Author Topic: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction  (Read 606 times)

Donnell Keown

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Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« on: December 23, 2017, 11:01:03 PM »
"I am looking forward to the day that I retire to be able to have more time to journey to dark heavens, star parties and just have more time in general to observe and enjoy this hobby without having to wake up early the next day and heading to work.  By the time I retire, I hope to have specific equipment gathered, honed and vetted over years of testing, refining and turning to the ideal retirement set up."

TO THOSE WHO ARE RETIRED -- Just how much of the above is a crock, and also just how much is real -- based on REALITY?  Please assist a fellow-CNer who is still 10-15 decades away from retirement.  Should I be accumulating the equipment now when I an actually afford it?  Have you been spending more time observing?  Are you travel to dark heavens?  What's real and what's dream from the standpoint now that you're actually there.  Any regrets, "should have-dones'''' etc?  Any input appreciated thanks in advance.



biocaunico

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 07:11:56 PM »
Interesting question.  I will follow this one.

holdfontrosci

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 01:21:50 AM »
If you have extra money now, the best place to invest it is in a 401K, IRA, etc., not telescope equipment.

The price of good telescopes do not, generally, go up. (It might be observed that it has come down through the years.) And whatever electronics, etc. you buy now will be outdated by the time you retire. However, in twenty years, that money will have quadrupled. Yes, other things will be more expensive. But the income from your investments (not counting the investments themselves) will be enough to pay for any telescopes, etc.

You may have more money than you expect in retirement. Remember, there are lots of things you no longer have to pay for (Taxes, medical care, nice clothes and transportation for work, eating lunches out.....).

As for time. Time is what you make of it. If you are truly retired (and relatively few people actually are fully retired), you have no requirements on your time. You can spend it travelling around to star parties.

What if you decide after another ten years you have tired of astronomy as a hobby? What will your investment in ten year old telescopes be worth to you?

ON THE OTHER HAND.....what if you do not make it to retirement age?....Buy yourself what you enjoy and live it up now.

Alex

outatnoha

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 10:57:33 PM »
I think I am close enough to retirement (age 66 and 4 months - retiring Jan 31 2018) to comment on my plans:
I got back into serious observing this year when I purchased a Celestron Nexstar 8SE in May of 2017. I got tired of messing with my 55 year old 6"/f8 homemade mirror mounted in Edmund Scientific tube on a manual equatorial mount, since I wanted to try combining by photography hobby with a re-awakening love for astronomy.

We are debt free and I budgeted an adequate amount to buy a decent set-up - upgrading my camera body, updating my computer to handle photo/movie processing, etc, and allowing for upgrades and additions to the scope system.

We got our Texas Parks and wildlife pass so we could visit any state Park in Texas. I also picked out those that have cabins since our idea of camping is akin to a Motel 6. I believe retirement will allow us to visit these places on weekdays when school is in session and we don't have to fight weekend crowds. My wife enjoys wildlife photography (as do I) so there is something for her during the day and I can hunt the night skies at night. Most of the parks are Bortle 4 or 5 - much better than the 8 where we will be living (Fort Worth) upon retiring and definitely better than the 9 where we are now (West Houston).

Not being encumbered by a fixed work schedule is what intrigues me the most. I'll keep posting as I think of more things, and when I actually to retire (188 days but who's counting?).

tranasrixpans

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 03:49:21 AM »
All good points Alex, thanks. Just to be clear on purchasing the equipment, I don't mean "investing" in equipment in the true sense as an investment to make a profit. I mean trying to accumulate a bunch of equipment and keeping what works best - and taking advantage of excellent values now. I have a few terrific scopes that I feel may not be replaceable in the future, so those are keepers for sure. All of this stems from the fact that I see many posts from folks who are seeking their "retirement" scope - while they are still working, not yet retired. How realistic is that? Goes to the "concept of a "lifetime scope" as well I guess.

Really seeking whether or not it is realistic to contemplate what retirement is really like, prior to actually being retired.

Gandza Startley

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 12:39:56 PM »
Steve, I have been retired for 7 years.All the things I thought I would do when I retired fish, work on my boat, golf/sports, go back and work on my insect collection, get my Latin reading skills back, do astronomy almost all have been modified with other interests and or dropped due to. health issues or any number of other reasons. The time you have to dabble is really great. The lack of stress from a stressful career is one of the biggest benefits. The fact is when you retire you have to have enough hobbies/interests to spread out and have fun with. Many of my friends are having a hard time with retirement because they only knew how to work. I just do what I want now when I want. A lot of the time it is astronomy but if I don't feel like it that's ok too. I have had a lot of time to read which is nice. The best thing is I have time to investigate things more deeply. I have time to learn without being in a hurry. I probably have learned more about astronomy and equipment in the last 7 years that the first 50! Retirement is wonderful !

George

Jeff Jubenville

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 02:03:24 AM »
Quote
“I am looking forward to the day that I retire in order to have more time to travel to dark skies, star parties and just have more time in general to observe and enjoy this hobby without having to wake up early the next day and going to work. By the time I retire, I hope to have certain equipment accumulated, honed and vetted over years of testing, refining and tweaking into the perfect retirement set up.”

TO THOSE WHO ARE RETIRED – How much of the above is a crock, and how much is real – based on REALITY? Please help a fellow-CNer who is still 10-15 years away from retirement. Should I be accumulating the equipment now when I an actually afford it? Are you spending more time observing? Are you traveling to dark skies? What is real and what is fantasy from your perspective now that you are actually there. Any regrets, “should have-dones”” etc? Any input appreciated thanks in advance.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to stash away a few extra key parts now that might disappear or become too expensive in the future. Eyepieces, filters, focusers, that kind of thing.

John Weiland

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 09:15:28 AM »
I retired, built an observatory and obtained a C14. I now do more observing than before. So in some ways it is true. However, I have less appetite for lugging equipment to a dark site and the cold weather seems colder than it did before. But my desire for the hobby has not changed.

Unfortunately my health is not it what is was so there some restrictions. For example, taking the C14 down from the AP900 seems like a daunting task, but I will find a way to do it safely.

I would never recommend waiting for retirement to do observing. I chose to do it before and after retirement.

calfkommomu

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 04:20:46 PM »
Yes. Like saving for retirement the gathering of things that don't spoil or become obsolete needs to begin now.
First, I would wait on that big EQ mount. The state of the art is advancing, especially in electronics and 15 years from now might be a whole new world.
There are things that will not become obsolete.
For example Televue and Takahashi eyepieces. They are, and will long be, collector items.
Ditto on a quality diagonal.
Ditto on a high quality focuser.
Filters for your EP's - such as Polarizing, sky glow, moon filter, OIII, and so on.
A good pair of astronomical binoculars.
A good Barlow.
And small scope that will become the grab-n-go come the day you have the "big one" for the pier in the backyard in Arizona...
Now, the brands I have mentioned are just that, mentions. There are others as good. There are others that might be a notch down. But remember one important saying - Better is the enemy of good enough.
Be aware that you need to do some planning so that you don't invest a whole bunch of money in 1.25" stuff and end up wanting 2". The reverse of that is true also.
Stay out of astro imaging for now - run like a thief for the door every time the urge hits. That is an addiction you can acquire at your leisure later.

Now, will you have more time after you retire? Depends.
My retirement lasted 4 months. And no I don't do a LOT of astro. I do dabble.

Robert Farley

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 05:28:30 PM »
You WILL be ABLE to OBSERVE more - that's for sure as you don't have to get up early the next morning and go to work.Now that I'm 71 - I observe a lot more than when I was 50 and working my butt off. I don't mind packing up the car and heading out to my "DARK" place at 9PM. Who cares what time it is and when you might get home -and finally get some sleep....you can always sleep-in in the morning and take a "NAP" the next day!!!And I have ALWAYS been "fine tuning" my gear - that's part of the fun.You only go around once - enjoy LIFE to the FULLEST - every day is precious - make the MOST of it.M11Mike (Ballston Lake, NY)

unamprodce

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 07:45:06 AM »
I retired a few years ago. Its nice not having to go to work the next day when a clear night suddenly pops up. But the flip side is that I am just as busy as ever with projects around the house, family and friends. Don't know how I got everything done when I was working.

I also thought that I would travel to more to astronomy conventions, but that didn't happen. Besides the reasons mentioned above, I just don't have the ambition to jump into the car, drive 6-7 hours, and camp for a few days. Great fun when I was a young buck, but this tired old stag sure enjoys a nice big bed and long hot showers. Besides, I live under a magnitude 5.5 sky, and can drive 30 minutes to a magnitude 6 sky, so that's good enough for me.

I never stopped refining, testing, and tweaking my equipment. There is always something new, better or different being offered. That is part of the fun in this hobby in my opinion. My observing tastes have also changed over the years, and continue to change.

unetankem

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 02:40:21 AM »
Quote
Quote

“I am looking forward to the day that I retire in order to have more time to travel to dark skies, star parties and just have more time in general to observe and enjoy this hobby without having to wake up early the next day and going to work. By the time I retire, I hope to have certain equipment accumulated, honed and vetted over years of testing, refining and tweaking into the perfect retirement set up.”

TO THOSE WHO ARE RETIRED – How much of the above is a crock, and how much is real – based on REALITY? Please help a fellow-CNer who is still 10-15 years away from retirement. Should I be accumulating the equipment now when I an actually afford it? Are you spending more time observing? Are you traveling to dark skies? What is real and what is fantasy from your perspective now that you are actually there. Any regrets, “should have-dones”” etc? Any input appreciated thanks in advance.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to stash away a few extra key parts now that might disappear or become too expensive in the future. Eyepieces, filters, focusers, that kind of thing.
I will share my experience. Semi -retired
From my early 20's id invested in telescope and accessories. .
Decades of pleasure from those telescopes. have and use them all still.
No regrets of any kind. I just didn't travel to Europe ect., not much spare money these days
I just had put Astronomy first.

Regardless of financial condition , health may be the limiting factor in future.
In 15 years you should have a nice stable of scopes.

tranasrixpans

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 07:36:40 AM »
I'd not wait. I found that my eyes took a hit around age 65, and that will forever limit what I can see.

Also keep in mind that most star parties are usually organized around weekends for the working folks, and being retired doesn't make it much different than before.

Finally, in most cases (but not all), your income will take a hit. While I have no debt, things like home maintenance never go away. And health care costs will go up.

loasandkosem

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 07:44:47 AM »
HenryB

I have had a back injury and surgery, I cannot lift or carry my CPC 11HD. I am in a process of modifying a Harbor Freight engine lift to help lift mounts and scopes.

Two dogs and a telescope

John Fimbres

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Re: Retirement Observing Fact and Fiction
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 03:15:15 PM »
Quote
“I am looking forward to the day that I retire in order to have more time to travel to dark skies, star parties and just have more time in general to observe and enjoy this hobby without having to wake up early the next day and going to work. By the time I retire, I hope to have certain equipment accumulated, honed and vetted over years of testing, refining and tweaking into the perfect retirement set up.”

TO THOSE WHO ARE RETIRED – How much of the above is a crock, and how much is real – based on REALITY? Please help a fellow-CNer who is still 10-15 years away from retirement. Should I be accumulating the equipment now when I an actually afford it? Are you spending more time observing? Are you traveling to dark skies? What is real and what is fantasy from your perspective now that you are actually there. Any regrets, “should have-dones”” etc? Any input appreciated thanks in advance.

If you can retire early and/or stay young then it is not a "crock." I retired in 2001 at 61 and bought a house out in the outback in dark sky. Then after having observed Mars, and other stuff, steady for more than 40 years my observing time began to slow down until it just stopped a few years ago. In March this year I took down my telescopes and stored them on my screened patio, temporarily until I figure out what todo with them.Maybe it is due to burn out, age or all of it, but I have no desire now to do it. Guess it depends on the individual, but it gets old after one gets into their 70's.