“What’s not to like?” Looking back on retirement

For the past two years that has been my stock answer to the question, “How’s retirement?”

Realistically it took me six months to realize that I didn’t have to go back to work the following week. I always had one foot ready to return (complete with stylish footwear).

It took me at least two months to catch up on my sleep (and Grey’s Anatomy!).

It took me a year to develop that perfect relationship with my cats. You know the kind. I adore them. They ignore me and we’re all happy.

It does take a while to rework your routines and get your groove on. There is all this time to accomplish what I couldn’t get done before but somehow I still don’t get it done. This is truly a conundrum!

I enjoy retirement. I enjoy the extra time with the beloved husband and no, we don’t drive each other crazy. That may be because we hooked up later in life or he just understands how a perfect marriage works. I’m always usually right.

He has guitars and I have cats and frogs and fish so when we come together we have great stories. Sounds pretty exciting, right? Well, you’re reading my blog so you know I can turn a boring story into a page turner of sorts!

There is the freedom to do things during the week that are busy or crowded on weekends. We don’t have to get up early after a concert. There are no weekends or it’s all weekends depending on your perspective. All good things.

Ok, so there has to be some negatives. There are but not many.

We use more toilet paper. I know I heard others say this but it’s really true. Businesses should factor that in benefits packages. I can see it now….we offer competitive wages, matching 401(k) and unlimited toilet paper.

In a bad winter you can get the real cabin fever. When you are not required to report to work, you tend to stay put when the roads are nasty. Plans are postponed or cancelled. All of sudden you have been housebound for more than 18 hours and you are starting to talk in tongues. Those tongues include cat talk – never a good thing.

There is more time to shop for those things you wanted when you were working but no longer need. This is just too painful to discuss. Starting next week, I will wear earrings every day!

You have the time for the creative cooking you always wanted to do but your spouse and your friends have dietary restrictions that render the effort useless. Ok, so I’m not too upset about this one. The most fun creative cooking is the simple stuff. Chop, toss and eat! Or better still — reservations! I just love reservations! There are no dirty dishes.

I miss my work buddies but I get to see them, just not every day.

Overall there is a lot on the plus side. I won’t say I don’t miss work. I had a really great job with great people but there are passages in life and this is one of them. I was glad I could go out while I was on top.

49 thoughts on ““What’s not to like?” Looking back on retirement

  1. I’ve been retired all of 28 days – LOVING it! I did like my job, but it was time. Hubby has been retired for six years already. I get up when I want, but get dressed right away. It’s been great being able to hibernate this cold winter, only going out when I WANT to.

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  2. During the summer, I get a taste of what retired life will be like. I have some fun, but, mostly, I spend too much time at the computer and indoors during nice days. Must change my evil ways.

    Glad retirement agrees with you, Kate. I won’t find out for myself for another 2 1/2 years. 😉

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  3. My husband and I have been married for 61 years ~ 1st retirement in 1979; 2nd in 1990. We’ve not gotten in each others hair…must’ve discovered some secret methods! We’re thankful each day for this wonderful thing known as ‘retirement’…what a way to spend time. We have things to do but not too many things…breakfast is THE greatest time of day. We talk, coffee, breakfast, talk more…and more! It’s our ‘preferred’ way of life…absolutely love it. Sounds like you do too! Great, huh?

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    • We do! It was a hard decision for me because I loved my job. One day I realized that my husband was going to be 69 that year! I wanted to be sure we had time together! I haven’t regretted it although I do miss it sometimes. Just not enough. We never get annoyed with each other so I guess we figured it out. I am very thankful for every day we are together and healthy.

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  4. I consider myself semi-retired, since I figure writing is a “part-time” occupation. Since I retired 11 years ago, I have held a few part-time writing jobs as well as being self-employed. But they have all been endeavors that don’t require me to shuck my pajamas. I thought, “ah good, I’ll have lots of time to get caught up on reading, writing, game playing, shopping, and anything else my heart desires.

    The shock of my life to that point was the fact that I had no extra time. As a matter of fact, I wondered how I had ever had time to work at a full-time job. My projects grew longer and more demanding, I discovered blogging, and ended up with so little time that I was stressed all the time. I finally had to start giving up some of my projects, even ones I truly liked, because there was no time for me.

    I’m glad to hear of all the people, you included, Kate, who have thoroughly enjoyed their retirement. I’m looking forward to when I can get to that point myself. I should have known I would bite off more than I could comfortably chew. One more life lesson learned 😀

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    • One thing I discovered early is that there is no extra time….ever. I don’t know how I managed when I worked full time. I took short cuts with cooking and had a cleaning person and hardly ever got to read a book. Now I do more things I enjoy but I still don’t have enough time. Of course blogging is an addiction that takes time but I enjoy it so I’m not giving it up!

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  5. Just discovered your blog, Kate, and am enjoying it very much. We have so much in common: I have three cats, married, no kids, and am at the age where I am starting to think seriously of retirement. Thanks for sharing!!

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  6. I quit working in 2001, can’t call it retirement because I have always worked part time retail. CH, the Husband, retired the first time in 1995 from the military and a second time in 2007. I have a little trouble finding some me time but other than that retirement is very nice. Love being able to do errands and fun stuff during the week when it isn’t busy! I get dressed every day, before lunch for sure and my house does not get cleaned as much because we are too busy doing things we enjoy. Like eating lunch out.. 🙂 I like having CH home. Now the big discussion is when to sell our Tiny Ten acres in a very rural area and move where shopping and all things fun are more convenient and done in a warmer climate with no snow. Enjoyed your post Kate!

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  7. We aren’t there quite yet, but retirement is at least in the chute! I look forward to mornings! That’s going to be my favorite thing. I am out the door at 6:30 a.m. and I am NOT really a morning person. My needs and requirements are pretty simple. No alarm clock will just about complete me!

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  8. I work part-time now so I guess I am part-time retired. Love it! Three days a week I go to work for 3-5 hours the rest of the time I do whatever I want…I get very little done but it’s ok…what does get done I enjoy.

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      • I have just discovered your blog and am having a lot of fun reading it. I love good humour. I was wondering at what age you people have retired… or are you very wealthy people all of you here, so that you can just stop working whenever it suits you?
        Here in Denmark we can take “early” retirement from the age of 63, if we have paid for a special insurance for many years. Otherwise the retirement age is for myself 66 years, for others younger than me, it is 68 years.

        Being unemployed like myself at the age of 56 is a very big problem. Extremely difficult to get a job at that age, and the insurance only lasts for 2 years (if one has paid for it, of course). I am on my second year and no job in sight, so not very long until I most probably will have to leave my home. Wish I could just retire like some of you here.

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        • The sort answer is that 66 is the retirement age for my particular age group (I am 67). We have social security which you pay into and depending on how much you pay in, you receive a pension from the government. However, it is not a large amount so you need to save when you are younger. I don’t think most of the bloggers here are not wealthy. I wish you well in finding a job to hold you over until you can retire.

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  9. True gem about the T.P., Kate!

    We’re not officially retired . . . but we are officially “not working” AND loving every minute of it! Here’s to being the best “boss” I ever had. :mrgreen:

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    • My mother never let us stay in our bed clothes so that just wouldn’t happen. Also years of getting up early ensure I don’t sleep in. However, I don’t get up super early and sometimes I am still enjoying my coffee until noon.

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  10. This morning, after dragging my self out of the house wearing multiple layers of clothing in single digit temperatures, I was really wishing I was retired. I was getting a bit punchy from being in the house for the past two days, but going out in the cold doesn’t seem like a great alternative.

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