer jobs. You will be surprised at how valuable you really are, when you work for free. I love it!

I know several RVers who volunteer for the Red Cross. They love it and tell me that they feel so useful. It's a winner!

Ray D
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,857
Ray,

I've thought of volunteering for the police department, but have no idea what's involved. Could you elaborate on it?
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
I just said to Hell with everything  Now I pretty much do what I dang well please, as soon and the Boss tells me what that is. 
 

Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
Tom! You want me to talk about my favorite subject? ?;D ;D ;D

I do the obvious job, for a Police Department, the one you see and expect. I work the parks and "Greenbelt." I patrol in uniform, in a marked golf cart, beefed up for police work. (They take a beating!) ?I watch for safety issues, river hazards, little kids that fall down and need a bandage on their knee, lost children - or lost parents - yep, sometimes we have the kid, and are looking for mommy! Well, and I watch for bad guys. I also do plain clothes assignments. That is watching an area or a subject, and reporting when there is something to report. (For funny - The only time I go unarmed, is when I am on duty with the Polce Department. Go figure!) (I do have my reasons.)

The patrol job is the glory job, but it's a minor part of the volunteer force. We are the ones people see. Volunteers take minor crime reports over the phone. They work in every "behind the scene" department, and do every kind of job, there. They work in the crime lab. They work as advisors. (We have doctors, lawyers, you name it. And some volunteers shred paper and straighten out the files.) They work in outreach programs - finger printing kids for emergency ID - traffic control for civic events - Show and tell at the Mall, with McGruff the crime dog, or anyplace the department wants a public face. Some drive police cars to and from the repair shops, for maintenance and/or repairs. Some put out and/or move the Radar "signs," small trailers parked beside the road, that show drivers their speed, in traffic.

Every walk of life contributes, from professionals to you name it. For a time, we had a Deputy Attorney General doing volunteer patrol, with me. I asked him "why?" After all, he got to deal with the "big stuff, at the State House!" He said he did it for relief. "Helping someone find the nearest toilet and knowing that that is part of police work, too, finishes off the "big picture." He felt that a few hours, there, volunteering, wiped out all the sweat of the intense stuff he did for a living.

Every job that any business has, to keep it going from day to day, the PD has also. All the little stuff has to be done, to keep the big stuff moving. I should note that every public service organization has the same issues. Most of them, around here, use volunteers to help get it all done. Pick an organization that does something you like, and go ask for a job. You'll get it!

For a taste of what I do, imagine that I drive my golf cart through the woods, along the river watching the wildlife, birds - deer - otters - squirrels, out into the parks for major events, and take it all in. Hard to call that work! And, yes, from time to time, it gets very exciting. I have a hundred "exciting" stories, and have to share. I'll limit it to one.

STUPID CROOK STORY:

I was just about done in by the bitter cold, one freezing January, Saturday afternoon, two years ago. Decided to stop at a convenience store for a cup of coffee to warm me up as I drove along. I am required to keep my car in view, at all times, so parked crosswise, next to the front entrance. Pretty hard to miss, there. Got my coffee, walked up to the counter to pay, and was digging my change out of my pocket when - - - -.

One of the clerks restocking a shelf screamed, and ran at me from five feet away. She grabbed me, spilled my coffee - I wasn't prepared for this, at all! Pandemonium!

"That man" she screamed, pointing, "He has a big knife! He said he is going to kill me! He grabbed me! Help! Help us"

Then, another clerk came running from the back of the store! She's screaming! She grabs my other arm!

I am puzzled! I'd like to leave, now! I don't understand this, at all! I don't really want that coffee! Would running be OK?

How could that idiot walk past my police car, clearly marked on both sides and both ends, walk in here and see me in uniform with POLICE - VOLUNTEER in large letters, front and back, to rob the place? ? ??? It just didn't make sense!

That's when it hit me! HEY! RAY! You are supposed to do something about this! Felt like I was in a Salvadore Dali movie!

"Ladies, let go of my arms. I need to use my Radio!" My mind had started working!

Didn't want to have a long discussion with dispatch, about where I was, who was I? What does the guy look like blah, blah, blah! Needed help. They would want to keep me on the air. Might not be able to get more than a few words out! Knew a Ranger was not too far away. I keyed him.

"Jake! I'm at the Jackson's, Capitol and Front. Armed Robbery in progress, now. I'm inside, and staying here. OUT" Took only a few seconds.

"Copy Ray! Hang in there! Switching to Dispatch." He knew everything he needed to know.

I played cat and mouse with the BG. I wasn't armed, but he didn't know that. I gave him room to escape, and he took it, as the sirens began starting up in the distance - and getting louder. It was an "Officer Needs Help" call. We nailed him, minutes later!

Oh, the coffee. They gave it to me, gratis. I wasn't cold anymore, either! Went back to the substation to settle down. Took a while.

How's that for a "Stupid Crook" story, John?

Ray D
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,857
Thanks for the explanation Ray and thanks for the story!
 

Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
Tom: Just realized another way to take your question.

Qualifications: Clean record - no Felonies and no serious misdemeanors. Parking tickets - illegal turns - stuff like that OK, if not too frequent. Health is not an issue. I'm unable to walk more than a few feet. So, I drive. I don't get far from the car. Or, in plain clothes, I sit on a bench or whatever, loafing - LOITERING! If somebody needs arrested, I sign the paper work, but I let the youngsters do the handcuff stuff. For some internal work, poligraph is required. Figure on an "Interview," annually. Gets rather personal.

Department needs: It's a government office. They do everything any business or public service does. They have computers and need help with them, all of the time. They need people to do wordprocessing. Some do data entry. Some do records and related office chores. Some help with conferences - moving chairs - getting coffee and cookies ready - moving the presentation equipment or assisting with operating it. Some do photography, and need to learn how it is done, for police work. (I do some of that, and have been taught the issues. I am frequently on the scene before anyone else, and sometimes take pics before others get there. I save an original, documented, to disk, then do copy enhancement and document what I have done to the picture.) I turn the photography in with the report.

Some do critical incident work, and are on call. These would be people with unpleasant experience in disasters. They do counciling, with professional guidance, of course. Some do "victims," for training first responders, including massive critical incident training for officers, fire and medical. That would be like a plane crash or terrorist event.

Identify your skills, or your interest or wishes, and ask for the job. Or, ask them what they need. You'll get "hired."

Ray D
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,857
Thanks again Ray. With only a single speeding ticket in 26 years, I guess I might make the grade.
 

Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
Yes, I'd rather imagine you would make the grade Everyone that I know, loves the work. I suppose, working for free, you gotta love it! What else is there?

Ray D
 

John Canfield

Site Team
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Posts
13,614
Location
Texas Hill Country
Let me caution about not jumping into volunteering too deeply, but find a pace that works for you and your family situation.  I was fortunate and very blessed to be able to take an early retirement from AT&T in 1998 and found that after a few months I was so busy that I needed to use a Palm Pilot to keep up with committee meetings and other activities.  After a couple of years of always saying "yes" when asked to perform a task or join something, I finally learned to say "no."

Those two years ultimately caused just as much stress as having a career.  Now I am very selective about what I volunteer for and that has worked out much better.

You can be as busy as you want in retirement - you are in the driver's seat!
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,857
Thanks for the words of caution John. Your point is well taken. I've been retired almost 6 years, so I haven't exactly jumped into anything, but I've been thinking about it for some time. I canned my third Palm Pilot when I quit work and no have no intent to be reliant on one again.
 
Top Bottom