Feel guilty retiring

goldie50August 29, 2010

I retired at 60 due to an early retirement package from where I worked. If I didn't take it I would have lost many benefits if I did retire at a later date. I would have kept working until who knows when if this package wasn't offered.

It will be 2 yrs since I retired. I have to say I love retirement. But at the same time I feel guilty I'm not working. I had a great job before in IT but it was very stressful. I keep looking at other IT jobs and have almost taken them and then backed down. Why go back to that stress.

I've thought about fun jobs but they don't pay enough to bother. I've done the volunteer work but then I put so much into it that I make it stressful for myself.

I've started a couple businesses but don't seem to have the desire to make them successful.

Everyone keeps asking me what I do all day. I feel guilty if I don't have something I'm working on. I feel since I am healthy I should be working.

I guess I can't accept the fact that my career may be over. I also feel if I am not working I may not keep mentally sharp.

Has anyone else struggled with this issue?

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Goldie50, it sounds like you had a wonderful opportunity and took it, good for you! All those years when you were working, did you ever wish you had the time to take an "extended vacation" somewhere? Now's the time when you can pack up and go "exploring" if that's something you enjoy. Or maybe you'd like to take a class about something you are interested in, or start a new hobby, or maybe become a mentor to someone younger who's just getting into the field you were in? Lots of possibilities, just have to find the right niche for you. Best wishes, Luvstocraft

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 2:19PM
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Don't ever feel guilty about early retirement. Your health is important to you and your family.
I too was "forced" into that, but not the same way. My supervisor was a jerk and kept threatening to fire me so to keep my benefits I retired. These are some of the things I did. Went back to a Jr. College (community college) and took some fun courses. Learned how to quilt, did counted cross stitching, did lots of outside work, but we did have 5 acres up in the mountains. Had chickens- visited a bit. Joined a women's Bible study, able to travel more with hubby as he had more time off that I did. Little more active in the church. Worked on some hobbies--learned a few new ones. Things I wish I had done--completed the college courses, like painting, etc, done more tours and if you have no hubby etc, there are wonderful short tours for single thru AAA, Country Life etc. Some are just day tours. Volunteer in museums, did not enjoy hospital work or school unless it was keeping records, Hope this helps
We had alot of quail, squirrels, blue jays etc so kept busy feeding them especially in the winter with snow on the ground. Loved just sitting in a chair, watching them bring the families up to feed. So quite. Oh yes, I would do more photography and scrapbooking etc, making cards etc.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 2:43PM
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Yes, I "retired" without a package! I actually quit working 10 years ago. I am your age now. I live in a small town and the salary was just not sufficient to keep working.

Then, I worked part time in a frame shop, I am an artist so thought that would benefit me = it did, I learned to cut mats. And felt that I could offer benefits as well with my color vision, art to frames.

Sometimes I get bored, but I have friends and we get together to paint. I taught painting through community clubs and the local college continuing education.

I also enjoy doing puzzles on line (AARP has some brain work outs).

Our hospital has a program of volunteers (to push wheelchairs, give directions, etc); that senior group goes on lots of trips.

The other posters gave great advice about getting involved in activities. You have to "train" your self to do things, just like you trained yourself to do your job.

You worked, now have some fun!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:01AM
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You are not alone in feeling guilty in your present state. So much of who we are and how we see ourselves is wrapped up in our jobs.

Your new" job" is enjoying the incredible opportunities and blessings being retired offers you. First, accept the gift of your situation. There are millions upon millions of people who would trade places with you in a second.

Secondly, there are excellent suggestions offered above. May I make one more: I have a blog that is written for people just like you. The purpose is to help you create an exciting and satisfying retirement life.

If you want, please visit and start reading through all the articles that look like they might interest you, especially the series on the various stages of retirement. You will find them in the archives in July. It sounds as if you are in Stage two....very common...and not permanent.

In any case, know that what you are going through is not uncommon or everlasting.

If you would like me to help you locate specific articles, feel free to send me an e-mail or leave a comment here and I'll help you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Satisfying Retirement

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 12:27PM
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I just say "I'm doing whatever my wife tells me to do."

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 2:39PM
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One thing about the fun jobs that you dismiss because they don't pay enough, although they may not pay much if they are something you are interested in go for it. If you volunteer you are working for nothing other than possible tax deductions. Think of the fun jobs as extra coffee breaks. You would be taking a break from your daily activities, unless as it sometimes happens the cost of going to one of them is more than your pay, just getting out of the house could be worth it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 1:01AM
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I retired in January 2009 and have not looked back. I am 72 and having the time of my life! I am active in Civil Air Patrol, a railroad society, and I do data reduction and help with a food kitchen for the needy.
I have recently remarried after losing my wife of 30 years, and my new wife and I love to travel.
I will also be helping low income people prepare their tax returns next year.
One of the things that brought me up short was when I read a quotation as follows:
Figure your net income while working, then figure your net income when you retire-you are only working for the difference!!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 11:44AM
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It sounds like you�re not finding an activity that makes you happy. Look hard enough and you will find it. I too retired early but felt bored/guilty for only about three seconds.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 2:28PM
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