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Old 06-17-2019, 08:44 AM   #1
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Retirement

Life is strange. We spend most of it trying to get ahead, look after our family, and plan for a time when we can retire. Retirement planning to most is will we have enough saved back to be able to retire.

Well, for me, retirement came a little earlier than I expected but the financial part was covered. However, the part I didn't expect was the loss of identity that came with no longer working. My identity was based on "I'm an engineer" more than anything else. After retirement, I lost that identity - it seems that a retiree is no longer as qualified as someone who is still working.

It's taken a few years to get over that loss of identity (somewhat) and it's getting better. The urge to pass on technical knowledge is still there but it doesn't bother me as much when I get ignored because I'm retired.

Looking at the market news today, I found an interesting article that would have helped if I had read it before I retired. It may be a good read for you as well.

You’re probably not ready to retire — psychologically
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/wh...?mod=fa_center

My thanks to the forum for putting up with me as I have struggled with retirement.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
Life is strange. We spend most of it trying to get ahead, look after our family, and plan for a time when we can retire. Retirement planning to most is will we have enough saved back to be able to retire.

Well, for me, retirement came a little earlier than I expected but the financial part was covered. However, the part I didn't expect was the loss of identity that came with no longer working. My identity was based on "I'm an engineer" more than anything else. After retirement, I lost that identity - it seems that a retiree is no longer as qualified as someone who is still working.

It's taken a few years to get over that loss of identity (somewhat) and it's getting better. The urge to pass on technical knowledge is still there but it doesn't bother me as much when I get ignored because I'm retired.

Looking at the market news today, I found an interesting article that would have helped if I had read it before I retired. It may be a good read for you as well.

You’re probably not ready to retire — psychologically
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/wh...?mod=fa_center

My thanks to the forum for putting up with me as I have struggled with retirement.
As the daughter of and engineer, and former CAD drafter myself, I can reassure you: Once, and engineer, always and engineer. Engineers are born, not made. They just find their calling when they go to engineering school.

: )

I heard from a medical doctor (not born in this country) that... "Americans over associate themselves with their work". I guess we can all "work" on that?
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:45 AM   #3
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😎 Iím a retired toolmaker who really enjoyed the job. I had a concern about my feelings on retirement. For about 5 minutes 😆
Donít know how much time I have left, but itís my time now.....
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:52 AM   #4
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Tom - To help cope you need to just keep modding the your Escape and posting details here afterwards! Not that I have any ulterior motives or anything.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:52 AM   #5
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In retirement I especially enjoy having coffee with several of my former work friends. It gives us an opportunity to catch up on other former associates we’ve encountered in the past week, what we’ve been up to etc. We realize that we generally never really had a comprehensive knowledge of what others jobs entailed. Except for my former commissioner who had my job before I did. Can’t lie about that.
In our Escape camping experience we have been so fortunate to meet many people and become friends. I wrongly thought that the number of friends I had would peak at my retirement and then literally “die off”. But I could not have been more wrong, we have more good friends than ever. Retirement (6 years now) just gets better. More grandkids too. Fortunately for me, I still enjoy mowing and trying to maintain our property. Did not plant a garden this year, too much camping neglect in the offing. Lots of apples set on our 14 trees though. Cortlands and Wolf Rivers look good.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post

However, the part I didn't expect was the loss of identity that came with no longer working. My identity was based on "I'm an engineer" more than anything else. After retirement, I lost that identity - it seems that a retiree is no longer as qualified as someone who is still working.

I belong to a volunteer group (Tetra) that designs and builds "gizmos" for disabled people. The group is mostly engineers, most retired but not all. Even the oldest, at 95, is still an engineer designing and constructing projects. He hasn't lost his identity because he retired.

So I think that it's possible to retire without giving up your identity that was linked to your profession. Maybe some volunteer work that uses your training would help put the engineer back in your identity.

Ron
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:21 AM   #7
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I'm a retired educator/theatre sound designer. While I loved my job, unfortunately, I had to retire after 32 years to care for an ailing wife. I've now been retired for 17 years, and while I have a good relationship with the college & department, I really don't miss it (well, I have to admit I sure miss the complete wood, metal & electrical shops).

It definitely has been a lifestyle change from spending between 40 & 100 hours per week at work to pretty much doing what ever I want (and figuring out what that is).

I started out spending almost as much time volunteering as I did at work, including running a Red Cross Disaster Team, volunteer photography for a number of organizations, but found I was starting to feel like I was back at work. Now about all I do is Meals on Wheels.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:28 AM   #8
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We retired at 44 and 53. We like you are engineers but were sick of lawsuits being the next stage of construction, Myrl was sick of being the talking dog as the only woman engineer in a Mormon company. Add to this mix, Gary's step brother suddenly dying at 49 and Myrl's firm undergoing reorganizing with a big plum for those agreeing to get severance.

Our solution was to buy a 14 year old sailboat and go sailing for the next 17 years. Our engineering skills came in handy as we had to repair the boat in exotic foreign locations with expensive imported parts, or duct tape and spit at times. We met lots of engineers out there sailing, and while it could be boring at times, it was also an unanticipated thrill ride. We now rate this as the best times of our lives, to be able to retire early and still healthy.

Enjoy your retirement!
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:35 AM   #9
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I retired and then became a moderator here..............still at work......
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:40 AM   #10
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My dad was an engineer (aeronautical) but we always joked that he was a fisherman who worked at Boeing in his spare time, so for him, retirement just meant more "work". But he liked to have coffee in the morning at a coffee shop on the island that was frequented by other retired engineers (and a few astronauts and pilots).

When I retired, first, I was able to retire half time at first, I was teaching chemistry and went to fall off, spring on, for four years. I was already involved in a volunteer organization, and I joined the local community orchestra (and later its board). And started camping more! It was a pretty seamless switch to go to more dog activites instead of teaching. (I'd already given up my research lab to a newcomer who needed space.) All these hobbies had been there but with retirement they came to the forefront. So I guess my job never was my identity.

This spring I did a little tutoring. If I needed to, I could supplement income that way, and I did enjoy the one bright student I tutored, but it isn't something I need or want to do on a regular basis. But it was nice to see I hadn't forgotten all my chemistry!
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