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Blog 11: Early Retirement

This last few weeks have been so busy! We did manage to get away on a wonderful Med cruise early in May, but since then it’s been all go with every day packed with places to go and people to see. And so, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and even think about writing the next blog – but here I am, with a couple of hours to kill and ideas a plenty.

Work: For the last 18 years I have been teaching Tax to budding accountants and enjoying every minute of it. Being freelance I have had the opportunity to travel and have been privileged enough to work in Dubai and China as well as Manchester, Liverpool and who can forget, Milton Keynes! But there comes a time when work stops being fun. When student attitudes reduce one’s level of patience to zero in seconds flat and when technology and paperwork overshadow the joy of actually standing in front of a group of eager students and imparting knowledge and understanding.

Retirement: The idea occurred to me one freezing cold morning waiting for the train to Liverpool on Crewe station. “Why am I doing this?” I asked myself. The journey to work takes 45 minutes and during that time I mulled over my career in Tax (I had 20 years in practice before I started teaching in 2000). I mulled over my current situation, did some mental arithmetic to see if I could afford to stop work and by the time I stepped onto the platform at Lime Street Station the plan to retire early was hatched!

And now it’s time to put it into practice!

This is not full retirement, oh no! I now plan to explore my creative side and start a new career writing and taking photographs. Whether the hobby will make any money is almost by-the-by. I am going to embark on the journey with enthusiasm and excitement. I am hoping there will be time for all sorts of adventures and here are my top 5 tips for a happy early retirement!

  1. Taking photographs

  2. Going on holiday

  3. Growing vegetables

  4. Cooking for friends

  5. Exercise! (I know tell me about it!)

1. Taking photographs: I have always loved taking photographs and have fully embraced the Instagram -taking pictures on your phone - social media thing.

But taking a proper camera out into the world, meeting people and taking pictures is something different. It’s exciting because frankly, you never know what’s going to happen. I recently asked a young friend to accompany me on such an outing and be my muse for the day. She willingly agreed, and we had a ball. These photographs will soon be a part of my web-site and my new project – to photograph women and the people they love. Inspired by a lady I met in York earlier this year I shall be offering time with me and my camera! Cannot wait to get started.

2. Going on holiday: Now if you are a regular reader of the blog you will know that this is nothing new in my life! Many a blog has feature my holiday experiences. But now I am thinking that (as time and family permits) it might be more travelling than holidays. Mr B and I can travel; take our time, and explore without time constraints perhaps. Who knows! We will see, and you will no doubt be able to read about it here!

3. Growing vegetables: Unfortunately, we only have a back yard, beautiful though it is thanks to the brilliant design (thanks BFF!) But growing vegetables was out of the question – then I found troughs! Oh yes! And Mr B made some for me to go along the side of the house. They are wonderful and now are packed with all kinds of fruit and vegetables. We had our first radish

4. Cooking for friends: My dear Mama was a Home Economics teacher and being the rebellious teenager that I was I refused to learn how to cook. Sad to think I missed out on all that free education – but hey we live and learn and now I am cooking for her! I love cooking and find it most relaxing and nothing brings me more joy and happiness than cooking for friends and having people over. Summer BBQ’s, lazy Sunday lunch, Saturday night dinner party or a weekday supper. Love it! And now with the vegetables and the cook books I am ready for a new lease of kitchen life. No doubt blogs will follow!

5. Exercise: I know! Hate it! Never find time for it! Why bother! I’m with you all the way. But and it’s a big BUT! I do enjoy walking and recently some friends have clubbed together and formed a Monday night walking club. We walk around a lake in the local area, its almost a mile all the way round. We are all different ages, shapes and sizes and walk at different paces and even some of the youngsters run! We let them get on with it. We set ourselves a target and try and get a PB each time. Its fun and believe it or not it’s exercise! Now Mr B has it in his head that I am ready for a new adventure and informs me we need to get into training to walk up Snowdon! I think he’s taking it a bit far. We’ll see eh?!

So early retirement starts on July 14th – the end of term! And I cannot wait for the new life and the new adventures that lie ahead. Come on this journey with me. It’ll be fun!

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