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Retirement wishes and reality

(140 Posts)
nanna8 Sat 19-Mar-22 12:18:36

When I was working flat out I had this fantasy about retiring to this very remote seaside village where we had a little shack. Nothing there except sea, sand and one store a couple of miles away in those days. I’d no sooner want to live there now than fly. Hardly anyone lives there,no one to talk to, just nature but at the time I was so busy, dealing with dozens of people every day.
Did you have any such fantasies before retirement ? Or do you if you have not yet retired ?

crazyH Sat 19-Mar-22 16:26:11

We (he, mainly), planned to retire to the Algarve. Two years before planned retirement, he fell in love with a friend of ours, and left. Frankly, I wouldn’t have resettled anyway. .I would have missed my GC terribly.
I am happily single, with all my GC a 5 minute drive away.

Bakingmad0203 Sat 19-Mar-22 17:11:41

Very interesting thread nanna8 Thank you for starting it.

My DH retired 2 years before me and encouraged me to retire early which I did, so we could go for country walks and pub lunches together. Hah, that lasted all of a month and then he was complaining that the weather was never suitable and the pub food not good enough!

We ended up moving to rural Wales, in our early 60s to a big house and garden overlooking the sea which I loved and it was to be our forever home. However 7 years later it became too much work to look after and DH’s health was deteriorating, so we have now downsized and moved to the outskirts of a city where there are doctors, dentists, hospital and shops all within walking distance and a good bus service.
I expected our retirement to be a lot more active than it is, and to do a lot together. The reality is that I have had to make a social life of my own, whilst DH prefers to potter around the house.

Chardy Sat 19-Mar-22 21:49:45

Daily beach walk, walking distance from shops, (frequent) bus routes, train station, doctors', dentist and hospital. Ten minutes in the car from vets' and 2 motorways.

I got a job in the area several years before retirement (which meant I could do things to house, find trustworthy people do those things and pay for them) and looked along the coast ten miles in each direction for somewhere to live. (Job was a disaster, I had to find another pronto)

Worked longer than I intended (thanks to Cameron and Osborne re-arranging the SPA timetable), but nowhere near as messed about as millions of others.

It was probably more luck than judgement that landed me here.

With hindsight, I should've planned earlier, and once the kids flew the nest, saved.

Pepper59 Sat 19-Mar-22 22:09:23

I think many retirement plans depend on health. Fortunately, Im near both my GP and hospital, both of which I have needed much more. We did have plans to travel but with Covid and the terrible events in Ukraine, I am very wary of straying far. I feel life has become much more uncertain recently. Im fortunate to have fairly good transport links and can hop on the bus to see family and friends. Yes, 'we make plans and the gods laugh' someone said. You cannot really plan for anything.

nanna8 Sat 19-Mar-22 22:14:23

I agree about the health. If you live in the wilds there are no doctors, hospitals or anything else. My little dream house was in a place where there were no GPS, nearest one half an hour drive away and he was overworked and on his own. To get a good hospital you would have to travel up to Melbourne 3 hours away.

Freespirit55 Sun 20-Mar-22 08:08:41

I’ve had to retire early due to illness. I was always active and find I have to limit my walks now. My husband was made redundant thanks to the covid that ruined a lot of business. I joined aqua at my local leisure centre to meet other people because when you have an illness friends disappear because I haven’t the same energy. I always wanted to spend the winter in sunny Spain but unfortunately financially we can’t do that now

Lucca Sun 20-Mar-22 08:14:06


We were looking forward to spending time with our grandchildren and gentle travelling, perhaps city breaks too , death put paid to that.

So sorry Maw.
I was looking forward to similar but my own ill,health has stepped in.

Beswitched Sun 20-Mar-22 08:51:45

My sister retired last year and had plans to move to a very quiet rural area on her own. She doesn't drive and it slowly dawned on her that maybe this wouldn't be a great idea.

She's now planning to move to a busy seaside town with great train links and where she already has a couple of friends. I have to say I'm very relieved.

Urmstongran Sun 20-Mar-22 09:05:18

We did our accounting on the back of an envelope, took early retirement, downsized, lived off our lump sum pensions till our SPs kicked in. We planned in our 50’s for the retirement we hoped for. Bought a small apartment in Malaga. We have been (so far) very fortunate. No savings now, we live solely on our pensions but life is good because health is wealth. If we are lucky in that respect, I hope we can flit between our two little places for many years to come.

halfpint1 Sun 20-Mar-22 11:00:56

I imagined retirement at 60, we all know where that went. I struggled on to 66. Faced with retirement, I realised I didn't want to and find I enjoy my work more becaus

halfpint1 Sun 20-Mar-22 11:01:22

Because I choose to

nanna8 Sun 20-Mar-22 11:03:42

Yes health certainly is wealth, Urms. Agree 100%.

lixy Sun 20-Mar-22 11:14:02

We too had plans to travel - I didn't inter-rail as a student and wanted to do that and also to walk along as much as I could of the Great Wall of China. All on hold now of course.
However we have moved to our beautiful bungalow with a garden that'll keep me busy for a long time. We are on the outskirts of a town with local shops and country walks. So not at all as we planned but very good nonetheless.

hulahoop Sun 20-Mar-22 11:41:49

I am another who had travel plans I was diagnosed with cancer 3months after I retired and oh also began to have poor health but we are still here and have a lovely family so no complaints.

MissAdventure Sun 20-Mar-22 11:47:46

Hope you're doing ok, hulahoop

BlueSky Sun 20-Mar-22 12:56:55

Like many we planned longer trips and perhaps winters abroad, but Covid put a stop to that. Now with the war in Europe, who knows? And we are not getting any younger or fitter. I’ve definitely lost my mojo now. sad

hollysteers Sun 20-Mar-22 14:46:56

My dream would be an apartment with a balcony overlooking a n old square i know in the hills of Majorca, not a touristy place but near the sea. To look down on all the vibrant life going on below would be heavenly.
However I can’t complain as I live in a seaside town less than 10 minutes from the centre, good bus and train services etc.

Dylis Sun 20-Mar-22 15:02:05

I always fancied a remote cottage in the country. I now realise how unrealistic that would be. No near neighbours in an emergency, no nipping to the shops/coffee shop/restaurant etc.
My friend stayed in her job until her mid 70s and refused to retire despite her husband begging her to spend time with him. Sadly he died a few months after she retired.

SusieB50 Sun 20-Mar-22 17:01:41

I retired at 64 to care for my aged mother - I was lucky just missed the change for women’s SP. DH and I had plans as he had already retired. But 6 months later DH was seriously ill so had two people to care for fortunately with my retired brother too ! After my mum died DH and I managed three lovely holidays in 6 months. Then he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died within 3 months . Moral of this story is just do it !!
I’m not going anywhere despite my DD saying she would love to have me move to her village with no buses trains or shops - no thanks . I’m content here .

nanna8 Mon 21-Mar-22 08:33:03

After all this Covid business and extreme Australian iso we have booked 3 holidays for the next 6 months thinking we might as well do it whilst we can . My DH is 80 so we are making the most of our time. My mum always said you are a long time dead and how right she was! Plus if there is a 3 rd World War and we are all wiped out ….

karmalady Mon 21-Mar-22 08:56:11

cottage in the woods. a pony to amble on, beehive, herbs, think cranford. Reality is that I was widowed, no-one now to share a lifetime with, to do jobs, to help me make decisions about what, where. So I have taken the safe route, detached symmetrical new build as like a cottage as possible. Centre door, red roof, porch, dormer windows, high but curved ceilings upstairs. I made an all-sorts garden with height to compensate for small.

Reality is that I have neighbours who care enough to give me their contact numbers, shops and all facilities in walking distance, available buses. If I could turn the clock back 20 years, I would have had that cottage in the woods but at that time there were two of us to consider, so I went with the flow and we were both happy

GagaJo Mon 21-Mar-22 09:26:12


My dream would be an apartment with a balcony overlooking a n old square i know in the hills of Majorca, not a touristy place but near the sea. To look down on all the vibrant life going on below would be heavenly.
However I can’t complain as I live in a seaside town less than 10 minutes from the centre, good bus and train services etc.

I lived that for a year, Hollysteers, on that island. Very Spanish village.

Natives really don't like Brits. We're ok as tourists but they don't like us living there. They see us as invading.

Not to mention, the winters are brutal. And many of the houses have no heating. We spent the winter in the kitchen.

It WAS beautiful tho. My DGS was born there.

henetha Mon 21-Mar-22 09:33:25

I always wanted to live in the country, and now I do. Something told me I would end up alone, and I did.
I always imagined having a cat when I was old, but I've got Wiggy instead.

halfpint1 Mon 21-Mar-22 09:42:05

Yes Gagajo the winters in France are no picnic either and heating a stone house is an unrewarding task. I have always had a winter holiday in England, cosy rooms.

Riverwalk Mon 21-Mar-22 10:04:56

I never really had any plans for retirement - the time went by just so quickly and all of a sudden found myself 67!

I do the odd bit of work so am still of the mindset that retirement is for old people smile