We use cookies to give you the best possible experience online. By continuing to use our website, you agree to receiving our cookies on your web browser. Visit our cookie policy page to find out more and how to change your cookie settings.

skip to main content


From money saving to healthy living tips and much more, we've got it covered.

Take a look through our articles below and see if we can help you find a story to inspire you.

Cartoon animation of a park with colourful people silhouettes and trees

For love not money: we talk to entrepreneurs whose hobbies became passions

Friday, January 8, 2016

For many people, retirement is when they slow down. But for others, giving up work gives them a new lease of life. They might pursue a long-forgotten hobby that was just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself again or explore new passions.
  • Follow your heart
  • Make the most out of opportunities
  • Enjoy yourself - you've earned it!

Reawaken an interest

Often, what we end up doing is not necessarily what we dreamed of. This is especially true when finances need to be considered and Lois Thirkettle, now a potter based in Diss, Norfolk, is a case in point.

In her youth, Thirkettle studied an art foundation course, followed by a two-year ceramic course. However, when she started working, she chose a more traditional career as a postwoman – a job she stayed in for more than 25 years.

She didn’t pursue her interest again until around nine years ago, when an artist friend told her she ought to do what she loved.

Find fulfilment

“I started going to a pottery evening class and I haven’t looked back since,” Thirkettle beams. “It’s absolutely wonderful and I feel so fulfilled – I love it.”

The week after she finished work, it was beautiful weather.

“I was sitting in the garden finishing off some pots and it was so therapeutic,” she enthuses. “I’m in a world of my own and I’m much more inspired than I was several years ago. I feel the time is right now – I have so many ideas and have gained so much more confidence.”

Lois now runs pottery workshops and exhibits her work at fairs and markets across East Anglia.

Expand your horizons

For others, the opportunity to learn from and care for others fulfils them. Frances Hardman, a retired dentist, and her husband Martin, a retired paediatrician, were used to attending to folk. Now, they look after people in a different way at Pitfour House, their luxury B&B in Timsbury, near Bath.

“It gives us an enormous amount of pleasure to welcome people into our home. The pleasure is in the people we meet and we learn so much from them,” explains Hardman.

Their Georgian house is part of Wolsey Lodges, a collection of private homes offering B&B.

“When we joined, you had to offer dinner, which for me is part of the passion of doing it,” explains Hardman. “I’ve always enjoyed cooking and I now use different techniques.”

The couple are also keen gardeners – Martin grows vegetables, which the couple use in the kitchen, and Frances grows shrubs, taking advantage of her City & Guilds flower arranging qualification.

“It gives us pleasure to invite people in, but it also gives them pleasure – they enjoy themselves, have a couple of days of rest and recreation and go away refreshed.”

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest news, articles and competitions.

By providing your name and email address, you agree to receiving our newsletter

Going into retirement

Use your pension fund to get a regular income in your retirement years - either for the rest of your life or for a specified period.

Improve your retirement

Release cash from your home to spend however you want and enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle in retirement.

Make the most out of an opportunity

Andy Mossack is a travel writer, broadcaster and founder of luxury travel website TripReporter, who used to own an advertising agency in London for 20 years. He had many clients in the travel and hospitality business and used to write creatively for them.

However, a few years ago the company experienced difficulties and merged with another, which ultimately closed down. Mossack continued with consultancy work, but his heart was no longer in it.

“Then I realised that life is worth living,” he says. “It had always been my dream to retire early and circumstances gave me the opportunity, so I decided to move everything into writing.”

Live your dream

Having come into travel journalism through a creative advertising route rather than the traditional newspaper journalism route, Mossack, who has visited 29 places in the past year alone, found himself a niche. His love of history and travel is the merging of two passions.

“I love history and, for me, travel is a way of making it come to life,” he says. “I’m now in a position where I see myself as a retired person from corporate life but doing something that I absolutely love and having the freedom to do what I want to do, which is wonderful. I’m living the dream at the moment, as they say.”

Retiring has given Andy, Lois and the Hardmans the chance to follow their passions and pursue new opportunities. Anyone considering their retirement choices, if they have the right plan in place, can pursue the dreams that they previously put aside, or even discover new ones.

Share with...

What are these?

  1. Google +1
Follow us on twitter

Have a suggestion for an article? Get connected with us on Twitter!

This link will take you back to the love retirement section where you can find more interesting articles to read.