What will you do when you shed the nine-to-five? That’s the question everyone is asked, or asks themselves, in the run up to retirement. The fact is, we all have very different dreams, and having the finances in place to make those dreams come true can be a critical factor.
Tony Watts (@tonywattswriter) talked to three retirees who decided to use their pension pots to fund something special.
On the road again
Phil Williams has had road cycling in his blood since the age of 10.
‘An annual race would start and finish on the High Street of our Cotswold village,’ he recalls. ‘The whole spectacle fascinated me – the bikes in particular. The spectrum of colours, the makers’ names, the glittering chrome spokes – I was hooked.
‘I joined the local cycling club at 13 and immersed myself in the ritual of training and taking part in time trials. But maintaining my bike was a big part of the pleasure and I was always a keen mechanic, which came in handy when doing up the motorbikes and classic cars that became my later passions.’
But road bikes never left Phil’s bloodstream, and he returned to time trialling in his 40s.
‘I also started building bikes for myself, family and friends, discovering the joys of bike jumbles where you can get parts at a reasonable price and restore them.
‘I was always yearning for a high-end racing bike. One thing led to another and soon there were a few bikes in my garage… and then quite a few.
‘Taking early retirement gave me a lump sum which I invested in professional bike servicing equipment, and my collection and ‘mini-business’ took off. Some bikes I sell for a profit, others I keep – like ‘Faberge eggs’ for the future. I also have the amazing pleasure of entering classic bike events around the country.
‘There’s a saying in the bike world that the right number to own is ‘N plus one’. In my case ‘N’ is around 30: top quality Italian and British classic racing bikes that are far better than money in the bank, especially bearing in mind current interest rates.’