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What are the downsides and drawbacks of retirement?

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by Startedin82, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    @Startedin82 Do you mean heavy drinking is an issue? Actually I think it is so much easier to control your eating and drinking once retired because you're not stressed and can live a much healthier life with time to think about what you are consuming. I drink much less since I retired.
    plot71, Sundaytrekker and Startedin82 like this.
  2. Startedin82

    Startedin82 Established commenter

    Yes I meant heavy drinking @lindenlea. I read an article once where it said that some people who are potentially alcoholic or alcohol dependant (I'm not suggesting this is/was the case for @Alldone by the way) can just about hold things together whilst they are working -- because they have to due to all the pressures and disciplines of work - but once they have retired they quickly start drinking heavily - especially if they can afford it. I think there are more problem drinkers who are older rather than young.
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I ended up retiring earlier than I had previously anticipated. The burn out curve suddenly plummeted.
    I wasn't ready for complete removal from the workplace.
    I had a gap year - some slowish days, a range of alternative income, tutoring, writing resources for OCR, working in the Oxfam bookshop.
    Then I got talked into teaching an evening class and doing some musical instrument teaching.
    I am now back to working almost full time, but enjoying it much more because my employers are positive and encouraging. I have the option of saying no if I don't want to do things.

    I have kept in touch with some former colleagues, been a bit disappointed when other colleagues didn't respond to efforts to stay in touch (their loss), provided occasional unpaid consultancy for cherished members of my old department, mentally give a Bronx cheer or dual fingered salute to Mrs Egostomper as I pass her on the way to my new workplace.
  4. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    I would think you slow down as you get older when it comes to drinking...don't you?
    unless you drink more often which might be an issue yes.
    Startedin82 likes this.
  5. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    I'm counting on one hand how many colleagues I would miss...:)
    plot71, catmother and Startedin82 like this.
  6. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I still wouldn't class it a "common issue" though. I think you're being rather an eeyore, if you'll forgive me for saying so.:)
    Anyway - it's Friday - I'm off to the pub.
    Startedin82 likes this.
  7. Startedin82

    Startedin82 Established commenter

    Mine's a pint thanks!
    Alldone and lindenlea like this.
  8. Alldone

    Alldone Senior commenter

    Thanks for that - I'm not a heavy drinker it's just that instead of not drinking during the week whilst working, there is more opportunity to drink socially now, more often. I was very fortunate not to be stressed at school, working for 28 years in a nice Indie school, so didn't need alcohol as a crutch. I guess one of the reasons I've cut back on alcohol (well actually given it up for now) is that I do a lot of running and find that the lower my body weight the faster I can run. I do agree though with your point about older drinkers. Many of my retired friends are in various wine clubs and think nothing of drinking a bottle of wine each evening.
    emerald52 and Startedin82 like this.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    What about losing the contact with one's students? Here in Shenzhen, I think that I will miss not having the charming company of my sweet and polite Chinese students, after I have retired at the end of this academic year. No one else on this thread seems to have mentioned this disadvantage, but of course that might be because most people are teaching in the UK and so they are much more worried about the alcohol intake.
    Startedin82 and emerald52 like this.
  10. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    its a fair point and I think I will miss them but ive taught for years and you learn that a new batch of students replaces them..i have still managed to keep in touch with some students but I don't think for me its a big issue. its nice when you see old students and they are nice to you...hopefully!
    emerald52 and Startedin82 like this.
  11. Startedin82

    Startedin82 Established commenter

    Alcohol in China - I thought China was a massive market for French wines now? Not for the teachers maybe.
    plot71 likes this.
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, indeed it is true that the French are "dumping" a lot of their cheaper and their more gut-rottingly-awful wines on the Chinese, especially the reds. The Chinese seem to think that French wines must be good because they are French. I did, however, get given a grand cru claret by one of my students last year. 2,000RMB does seem a bit much for a drop of plonk. It was good, but that not that good. Usually Australian vino is more reasonably priced here in the Middle Kingdom.

    On the whole, I would say that alcoholism here in China is not as bad as in the UK or in one or two other countries I could mention. Maybe that it just my personal impression of things and maybe it is wrong.
    Startedin82 likes this.
  13. Greendams

    Greendams New commenter

    I retired last summer and it has taken me a full year to find a balance that suits me. I took early retirement on medical grounds, but my pension was not enhanced so a considerably smaller income is the most noticeable downside. At present I have managed to top this up with disability benefits, but the system for awarding benefits can be arbitrary and unfair, so the 'extra' does not feel secure. Hopefully in the future I will become well enough to return to a job other than teaching. I worked as a special needs teacher and I miss the 'banter' with other staff in the classroom and I miss most of the pupils. However I find the absence of paperwork, politics and pointless meetings is blissful.

    I found the past year has been about striking the right balance. I now have regular activties such as a book club, a cycling group, meeting friends for a swim and lunch which take up a few hours a day for 4/5 days a week. I would echo that people can have expectations about how you should use your time. I found myself roped into some voluntary activties and they became too much of a pressure on my health. They also took away from that wonderful sense of freedom, of being able to get up in the morning knowing that everything is optional. Someone later told me that their top tip was to set a time limit on volunteering at the outset as you can always carry on for longer if you enjoy the activity. As well as 'social' activties I have expanded some hobbies that I do at home and enjoyed finding time to go for a walk, cook a new recipe, read a book or do the crossword.
  14. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some very wise and balanced advice from Greenadams.

    I have just received an e-mail from an old friend, advising me against early retirement. He says that carrying on for another year or two would be the sensible thing to do and the extra cash would come in handy. Well, I am currently teaching in a school in China and last June one teacher left our school and he retired. He was 68! So at my present school I could, in theory, carry on for another ten years or so, if I really wanted to. (You cannot switch jobs from one school to another in China, but once you are 60 you can carry on in the school where you are currently working, if the SLT are happy about that.)

    On the other hand, I am thinking that my wife and I do not need a lot more extra money. We do not have any expensive children at university and we do not have a mortgage. We are going to retire to Bulgaria, where we have a villa in the mountains, about 70 km north of the capital Sofia, as well as an apartment in the beautiful city of Veliko Tarnovo. They were both paid for in cash and we also have some savings and investments.

    Yes, I do enjoy my teaching position here in Shenzhen (it's just round the corner from Hong Kong), but maybe it is good to finish while you are still enjoying it, not when you have done it for so long that you hate it.
    plot71 and emerald52 like this.
  15. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    must be wonderful!
    again, wonderful and good luck!
  16. Startedin82

    Startedin82 Established commenter

    Sounds like that you have the best of both worlds @the hippo - you can carry on doing what you enjoy doing or you can go at anytime! Nice position to be in.
  17. Startedin82

    Startedin82 Established commenter

    @Greendams - I thought that ill health retirement meant that you did get enhanced pension if you could show that you couldn't teach?
  18. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    You have to be on death's door to get an enhanced teacher pension these days, but you can still retire if you aren't well and get other benefits.

    Pity the poor teachers starting to get nervous and sweat, thinking, 'only two more weeks to go and the nightmare returns!' I couldn't face going back full time in your standard comp, in front of poorly behaved students again, day after day, sleepless nights, constant exhaustion, data demands and data entry, constant scrutiny and judgements being made about everything you do, no life in the evenings, no short breaks when I want. No sir eeee.
    plot71, seasoned and Startedin82 like this.
  19. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    I have found all the above posts interesting to read as I am currently planning my route to retirement. Since Easter this year I have been working part-time (3 days a week). It feels great to be working less than I'm not working and have long weekends. My reasoning is that I have worked full time all my working life and couldn't imagine just stopping working one day.
    Initially I just enjoyed the days off and getting my weekends back (although I did feel like I was skiving for the first few weeks). Now I am thinking about developing other interests which I can take forward into my retirement. Working full rime in education is not really conducive to having loads of outside interests in my experience. One of these is to volunteer with a charity (Cat's Protection in my case. We have a rehoming centre near here and I will be spending one morning a week helping with cleaning and socialising the cats - bliss for a cat lover like me!)
    A recommended financial adviser was a real help. I like to think I am fairly savvy with my finances, but i was amazed at how he could spend around an hour looking over my finances and provide some real insight and great advice. This gave me confidence that I would be able to do what I want to do without worrying too much.
    By the way, my hubby says I am a different person!
  20. Xericist

    Xericist New commenter

    Although I never ever regretted calling it a day, and no fellow retirees I know ever regretted retiring, it's worth considering that after a professional life in which one's tasks were literally timetabled several times a day, it can be easy to treat time as an an infinite resource, and much can slip away because the calls on one's time are now fewer. Obviously some retirees will be more disciplined than others in how they apportion their day.

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