There’s nothing to fear if you’re retiring in two weeks.
I’m retiring in two weeks and here’s my magical, fool-proof plan against depression.
I’m only 53, but I consider this way too old to retire. If you too, are looking at retirement a few weeks from now, I’m going to tell you how to “prepare.”
The work I’m leaving behind is that of proofreading deposition transcripts for court reporters.
I could continue this, in the name of “What am I gonna do ALL day if I retire?” but when the day comes that I’d rather be ball-and-chained to proofreading litigation transcripts about construction defects or personal injury cases in which plaintiffs can’t even understand simple questions—-then it’s time to check me into a hospital psychiatric unit.
I now have enough passive income (i.e., I don’t have to work for it) being generated to retire, thanks to my godsend, the Internet.
How am I preparing for my retirement only a few weeks away?
Truthfully, I’m not. The only thing I’m doing different these days, leading up to that wonderful day, is trying to decide which restaurant to go to for the celebration.
I’m also thinking of the parkour gym I want to check out, and the climbing gym that’s five minutes from my home that I’ll join.
Anxiety over Pending Retirement?
I suggest you stop reading all the content out there about how stressful “the big change” is.
I’m convinced these claims are wildly exaggerated by other writers who want to sell their “How to Prepare for Retirement” books.
Now I’m NOT talking about financial preparation. Obviously, if you’re retiring in a few weeks, there’s already been some financial solidification for this.
I’m confining this article to mental preparation—the psychological aspect.
So retirement is two weeks off for you too? Get excited, not depressed. Think of all the time you’ll finally have on your hands—the removal of that 8,000 pound gorilla on your shoulders.
Let’s take me for example. It takes me five to six hours to do the following:
• Drive to health club
• Work out (powerlifting, bodybuilding, protein drink break, restroom breaks)
• Drive to Whole Foods and shop
• Drive home, get gas on the way
• Unload bags of food
• Get out of gym clothes
• Check voice mail
• Wrap up the individually-cut salmon in tin foil and place in freezer
• Do same for the ground lamb
• Rinse the strawberries and blueberries
• Put away the rest of the food
How could I fit all of this in if I had worked eight hours that day?
This same day I may need to proofread over a hundred pages of litigation testimony (which can take three hours), water the plants, go through my snail mail and wash my hair (which takes an hour to detangle after washing).
I thus must be very strategic with when I do things. I want to watch “Snapped,” so I arrange to do the salmon and berries during the show, prepare my dinner during the show and eat my meal during the show.
If I want to catch up on the latest breaking news, I must coincide that with detangling my hair.
This is no way to live. Retirement will free me! What will it free YOU from?
It’ll free you from frequent clock-watching, setting alarm clocks, worrying about not having enough time—talk about stress!
It gives me great peace of mind that soon, I’ll be able to tend to my elderly parents’ unexpected needs without being yanked like a wishbone in the opposite direction by the latest deposition transcript.
The latest example is that I stayed with my parents for a week to help my mother, 89, recover from a stomach bug that caused diarrhea that significantly weakened her.
If your parents are still around and local, retirement will give you more energy and time to tend to them.
You can join a martial arts school. That’s what I’ll be doing. I’ll also be back on my inline skates as well as continuing to lift weights three times a week at the gym. I won’t have to give ANYTHING up.
I’ll now have time to learn conversational Spanish, bake new recipes, listen to music more (which I pretty much don’t do due to lack of time). And just about anything I feel like doing.
News flash: Retirement doesn’t mean spending 40 hours a week on a golf course!
Depression from Retirement? WTF !
According to a report at forbes.com, one-third of retirees will become depressed—though the exact cause isn’t explained.
If you’re tremoring from the anxiety of retiring in a few weeks, make a list of the local people you’d like to spend more time with: family, friends, or maybe you can become a volunteer athletic coach, help train a service dog, help out at some organization for kids, spend more time perusing the Facebook pages of your grandchildren to get to know them better…Geez, the volume of opportunities is staggering.
The article points out that many retirees can’t deal with the change. What change?
The change of no longer being ball-and-chained to a job where someone ELSE dictates your schedule—even when to eat or how long to spend in the restroom!
At one job I had, the supervisor questioned why I’d been so long in the bathroom (I’d had diarrhea). Working is for the birds.
It’s OKAY if you don’t know what you’re going to do all day once you’re retired. Take things one day at a time.
Lie in a hammock and stare at the clouds for a while. Take your grandchild for a walk and just enjoy the sun on your face.
Forget all this “planning” muck. Embrace freedom. Once you do so, you’ll figure it all out.
NOTE: Original posting was in 2016. The author has remained happily retired since!