When Retire Means Re-Tyre

Ever had to re-tyre your vehicle?

It can be costly, but its important!

I don’t always check the tread on my tyres, but those times when I do, it’s usually before I take a long journey with my family. To re-tyre could actually affect the distance I make, and the pleasure I get from it.

Allow me to introduce you to Brian and Shirley.

For decades, they travelled with boys and girls in the classroom, equipping and challenging them to achieve great things in life. Many have gone on to do just that.

A few years ago, they came to the end of that journey. If you knew them, you would have celebrated their selfless commitment to the cause of so many, and encouraged them to make the most of their retirement with a degree of self-indulgence.

But for Brian and Shirley, that kind of thinking was furthest from their minds. Barely had they ‘parked their vehicles’ before they set off again. The setting has changed, but the commitment to the cause and comforts of others, very often at the expense of their own, has remained.

Having just returned from visiting them in the beautiful English county of Norfolk, I found myself amazed at all they are doing for others in their community. They paint the homes of their neighbours and friends, they serve as volunteers in their small village convenient store, they help in the guided reading programme at the local primary school and they take an active role serving at events at their village hall.

What does this mean for Brian and Shirley? They’re loving every moment of it!

And they’re not alone!

A recent study by Merrill-Lynch found that seven out of ten retirees say that being generous is an important source of happiness in their retirement years. They feel they have a stronger sense of purpose, a higher self-esteem and are happy and healthy.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that giving and volunteering are associated with lower rates of depression, blood pressure, and mortality. Retirees are 3x more likely to say “helping people in need” brings them greater happiness versus “spending money on themselves”.

I’m a long way off from retiring, but I’m learning from these, that turning retire into “re-tyre” could actually affect the distance I make, and the pleasure I get from it.

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