The 6 secrets to a happy retirement

Don’t collect your final P45 before knowing the recipe to a happy retirement

Marcus Webb – Virgin Money Living Mentor

by Marcus Webb | Independent Money Mentor

Editor of Delayed Gratification and independent journalist


You’ve grafted all your life and now you’re ready to retire. Congratulations! You did it. Now’s the time to do all the things you’ve never had time to do. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to enjoy a happy retirement (spoiler: you best be ready for an action-packed adventure).

Move to the city

You know what’s rubbish? Living and working in a big city. The commute is an exercise in ritual humiliation, you’re too busy to do all the cultural things you moved there for and you have to squeeze a family of four into a place that would leave a potholer feeling claustrophobic. You know what’s amazing? Not working in a big city. Transport and museums are free and you’ll have them – and a host of great restaurants – mostly to yourself on a wet Wednesday afternoon.

Hit the road

The worst thing about having time on your hands is having to spend it with other people. A campervan lets you see the country but with the ability to up sticks whenever your neighbours get on your wick. See also canal boats.

Take a gap year

You’re wise enough to know you’re not going to ‘find yourself’ while wearing tie-dyed fisherman pants in an ashram in Goa, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be fun trying. And you don’t have to live like a backpacker. The rental income from a two-up two-down in Dorking can get you a beach-side mansion in many parts of the world. You need never endure a British winter again.

Get a decent hobby

Retirement doesn’t have to mean golf clubs and crochet circles – there’s a host of intriguing new pastimes out there including goat yoga, glee clubbing and bubble football.

Don’t retire

Start-ups aren’t solely the preserve of tight-trousered millennials. Now you have the time you can start your own edible jewellery line, hamster farm or launch that app you’ve been dreaming of - the world needs Tinder for dogs.

Pace yourself

The world’s oldest person, 117-year-old Jamaican Violet Brown hit retirement age 57 years ago. There’s a good chance she’s been drawing a pension for longer than you’ve been drawing breath. So remember this isn’t a postscript to the story of your life, it’s an entirely new volume. We can help you plan to make sure it’s a blockbuster.

Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.