New Beginnings

Retirement used to mean putting your feet up after an active working life, but these days it’s more like pursuing that active life with a greater enthusiasm, should health and energy levels permit. Now with no statutory retirement age, it is much more a matter of choice when to stop the day job.

The ‘R’ word is not even used very much. The British Council organises later career workshops to help staff adapt to life beyond the 9 to 5. It is assumed that there are other, differing opportunities to grasp, either paid or voluntary and time to continue travelling, to familiar places or beyond. For some, getting involved in community or charity events is a good way of establishing new links in a local environment.

General advice seems to be:

  • Don’t rush into a new full-time activity too soon
  • Take time to be with family and adapt to a new pace of life
  • Be aware that this is a big life event, involving change of status and identity  and it may feel strange and a bit de-stabilising to start with
  • Don’t always look back to your sparkling work career but look positively to the future

For spouses who have lived overseas for many years, retirement back to UK or another country can also be challenging as you find yourself adapting to a new community. Just to say, if it’s any help, do contact BCFA. You’re very welcome to drop in on one of our committee meetings or establish links with the British Council Association.


Jane Jones