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Decision making in retirement!!

(33 Posts)
kittylester Wed 14-Aug-19 10:10:31

Please tell me that we are not the only people who find it hard to make decisions in retirement.

DH and I have always talked about things a lot - all sorts of things, not just decision making - but we now seem almost unable to decide on anything and just talk about it.

Where shall we go on holiday - we could go on a river cruise, a road trip to Scotland or the South Coast or we could go to Cornwall.

DH decided that it would be a good idea to redo the lounge completely - next year, to give us time to get organised but what to do first? Do we choose the sofa covers, the furniture, the carpet, what stuff to keep or get rid of, does that stuff want to go in storage, to the dump, to Oxfam?

Are we like this because we have the time to think now or is it a symptom of getting older? Are others the same?

It's driving me dotty!!

Jane10 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:23:07

So many choices! We usually take a while thinking about big decisions like holidays or home improvements etc. Actually I quite enjoy that bit. Weighing up possibilities all of which are nice is a very pleasant aspect of having time to think and talk about it all.

Ellianne Wed 14-Aug-19 10:27:59

Yes, kitty, it's all a bit overwhelming! I keep telling myself that it's because we've found contentment and that that doesn't involve struggling to make decisions. During our busy working lives we had to fit everything in in a hurry whereas now we have all the time in the world to dawdle.
We've decided to divide up the labour, DH is to take on the building projects as he us very practical and used to dealing with contractors. I'm more for the creative things so that is working fine. Holidays are a problem area, too many lovely places to visit, though on a recent thread here I was pleased to see we had already "done" about 75% of the lovely suggestions.
The decisions we make on a daily basis like when to walk the dog or where to go for lunch are easy enough, maybe the bigger ones will come with time.

dragonfly46 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:31:14

We usually give each other suggestions - my DH is always sending emails with suggested holidays.

We too are planning to redo our lounge next year but have whittled it down to new chairs and lights. We decided the rest was fine especially after cleaning the carpet.

Whether we get round to doing any of these things is another matter. In the end I have to make the decision. We are having a new bathroom next week - talked about it forever but eventually I made the appointment with the shop concerned and started the ball rolling.

I think one of you has to grasp the mettle.

BradfordLass72 Thu 15-Aug-19 07:49:00

I was once told a trick which has helped me.
It may help you too.

Write a list of choices (as you have above), then just pick one, any one, you can even do it eyes-closed with a pin.

Then call that 'our decision' and let it mull over in the mind for a week or so.
It soon becomes apparent if it's not the right choice.

Then you go back to your list and cross it off.
If it seems right, cross off the others !


It's like having 22 different choices of shampoo in the supermarket - we can do without all that hassle.

As for decorating. I was always told the carpet is the last thing to replace when refurbishing a room.

Urmstongran Thu 15-Aug-19 08:24:08

I think we can be overwhelmed by myriad choices at times. I daresay we are lucky to have them - first world problems I think the younger ones started calling them?

Occasionally it’s the little things that add to the confusion! I’ve been known to say to my husband ‘you just decide I’m happy to eat/visit/do whatever as I can’t make a decision today!’

Brunette10 Thu 15-Aug-19 08:28:22

So happy to read this post as I/we feel exactly the same about decision making now. We look and look then discuss then discuss again about many things, some plans go forward others are still being discussed. It's quite a discontented feeling as before we retired we just got on with everything no matter what the project was. Old age doesn't come itself - my mum always said. smile

cornergran Thu 15-Aug-19 08:32:12

Its a bit different here kitty as once we both conclude a room would benefit from a change I tend to be the ideas person and Mr C provides the muscle. My ideas usually evolve from a colour which often means we find some things blend in and others automatically deselect themselves I don’t think much has changed with retirement other than we often decide there are more interesting things to do smile.

Greyduster Thu 15-Aug-19 08:34:04

We tend to have very little trouble making decision with regard to house and home. It’s the minutiae of life that causes the most stress. Whether to go on holiday; where to go on holiday; where to go for a day’s walking; whether to go to the cinema; where to have lunch out; what to put in the garden..... inertia tends to set in. I can’t remember us ever spending so much time procrastinating before we retired.

sodapop Thu 15-Aug-19 08:43:23

I am bossy so have no difficulty making decisions. My husband though will procrastinate for ever.

fiorentina51 Thu 15-Aug-19 08:50:13

We retired 8 years ago. It took us that long to finally get round to refurbishing the living room and my word, did we go to town! What was a 70s time warp is now almost unrecognisable. Really enjoyed (most) of it as in the past we never had the cash or opportunity to do it.
Sold as much of the old stuff as we could and gave away the rest. Nothing got thrown away. Then we started with a completely blank canvas.

Nannarose Thu 15-Aug-19 10:24:07

I like BradfordLass' idea. We sometimes give ourselves an artificial deadline, if a decision is critical. Otherwise we just wait until something emerges!

lovebeigecardigans1955 Thu 15-Aug-19 10:28:15

I used to be indecisive but now I'm not so sure. I mull over things for ages and then move when I'm pushed.

I seem to spend a lot of time waiting for the right moment, in a state of suspended animation.

Am I worse now? Probably, because time is not an issue so nothing has to be rushed.

Solonge Thu 15-Aug-19 10:46:31

I firmly believe this type of ‘scatter’ thinking is often panic! All the things you want to get in before you are too old to do them! Get a large writing pad.....put a heading, for instance ‘holidays’...and allow yourselves 5 choices each of what you most want to do....then put in order of importance to you both. It’s a basic management technique for sorting things into order of importance. Use this method for everything....it works...I’ve used it for years.

EmilyHarburn Thu 15-Aug-19 11:18:11

Retiment is the time to decidde if you will or will not be down sizing. We are not down sizing until I am a widow. then I will move.

So we try to do the basic house stuff, roof, windows, insulated walletc. Then each room at a time making sure that it will more or less be OK for 20 years before requiring a makeover again.

Nanny41 Thu 15-Aug-19 11:22:01

Decision making in our family is like this, Husband thinks about something for ages without saying anything, then pounces on me with his thoughts, then we discuss, dont always agree at first,but we get there.

Marilla Thu 15-Aug-19 11:26:09

Oh my goodness! I’m so glad to read this thread today!
I thought it was just us two who were indecisive now that we have all the time in the world!
Beige cardigans, you describe the ‘waiting for the right moment’ very well.

GabriellaG54 Thu 15-Aug-19 11:43:46

Living on my own means I don't need agreement on anything. I do and spend exactly what I want when I want.
Men often (but not always) don't notice changes anyway.

GreenGran78 Thu 15-Aug-19 11:47:20

I have lived in my house for 54 years, and have never liked the panel of pebble-dash between my front windows. It was always way down the list of 'things that needed doing,' though. Now that I am a bit better off I have been pondering for ages the pros and cons of doing something about it.

My neighbours have been having the front of their house re-faced in white, so I finally made the decision and asked the workmen's boss for a quote, just to do my oblong, measuring roughly 3 metres by 2. "Well," he said, "We would have to put up scaffolding, strip off the pebble-dash and whatever's underneath, re-board it, then apply the new surface and paint it. It would cost around £1,000 altogether."
"I'll think about it," I said, feeling slightly faint!
I didn't need long to decide that I, having lived with the pebble-dash for all these years, I could put up with it for the few more, until I 'pop my clogs!' I'd rather spend £1,000 on a nice holiday!

absthame Thu 15-Aug-19 11:53:48

When little else to think about, the importance of the issue at hand takes on more importance than the issue would previously had.

CaroleAnne Thu 15-Aug-19 11:55:22

Goodness that sounds just like us. We either drift on and never get there as with the kitchen or do things we immediately and then sometimes regret being so spontaneous.
Good idea to make lists. I will take up that idea.

Jillybird Thu 15-Aug-19 12:49:54

Please don't take this as a glum message, but I think it's necessary to add to the mix. You really never know when your health will deteriorate - of course, it may not, which would be wonderful, BUT... both of us have had such bad health since I retired seven years ago that we haven't been anywhere. I've had some slipped discs followed by severe arthritis in knees and hips so the whole notion of travelling in confined seats, sleeping in unfamiliar beds, or crawling round fascinating new streets has dimmed entirely. My partner fell in a freak accident and broke his skull five years ago and although ostensibly "recovered" is not the same man (all sorts of problems). The moral here is: Go away to all those places you never went to, and do it NOW! The decorating can wait until you are no longer gallivanting and you can create a cosy nest to enjoy!

4allweknow Thu 15-Aug-19 13:01:53

Took us two years to decide on a kitchen. For a lounge would go for the most expensive item first, decide on that then chose other items around that.

paddyann Thu 15-Aug-19 13:12:56

We talked about knocking a wall down over Sunday lunch ,OH said we'll organise it for next weekend .By 11'30 the same night we had demolished it ourselves .Quite often we'll mention rewallpapering and its done before the next day .Last week my daughter said she's need to get her living room decorated,her Dad and I stripped it for her the next day and we had it done and dusted in 48 hours.We've always been like this ,its probably the reason we change furniture and decorate so often.If we sat and ruminated over it ,it wouldn't get done.Its a legacy of a very busy life when painting the bathroom or shampooing the carpets at midnight was the only choice .

grandtanteJE65 Thu 15-Aug-19 13:26:38

We still find the decision making easy enough, but following through is a different matter. DH has turned into a procrastinator out of the blue, so unless I push nothing would ever get done!