Fresh Start

I’m 60 and working full time, H is 64 and retired for 3 years. Contrary to what many want (including my H) rather than settling for a rocking chair, some reading glasses and the remote control I find myself YEARNING for a fresh start in some way.

A new house. A different job. Excitement in some shape or form.

Life feels super stale right now. The years past 60 MUST offer something more!

Some of this could be attributed to “pandemic” but I don’t think that is the reason, though it may have heightened the desire.

Feeling really stuck in so many facets of life. Am I alone? Anyone care to share a “fresh start” they would love to have - or better yet, are pursuing?

Given the chance and perhaps not a fortune but a little $ support, what would be your “Fresh Start”???

My fresh start five years ago at age 62 was somewhat extreme - we moved from Chicago suburbs to San Diego. It absolutely saved me; I was very unhappy with my empty life. Husband was ambivalent but I know his life has also been much improved. It did take me 10 years of planning - 5 years to convince husband, and 5 more years to make it happen.

I had no other answers on to how to restart my life at that time.

^^^ That is a BIG fresh start!

I can’t imagine us moving out of our area. I mean, I would do it - not as far as you did @Marilyn , but I would enjoy a new town or neighborhood in our vicinity - but H would probably say “have a good time! I’ll stay here!”

It wasn’t exactly a fresh start - but two years ago my husband got an invitation to be a visiting professor in Hong Kong for two months. We dropped everything and went. We were in what was essentially a hotel room. Except for finishing up some projects long distance I had no work. I took some art classes and a cooking class. DH went to lab meetings and gave a couple of lectures. The rest of the time we explored Hong Kong, went to China twice and Taiwan once and did a lot of hiking. We both figured out we could probably enjoy retirement. (Of course pandemics have kind of put the kibosh on the ideal retirement, but it was a lovely breather.)

I plan to retire in January and spend about another 2 years here in Northern Virginia. I want the time to do the things I haven’t been able to do - mostly involving spending more time with people I care about.

After that we are moving back to the midwest. So that is really 2 fresh starts.

I am feeling the need for something “new” and “different” but much of my frustration IS COVID related I think. We have been super careful, and quite frankly, I love my husband but I’m used to having more of a social life. He’s perfectly happy at home doing his own thing, with kind of a “rigid structure” to his day but I usually go out with someone at least once a week. However, the good news is I’ve viewed COVID as a sort of test for retirement, and It’s helped me decide I am really ready.

I am likely retiring early next year, and my husband will be retiring in 2 years, and we are thinking of moving after that. We have talked about just leaving our house more or less as is, and hoping one of our kids would come live here for a year. We might then rent an apartment in someplace “fun” (like Santa Fe or maybe ???) for a year, or drive around the country staying in difference places for some extended amount of time. We’ve also talked about moving away permanently, but we’re not sure where we’d go. (Possibly NC).

Good plans. I do admit that retirement to me is only a “fresh start” if there are plans to go along with it. I need to be productive. That doesn’t have to be work, but activities and things to check off a list that make me feel good and freedom to choose what goes on the list.

Be thankful if you have spouses who are on board with plans. :slight_smile:

I’m older than most of you, but I was still working. For the past months, I’ve been working from home. Maybe 1-2 patients will come to the office. So, I’m giving up my lovely zen space to another, and renting it Monday’s. Rather like having a virtual office for insurance. Anyway, I emptied file drawers and books and some personal items. My car would hold no more. I’ll hire someone to help with the furniture. I didn’t even try to move lamps and pictures.

I’ve been in practice for 40 years. Today was a sad day

I know what you mean…I’m feeling restless and would love a fresh start. Dh, somewhat reluctantly, agreed to look at a second house on the other end of our state. We just went there last weekend and looked at 6 houses. None were perfect (enough) but I fell in love with the community and plan to pursue it. We’d keep our current house for now and the foreseeable future. I really hope we something comes up that fits our criteria soon.

I’m currently involved with 3 volunteer activities although one ends soon. I could continue with the other 2, even if we were primarily in the other location. We’ll see how it all shakes out…definitely something that’s on my mind a lot.

I semi-retired about 6 1/2 years ago so have been working part time. I developed another part time profession but am retiring from both in the next month. Like @bookworm, it was weird to bring home the last of the items from the office and work from home, but I was ready to do so. I’ve been playing a lot of online bridge with friends, which takes time and concentration. Might you consider something like that?

I’ve also been begged asked to join some committees and to take on some additional responsibilities within the State professional organization. I am not sure what I am going to do about that, but I’ll consider it, since I will have some more time. Are there opportunities like this for you?

Of course we want to see the kids/gd across country but that’s not happening yet. My DS#1’s MIL called today to chat (she is a doll) and suggested we come out there, rent a place for a month, quarantine for the first 2 weeks and then be able to see them, though it will still be social distancing. DH could work from there, and until we recently cancelled our upcoming trip, I’d located an airBNB (or VBRO) conveniently located between the 2 kids, so if it wa available that would be an interesting thought. But we’d still have to get there, and I am not flying now.

There are also opportunities to get more involved in volunteer opportunities at our place of worship. Any interest in doing something like that?

I had been pretty consistently working out until the gym closed, but don’t find the online classes of interest to me. But might they be for you? I take walks with friends (social distance) and DH, and occasionally use the elliptical (though its boring to me). Is exercise on your list?

I’ve had lots of plans to organize/clean things, but that hasn’t happened yet :slight_smile:

So all in all, there are lots of things one can do to fill one’s day. Any of these appeal to you?

I’ve been thinking about this. I do think a lot of people go through this. What now? I’ve been working and planning but for what?

Right before everything stopped my husband’s college roommate came up to visit for a couple of days. He retired the year before. In his mind, he and his wife would travel during the off times. They would explore and hike, ride their bikes. Do stuff!

Well his wife’s plan was to watch the grandchildren. Full time while her son and his wife worked. The wife is a teacher so she had summers and holidays off. The other grandmother had no plans or inclination to watch the grandchildren as she was living her life.

The husband was really unhappy. He worked but now was home and there were these children around all the time. He loves the grandchildren but it wasn’t his idea. He came up to our house and he has a couple of times. But always by himself, I haven’t seen her in a long time.

I guess we have to decide what our lives are going to look like, and how we are going to plan those things out. What do we want? What will make me happy?

We moved here 11 years ago, it was a retirement plan before retirement. I enjoy our area, I enjoy the things I do here. I don’t have the same friendships that I had before. My kids have no roots to where I live now. They don’t live close and never will. It’s a small town with small town politics. I’m happy here with my husband but I would not choose to live here alone. Moving away from everything isn’t for sissies, it’s been difficult

@jym626 , my day is already full. I work full time. I garden. I exercise often twice a day. I read. I volunteer a bit. I visit my mom.

It’s a just a bit stale. I love my house but at the same time I’m ready for a change. I adore having a home and like taking care of it. I’d like a new challenge there - H is too stuck here and seems to be over making any changes here.

I wouldn’t mind a new work situation. But, age 60.

I’m close with my kids but they have a lot going on as well.

I’m not really a very social person. Introvert! I don’t need a lot of “others” in my life. I need something new FOR ME.

Nothing will happen overnight. But it helps me think to hear what others have done or wish to do.

@deb922 I appreciate hearing all that. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. :slight_smile:

We moved states the day after our D graduated from HS. Spent the first year renovating an old house and being new empty nesters. Started working in March after being a SAHM for most of D’s life. Pre-Covid we were enjoying concerts, shows, and sporting events as a couple.

I really enjoy our new community and friends, but honestly I could use a bit more stability and predictability, along with being able to be with old friends.

When you find the right next thing, you will know it, and you will be able to make that change. Give yourself the time needed to find that right next thing.

I think I have been pretty satisfied with my status quo due to the business and personal travel I take (until COVID) which gave me a “freshness” by letting me be in different parts of the country and with different people. While my travel could be a pain, there were some really meaningful times, and it really did break up the monotony of getting up and going to work, exercising, taking care of the pets and feeding ourselves, etc. Now that I’m “grounded” due to COVID, there is a “sameness” to things that I am not loving.

I don’t envision relocating but so miss being able to travel several times/year. H is definitely NOT open to relocating. We have deep roots here but would do a long term rental wherever our kids settle.

It seems as if COVID is a factor here. Lots of people are feeling restless, and apparently airbnb’s and VRBO’s have low inventory because so many want to go away briefly, and don’t trust hotels. Maybe you should try a quick trip- in a place that is safely sanitized and where you could quarantine comfortably or in a state where there is no quarantine.

I also read that RV’s are going like hot cakes.

As for the larger question on being 60 or older, still needing to be productive and thinking about a big change at this transitional time of life (kids grown, retirement looming), I often think someone needs to write a book. People use to be a lot older than they are now! The period after retirement age may include working, or not, but it is an important phase and so many of us are confused about how to use it.

Personally, I have been in a kind of limbo for a couple of years. Sold my house after divorce, elderly mother was on hospice (but is now stable), and I got into a pattern of seasonal rentals, partly due to uncertainty and partly due to low inventory of rentals in my area. Two kids across the country whom I miss. Of course, who knows where they will live in the next few years.

I feel like breaking out and moving to the SW or SoCal (one kid is there) but am tied down with my mother.

COVID is very restricting and can make us feel trapped, I think. Nice that some of you have experienced this period of restriction as practice retirement, and that it has helped some come to some decisions, even if they involve some sadness.

I often think this period would be easier with a partner, but then again, some of my married friends envy my extensive time alone :slight_smile:

@abasket I like to spend time in Germany, pursuing my intellectual interests.

Ideally, I’d spend at least a month a year there. I’ve thought that if I had training to teach English as another language, I might be able to help pay my bills while living there, maybe summers or something.

I had the brainstorm to apply to a Ph.D. program in history so that I could pursue this full-time. That would have been a fresh start for sure, at the age of 60. However, I was not accepted.

Also, in terms of a fresh start, I started two new jobs in the space of 12 months. (I got a job at a start up, was laid off at the end of March, and found a second job immediately, although it is not well paid.) It has been an interesting experience to work where I am the oldest by 30 years or more.

My husband and I would also like to move, to a more rural area of Massachusetts. Unfortunately, the housing inventory where we would like to move has low supply and things are flying off the market within a week (purchases are being made within 24 hours, sight unseen!)

I suggest that you review what you enjoy doing and take steps to do more of it. Even though I don’t expect to be able to go to Germany anytime soon, I continue to read, research, find German Skype pals, and prepare for my next visit.

Unlike many of you, I am fully and completely retired as of a year ago. I’m 71.

My “fresh start” happened gradually over the last eight years. I finally left a corporate job that I absolutely hated and a manager who was abusive. At that point DH and I downsized and moved a few miles away; we wound up massively renovating the new house and built a deck, hot tub, firepit, etc. Then S1 had a baby and I traveled every two months to see her. (Not lately, of course.) During that time I found full-time consulting work very near my home, then part-time consulting work that I could do from home. That kept getting smaller and smaller over the course of five or so years until I finally called it quits last August.

I am happily filling my days with volunteer work for an organization whose mission I feel strongly about, for about ten hours a week. I can do it all from home. During COVID, I’m also reading a lot. Typically, I’ll meet a friend for lunch or brunch about once a week. Without that ability, I’m doing Zoom with some groups of friends, but I miss seeing people in person. I also entertain about once a month, but of course not right now.

I’m very happy with how my fresh start happened gradually. I was lucky.