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When Can I Retire?

"When can I retire" is one of the questions I hear most often - and THAT questions usually leads on to a retirement coaching conversation.

Some people LOVE to work - creative occupations for example - and derive great personal satisfaction from their vocation.

George Hook is one of Ireland’s best known Radio and Television presenters. In his autobiography "Time Added On" he tells of his failure as a businessman in a career he didn’t like, including working as an Accountant (Read my story Personality and Career choice).

when can i retireHe got his big break on Television at age fifty- seven and found happiness and redemption in the career for which he was made. He is now in his late sixties and finds himself in the enviable position of being at the peak of his new career, at a time when to quote himself he “should be consulting an undertaker”!

It’s hard to imagine George as a pensioner and he would most likely agree with the sentiments this Retirement Speech.

Another reason for retirement jobs is the fear of adjusting to a different lifestyle. People who don’t realise that I am in active retirement often ask me if I get bored or if I have a problem filling my days!

when can i retireIn an interview with L’Equipe, Alex Ferguson, arguably the greatest ever UK Premier League manager, (Painful acknowledgement from a Liverpool fan!), admits that he has stopped asking himself the retirement question.

At 68 he has managed Manchester United for 22 years, and has won more trophies than any manager in the history of English soccer. His current team could be his best ever.

Ironically, for a man who gauged the “retirement” of David Beckham, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, and others so perfectly, he confesses that he is “scared to quit”, despite, to use his great metaphor -“I know I am in the penalty shoot out of my career.”

In the frank interview he reveals “When I reached 60, I asked myself the question. I almost left. But I quickly realised, with my family, that it was a mistake. Today, I fear the idea of retiring. I have been on the train for so long, that when I get off I fear my system will collapse. I have decided not to ask myself the question anymore.”

“Three things can make me stop: my health, if I don’t take pleasure anymore, and if I don’t have the strength for new challenge.”

“My doctor says - you are 68, you will have more back pains, getting up in the morning sometimes won’t be easy.”

“This is the penalty shoot out.”

Deciding when to retire - especially when you have a real choice - is an ongoing challenge I see with potential retirees in my Retirement Coaching practice.

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