Time on your hands? Create your life book with these 10 easy steps.

Are you old enough to be isolated by the coronavirus for some months? Then you’re old enough to have memories to enrich the lives of your children and their children and their children.

And, due to the ban on movement, you now have the time to capture it all.

Perhaps you’ve had the experience of sharing the odd anecdote from your past with a young family member. And seen their interest and even amazement. Now is the time to put it into one volume – with no need to pay to have it published.

Today’s youngsters – and those that follow – will love to know what you did at school, the games you played and the home you lived in. How you got your first job. What life was like before computers and when television had three channels in black and white.

That’s what I’ve just done. And here are the 10 easy steps for you to do the same.

1. Get an expanding file organiser – available online for about £12.

2. Identify the various chapters of your book – which may change as things progress. Perhaps start with ‘The early years’ – identifying your first memories and experiences. Move on to ‘schooldays. And my first job.’ From then on treat each decade as a chapter, unless you have an idea of what will work better.

3. Then enter the chapter title on each of the pockets of your folder. You could end up with a couple of dozen sections – perhaps more.

4. From then on it is just remembering – which doesn’t have to be in chronological order. Just jot down – ideally type up – your memories as they come flooding back, including your faith journey. And then put the sheet each is written on into the appropriate section of your file.

5. Eventually you’ll have a file packed with memories and all in the right order. If working on a computer make the pages A5 and copy and paste the contents of each document to make a continuous story with the chapters easily identified.

If you prefer to work on paper then merely collate them in order at this stage.

6. When you have them all together, read them through making notes of sections needing a little more attention.

7. Working on these sections, adding more details and instances from your life. Remember that stories are always more interesting than facts. And short sentences and short paragraphs are much easier to read.

If you are up to it you could also add pictures. But as you do so, try to put a caption on each one.

8. Create a cover based on what you decide to call it. I’ve called mine ‘A Hack’s Life’ because local journalists were called ‘hacks’ and I was that for many years. You may even want to add an index.

9. When you complete the contents, make sure the font is something like Calibri – and definitely not Comic Sans – and in 12 point for easy reading. And add numbers at the bottom of the pages.

10. Save the document as a pdf. To do that, click on ‘File’ at the top left of your screen, click on ‘Export’ and click on ‘Create PDF/XPS.

Now you have something that just like a book on Kindle or any of the other e-books. And all ready to be passed on to relatives, or even printed should you feel able.

The finished product will be treasured by your children and grandchildren and other generations for years to come. The impetus given by isolation will be a blessing to them and have provided an extra personal interest for you during a difficult time.

Have you taken steps to capture your past for the next generations to enjoy? Please share your insights here or on our Facebook Group.

David Hall

David Hall’s life as a journalist covered local newspapers, Christian magazines and being a press officer. Married with two adult children – one in Spain and the other close to his home near Burnley. In normal times Dave preaches and helps at Little Stars, the mums’ and toddlers’ group, and Messy Church at his village church.

Happy Christmas? Here’s 10 ways for it to make you even happier.

In your active retirement, Christmas might be different from how it used to be. Maybe once your home served as the family’s ‘mothership’ where everyone gathered. But now you find your feet are under someone else’s table.

It will still be happy for sure. And be part of the story revealed by fact that men and women aged between 65 and 74 are happier than any other age group according to the National Office of Statistics.

Yet – you should love this – there are ways to make that happiness more intense and beneficial.

Of course, there are challenges to the level of happiness possible at Christmas. There’s the cost in terms of money, emotional energy and hard work. There’s the pressure of the expectations of others, not to mention those we put on ourselves. And stress is heightened by the seemingly never-ending torrent of advertising, which looks charming but actually yells ‘Spend!’

But if we can fight our way through all the commercialism and stress, there’s something very positive to be gained – well worth the time, expense and gravy on the carpet.

Primarily there’s the joy of this seasonal reminder of God stepping into our world; a tiny vulnerable bundle of life at the mercy of humankind. ‘He who was rich but became poor, so that we who are poor could become rich.’ as St Paul wrote.

Yet there’s something else too – as revealed by research from around the world. Because there’s evidence that those who celebrate something in the right way are generally even happier than those who don’t.

What’s that ‘right way’?

Author and social psychologist Fred Bryant believes that it’s all about ‘savouring the good stuff’. By relishing and celebrating our experiences of happiness – including those that Christmas brings, we can build a resilience that helps us manage the tensions and challenges the whole occasion can cause.

Bryant has been called the father of research on ‘savouring’ – the experience of being mindfully engaged and aware of our feelings during positive events. Doing so can create and increase happiness in the short and long run.

His work, along with that of others, identifies a myriad of benefits that come from savouring things like family holiday celebrations. These include stronger relationships, better mental and physical health, and being more able to solve problems creatively.

Using data from over 20,000 people, Matthew Killingsworth, another happiness researcher, identified happiness levels felt at randomly selected moments during daily life. And it turned out that people are happier than usual at times like Christmas.

He recommends ten ways to ‘savour’ these moments, to put them to work for our benefit. No matter how many Christmases you have under your belt, they’re all worth trying.

  1. Share your good feelings with others. Treat positive events like positive news. Tell someone when you feel particularly thankful.
  2. Take a mental photograph. Spend a moment being aware of things you want to remember later that have brought you pleasure.
  3. Pat yourself on the back. Acknowledge the blessings resulting from all your hard work and smart planning.
  4. Focus on your senses. Take time to concentrate on the sounds, smells, tastes, feelings and sights involved with what you are enjoying. One great way is simply to linger over meals.
  5. Be expressive. Demonstrate excitement when something good is happening – it reinforces the experience.
  6. Contrast it to the opposite outcome. Think what it would have been like if this had not happened.
  7. Get caught up in the experience. Focus and don’t let the moment pass, or be distracted from it. Children are much better than adults at this.
  8. Be thankful. Express your gratitude to those providing these experiences to savour. And pause to express thanks before you eat – to the cook and to God!
  9. Don’t be negative. When things go wrong or don’t turn out as well as you’d hoped, still find something positive in it all.
  10. Remember that time is fleeting. Be determined to relish the moments that bring you pleasure, knowing they pass more swiftly than we might wish.

Research shows that all these actions lead to greater feelings of happiness and satisfaction. And they don’t only apply to Christmas and other happy events. They will also deepen our appreciation for all that God has done for us. So give them a try.

Do you have a way to enhance your experiences of happiness? Please share it here or on our AfterWorkNet Facebook group. Thank you.

You can share this blog with others by using the links below.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He’s still working part time in his 70s, helping churches and resourcing inter-church initiatives. This is alongside enjoying his eight grandchildren, escaping to Spain and spending his kids’ inheritance.

Worried about dementia? Then here’s some very good news.

If you live in the UK you are likely to worry more about developing dementia in your retirement than those in any other country. That’s according to research by the global insurance company AEGON.

To put it in numbers, two in five in the UK have anxieties about developing dementia compared to one in three globally.

But why such a high level of worry?

Perhaps it has it has a certain Job-like resonance. If you remember, Job sat on a refuse tip, scratching his skin with pieces of broken pottery, when he said, ‘What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true.’ 

Why had he been in such dread? Nothing in his life beforehand had justified his worrying. He was a successful businessman, a leader in the community, and a patriarch of a large prospering family.

His worrying was all based on ‘what if…’ Perhaps he was influenced by what he saw happening to people around him. And perhaps that’s how it is in the UK regarding fear of developing dementia.

Though not so much what we see but, rather, what we read and hear. And we’d worry less if we could see our way past so much myth and misunderstanding about the condition. So let me give you some good news.

It’s not as prevalent as you may think: You may have read there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. However, that figure is not based on evidence: Rather, there are currently ‘only’ 537,000 people diagnosed with dementia in the UK according to dementiastatistics.org.

Why is that number so wrong? It’s because the inflated figure comes from 1980s projections when dementia was thought to be rolling in like a tsunami. It’s a supposition, not a fact.

The numbers are falling and not rising: Studies quoted in the New Scientist Live show the number impacted by dementia has dropped by a fifth over the past two decades. To quote, ‘Four out of five large studies in different European countries have now suggested our chance of getting dementia by any particular age is less than that of previous generations.’

Though the number impacted in the UK has stayed the same, the percentage is less due to the increase in population. This is probably due to the growing focus on healthy living and preventative measures. These include dealing with loneliness, depression and stress, with studies showing that depression slows blood flow to the brain and people who suffer chronic stress in midlife are more likely to develop dementia.

Indeed, a 35 yearlong study of men living in Caerphilly showed those who stuck to healthy living guidelines saw their risk of dementia more than halved.

So this could be a good time to stop worrying. Especially as research increasingly shows that people with a negative view of being old are more likely to be unhappy, have more health issues in their later years, and have earlier deaths.

So beware of being a Job. And keep in mind those words from the Bible’s book of Proverbs, ‘Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of all of life’s consequences.’ Proverbs 4:23 CJB.

The answer seems to be – take the Scriptures seriously; eat and live sensibly, and watch what you are thinking and reading.

Louise Morse

For some wise advice on heath take a look at the AfterWorkNet webpages on Health and Fitness. And if you have insights or questions on the issue of dementia do share them here or with our Facebook group.

Louise Morse is a popular speaker and writer about old age, including dementia, and follows current research on the issues. She’s media and external affairs manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society, a Christian charity giving practical and spiritual support to older people.

Over-busy in your retirement? Try these 4 litmus test questions.

Are you one of those who came to the end of fulltime work with a growing list of plans and projects? Who relished the gift of ‘free’ time opening up opportunities for volunteering, family, new hobbies, seeing the world, and more?

But, as time passes, perhaps reality has dawned. Through your mind, and maybe from your lips, run words like –

‘I seem to be busier now than I’ve ever been’.

‘Busy? Tell me about it!’

‘I just don’t know where the time goes. I never seem to stop’.

Somehow an overcrowded life has snuck up and ambushed you. Not exactly how you’d expected life to pan out once you’d packed up the daily grind. But here you are, and, sad to say, ‘busier’ is not necessarily ‘happier’. ‘Busier’ can all too easily lead to stress, burn out, ill health and simply take away the shine of these golden years.

So, what about eliminating some of the things that make our post-work lives over-busy? Or, at least, to consider seriously what that might look like?

Let me pose four questions every over-busy retiree would do well to reflect on.

What ‘must do’ things in your life don’t you enjoy?

Okay, so we have to live with the reality that not everything in life ‘sparks joy’! Like cleaning the oven. And if gardening and maintenance float your boat then fine.

However, what if too many ‘must do’ things are robbing you of precious time to bring enjoyment and meaning to you and to others?

Could you simplify the garden so it’s easier to manage? Be less ambitious about it?

Would downsizing your home crack it – especially if this meant less chores? And the money that’s released could give you a little extra to pay for others to do some of the things that take up your time.

This leads to a very big principle that needs evaluating at this stage of your life. It is the difference between ‘cost’ and ‘convenience’.

Like me, you have probably made ‘cost’ the priority. Chosen to save paying out even if it means having to do the joy yourself. But this might be the moment to look at this differently.

At this stage of life, time is precious and the need to keep costs to a minimum no matter what may be less of an issue. So are there chores you have always done that it would be more convenient and beneficial to pay someone else to do.

In this way, for a small expenditure, you might be able to have others do what you don’t enjoy and have time and energy to invest as a result.

What choices don’t enrich and fulfil your life?

Again, not everything in life can be wonderful. But you should try to make as much of it as possible enriching and fulfilling.

The enemy to this happening may come in the guise of the requests that come because others think you have time available. This all too easily leads to giving up time to serve on committees and rotas that were never on your wish list.

Surprisingly, this can even involve the level of care for grandchildren. Shock horror? Yet I’ve heard too many tales of grandparents feeling trapped because their children assume endless babysitting and day care is the order of the day.

Of course we love the little ones, if we have them. But we also have the right to our own choices regarding when enough is enough.

In which case, and you need an exit strategy to some of your current commitments read the next piece of advice.

What are you doing simply because you should have said ‘no’?

Now is the time to be honest – because none of us like to admit we bottled it when asked to do something we really should have said ‘no’ to.

The problem is that going back now is even harder than saying ‘no’ in the first place! But we’re talking about your over-busy life here. Time to be brave.

Remember, if someone feels they have the right to ask us to do something, we equally have the right to say ‘no’. And we can say no without feeling we need to make excuses, give some kind of justification and take on guilt.

When it comes to fending off initial requests you’ll find a ton of helpful advice on my past blog All You Need to Know About Saying ‘no’.

But what about these existing commitments you’ve already agreed to?

If you genuinely believe you need to carve out some more free time try this –

  • Take a deep breath and gather up inside you an absolute commitment not to fudge the issue.
  • Say something like, ‘I know you may not want to hear this but I’ve become over-committed and need free up some time. This means I’m no longer going to be able to . . . . .’
  • Agree a firm date to bring the commitment to an end.
  • Don’t get into a discussion and be clear that it’s not your responsibility to find someone to replace what you have been doing.
  • Change the conversation or end it. But don’t linger.

Who are the people who dampen your spirit?

One of the marks of a genuine Christian faith is to have a love for people – all people. The lovely and the not-so-lovely. Those who give and those who take. Those who enrich our lives and those capable of sucking us dry.

Nothing I’m about to say changes that. But such love doesn’t mean spending a disproportionate time with those who drag you down. Life is too precious and too short to major on people who have A Levels in whinging, gossiping and complaining.

It’s better to prioritise people with a positive attitude, who enrich your life and are fun to be with. In that way you’ll also have the inner strength, and be more valuable, to support those who are going through tough times.

There’s every reason why the years that lie ahead could be the best of your life. But for that to happen you need to make some wise choices and sometimes some hard decisions.

Have you an experience to share of pruning your after-work life? Please share it here or with the AfterWorkNet Facebook group. Thank you.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He’s still working part time in his 70s, helping churches and resourcing inter-church initiatives. This is alongside enjoying his eight grandchildren, escaping to Spain and spending his kids’ inheritance.

Do the washing up to live longer – says a major new report.

You can forget the gym, jogging and workouts. Almost as good for your health is vacuuming or mowing the lawn. Even just an hour of chores a day cuts your risk of an early death in half.

That’s good news for those like me, who believe if God meant us to sweat he’d have put drainpipes under our arms.

Where does this life-giving and guilt reducing news come from? It’s a drum roll for a team of researchers in Norway’s School of Sport Sciences. They analysed 8 studies from the US, UK, and Scandinavia that covered 36,000 adults aged 40 and over.

I can’t resist giving you the study’s full title. It’s ‘Dose-response associations between accelerometry measured physical activity and sedentary tie and all cause mortality: systematic review and harmonised meta-analysis’.

You deserve an extra year of life just for reading that. But what can we learn f this major and authoritative study?

First, you don’t have to almost kill yourself to have a health benefit from exercise.

The researchers identified that 5 minutes of moderate activity a day halved the risk of adults dying over the next six years. Okay, so the study focused on those younger than the ‘after-work’ generation. But don’t knock the principle.

Indeed, the report says, ‘The observation that light intensity physical activity also provided substantial health benefits . . .  suggests older people and those not able to be physically active at higher intensities will still benefit from just moving around’.

Second, regular stuff – like housework – counts as ‘exercise’

Those volunteers taking part in the research wore devices to measure the intensity of their movements. When this was correlated to their health and lifespan the discovery was surprising.

It was that doing daily chores had unexpected benefits.

What could be defined as ‘moderate activity’ included vacuuming, mowing the lawn, cooking, cleaning and other such household tasks. And the researchers identified that an hour of light domestic activity added to someone’s lifespan.

The report has no mention of how much credit you get for crawling round the floor with grandchild. Or trying to strap them into a car seat. But they must surely be worth the equivalent of vacuuming a mansion or cutting the grass at Wimbledon.

A co-author of the report, Dr Charlotte Edwardson, of the University of Leicester was quoted by Mailonline saying the findings “show ‘physical activity of any intensity lowers the risk of death. Reinforcing the saying “Doing something is better than doing nothing”.’

She added, ‘‘If you’re someone who doesn’t achieve the recommended levels of moderate intensity physical activity, then doing more light activity, for example, pottering around more at work or at home and just generally being on your feet more, will still be beneficial.’

Third, get off your backside if you want to live longer.

Ready for this? Sitting down for 9.5 hours a day more than doubles the risk of an early death. And that ‘sitting down’ covers everything from being a couch potato to hunching over a computer.

Worse still, every hour of inactivity above the 9.5 hours threshold increases the danger of death even further.

So it’s not enough to literally sit back – for many hours – taking credit for some life-extending household activity you have done. Do that for too long and the benefits go steeply into reverse.

To quote from the NHS guidelines on activity, ‘All adults should break up long periods of sitting with light activity.’

I’d suggest the best response to this news is not to quip, ‘Now we know why women live longer’. Or ‘Does this mean the Queen must be good with a Hoover?’. But to sit up, stand up and do something.

As for me,  it’s time to remove myself from my laptop and head for the vacuum cleaner. It has to be done.

Meanwhile, for more on the value of exercise to your help and wellbeing, see the AfterWorkNet webpages on Keeping Fit. And catch up with what sport can do for you at our blog Add Years To Your Life While Having Fun And Making Friends.

Do you have something to add about keeping fit? Please share it here or with the AfterWorkNet Facebook group. Thank you.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He’s still working part time in his 70s, helping churches and resourcing inter-church initiatives. This is alongside enjoying his eight grandchildren, escaping to Spain and spending his kids’ inheritance.

Sing? You? Here’s the 10 life-improving reasons why you should.

Singing is good for you. I know as I’ve seen it to be true in the lives of the more than 500 people in the choirs I have led – and also for me.

Now 70, I lead three community choirs with members of all ages singing pop, rock, gospel and soul. Time and again members tell me singing has been a life saver, especially in retirement years when life can have additional challenges.

This is my own story too, with music and singing playing a huge part in my own recovery from cancer four years ago.

That’s why I’d encourage you to think seriously about joining a choir. But before I share my top 10 reasons to sing, here’s a little more of my own story.

It started with a dream. I woke one night, sat bolt upright and started singing ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer’ – much to the shock and surprise of my wife.

I’d been watching an inspiring arrangement of this great old hymn on Songs Of Praise, performed by a male voice choir. And couldn’t stop thinking about the huge potential for a community choir in our own area.

Within a couple of weeks, the choir was launched – some 9 years ago.

Even though I was nearing retirement age, my wife Sarah and I re-opened a derelict NHS Chapel on a decommissioned hospital site. It was to be the venue for our first choir rehearsal.

The word spread, people invited friends and, within 18 months, we had a choir with 200 members. What I’d discovered was a wonderful way to improve healthy, build relationships and a great missional opportunity for the church.

Singing is good for you in body, mind and spirit. Which all the latest research confirms. So here they come. My Top Ten list of the benefits of singing together.

1. Your immune system is strengthened and reinforced.

The University of Frankfurt got choir members to sing Mozart’s ‘Requiem’. After taking blood tests, their research showed the amount of proteins in the immune system that function as antibodies and so fight of infections were significantly higher.

2. Singing keeps you in good physical shape.

Singing can be an excellent form of exercise, especially in a day and age where many of us live quite sedentary lives. Our lungs get a good workout and circulation is improved. It is also very likely that singing can increase aerobic capacity and stamina.

3. Your posture is improved.

At our choir rehearsals we work on having a good body posture. This takes us into a stress-free zone and can help relieve tension and aches and pains.

4. You can end up sleeping better.

A clinical trial by Exeter University and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, showed the singing exercises strengthen certain throat muscles. This also lessened symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition common to many in which they stop breathing momentarily during deep sleep.

5. Singing has anti-depressant benefits which happen naturally.

As we sing endorphins – brain chemicals – are released .that make you feel uplifted and positive.

Also, scientists have identified a tiny organ in the ear called the sacculus, which responds to the frequencies created by singing. The response creates an immediate sense of pleasure, regardless of what the singing sounds like. Which is a great encouragement to those who think they can’t sing.

6. Singing gets those brain cells moving.

Mental alertness is improved when blood circulation and an oxygenated blood stream allows more oxygen to the brain. The result is mental alertness, concentration, and memory enhancement.

My own method of “Sing and Repeat” aids this process, as the brain focusses the mind on picking up harmonies and listening to instructions.

No surprise then that The Alzheimer’s Society has established a Singing for the Brain service to help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s maintain their memories.

7. Mind, body and spirit are rejuvenated.

Retirement need not be restrictive. Singing in a choir helps to release feelings of freedom and liberty. You can be yourself in the presence of like-minded people also on their own personal journey of self-discovery and liberation.

8. Community choirs build community.

In our choirs, we have people from different background. And because we have a common goal, we work together, make new friends and build on friendships of old, which often take on a new lease of life.

9. Singing boosts self-confidence.

Time and time again I’ve seen choir members come with personal hang-ups and anxieties and often with a very low self-esteem. But after a few months, confidence and an ‘I can do this’ attitude starts to grow.

10. Developing communication skills

Singing with others is great fun and builds community and communication skills.

So there you have it.

Singing is very good for you in so many ways and for those looking for new relationships when fulltime work is over, it is a new lease of life. We should embrace it, enjoy it and celebrate the benefits!

To know more about joining a choir, or setting one up, read my new eBook, ‘Sing Your Way To Health In Body, Mind And Spirit ’. It has all you need and even includes singing exercises and warm-ups. Click the link SteveFlashmanSing:

Steve Flashman

What are your experiences of singing? Please share it here or with the AfterWorkNet Facebook group. Thank you.

Steve Flashman was a professional singer for many years. Currently he’s a semi-retired Vicar looking after two parish churches in Buckinghamshire. Other than singing, for fun he rides a Triumph America 865, writes and records songs and is a published author.

It’s time to get bolder about getting older

It was realising he was the oldest player at a hockey tournament that shook Carl Honoré to the core. And it caused a stream of questions.

Though playing well, Carl wondered –

‘Do I look out of place?

‘Are people laughing at me?’

‘Should I take up a more gentle pastime?

Above all, Carl recalls, ‘It got me thinking about how we often feel ashamed and afraid of growing older. And how we imagine it’s all about loss, decline, decrepitude and sadness.’

That was underlined when Carl discovered ‘age’ is the number one answer on a Google Search when you type in ‘I lie about my…’

The shock at that hockey tournament spurred Carl, an author of several best-selling books, to research and write. His motivation – to see if there was another, happier, story to tell about ageing.

The result was his book ‘Bolder – making the most of our longer lives’. Which, he confesses, ‘was really about helping me feel better about my own advancing years.’

What did Carl discover? That, ‘So many of my own downbeat assumptions about ageing turned out to be wrong. And because – and this is the really exciting bit – so many things can get better as we grow older.

What are some of the positives about aging that Carl identified? He would tell you –

People are generally more contented in later life.

Across the world happiness seems to follow a U-shaped curve, bottoming out in middle age and then rising again thereafter.

Carl points out even Pete Townshend confessed to feeling more cheerful in his 60s than he was when he wrote one of the most ageist lines in the pop music canon: ‘Hope I die before I get old.’

We becomes more comfortable in our own skin and less worried about what others think of us. We tend to form stronger, more fulfilling relationships as we age. Ageing also makes many of us more altruistic and eager to serve the common good.

The things that happen to our bodies and brains are not as bad as we may fear.

That’s because, these days, we have more and more levers to pull – nutrition, technology, medicine, exercise – to slow the physical decline. All of which opens the potential to go on doing amazing things with our bodies deep into later life.

The evidence that this is true seems to be in the media almost every day, with stories of those considered ‘well beyond it’ kitesurfing, climbing mountains, running marathons, cycling long distance, and swimming competitively.

Today, the average over-65-year-old is in better shape than ever before. And, as Carl notes in his book, Japan is even toying with moving the age when someone is deemed rojin, or old, from 65 to 75.

Our brains do a great job compensating when we lose some cognitive zip.

That’s why creativity can carry on right up to the end of our lives. Carl notes some experts think ageing alters the brain structure in ways that make us even more creative.

Older adults also tend to be better at seeing the big picture, embracing compromise, weighing multiple points of view and accepting that knowledge can only take you so far.

Carl enthuses, ‘When tackling problems in a familiar field, older brains are quicker to spot the patterns and details that open the door to finding a solution.

He also cites researchers at Harvard University who concluded that four key skills do not ripen fully until around the age of 50: arithmetic, vocabulary, general knowledge and a grasp of how the world works.

Social and emotional smarts often improve with age.

We get better at reading people. Our richer vocabulary helps us speak, write and communicate better and our capacity to co-operate and negotiate improves.

We also get better at putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, finding compromises and resolving conflicts. As we age, we become less prone to wild swings of emotion and better able to cope with negative feelings such as anger, fear and envy. In other words, as Carl puts it, ‘We find it easier to keep our heads while all about us are losing theirs.’

With Carl having said he wrote the book to meet his own needs, you may wonder if it has worked. Has it changed him? Carl’s answer is, ‘Yes, profoundly. It has made me feel so much more at ease with the idea of growing older.’

And what does he hope ‘Bolder’ will do for those who read it? Carl’s answer is, ‘To see ageing in a completely new light. To move from fear and dread to the kind of understanding and optimism that will help them make the most of their lives – at every age.’

To get the big picture read Carl Honoré’s book Bolder: Making The Most Of Our Longer Lives published by Simon & Schuster.

What makes you feel good about your advancing years? Please tell us here or share with the AfterWorkNet Facebook Group.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He uses his retirement to help churches, resource inter-church initiatives, enjoy his eight grandchildren, escape to Spain and to spend his kids’ inheritance.

An army of grandparents are helping thousands of primary children discover the Bible’s stories. Amazing!

When a small group of mostly newly-retired people began reading and ‘performing’ Bible stories in their local schools they had no idea where it would lead.

But, from that small beginning, some 800,000 children are now regularly hearing the Bible’s stories in more than 3,000 schools. That’s 1 in 6 primary schools in England and Wales.

Those in at the start included a retired accountant and a retired head teacher, with others drawn from four local Bedford churches. They were brought together by a local outreach volunteer, Dave Todd, motivated by constantly meeting children ignorant of the Bible’s stories.

Finding Bob Hartman’s Lion Storyteller Bible, moved things into a new gear – leading to the use of props and costumes to help bring the stories to life.

Roll on about 20 years and now there’s an army of no-longer-working ‘Tims’, ‘Junes’, ‘Daves’ and ‘Brendas’ dressed in bedsheets and towels round their heads. All so children can hear and experience the Bible’s stories and the truths they contain.

The initiative is now called Open the Book, with a three year rolling programme telling the stories in chronological order. That means, each year, a child can hear 33 Old and New Testament stories.

And it’s fair to say the majority of the now more than 17,000 volunteers are using their after-work years to be involved.

What’s the reason for such success? Julie Jefferies, Head of Open the Book says, ‘It’s due to the simplicity of the storytelling, the high fun factor and the dedication and creativity of so many volunteers’.

It’s also true that schools love it. More than 95 per cent of those questioned said they believed Open the Book had a positive impact on the school’s life.

It makes a positive impact on the lives of the volunteers too. Talk to Open the Book volunteers and they frequently use the word ‘fun’. But there’s much more to it than that.

Typical is Ruth McGeown, a beard-wearing storyteller in a brown dressing gown to play Jesus who says, ‘This has given me a heart for children and families in the school and we’ve started a prayer group. I feel I’m invested in school in terms of faith and prayer.’

Others speak of coming to see the Bible through fresh eyes as they present it in its simplicity to children.

Open the Book has also proved to be a very strategic stepping stone. More than a quarter of the churches involved with have gone on to launch Messy Church.

Now, under the supportive and enabling wing of Bible Society, Open the Book is going from strength to strength. However, despite the success, there’s still a long way to go. And the barrier is the need for more volunteers.

Julie Jefferies has a dream. It is to bring the Bible to life for every child in every primary school in England and Wales – reaching over 18,000 schools with 4.5 million children.

More than that, schools are open and waiting to welcome Open the Book.

Holding things back is the shortage of volunteers. Julie reports, ‘Every week we receive requests from teachers who want a team to come to their school. But there simply are not enough people volunteering’.

Could this be you? Or someone you know? An initiative for your church? A strategic and significant way to use your available time and willingness to wear a bed sheet?

If so, Open the Book would love to hear from you – even if it is just to get more information. Contact them at Open the Book.

That’s a decision Bill Sanderson, a retired chemist, is delighted he made. Though busy, he says, ‘I thought I’d give it a try, and I’ve never looked back. This is about bringing the Bible to life for a generation that don’t get these stories at home’.

Bill adds, ‘I have never been part of a drama group or anything like that. But since doing Open the Book, I’ve played God, Peter, the devil and everything. It’s true what they say, that it’s easier to be a baddie’.

For more ideas to make your active retirement years fulfilling see the AfterWorkNet web pages on Serving and Volunteering in Your Community – which includes more on Open the Book including a great video.

Have you an experience of volunteering with Open the Book? Do please share it here or with the AfterWorkNet Facebook group. Thank you.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He’s still working part time in his 70s, helping churches and resourcing inter-church initiatives. This is alongside enjoying his eight grandchildren, escaping to Spain and spending his kids’ inheritance.

What if you could live 7½ years longer without doing anything difficult or unpleasant? Well you can – and here’s how.

Imagine it. Living longer – 7½ years longer – by using a procedure that costs you nothing and is neither difficult nor unpleasant. Unbelievable? Not according to solid research into real lives.

All it involves is thinking positively about aging. Yes, it really is as simple as that. To begin seeing the experience of ‘aging’ as positive and not negative.

Does that all sound too simple and farfetched? Then trust the insight of neurologist Dr Joshua Kornbluth of the Global Brain Health Institute – captured in a brilliant video that’s a must watch –  and here’s the link.

To put Dr Josh’s message simply, things change for the better when we start thinking ‘good thoughts’ about being old. And he points to research showing that –

People with a positive attitude towards aging live, on average, seven and a half years longer than those with a negative attitude.

Such a positive attitude makes them feel younger as well – seeing themselves as younger than their actual age.

The research comes from the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement led by Prof Becca Levy of Yale University. Among its findings was that ‘older individuals’ with ‘more positive self-perceptions of aging’ lived seven and a half years longer than ‘those with less positive self-perceptions of aging’.

However, such a positive attitude is not easy because an ‘enemy’ causes us to feel the opposite. That enemy is ‘ageism’, stresses Dr Josh. This is the prevailing mind-set in our society that discriminates against people just because of their age. He even calls this a ‘social sickness’.

As Prof Becca points out, we form our view of age as a stereotype long before becoming old. And so grow up accepting this negative view of aging without question.

The way Prof Josh puts it is that, as kids we heard the message that old age was ‘just awful’. So it’s hard to see aging as positive when, from our earliest years, we’ve seen it as the opposite.

And the negative reinforcement doesn’t stop there.

The time comes when our flush of youth has gone down the pan. From that moment on, powerful commercial forces spend billions telling us to buy their stuff to fend off the dreaded aging process.

In addition, the voices in our ears and the actions of society, carry the associations of ‘burden’, ‘scrap heap’, ‘sell-by date’ and more. The prevailing tide is to see those who are older as of less value, less importance, a burden rather than a blessing.

Put all that together and there’s no other way to say it – ageism is rife. Which makes it desperately hard for those who age to see it as positive and, thus, benefit from the added years such a mind-set can bring.

So how do we make the transition to seeing our advancing years as positive, with the potential to add years to our lifespan? Here’s some wisdom from Dr Josh and others.

Be positive about the happiness older age brings

Despite what they are told to expect, when people get to their older years they discover it is not bad at all. Indeed, studies show this may be the happiest time since their teenage years. See our blog The happiest of all.

A good dose of expecting to be happier, and then experiencing it, is a great fertiliser for a positive attitude.

Be positive about the enviable attributes older age brings

The outstanding attribute that comes with older years is ‘wisdom. Partly this is down to the experience that accumulates by having clocked up more years than those who are younger.

But this is multiplied by our new stage of life being far less cluttered and releasing us to see wood from the trees.

As Dr Kate Rankin says on the video, ‘One of the things that’s beautiful about wisdom is you are able to know what’s important and what’s not. You’re able to see what’s valuable, what’s central and what gets you to where you want to be.’

That, in itself, makes us incredibly valuable – to society as a whole and to those who are close to us.

Be positive about having a purpose in older age

Unlike past generations, who often entered retirement to do no more than hang about in God’s waiting room, today’s retirees have very different prospects. They tend to have the health, energy and resources for another totally fulfilling era – all be it in a very different setting.

There are valued and meaningful roles to play – in the context of family, neighbours, church, and society. Roles that take the wisdom, knowledge and availability only they have.

Should you doubt it, of needs some inspiration, see the AfterWorkNet web pages on New Opportunities.

In a nutshell, ignore the negative stereotype of aging and its insipid ageism – and celebrate the positives that only older age can bring. And live longer in the process.

Have you experienced ageism and how have you responded? Please do share here or on our Facebook Group. We’d love to hear.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He’s still working part time in his 70s, helping churches and resourcing inter-church initiatives. This is alongside enjoying his eight grandchildren, escaping to Spain and spending his kids’ inheritance.


The happiest of all? Those aged 65 to 79. Here’s the surprising facts – and how to be even happier.

If you are between 65 and 79 then the words of the late Ken Dodd hit the nail on the head –

Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess
I thank the Lord that I’ve been blessed
With more than my share of happiness

Why? Because, as someone in that 65 to 79 age bracket, you truly do have more than your share of happiness. Its official – confirmed by a robust study from the Office for National Statistics.

The survey assed happiness for a sample of 300,000 people between 2012 and 2015, under four headings –

  • How satisfied they were with life
  • How worthwhile they felt their lives to be
  • How happy they felt
  • How anxious they were

Revealingly, in every one of these categories, the 65’s to 79s are streets ahead of every other age group with one very, very, small exception. This is what the research tells us –

Life satisfaction: This peaks between 65 and 79 with them being 400 per cent more satisfied with life than those in their mid-50s. The only other age group to match this – which is the very small exception – is those in their carefree teenage years. So there’s every reason for ‘oldies’ to be young at heart.

Life being worthwhile: It’s the same story here – with the 65s to 79s being almost a fifth more likely to feel life is worthwhile than those struggling through their mid-50s.

However – to flash a warning – the ‘life is worthwhile’ feeling nosedives for those 90 and older. Yet, even then, those 90+ reported greater life satisfaction and happiness than those in their middle years.

Life being happy: Once again it’s much the story. Those 65 to 79 see themselves as 300 per cent more happy than the miserable mid-50s.

Life creating anxiety: On this front too, the 65s to 69s feel half as anxious as those in their mid-50s.

Taking it all together, the average ratings for life satisfaction, a sense your life is worthwhile, and how happy you are, skyrockets in the 65 to 79 years. Of course, this is not true for everyone. That’s not how surveys work. But it is generally true of the UK population as a whole.

And there’s more. When the research was broken down in more detail, some interesting things popped up including –

  • Married people had the highest levels of happiness – higher than those co-habiting, single, widowed or divorced.
  • Those with jobs were happier – with part-time workers the happiest.
  • Northern Ireland was the happiest of the UK’s nations. But the most anxious and least happy people were in England, with the North East the unhappiest region.

So if you are between 65 and 79, married, with a part time job and living in Northern Ireland you must be an absolute bundle of fun.

But perhaps there’s a way for the rest of us to catch up. Because it’s possible to make ourselves happier. That’s according to global studies collated by Rotterdam’s World Happiness Database.

These studies show the strongest correlation with happiness is to lead an active life. As the project’s director Prof Ruut Veenhoven says, ‘In order to lead a happy life, a rewarding life, you need to be active.’

The project has also identified what is likely to be true of those who are happier than others. This reveals you tend to be happier if you –

  • Are in a long-term relationship
  • Are actively engaged in politics
  • Are active in work and in your free time
  • Go out for dinner
  • Have close friendships – though happiness doesn’t increase with the number you have
  • Are not too fixed on having goals

So if you are in the 65 to 79 bracket, be happy that you are happier than most. Be thankful for what is also true that can add to it. And think seriously about giving it a turbo boost by keeping active, building friendships and increasing your social relationships.

Oh, and raise a glass or two in memory of Ken Dodd who seems to have known some of this all along.

Looking to boost your happiness by being more active? See the AfterWorkNet web pages on New Opportunities and our blog on keeping active.

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He uses his retirement to help churches, resource inter-church initiatives, enjoy his eight grandchildren, escape to Spain and to spend his kids’ inheritance.

Four reasons why today’s retirees may live longer. And four great ways to respond.

Have you’ve reached your ‘after-work’ years, or are heading towards them? Then you have something to especially celebrate.

More than any previous generation you are likely to be healthier, fitter, and have more years of life ahead of you.

Who or what do we thank for this? I suggest you should give a big hand to the top 4 –

  1. Medical science: The latest drugs and surgical procedures mean far more conditions – chronic and otherwise – can be managed or treated. Meanwhile, new approaches to heart disease have lengthened lives and improved their quality.
  2. Workplace changes: Changing employment patterns have brought less manual work – with its toll on bodies and health – longer holidays and better working conditions. Health and safety legislation, although it can be a pain sometimes, has also played its part.
  3. Health education: Campaigns flagging ‘low fat’, ‘watch your cholesterol’ and ‘eat five a day’, ‘take some exercise’, have been streaming at us for a decade or more. And have made an impact.
  4. Wiser living: We now know that smoking doesn’t promote health and a belly-buster fry up is not necessarily the best way to start the day.

To get a bigger picture of why you may enjoy a longer and healthier life see the AfterWorkNet web page here.

Making the most of it

These four reasons show why your life in retirement is likely to offer far more than it did for our parents’ generation. Not always or for everyone. But more likely.

So what are the opportunities this opens up? A few extra years of self-centred indulgence? Or something more fulfilling.

Here are what I think are four great ways to respond –

  1. Enjoy without guilt: This new season ought to be enjoyed and not endured. However, for the spiritually inclined, it can be that ‘guilty pleasure’ and ‘simple common or garden pleasure’ are one and the same thing.

    Is it really okay to have this much enjoyment when it doesn’t involve something overtly God-centred? Thoughts like this, rumbling deep down in someone’s subconscious, can rob them of the riches on offer.

    Which is why we need to relish St Paul’s words to the young Timothy, about the need to put our hope in God who ‘richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment’. (1 Timothy 6:17).

    Fun, relaxation and pleasure are all part of the riches of God’s creation – to be embraced without guilt. So enjoy.
  2. Pace yourself: For those who can enter their retirement years with a soft and gradual landing this might not be so much of an issue. But there’s an extra challenge for those who reach their after-work moment in the same way a train can hit the crash barriers.

    For them it may be wise to see this new season as a series of mini-seasons. These could include an initial breather to enjoy the change. Then a period to ease into the new era. Next a ‘go for it’ season, to make the most of the time and health at hand. Then the slowing down as ‘young old’ becomes ‘old old’.
  3. Make a plan: These are precious years that deserve some thought as to what they can deliver and with a plan to make it so. And one of the great dangers of moving into an unstructured and ‘every day is a Saturday’ era is time can just slip by.

    Setting priorities, and defining what is hoped to be experienced and achieved, may not be the first thing to do. But it ought to be done at some point after settling in to life after work.

    No two plans will be the same. No two bucket lists will be identical. But do make sure you have yours – with some things you’d like to look back on in a few years’ time with gratitude and satisfaction.
  4. Explore opportunities: Unlike past generations, there’s the opportunity try new things, develop new interests and skills, and have new experiences. These can be for your own enrichment or for the good of others. Or, ideally, both.

    To explore 10 interesting and varied options, see the AfterWorkNet web page New Challenges.
  5. Keep God’s kingdom in focus: As the curtain goes up, and you become an ‘actor’ in the great drama of retirement, the prompters words from the wings are likely to be ‘this is your time now’, and ‘you are worth it’.

    But there’s a need to be listening to another voice. The one that we hope will one day say ‘Well done my good and faithful servant’.

    There may be a host of factors – medical and otherwise – that have ushered in a longer and heathier life. But ultimately, every year – indeed, every breath – is a gift from the God who made us and loves us.

    Whatever your plans, don’t miss the opportunity to line them up with being an answer to that prayer you so often pray, ‘Your kingdom come’.

    To explore what that means, explore the AfterWorkNet web pages under Serving.

Peter Meadows

What do you do for fun? Share it here or with the AfterWorkNet Facebook group.

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He’s using his retirement to help churches, resource inter-church initiatives, enjoy his eight grandchildren, escape to Spain and to spend his kids’ inheritance.

It’s time to capture your memories – for you and for others. Here’s 7 great ways to do it.

One thing every retired person has is memories – lots of them. And they are a precious resource to be treasured and passed on.

As David Winter says in his book The Highway Code to Retirement, ‘Without leaving your armchair you can travel back through time, to childhood and schooldays. You can recall old friends and glorious holidays. Relive the excitement of your first love, the amazing miracle of the birth of children, fulfilling spiritual experienced, happy times with loved ones.’

David adds, ‘Sitting there you can capture afresh the laughter of children, the tears of parting, weddings, baptisms, parties, and special moments. And so much more.’

But such memories are not just precious to us, they are important to others too – especially our children and, perhaps even more to our grandchildren. There will be a time when they want to know more about their own past which is, of course, wrapped up in ours.

And part of the privilege of retirement is having the time that’s needed to record all this for others. And it’s not hard.

More than that, if it’s a collaborative process – especially if you have grandkids old enough to be involved – this can be a very enriching project.

So here are some things you could do –

1.Scrapbooks and albums.

 This may be the simplest way forward. Without doubt you’ll have a bunch of old photographs gathering dust. But what about adding copies of birth and marriage certificates, old passports, school records, your Blue Peter badge and anything else you can get your hands on?

Any hobby shop will have what you need to put this all into a collection.

However, be aware that physical photos can fade over time. And there will be only one copy for others to fight over when you are gone.

2.Put it on your computer.

It may be more of a challenge and take longer to put everything into a computer file – with all the scanning and such. But it will mean everyone can share in what you create, at any time, wherever they may be in the world, and for generations to come.

Your old photographs or videos are probably not in the format you need. But slides can be copied digitally if you buy (new, probably £50 to £75) or borrow a slide copier. And those old Super 8 videos can be made into computer files. To find out how, just Google ‘super 8 conversion to digital’.

If this all sounds like a step too far and way beyond your skill-set, here’s a great opportunity to ask grandchildren for help. They are likely to easily take the process in their stride.

3.Record your story.

Sit in front of a microphone and record your memories. A way to involve your children and grandchildren is to have them ask you the questions about the past they’d like to know about.

Or work through a check list like this one –

  • Where you were born
  • What you remember of your parents and grandparents
  • Your first school and what you were good at
  • Your first house, how it was heated, what your bedroom was like
  • Your hobbies when you were young
  • Your parents and relations
  • Your first friends
  • When you were most afraid
  • Your proudest achievement
  • How you met your partner
  • Your first job
  • Your faith journey
  • What’s been important to you
  • What you wish you’d known sooner
  • One piece of advice you would pass on

4.Write an autobiography.

It doesn’t have to get published but it will be a great activity for you and a treasure for those following in your footsteps. Google ‘how to write an autobiography’ and you’ll be surprised how much excellent help is out there for you.

5.Create a blog.

This may seem complex but it’s no more than a journal on the internet that others can access. You’ll find examples at blogger.com.

6.Research and document your family tree.

There are ‘how to do it’ guides that Google can point you to which will show how to access census records and more. There are also ‘you pay for it’ resources like Ancestry.co.uk or free sites like findmypast.co.uk.

7.Dig deeper through your DNA.

For a reasonable price you can send a swab from your mouth and have your ancestors revealed as to which part of the world they came from and be matched with distant relatives alive today.

A final word – be sure to save your memories while you still have them. They are a precious resource for you and those who will one day be as old as you are. And they will thank you for it.

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He uses his retirement to help churches, resource inter-church initiatives, enjoy his eight grandchildren, escape to Spain and to spend his kids’ inheritance. His DNA ancestor test was very surprising.

Have you an insight on recording your memories of family history? Please share them here or with our Facebook group.

Your community needs people like you – and the opportunities may surprise you.

Now that every day is a Saturday – except Sundays – could you invest some of your new-found time into your community?

There are crying needs out there and a vast range of opportunities– from simply ‘helping out’ to using your professional skills.

Finding the right niche may take some searching, patience and a little trial and error. But the outcome will be more than worth it – for them and for you.

Where to find a volunteer role

A simple first step to finding a rewarding volunteer role is the website of your local authority – look under ‘volunteers’. It reveals what they have available and, most likely, has links to local charities seeking help.

You could also look around and keep your eyes open. Notice boards in your library, doctor’s surgery and so on my have something. Or one of the many charity shops.

There are also two goldmines for you to explore:

Donate your professional skills through Reach: This ‘clearing house’ links those with skills in management, IT, finance, communications, mentoring, fundraising, accountancy, marketing, HR and more to charities desperate to use them. This can be from a few hours a week to full time.

Search a register of volunteer roles at CharityJob: At almost any time there are up to 3,000 volunteer posts here, searchable on post code and the kind of activity you are interested in.

Examples of volunteer opportunities

From the myriad of possibilities, the following are illustrations of ways your time, talents and experience can be used to serve others:

Childline: This lifeline for children and young people needs volunteers 24 hours a day, every day of the year. And can take volunteers for as little as 4 hours a week. They even offer an email counselling role.

Good Neighbours: Organised by the Royal Voluntary Service, this gives practical help to elderly people. From small household tasks to running errands. It also offers a way to spend time with a lonely older person either face to face or on the phone.

The Samaritans: There are vacancies for volunteers to listen, support or fund-raise.

Support a school through Scripture Union: They have identified many ways a volunteer can serve schools including –

  • Supporting class trips, as a teacher assistant, in the library, setting up displays etc. And helping at a breakfast or homework club, or at an extra curriculum group – sports clubs, drama groups etc
  • Joining a parent-teacher association or ‘Friends of the School’ or become a Governor – and so becoming a vital link between parents and school
  • Mentoring students – with students needing good role models who are prepared to listen
  • Support the staff who often feel stressed – praying for them, listening, offering practical help and showing appreciation
  • Pray, and set up a prayer support group.

Share your story

Already ahead of the game by volunteering in your community? Please use our FaceBook page to share your story – good or bad – to inspire and help others.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He uses his retirement to help churches, resource inter-church initiatives, enjoy his eight grandchildren, escape to Spain and spend his kids’ inheritance.

For more wisdom, ideas, and resources for your ‘after-work life go to afterwork.com 

20 Great Quotes About Retirement!


For some people, retirement is so wonderful they have no words to describe it. But others have some smart things to say – and here’s some of the best of them:

1. ‘Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time’. – J Lubbock

2. ‘The best time to start thinking about your retirement is before the boss does.’  – Anon

3. ‘A retired husband is often a wife’s full-time job’. – Ella Harris

4. ‘Don’t think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drive into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark’. – Samuel Johnson

5. ‘There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.’ – Sophia Loren

6. ‘Retirement is when you stop living at work and begin working at living’. – Anon

7. ‘A thriving “New Beginning” can be and should be a time for amazing engagement, growth, connections, contributions and increased possibilities’. – Lee M Brower

8. ‘Maybe the word ‘retirement’ makes you think of old age, boredom and laziness, but I’d rather have you try think of it as freedom to do what you want, freedom to be as active as you’d like, and even freedom to work the job that you like – to be in a place where money doesn’t dictate your choices.’ – Rex Dalen

9. ‘Retire the word ‘retirement’ from your vocabulary. Look it up: it means to ‘withdraw’ or ‘retreat.’ Words can shape reality, and it’s time for this one to go. Doesn’t ‘renaissance’ or ‘graduation’ or ‘transition’ better describe your postcareer life?’ – Marika Stone

10. ‘I enjoy waking up and not having to go to work. So I do it three or four times a day.’ – Gene Perret

11. ‘Retire from work, but not from life.’ – M K Soni

12. ‘Retirement only means it is time for a new adventure.’ – Anon

13. ‘For many, retirement is a time for personal growth, which becomes the path to greater personal freedom.’ – Robert Delamontagne

14. Retirement does not mean that you are all through. It means that you have experienced a big break-through to a new freedom, with the time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.’ – Wilfred Peterson

15. ‘Rather than fading into the sunset, we have time to rediscover our personal uniqueness, deepen relationships, and question the mysteries of life.’ – Douglas Fletcher

16. ‘Retirement is wonderful. It’s doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it’. – Gene Perret

17. ‘Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to.’ – Harry Emerson Fosdick

18. ‘Retirement: the best job anyone could ever love.’ – Anon

19. ‘I see retirement as just another of these reinventions, another chance to do new things and be a new version of myself.’ – Walt Mossberg

20. ‘Retirement is not a time to sleep, but a time to awaken to the beauty of the world around you and the joy that comes when you cast out all the negative elements that cause confusion and turmoil in your mind and allow serenity to prevail.’ – Howard Salzman

Peter Meadows – Peter uses his retirement to help churches, resource inter-church initiatives, enjoy his eight grandchildren, escape to Spain and spend his kids inheritance.

Do you know any other great quotes on retirement – or have any of your own? Please share them with our AfterWorkNet Facebook Group.

The word retirement is not even in the Bible. What is taught in scripture is transition. There is nothing that says you work most of your life and then get to be selfish for the next 20 years"

Rick Warren, PurposeDrivenLife