INTRODUCTION


There seems to be a scarcity of UK retirement blogs out there (other than those proffering financial advice) and in the absence of my being able to read about other people's experiences, I instead offer you my own "Great Big Retirement Adventure."

My husband (Mister E) and I have moved from the initial concept through the planning stages to implementation and this site is intended to record the whole process. What I am seeking from retirement is now very different to what I thought I was planning and has gradually developed into a quest for fitness and a desire for simplification, with a transition away from both a highly organised lifestyle and the personality traits reflecting a pedantic professional career. Indeed I recently described myself as "a goofy idiot" who enjoys smiling at sunflowers; a far cry from the pre-retirement professional and an indication of just how far I have travelled.

Please visit from time to time and do add your comments. The blog is in reverse chronological order but popular posts and those highlighting our journey are specifically pinpointed below on the right hand side together with a list of topics covered. Alternatively you may prefer to look at the summary or wisdom we have acquired or even our have done list with its retirement atlas and dip in and out of the blog using the links given.




Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Retirement is No Longer a Vague Notion


Angel of the North, significant as a focus for evolving hopes and fears.

I guess the day I signed up to my first pension plan, retirement must have been in my mind. Spurred on by the happy retirement enjoyed by own parents after my father retired at 52, as I too approached my fifties I began to mull more and more with the idea of giving up the office ties.
 
Like so many professional women who graduated from university in the 70's, I believed that I could be Superwoman; have a career, children and a wonderful home life. To some extent everything has fallen into place in that way, but at a cost: the time for leisure has been limited; I missed out on many aspects of my children  growing-up; at home we live amongst disorganised chaos and a house badly in need of some tlc; there have been (and still are) times when I am quite simply utterly exhausted.
 
So  three years or so ago, the plan began to hatch. I had to find a way to reduce my working hours and ease myself into retirement mode, with a view to opening horizons that to date I have not had the time to experience. Believe me, I'm not necessarily talking expensive holidays or travel here. Sometimes I would just love the opportunity to rediscover a creative side buried inside me somewhere, assuming that it hasn't all been sucked out by the pedantic nature of all the paper I process on a daily basis.
 
As a result I retired from the business where I had worked and been an owner-manager for some 30 years and found myself what I hoped would be a less stressful position, working part-time with a view to easing myself out of work and into retirement.
 
Maybe it's an age thing, but I still get tired and lack time to do all those things (I know not what) that I've denied myself the opportunity for. Perhaps the part-time at 4 days a week isn't sufficiently part-time enough (it's certainly a big improvement on the commitments of running your own business in partnership with others); perhaps I'm just becoming bored with the nature of the work I've now been undertaking for more than three decades. There's also a window of opportunity looming, because our youngest child completes her secondary education next year, hopefully will be proceeding to university and ought no longer to be reliant on us to the same extent. Whatever  the cause, and driven on by my husband who is officially old enough to have qualified for a bus pass, the decision has been made - we retire in 2014!
 
Trouble is that we don't have a plan; we don't know what retirement really entails; we haven't even found the time to properly consider its implications and what we want to do with it. We have our dreams (and our doubts), of course, but the time for serious planning has begun.
 
 

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