Retirement Stats, Studies, and Stuff
By Mariella Vigneux, MBA, ACC
Certified Professional Coach
What joy-filled responses I received to the first survey question! If you haven’t yet retired, after reading these responses you’ll want to make the jump.
The survey question was worded this way:
Best moment: What gave you the most joy in retirement so far, e.g., an event / a change in perspective / new freedoms / etc.?
Here are the responses:
- Best moment was the first time not having to get up when the radio told me to.
- Knowing that every day for the rest of my life is under my control. My choices. It feels like winning the lottery. Another bonus is that you can choose not to drive if the roads are icy or not to garden if the weather is unpleasant – the scheduling is loose and easy.
- Not a best moment perhaps, but a welcome discovery. I was afraid that retirement would reduce the mental stimulation and outside news reaching my partner and myself. Afraid that the liveliness of our exchanges would suffer from the narrowing of our spheres. But besides all the friends and outside activities I continue to enjoy, the internet (yes, the much maligned social media) has flooded me with all the stimulation and topics for discussion I could possibly need.
- New Freedom – to read books almost all day every day and participate in enjoyable learning activities and exercise classes held during 8-4 usual work hours
- Knowing I never have to work “for the man” again. My time is mine!
- I’ve learned lots more about living for the day. I had some depression and anxiety before discovering patterns in the things I want to do so I can create structure in my week. It took me quite a while to realize that I accomplish more at home if I’m busy and have some time scheduled outside of home part of the week.
- Five-week camping/hiking trip in the Southwest with my retired spouse. Sleeping in till 7 or 8, leisurely tea or coffee, practicing yoga for 1.5 hours in the morning and going for a brisk walk or bike ride each day.
- Time is my own to spend
- Travel in the off-season has provided the most joy, and this only increased when my wife retired and we have since been able to enjoy travel together.
- The freedom to be only as busy as I want to be, and to say no to things I don’t want to do
- Being able to travel to countries I never thought possible
- The birth of our first grandchild…
- I enjoy having no time constraints & can make my own choices about what to do, or not.
- The realization over a leisurely breakfast that I don’t have to start work soon (or ever) has been the best gift of retirement so far.
- Freedom to do what I want, when I want. Peace of mind: no more deadlines, business issues weighing on my shoulders.
- I have to say I enjoy being able to sleep later. I don’t miss getting up at 6:30 am. 8:30 is more civil and now I really can enjoy my morning coffee.
- The most joy was the moment I realized I had given myself permission to read a book in the middle of the afternoon and not worry about whether I should be doing something else, for someone else. It was ok to fulfill something I wanted to do. I also found a couple of projects that allowed me to give back to my community and beyond my community. They were creative and allowed me to do something I loved to do (sew) without having to sit on a Board or go to a meeting. It’s been rewarding. I have also realized I don’t always know what day of the week it is and it is okay that I don’t know. If I have an appt. I mark it on a calendar. My cell phone is almost silent now… which is not a bad thing.
- Perhaps the change in perspective — contentment rather than ecstasy, acceptance rather than doggedly kicking at some dilemma. Also having time to explore pursuits which have come unbidden.
- No stress on Sunday nights thinking about the week ahead
In the next newsletter, we’ll share the answers to the second question:
Retirement Challenges: In hindsight, what do you wish you had known about retirement before you retired, e.g., challenges, pitfalls, unpleasant surprises?
If you’d like to see the survey, go to Your thoughts on retirement: four questions for you. There is still time to answer the questions.
Thanks to all of you who took time to share your retirement experiences with everyone.