"Retirement gives you a fresh start to re-define who and what you are."

Gill has many pertinent points regarding retirees and their ‘second life’:

It’s an old adage, but the world truly is your oyster once you retire. You’ve finally got the opportunity to do all the exciting things you’ve wanted to do like travel, watching sport or taking up a new hobby. Brilliant. But sometimes the shine can come off and suddenly you find yourself with more time than you can fill and the need to feel more fulfilled. You need a sense of purpose, to feel significant, that you’re making a contribution - and with so much to offer, why shouldn’t you direct that into a new venture?

You’ll need to plan. Not just for the year after retirement but the years after too. During your police career you have gained many skills that may be transferable to a second career. Skills like team working, customer focus, problem solving, communication, negotiation, resilience, personal responsibility and respect. All valuable attributes that many employers find are in short supply. We can help you draw up a CV to boost your chances of finding new employment as well as interview hints and tips.

Being our own boss

There’s no better time to fulfill this ambition that may have been niggling away at you. It takes a lot of drive to do it, but the rewards can be amazing. For those interested, I always like to offer the following guidance:

Have a plan – You’re more likely to be successful if it’s something that interests you, which you’re passionate about. But equally, think carefully before turning your hobby into your work as you may lose your hobby.

Do your research - know your market, your customers, and your competitors. What makes your business different from the rest? The web can be a great place for this. Are you going to be a ‘Sole Trader’ or are you looking to set up as a ‘Limited Company?’ Most people are surprised to find that HMRC are often the best people to approach for help and guidance on going into business for yourself. As well as offering a plethora of online tutorials, they also have a ‘Business Education Support Team.’ You can find a link to their ‘webinars’ and helpline in the ‘Useful Links’ in the Second Careers section of our Retirement Centre.

Most people are put off working for themselves because of the fear of completing a tax return, amongst other things, but it’s really not that daunting and there’s plenty of help and support available from other sources such as EPIC and Chambers of Commerce.

This can be a really exciting time and sometimes you have to just go for it. One of my favourite quotes is, ‘Opportunity is very often missed because it usually comes disguised as hard work.’

Keeping body and mind fit

Whilst we naturally tend to focus on the financial aspects of retirement, securing the best possible returns on our money is of little use if we don’t have the health to enjoy it. Retirement requires a balance between maintaining our lifestyle as well as our physical and mental capability. It doesn’t just happen all on its own but is something to be worked at. It can be surprising how active we have been to how inactive we quickly become, but the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to keep yourself in good shape and our Retirement Centre has got some great suggestions.


Gill Leggett
Police Volunteer Co-ordinator