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Reform Magazine | August 17, 2017

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New horizons: How to retire well

New horizons: How to retire well

Reform’s panel offer nuggets of advice for those quitting paid work for good

Does anything in a lifetime of work prepare you for ceasing? Is retirement the end of your work? If not, what is it? How do you make the most of this next chapter of your life? Our panel share their thoughts and experiences.

Take time
My advice to those facing retirement is to give yourself time. That might sound simplistic but even though you prepare to retire, until it happens you don’t know what it looks like for you. Have a holiday, take time to catch up on friends and family, then make a list of things you have wanted to do in the past but time didn’t allow. In my experience, you won’t do them all. You may do one and realise you don’t want to do that particular thing after all so they can be crossed off the list fairly quickly.

Pauline Calderwood is a retired minister

Find space
I approached retirement with some anxiety. What would my calling, my role in life be now? There were lots of ‘shoulds’ in my head: how often should I offer to lead worship in my area/local church? What good causes should I offer my time and energy to now? I was given good advice: allow yourself to have a space of perhaps six months or a year, and don’t agree to any invitation to new responsibility or offer to take anything new on. The space was a bit scary. Would anyone want me for anything ever again? In fact, of course, good things gradually came my way – like writing for Reform!

Sheila Maxey is Reviews Editor for Reform

Plan ahead
Think ahead, and give thought to the fact that eventually things may not work quite as well as they used to physically! Hills will seem steeper, gardens larger and that dash to the shops, well, that may well take a little longer. Bear these things in mind when deciding where to retire to.

However, once you’ve sorted those things out, then live life in all it fullness. Be active, take up a new hobby, travel, study for a qualification or learn an instrument. Seeds sown early in retirement through a network of friends and activities will contribute greatly to keeping you active and serve you well later.

Andy Bottomley is Secretary to the Retired Ministers Housing Society of the United Reformed Church

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This is an extract from the October 2016 edition of Reform.

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