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My favourite quote about getting older and how that affects my retirement planning

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

When it comes to retirement planning, it’s always worth turning to someone who has done it all before for guidance – especially if they can sum it up with a pithy quote.

We asked two people planning their retirement and one retiree to share their plans and favourite famous quotes.

New opportunities and challenges

'Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life' – Herbert Asquith

'You are never too old to set another goal, to dream a new dream' – C S Lewis

Employment lawyer George is approaching retirement age, but rather than just a chance to relax, he sees it as an opportunity to learn new skills, face exciting challenges and give something back (of course, he’ll also hit the golf course now and then).

“When I reach retirement age in two years, I intend to follow the two maxims above; but what do they mean to me?” he asks rhetorically.

“In retirement, I intend to spend two days a week learning, two days giving to charity or doing good works, and three days for enjoyment and leisure – despite the fact that my 65-year-old brain won’t be in a 25-year-old body!

“Though my attempts to learn Spanish would be greatly enhanced by the memory and enthusiasm of youth, the experience of age will provide calm and patience through the learning curve.

“Likewise, lessons taught from a lifetime at work may make me attractive to, say, a board of school governors. The challenge, I hope, would bolster me with youthful energy and innovation.

“If my body were 40 years younger, however, my priority would probably be introducing power and vigour to my driving on the golf course, whilst retaining the concentration developed over time for that difficult long putt.

“So, I will not be staring at an empty diary in two years time; I will be meeting retirement head on, setting fresh goals and dreaming new dreams.”

Maintaining a weekly schedule – as George intends to with his two to three days each of learning, giving and enjoying – can help you to make the most of your time and find the transition to retirement easier.

Retire when you are ready

‘Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire’ – Samuel Johnson

Alexandra, who used to work for the NHS, was made redundant unexpectedly at the age of 62. Rather than take this as a sign that it was time to relax, she found a new career path. Now she is making the most of her newfound time, while putting a little more money aside for when she decides it is the moment to retire.

“An unexpected redundancy gave me limited time in which to plan my future,” she explains. “I did not enjoy the lack of structured time in the week and missed the company of others. I was unsure what to do next but I knew I needed a sense of purpose.

“Two years on and a chance meeting has led me into a new career as a part owner of a village shop. I am on my feet all day and it is a physically exhausting job, but it is great fun! I am not only using old skills, but learning new ones which is both stimulating and exciting.”

Keeping the mind and body active past retirement age helps to maintain both physical and mental fitness, and can also improve your mood, according to Age UK.

“Regular exercise boosts the production of brain chemicals that lift your mood and make you feel happy – so it can be a good way to deal with stress and anxiety.”

Don’t forget to have fun

‘You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing’ – George Bernard Shaw

Annabel has been retired for a number years after working as a teacher at both secondary and primary levels. Her young grandchildren have been the centre of her attention since then, and through them she has discovered some new passions.

“Being a retired pensioner should be fun,” says Annabel.

“Flexible days, no more work timetable, no travelling in rush hour; opportunities for travel, weekday short breaks rather than more expensive weekends; long haul trips without counting holiday allowance – the benefits of a well-planned retirement are numerous.

“Enjoying the theatre on wet, cold weekdays; gaining new experiences from exhibitions; taking up new hobbies like tap dancing and ceramics; learning to play the piano or Italian – the list goes on and on.

“And then there are the grandchildren, who are so much fun – and you can always hand them back! Enjoying their company, their interests, their music and seeing the world through their eyes is one of the aspects of my retirement I didn’t necessarily plan for, but one I enjoy enormously all the same.

“Having fun means you are fun to be with, so enjoy yourself!”

Even if you prepare your retirement to perfection, something could always come along and change your plans entirely. Thankfully, there are flexible retirement options available to help you make the most of your funds, whether that means taking out an annuity or releasing equity from your home. Finding the right financial choice for you will help you to have a fun and fulfilling retirement.

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