Retirement Envy

I admit it: I have a problem of retirement envy.  I just happen to know too many people of my parent’s generation who have retired recently.  So when the conversations turn to it I think I freak people out slightly that I’m so knowledgeable about their retirement issues.  I just can’t help myself I’m excited for these people to be achieving their dreams and envious as well that I won’t be there for a decade at least.

That feeling likely drove a lot of my desire to shift over to part time work.  I couldn’t wait any more to try my hand at having more time off.   So far I have to say it was the best decision I’ve made in a while.  I’m so much more relaxed and on top of things than I was even a few weeks ago.

So as much as I do have these bursts of envy I’m start to relax into my new routine and accept that this is a fairly damn good life that I have right now.  The danger of having retirement envy is people can forget to live for today and constantly live dreaming of future days.  Taken far enough it can get out right sad to watch as people don’t do anything for themselves and push off everything for ‘later’.

I was recently watching a movie where in one scene a character asked “What’s the point of it all?” to which another character replied “There is none.”  Which is actually strangely true, we assign meaning to what we want to in our lives.  So you can choose to make tomorrow more important than today or not.  You can also choose to want both as well.  It’s ok to have dreams and work towards them.  Is there a point? Not really, but as long as you really want go ahead and do something different today as you can never know how things turn out.

So even as I keep working towards early retirement I know things won’t turn out.  I can’t predict the future and I don’t want to: I’m too busy enjoying today.  It’s my method of coping with retirement envy.  So how often do you get retirement envy?  How do you deal with bursts of it?

2 thoughts on “Retirement Envy”

  1. In 2007 and 2008, as I was nearing my ER in late 2008, several coworkers of mine retired, some of them only in their 50s. I had a “burst of envy” as you put it, even though I knew I would soon be “getting out” and retiring, too.

    I badly wanted to tell them how close I was to retiring but I was trying to keep a lid on my own plans. In some cases, I had their home email addresses so we stayed in touch and I was able to safely tell them of my plans.

    But the best part of this angle of my ER story is that now some of THEM are jealous of ME! :p

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