Author Topic: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?  (Read 6622 times)

C. K.

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Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« on: December 07, 2013, 05:20:19 PM »
For those of you who have already retired and have mentioned it to people, are you called upon to commit to more family obligations since people think you're "not doing anything?"

Do you feel obligated since everyone else has such slave-ish schedules and you haven't?

Some of my uncles have retired a wee bit early and this seems to be the case for them.

Nords

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 06:54:43 PM »
For those of you who have already retired and have mentioned it to people, are you called upon to commit to more family obligations since people think you're "not doing anything?"
Do you feel obligated since everyone else has such slave-ish schedules and you haven't?
Some of my uncles have retired a wee bit early and this seems to be the case for them.
When the neighborhood finds out that you're retired, there's a popular tendency for a line to form at your front door with "Hey, you're the retired guy, can you help us with... ?"  I'm happy to help out in an emergency, or to assist a friend with an appliance repair or extra muscles or a Fedex delivery.  But when someone on our street whom I barely know approaches me with the "retired guy" pitch, I politely share that I charge $25/hour or work for baked goods.  Of course I'm "worth" far more than $25/hour and I don't need the money in the first place, but that's not the point.

Ironically, charging a fee (or working for food) makes people feel much more comfortable about the social transaction.  Those who are "takers" will usually back off once they realize that you won't be exploited.  The divorced single parent with three kids is delighted to pay (or to bake for) someone who can fix a disposal for less than a $100 service call.  Everyone can relax and be friends without having to keep track of who owes whom what for how long.

A little discretion may be appreciated.  If your spouse is still working then they'll appreciate coming home to a clean house and dinner on the table.  If you're staying up late on a weeknight to watch a movie then you'd want to wear headphones.  Your kid will be grumpy if you push them out the door to the school bus stop so that you can strap your longboard to the roof rack and chase the morning glass. 

You didn't just win some random drawing to achieve your retirement status.  You worked your assets off, paid your dues, and hope to preserve the longevity to reap the rewards.  However you're also going to stay humble and avoid flaunting how much you enjoy being retired.

But one of the advice columnists used to say "People can only take advantage of you with your permission." 

http://the-military-guide.com/2011/01/27/dealing-with-retiree-guilt/

happy

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 03:57:23 AM »
Well yes. This is something I have been grapppling with.
I  am not retired but semiretired. I work 2.5 days (actually 3 days) and have FOUR days off. Would you believe I spend 4 days doing chores/jobs/stuff for the family? Admittedly liberally interspersed with cups of tea and the internets. I have taken on additional frugal tasks, like baking bread, cooking from scratch, ironing,  growing veges and not using the dryer, wood heating etc.   " Mu-um, can you pick up?....'" etc etc

But 4 days WTF! There's stuff you definitely want to do with family: what could be better?; but if not managed it will take on a life of its own. My personal challenge for 2014 is to finally start doing some stuff I want to do...put the big rocks in first, etc.

A friend of mine had the same experience- she decided to spend a year working part-time to indulge herself...had a pile of novels to read on the tree seat under a huge tree in the backyard. Simultaneously her family developed "a series of crises " - she spent most of the year commuting and visiting, which if she had been working, she would never have done. She felt she had been called on because she was not working. She didn't begrudge helping her family but when she went back fulltime the novels were still unread.



C. K.

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 11:59:01 AM »

But one of the advice columnists used to say "People can only take advantage of you with your permission." 

http://the-military-guide.com/2011/01/27/dealing-with-retiree-guilt/

Thank you for your response and for the link. This is my biggest worry, which is why I tell no one of my plans to retire early.
I haven't figured out how to deal with the relatives. I'm single and without children, so people already assume I cannot be doing anything worthwhile when not at the job. I figured it would only get worse once I say "goodbye" to the j-o-b forever.

Thanks again.

C. K.

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 12:11:07 PM »
Well yes. This is something I have been grapppling with.
I  am not retired but semiretired. I work 2.5 days (actually 3 days) and have FOUR days off. Would you believe I spend 4 days doing chores/jobs/stuff for the family? Admittedly liberally interspersed with cups of tea and the internets. I have taken on additional frugal tasks, like baking bread, cooking from scratch, ironing,  growing veges and not using the dryer, wood heating etc.   " Mu-um, can you pick up?....'" etc etc

But 4 days WTF! There's stuff you definitely want to do with family: what could be better?; but if not managed it will take on a life of its own. My personal challenge for 2014 is to finally start doing some stuff I want to do...put the big rocks in first, etc.

A friend of mine had the same experience- she decided to spend a year working part-time to indulge herself...had a pile of novels to read on the tree seat under a huge tree in the backyard. Simultaneously her family developed "a series of crises " - she spent most of the year commuting and visiting, which if she had been working, she would never have done. She felt she had been called on because she was not working. She didn't begrudge helping her family but when she went back fulltime the novels were still unread.

I hear you. I have been called "selfish," which stings a whole lot. But after they become accustomed to calling on you, it's a hard habit for them to break. Very uncomfortable for everyone when you stop. (But it must be done sometimes.)

I'm working on saying "no"  but offering an alternative that still helps.

For example, one part of mother's family remembers an uncle with an annual day of community service. I've been to every one since its inception, but next year I'm begging off of it entirely. In my place I will send rejuvenating sports drinks for the workers and a letter of gratitude to the organizers.

I know my mother's family well enough to know that this will be perfectly acceptable; I'll still be in good graces. If I do nothing at all, they will claim I don't care about them personally.

Socially, I'm walking a tight rope sometimes.

Thanks for your story.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 12:12:40 PM by C. K. »

aj_yooper

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 01:09:56 PM »

You didn't just win some random drawing to achieve your retirement status.  You worked your assets off, paid your dues, and hope to preserve the longevity to reap the rewards.  However you're also going to stay humble and avoid flaunting how much you enjoy being retired.
 
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/01/27/dealing-with-retiree-guilt/

This is why Nords is the man!

I find that we need to be restrained in talking about our travel or activity plans with others too, even the retired.  We haven't noticed any big increase in family obligations, but are happy to lend some help when it is needed.

Snow White

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 09:08:00 PM »
My grandma used to say that the only time someone can walk on you is if you are lying on floor like a rug. She would then tell me to "grow a backbone" and to "stand up for myself."  Grandma was a tough broad that you wouldn't want to mess with and my hero!

I'd suggest that you firmly establish boundaries about what you will and will not do when you are first retired and err on the side of being LESS available than you may really accept.  It is easier to loosen up and give more later than to try to reduce (learned) dependence if you start off doing everything that is asked or expected of you.

C. K.

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2013, 07:50:38 AM »

 It is easier to loosen up and give more later than to try to reduce (learned) dependence if you start off doing everything that is asked or expected of you.

So true. Thanks.

Michread

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2013, 08:58:31 AM »
Nope, I don't have that problem.  We don't have any family that lives nearby.

Nords

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2013, 10:07:53 AM »
I haven't figured out how to deal with the relatives. I'm single and without children, so people already assume I cannot be doing anything worthwhile when not at the job. I figured it would only get worse once I say "goodbye" to the j-o-b forever.
It's been over 11 years since I retired, yet my father-in-law is still pretty convinced that I'm going to put his only grandchild out on the streets.


Le0

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2013, 10:29:27 AM »
I haven't figured out how to deal with the relatives. I'm single and without children, so people already assume I cannot be doing anything worthwhile when not at the job. I figured it would only get worse once I say "goodbye" to the j-o-b forever.
It's been over 11 years since I retired, yet my father-in-law is still pretty convinced that I'm going to put his only grandchild out on the streets.

I assume he is still working in some form or fashion?

C. K.

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2013, 12:08:21 PM »
It's been over 11 years since I retired, yet my father-in-law is still pretty convinced that I'm going to put his only grandchild out on the streets.
Ah! So it never ends. That's depressing...  And kind of funny that he's needlessly worried.

Nope, I don't have that problem.  We don't have any family that lives nearby.

Good point. I've considered living within one non-stop flight of the relatives who expect my time the most. In the event of an emergency, I could get to them in less than a day. Otherwise, I'm out of sight and out of their minds.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 12:15:38 PM by C. K. »

AllChoptUp

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2013, 12:53:24 PM »
Not retired yet, but owe no favors to most of our relatives.  Have been a military family for years and very few of them visited us, while we spent most of our leave/vaca money on trips home for the holidays.  Still got complaints about not having enough involvement in younger relatives' lives.

The only people who will get hookups will be Mom & Dad, and they really earned them.

Nords

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2013, 11:21:21 PM »
I haven't figured out how to deal with the relatives. I'm single and without children, so people already assume I cannot be doing anything worthwhile when not at the job. I figured it would only get worse once I say "goodbye" to the j-o-b forever.
It's been over 11 years since I retired, yet my father-in-law is still pretty convinced that I'm going to put his only grandchild out on the streets.
I assume he is still working in some form or fashion?
He actually retired early himself (age 59) in 1994, but two recessions took their toll and today he and his spouse are 100% in CDs.  I fear that they're losing ground to inflation, but they're children of the Great Depression who can squeeze pennies until Lincoln whimpers and will still save 10% of their Social Security no matter what. 

My spouse is estranged from her parents.  When our daughter graduates from college next May, we'll be getting together with my parents-in-law for the first time in about seven years (along with another half-dozen family who we see more often).  We're hosting everyone for the accommodations, local transportation, food, and entertainment expressly so that we don't have to listen to my PILs kvetch about the expenses-- or spend all day driving them around from a cheap hotel 30 miles away from the college.  We want our daughter to be able to relax and enjoy herself with all of her family in the way that we wish we'd been able to do when we were college students...

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2013, 01:29:12 AM »

Thank you for your response and for the link. This is my biggest worry, which is why I tell no one of my plans to retire early.
I haven't figured out how to deal with the relatives. I'm single and without children, so people already assume I cannot be doing anything worthwhile when not at the job. I figured it would only get worse once I say "goodbye" to the j-o-b forever.

Thanks again.

My husband, who works, (and was a student for a long time while working), got a similar attitude from his brother, who happens to be a father.  BIL's attitude was that since DH didn't have kids, he didn't need to do anything with his spare time, and thusly should be available at BIL's beckon call, for errands, babysitting, home repairs, or anything else BIL deemed necessary. 

BIL has gotten a bit better, as DH can tell him that he is busy without as much pushback as a few years ago, but that attitude is still there.  I actually don't think it has anything to do with DH's job/school/hobbies, but with BIL's attitude that anything he needs done, must be more important than anything DH wants to do.

...off to read the rest of this thread...

Ozstache

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2013, 03:23:38 AM »
Helping out relatives more was one of my ER goals and so far (2.5 months in) it is working out well within acceptable parameters.  If one of them started trying to take too much advantage of my time, I would find other activities that would preclude me from such an attempted monopoly.

C. K.

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2013, 04:46:17 AM »
My husband, who works, (and was a student for a long time while working), got a similar attitude from his brother, who happens to be a father.  BIL's attitude was that since DH didn't have kids, he didn't need to do anything with his spare time, and thusly should be available at BIL's beckon call, for errands, babysitting, home repairs, or anything else BIL deemed necessary. 
....
Yep. I know that kind of relationship. One of my married- with-kids relatives (who likes to think I do nothing of consequence) once said she wishes she had the alone time that I have. Then it clicked for me; there might be a grass-is-greener thing going on.

What could be worse than to need a break and look over at someone who seems to be in relative vacation mode all the time? I began to schedule a bit more babysitting for that family. They are less tired and less likely to fuss over my time.

Helping out relatives more was one of my ER goals and so far (2.5 months in) it is working out well within acceptable parameters.  If one of them started trying to take too much advantage of my time, I would find other activities that would preclude me from such an attempted monopoly.

That's what I need to do! I need to pre-plan the amount of time spent on that instead of waiting for someone else to suggest the parameters of engagement for me. Why didn't I think of that? Thanks.

Mega

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 07:19:49 AM »
As a parent of a toddler, I absolutely rely on my semi-retired mother to watch my son when he is sick. It saves me from losing a day's pay.

Other than that, I don't really call on my mom for too much.

However, whenever I have an opportunity to rest and let someone else pay with my son, you are darn right that I take it. Being a parent is the most demanding work out there.

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 08:54:03 AM »
I remember reading Nords' advice based on his actual experience, so I have been very vigilant with other people making demands on my time during my 3 months of early retirement so far. 

One request from my SIL was "hey, can you drive across town, pick up my daughter from school each afternoon, help her with her homework, feed her, and I'll pick her up a few hours later".  I was honest and said "I have 3 kids of my own, so I'm pretty busy.  I also do things in the afternoon sometimes where I'm not available.  And I normally walk to pick up my kids, so your daughter would have to walk with me."

That killed round #1 of requests.  Then the kid starts failing in school.  So my wife, in her infinite generosity with my time (grrrr...), volunteers me to "help with tutoring" with the understanding that the kid will be dropped off at our house each day, and I'll try to let my SIL know when I'm out and about and won't be there to receive the kid.  So far so good.  I'm usually pretty busy in the afternoon time period with my own children, catching up on chores around the house and/or relaxing/playing/creating on the computer.  So there hasn't been a lot of tutoring going on, but at least my niece has a quiet place to do her homework (instead of a house filled with beaucoup screaming children where she was before).  Hey, if I suck at tutoring, you can fire me any time!  ;)

Otherwise, I haven't had many requests.  I guess I have the "I have 3 kids and I'm pretty busy with them" excuse.  It'll be interesting once they are all in school and I'm free from 8:30 to 2:45 every day.  The main point is to be generous when you want to, but don't leave a life of well paid employment to become somebody else's bitch.  You earned ER from hard work and savings.  Live your life like you want to.

jrhampt

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 09:12:14 AM »
However, whenever I have an opportunity to rest and let someone else pay with my son, you are darn right that I take it. Being a parent is the most demanding work out there.

Yes, but that was *your choice*, and it also comes with benefits, so I don't really feel all that sorry for parents.  Some of us choose not to become parents and don't want to be saddled with someone else's responsibilities.

C. K.

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Re: Do You Have More Family Responsibilities After Retirement?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 02:53:49 PM »
  The main point is to be generous when you want to, but don't leave a life of well paid employment to become somebody else's bitch. You earned ER from hard work and savings.  Live your life like you want to.
Emphasis mine

Thank you for that story. It truly helps to know how others handle it. I guess I need to work on not being somebody's butt slave now so I'll be in good practice for retirement.

Thanks again.