Neil’s smelling the roses as retirement gets his approval
Former Let’s Talk editor Neil Haverson is someone who has successfully made the transition from full-time work to part-time work to retirement. Here he explains all.
It seems only yesterday that I was among those of a certain age saying: “Roll on retirement. I can’t wait to do what I want when I want.”
But as the big day approached my perspectives changed. I remember walking across the office car park thinking: “Soon I won’t be doing this every day”. From the daily routine of a fullon job editing Let’s Talk I was stepping into the unknown.
I held several “bored” meetings with Mrs H. I knew she was concerned. What was I going to do with my time? I had no real hobbies. I’m not one to disappear to the garage and knock up a coffee table.
But I didn’t feel ready to go and thankfully I was able to continue working three days a week.
The additional two days off gave us the opportunity to get used to spending more time together. Big jobs no longer had to be squeezed into the weekend. We didn’t have to shop during peak hours and we could take that extra bit of time to do things.
As Mrs H put it: “We have time to stop and smell the roses on the way.”
But how did this translate into permanent retirement?
Well, so far so good. I do miss the banter with colleagues but I keep in touch with them. I certainly don’t miss the commute, working to constant deadlines and office politics.
It is important to keep busy. I still contribute to Let’s Talk and write a column for the newspaper. I joined the volunteers at Wymondham Heritage Museum, where I look after the publicity. This gets me out of the house and among people, and I shut myself
The trouble is, once you have retired, you never get another day off – Abe Lemons.
away to do my writing so Mrs H has plenty of her own space.
We share the chores. Oh how I love cleaning the kitchen floor.
It doesn’t matter if we stay up to see the end of a film. We get up a bit later the following morning.
The loss of a salary was a big hit but we’re doing okay with our pensions. No commuting costs – and when you’re at work it’s surprising how much you spend on coffee and lunch hour shopping. Fortunately we are both reasonably healthy and try to follow the advice for a longer life by exercising regularly.
Loneliness has a huge impact on the lives of the older generation. I thank my lucky stars I have someone with whom I can stop and smell the roses.