What it’s REALLY like to retire 22



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In my world retiring was what old people did. My dad retired not long after my mum died and never really looked back.

For me it was something that loomed in front of me when I reached 60.

All the advice I received was that my super scheme was such that I would be mad to work beyond my 60th birthday.

At the same time around me were fellow workers in the same boat taking their retirement pension and moving on with their lives.

I had been a teacher for 39 years. Teaching was all I knew. But I did love to write and as a drama teacher I did a lot of writing: plays, musicals, performance pieces; all the things I could put my writing skills to.

Two years before I stopped working, I began blogging. My primary reason was I thought a blog would be a good place to store all the writing I had been doing over the years. I set up a blog on an Australian blogging site and it was fun to do but being a small blogging community basically no one read my blog.

So I looked outside of Australia and discovered a huge worldwide blogging community and joined that.

I was well aware that in retiring it was important to have something to retire to, as it was I was happy to be retiring from the teaching profession…. I felt I had had enough and was ready to find out that there are more things in life other than going to work.

I worried that I would struggle with a loss of identity, as I’d spend a lot of years being a teacher.

But for me it was not a difficult transition into retirement.

I had resolved to complete my working life on my terms, I was getting out at a time when I was still doing well in the game so to speak. My students gave me the most memorable farewell, a video they captured during the year showing all my idiosyncrasies and an invaluable record of my career. Something I will cherish always.

So I left feeling good about myself and my contribution to teaching and learning.

I had also bought our family home after my dad died and I had things to do to it to put my stamp on it as my place, which is an ongoing process I have to say.

But blogging became invaluable to me. It was a great stimulus for me remaining active in my mind.

I discovered a multitude of writing challenges and for a person who enjoys the process of writing and the creative challenge that so many prompts offer, I have flourished in this environment.

Every day there is some challenge to consider and respond to. Some are easier than others, some require some planning and some are designed I am sure to tax me and every other person who attempts them.

Added to that is the excitement of meeting so many new people around the world. As I remember one blogger saying its always 5pm somewhere…

There’s a fear in showing your work to others, what if no one likes it, what if no one ever reads it?

Its always good when you receive positive feedback on what you compose but my primary aim is always to write for me, to extend myself to try and produce a piece of work that has enough merit to have people comment on it.

I learned early on in the blogging world that you write what you want to write and not be influenced by what others say you should and shouldn’t do, after all its your thoughts that you are playing with.

So retirement for me has been a lot of fun. It’s allowed me to travel, it’s allowed me to write every day and to write in such a way that I have wonderful followers who enjoy what I produce. It’s allowed me to establish great friendships with people in far-flung countries and has exposed me to such a variety of writing and ideas that I could never have imagined I could tap into.

I’d like to think I am staying active and interested in all that is happening around me.

If I am asked about retirement I say every time: “I recommend it”.



Do you share Michael’s perspective? What has retirement been like for you?

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Michael Grogan

  1. I’m wondering about the age one chooses to retire. I’ve had to wait till hubby turned 70,and have had a wonderful year of being footloose and fancy free for the first time ever. I so wish he had retired earlier,but it took courage for him to make the move,having being locked into the identity of a GP all his life. His brother had retired early and although he enjoyed it to start with, he felt it was too soon, looking back now,and we’ve had friends say the same. I wonder if there is a magic age?

  2. I loved teaching but I retired at 62, that was 2 years ago and it had been a big part of my life. Because of this, it was important to have some plans in place. I shifted to the city, after selling my house and buying a unit. That consumed the first 6 months. I transferred my Zonta club. Then decided to teach English to refugees and volunteer in a DV shelter. I also travel locally, interstate and overseas. I fully recommend it. Have some plans in place but make sure that you allow some time to be spontaneous.

  3. We would love to retire now and get on with our planned future, but have to wait until hubby is 66.5. (Ridiculous) to get the pension. 5 more years and counting, everyone says it will go quickly, but our grandkids will be older by the time we move to live near them.

  4. I am semi retired it will drive you barmy, you do run out of this to do around home and you can get sick of holidays, seeing the family when they have time and you have plenty. No not for me

  5. I am not retired and don’t want to – I just work less hrs. I designed my life this way – to remain a contribution for as long as I can still talk and communicate. We go off and have lovely breaks and look forward to returning to what we love to do.

  6. I felt like I was playing hooky from work for a long time but I really love it now. I pity the folks coming next who will have to work longer. My advice is to find their dream Job or do something they really enjoy otherwise its going to be a long drag

  7. Had no choice. Out the door at 60. Now unemployed until I qualify for a pension in about 5 1/2 years (unless they change the rules again). At least my super paid out our house so we have a roof over our heads. However, life is crap.

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  9. i retired at 57 and have never looked back ( truthfully )–i think because i was in a job where i was subservient to just about everyone in my workplace that i have embraced retirement and an exciting future full of adventure—my only regret is i should have had the nerve to do it earlier !!!

    1 REPLY
    • i have found from my own social group that the people who had power in the workplace have the hardest time letting go—–its a real even social playing field in retirement !!!

  10. Had to retire when my husband became disabled and I became his carer. I thought I had worked hard all my life but………., however life is good and I get to smell the roses

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