Are you starting to feel this way? Me too! In fact, in January of 2018, almost 59,000 people began receiving Social Security benefits and many are quickly finding themselves retired and bored. Some are even broke. Most were older “baby boomers”, about 45,000 a month, and many were like us. They had no idea that they probably were, at some time, going to find themselves bored in retirement.
As a life-long day-dreamer, I’ve spent many of my idle moments trying to come up with a way to retire. It turns out that was all unnecessary. The truth is, if you live long enough, the world somehow just retires you ——— whether you wanted it or not.
I retired a year ago and had my plans too. I was going to do this and do that and build this and build that. But, most of “that” never finds a way to get done any more than it did when I was working. Slowly, without ever noticing it, I’ve grown bored with retirement. And I know that I’m not alone.
Just a year after retiring from my position as a building inspector, I find myself sitting on the couch at 10 A.M. checking my Facebook for the latest morsel of blather from my internet community.
You are not alone
I could complain to my wife, but after retiring from a hectic everyday house cleaning business, she’s now on the other end of the couch playing Mahjong on her computer. She’s cleaned everything she can find in the house and now just sits there waiting for the faint sound of settling dust. It’s a good thing she has me around.
It’s evident that “retired and bored” is a common condition. And not a good one. We’ve become regular patrons at the local breakfast spot. Each morning I sit across the room and notice the same bunch of old retired guys. They sit at the big round table every day until the waitress gets weary of topping off the coffee cups. They talk about their latest tire rotation or the new snowblower, but eventually, they drift away from the restaurant to their next “chore.” I’m thinking they all wish they had something better to do, but each morning they arrive again and take their positions around the table.
I know there are many things I could do to keep busy. I could drive folks to the doctor or contract some handyman work, but it would truly just be something to pass the time. Not much different from playing Mahjong or writing semi-lucid “retired and bored” articles. This really is is becoming a Random Retirement!
Retired and Bored Women
I realize that I’m looking at retirement from a man’s perspective and I’m probably not a bit in tune with the whole retirement thing from the woman’s view. Fortunately, I have found a great site written by a woman. Vicki at Ready set Retire.co has done a lot more thinking about this than just about anyone I can find. Visit her blog for a while and you’ll see what I mean. Her insights are definitely worth your time.
So, I’ve identified 3 steps you can take to help cure the “retired and bored” part of being retired.
THREE STEPS to keep from being bored in retirement
Get more exercise.
It sounds simple, but it’s really hard for many of us to get exercise. But no matter what shape you are in most of us can get in better shape. If all you can move is your arm . . . then MOVE IT!
Most of my life I have been blessed with good health, but everyone isn’t so lucky. A good friend of mine has spent all of his adult life battling illness. At one point he couldn’t walk and only had the partial use of one hand. I would have folded up and died, but not him. I watched over the months and years as he exercised everything that would move. Eventually, he was walking and working out with weights and even riding a bike several miles a day.
What an inspiration he was then and still is today. Most of the doctors that wrote him off 48 years ago are long gone. He’s learned that to live he must keep exercising. Exercise is the healthiest and truly the best gift we can give ourselves. People talk about smoking and drinking, but it’s the couch that will kill most of us before our time.
When I retired, I had a lot of plans for tackling a house renovation project. My wife and I bought a 150-year old house in her hometown and the plan was to fix it up for our “Golden years.” We have completed quite a lot of the work, but much remains. When I was younger, I built complete houses myself in less than a year, so it’s disappointing to find that after a year I don’t have half the projects completed.
Take care of yourself, Your health is everything.
When I retired I was having problems with my health. Not serious, just trouble with a damaged heel. Who knew that standing and walking were so important. It slowed me down at every turn. Also, I noticed that after sitting on my butt in a truck for 15 years as an inspector, I no longer had the simple muscles required to swing a hammer or saw a board.
In the last year, I have slowly gotten back into shape and can now walk as well as ever. I still can’t hit the nail though. I think maybe the hammer is faulty. The point is you have to get yourself in shape for retirement.
Many retired and bored people are retired for medical reasons. But, if you can still open a computer, you can exercise. Exercise is one of the keys to keep from being retired and bored.
My wife has joined a group at the local pool. She gets a good work-out. Even though she was in great shape going in, she still found herself aching from using muscle groups that she hadn’t used in a while. I have been walking. Doctors say that walking is probably the best exercise anyone can do. Especially old folks like us. It surely is the simplest.
Walking is great exercise
Prevention.com has a great article on 7 great benefits you get from walking just thirty minutes a day. I recently started to walk as much as possible and I can really feel the difference. I actually “feel” better. Even if you can only walk a short distance that’s OK. Just do it more. Soon you will start to“feel” the difference.
The Prevention.com article points out that one of the first benefits is a reduction in anger and hostility. This alone can help keep you from being bored in retirement. Also, it helps with your memory (just saying…) They even report that you will lose weight, unless, like me, you are walking to the local restaurant for eggs and hash browns. Read the whole article and learn much more.
Have you noticed that retirement can seem harder than work did? When you worked you probably had someone telling you what to do and when to have it done. But now that we’re retired we have to tell ourselves what to do and push ourselves to do it. The old “get up and go” vanishes when we’re not getting paid to get up and go. It feels a little like work.. (only without the money) I think sometimes that I wouldn’t be retired and bored if I was making money doing it.
Stop putting the garbage in your mouth.
Oh, I know you do – because I do too.
For years my diet has consisted of as much fried chicken and french fries as I could get my hands on. I heard that French cooking is supposed to be healthy, but it turns out that the french fry is not as “French” as I was led to believe. And “ketchup,” Didn’t someone say it was a vegetable?
If I couldn’t get chicken I would have any other fried or broiled meat, as long as it was a steak or any pork product with barbecue sauce.
Truth is, I’ll eat just about anything that barbecue sauce will stick to. Guess what? I’m a short, fat, bald guy with high cholesterol and a body mass index that can be measured from space. But I’m changing that. From now on I am going to eat better and you can too. We can eat less junk, more fiber, more vegetables, more whole grains, less McDonalds and KFC.
Surely there’s one thing that you can cut from your diet that will better your health. You probably already know what it is. So, start there. The result will be less weight, more health and more energy (at least that’s what the experts say) and a less “boring retirement.”
Yep. It’s that simple. I know there are many things to worry about, but the truth is none of it is ever changed by worry. Worrying is like driving down the road with your emergency brake on. The car might seem like its moving alright, but the brakes are heating up. Eventually, something’s gonna break.
There have been dozens of scientific tests over the years that all show the same thing. Worry can KILL you. It raises your blood pressure, hinders digestion, stops some biological functions altogether. It is the enemy.
In the Bible, we are never told directly not to drink or not to smoke, but we are told directly NOT to worry. In fact, The Bible tells us exactly 365 times not to worry…that’s once for every day! Don’t be anxious, don’t fret, don’t get upset, and even to not go to sleep when you are upset! Why? Because God knows that we were not designed to operate in a state of “worry.” So, Chill out. Relax.
Do something that relaxes you. Go for a walk, or play a game. I can really relax by going to the movies. There’s just something about going in a theater and for 2 hours, leaving the world outside. For me, it’s like hitting a “reset” button.
The bottom line is GET OFF THE COUCH and DO SOMETHING. We’re not dead yet.
That’s the 3 basic steps . . .but there’s still more
If you are tired of being retired and bored, there are plenty of things to do, depending on your health and your wallet.
The Big question is . . . “what do I want to do?”
The Big answer is . . . “anything you want!“
If you are anything like me, that’s not something that you’ve ever really considered. You’ve spent all your working life just paying bills and putting out fires; solving the day’s problems while trying not to make any more. And now, here you are, with nothing but time on your hands. And the clock is ticking.
I know I’ve spent a lot of years being not-retired and bored. The boredom comes from doing things you don’t really want to do, usually, just for the money.
Personally, I’ve figured out that every day I continued to work I would get another dollar a month of retirement for life. If I live another twenty years that amounts to 240 additional dollars I would get to spend in retirement for working that additional day.. ( in addition to my daily pay) The problem is that if I continued to work for 19 years, that extra day of work will only return me 12 bucks! I’d be DEAD.
There comes a point where you might as well hang it up.
The point is, your retirement years must be treated like the “valuable assets” they are. You must spend them wisely. You can waste them working or you can choose to carefully spend them doing something different.
What is retirement anyway?
Who invented this idiotic idea that when you reach a certain age you should quit your job and go home ?
Here’s a thought ———– Is “retirement” a diabolical scheme by that guy that wants your job, or the company that wants to replace you with fresh legs and a young back or cheaper labor?
Let’s look at retirement for what it really is . . . a job change. Nothing else.
Unless you simply cannot continue to do anything, why quit and go home? You’ll only end up retired and bored. So, if you’re going to make a job change, do something you want. We’re all just waiting anyway.
Fill your time with a new job you want to do.
Only you know what that is.
A quick search of online sites will lead you to numerous “lists” of great job ideas. A good percentage are garbage. They have great ideas like be a “blogger.” “Make thousands a year using your undiscovered professional level writing skills to create content for the masses.”
The truth is, if you’re lucky,, you might make about $5.00 an hour for your time and very little satisfaction. (Personally, I’ve averaged about $1 an hour for my time)
If you really like creating a blog go ahead and try it. Personally, I make nothing at this point, but I really enjoy it anyway.
Ask yourself ———- Is there anything you always wanted to try but couldn’t afford to?
Well, with your Social Security and maybe even a little pension to back you, GO AHEAD and TRY it.
Even if you still need to “earn” some income, Chances are don’t have to make what you used to when you worked full time.
The main point is this; Up to now, income was the main goal of your job. Enjoyment was secondary, sometimes even non-existent.
Make enjoyment the main goal. ————— Let the income be secondary.
Don’t quit….Change !
And if you find you don’t enjoy your new job as much as you thought you would……
Just try something else……