Let's try a little experiment.

What do you think when I say "retirement"? Does it conjure up visions of carriage clocks? Maybe a picture of a Spitfire? How about perfecting your golf handicap or a luxury cruise?

Cliches aren't they?

Well, maybe it is time to think again.

You see, I learnt the other day, whilst sunning myself on the beach, (not a cruise this time) that according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, more than half a million people became "economically inactive" between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021.

94% were aged 50 or over.

Don't panic Mr Mainwaring!!

It has caused concern over GDP and the potential widening of the "haves and have not" chasm but I'd argue that when it comes to planning life after full time work, there is more to it than cash in the bank.

Of course, it does require a plan!

I am from a corporate law background and I actually wrote my first book, "Leaders Don't Retire - creating the life you want when you finish full time work" during the pandemic.

In it, I was trying to get people to start to think more proactively about what they want from life after work and not to see retirement as an inevitable slow decline. You see, I think it is an opportunity to create a whole new exciting chapter in your life.

There has been a huge "rethink" and "refinding" across the board at all ages about what drives people as a result of the pandemic and more and more people are not happy to simply settle for the norm.

Sadly, far too many people get to retirement age without any clear plans or goals for the future.

Sure, they've had all the advice (hopefully) about savings and investments, wills and trusts but how many people have had help with planning what to do next? How many people know how to ignite or reignite that fire in the belly, that drive, that energy to pursue their goals?

The problem is, not enough people are giving this enough thought in the run up to retirement and in those early stages. Now is the time to be building dreams and visions, not accepting

whatever comes. Everyone has a jigsaw of wants and I want to be someone that can help put them together.

I get it, your job provides structure, routine and relationships, along with a sense of purpose and achievement. It also underpins your self-esteem and partly defines who you are. The money helps too! 

So letting go of all this is bound to make people feel a bit insecure. They also have to think about partners and others close to them - what are their hopes and concerns? They've probably watched friends or relatives make the transition and wondered why some have fared better than others.

It all comes down to asking the right questions. I've created a free download to help people do just that. You can find it online at Nichris 

Remember, there is no one size fits all. Everyone has different aspirations and needs. Variety really is the "spice of life". What's more, it needs to be happy and fun!