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Old 06-17-2019, 09:44 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, 10:37 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, 10:45 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, 10:52 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, 10:52 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, 11:05 AM   #6
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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, 11:21 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, 11:28 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, 11:35 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, 11:40 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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Old 06-17-2019, 11:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
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.

Youíre probably not ready to retire ó 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.
Tom I am so thankful to you for your help with the dump valve mod on our trailer . So smart the idea with the hanger for the valve body , I was trying to figure out and glad I didnít need to screw into the frame . I for one will never ignore you and the expertise you bring with your wealth of knowledge.Pat
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:49 AM   #12
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Retirement is nice once I accepted it. In my case a forced retirement knocked off a 30 ft ladder by a forklift . Back n hip injuries get around good now but boy do I wish I could still work. Miss fixing all the equipment
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:11 PM   #13
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Hi: tdf-texas... You are now a "Retirement engineer". You are qualified to council others in matters retirement!!! I talk to so many who are scared to death to make the leap. All I can say is do it... It's the best job I've ever had!!! Alf
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:13 PM   #14
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Two years into retirement and loving every minute. Whenever anyone asks me about retirement my standard response is " I highly recommend it to everyone".
I spent my career 38 years teaching middle school woodshop, I do miss the hands on work and still build furniture, but not the same as the hustle and bussle of a running school shop. When I start missing work I think about my class of 45 kids working on machines and cutting tools and I don't miss it so much. Camping is way more relaxing.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:15 PM   #15
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Hi: tdf-texas... You are now a "Retirement engineer". You are qualified to council others in matters retirement!!! I talk to so many who are scared to death to make the leap. All I can say is do it... It's the best job I've ever had!!! Alf
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👍👍 Iíll second that😎
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:44 PM   #16
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For a variety of reasons there are people who will work (for wages) until they die. I was on that path, but circumstances changed and I'm GLAD. I certainly wasn't planning on dying at my desk, but stress, anxiety and heart palpitations kinda made it reality. While I wasn't in IT, I worked in the technology field. For the last ten year, every morning became... what broke overnight and needs to be fixed or what do I need to learn today to stay current. There were NO 'normal, easy' days. It got even worse when the company was sold and the new company started a huge reduction in force. The last couple of months, I worked 10-14 hours a day during the transition. When my time came for the RIF, it only took 30 minutes for HR to walk me out the door... after 32 years of service. Honestly, I didn't know whether to be happy, sad or mad. I was just 23 months from my full-retirement GOAL. So, while I wasn't 100% financially prepared, I'm surviving... happily. Because I may have died at my desk otherwise. I don't look backward, I'm not going that way! All my reference materials have either been recycled, given away or shredded. It's liberating! Anything I learn now it's because I want to, rather than based on a 'working' need. NIRVANA!
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:38 PM   #17
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I agree deciding to retire can be scary. I am 62 and call myself semi retired. I am lucky to have a job where I pick my days and am able to take 4 months off in the winter to get some sun. We travel every year to AZ,TX NM and all over. I keep saying I am fully retiring but like you donít want to loose that identity.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:13 PM   #18
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I'm 63 would like to last two more years working to get stuff paid off. But I'm done inside the stress of running a health care facility regulations , personnel issues, legal issues corporate stupidity, financial concerns.... it wears me out. I would like a more creative life and more time with family/friends,pets...
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:14 PM   #19
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13 years retired, only one thing i miss, Thursdays, PAYDAY... Carl
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:27 PM   #20
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It's nice (and comforting) to know that so many of us enjoy and struggle with the same retirement issues. I have my story, too, retiring first at 54 then again at 66. I am also a "retired engineer" and use my skills in volunteer work, websites and technology support. And I recently took up ham radio which provides plenty of technology challenges as well as physical challenges like how to mount an antenna to my trailer and, of course, or maybe of "curse," trailer mods. This forum has provided a lot of good information and ideas, and enjoyable discussions like this one.
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