Friday, November 9, 2007


Well, I hate to admit it, but I'm a failure at retirement.

I retired from corporate America about three and a half years ago. For the first six months I felt like I was on vacation. It was great. I spent more time with my husband. I read books. I stayed up late. I slept in. I did more things with my daughter. I exercised. I enrolled in classes. I took trips. I visited friends. I went to movies in the middle of the afternoon. I spent money I no longer had. Then it really hit me: what do you want to do with your life? What are you doing that matters for the world? I became restless, out of sorts, fidgety. So then I spent the next two years trying to figure out what I needed to do to create an interesting, satisfying new life.

I'm surprised that it took me so long to make this adjustment. My work identity was very strong, and leaving the every-day work ratrace was a huge change for me. I don't think anyone could have told me what it would feel like to retire or what to expect. And even though I had read several books and thought I had planned for this major life change, even though intellectually I knew it would be a big adjustment, I really didn't have a clue what I was stepping into.

The good news is that life after retirement has been an interesting, rewarding journey. And since thousands of my fellow boomers are going through the same thing, I thought it would be fun to share some thoughts and feelings about what it was like to make the decision to retire, to go through the sometimes-agonizing process of figuring out "what next," and then to actually begin doing it.

So while I'm probably still "officially" a failure at retirement, today, three and a half years after retirement, life is good. I look forward to sharing experiences and perspectives!


Retired Syd said...

I really enjoyed your post. I am on the way to my own retirement at the end of this year and have spent hours searching for blogs like yours, describing the EXPERIENCE of being retired. Most of what I find is related to the financial planning of retirement. I hope you will continue to share your experiences.

Boomerbaby said...

Hey Syd -- good to hear from you. I'm writing up some notes about money right now. Check back in a few days!