Retirement--Ideas wanted, needed and appreciated

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Forum topic by Durnik150 posted 09-14-2009 11:04 AM 1719 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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647 posts in 3321 days

09-14-2009 11:04 AM

Well, it looks like I’ve got about 10 days left before retirement. The reason the exact date is vague is because of the way the pension association works. Since woodworkers tend toward the more “mature” end of the spectrum, I wanted to toss this around the coffee lounge.

I’ve been a police officer for almost 20 years (missed 20 by 5 months! Grrrrr!). Moved to Sergeant and then Lieutenant. Ultimately, my back gave up the ghost and is forcing me to medically retire.

I won’t say that $$ isn’t any concern at all but I’m in a lot better shape financially than a lot of people right now. There isn’t any problem holding onto car/truck/house so that is a great relief. If I can make a little extra here and there (see below) I will almost be bringing home what I was making on the job. For those who are on the younger side, put as much money in retirement funds as you can!! It’s inconvenient but it pays off in the long run or when the long run becomes the short run.

Anyway, the reason I started this discussion, I’m only 45!! While I can’t lift and bend like I used to, I don’t want to vegetate. I’ve got a ton of woodworking projects (personal and for profit) in mind and will probably end up totally refitting the entire house by the time I am done. I also have a small business (Ace Jerkyworks) making bison jerky. If I do say so myself, it’s some of the best stuff out there!!

Any advice on entering this new and scary part of my life? Should I dive right in and try to market and push my jerky/woodworking business? Even if I worked on it 60 hrs a week I would enjoy myself 100 times more than what I am doing at this moment! So, please don’t perceive that I am whining. I’m just curious as to how to approach this new vista.

Thoughts, suggestions, opinions, rocks, pitchforks?

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

25 replies so far

View Berg's profile


116 posts in 3189 days

#1 posted 09-14-2009 11:33 AM

Hi Charles, Thoughts: Your boxes are beautiful. Looks like you have the process down. You should have no problem selling them. Suggestion: There is a web site for crafts people to sell their wares. I have a friend who sells surgical caps there (hand made – Drs and nurses love them) and does very well. I’ll dig up the site and post here. Guess I should check the LJ rules first. Opinion: If your jerky is as fine as your boxes you should be all set there too. Rocks: I’m envious of you retirement. Pitchforks: but not the reason why.
Good luck in your new adventure.

Got it:

-- Pete - "To every thing there is a season Turn! Turn! turn!" [Ecclesiastes and Pete Seeger]

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3821 days

#2 posted 09-14-2009 11:53 AM

Congrats on the retirement. Now you can do what you want instead of what you have to do. Certianly pursuing your woodworking and jerky business is an option. But I really don’t think that you will have a problem finding something to do. I retired 6 years ago at 53. And, while I had visions of unlimited shop time, the grandbabies started coming shortly thereafter and I found it wonderful to spend time with them during the day while their parents worked. But now that they are in school I find myself with more shop time available and a wife who seems to think that it is her sole mission in life to find “commissions” around the house for me to do. Working around the house will be a full time effort for quite a while and will help you with your woodworking passion.

So enjoy yourself. And it is true that you will look back and wonder how you managed to work and get as much done as you did while working. You won’t be bored at all and will have no trouble filling up your day.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3290 days

#3 posted 09-14-2009 05:49 PM

How about sell jerky in boxes? How about make the boxes from the same (species of) wood the jerky was smoked with?

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4313 days

#4 posted 09-14-2009 06:10 PM

Start a garden, do some volunteer work, take up another hobby, try basket weaving. If you don’t need the money explore your talents. 60 hours a week doing woodworking sounds like a punishment. (I know I’ve done it)

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3302 days

#5 posted 09-14-2009 06:38 PM

hello there charles…welcome to the world of dissability…ha….not very funny actualy, but ive been in it for about a good 7 years now…im going on 53 and have had to have 2 back surgerys and my back never got better…it went south…so ive been “retired” for 7 years now…...i came from alaska in 1996 to alabama with the idea of makeing custom furniture..that didnt happen, so i have this grand shop and lots of wood..and no business…i do the best i can each day as they come…if you have a start in your jerky business and can and want to make some money with your wood working…then get after it..many guys have been forced to start a new career at a older age…and i guess you just dive in and do what you can… glad you have the funding to hold onto your home and such…that is a real blessing…me and my sons built our home in 96 and 97…we paid for it out of pocket so we have no house payment..and that is our blessing…im sorry youve had to retire with back problems..its no fun..and im in pain all the time….i cant sit or stand in one place and i can only be on my legs for just small time periods…...thats why i say i just do the best i can each day..i will also say thankyou for being a police officer and serving your community…putting your life on the line each day is a big sacrafice..and many people im sure have slept better at night because of your service…so thank you…..i hope your able to figure it out and stay busy…still lots of oppertunity to help others along the way…to me that is what is the best, so now you have the chance to do many things with your life…now if you want to start being of service in a diffrent can send me some of that jerky and i will sample it for you so i can give recomendations 2 pounds will do…see doesnt it feel good to serve others…:)>..ha..good luck charles…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View PatP's profile


43 posts in 3240 days

#6 posted 09-14-2009 06:58 PM

When I first retired I did a ton of volunteer work. I coached youth league football, which is a full time job from August thru December. I put a lot of time in with an organization called CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). I delivered meals to shut-in’s, picked up items for the local food bank and helped distribute them.
The volunteerism helped me fill the time till I figured out what I wanted to do. You can’t just sit in the house. Good Luck and ENJOY!

-- Pat>>> A Man Don't Learn a Lesson Unless It Costs Him Blood or Money!!!!!

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3690 days

#7 posted 09-14-2009 07:14 PM

Congrates on the retierment friend do you play golf LOL….......


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View degoose's profile


7233 posts in 3354 days

#8 posted 09-14-2009 09:00 PM

As the ad says…. “Just Do It”... and remember this is not a dress rehearsal.. this is it.
Be happy and have fun.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5861 posts in 3193 days

#9 posted 09-14-2009 09:01 PM

Hey Charles:
The first thing you have to do is learn HOW to retire> Folks that are used to getting up and going to a job for years are what i call the “antcey” type folks, and I’ve known a few. You see, I’ve been retired since I was 25, and I’m 62 now. I was wounded in Viet Nam as a result of a boobytrap land mine that I stepped on , and shot twice, all at the same time. I’m like you and Grizzman—had leg, ankle trouble, 2 back surgeries, both knees fully replaced, so it’s a long row to hoe. You never ,ever get over back trouble no matter how many surgeries you have. You go slowly, day by day. I learned how a long time ago. Here’s my receipe—for me:
(1) Get up slowly and make to the kitchen for that first cup of joe. You’re a little stiff in the morning.
(2) Eat a breakfast, read the paper, drink more coffee!! Head to the shop for building projects.
(3) Eat dinner about noon, and about 2:00 pm, TAKE A NAP!!!
(4) Get up—head back to the shop to work till supper-take a cup with you!!!
(5) After supper—head back to the shop for more fun—urrr- work. When you get tired, quit for the night.
(6) Take some Advil or sometning for the back—relax for the evening. Get up and do it all over again. Rick.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3182 days

#10 posted 09-14-2009 09:04 PM

Congrats on the retirement! You should run for congress…. If you have back pain you obviously have a spine and that would disqualify you immediately, sorry just kidding. When I retired I wasn’t aware of the culture shock that awaited me but I got through it. You are in a pretty good position in that you can try your hand at many things, some that have been mentioned already and if you don’t like them you can try something else until you find what suits you best. And by the way, Thanks for you service and best of luck in your new future!

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View LesB's profile


1726 posts in 3442 days

#11 posted 09-14-2009 09:12 PM

I retired after 32 years in law enforcement and have an adequate pension so fortunately I haven’t had to look for work. Although I have several items I have made that I could sell if necessary. I have done small commissioned jobs for friends and neighbors so the work is available it you let people know your are available.

I would suggest you work on your jerky sales and also look into making some of your smaller wood projects to sell at one or two carefully selected “craft fair” type events each year. I have talked to guys who work all year building their specialty items but only go to a couple of craft fairs to sell them. That way they don’t have to do a lot of traveling or eat up all their weekends. They say they can sell almost everything they make. Christmas fairs are great for that. The first year or two you may not get a great location within the fair but if your product draws people they will move you to better locations.
In between you may find some gift shops that will stock your work.

-- Les B, Oregon

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3712 days

#12 posted 09-14-2009 09:12 PM

Relax a bit. It won’t be long before you’ll be as busy as you were at work. Just don’t ignore you health. I’m certain that your MD had several suggestion to help make things better. Don’t ignore them, That back is something that you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3434 days

#13 posted 09-14-2009 09:15 PM

Congratulations Charles, retirement comes to some of us unexpectedly and I see that other LJ’s have given you some really good thoughts.
The only thing I would add to these is to try to get yourself out of the rat race as much as possible and lead a much more simple, serene and contented lifestyle. Believe me it comes as a great relief to be free, and you must take some times for you to do nothing but relax and smell the roses.
I have no doubt that you will make extra income from your woodworking – you are talented, but don’t make this into another “Job” other wise you are back at work.
All I can do is wish you all the best of luck and remember all us old LJ farts are behind you.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3321 days

#14 posted 09-15-2009 03:06 AM

Thank you everyone for your suggestions and helpful advice!! It means a lot to me to have fellow LJ’ers show their support as I transition.

I laughed out loud several times when reading some of the suggestions. I’m going to take part of one of Roger’s ideas about getting out of the rat race for a while. My first day off, I’m going to sit down in my family room (probably accompanied by my ever present Labradors) and laugh my A&& off that I made it through despite the things I’ve seen and had to do. Once that laugh is over I’ll get up and walk out the door to my shop and start the next part of my life. At least that is the plan for now.

Thanks again for all the support and suggestions!!

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117091 posts in 3576 days

#15 posted 09-15-2009 03:46 AM

Hey Charles I’m sorry your retiring because of back problems . I’m glad you will have a pension to help. I think you will find your way fine, after all you have you have worked your way through many tough situations in all the years in law enforcement and you can make this work for you too. Sometimes things we think are the most terrible things in our lives turn out to be blessings. I wish you well in your retirement.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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