Thoughts on retirement

Chris Hobson

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I retired at the end of March 2020 so, at the time of writing, I have now been retired just under six months. This hasn’t led to me having much of a rest because the jobs on the domestic front were piled sky high under the heading “I can do that when I retire”. Early in the year I had mentally rehearsed my exit on my last day of work with ‘Roll With the Changes’ by Reo Speedwagon blasting out of the car stereo. As it turned out, my daughter Hannah came to stay with us after a trip to London and, soon after, both her and wife Liz came down with a flu bug. This meant that, with a fortnight to go, I went in to work on Monday then got home to find that I had to be quarantined until they recovered plus an additional two weeks after that. I had stated that I didn’t want any kind of fuss on my last day anyway, I didn’t even want the traditional whip round and leaving present, we have a charity box for GOSH* in the accounts office and I asked colleagues to stick their money in that. As it was, a few weeks on, I went along to drop off all of my workwear and pick up my tools and was presented with a card and a bottle of whiskey and I thought it would be a bit rude to turn it down. The fact that it was a really good Speyside single malt had no bearing on this decision whatsoever.

I had been getting to the point when I was pretty much hating going to work. I had worked at the same place since 1985 so I can’t claim to have hated it that much. I had moved about a bit within the company, doing various types of engineering work involving pneumatic power tools and electro-pneumatic systems used in industry. After adding up various pension plans that I had been paying into since the eighties, I had originally decided that I would retire in March 2022. However, management changes and subsequent failures to deal with problems with ever spiralling workloads, their attempts to coerce me into taking part in team building exercises, among other things, had started to really p1$$ me off. This stuff, along with discovering that I had more in the pension fund than I had previously thought (these things are quite complex and take a bit to get your head around sometimes), led me to the decision to go two years sooner. It had always been my intention to stop working as soon as I could afford it even before I started hating it. I could never understand those who carried on working, even after the age of 65 (back when the state pension kicked in at 65 that is). A lucky few really love their jobs and I get that, but people who carry on enduring the daily grind when they no longer need to just baffle me.

Anyway, I’ve made a start on the garden, made a start on rebuilding the garden fence, put a new roof onto the gym, along with adding more roof trusses, and built a new chicken run. I’ve also taken on most of the cooking and household chores as I feel bad bundling Liz off to work three times a week. I thought that triathlon training would be much easier to fit in now that I have all this extra time. I was entered for The Gauntlet half iron distance triathlon which I had done a few years ago and been disappointed not to finish inside seven hours**. Being more experienced and having more time to train meant that I was optimistic about cracking it this time. Of course the event has now been postponed until next year and I also have a niggling knee injury that first stopped me from running and then started troubling me when cycling as well. I couldn’t go swimming because the gym was closed so my fitness activities are basically gardening and making things out of wood. It is odd that a lifetime of programming takes a while to shake off, one Sunday evening I heaved a sigh at the thought of Monday rolling round again before cheerfully reminding myself that it doesn’t matter anymore. Initially I was having trouble keeping track of what day it is but I seem to have got a handle on that now. I’m also thinking about buying a motorbike, the new Royal Enfield is really cool for old gits like me but I’m sort of not sure if I would be able to make time to ride it.

In conclusion, I’m really happy with how things have worked out. We aren’t rich but we have enough to get by and to be able to do things. Liz is younger than me so she has to keep going a bit longer but soon she will be able to retire too. I'm really looking forward to it.

*Great Ormond Street Hospital.
**I was 58 and The Castle Howard Gauntlet is one of the toughest half iron triathlons in the country, very hilly.
 

eggyg

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 3c
Mr Eggy and I retired three years ago at the young age of 57. Mr Eggy had worked at the same place since leaving school and rose from apprentice engineer to HSE manager when he finished. He loved his job and was only because of heart attack number two at 56 did he start looking into his pension plan. He’d paid AVCs for a few years so could go at 60 on a full pension then if he’d wanted. As it happened the firm was trying to “ get rid” of the few remaining final salary pensioners and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. He planned to go June 17 just after his birthday. Between January of that year and retirement day his pension pot went up by 30% so I decided to retire too! It’s a good job as he went on to have four more heart attacks that year! So the first year was pretty pants but he had a newish procedure July 18 and he has never looked back. We always say live life to the full, if you can afford to retire, do it! We live our best life and before Covid we were always out and about or on holiday. This time last year we were about to set off on a European road trip. We hadn’t booked a return ferry we just winged it. Seven countries and 5000 miles later we came home! Couldn’t have done that if we were still working! Hubby says although he loved his job he loves being retired more! Even though he says he never gets a day off! Enjoy your retirement.
 
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Chris Hobson

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I don't think that anyone ever breathed their last breath wishing that they had spent more time at work. But our job, whatever it was, helped to make us who we are. A few years ago, my 1996 Triumph Daytona broke its cam chain and bent two valves. I dismantled it, replaced the valves and the chain, re assembled it and returned it to full working order. I gained the skills required to do this by working as a mechanic.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Sounds like it’s worked out brilliantly for you Chris.

I can’t wait! I keep changing my mind, and it will depend in a heap of circumstances, but my current aim is 60 if I can manage it.

My Dad was able to retire on one of those long lost final salary type schemes when he was not that much older than I am now. I can’t imagine suddenly being able to do whatever you choose on any day of the week and still see your wage come in. Seems a world away from any kind of pension I could imagine!
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I don't think that anyone ever breathed their last breath wishing that they had spent more time at work. But our job, whatever it was, helped to make us who we are. A few years ago, my 1996 Triumph Daytona broke its cam chain and bent two valves. I dismantled it, replaced the valves and the chain, re assembled it and returned it to full working order. I gained the skills required to do this by working as a mechanic.
Birthday Boy today, I believe?

Many Happy Returns.

Martin
 

KARNAK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Good on you Chris I retired in 2005 aged 51 and love it, worked in engineering most
of my life and owned my own garage/body shop & MOT centre. Like @eggyg drove
the European tour for 17 days can`t do it now not that I want to in todays climate,
pensions keep coming in one more today lost in my youth don`t even recognise it
but hey ho not complaining.

Enjoy it while you can you will be so busy now just do it at your own pace, take care.
 

Ditto

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Cracking post, really upbeat. :) My best job was at the town hall, I loved it and would have stayed there beyond retirement age by they phased all us ladies in the typing pool out and gave everybody their own pc. So now I'm 'retired' from having to find a job which is a relief but not quite the same, I feel a fraud putting 'retired' on forms. :D
 

Chris Hobson

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Yes indeed Mr. Anitram, 62 today, craft beer and Speyside whisky by my side. I sold my Triumph and bought a push bike for doing my triathlons on. Now I have the time to ride it, I am thinking about buying a motorbike again. I really like the new 650 Royal Enfields but a CCM CR-40 has come up for sale in Sheffield. I'm wondering if I can persuade Liz to let me buy it.
 

SB2015

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
We both got made (voluntarily) redundant from County Hall within 6 months, although it wasn’t very voluntary. They were simply getting rid of the whole service. Initially panic, then okay and now ...
It is fantastic. We both do what we want, when we want and nothing that we feel we ought to.

We both do various bits of volunteering. For me this includes (or did precovid) a variety of stuff for DUK, teaching weaving and helping at children activity days in the hills.

We also spend one day together walking somewhere. Only by setting aside one day do we get to see each other, as there is so much else giong ooh for each of us.

I have taken up playing in a steel band, singing in two choirs as well as Pilates and Badminton. Most recently Covid changed my singing lessons into Music Theory and Composition which I am loving.

Retirement for us is absolutely brilliant. I loved teaching but I am also enjoying not teaching.
 
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