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Wise words, cautionary tales and general tips for this recent retiree please?

(25 Posts)
julie56 Fri 25-Sep-15 08:50:51

Just that really! I love the feel of this place - the banter and the many, many interesting threads I've worked my way through so I thought I'd seek advice in hope of getting off to a smooth start. My husband retired a couple of months before me so didn't have much chance to settle in to his new way of life before I disturbed his peace smile We've been together 43 years now and are very happy but we both enjoy regular time to ourselves. He's a creature of habit, helps me around the house and always good company but he's not interested in hobbies or volunteering whereas I am. He has been very ill and is still having chemo but is feeling fine now so I know that he needs time to think things through too and I am wary of steering towards making big decisions. Phew, that was more than I intended to post - thanks for staying with it! Anything you can advise for these early days? Thanks, J

Teetime Fri 25-Sep-15 09:02:16

Hallo julie56 welcome to the happy world of retirees! smile. I should take time to let your hobbies and interests develop. I went charging at everything probably as I missed my big busy job and felt a bit like a failure when things didn't work out or I didn't enjoy them as I thought I should BUT I know now that you should try lots of different things and accept that some just wont be right for you. It took a lot of time to persuade my husband that sitting at his laptop all day was not enjoying a fulfilling retirement and eventually he found his own niche which just happens to be Bowls and a little golf bit still lots of laptop, reading and shouting at David Cameron. So explore, enjoy and take it easy. flowers

vampirequeen Fri 25-Sep-15 09:06:30

Have fun. Lots and lots of fun. Do all the things you wanted to do when you were working but didn't have time to. Make sure you have time together and time apart.

Since I retired (albeit early retirement due to ill health) I've learned to dance, taken up cycling (meanders not races), learned a bit of useful DIY for house and car, climbed a tree, started to learn to swim (it's harder than it looks), had leaf fights, started caravanning and all sorts of other daft things.

Retirement means you don't have to be a grown up anymore grin

J52 Fri 25-Sep-15 09:15:37

Enjoy the freedom from routine. That first cold frosty morning when you don't have to get up and out, is bliss!

Try out new hobbies etc until you find those that suit you. Get NT membership and explore places you've never been to.

On cold days, if you want to read or watch TV, then do so, guilt free.

Above all enjoy yourselves. This is your time that you've worked all your life for!


M0nica Fri 25-Sep-15 17:11:05

Look after yourself, do not relax into biscuit eating everytime you have a tea break, make sure you do not put on weight. It leads to health and mobility problems. Keep active, walk, swim, do anything you like but do not become a couch potato.

Make sure you keep going out of the house and meeting and talking to people other than each other, however much you enjoy each other's company.

If you want to do something,;do it now, retiring means you can slow down and relax and put off things because you dont feel in the mood, then all of a sudden 10 years have gone and you are no longer able to walk the Pennine Way, manage a wholeday in London etc etc.

thatbags Fri 25-Sep-15 17:33:09

Oh dear! I break that biscuit rule every day, m0nica wink (but am not putting on weight).

apricot Fri 25-Sep-15 18:38:49

You'll be there for your husband when he needs you, the rest of the time keep busy and lively doing what you enjoy.

rosesarered Fri 25-Sep-15 19:06:25

Welcome to the forum juliesmile
I break the biscuit rule too, although sometimes it's cake! cupcake
As Teetime says, don't rush into committments, take your time.

janeainsworth Fri 25-Sep-15 19:08:43

I think it's good to have separate interests as well as enjoying time together.
One piece of advice we were given (at separate pre-retirement seminars) was to avoid making any commitments for at least 6 months, to allow yourself time to get a feel of what you really want to do, and how much time you want to have 'spoken for' each week.
Whilst it's nice to have some structure to your week, it's also nice to be able to just take off for the day if you feel like it, or do absolutely nothing.
Welcome to Gransnet by the way Julie. You will soon find it takes up most of the day if you're not careful wink

julie56 Sat 26-Sep-15 12:03:26

Thank you all! Lots of interesting points there. Having read through them, here's (truthfully) where I find myself right now - almost 4 months in though I always had long summer holidays off so it really feels as though my "proper" retirement only began in September. I am conscious of being torn between what I feel I should be doing and what I want to do but I know that I'm in danger of letting the days drift by - too much time spent sitting, too much time spent online and too much time planning rather than doing. In my defence I held down a very physical job despite suffering from a chronic illness with the ongoing pain it brings and I do want to exercise more in order to replicate my working days or I am in danger of losing strength and mobility. I've lost my way and don't know where to start. I'm something of a loner and love nothing more than being with my family and pottering about at home. I love my own company and do best when my time is planned (my work day was planned down to the last minute) but now that I have all the time in the world everything seems to take all the time in the world. I had no choice but to retire due to my I'll health but I want this to be a time for really starting to care for myself. I just need something of a kickstart! Thanks for the welcomes and for reading this, those of you who do. I shall continue reading of your experiences but am limiting my online time to an hour at lunchtime and the same in the evening. J

Nonnie Sat 26-Sep-15 12:20:50

What has worked for us:

No alarm clocks unless really necessary
Separate rooms during the day
Getting our own breakfast and lunch but dinner and evenings together unless one of us has a better offer.
Do things on impulse - nice day? Go to the cricket, pub, walk, whatever
Don't join anything and feel committed to things but volunteer on a one off basis
Accept all invitations first time and then decide whether to keep it up.
Join a gym but one where you don't have to sign up long term in case you can't do it.
Give away all business attire
Don't spend all day on here! Nothing much changes if you go away for a month and don't log on.
Probably more!

Worked for friends:

Alarm clock every morning
Become totally committed to an organisation and go to conferences
Arrange all holidays, weekends away around meeting other people either known or to do with an organisation.
Wait on family hand and foot.

So you can pick and choose and do what feels right for you.

How about a bucket list and tick things off. It doesn't have to be big things, there will be little things you have always wanted to do.

Good luck

nanapug Sat 26-Sep-15 12:31:23

That's interesting that you say separate breakfast and lunch but have supper together Nonnie as we too do that, and do our own things in the day, and I must admit sometimes it makes me feel a little guilty as my cousin and her husband do absolutely every thing together. We are very happily married (as are they) so it just goes to show that you must fond what works for you as a couple. Thank you. I feel better again!!

eGJ Sat 26-Sep-15 12:55:44

Have you a U3A nearby; one can join in JUST want you want to and it gets motivation going; try it!smile

glammanana Sat 26-Sep-15 18:01:07

There are so many things you and your hubby can do on your own and still keep active, have you thought of volunteering to walk a dog at the local rescue centre it will keep you active and give a poor mite some respite and company,at your local library you will find all manner of activities you may enjoy (or not).
When I retired we moved Countries and I learnt new language and enjoyed a totally different way of life for nearly 10 yrs but that is taking things too far,make a "date" with hubby for lunch out and enjoy each others company a couple of times a week,always keep yourself neat and tidy I never go anywhere without make-up and hair done it is easy to slip into "I don't care mode" and the lbs will start piling on.
Enjoy your retirement.

Coolgran65 Sat 26-Sep-15 21:08:50

I agree with glammanana.
Up and dressed, hair fixed, make up, earrings, and whatever I wear tones and matches.
Eyebrows waxed, cuticles kept good. Never forgetting a touch of lippy.
We don't set the alarm unless necessary.
DH makes breakfast.

DH goes to bowls at least twice a week and usually golfs at least once a week.

I meet friends a couple of times each week but when and where isn't set in stone. I have to be careful because I also am very fond of my own company and happy to potter, sometimes I realise it's been two days and I've not been out of the house... excepting the garden smile

We go out for breakfast every Saturday morning/ or brunch.

Yesterday we went out and visited an old crumbling graveyard where my great grandmother is buried and then visited the cottage which is 3/4 mile up a lane and is where I grew up. Took pics and sent them to the Australian side of the family.

Often unplanned we will have lunch or tea out. If we eat out at lunch time, which could end up being 3pm, then whatever was planned for dinner can be saved to the next day, and just have a snack later.

Ironing is done when I feel like it. Same for all house stuff.

The big difference is that when I worked stuff had to be done during the evening time. Now I get to do sudoko, ebaying clothes and accessories no longer wanted, love to paint up small furniture, mirrors, make what I have work when decorating a room.

And what really works for us - we are nice to each other.

LuckyFour Sun 27-Sep-15 11:31:54

We have some separate interests and some the same. I started as a room guide with National trust (great success as met new friends), and reading with children (not so good as no new friends). Also joined local choir even though always thought I couldn't sing. Never looked back. Two book clubs, social club, cinema, poetry group (more new friends). DH started a band, I do backing vocals. I wouldn't have believed it three years ago.

nanaval Sun 27-Sep-15 13:19:00

Drop changers every day!

C... Have contact with another person

L... Learn something new

A... Be active

N... Notice things

G... Give something back

E... Eat wel

R... Relax

S... Sleep well

deaneke Sun 27-Sep-15 13:38:35

It took me a while to enjoy my retirement. All the advices are good, you will find your own way.....there is no right or wrong! Keeping as healthy as you can is important to enjoy a quality retirement MOnica put it well! Good luck, freedom is a great part of being retired!

julie56 Sun 27-Sep-15 13:38:51

I am coming to realise, after reading these posts, that I need to stand back and decide what really matters most to me. I have the appearance sorted - make sure I look good every day despite the way I'm feeling. There has to be a logical place to start for me and it might be that, before I can move forward, I have to embrace the fact that I have indeed retired and this can be a wonderful time to actually LIVE the way I want to live. It seems overwhelming simply because I have so many things going round in my head so I am printing off your responses and putting pen to paper this afternoon in a bid to make sense of my thoughts and find a starting point. For now I'm just going to plan for tomorrow and take things slowly. Hate the fact that I can't function for an hour or so when I first get up (hands and feet don't work!) but I can perhaps use that time for reading and stop seeing this time of day as wasted time! A lightbulb moment there I think smile Thank you all, J

deaneke Sun 27-Sep-15 13:50:28

Good luck......yes mobility in the morning can be a challenge. You could listen to the radio or audio book till you feel better to move. ??

vampirequeen Mon 28-Sep-15 10:55:09

Hair, makeup, clothes most days if that helps but the great thing about retirement is that it doesn't have to be every day. Some days you can simply lounge about and do nothing if you want.

Think of other simple benefits:

Sitting in the garden sipping tea, coffee, choose your drink whilst others are slaving away at work.

Sitting in a nice, warm house on a cold, damp winter morning when others are having to drag themselves to work.

Not having to drive in the rush hour unless you choose to.

Out of season holidays and cheap last minute deals.

Anya Mon 28-Sep-15 11:57:07

Benefits! hmm

durhamjen Mon 28-Sep-15 20:19:56

I agree, vampire, they are benefits. No timetable unless you want to, on days off.
I appreciated it this morning, as every other day this week, I'll have to take the granddaughter to school.

Indinana Thu 01-Oct-15 10:10:12

Oh yes vampirequeen they are benefits indeed. The simple things in life that I try so hard never to yake for granted. That freedom to spend your time as you wish, never to be at someone else's beck and call. And like you, I frequently remind myself what I would have been doing 'at this time' if i were still at work. Now that always puts a smile on my face smile

Anya Thu 01-Oct-15 10:40:40

The reason I posted 'benefits!' is that with doing the school run nearly every morning and evening means VQ's last three points don't apply.

However, I suppose they do apply to those of the non-working population who choose not to take part in the rat race as well as many retirees.