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Planning Retirement Online


The Laterlife Challenge
Making the most of retirement

More great examples of making the most of retirement from past entries over the last few years.

Take a look at what others are doing in their retirement. We hope it will inspire you to enter the LateLife Challenge and share how you are making the most of retirement (you can remain anonymous if you wish). Don't forget you can win a great prize just by entering.

Christine receiving her award from Tony Clack (MD of Laterlife) in the clubhouse of Greetham Valley Golf ClubJohn standing on the wing of the Warrior in which he learnt to flyRoy at 'the sea walls' Bristol

Past Laterlife Challenge Entries

Why not enter the Laterlife Challenge yourself?
We'd love to hear how you are spending your retirement whatever you are doing

Brian from Sheffield

As a result of support work with bereaved children over several years both as a volunteer and my work I had come to appreciate the unnecessary and additional burdens placed on many children by various actions of adults. These included such acts as failing to warn a child that their nearest and dearest was approaching the end of their life, not allowing them to attend the funeral, the lack of training for teachers in handling bereaved children.

I discovered that although a lot of publications talked about the needs of such children and their possible reactions in grief, especially when mishandled, not one of these worthwhile publications was the result of asking the children themselves.

On retirement I therefore enrolled for a research degree at Sheffield Hallam University and over a period of two years managed to gain access to 30 children aged 6 - 12 years who had lost a parent through death, in some cased both parents. Obviously I needed parental permission and had to follow the child protection protocols but the barriers put up against this by some parents, teachers, social workers and others were an indication in themselves of the ignorance of many adults on this matter.

My thesis was summarised in a report by the Child Bereavement Charity who also found some funding for my expenses. This is still the first and only such child centred enquiry to be carried out in this country although several have been done in the USA.

In view of the prejudice I encountered I sent a questionnaire to the children interviewed to ask for their reactions to being asked to talk about their deceased parent. During interviews I asked them why they had agreed to take part. The answers were basically the same for each one. 'I enjoyed talking to you about my mum. My dad or my gran always changes the subject' was the most common type.

The motivation for taking part: 'I hope it will help other children who are in the same situation' A child loses a parent through death every 27 minutes in this country, nearly 20,000 a year. add to that siblings, grandparents and other close relatives the figure is a staggering 2 million children ages 5 - 15 at any one time experiencing bereavement. Other research tells us that 22% of all school exclusions are the result of bereavement or loss, and the Home Office that such children are the most likely to become delinquent. Surely taking this seriously early on would be more effective than issuing ASBO's?

Angie from Dorset

In October 2008 we began an epic journey in India travelling around the globe backpacker style for 12 months. We packed up our house and rented it out to help fund the trip which was to include 4 continents and 15 countries. It was at times a bit nerve wracking but at the same time the most incredible journey of our lives.

We stayed in a variety of accommodation, mainly in hostels and sometimes with friends that we met along the way but we were moving constantly and keeping fit was an important part of our new lifestyle otherwise we'd never have coped. We cycled at every opportunity, climbed mountains, kayaked and sailed whenever possible and in many parts of the world we took advantage of warm oceans and swam almost every day.

Alan practices Tai Chi at home and joined in groups in parks all over the world while I photographed people and cultures and the ever changing landscape. We travelled on planes, trains, boats and buses and slept on sofa's, futons and overnight coaches which only enriched our experience.

We visited an orphanage in Cambodia and now that we're home we intend to raise money to improve the childrens living conditions.

We have come to understand so much about different cultures and values all over the world. About poverty, loss, forgiveness and trauma for example in the peace gardens of Hiroshima and in the killing fields of Cambodia.

We were children in the 60's but met and married in the early 70's when the bravest of our friends talked of their adventures in travel. Since then our own children have travelled and married, so in 2008 after 30 years in the fire service we decided that it was our turn. We have met many wonderful people all over the world we carried a laptop and planned all but 5 nights of our accommodation as we went. We kept in touch with family on skype which helped to keep us going. I have taken hundreds of the most beautiful photographs of people and places that until now we had only read about. This really has been the journey of a lifetime.

May from Liverpool

I have found a new lease of life at 58. I decided to lose some weight 2 years ago, I have since lost a total of 7 1/2 stone and need to lose even more. Before this I was confined to the house because I was so heavy, Now I go to various social clubs and have made lots of new friends, I go on days out with these clubs and have gained so much confidence it is hard to believe. I would not have managed to stay in my home when my husband had a major heart attack if I had not been able to cope. My family are all so proud of me and I am now able to travel down south to attend my grandaughter's wedding later this month. I feel so confident that I have started to make cards and have been making them to sell at my slimming club for their chosen charity NSPCC.My life has blossomed since I reached retirement age and I am happier now than I have been for some time.

Jan from Goole

I am now 69 and way back in 1992 I decided to become a writer and joined a correspondence creative writing course (Writers Beureau). I also joined my local writers circle, which I now help to co-ordinate.

My tutor was always most encouraging and I quickly became quite lucky with some of my submissions to magazines and had several published for payment. However I decided I really wanted to concentrate more on novel writing and have written 4 novels to date... the latest of which now has a publisher and will be hopefully coming out later this year.

Meanwhile I was commissioned to ghost write the autobiography for an American show business singing personality who now lives here in Yorkshire. This book came out in December and to my delight is doing extremely well. Do check out my website:  for more info. I have just had the joy of receiving my first royalty payment for the autobiography... so I feel life is really looking up for me in my retirement.

It has also given me a very positive outlook and I now feel sure there is absolutely no reason why more success isn't on the way. If Mary Wesley could do it at 70, well then so can I!!!

Lea from Liphook

I have always enjoyed driving and to move into something other than cars, which I have driven allmy life, I now drive a 16 seater minibus for the local Community trust. But even more fun, I drive an open topped double decker bus (1957 leyland ex-London Tours) for a local museum.

My retirement has coincided with being appointed one of two church wardens for our local church. It is particularly busy because we are in the planning phase of getting an annexe built onto the church (a listed building!)

To keep my brain cells active (and to check that they are all still working) I have taken up piano lessons!

I have also tapped into the knowledge and experience I had when I left work by doing a little consultancy which is fun.

Madeline from Middlesex

Since our retirement in December 2008, we have devised and maintained an activities programme which comprises:
* swimming three times per week for one hour
* walking for one hour twice per week for me
* decluttering the house when the weather is not sunny (This is now complete)
* decluttering the garden when the sun is out (Not yet complete for a variety of reasons mainly the lack of sun)
* walking (or cycling for me) rather than driving unless there is a heavy load to carry

I have walked the race for life at Hyde Park in July 2009 - this is my first time participating in this.

We spent 5 days in Rome, 10 days in Barbados, 3 days in Hayling Island and we plan to go away every 2 months ish. Our big one for next year is Florida.

As a consequence of all of the above, my husband has lost about 2 stone and he is feeling much better generally.


More examples

Click below for more retirement examples:

Retirement examples 1

Retirement examples 2

Retirement examples 4



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We'd love to hear how you are spending your later life whatever you are doing

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