Fear of Retirement!

Updated | Posted
by Laine Member Nurse Retired

Specializes in Varied. Has 47 years experience.

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Hi, I'm retiring at the end of January. I was an LPN for 15 years before going to college for my degree in nursing. 

I've worked in many different fields, med/surg, Angio/interventional, poison control, etc. I've worked in nursing in some capacity since I was 15.

I'm 65 now and just running out of steam.

But I am terrified of trying to figure out who I am without the structure, support and satisfaction of nursing.

I've heard all about hobbies and volunteering,  but at the end of the day, my lack of social connections and activities outside of my career are glaringly obvious.

I'm afraid I'll be depressed (on meds for that for a long time) and just not do well.

Any advice?

How have you retired nurses coped?

Thanks!

morelostthanfound, BSN

Specializes in CVOR/General/Transplant Surgery, and cat herding. Has 30 years experience. 276 Posts

     Congratulations on your upcoming retirement:)  Though not retired myself, I have retired, elderly parents and know of quite a few retirees.  After working and sacrificing all of your adult life, now is the time for you to nurture and take care of yourself.  Surely you have some passion or interest(s)?  Meetup is a good means to network with like-minded people that share a common interest.  Also, facebook has national, regional, and local groups in which you may meet others.  Take a college course for fun this time (many community colleges offer discounted tuition for seniors).  Or, make a commitment to get in better health in the upcoming year and join a gym.  Get active with your local senior center and be involved with their outreach programs and events.  Lastly, volunteering is a great way to meet people while also serving others.  I think whatever it is for you, the key is keep moving, develop a network of friends, and avoid self isolation.  

Edited by morelostthanfound

nursej22, MSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health, TB. Has 37 years experience. 1,996 Posts

Hi Laine. I am looking forward to retiring in 1 year. I have a wish list of the things I have put off due to work obligations. I hear you about the lack of social connections, which I also lack. I plan to take a Master Gardener course which I hope to meet like minded folks, and I want to get back into playing golf. 

I've always enjoyed taking community ED classes at the local community college, like cooking, art, sports.  Have you looked into those?

And yes, start looking for volunteer situations, especially in something you already have an interest in. 

And if and when this stupid pandemic gets reined in, I want to travel!

Laine

Specializes in Varied. Has 47 years experience. 16 Posts

Thank you both for your thoughtful responses.  I too am a cat herder! 

I also want to travel, that was a big part of my retirement plan before COVID.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,878 Posts

Well congratulations. How I envy you. Take time and get into hobbies and activities put off d/t work and maybe take classes in a university or college that you always wanted to learn about.

You will meet people if you stay busy and "out there".

Trust me there are 1000s of us who wish we were in your place!

Good luck.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,483 Posts

22 hours ago, Laine said:

I've heard all about hobbies and volunteering,  but at the end of the day, my lack of social connections and activities outside of my career are glaringly obvious.

Any major life endeavor requires a gathering of data, which you have obviously begun, on a nurses' website seeking info and support. Good for you.

I identify with you, as I am a social recluse and was concerned about retiring. My plan was to retire on today's date, December 31, 2021, but The Fates guided me to retire in March 2020.

In late 2019, I began my data-gathering by joining a website for seniors and it really helped out. There are lots of people out there, Laine, who have concerns which are the same as ours, and in discussing those concerns, my uncomfortable feelings were short-lived.

My advice to you is to find something, or several things, in which you are interested. Joseph Campbell encouraged us to "follow our bliss", that which fulfills and rejuvenates us.

My bliss is art, which I do every day, for hours on end. But I'm also into bicycling and recently purchased an e-bike, which is incredible! I have already put over 300 miles on it in about 6 weeks! I live in a rural area, 5 miles from a highway, and use the e-bike for errands, and am back to being a regular visitor at the library.

Doors will open to you, Laine, if only you open yourself to the possibilities. I have never been happier for such an extended amount of time in my life as I have been in retirement, and I hope you will too.

Good luck!

 

Laine

Specializes in Varied. Has 47 years experience. 16 Posts

Thank you Davey, that was such thoughtful, encouraging advice.  I will take absolutely take your advice about biking and the library.

Will you share the name of the senior website please? 

Again, thank you so much!

Laine

Specializes in Varied. Has 47 years experience. 16 Posts

Smiling Blue Eyes, 

Thank you for your kind, encouraging words.  I do have to make myself get out there, that will be the challenge for me.

It was a good reminder too that many nurses wish they were in my shoes.

And in the bigger picture this is definitely a first world problem. 

I hope this year is good to you!

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 1,941 Posts

Wishing you all the best, Laine. I have many years left until retirement, but I admit it is not something that I yearn for at this point, or even greatly look forward to. I've always identified myself as a worker, in the many fields in which I've worked over the years I've usually been identified as the person willing to come in extra or stay late, sometimes to the detriment of my own family life. That is something I've gotten a little better at now that my kids are reaching the ages where they are moving on, so I'm making family time a priority while I have it.

I'm glad some others have more concrete information for you with resources. I'm sure that you will find joy in your retirement years, even if it's from unexpected places! I'm sure your cats will enjoy your increased time at home as well. 

Best wishes on a happy and healthy retirement, you certainly deserve all the best!

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,483 Posts

19 minutes ago, Laine said:

Will you share the name of the senior website please?

SeniorForums.com

It's great website with a layout much like allnurses with everything from retirement, to finances, health, art, and humor.

As a side note, I spend the majority of my time now on the art and humor forums.

You're welcome, and the best to you, Laine!

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 1,941 Posts

58 minutes ago, Davey Do said:

My plan was to retire on today's date, December 31, 2021, but The Fates guided me to retire in March 2020.

Well, while it wouldn't have been your choice, I'm glad that you have found peace in your retirement, and I'm grateful that you choose to stay here and share your thoughts and art with all of us. 

Maybe this is almost like the next phase of your retirement, since today was your original plan. Enjoy your day!

Laine

Specializes in Varied. Has 47 years experience. 16 Posts

Thank you so much JBM! I understand what you are saying about not really wanting to retire.

In many ways I don't want to, though going to half time has been good.

I used to work evening/night doubles (16 hours), take care of two daughters during the day and go to school full time! 

It was hard, but when I graduated and just 😉 had to work & take care of family & home, it was something of a break.

Even with cutting back & slowing down, it still feels like I'm coming to a full stop.

I know this is all mental and my new "job" will be creating a new life, incorporating the best & familiar (family) with the new & uncharted.

With all of the kind words & encouragement,  I am getting excited about the prospects. 

All of you who have responded have helped me tremendously,  you are caregivers, even when you are not at work. You can't help yourselves and I love you for it! Thank you