Saturday, July 29, 2017

Retirement

Most of you dear readers don't do paid work. Some of you have retired partners. How do you fill in your time? How does your partner fill in their time. Have there been clashes and big adjustments once..........ok, I will be gender specific, once he stopped working and you found he cramped your style. You know, I married him for better or worse, but not for lunch.

R has adapted very well to retirement. He takes Mother out on Thursdays. Fridays he is a volunteer for about four hours to drive old and infirm to various places in a supplied car. About once a month on a Tuesday he takes oldies out in a minibus for a social lunch outing to a hotel or club well away from where they live in inner Melbourne and he gets a free meal. About once every month he has lunch with an old workmate. About every three months he and said workmate take former clients out for to the seaside and for lunch. Once a week he does the housecleaning and he does nearly all of the cooking of our meals, along with the clean up, plus the ironing. He naps in his bedroom for about three hours each day, alternating between sleep and watching tv. He doesn't mind mindless tv and he readily admits he is a lazy bastard and is quite content to sit and do nothing.

He is very content with his lifestyle..........but his way is not mine.

I don't want anything to do with the old, crippled and needy. I don't want anyone's face in my face. I have never worked in a caring profession, though I admire people who do, I could not put up with the nonsense that is involved with that. I have come across the worst and the neediest in my job, and I don't want to have anything like that in my life, aside from family!

It is probably impractical, but I would like to do away with cars and use an alternative car share scheme when I no longer work, if public transport or a taxi is not appropriate . I don't want to drive a car anymore. I hate the sheer incompetence of today's drivers. Just before I become an incompetent old driver, I get so angry when I am driving. I get stressed about parking.

So what shall I do if I retire? I don't like golf. We don't have a garden or pets to care about. Our lives are quite selfish. Short walks on the beach are good. Long walks on the beach sounds boring. On days when I don't work we normally have a bite to eat out somewhere, usually for no more than $10 each and I expect we would often still do this when I am no longer working. It is usually combined with an errand or some shopping to do.

I expect I will do a lot more photo projects, such as I have already done and published about on my blog. I would like to do a photography course, and there are plenty of them out there.

I will rejoin the St Kilda Historical Society and actually go to meetings and participate. There may even be other historical societies I will find of interest.

I have been a long term non active member of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and I would hope that I could offer something of value to them by donating my time.

I will certainly see more movies and perhaps amateur theatre.

So, I have thought about what I might do in retirement, but there are a lot of hours in a day. I expect I will sit even longer on my backside at the computer.

I need to maintain my health and I am a person of routine, even after a lifetime of working rotating shift work, I keep some sort of routine. I will need to set aside walking time. Our building has a pool, spa, sauna, gym, tennis court and room for a pony. Perhaps I will use the pool. God knows, it costs us enough to maintain.

I used to have such confidence that I would never be bored in retirement, but as the day gets closer, I am a little concerned.

Please tell me of your retirement adjustment experiences, or your partner's. I know that at least one of you had a bit of adjusting to your life when your partner retired.

46 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:38 am

    I guess the most important question is 'can you afford to retire?' If you have a generous superannuation or pension scheme or whatever, it will make life much easier than worrying every day about the cost of everything and skimping. Where will you be financially in five or ten years time? Sometimes I think its government policy to want people to work til they are 70 then drop dead as quickly as possible so they are not a 'burden' on the health care system.
    You need to keep your mind active as well as the body. As for the BF, it sounds as though you are not looking forward to him being in your face 24/7. Or vice versa. Maybe not having the stress of a job and commuting will be beneficial but even so, getting away from one another for a few hours or even a day or two can help. Its easy to snap and snarl at each other or be hypercritical at every little thing, but let it go. Its never as important as it seems. You love him - that's why you are still together. Are there any gay and grey groups/people around you can talk to? Apart from us? - Ian

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    1. Ian, you are so practical and finances are my prime focus. I am 59 and hope to finish work at 61. My super must support me until I am 67 and can get a pension, and I would like some money left for holidays etc once I am on a pension. Yes, I do have in mind that no matter how well we generally get along, we need time apart and that is in my thought plans. Yes, in spite of our ages we still fight, me aggressively passive. R stayed up too late last night. I went into the spare room today for something and closed the door and the clothes horse fell down. R was alarmed at the noise it made. We don't heat the spare bedroom normally unless there are clothes drying. He said I left the door open so the bedroom will warm up for Little Jo when she sleeps there tonight. I said, I thought of that, but the room heats up quickly. Little Jo will sleeping in the room was about 6 hours away. Always have to have the last word, don't you. Slammed bedroom door as he went for his nanna nap.

      Ian, apart from you? What better advice could I ever get than from you lot. Yes, there are groups and it not really a problem. It is just at times you wonder about the future.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts.

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  2. My retirement was forced on me. I discovered I had been defining myself by what I did. Not an easy adjustment.
    My partner hated, loathed and despised work (to the extent it made him ill). Retirement was something he looked forward to, and relishes.
    And yes, there are still adjustments for both of us. We operate on very different time clocks for starters. As I type this, he is sound asleep and probably will stay that way for another three hours. I have already been up three and a half hours.
    Good luck. I like your idea of joining history societies. And have been contemplating photography classes myself.

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    1. EC, we too operate on different time clocks. R likes to go to bed late and get up late and I like the opposite but not quite the extreme that you two do. I recall once just mentioning that a couple of your photos were out of focus. I don't know if it related, but your photos have been fabulous of late. No course needed, but then knowledge is not burden.

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  3. The prof is 8 years younger than i and he is an academic so wont retire ( or want to) until he is 70...i am retired now.....its the recipe for a long and happy marriage

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    1. John, it is early days yet for your retirement, but you have built a life outside of work already. Make sure The Prof keeps working and quids keep flowing in.

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  4. Like Elephant's Child, I had retired forced on me. But even before the health issues, I had cut down to 3 days a week and then down to 2.5 days a week. Thankfully! If it hadn't have been for this preparation time, it would have been long sleep-ins every morning and daytime tv *gag*.

    You need proper commitments, so the St Kilda Historical Society is a great idea as long as they have meetings/training every month or two. Being a volunteer guide for the National Gallery of Victoria is also excellent, as long as you commit yourself to their monthly training sessions and your guiding sessions. Search TAFE and U3A classes for subjects that you always wanted to study, but never had time for... and do the reading that they ask the students to do.

    Don't take on vague commitments because they don't get you out of bed in the morning. And good luck :)


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    1. C'mon Hels. You are not of the character to watch daytime tv. You would never do that, regardless of your circumstances. City of Melbourne guide, perhaps. Not a gallery guide. My gallery knowledge and passion for the subject is lacking.

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  5. I would volunteer or even just become a member somewhere like Melbourne Zoo. Zoo membership is a great way to get out for walks in pretty surroundings and if you like photography there are a lot of photo opportunities there. :)

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    1. Snoskred, that is great idea and I think I might enjoy it, but it is not within my passion. I did not even know our zoos have volunteer guides. How good is that.

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    2. One of my brothers volunteers at our local zoo. Not as a guide though. Essentially he gets a lot of dirty work - but some privileges are attached.

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    3. Mucking out the stalls,so to speak.

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  6. I was clever enough to get divorced long before I retired, so there's no partner hanging about whining that he's bored or whatever.
    My retirement plan was to sit around doing nothing unless I won the lottery, then I'd travel a bit, mostly around Australia. Take a few of those cruises that start in one city and go around the coast to other places before coming home. Then of course there's bus tours and trains to everywhere. But that lottery win hasn't happened yet, so the sitting around is in full swing. I'm a lot less finicky about cleaning too now the kids are off on their own. I've thought about volunteering, but don't think I'm ready yet and most places these days require police clearance.

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    1. River, as I may have said before, I admire the life on shoestring you have carved for yourself. It has been a bit sad of late, but still, you have done well. A question in my mind, will I be more fussy about cleaning, or will I just say, tomorrow.

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  7. As you get older you will slow down and your time will be increasingly filled by the expanding routine of caring for yourself/ves and your/each other's frailties.

    Retirement unless forced is still a way off for me, but my guess is that the biggest loss/adjustment on retirement will not so much be work per se as the social interaction with people apart from him indoors.

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    1. Marcellous, past tense. I have already slowed down. R had been talking about painting the interior of our place and I have tried to talk him into getting it professionally painted. After his great efforts at cleaning the windows and balcony this week past, he has agreed. He is not up to painting a three bedroom, two bathroom apartment, especially not as I doubt I can do because of my back problem. I have pretty well cut off social interaction with people at work, as nice as my most of my exotically born workmates are. I would miss the chats with workmates though, for sure. I think I have written a bit about this in a yet to published post.

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  8. Think yourself lucky you don't have that garden! I'm not sure how big mine is, but it seems to get bigger by the day. Mowing is a constant battle. Cleaning the pool takes about 30 mins each morning. I am the cook in the house. I also grow most of our fruit and vegs. Sometimes I just wonder where I get the time. I've never been busier!

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    1. Cro, isn't there a nearby illegal immigrant who could help you with garden? It seems to be way in the US. No garden or lawns to maintain here. They really are a reason to get out of bed for.

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  9. "...and room for a pony." LOL! Good old Hyacinth Bucket (it's boo-kay). Gave me a chuckle this morning.

    As for retirement adjustment, ours was big. We both retired early and left San Francisco for rural France. Lots of adjustment, but it's all good. Here we are, fourteen years later, and things are still good. The garden grows, but we get less ambitious about it as the years pass. As our retirement pensions kicked in, we've given up doing so much ourselves and feel better about hiring contractors for the big jobs. We're starting to wonder, as we get older, how much longer we will be able to live in and maintain this house, with its three levels and the half-acre property, so another "downsizing" may be in our future. But not just yet.

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    1. Walt, like R who just left his country and family, you were both very brave. Braver than I think I could ever be, yet you have made a great success of it. Having read between the lines at times, I can see that at some point you will have to change your accommodation in the future. But what a great experience you have had in France and I doubt returning to the US to live will ever be in your plans.

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  10. Like EC and Hels, retirement was forced on me too. 14 years ago now. My partner didn't retire until bloody Campbell Newman forced it, 5 years ago.

    I love to read, so do a LOT of it, both on the page and online. Otherwise I potter about the house talking to the cats, and generally doing my best to behave myself. My partner and I visit the local coffee shops from time to time, and eat out, usually at East's footy club, at least once a month. Evenings, we rarely watch TV. He'll be on the PC, and I'll be in the next room on my tablet. We frequently send each other links by email which we think might amuse the other. But then, we are a little odd!

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    1. Rozzie, I am typing here two metres away from R who is watching tv. I send him email links to things he may find interesting, but it is not reciprocal. I too like to read, R not so much. Odd you are perhaps, but it seems well adjusted to each other.

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  11. It is a big adjustment to get used too but it didn't bother us. Bill retired early due to ill health. I kept working until one day I thought I've had enough. You just know when its time. I used to see Bill relaxing and reading the newspaper leisurely over breakfast while I was rushing around getting ready for work. I thought I would like that easier life. We Re lucky in that we have similar interests and like doing things together. At first we went for lunch once a week. We went exploring all the local parks for a walk. We would go to the city on public transport (that was new for us). We would walk along the river or go to the markets or art gallery. We don't do that so much now because we are involved in U3A. We run the camera club and we have joined the video group and travel group. We have made lots of new friends and learnt lots of new stuff about photography. Unfortunately Bill has lost his enthusiasm for travel and I would love to travel more but I'm not one of the many people who seem to go off and do their own thing separate from their partners.

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    1. Diane, you and Bill sound rather like us in what you do together ona day to day basis. We are getting pretty close to zero friend level, not too critically saying it is more R who is over friends than I am, but worries the me the most is that my friends, with a couple of exceptions, are all older than I am. It would be a huge adjustment for me to travel on my own. I am not sure I could do it outside of Australia. But you did well enough on your own when on Queensland trains, into the NT wasn't it?

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  12. Hopefully you'll agree that it is 'your retirement' and you need to explore and enjoy 'your' likes and interests. Because you've been living a slightly different lifestyle to R doesn't mean you have to stop doing that now. I've always worked on the premise that 'Time together is great - Time apart is necessary'. Others may disagree.

    One thing I'd advise is (if you don't already) get a calendar or wall planner with big boxes so anything arranged - even regular events like Rs volunteer commitments- are marked. It means you or R can see what's going on at a glance.

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    1. Cathy, thanks. You talk sense. One thing I have guessed, is that there is not a need to rush into anything to just fill your time. Let it be a natural process. We already do the calendar thing, birthdays, social events, appointments etc.

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  13. I also meant to say- don't rush into anything. Take time to work things out, to assess how you feel about having time available, don't fill those calendar boxes too quickly.

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    1. I will wait until I get bored then. I expect there will me be many appointments once I retire to deal with, and then I will choose what I do.

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  14. Do you use a tablet to read books, Andrew? If so, send me an email and I will send you a link to my google drive book vault. :)

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    1. Snoskred, yes I can read books on my Kindle, tablet or phone, or dare I think, even on the desktop pc. You have proved your kindness in the past and do so again, but I have a backlog of Ebooks to read. You wouldn't happen to have Winton's Cloudstreet on file? Waiting list at the library and such an expensive book at Amazon.

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    2. As it happens I do have it but it was not in my folder on my tablet. I will not tell you the long story of trying to sort out my masses of books, it has been a long and difficult process but finally I have whittled through my nearly 30,000 books and I have an a-z books directory on my tablet with most of my favourites and things I have not yet read..

      These days I go into the books directory on the server and type in the title or author name to find things because there is no hope otherwise. Most of the time I already have the book I want, I just don't know I have it. So I have pulled out a few more into my new folder and re-uploaded it with the Tim Winton books, send me an email and I will send you the link. :)

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    3. Once again Snoskred, you are very kind.

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  15. interesting post about retirement. I must work for a long time no choice......

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    1. An expensive daughter to keep, Gosia, and a second house.

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  16. I think you know my retirement activities Andrew. I'm volunteering nearly as many days a week as when I was in full-time paid employment. My choice but, no doubt, not the choice of most other retirees.

    Still I make time for plenty of movies, theatre and travel. It is my luck, and a consequence of good savings and investments, to be comfortably off financially.

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    1. Indeed Victor, and as I've expressed I think you do rather too much but obviously you enjoy it.

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  17. I retired at 55 not easy but possible, I was living the single life at the time the beer fairy had run away with a 24 year old all I can say is she must have been short sighted and not to bright but that's another story.
    I paid all bills and paid off the mortgagee with my super and lived on the dole for a period I applied for jobs part time mainly but it all took up time of course no one wanted me I was too old.
    Then I went back to painting and other hobbies, then the beer fairy had a heart attack and came back home I think he was feeling a bit silly the 24 year old had long gone and he was living with two other fellows in a similar situation.
    He could no longer work so he went onto the invalid pension and I became his carer no more Money problems but a lavish lifestyle is out of the question.
    There is the garden and now the twins from Monday till friday I spend helping out with them but that finishes at the end of the year so we will see then.
    Merle.........

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    1. How interesting Merle. I wasn't aware of all that. Thanks for sharing your story. You at least have a house in a decent area.

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  18. My 89 yr old father retired when he was 59 (golden handshake) and has now been free - as he calls it - for more years than he was employed. He loved his profession but not his job.
    His first act was to disappear for three months (which resulted in my parent's divorce) and experiment with various hobbies and tasks. He settled on language learning, photography, travel, working as a volunteer for NGOs helping asylum seekers, supporting local sports and opera.

    He is now fluent in the two languages he started to learn, French and Swedish, even translated a couple of books. Every year, he produces several themed calendars with his photographs, travels to opera festivals, follows his local soccer club to matches, documenting every fart of the team (he has been made honorary elder manager and archivist) and has become a member of very many refugees families who have settled here successfully thanks to his help with authorities and language.
    He also has had an every changing assortment of female companions to keep him entertained.

    I am now the age he was then and I am facing possible retirement for health reasons. I don't like opera, already speak three languages, couldn't give a damn about soccer, will never be good at photography and have no intention to break up with my partner. There is a local initiative working with young refugees. I'll have a look. But mostly, I think I just wait and see.

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  19. Sabine, what a busy man your father has been but I have no intention of ever being that busy and it sounds like you don't either. I is hard to guess how we will handle retirement. We will find out soon enough. Btw, re sciatica, as a six week sufferer of it the first time ever, you have my sympathy.

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  20. Well i am just a volunteer but work very long hours some weeks. With several incidents of abuse by those I help lately, some have said "retire" and I think, what would I do then? I have no hobbies, other than reading and caring for my cats and no family and no money. These limit the possibilities after I hang up my traps. I keep thinking about it, how I would I create meaning and fill the long days with something enjoyable. I hope you find your answers. I have not found any yet.

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    1. Strayer, I expect only ill health will stop you. But you could ease off a bit, especially where there may be unpleasant confrontations.

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  21. My work are running a focus group on this exact thing. Not sure when though. There are a lot of things to take into consideration. I suspect I will never ever be able to retire :(

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    1. Fen, get yourself well set up and at an earlyish age, you may well be eligible for an invalid pension.

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  22. I'm in same boat as you Andrew. Will retire in next year or two (Am 62 now and see no rush just yet but I know one day I will have had enough of working) My partner is 11 years younger but has just recently started working from home - which will make retirement harder as his clients visit the house. I plan for the first year to do nothing but bum around the house - then will get stuck into the garden and house upkeep. I still go to gym three times a week with my best mate and hopefully will keep this up into retirement, well that's my plan - keeps the body a bit more flexible. Plus walking two dogs daily and catching up with friends for lunch etc and a least one trip a year will do me just fine.

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    1. Allan, that all sounds like you are quite well set up for retirement. Gym, hey. Impressive at your age.

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