My Biggest Shock Upon Retirement!

Sometimes the journey into retirement just isn’t very joyous, in fact it can be a down right painful journey at times.

Like almost all of us I had many challenges in my early retirement years. I started my retirement from the corporate world at age 54 and like the cartoon above, I didn’t really have any retirement plan to guide me. The first few years were difficult but now after almost twenty years I think I have finally gotten most of it right.

This post is about the biggest shock among the many I encountered.

But first a little lead-in story. I retired rather abruptly at the beginning of this millennium. I had worked for thirty years at the same company but when my division was sold to a Chinese company downsizing quickly began. Since I had my thirty years in for a full retirement benefits, I volunteered to be in the first wave. I was only fifty-four at the time! It ended up that within a year of my termination, 95% of our entire division was forced out. The only thing the Chinese company wanted was intellectual information and a small six person group who had capabilities they didn’t. But I am getting very much off point here. Let’s get back to my biggest shock upon leaving the corporate world.

I abruptly went from a person who led six member team with a million dollar budget solely to a wife who didn’t seem to think I could flush a toilet without messing it up! I might be exaggerating it a bit but that is how it felt to me during those times. I know my wife loves me, but she can be brutal sometimes. My self-worth was in the toilet that I apparently couldn’t flush. There was no longer anyone around to pat me on the back and tell me I was doing such a fantastic job. Complements are just not a primary part of my wife’s persona. 🙂

I tend to take almost everything on a personal level. I think the lack of validation was one of the worst shocks of my life and I have had my share of shocks. It would take a couple of years to get over that feeling and to adjust myself to not having to have others around to pat me on the back once in a while.

What about you? Did you have a shocker to start your retirement years?