My pension company appears to have a dynamic new CEO. He’s attached a mugshot and signature, says he is

delighted to be introducing your ReWirement magazine … We want to change how retirement is depicted, and share stories of people who are under-represented, celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of retirement in the UK today….So if you’re aged 55 or over, please share your unique retirement story. If you’re randomly chosen as part of our prize draw, you will win one of 20 gift cards,worth £100 each. To participate, simply complete and return the attached coupon …

Thank you, Andrew! I’m equally delighted to hear from you.

It doesn’t offer much space to write my unique story, but the challenge is inspiring. Not the idea of regaining lost adolescence or cruising the Amazon as our neighbours did when they retired. Amazon? The river in South America, not that company which can deliver anything that goes in a box tomorrow, or immediately if it’s digitizable. Nor does the prospect of £100 to spend at Marks & Spencers motivate me.

In response, I’ve been jotting some ideas of how I envisage spending my remaining years, to be published in my next. It needs much thought. One the one hand, one might want to use one’s freedom doing something one’s always wanted to do. They call it the “bucket list”. It makes me think of being pushed round the Taj Mahal in a wheelchair before dying peacefully in your sleep. I prefer to delve deeper into what I know, to tackle inevitable decline head on. I shall try to refine and develop neglected skills, stay put with what I love and whom, with minimum gallivanting.

On the other hand, one is constrained by factors outside one’s control. It’s marvellous to be bolstered by a comfortable pension, but it can’t buy health. Not here, at any rate. We’re used to a health service untainted by payment, thus impartial in its treatment of patients, whether rich, poor or pursuing a dangerous lifestyle. Its doctors and nurses are dedicated and spurred on by the affection in which they are held by the public. During the pandemic, there has been an astonishing and near-universal outpouring of love and gratitude for what they’ve been doing. I cannot presume to compare with other countries, only say what I’ve observed directly.

As for the concise retirement story, I’ve yet to figure it out. If you click on the form to enlarge it, you’ll see that I’ve ticked the box to say I’m willing to be a “potential case study”. Another hurdle to be faced, should I decide to send some well-chosen words to the insurance co.

Watch this space.

6 thoughts on “Retirement?”

  1. Thanks, Phil. I’ don’t think I’ve any regular visitors under the age of 55, so I’ll be interested in their reflections too (hint).

    Do our generation hanker for The Grand Tour, in the style of Kerouac’s On the Road, or Fonda & Hopper’s Easy Rider?

    Our new CEO with his bright ideas is certainly going places. I calculate he’s a mere 31, bless him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck with the form! I’d be completely at a loss for words. The thing I most love about retirement is being able to get up as early as when I was working and then just experience the morning gently unfolding, and not the rush-hour traffic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Michael, there are so many strands involved in this challenge. Actually filling the form would be the last bit of the process. They set a deadline of 30th June 2021. Which reminds me of something I most love about retirement. Other people’s deadlines are their affair. I choose my own, for love not money

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Rewirement?

    Are you actually planning on submitting something or is that just a fictional conceit of your narrative? At my advanced stage of Vincenting after all these years, I don’t think either one would surprise me.

    The idea of you submitting to a magazine like this reminds me of this one essay from E.B. White where he imagines quotes from Walden when he turns on the radio or calls the weather service — something too sublime for the modern world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You know me very well, Bryan. It’s probably a fictional conceit, but the beauty of it is that no one can hold me to account. I can promise but not fulfil and never mind anyone’s expectation or deadline. Apart (of course) from personal responsibiility to others with whom my life and love are meshed.

    It’s also a feature of an increasingly short attention and memory span: a battle ready to be surrendered.

    Liked by 2 people

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