So here I am, sixty four and said to be looking healthy for my age. I have an early teacher's pension, not much, but it is regular, and my state pension comes in June 2015, along with a small rise in my teacher's pension. Then the text message arrives from the supply teaching agency: am I looking for long term teaching work, reply if I am seeking it? I have not replied. Why? I have already told them that my resignation date is April. So why don't I grab a bit more money? Easy, it's about lifestyle. I am building a lifestyle that puts long term employed work behind me, a lifestyle that fits in with my feelings and self-awareness. Yes, I know that schools are becoming desperate for qualified Religious Education Teachers, but I do not feel up to taking the high pressure of the state school system any longer. Know thyself; and it is simply a matter of saying that I know when to stop.
Pretirement means assessing where you are. You have to first consider your health and ability to take pressure. In my case my health is very good, but I feel less able to take high pressure situations of the kind that you find in school work. So that is stopping, but your self-awareness should show you what you can do, and there is so much that is possible. The key is to pace yourself. If you go with your natural pace you can work for ages. But if you over-pressure yourself, then you will feel it and be ill.
Retreating to activities that you enjoy is very desirable, as it maintains your motivation, enabling you to continue for many a year. These kind of activities combine work and recreation, so you are working but replenishing yourself at the same time. Some can be voluntary activities. My father, who died in 2004, at 82, spent much of his retirement working for the Catholic Church as a Eucharistic minister, lay reader, charity worker and as an organizer for parish events. A blessed retirement in which he earned nothing to add to his pension, he was happy doing what he loved.
For me, the recreational activities are writing and gardening. I am on the allotment committee and we give help to inexperienced gardeners, particularly to the handicapped people who have taken up a half plot. I have some economically profitable interests, but they are activities that I find amenable, and I can do these for years to come, please God.