Retirement: where, when and how

May 20, 2016 2:32 pm

Planning for retirement

I am one of those who, despite enjoying work, is looking forward to retirement.

I resent commuting and I wish that I could spend unhurried time with those I love, doing the things I like. In short I want plenty of quality time with my partner before arthritis strikes us down.

However, there are many issues to consider in order to ensure a happy retirement. The first and maybe the most important is where, which is very much dependant on when, which translates quickly into how.

When to retire

Like the majority of pre-retirement people I have to make provision for my future. I have to assess my forthcoming income as well estimate my expenses. I must try to reconcile financial reality with desires. I may be getting ready to retire emotionally but I not yet be able to financially. Maybe a small part-time job, working from home or consultancy work would help, but for that I need to be not too far from London. The kids do not need me anymore as the bank of last resort, but as the always available baby sitter. For that too I need to be close to London. I can dispose of my wealth, downsizing, but I am still wary of not getting enough income. I would like to find a way to live more cheaply without losing quality of life.

Where to retire

Taking into account ‘when to retire’ I understand that I must not settle too far from London but still in a cheaper area. Essex is perfectly situated, an easy commute, with wonderful countryside, dynamic towns and the sea. I am not surprised that Essex is one of the top destinations for young retirees. The last thing I want is to buy slippers and a big screen TV. I would like to do volunteering and kickboxing. Most importantly I would like to live my life independently but be surrounded by likeminded people

How to retire

I have a longing for cosiness and wellbeing. I will never give up my freedom and private space but I crave chance meetings in communal spaces, the unplanned sharing of meal with friends and socialising without having to take a bus. Despite good health, both my partner and I are aware that we may live some years without the other one, and that makes us wary of isolation.  I know that the children would feel relieved if I could find a safe place surrounded by people who care, without losing any of my independence both physical and financial.

The cohousing retirement solution:   independence, privacy and friendship


A cohousing meeting

Cannock Mill Cohousing is being designed and managed by its members. Its architect is one of us and not a bill is paid without the members’ consent. We have created a community of friends and equals with a solid sense of reality and a good amount of humour. Sharing utilities, a car pool and much more, works out cheaper than having to buy everything for only a small household. We are having our comfortable low-energy private houses designed to be adapted easily for restricted mobility, and restoring a lovely Mill to be used as communal rooms. We chose Colchester for its vibrancy and closeness to London. As a community we hope to give each member the opportunity to enjoy their retirement to the full.


On Twitter as @evetibber

Discover what homes Cannock Mill Cohousing still has available.