I’ve retired and I don’t know what to do next

After more than 40 years of working, I’ve finally retired – and it’s scary! To suddenly slow down at age

After more than 40 years of working, I’ve finally retired – and it’s scary!

To suddenly slow down at age 65 was a big jump for me.

When I first considered the prospect of retirement I was excited. There were so many things I wanted to do from travelling to just enjoying time to myself.

But after a few weeks of waking up later and having some quiet days at home, I’m getting restless.

I’m divorced and the kids have moved away, and while I’ve got enough money to live comfortably – I worry so much about spending too much.

This is where it gets tough for me.

I don’t know what I want to do next.

Before I retired I didn’t have much in the way of a busy social life or hobbies.

I was really career focused, so that really got the most of my attention.

I’m not really a gardener or a creator, so I find it hard to find crafty, DIY things that interest me.

I was doing some reading for inspiration and I found this handy website that had some tips.

One of the things I found particularly interesting was a survey that found 36% of female retirees spent time with family or grandchildren.

The next most popular activities were taking care of things at home (25%), social activities such as golf, shopping and spending time with friends (16%), hobbies (8%) and volunteering (3%).

When I look at that I can’t think of where I fit in or what of those things would interest me.

With all the technology we have today, I can feel a little bit intimidated in the big wide world – especially the Internet.

And I haven’t really got a knack for starting my own business or doing some work from home either.

Maybe I’m just panicking for no reason, Rome wasn’t built in a day after all and I’ve got years and years of retirement ahead to find my new place in the world.

Retirement was the best decision I made, and I know one day I’ll look back and all of this will seem like such a small problem.

Hopefully I can find something soon, I’m going a little bit crazy.

Maybe I might take off and spend some time with the kids and the grandies while I work out what I should do next.

What would you say to help our reader out? Did you feel the same when you first retired? What have you found to occupy your time in retirement?

  1. Margaret Mason  

    I love being retired – and am so busy with travelling and family. However, what really fills a lot of my days is voluntary work. I am heavily involved with a charity that cares for and educates disabled children in China (www.eagleswingschina.org) and this gives me a lot of satisfaction. I do a lot of the Admin/’legal’ work in Australia and visit about once each year to catch up with the children and staff. There are heaps of other charities calling out for help – Meals on Wheels (my husband is very involved in this – once or twice each week he delivers meals), Op shops are usually looking for helpers (both within the shop and sorting donated items ready to put out for sale). There are also clubs such as Bridge, sports (bowls, golf). See what is available in your area that fits with your interests. Church, gardening, walking etc groups.

  2. Sharon  

    I am planning for my retirement but still about 5 years away…i know that i need routine in my life so i am thinking about how i can put that in place…there are so many groups that could do with support perhaps through fund raising or volunteering…there are many aged care faacilities where people are lonely with no aaccess to family. I am thinking about volunteering at a hospital or reading stories at a childcare service…there are lots of different things and it might depend on whether you want to stay connected to your pre retirment work or not…..

  3. marilyn flynn  

    I would suggest you join U3A (university of the third age) in your state. It cost $25 a years and you can have your pick of numerous courses run by volunteers. These are not “crafty type” courses either but really educational/higher learning type of things. They have a web site. Have a look and see what I mean.

    • Mary  

      Totally agree. Before committing yourself to voluntary groups (although very good causes). Pamper yourself – learn bridge, join Probus or U3A, and have some fun. You will meet people of like minds and you never know even meet a travel companion

    • Helen  

      I would also like to recommend U3A to you – there are great groups – I belong to one of their discussion groups and we have a lot of fun and talk about the most amazing breadth of things in Society and beyond.

  4. Ginny langham  

    I agree with the other comments. But I think getting involved in some kind of physical activity is the most important. If nothing else it helps you keep fit and healthy.
    When I retired into a community where I knew no one , it was the walking group, golfers and yoga people that helped me integrate.
    I also joined a book club through the local library, And U 3A.

  5. Anne Wolski  

    I was retired for around 18 months and was going stir crazy. I have just returned to work but only on a casual basis. I wouldn’t go back fulltime

  6. Lita Hviid  

    Can really relate to everything you said and how you feel. It is scary. Comments on activities versus volunteering resonated as a first step. It’s about finding meaning & purpose in a new terrain. Singles & also no kids, no grand kids is a different experience. There is an opportunity here to set up regular catch ups/ meetings or online group with talks/ advice for those in a similar situation.

  7. john norman  

    Need to plan ahead, have interests before you finish work, people make the huge mistake of focusing on their careers, work Is just work your not irreplaceable ,
    You should have a life outside of work ,think what will you do when you retire after all you have a minimum of fourty hours minimum that you need to fill, if you have no interests(sad) think of what you can do to help other people, giving (your time ) will make you feel better,and options doing charitable will give you a different perspective on what you can do ie working charity in Asia or further ?
    Hope this is helpful
    John n

  8. I’am retired very boring . I looked after mu hubby for 10 years he was on dialysis . He passed 2 years ago . Money no problem . Just can’t find a way of life . I suppose things will work themselves out .

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