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My Week: Retirement

15th Mar 2019
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Hello folks. My week was by no means perfect. Having said that it was better than the previous few weeks.

As we approach the end of the 2018/19 tax, I forced myself to think about making provision for retirement. I should have done it years earlier.  Part of the reason for not addressing this area is I did not want to think about old age and not being able to work.


For white-collar workers, I think retirement is now an outdated concept. We are living longer, and we are also healthier. Advancement in medical science is keeping us going for a lot longer.

Besides, we do not have a sufficient number of younger generation to support our social provision.

Examples of Wrinklies

POTUS is 72.  Joe Biden is 76, and he very likely to stand as a candidate for the POTUS. The speaker of the United States House of Representatives,  Nancy Pelosi, is 78.  Also, POTUS will be running to try and get in for the second term!

Maybe UK  has a narrow-minded perspective on age than the US.  Mind you; our judiciary is made up of judges of advanced years.

Retirement Age

When looking at the options for providing for retirement funding, I had difficulty in working out my retirement age. Should it be 65, 70 or 75?  I am not sure. I went on gut feeling and wrote 75. Why not 80 or 65? I then asked myself. I could not come up with an answer.

Healthy lifestyle

I think I have a healthy lifestyle. I cycle or walk 6 miles a day on weekdays. More recently, I have started going to the gym five times a week. I am still overweight, I am addressing this seriously now, and it is working.

Brain cells and mobility permitting, there is no reason why I could not go until 80 and beyond. Pelosi at 78 is going strong.


Next week, I will continue to review my plans for a pension in my advanced years. My retirement age will remain a question mark since I cannot picture myself taking a back seat.

Work with all its stress, pain and emotional drain keeps me going. Being blunt folks, I do not have much of a life outside work. For me work is life. That is just the way life has panned out for me.


Replies (5)

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By Cloudcounter
17th Mar 2019 09:21

I found that my view of retirement age changed. When I originally set up the pension plan, I put 60 on the form, as one often does when one is younger, then when I got the "you are retiring in x months" letter, realised that I just didn't want to. It was quite easy to put the date back and carry on making contributions. I had an outline plan in mind.

Then I reached 65, and again didn't want to retire (as in "the plan" but found a change in mindset. Before then, difficult days (always caused by clients obviously!) were shrugged off as all in the daily routine. After that date, the thought started to creep in that I don't have to put up with this any more! A few more years down the road and I've realised that it's time to get out, more or less in line with what I planned when I was 60. That process has now started.

It's nothing to do with MTD or other technical changes - I've faced and dealt with plenty of those over the years - but motivation has changed.

I won't pack in completely, as I have a small core of jobs that I expect to keep on if the clients are happy - indeed some have asked if they can be included. I also have external interests which occupy a fair chunk of time.

So basically I'd say to pick a date and fund towards that, but you might find that your mindset changes, and you can change the date according to how you feel.

I wouldn't dream of telling you what to do, but you might want to consider developing interest(s) outside work - a return to a long forgotten hobby perhaps - so that you can fill time after the event.

Thanks (5)
By Glenn Martin
17th Mar 2019 16:36

Retirement is a tricky one FT. I was never fortunate enough to be in a decent work based scheme, so did some property investment in my 30's which went pretty pear shaped in the property crash I managed to unload them and have 3 remaining which will provide some income in retirement although my daughter expects one for free.

I have started a pension scheme again now and banging in as much as I can before its too late, I have 20 years left to turn it around. Hopefully my fee bank will also have some value but you never know.

My problem is made worse in that my wife has a great pension and can retire quite with a final salary scheme she also wants to retire early, which I do not.

I will work until my mid 60's i reckon dropping to say 3 days after i hit 60, possibly after to relocating to Northumberland.

The crash of 2009 came at a bad time for me as it left me in a bit of mess, which I thought would pull back after a few years once property values came back, sadly in the North east property values have not moved in 10 years.

Surely your shop will be a decent investment for you as you will be able to get a rent from M once you sell her your fees and go off on your bike into the FT sunset .

Thanks (2)
By FirstTab
18th Mar 2019 13:03

Hello Cloudcounter and Glenn

Thank you. Very interesting response.

Thanks (0)
Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
19th Mar 2019 09:22

From reading your blogs, I get the impression that most weeks you are often having a difficult time. Sorry if that’s wrong, but that’s just how I read them.

Would you really want to carry on like that into your mid-70s or even 80s?

I had a friend who gradually retired from the profession. Over a few years, he sold his main fee block, as that was the most stressful part of his life, retaining a handful of relatively lucrative, but stress-free clients. In the end, he probably only worked a day per week, before finally his motivation even for that went.

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Hallerud at Easter
26th Mar 2019 10:17

I think you ought to plan for 60-67, depending on affordability (How late you have left it).

Better having the safety net at these ages than not, you are not forced to use them, you can delay if at the time you are still raring to go.

Whilst accountants do not really require physical strength they do need mental agility, and if I am honest with myself that has (certainly in my case) slipped; I do not read and recall as well as I once did, my ability to work really long hours (or at least my willingness) is reduced, and I am only just approaching 59.

I am currently trying the slow retirement idea, three days a week work and two days a week that are totally flexible if I want to use them to earn money or work in the garden etc.

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