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Freedom overwhelming?

(22 Posts)
harry1960 Tue 10-Dec-19 18:05:44

Hi Gransnet,

So I'm going to be retiring very soon, which is exciting. One thing I'm conscious of is the lack of structure - do you find this freedom to be overwhelming?

Doodledog Tue 10-Dec-19 18:16:53

No, I loved the lack of structure. Not having to set the alarm every night is one of the best things about retirement, IMO.

If you are someone who likes to have structure and routine in your life, you can easily build it in. Just go with the flow at first, and see how you feel - there is no rush to get anything in place until you are ready.

adrisco Tue 10-Dec-19 18:21:41

I've been retired since March .. aged 62. Did lots of gardening in Summer and Autumn, now struggling in Winter. I read a lot, look after grandchildren sometimes, spend (too much) time on the internet. I have a sense of guilt .. people ask what I've been going .. think I'm supposed to say that I volunteer, have lots of hobbies, meet lots of people .. I don't! Resolve to find more structure in 2020 ( she says doubtfully!). Good luck Harry1960 in your retirement.

GrannyLaine Tue 10-Dec-19 18:24:16

harry1960 good luck with your imminent retirement, a whole new stage in your life. I retired six years ago from a very rewarding career in the NHS. I have lots of hobbies and interests and thought I'd be fine. Not so - I felt displaced and missed the status of my previous role. I felt that I no longer made a difference in peoples lives as I had done before. I became clinically depressed for the first time in my life. I gradually got better and settled into my new lifestyle and now I simply love the absolute freedom. Just give yourself time to adjust.

BlueBelle Tue 10-Dec-19 18:27:27

I did find the freedom horrific Work was part of my social life too I absolutely hated retiring and was really quite flat during the first year I was 69 and wanted to work to 70, after flapping around and feeling I d got nothing apart from hobbies etc to do so instead of completely going down the pan I put the structure of volunteering in place Now three days a week and one afternoon I ‘work’ and feel so much better for having something that I can still use my brain my hands and my energy on I also have an allotment and a bit of digging and weeding is also good for me
So I m definitely someone who needs structure otherwise I just decay

Pudding123 Tue 10-Dec-19 18:37:21

I retired at 55,I consider myself very lucky but I have been a saver all my life so was able to live on my modest pension and interest from savings.I wake up every morning and think Wow! I can do just what I want today ,after working since I left school and having 9 months off for maternity leave ,my life was one mad rush until I retired and I still see various groups of friends regularly ,sometimes if I feel a bit fed up for some reason I pull my self together ,I have no health problems and do not regret finishing work for one moment and lol forward to getting.m y State pension in 5 months yipee.

Cabbie21 Tue 10-Dec-19 19:14:39

I like a certain amount of structure to my week / year, as too much freedom means I waste time.
I do voluntary work on Tuesday and Wednesday ( part time) bookended by choir rehearsals, so when Thursday comes I need to catch up with myself. Unless I have a concert, I have a few days of freedom.
I have just given up one piece of voluntary work which took me a couple of hours every Monday morning, to be finished off by the end of the week. I loved the Monday start, though not the finishing off bit, that was a nuisance.
Choirs are seasonal, from September to June, so I enjoy more freedom in the summer months.
I would not like to have total freedom, but it is great to pick and choose.

EllanVannin Tue 10-Dec-19 20:08:44

I'd class it as a well-deserved rest after 50 years of working !

ginny Tue 10-Dec-19 21:44:30

I love the freedom. When we retired. I was determined that we would not fall into routines. Of course some clubs, societies happen on certain days but otherwise we enjoy doing things as and when.

BradfordLass72 Wed 11-Dec-19 06:18:37

There doesn't have to be a lack of structure; I’d strongly advise you to start planning now.

Not having a regular regime is what defeats and depresses a lot of retirees.
When we are working, we’re useful; contributing to our community, society and family.

Once our job goes, if we have not considered the whole person we are, self-esteem might too. So it’s vital to find a way of still contributing.

And only you can work how that’ll be accomplished.

You are harry1960 with all the multi-facets which make the whole person - being a worker is only one small part of who you are.
Now it’s time to identify, value and use all the other things you can be.

I had a friend who was a keen golfer and talked for months about how he'd spend all his days on the golf course once he retired. And he did…for about 6 months then much as he still loved the game, began to feel self-indulgent and, even worse, useless.

He’d been a senior lecturer but now felt he had no real/important role in life. But he began to acknowledge all the other facets of his character and personality, looked at things he was and could do and reinvented himself – and his self-worth.

You need to do the same – but don’t wait until you feel you are useless and have no purpose, you are neither - so plan now

Sillygrandma5GK Wed 11-Dec-19 07:22:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crystaltipps Wed 11-Dec-19 09:28:57

Go on holiday
Join a gym
Learn a new skill / hobby something you’ve always fancied doing - playing the guitar, learning a n Italian, woodwork whatever
Have a to do list of all the jobs you’ve put off doing around the house and work your way through them
Volunteer at a food bank/ hospital / NT property
Catch up with old friends
You’ll soon get into a routine- make the best of your time.

chelseababy Wed 11-Dec-19 09:53:20

If you live with someone it would be good to discuss with him/her how you see your retirement panning out. Couples sometime find they have different visions of how they will spend their time together and you will find many threads on here of (usually) women driven up the wall by their recently retired partner.

GrandmaMoira Wed 11-Dec-19 12:48:32

I have found no negatives about being retired. Lack of structure is not an issue for me.

Oopsminty Wed 11-Dec-19 12:56:25

I took the early retirement at 55.

It's wonderful

I keep in touch with the colleagues I liked and can meet up with friends and just do whatever I want.

Oldandverygrey Wed 11-Dec-19 13:14:26

Been retired 11 years now, keep busy, volunteering etc., no money worries, and have to say loathe every minute of it, would go back to work tomorrow for free if I could! Good luck in your retirement Harry, hope you enjoy it more than me.

PamelaJ1 Wed 11-Dec-19 15:28:21

I really like my work. I only work 3days/week( on the run up to Christmas a lot more!) and can take time off if I want to. I see clients that I have known for years and get on with well, we laugh and talk about everything under the sun.
I already have enough time for my tennis and gardening. I socialise with friends.
Why would I want to retire? The thought scares me😱
I feel that I should but I’d rather work and pay someone else to do my decorating etc.
It seems to me that once you involve yourself in volunteering on a regular basis you are as tied as you were at work.

sodapop Wed 11-Dec-19 16:32:30

Retirement seems to be causing you some concerns Harry1960 don't worry so much. It's surprising how things will fall into place. You don't have to fill every minute of every day. Stop and smell the roses, read a book, have lunch with friends. After a while you will wonder how you found time to work.

Barmeyoldbat Wed 11-Dec-19 17:05:44

Mr Barmey joined me in retirement at 60, he left work one day and the next day we went on a 4 month trip backpacking around Asia. When we returned he had forgotten all about work and was in laid back mode.

I tried structure when I retired by working for CAB but found I din't want the structure. I wanted the freedom to get up when I wanted and just do what ever I wanted.

Nowadays we always look at the weather for the next day, if its good we are out either cycling or just places we fancy. I doesn't have to cost a great deal of money. We even go out foraging for wood for the wood burner. If the weather is bad, we potter around the house, reading, crafting but always make a point of going out for a coffee in the afternoon just to see people.It will be trial and error for a while but you will soon fall into doing things how you like.

BlueSky Wed 11-Dec-19 22:45:47

It will take time to adjust to the new life. I found it very strange at first and didn't enjoy it, so much that I started looking for work straight away. Eventually I was able to let go of the various part time/ temp jobs/volunteering that I thought I needed and started to enjoying the free time and above all being my own boss on how to spend my time. After 5 years I wouldn't work for any amount of money!

travelsafar Thu 12-Dec-19 08:31:03

I planned before retirement and joined some local groups so they were in place once i had retired. I play bowls in the summer months which takes up lots of time, then there is the garden to look after, days out with my sister and meeting with friends and having long lazy days catching up with them. I see my family frequently too. I have also joined knitting group which is great fun we meet every week through the year, i have also now joined a Qigong class and a library group. All these activties are fun and i then relish the time i spend at home. In fact most weeks the only full day i spend at home is a Monday. go to your local library or check the local paper and see what you can find.

grannyrebel7 Thu 12-Dec-19 15:53:39

I'm dreading it too to be honest. I've got one year and seven months to go and I just don't know what I will do with myself all day. My DH loves it but we're very different. Will be good to hear how you get on with it harry1960.