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How is retirement treating you? And, what are you all up to?

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by MrSaturday, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. MrSaturday

    MrSaturday New commenter

    Left early. In June. Still a tad unsettled and even done a little supply. Not into a routine as yet and underestimated the dark nights/winter 'affect'. Live in Scotland; Anyway, on a positive - I love reading positives on how people create new lives for themselves etc. I suppose I'm just looking for inspiration.
    I took a reasonable/biggish financial hit going at 57. My wife unfortunately is very poorly paid. I cannot afford the travelling around the world / Caribbean cruises lifestyle as a consequence but my mental health has improved no end. I'm genuinely happier ………...……...
    I welcome your thoughts and contributions on your day to day and other habits/hobbys/routines ….....
    speaker2 and plot71 like this.
  2. Brianthedog

    Brianthedog Occasional commenter

    After a six month reduction in days worked, I finished completely at Christmas. To be honest, it's not what I expected! My husband was off for 2 weeks over Christmas, then the day he went back his mum passed away suddenly, so we've been busy sorting all of that out. Today was actually the very first day I didn't have anything to do!
    I've volunteered in a nearby school for half a day a week and that's so interesting! I agree that winter isn't the best time to finish, I feel bad putting the heating on too much! I'm waiting for an op on my knee so don't want to plan anything regular until that's done.
    Prim and MrSaturday like this.
  3. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Went in 2017 and it took us over a year to unwind and we are still getting into new routines. Alongside teaching I started a business that I did in the evenings for the last 5 years of teaching so that has become my day job. I also work as an examiner, again having started this whilst still teaching I've found the exam board very keen to have me particularly as I can dedicate more time now that I don't have the classroom stuff getting in the way. Marking as a teacher for your own classes is fairly onerous as it, often, is done late at night and you have to consider how you are going to address any issues in the next lessons - getting paid for it and simply sending it back is much more straight forward. It also brings in a few extra pennies...enough to pay for the golf club fees for us both.

    We've taken a larger part in village life, organising quiz nights, other events etc - keeping bees, chickens and the odd pig. Growing produce has kept the bills down and it is satisfying to sit down to a meal where everything you eat you have had a hand in producing.

    Not sure if hanging around the forums indicates anything but I enjoy puzzles and there's plenty of real-world meaningful ones to have a go at in the pensions maze that is our lot.
  4. Prim

    Prim Occasional commenter

    I'm following in your footsteps diddydave. I'm 50 and now building a business to move into at 55. Important to put in place small changes now for a big chnage at 55. Doing this has certainly given me a more positive outlook in school.
    diddydave likes this.
  5. Lucy2711

    Lucy2711 Occasional commenter

    I'm still full time but pondering when to go. I really appreciate the discussion of the downsides as well as all the positives - for instance the impact of less daylight (barely register this day to day!). And the enjoyment of small pleasures / better mental health rather than the assumption that we must travel the world to be truly enjoying life! Each to their own...
  6. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    This is my first year of retirement and I've now come to dread the question "and what are you doing with your day?" "have you got any plans?" from random people,the latest was the hairdresser.

    I retired at 57 because I just have to save myself. My husband,who is younger than me, is still working and because,he will only get the state pension,will be still be working for many years. Therefore,I'm clearly not doing amazing things by myself and have no plans for moving abroad or travelling the world. People seem to judge the fact that I'm retired but not doing much.
  7. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Established commenter

    Winter is a fabulous time, either to be in Asia (nice and warm) or to be in Eastern Europe (freezing cold but blue skies and everything cheap, including the skiing, skiing lessons, opera, ballet, wine etc.) Currently touring around Romania on the trains and buses, then to Poland in a week. Fabulous countries, very friendly. No excuse sitting at home getting bored! They are only two hours away and a one way flight to most cities is £8.99 on Wizz Air at this time of year! Just do a few days for a test break if nothing else.
    plot71, Prim and eljefeb90 like this.
  8. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    I have just spent the last two weeks invigilating, only about 20-25 hours per week. This will go towards a month's stay in Spain at the end of February. Accommodation is much cheaper in the colder months as are flights, although you can get caught out by freak weather events like storm Gloria recently . When I first retired, I spent three months near Valencia , Jan-March. There were only four days when it rained and most days the high reached 20 degrees.
    I do quite a bit of invigilation and so have altered the periods when I can holiday abroad. Peak time for invigilation is obviously from May into early July. Basically, I go away in term time during the colder months when it's dank, cold and dark in the UK. It needn't cost a fortune and is far cheaper than a package holiday in the summer. The higher light levels and longer days work wonders on the psyche and shorten the winter. Admittedly, being a Spanish teacher helps to research the bargains as well as feeling at ease when abroad.
  9. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    In response to your question, @MrSaturday, my advice, fwiw is the following:
    -Take some time initially to de -tox . I had truly had enough of teaching and had felt trapped, stressed and exploited during my last two years of my career. Like you, I jumped at 57. Like you, my wife has only had part- time , poorly- paid work as she is disabled and I had not planned on leaving early...until it became the only option. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that it was one of the best things I have ever done, even though ,at the time, it felt like failure and a financial risk.
    I have now been retired for four years and never felt happier. These were the key things I did to fill up the long days of retirement:
    • Work. Extra money helps, especially when it's discretionary spending money. I have ten zero hour contracts, administering exams, invigilating, working at a theatre etc. You meet lots of people, have total flexibility about when, or if, you work and get paid .
    • DIY/gardening. All those jobs around the house can be done by you rather than paying for a decorator. Look up tutorials on Youtube.
    • Join local groups. My local U3A are great. I have met lots of nice people and run a free language course for them. I am also in their book club, walking group and culture group. So, it's a good mix of physical and intellectual stimulation.
    • Take up a new sport or renew an interest in an old one. I got a second hand canoe on EBay and love going on a waterway once a month or so. I have also discovered that I am **** at archery.
    • Look up old friends. The power of the internet! I have renewed contact with half a dozen old friends from Sixth form and several more former colleagues from teaching. I went on an epic pub crawl last Friday with former colleagues and aim to do the same with an old friend from school days next Thursday.
    • Help ,and see more of , your family . I will periodically go round to my daughter's house and clean her bathroom, de -clog her vacuum or do her garden.
    • Holiday in the autumn and winter. Cheaper flights, far cheaper accommodation, longer days, better weather. Fly south, become a swallow. (This is linked to bullet point one...It helps if you have a little extra coming in. It is also a lovely feeling to switch that thermostat off for a month or so as to you head to the airport).
  10. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Occasional commenter

    It's close to 3 years for me. I've done some part time work including invigilating but realised I could manage without the extra money. I enjoy the freedom of deciding what to do with my days. Until recently my routine was taken up by my mother in law who had dementia. Since she has passed away I have started developing my own routine and make good use of my local gym membership, regularly meet up with friends, walk a lot with my new puppy and spend time with my Mum and dad ( when they can fit me in!) and volunteer at my local primary school. I hadn't realised how much I had neglected family and friends whilst I was working and it's lovely to see so much more of them. We have a few holidays planned at home and abroad and they are so much cheaper outside of school holidays. One thing that did surprise me is that I need much less to live on than I had thought. I'm going to feel so rich when I finally get my state pension!
  11. plot71

    plot71 New commenter

    This a fantastic way to make the most of travelling when schools are in. How do you travel Romania? I'm booking train tours of Bulgaria now for the spectacular views.
    eljefeb90 likes this.
  12. plot71

    plot71 New commenter

    It's close on 4years since too had enough and felt exploited, so took phased for 1 year and that was it for me. Took winter contracts (not in teaching) spring and autumn touring with summer pottering and pretending proficiency at DIY. The short contracts mostly pay for the year and visiting friends. I've taken to learning saxophone...now surprisingly good at mimicking a bee in a bottle sound. This spring it's cycling gently the French west coast. It's too tempting to just work a little longer......but at what cost to health? Wish I'd left teaching earlier in many ways, we are easily and quickly forgotten.
    lynneseptember, Shedman and eljefeb90 like this.
  13. heldon

    heldon Occasional commenter

    Finished summer 2018. Use the local leisure centre every morning for classes including body pump,yoga,pilates,swimming etc. Also run(slowly but still doing it), cycle (road and mountain bike). Climb mountains, working though the muros (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet). U3a groups, singing and Scottish country dancing, photography and learning spanish. Veg plot, with fruit cage and poly tunnel keeps us busy. Cooking from scratch and baking. Adventures further afield maybe twice per year, spring and autumn. Last summer 2000 mile cycle tour through europe. Other targets for 2020 include a triathlon. Living in Scotland I feel extremely fortunate then there is the rest of the UK to explore and beyond. Not bored, don't watch daytime tv and still haven't painted the kitchen! Oh and see family a bit more often as the nearest relatives are 200 miles away.
    plot71, eljefeb90 and Dorsetdreams like this.
  14. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Established commenter


    Nothing to it. Timetables are here, and fares are really cheap, no need to book in advance like the UK.


    No need to book any trains, buses or hotels at this time of year. Just roll up to the train station 15 minutes before departure and off you go. I'm writing this on the train to Brasov after spending the night in Sighisoara. I usually book a hotel in the morning or previous evening, once I've decided if I'm moving on or not. Plenty of buses too. The TripAdvisor forums for Romania and Poland are excellent.
    plot71 and eljefeb90 like this.
  15. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    @Luvsskiing Funnily enough, I am planning a trip to Brasov, Sighisoara and Sibiu and am learning Romanian in preparation. We aim to go in June or September. Any thoughts or tips would be appreciated.
  16. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I took redundancy from a school destined for a 'slow death ' closure back in 2009. (My knees were knackered so it made sense for me to go)
    After a coach trip holiday to the SW - not been to Brixton Devon since the 70s and was very disappointed as it hadn't half gone 'downhill'.
    Anyway by the November I applied to become a Home Tutor.... (I had planned on doing some supply but the deterioration of the knees put paid to that ) I have been doing the job ever since. Love it. Is challenging at times but it is teaching as it used to be... and.... it has proved a nice boost to income..... as I took my teacher pension when I left.... they only had to enhance it by a year ish so i was 'cheap' to make redundant.
    It is a zero hour contract which does suit me - I have always had work.... but I can take leave when it suits so go off on off peak mostly hols... though tbh some of these cruise fares are hardly "off-peak"
    I have friends who do invigilation and that works for them, another does exam marking to give a little boost. All works well.
    Goodness knows when I will finally 'retire'. Last Nov Half term saw me so bored and fed up in the house that I decided I wasn't going to finish yet!
    Though there are days when I think of the morning water colour painting group, and the bridge group I discovered held at a community centre.... those classes will have to wait a while longer.....
    plot71 likes this.
  17. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    It's a bit different for me - retired to look after ill hubs and then he died.

    So I'm still getting into some sort of routine.

    It takes time when there is any major change.
    lindenlea likes this.
  18. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    10 years for me. I've got things I can do every morning but none of them are firm commitments and then afternoons can be spent on jobs in the house or the garden, having a snooze, going out with husband etc. I go to choir one night a week and have some admin attached to that. I do thrive on routine but sometimes it does feel a bit too regular. But I meet friends at all my activities and husband and I still feel that weekends are "time off". Retirement is still evolving for me.
    lynneseptember likes this.
  19. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I retired as a headteacher three years ago. I relish no longer having that responsibility. However, I’ve taken a part time role for a couple of days a week. That means I’m not free of term time routines but I currently enjoy my role. It also replaces the state pension income that my OH and I expected to have by now but don’t due to the rising SPA. We could manage without my work but we’d have to be more careful about spending. Like Helen, I also think I’d go stir crazy at home all the time. This way I can do some of both, hopefully for another three or four years. Then I’ll look at filling my time with more classes etc.
    HelenREMfan likes this.
  20. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Two part time paid roles, four volunteer roles.

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