Retirement - is it over-rated?

Preparing for life after work. RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs, annuities and meeting future financial and psychological needs.
Post Reply

Retirement - is it over-rated?

I'm retired. I'm glad. I'll never work again.
69
40%
I'm retired. I'm glad, I'm working to make ends meet.
4
2%
I'm retired. I'm glad. I'm working because I choose to.
21
12%
I'm retired. I'm sorry. I would have kept on working.
3
2%
I'm working. When I retire I'll never work again.
23
13%
I'm working. When I retire I'll need another job
4
2%
I'm working. When I retire I'll do something else.
38
22%
I'm working. I'll never retire.
6
3%
I don't work. I'm a gentleman (lady) of leisure.
5
3%
 
Total votes: 173

User avatar
Wallace
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2059
Joined: 30 Nov 2005 19:05
Location: Waterloo Ont

Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by Wallace » 02 Nov 2008 18:27

This morning, after Mrs W had blitzed the house changing all electronic devices including dishwashers, DVDs, microwaves and toasters to winter time, I awoke, stretched out my limbs, realised I had an extra hour of lying in bed, and fantasized about retirement.

I have another 2, 5, 7 or 10 years before I retire, depending on what happens with my health, the stockmarket, and the political climate in health care. I count myself lucky that I have the choice because most people don't. But I've seen a lot of people retire and keel over six months later. And I've seen just as many folks retire and seem at the start of the rest of their lives.

What does retirement mean to you?

I apologise for the length of this poll, but I've tried to include those who have retired already, and those who might (or might not) intend to retire later.

Is retirement all it is cracked up to be? As always, I await FWF's enlightenment.
Freedom!
"The trouble with internet quotes is that you never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln
Auto-correct is now my #1 enema

User avatar
Shakespeare
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 20722
Joined: 15 Feb 2005 23:25
Location: Lethbridge, AB
Contact:

Post by Shakespeare » 02 Nov 2008 18:31

It depends a lot on whether you liked your job....
“A wise man should be prepared to abandon his baggage at any time.” -- R.A. Heinlein, The Door Into Summer.

User avatar
Wallace
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2059
Joined: 30 Nov 2005 19:05
Location: Waterloo Ont

Post by Wallace » 02 Nov 2008 18:42

I tried to make the choices neutral as far as enjoyment of ones job was concerned. I was hoping there was a choice whether you enjoyed your job or not.
Freedom!
"The trouble with internet quotes is that you never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln
Auto-correct is now my #1 enema

Knowsitall
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1484
Joined: 21 Feb 2005 19:00
Location: St.john's nl

Post by Knowsitall » 02 Nov 2008 19:09

Well I retired in summer of 1991 so that means I have been out of work for almost 17 years and I am not complaining.

I do volounteer work but now at the age of 67 I do not even feel like doing much of that.

Since the age of 50 when I retired ,I HAVE FOUND TIME FLED AND I WAS LUCKY TO GET MY TICKER FIXED AND NO OTHER LARGE HEALTH MATTERS.

My advice is to get out asp as long as you can make it financially.

I am not a millionaiire so their is no need for an ATM to be located in or near the cemetary.

But sure beats working.

PS I slaved in university and CA work time but set my goal to retire at age 50 and just made sure I was prepared when I did it.

User avatar
parvus
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 9883
Joined: 20 Feb 2005 16:09
Location: Waiting for the real estate meltdown on Rua Açores.

Post by parvus » 02 Nov 2008 19:24

I expect to be working until they prise the cold, stiff pen keyboard from my (not yet) achy coupon-clipping hands. :wink:
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen — a wit
Imagefiniki, the Canadian financial wiki Your go-to guide for financial basics
Image

Zeide
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 109
Joined: 19 Feb 2005 15:30
Location: London Ontario

Post by Zeide » 02 Nov 2008 19:33

I was forced to retire in 1998 but work part time as I really miss the interaction with others. I was given a full pension by my employer so money is not really
an issue. Keeping my sanity is. <grin> Zeide

User avatar
Nemo2
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 9670
Joined: 02 Jan 2006 14:27
Location: Belleville

Post by Nemo2 » 02 Nov 2008 19:43

I quit working almost 20 years ago, age 46...........not counting 'pickup' type jobs that I did between travelling, I only worked halfway 'seriously' for 15 years of my life...........and as soon as I could stop doing it, I did.

There hasn't been even a fraction of a nanosecond since then that I've thought "Geez, I wish I was at work". :)
Exit, pursued by a bear.
William Shakespeare, Stage direction in "The Winter's Tale"

peter
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 541
Joined: 10 Oct 2005 21:37
Location: Alberta

Post by peter » 02 Nov 2008 20:15

Most of my hobbies aren't more interesting than my job, and it's possible to scale down from my current very high intensity to a much lower intensity at work. I might not be terribly interested in actually retiring, although that decision could be 30 years away.

User avatar
Yukon Maiden
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 866
Joined: 14 Dec 2006 12:39
Location: Arctic Circle

Post by Yukon Maiden » 02 Nov 2008 20:46

I am fortunate to really like what I do for a living. I am even more fortunate that it pays very well. I will have the choice to retire early should I wish. That said, I don't equate retirement to stopping work so much as having "choice". Choice is a beautiful thing. To be able to work when you want, travel if you choose, or just hang out at home.
" I reject you reality, and substitute my own!"-Mythbusters

Clock Watcher
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 723
Joined: 15 Jan 2007 02:34

Post by Clock Watcher » 02 Nov 2008 20:53

Shakespeare wrote:It depends a lot on whether you liked your job....
For me it boils down to a choice between work (which I enjoy) and health. I am still working, but I imagine some of the major benefits of retiring would be I have the time to cook (right now I eat out/order out for about 70% of my meals), time to walk, and my stress level will probably be way down.

I keep wishing for a repeat of the Federal civil servant buy-out of the early 90s - I would take it in a heart-beat. Instead HR tells us that there is a significant shortage in our field. Bad timing.

j831robert
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 752
Joined: 01 May 2005 14:12
Location: SW Ontario

Post by j831robert » 02 Nov 2008 21:26

I voted for the first option having been retired mandatorily at age 55 from the military "being to old to sleep on the hard ground". I had no firm plans for employment beyond rhe recognition that I would need something to occupy my time, my wife would not want me 'underfoot' 24 hrs a day, and I would have to civilianize since there is a very limited market for aging trained killers in Canada. Took me 8 years as a part-time security guard to 'come down'. I took that employment with the understanding that 1. it would be part time only, 2. I could be 'not available' on a week's notice, and 3. that I would never ever again be responsible for supervision of a subordinate. Worked out well and terminated only because my wife had a knee replacement while limited her household functions for some time.

I became a 'house mouse' - did/do everything but the dishes (a risk my wife is not willing to accept). Not a problem, a soldier can cook, sew, iron, make beds, etc etc., (but I don't 'do' pastries). Added to this was my role as chauffeur and eminence gris for six or seven years while my wife completed a BA and Masters degree (thereby fulfilling her retirement desires). I spent a lot of time in libraries in Windsor and London while my wife was attending classes and took up investment studies as a hobby.

Much more luck than skill but our net worth has increased fifteen-fold since retirement (and counting). On the occasion of our last child (of five) leaving the nest I announced to der kinder that we had spent 28 years of our married life being responsible for them and that we now looked forward to 28 years of just the two of us - has worked out well, just two more years to target.

The motto for the Cdn Forces is "There's No Life Like It". Human memories tend to be kind to us - I can't recall awakening a single morning during my service that I didn't look forward to whatever that day might hold, and I am pleased to find that that motto still applies in retirement.

WishingWealth
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 6701
Joined: 27 Feb 2005 10:53

Post by WishingWealth » 02 Nov 2008 21:46

Went with #1 too.
There were many parts of work I loved; after all, I choose what I wanted to do (through* education) and was lucky (worked hard at being lucky) that I found the exact type of work I had dreamed about.

But as I mentioned in another thread, I work best on my own and I developed a 'strong dermatological' :wink: reaction to the cross-functional (if you know what I mean) BS that had become the norm. I'm not saying it's not the right thing nowadays but that was not my cuppa tea.
So it was Image.

So far, NO regrets whatsoever.

WW

*corrected
Last edited by WishingWealth on 02 Nov 2008 22:28, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ghariton
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 11803
Joined: 18 Feb 2005 18:59
Location: Ottawa

Post by ghariton » 02 Nov 2008 22:24

I took a buy-out at the end of 1998. I've been working on my own since (except for a few years when I went back to school).

I usually enjoy what I do (I've got my first really difficult client right now :( ) and I can't imagine not working at all. However, as time goes on, I find I'm substituting pro bono work for the real thing.

I've almost got enough education now. :wink: Next, I plan on teaching a course or two.

George
The plural of anecdote is NOT data.

brucecohen
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 10870
Joined: 20 Feb 2005 16:47

Post by brucecohen » 02 Nov 2008 22:31

I chose #3. I keep telling myself (and others) that I'm now retired and shouldn't work so much, and I keep telling myself (and others) that I'm cutting back my workload, but I keep accepting assignments because I find them interesting and I really like my clients.

User avatar
Gus
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2311
Joined: 11 Mar 2005 13:01
Location: Salt Spring Island, BC

Post by Gus » 02 Nov 2008 22:50

brucecohen wrote:I chose #3. I keep telling myself (and others) that I'm now retired and shouldn't work so much, and I keep telling myself (and others) that I'm cutting back my workload, but I keep accepting assignments because I find them interesting and I really like my clients.
My thoughts -- and vote -- exactly.

I feel a little sorry for people who hated their work so much that retirement was their lifelong dream. What a waste to have spent so much time doing something they would rather not have had to do!

On the other hand, I am envious of those who are happy being retired without continuing their careers, even part-time. Perhaps such people have a more robust sense of self-worth than I do, which in my case depends so much on the practice of my profession. I admire people who are able to close off certain chapters in their life without regret and start afresh in a new direction.

My failed attempt at semi-retirement has at least taught me the lesson that it really is the journey and not the destination that matters, trite though that sounds.

User avatar
Jo Anne
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 3410
Joined: 19 Feb 2005 21:33
Location: The Middle of Lake Ontario

Post by Jo Anne » 02 Nov 2008 22:59

I chose # 2. If you'd asked me six weeks ago, it would have been # 3. :)

We retired six years ago when I was 49. For the first four years of our retirement, neither of us worked at all except for a bit of seasonal work and some internet stuff. It was fun being indolent, but we got a bit bored with it after a while. I absolutely love the job I have now at the LCBO, and I look forward to going to work in the morning. I never felt that way when I had to commute to a stressful accounting job every day.

My LCBO job is pretty much recession-proof. Husband's part-time job is similarly safe. We're good to go until government pensions kick in.

User avatar
westinvest
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 898
Joined: 22 Feb 2005 01:17
Location: Okanagan

Post by westinvest » 03 Nov 2008 00:15

Another #3. Retired 11 years ago at 48, and certainly did not want to continue to work in my career field (IT) because of the 60 hour weeks and endless (artificial) deadlines.

I also found I needed the occasional adrenalin boost and the satisfaction of having done something well, so I played around with a number of part time things, mostly oriented to advising and mentoring, and have now settled into a rhythm that works pretty well for me - I work about 3-4 hours a day, with 4-5 breaks of a week or three in the course of a year for travel or leisure.

I think of retirement as freedom to do what you want, when you want. I can get up at 8, drink 2 cups of coffee, read 2 newspapers, stumble down to my office at maybe 10, work till noon, go to the gym, do some shopping, work for an hour or two, cook dinner, read FWF, ...

User avatar
Studebaker Hawk
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 563
Joined: 09 Aug 2006 17:21

Post by Studebaker Hawk » 03 Nov 2008 04:30

Define work.
Communication with old people is difficult as they feel superior to you and find difficulty in remembering anything.

izzy
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2924
Joined: 19 Feb 2005 19:06
Location: Winnipeg MB

Post by izzy » 03 Nov 2008 08:50

At 67.I take long (sometimes very long ) weekends.
Maybe I'll retire next year---or maybe not,what's the rush :D


When you get to the top of the mountain surely you should spend some time enjoying the view before descending on the other side!

User avatar
Nemo2
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 9670
Joined: 02 Jan 2006 14:27
Location: Belleville

Post by Nemo2 » 03 Nov 2008 09:11

How many people define themselves, and their self worth, by their careers?

(I recall working in the office one holiday, and overhearing one side of a telephone conversation conducted by an upper-level manager, (whose office door was open, and who likely thought he was alone). The guy was calling his wife, who, (and his kids also), from the sound of it, appeared utterly unimpressed by him and/or his status.

Left me thinking that the guy probably found refuge/solace at work......where he was 'somebody'.)
Exit, pursued by a bear.
William Shakespeare, Stage direction in "The Winter's Tale"

marty123
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2950
Joined: 23 Feb 2007 13:36
Location: Ontario

Post by marty123 » 03 Nov 2008 09:15

I've had a plan whereby full retirement (other work optional) was going to be achieved in 8-10 years max, around my mid-40s.

The recent market woes and the fact that I'm revisiting the whole idea of a 6-7% annual return means that I'd need to add a few years to that plan.

Plan B is looking increasingly better: realize that the current portfolio will be sufficient for lush retirement around 60, and go through a lifestyle change in the next 1 or 2 years (new job, less hours, less stress, lower expectations, increased frugality, etc.).

I'm voting retire and do something else, but that may now be a 2-step program with a revised timeline.

Jaunty
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1379
Joined: 19 Feb 2007 16:41
Location: Niagara

Post by Jaunty » 03 Nov 2008 09:32

I chose #1. I'm in my 7th year of retirement from a job that had become pretty stressful, where the multiple politics just took the fun out of it. Worked part time for a bit driving a truck & doing deliveries but quit that just because it interfered with travel and parent care issues. Would work again - only a little now and again - if the right thing landed in my lap, but I'm not looking and really like being retired.
I would only work because I'm relatively young, have the time and exercising the brain is good, too. Don't need the money - but I'd find uses for the stuff!
It's easier to grow old, than to grow smart.

User avatar
tidal
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 3009
Joined: 28 Jul 2006 10:56
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Post by tidal » 03 Nov 2008 09:46

It all depends, but if I have my choice I hope to emulate my father, who is still working well into his 80's - and loving it.
The future is bright for jellyfish, caulerpa taxifolia, dinoflagellates and prokaryotes... rust never sleeps... the dude abides... the stupid, it burns. (http://bit.ly/LXZsXd)

User avatar
scomac
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 5918
Joined: 19 Feb 2005 09:47
Location: The Greenbelt

Post by scomac » 03 Nov 2008 09:46

I voted #3, although my current efforts at agriculture may be best described as profitable entertainment rather than work. I have been doing a bit of part-time work since I sold my business, but I'm not fond of the commitment to "work" particularly when it is more-or-less of the on-call variety. Perhaps it's simply a case of not finding the right fit.
"On what principle is it, that when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?"
Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1830

tedster
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 7206
Joined: 27 Feb 2005 10:11
Location: Montreal

Post by tedster » 03 Nov 2008 10:34

I voted #1. Been retired 10 years. Had to stop work because my Mother got ill so I could not travel. It was important in my career as a head-hunter. Never liked any of the jobs I did. Too stressful, but lucrative. I find my life pretty full today, without working. I never identified myself with my work.

Post Reply