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How to Adjust to Early Retirement

Dianna is a writer with a background in education and business. She writes to inspire and encourage others.

My Hubby's favorite quote: "There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

My Hubby's favorite quote: "There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

The Retirement Decision

According to the US Census Bureau, fifteen million people in the United States will cross over the minimum threshold retirement age of 62 over the next five years. The decision to either wait until normal retirement age or collect early benefits will be of great concern as they face exiting the workforce.

Due to a company reorganization and merger, my husband made the decision two years ago to take an early retirement. It wasn't easy for him to make the decision. As he heard the plans for restructuring, he deliberated over undertaking a different position within the company or simply accepting a severance package at the age of fifty-seven—not sixty-two. How does one walk away after years of service from a job they love and the many co-workers who have become family through the years? Then there was the question of financial security and having to budget expenses over the next 30 to 40 years. Finally, what does one do with the ten plus hours every day if there no longer exists responsibilities and duties to perform?

After considering all the options and his decision was made, when the time came to separate, my hubby packed up his personal belongings in the familiar brown cardboard box and slipped away from the working world which represented identity and security.

Retirement Statistics

A 2012 Transamerica Retirement Survey reported the majority of workers aged fifty to sixty plan to work after retirement. 52% state they will work part-time while 9% plan to work full-time.

According to the 2012 Center for Retirement Research report, 30% of households are prepared for retirement at age 62. 55% of households are projected to be prepared by age 66, the full retirement age designated by Social Security.

A 2012 survey reported Baby Boomers born in 1946 (who turned 65 in 2011), stated they were fully retired, the average age at retirement for these Boomers was 59.7 for men and 57.2 for women.

The Social Security Administration reports that the average age of retired workers has changed little over time, rising from 72.4 in 1960 to 73.7 in 2010.

According to a CPS 2011 data analysis, the average retirement age for men is 64 and for women 62. (Retirement age is defined as the age (in years and months) at which the labor force participation rate drops below 50%.)

Source: Sloan Center for Aging and Work,

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.

— Doug Larson

Is Early Retirement for Everyone?

Experts in the retirement field believe there are a few situations when early retirement is a good choice:

  • Poor health and the inability to perform your job well as a result.
  • You no longer enjoy your job and it is causing you health issues such as anxiety or stress.
  • You have been laid off and a job is hard to find.

If you fit any of these factors, then early retirement is a good choice to make. After all, if you aren't well or you dread going to work every day, you most likely need to step down, out, or take a sabbatical to analyze your situation.

As one retiree shared, work kept her mentally stimulated and challenged to aspire in performance. Would you be able to replace this mental exercise or balance with other activities? Would you be able to find other projects or hobbies to fill the extra time on your hands at home? The social interaction of a workplace allows one to enjoy camaraderie and feel a part of a team. Outside of the work environment, there may be limited friendships during the day.

How are you at budgeting? Once you retire, the regular paycheck schedule is non-existent and you must learn to keep track of your every expense so that your funds stretch out over the next couple of decades or more. Social Security is available at 62 and can deter your withdrawing from retirement savings but consider the possibilities of needing the funds should something out of the ordinary impact your life.

Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.

— Will Rogers

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Disenchantment: Adapting to a Lifestyle Change

The oddest sensation for some retirees is waking up Monday morning to face an empty schedule. It's like someone has taken the brown out of your chocolate! You are left with a great flavor but it is colorless. You have to adjust your view if you are going to survive.

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In the first few weeks, my husband decided the backyard needed attention. He set out for the local hardware store to buy some gardening supplies and tools to mend the yard furniture. He spent most of his days outdoors. During this time, I think he power sprayed the cement patio every day. It was the cleanest I had ever seen it in years.

I watched him through the kitchen window in the early mornings, his expression told me he was trying to wash away years of dedicated service. The cleansing of the patio represented his wiping away (or filing away) what once was a stressful job responsibility but yet one of surety. A paradox wrestled within him. Over time, I noticed a relaxed attitude appeared and the daily washing ceased.

Now what? This is a dangerous stage for any male retiree in his relationship at home. For years, he spent a good ten hours or more away from home while his wife stayed home and kept things in order. And this was her personal territory; managing things so that all flowed well and made sense. But, now that he is home, all household activities come under his interest (and scrutiny). This is a potential area of concern and there should be a big red flag waving in the breeze at this point. Warning: disaster lies ahead!

The Japanese women have a term to describe retired husbands, "Sodaigomi" or over-sized garbage. In fact, many Japanese women become physically and psychologically ill due to the husband's intrusion at home on her domain. Health problems include stomach ulcers, slurring of speech, rashes around the eyes, palpitations, tension headaches, stress, and depression. It is a growing concern for this nation were the longevity of life in this country is the longest on Earth. (Source: retirement

In our situation, my household management included bi-monthly grocery shopping and cooking the evening meals. As I prepared for my trip to the local market, my husband eyed my ritual of taking inventory in the kitchen, utility room, and other areas such as the bathrooms for needed supplies. He questioned the items on the list and why I needed them. Not that he was demanding justification for purchasing them, but he was just curious. At the time, I was a little perturbed with his intrusion on my ritual. I felt heart palpitations. I did not develop rashes around the eyes, just angry eyes.

Next, he announced that he wanted to accompany me to the grocery store. I swallowed my first response of "no way" and consented to his request. You would think after forty years of marriage your relationship was so well oiled nothing could prevent it from getting off track. I was so used to being solely responsible and independent for restocking of household needs that when my husband chose a cart and pushed it inside the store, I was furious. This little act represented an imposition on my lifestyle and authority. How dare he?

Cooking has always been an area of interest for my husband.  Now that he has the time, he is an excellent chef!

Cooking has always been an area of interest for my husband. Now that he has the time, he is an excellent chef!

What We Learned

The first year of my husband's retirement was a roller coaster ride with more downhill tracks than up. It was as if we were learning to live together all over again. For him, he had to adjust not only to filling his schedule with projects, hobbies, and activities but to my work schedule and social activities outside the home. My adjustment was in accepting his need to fill his schedule with meaningful responsibilities at home such as projects and cooking.

Today we enjoy shared interests as well as separate activities. We have learned to communicate our thoughts and to listen with an open mind to the other's concerns. We realize that each of us needs quiet times during the day for renewal, prayer, or just relaxing. It is equally important for us to spend time together doing something we enjoy on a daily basis.

Surprisingly, my husband now does the cooking and grocery shopping. Yes, I have relinquished this important responsibility over to him. I am so reliant upon him for this. The other day when I had to cook because he was ill, I walked into the kitchen and felt out of place!

The Reorientation Stage often leads one to take up a new hobby or improve their lifestyle routine.

The Reorientation Stage often leads one to take up a new hobby or improve their lifestyle routine.

Stages of Retirement

Retirement is a transitional process individuals experience once they have exited the workforce. The stages of retirement below serve as a guide as to how some people will view this stage of life. It is not indicative of all people, it merely describes a general modification of lifestyle for a retiree.

Stage One: Pre-retirement

A gradual disengagement from the workplace. The individual begins to envision and plan for retirement. Thoughts may center around possible life-changing events such as new hobbies, volunteer opportunities, or an extended vacation.

Stage Two: Retirement

Three possible paths are taken after the termination of paid employment:

  1. Honeymoon: The person may travel treating it as a much-desired leisure activity. The mindset is one of permanent vacation and a season of relaxation.
  2. Immediate Retirement Routine: One retirement is official, the individual transitions into a full and active schedule based upon pre-established interests.
  3. Rest and Relaxation: Due to overly active employment schedules, this person will choose a period of low activity in order to rest the mind and participate in activities once beyond their reach. Often, the person will return to a moderate to active activity level after a period of rest and relaxation (It may take up a few years to reach this stage.)

Stage 3: Disenchantment

After the "honeymoon" is over, some people experience a sense of disconnect to the once productive work schedule and will become disappointed or disillusionment with their present lifestyle. Triggers may include the death of a loved one, a sudden change in lifestyle, or relocation due to factors such as downsizing.

Stage 4: Reorientation

This stage often motivates a person to re-access their retirement path and to sketch out a plan to expand and enrich their present role. Choices made include involvement in the community, taking up a new hobby, accepting part-time employment, or downsizing their present living arrangement.

Stage 5: Retirement Routine

Reaching this stage of satisfaction in retirement may take a few years for some people. However, this phase is rewarding and restful for the retiree as he or she has accepted and perfected their view of retirement.

Stage 6: Termination of Retirement

Eventually, an individual reaches the stage in life where they no longer can function independently due to ill health, disability, or normal aging. Life is a day-by-day goal and future planning is simply to enjoy the present circumstances of life.

Based upon a study by Christine Price, PH. D. Ohio State University

Created by Teaches12345, January 2013

Created by Teaches12345, January 2013

Retirement: A Season of Discovery and Insight

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap…
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go…

But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.

I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.

Whatever was, is. Whatever will be, is. That’s how it always is with God. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15

Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.

— William A. Ward

Present Stage: Reorientation

At this time, my husband volunteers at a local homeless shelter a couple of times a month and helps out with church-sponsored events. He also has a daily exercise routine and is completing his Certified Management Accountant (CMA) degree online. He networks with former coworkers and lunches with friends to keep in touch socially. Interestingly, he has developed a hobby of taking photos of the Florida wildlife and native floral plants. I remember a time when he paid little attention to my remarks about hearing a bird sing or seeing a rainbow in the sky. Today he takes videos of both and the other day I was taken by surprise when he said, "Look, there's a rainbow!" and "snap" went the camera.

Early retirement was a forced situation in his case. It has been an opportunity to experience what full retirement looks like and what steps are necessary to enjoy Stage 5, the Retirement Routine mentioned above. I heard him on the phone the other day talking to a potential employer. I was a bit sad thinking how my day would be empty without him around the house working on projects or chatting about events. Worse yet, who is going to cook my lunch? Even so, life goes on and we adjust.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


David B Katague on June 24, 2020:

I really enjoyed reading this article. I did not retire early, but my oldest did and I could identify with sentiments of this hub!

Joyette Helen Fabien from Dominica on June 23, 2020:

A very insightful article from someone who has experienced life with a retiree.

Dianna Mendez (author) on December 23, 2017:

We have adjusted to retirement but still work part-time. Guess that would be another angle to cover soon. Thanks for your comments Chitrandaga, Lovetherain and Peg.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 19, 2017:

Excellent article and so much relatable to me at this stage of life.

Retirement does have an impact on both the partners. We have to deal with it sensibly and with planning. Both of us try to be as active as we can. Staying positive towards life and productive in other works is important.

Thanks for sharing this interesting article!

CC from Untited States on October 22, 2017:

Great article. I don't know if I've officially retired yet, but I seem to be pretty close.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 28, 2015:

Great explanation of the effects of early retirement on both partners in a relationship. I retired early (due to reorgs and reassignment at my company) and took up several business ventures including real estate investing, calendar making, volunteering, eventually settling into my new routine. Soon, my hubby was laid off and remained unemployed for over a year. At first, it was like you wrote. He was underfoot and curious about my daily activities, often interfering with my happy habits. Later when he returned to a regular job, I missed his company.

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 04, 2014:



Thank you for stopping by and for your supportive feedback. We are enjoying retirement and keepin busy helps to extend the quality of life. Yes, firstday, my hubby was roped into this one. :)

Rebecca Be from Lincoln, Nebraska on September 25, 2014:

Thumbs up lady! Look at all the old people commenting…LOL

This is a subject everyone will have to address sooner or later. I enjoyed your writing. Looks like your husband volunteered for this article.

ologsinquito from USA on September 25, 2014:

That's a huge step and a huge adjustment for your husband, and for you too. I hope he's doing well and keeping himself busy. Voted up and shared.

Dianna Mendez (author) on September 24, 2014:

Paw, paw, go good to hear how early retirement worked for you. I agree that keeping active is what makes this stage in life enjoyable and helps to balance enjoyment of life in the present.

Dianna Mendez (author) on September 24, 2014:

Chitrangada, I agree that if one keeps the mind active it will extend life and its enjoyment. You are a welcome visitor and so appreciated!

Paula, working from home is almost like retirement. It prepares one for the future.

Colin, sounds like you have a good plan and are headed towards a great retirment when the time arrives. Thanks for sharing on the topic.

Stereomike, I can see how transitioning between jobs would shadow some of these ideas. I wish you the best in your career and trust you will be ahead of the gang when retirement arrives.

Chateaudumer, good to know the article is right on with those who have weathered this stage of life. I wish you the best life has to offer, dear friend.



David B Katague from Northern California and the Philippines on September 23, 2014:

I enjoyed reading this Hub. I retired 12 years ago and experienced all the stages in this hub. Voted up!

Mike Hey from UK on September 23, 2014:

This was a fascinating insight. I'm a long way from retirement as only 31 but I am currently in the middle of a period of Gardening Leave between jobs and whilst I have always had the knowledge of another job at the end, I have experienced some of the stages you outline to a lesser extent

Colin323 on September 23, 2014:

Very interesting and honest account of the problems and positives of retirement. I'm glad things worked out well for you, but it takes time, as you have demonstrated here. I took a retirement option at 60, but continue to work in the same career but on a part-time basis, decreasing the hours each year until I completely retired (at 67) this year. This de-acceleration worked well for me, as I don't think I could have coped with a complete break at the relatively young age of 60. Today I have a mixture of voluntary work, self-employment (online bookselling), plus leisure related activity (walking, gardening, reading) to give me plenty of structure. My wife and I have carved the household stuff between us, with me cooking & part-cleaning. This works well, as resentment can easily build if one partner has to shoulder all the boring chores.

Jim from Kansas on September 23, 2014:

Excellent information on adjusting to early retirement. I retired at 56, and don't regret it for one minute. After a year or so, I started to wonder how I ever found time for a job. Filling your time is important.

Preperation years in advance is a good idea.

Paula Atwell from Cleveland, OH on September 23, 2014:

Definitely not ready to retire yet. But working from home is very different than working in an office. Good suggestions for those who are ready.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 22, 2014:

This is great hub, full of realistic and helpful information! I loved your thoughtful suggestions and the chart created by you says a lot.

Retirement is a difficult transition in life. I believe we should work as long as we can that is till the health permits. In fact if we keep ourselves busy in productive work, the health is also well maintained. Mind and body should remain active, if not in regular job in some other job.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub!

Dianna Mendez (author) on September 22, 2014:

Ologsinquito, our twilight years can be a great opportunity to share what we've learned with others making it easier for them down the road.

ologsinquito from USA on April 13, 2014:

People who can retire early are very fortunate. They can then devote productive years to doing something they love, or helping those who are less fortunate. Voted up and shared.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 11, 2014:

Poetryman, for most it is true, we work until we can no longer. My sister is 77 and still working full-time because she enjoys the work and because she needs the extra income. Thanks for your added value to the topic. Enjoy your weekend.

poetryman6969 on January 04, 2014:

I keep hearing that for most it doesn't matter what you planned. Circumstances may still require that your work until you die.

Dianna Mendez (author) on September 20, 2013:

jainismus, I am so glad you visited and found the topic good reading. As time continues, we are still learning to adjust to our present circumstances. We are learning so much! Take care and stay safe.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on September 20, 2013:

This is great Hub with every required detail of the subject. Thanks for sharing.

Shared with followers.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 21, 2013:

Wow, Vinaya, Epbooks, Rebecca, I am so sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I am not getting these notices for some reason. Anyway, we are very much enjoying our early retirement stage. We may see a launch back into the working world again, but for now we are reaping the benefits of relaxation. Blessings.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on August 19, 2013:

What a great topic to write on! You are so lucky to have a chef around the house!

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on July 07, 2013:

This was a very interesting and useful hub! I'm sure early retirement is on the minds of many and these questions seems like the same ones I would be asking myself!

How very interesting what you wrote about Japanese women. I can see how they can be upset over their husbands in their "domain" but never imagined that they get sick!

I think if one chooses early retirement, it might be a good idea to get involved in a community activity so that there is that social outlet for sure!

Voted up!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on May 01, 2013:

It is too early for me to think about retirement. But in some part of my life I really need to know this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Dianna Mendez (author) on April 13, 2013:

Thanks for coming by, Audrey. We have truly discovered life is richer as the years go by, and still counting on many more to come! Take care, dear lady.

Audrey Howitt from California on April 11, 2013:

What a fabulous hub this is! All us older folk should read it!!

Dianna Mendez (author) on March 28, 2013:

Pstraubie, early retirement is not for all, but when forced it can be used as a time for reflection upon what to do next. Thanks for your input and visit. Blessings.

Skye, Blessings and hugs to you! Thanks for taking part of the discussion on early retirement. It is a time to rethink what you want out of life and how to proceed forward postively.

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on March 26, 2013:

teaches very very very good writing sister. This is a must read for those who plan on retirement soon or are in the process. Some key points here. Honeymoon over. Life stares at you so what are you gonna do with it now. I know of a few retired that went stir crazy and back to work part time. Got to have a plan to be of service somewhere, somehow!! A key to living life. Helping others. Love your writing girl. Hugs galore teaches. Your sista in Christ. Skye.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 26, 2013:

Great hub

Retiring early is not for every one. You have covered some very important tips those who face this should be aware of. thanks for sharing

Sending Angels your way :) ps

Dianna Mendez (author) on March 07, 2013:

Carozy, I always felt that retirement would be an easy transition, until we were suddenly faced with the situation. My dreams of kicking off my shoes and doing little soon became an illusion. However, the adjustments and change over the past two years have led to a balance in schedules and activities. Thanks for your reflection on this post. Stay safe and well.

carozy from San Francisco on March 07, 2013:

I enjoyed reading this hub and found it quite humorous. It sounds like you two have settled down nicely to an active retirement full of hobbies and activities. I'm working full time and the idea that someone would have a hard time with retirement is almost a foreign concept to me! Anyway, wish you both well with your retirement.

Dianna Mendez (author) on March 06, 2013:

Thanks, Kelly, for coming by here and leaving a comment. It is still an adjustment for us but we are loving it. Take care.

Willette from Michigan on March 05, 2013:

Very informative hub. This really gives you something to think about.

Definitely have to share thumbs up useful and awesome.

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 12, 2013:

Hello, Jools!

It is hard to adapt to retirement. You feel guilty having time on your hands. I think establishing some routine filled with hobbies, volunteer work, friends, etc. helps to balance out the time while considering your next step. Sometimes you find a whole new job just by waiting it out! Hope you find what makes you happy. Be blessed in your day's journey, dear friend.

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on February 12, 2013:

Dianna, I 'retired' at age 49 due to too much stress in my working life and I have no regrets about that. I have had 6 months off but think I will probably start looking for work soon, even though hubby has told me that I don't need to do so. I just need something to get my brain ticking over again I think. It's weird, I am starting to feel 'guilty' for not working and I don't like that feeling! I have worked since I was 16 and this is the longest time I have not worked.

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 11, 2013:

Stephanie, I would love to own an RV and go on a tour of America. Sounds like it was a good time in your life. Having to adjust is a major issue when retirement comes around and it sounds like you are handling it well.

Dwachira, I was just saying this to a friend of mine: retirement should be planned early in your career. It will only help when the day comes, which does come too quickly, to step down and relax. Great insight.

Sunshine, you know us well! Picnics in the park on a weekday afternoon are a benefit of early retirement. Thanks for stopping by here again, Linda. Enjoy the sunny weather!

Jelly, I am glad that you found this post to match your stages of early retirement, it validates the content. If not planned for, retirement can lead to unhappiness -- planning way ahead helps combat the disappointments. Thanks for your visit and support.

Barbara, your outlook is so important for those planning to retire: you have to keep active and engaged in life activities. If not, you will find yourself bored. Thanks for adding value to the post. Enjoy your time with your husband.

Barbara Badder from USA on February 11, 2013:

My husband would like to opt for an early retirement. I read some of this to him. He doesn't have many hobbies and I'm afraid he might be bored to death literally.

jellygator from USA on February 11, 2013:

Ooh, this is such a great hub!

I "accidentally" retired a few years ago (long story) and found myself going through the stages you mentioned. I battled depression during that time, and found that despite having substantial funds, they run out quickly if not well planned!

Voted well and FB'ed... trying to Pin but it's snagging on me.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on February 11, 2013:

Stopping by once again to say hello to "Ed and Dianna" and also say that retirement allows for some romantic picnics :)

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on February 11, 2013:

Hi teaches12345,

My dad always reminds me that the time to plan for retirement is when one is energetic and working. We leave it to late only to find retirement tugged on us. You have provided a prove here that it is never early to plan for retirement. Voted up, useful and shared.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on February 11, 2013:

Great hub, and the story you told about early retirement could fit any number of my friends whose husbands retired early. Retirement is a time for redefining roles and requires so many adjustments in a marriage.

Our retirement was somewhat different because as soon as I retired, we sold our house, bought an RV and began full-time RVing. But still, many of the things you mentioned were important. Top priorities are careful budgeting and giving each other space.

Now that we own a house again, we have new adjustments to make. I have to teach him to quit telling me how to season food when I'm cooking! :)

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 25, 2013:

Linda, when a routine is interrupted, or change happens, we have to readust. As you say, it is not easy and most involve compromise to survive. It is a learning stage for us all. Take care.

Linda Chechar from Arizona on January 25, 2013:

Early retirement certainly puts strain on even the healthiest relationships. My husband retired early and I work outside the house. There is a lot of adjustment and compromise involved. You've provided insight into what he must be going through. Great Hub!

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 24, 2013:




Thank you each for stopping by for a visit and for your supportive comments. Hopefully, it will be useful to many who are facing this stage of life, whether forced or voluntary.

Rema, so sorry to hear about your cause of leaving. Arthritis does wear on so many of us, the choice to leave must have been so hard. Like you have discovered, writing keeps us active and very balanced with life. Glad you agree! Cheers!

Rema T V from Chennai, India on January 24, 2013:

Hi Dianna,

Excellent hub. I retired early at 40 due to my rheumatoid arthritis when I decided I wasn't doing justice to both my job and home. So it was a forced decision and it was so bad initially (though I got to rest and avoid work stress) that I missed my fat paycheck every month for a few months. Then I got used to the situation, kept telling myself that it was a necessary decision without which life would have become more miserable.

I found this online writing job almost seven years after I retired and by then my health got better and here I am, as happy as ever and working from home making a living as well as feeling relaxed in the cool confines of my home.

Thanks a lot for this great hub Dianna. Very well-written and very informative. Cheers, Rema.

europewalker on January 24, 2013:

Excellent article with valuable information. Voted up and awesome.

DragonBallSuper on January 24, 2013:

Great hub Dianna.. i know for sure this will help a lot of people

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 15, 2013:

Yes, Vicki, life after retirement is a blessing. It's funny how we never have time to all the nothing we want now! LOL! I have never been busier and yet so relaxed. Good to hear you are enjoying life-- you have earned this stage!

Vickiw on January 15, 2013:

Hello teaches12345, I really enjoyed this article, and admired your thorough research on this topic. I am now fully retired. Every now and again I think maybe I should go back to work, but then I realise I really like the flexibility of my life, and need to keep it that way. It is sort of nice to get up in the morning whenever you like, and to be able to roam freely, watch birds, and cherish flowers. Actually I am so busy I don't know how I ever found time to work outside the home. Great article.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 15, 2013:

We share almost the same story, Peggy. As you said, we must learn to adjust and seek new interest to keep us going forward. Thanks for sharing from your personal experience. It is encouraging to me. Blessings to you and your husband.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 15, 2013:

My husband also retired early due to a hostile takeover. The subsidiary company lasted for a short time and after almost 150 years of operation, ceased to exist. Most often when large companies take over others in a hostile bid...many people end up losing their jobs. And it is generally the older and higher paid wage earners that are the first to go (at least in our experience of knowing what happened.)

Now he and a business partner are in another business entirely and my husband is loving it. From running a fine paper company to brokering wine. Quite a switch! My hubby also loves to cook like yours does. In fact he does the cooking for our dinner parties and cooks more dinners than I do. For him it is creative and also relaxing. No complaints on my part...I can assure you!

Very interesting and useful hub! One has to maintain an interest in something as one ages and circumstances change. Wishing you many more happy and fulfilling years ahead for the both of you.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 14, 2013:

Adjkp, thanks for sharing your dad's personal experience and so glad to hear how he found a better job. Working at a job that drains one's spirit is not healthy. We are enjoying our time, but as it changes this year with employment -- we have learned lots during this stage. Stay safe and well.

David from Idaho on January 14, 2013:

My dad retired from a job he didn't enjoy and was really messing with his health because of the stress it was causing him.

He then went back to work and is now enjoying what he is doing.

He works almost the same amount of hours and loves what he is doing, he also was able to stop taking some medication he was prescribed because of his previous job.

I believe any retiree needs to find a hobby or something to occupy their new found free time. Good for your husband and you!

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 14, 2013:

Vnsatakopan, I hear of people who simply slip away after retirement due to inactivity and loneliness. It's a shame. Your approach is refreshing and one that will keep you enaged in life and able to contribute to the good of society. I know how much your wife must enjoy the extra cook in the house! Blessings.

Dr.Vangeepuram Navaneetham Satakopan from Chennai, India on January 14, 2013:

Usually, retirement turns out to be a killer. This is because people neglect to develop interesting hobbies. I am into writing after retirement and it keeps me engaged. I am also interested in cooking and this also helps to relieve the monotony which my wife previously experienced in the kitchen. Wonderful hub and voted up.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 12, 2013:

Eileen, we are learning to live on less and are much happier now. Your tips are good ones. I agree traveling one's country keeps the economy going. Thank you for adding to the content. Enjoy your day.

Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on January 12, 2013:

You have done a wonderful job of explaining this to a T. We all live our lives to the best of our abilities.

I think the best way like you said is to do it gradually. Encourage other part time work whether it be from hobbies, writing online or even garage sale s. We all need to have that little something to keep our minds and bodies being active and creative.

Money is not important - health is a very important factor in life. We can live easily in smaller houses and less income if we put our minds to it. And travel around your own country so you keep what money you have left spent there. Not somewhere else in the world.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 11, 2013:

Cristina, I plan to be productive well past my 60's when the time comes. It keeps you enjoying life. Thanks for your add here and for stopping in to visit. Enjoy your weekend.

Cristina Santander from Manila on January 11, 2013:

Great hub which presents a great wealth of information. Retirement years could still be productive years for a person it just depends on his attitude towards life. Thank you for bringing out some important details about retirement which I believe is very helpful for many. Many blessings to you always and your family. Best regards.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 11, 2013:

Rtalloni, now that is an excellent testimonial to adjusting the retirement years through positive attitude. I love it! Thank you for adding the story to the topic. Would love to read a hub about him. Enjoy your weekend.

RTalloni on January 11, 2013:

Thanks for sharing an honest look at your experience and for some interesting insights into perceptions about the so-called retirement years. It is interesting to study the lives of people who began new lines of work in their "declining years" and used all they had learned throughout their lives to build dreams and fortunes.

We have an older friend who is in his mid-ninties now. His health is declining and his family is helping him, but when he retired he began a business that he has enjoyed bringing his children and grandchildren into. They will benefit from it when he is gone. He has had this business longer than he has had many of his grandchildren and it is thriving. Makes us smile every time we think about it. :)

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 11, 2013:

I can see how any work separation follows these steps. Good insight to this process, Glimmer. Thanks! Be well and enjoy being home.

Claudia Porter on January 11, 2013:

What a great and detailed hub. While it is not quite the same, I think I went through some of these stages when I quit work to stay at home. My career had always been the center of my life. Great hub! Shared.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 11, 2013:

Joan, you are quite a remarkable woman! You have proved life is what you make it. Thank you for your positive contribution to the topic. I hope to follow your example of keeping the mind active. It keeps us going. God bless you, dear lady.

Joan Veronica Robertson from Concepcion, Chile on January 11, 2013:

Hi teaches! As you probably remember I retired from teaching some years ago. Not really teaching, by then I was directing schools. I retired when things got so difficult I was no longer happy in my work, and by that time I was already 66. I rested for about three months, and then looked around for something to do. In my personal experience, people who work very hard, then retire and do nothing, have a projected life span left of about two more years. I've seen this again and again! So I started teaching again, and this time it was English, not Math, which was what I normally did! I had to start learning all over again, and the first year was hard! Now I have trouble walking and moving around, so I'm looking for a more sedentary activity, ergo: writing online! Started learning all over again! I don't have a hubby, we separated a long time ago, but it has not been easy! Your article is full of very sound and realistic information, so thank you for sharing your experiences! It is so important at this stage in life to keep the mind active, and to be adaptable! This is a wonderful Hub, as usual! God bless and have a good day!

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 11, 2013:

Paul, what am icon you are for the retirement community! I admire your outlook on life and how you have just closed one door and opened another to adventure. Yes, idle minds and hands are admitting life has no meaning. Thank you for your wisdom added here. Enjoy your journey.

Eddy, I thank you. A day shared with a friend is sweet bread from above.

Eiddwen from Wales on January 11, 2013:

So very interesting and useful Dianna.

Here's to sharing a wonderful day my friend.


Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on January 11, 2013:


I retired from my government job when I was almost 63. When I retired, I had lost my passion for the job due to a number of factors. Since I have always been interested in teaching, I moved to Thailand and have been teaching EFL here full-time for the past 5 plus years. In March I will be quitting my full-time job and moving to a smaller city and work teaching only part-time. I plan to devote more time to writing, travel, translation, and other activities. Retirement is a great thing if a person draws a good pension and has a plan of how he or she is going to spend their free time. Unfortunately, many people don't have interests and just spend their time sitting around doing nothing. I feel this is a ticket to an early grave. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 10, 2013:

Girishpuri, thank you for the encouragement. You don't seem old enough to be that near retirement. Life has treated you well!

Mhatter, the road to happiness never ends! Thanks for stopping by today. I wish you well.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on January 10, 2013:

Thank you for this. Wouldn't know about retirement. Went from my (great) job to the masons to my current illness.

Girish puri from NCR , INDIA on January 10, 2013:

Well researched and extremely helpful, I will be looking at retirement in few years, Thanks for sharing your experience, Dianna.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 10, 2013:

Linda, I know your husband as had a tough time but he is coming through this well. Hugs to both if you.

Alicia, thanks for your support. Glad it is helping people to make decisions regarding retirement.

Shelley, it is a scary thought to think about retirement. It's a sense if losing balance for awhile. Keep an optimistic view it will help you succeed.

Shelley Watson on January 10, 2013:

Thank you for this very useful, informative article. We will be looking at retirement in a few years, it's a scary feeling in some ways, so I thank you for this insight. Up, interested and useful.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 10, 2013:

This is a great hub that contains lots of useful information for anyone who is considering retiring early. Thanks for sharing your experience and excellent advice, Dianna.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on January 10, 2013:

Excellent hub and advice Dianna! My hubby retired, not because he wanted to, but because he had to due to his health. He would so rather be working. I'd rather be retired!

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 10, 2013:

Nell, yes, you do know how it feels! It is a very difficult transition in life. Thanks for your added flavor to the post. Enjoyed your visit.

Nell Rose from England on January 10, 2013:

Hi, How I know how you felt! this happened to me back a few years ago when I was still married and everything was normal! long story! my husband left his job and it drove me mad to have him underfoot! the Japanese are right there! lol! every little thing I did he seemed to be watching to the extent that I wanted to scream go away! but we muddled through and then when he went back to work I sighed with relief, then felt lonely! great hub and very wise words, voted up and shared! nell

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 10, 2013:

Hello TeacherJoe, thank you for the blessings and your encouragement. We are doing it day by day and looking forward to what God has planned for us. Be well and safe.

teacherjoe52 on January 10, 2013:

Good morning teaches.

Yes retirement is difficult at any age.

I believe volunteering and learning new hobbies are very important.

God bless you and your husband as he goes through a new stage in his life. May it be a blessing to you both.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 10, 2013:

Dr BJ, it's been a journey for us and it is one of those that until you walk it, you can't quite understand the depth of the stages. Hope it helps others to know what to expect. Thank you for your valuable feedback and support. Enjoy your upcoming weekend.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on January 10, 2013:

What a charming dissertation on the good, the bad and the ugly of retirement, Dianna. Your stages of retirement are both realistic and informative. Thank you, m'dear.

Dianna Mendez (author) on January 10, 2013:

Hey, Mary! It is great to see at the head of the line on this one. My hubby was forced into retirement and he is adjusting his outlook for the future on employment and continuing to head into the final stage of this whole lifestyle change. I agree, there's never enough time to do things -- even without a solid job. Thanks so much for your positive support and views. Blessings, dear lady.

Carol, I am semi-retired right now, but as we all continue to write here, I think the future is becoming clear. Glad you have such an optimistic approach to your current status. Be well and strong.

Bill, we never cease to work, but now it's called fun. You are an example of taking change in life as an opportunity to launch into the next realm of life. Thanks for your insightful comment.

Glad this post can help your parents, Janine. It helps to know what is coming down the road so that you can prepare. As always, your support is valued and tremendously appreciated.

Midget, your friend is correct -- the mind must be kept active and challenged in order to enjoy any stage in life. Glad you are already seeing this fact.

Christy, I only touched on the roller coaster ride events, but enough said -- we survived! Glad this is going to be of use to your parents. Best wishes, dear one.

M G Singh, again - always good to see you. THanks so much for your support.

Cleaner 3, do keep yourself active and you will live a happy long life. I know that you have what it takes to keep balanced. Blessings!

Blawger, I'm sure your parents will eventually find the balance they need to make it through this stage. It takes a lot of patience and communication from both sides. Glad this will be helpful to them. You have my best wishes for 2013.

Seeker7, I think many of us are being forced to make use of extra time -- not a bad thing as it leads to a new adventure in life! How admirable of you to care of your elderly father. You will gain much from the sacrifice and I'm sure he is grateful for your care and love. Keep focused and optimistic, things will come forth and you will find the way. Blessings.


Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on January 10, 2013:

I would love to take an early retirement, but that isn't in the cards at the moment. So I was thus intrigued with your very informative hub on what to expect should we find ourselves in this situation. I have a lot of interests so I don’t think I would find it boring…nevertheless, one never knows. Excellent hub.

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on January 10, 2013:

Excellent hub and the information is critical for anyone facing this life changing time.

I haven't retired but after being made redundant, not working can be similar in some respects. However, I decided long before the redundant date came to make as much use of my time out of work as possible and so I started writing again.

This was a few years ago and now I've had to give up work to look after my elderly Dad. I was glad that I had the experience of being at home previously as this set me up well for having to give up work. I'm fully committed to having a change of career working from home and to be honest I'm so glad I have my writing since I can still feel that I belong in some form of work - and I love it! However, retirement will come one day and your hub has given me a lot to think about - but more importantly a lot to plan for! Thank you!

Bahin Ameri from California on January 10, 2013:

Wow, this hub extremely helpful and well-researched. Both my parents retired early last year and it has been a constant struggle. They were laid off and had trouble finding work so they were pretty much forced into it. Their monthly payments would not have been much more if they had waited 3 years, so they decided early retirement was the best option. I will definitely pass this on to my parents. Voted up and useful!

MG Singh from UAE on January 10, 2013:

A great article teaches, voted up

cleaner3 from Pueblo, Colorado on January 10, 2013:

great write teaches , this wealth of information for us (older generation of people is very good. I know after I sold my business after 25 years I needed to do something so I went back to schoool and now I keep my mind occupied and active with my writing and always learning something new. . Great hub, thanks .

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on January 10, 2013:

This hub has really helped me learn more about my parents' transition when they retired. I did not realize the extent of the emotions and the roller coaster... thank-you Dianna.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on January 10, 2013:

I once knew a teacher who said the thing that she needed to do after retirement was to keep the mind active, because going through all the phases is quite difficult for some. Thanks for sharing, and it is an important hub which I pass on.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on January 10, 2013:

Dianna, this really has a wealth of information on retirement and am going to pass this on to my dad, who will be retiring in the next few years, as well as my mom who will have my dad around the house more, too as far the adjustment issues you explained. Thanks truly for sharing your personal experiences and have of course voted up and shared, too!!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 10, 2013:

I retired at 62 and then doubled my hours by becoming a writer. LOL True story! I'll remember this if I ever actually retire.

carol stanley from Arizona on January 10, 2013:

Lots of good information here and it spells out the retirement time very well. I guess we are retired but Iam always looking for new ideas and ways to do things and of course make some dollars. I like getting paid for what I do...hopefully. Excellent hub. Voting UP and pinning.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on January 10, 2013:

I'm so happy to be the first to comment on your excellent Hub! I was forced into early retirement at a Medical Technologist. The hospital was making cutbacks due to their budget, and they got rid of some of those who were "older" because we were making too much money for them to pay. I did not want to go!

I enjoy my life now. There is never enough time in a day to do all the things I want to do. I'm busy all day.

I couldn't vote in your poll. Think about getting a vote for "already retired".

I voted this UP, etc. and will share.

BTW: sounds like your Hubby is an ideal husband!

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