Author Topic: How to make dad's retirement exciting?  (Read 4728 times)

schoenbauer

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How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« on: October 25, 2014, 06:01:41 AM »
Hey everyone,

my dad will retire in the next 2-5 years, depending on whether he will ease into retirement via part-time or stop abruptly. Generally, that's great news!

BUT:
My dad doesn't seem to have a lot of hobbies. And his wife will be working a bit longer than him (about 3 additional years). He enjoys hiking, sitting on the balcony, and yeah...hm...what else? i honestly don't really know.
He's not spontaneous or flexible. Not participating in any sports club or other regular social activity.

Right now his retirement would probablly look like this: buying grocceries, taking a walk in the forrest, sitting on the balcony, writing occasionally some letters and going on vaccation twice a year for 2 weeks. I mean...this can't be it?! Right?!?!

I'm just afraid that his retirement will be a shock for the family (including him!), as he will be borred all the time. I was thinking about suggesting him/them to get a garden, but that idea is also a bit lame. My dad is very straight-forward/rational and likes to get things done. Sometimes this is quite exausting to others. Emotionally he seems to be a bit weak - repressing his own desires to fulfill others' wants.

Have you made similar experiences? How have you dealt with the situation? Do you know anything awsome people like him could do in his age (~60yrs old)?

socaso

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2014, 08:35:26 AM »
My parents have been retired for years now and they are busier than ever. My dad retired before my mom. The first two years were a bit slow for him but these days he's so busy you can hardly ever get him on the phone. He got involved with Lion's Club and does a ton at his church. He does woodworking projects and built himself a fancy wood shop. He has a huge garden. He and my mom travel all the time. He has coffee with some friends in town once a week. I was worried about him when he first retired but everything has turned out just fine. I think that the first couple of years were just decompression after all those years of working.

Catbert

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2014, 11:22:43 AM »
I think the real question is, "Is he worried about what to do in retirement?"  If not, stay out of it.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 11:34:16 AM by mary w »

TN_Steve

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2014, 11:27:37 AM »
He'll figure it out. 

DW and I are on a slightly shorter timetrack than your dad.  Speaking as a "dad," I can think of few things scarier than our twenty-something sons deciding that (ignoring travel and associated diving) DW and I needed more excitement in our upcoming retirement than hiking, reading, reading, reading, going to cheap concerts and bars, and putzing around on our property--well, and maybe some more reading.  :-)

My guess is that he has things on his mental list; otherwise, why retire?  If he gets bored, he'll probably pick up volunteering, some side gigs, or other hobbies.  If not, there likely isn't much you can do to change things at this time--and any attempt to change things might not be appreciated.  Have you ever asked he and his wife what they plan to do? He might surprise you.  (Old reference--look up "Secret Life of Walter Mitty")

Louisville

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2014, 11:33:29 AM »
Do you know anything awsome people like him could do in his age (~60yrs old)?

SCUBA
Train for a marathon
Go to (or back to) college
Find a different job
Don't retire
Become a bank robber/gigolo
Hunt
Travel constantly
Surprise his wife at the end of her workday with a hot meal wearing nothing but an apron

So, in case you're not picking up on it, I'm poking fun at your supposition that at age 60 he can't do damn well anything he wants. He can, as long as he's in normal health.
I'm with socaso, give him time to adjust and find himself. If he's unhappy in a couple of years, maybe you could offer some help in finding some things to do. Meanwhile, mind your business. He's your dad, not your kid.

Sincerely,
An Old Guy

hodedofome

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2014, 01:01:02 PM »
Do you live near your parents? It is your responsibility to load the boat with grandkids so that he always has something to do.

rocklebock

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2014, 01:05:10 PM »

Right now his retirement would probablly look like this: buying grocceries, taking a walk in the forrest, sitting on the balcony, writing occasionally some letters and going on vaccation twice a year for 2 weeks. I mean...this can't be it?! Right?!?!


That sounds awesome.

Janie

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2014, 01:34:29 PM »

Right now his retirement would probablly look like this: buying grocceries, taking a walk in the forrest, sitting on the balcony, writing occasionally some letters and going on vaccation twice a year for 2 weeks. I mean...this can't be it?! Right?!?!


That sounds awesome.

+1

Unless he's unhappy I don't see any problem (and if he is, it's his problem--I wouldn't think it my place to intervene/advise unless asked).

YoungInvestor

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2014, 02:10:57 PM »
He's old enough to do as he pleases, and I can't see how you could bring that up without being insulting. You should stay out of it.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2014, 11:20:25 PM »
Do you know how to make fireworks? Or other explosions*?

*Adding certain chemicals to explosives changes the colors into magical beautiful spectacles, instead of terrorism.

Nords

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2014, 09:51:52 AM »
BUT:
My dad doesn't seem to have a lot of hobbies. And his wife will be working a bit longer than him (about 3 additional years). He enjoys hiking, sitting on the balcony, and yeah...hm...what else? i honestly don't really know.
He's not spontaneous or flexible. Not participating in any sports club or other regular social activity.

Right now his retirement would probablly look like this: buying grocceries, taking a walk in the forrest, sitting on the balcony, writing occasionally some letters and going on vaccation twice a year for 2 weeks. I mean...this can't be it?! Right?!?!

I'm just afraid that his retirement will be a shock for the family (including him!), as he will be borred all the time. I was thinking about suggesting him/them to get a garden, but that idea is also a bit lame. My dad is very straight-forward/rational and likes to get things done. Sometimes this is quite exausting to others. Emotionally he seems to be a bit weak - repressing his own desires to fulfill others' wants.

Have you made similar experiences? How have you dealt with the situation? Do you know anything awsome people like him could do in his age (~60yrs old)?
If I was in your dad's situation, then I'd spend most of my retirement time ducking your "opportunities" to find more things for me to do. 

Speaking as a 54-year-old, that comment on finding something "awesome" to do at age 60 is borderline insulting.

I think your concern is misplaced.  Share his excitement at being retired, support whatever he wants to do, and try to let him figure out things for himself.  This is his retirement, and you can use his feedback to design your own for yourself... assuming that your kids won't be trying to design yours for you.

retired?

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2014, 09:55:59 AM »
Gardens can be fun.  Both vegetable and flower/decorative.  We are in our 2nd season of growing some very nice eggplants.

That said, just offer to do stuff with him.

jennifers

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2014, 10:18:51 AM »
I was worried about the same thing when my dad retired.  My dad worked in the same factory for 40 years and didn't have many outside friends or hobbies.  I was worried that he would stay at home too much and not get much mental / physical activity. This type of lifestyle is positively correlated with dementia / depression. 

I found when he retired he did have some of his own ideas on what he wanted to do: hiking, biking, reading.  Another thing that keeps him really active is caring for my parents two rescue dogs.  His German Shepherd is like his shadow. 

Here are some of the ways I try to help him stay mentally active:
Give gift cards to amazon for christmas/ holidays so he can buy ebooks.
Give him all my old books / magazines to read.
I gave him my old xbox 360 with a bunch of games (he never played video games before in his life and now plays daily). 
Gift cards to restaurants so he can take my mom out.



southern granny

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Re: How to make dad's retirement exciting?
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2014, 04:27:10 PM »
My husband will probably retire next year and I worry about the same thing.  He spends a lot of time just sitting in his recliner and watching t.v.  I worry that is all he will do when he retires.  He says he won't be, but if that is how he spends his free time now, it worries me.  I will still be working part time, so we can't travel yet.  His father did that...  Retired and then spent so much time sitting on the couch watching t.v. that his health deteriorated fairly quickly.