Retirement Solutions – A Wake-up Call For ALL Ages

crystal-ball.px_250Come from my video and in a hurry to see what my business is? Click here.

One of the biggest mistakes in my life has been not planning my retirement solutions before it was too late.

Stupid as it sounds, I just didn't foresee how quickly the years would pass, and I didn't plan ahead far enough.

Think This Is Not For You?

Sorry – it's something you should think about before it's too late for YOU!

Whether you are….

  • Close to retirement
  • Already retired
  • Nowhere near retiring
  • OR you're planning early retirement

…..YOU can avoid making my mistake – or recover from it, as I am – even if you think you've missed the boat.

Why You Are NOT Planning Your Retirement Solutions

If you are like me these are some of the excuses I gave myself:

  • There's still plenty of time to sort that out
  • Heck – you do the lottery every week… your numbers could come up
  • You're sure you'll have a successful business before you retire
  • You can't imagine you will ever want to retire – you love what you do
  • You have more pressing things to spend your money on
  • Mistrust of pension companies

For me, that last one was well-founded. When my accountant finally persuaded me to start putting some money aside each month for a pension, I invested it with a well-respected and supposedly safe pension provider. The company subsequently went bust, taking most of my money with it.

I recovered some of it under a government compensation scheme – and of course there were people with far bigger losses than mine, and much closer to retirement. But it was a bitter pill to swallow.

dog-dog-with-dbYou might say “Ah, but there's more to being happy than money”. Dead right – but having money makes it so much easier to be happy. As my very wise Dad says:

#RetirementSolutions: If you can't be happy, you can at least be miserable in comfort Click To Tweet

Luckily my offline business is still thriving and bringing me in a decent income to supplement my poor pension planning.

Lucy-webBut even if you think (as I did) that you love your work so much you can't envisage ever wanting to retire – trust me, there will come a point when you want to spend more time doing the things you want to do, before it's too late.

Families grow up so fast – I missed much in my own children's lives. I want to spend more time with my beautiful grand-daughters.

And selfishly, I want to still have the money to go on “good” holidays before my travel insurance costs as much as the holiday!

Costs vs Income Retirement Estimator

bills_px_250Have you ever have given much thought to how far your income will stretch after retirement? If not, here's a simple way to look in your crystal ball.

After the loss of my first pension I took out another private pension, but it was too late to build up a decent pension pot so – if I were relying solely on my pension income I would be in a sorry financial state. For instance:

  • My monthly council tax costs more than the amount I receive for a week's pension
  • My monthly heating and electricity bill uses up about 75% of a week's pension
  • The holiday I have planned for later in the year is costing over 3 times my monthly pension income (excluding spending money and food!)
  • My last car repair bill cost 3 weeks of pension income
  • Thank goodness I paid off my mortgage some time ago! Have you?

To Make Your Own Retirement Estimator

I strongly suggest you obtain a pension income projection and compare your monthly out-goings to your expected income after retirement. If it doesn't look as if you are adequately planning for a comfortable retirement – or if you have already retired and struggling with your reduced income – it's never too late to make a change.

#RetirementSolutions: Making Hay While The Sun Shines Click To Tweet

Timely Planning For Retirement

piggy-bank-px_250One of the most obvious retirement solutions is that you should be saving hard for your retirement and – despite my own “lost the lot” experience – I still believe you should regularly put aside money for that inevitable rainy day:

  • A big unexpected bill
  • Redundancy
  • Sudden down-turn in your business
  • Or your spouse walks out on you without warning!

My ex-husband had an interesting philosophy to saving for retirement, and that was to focus on making more money to meet the bills, rather than adopting a scarcity mentality – scrimping and saving to reduce costs. I agree more with that sentiment now than I did at the time!

#Retirement Solutions: Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Click To Tweet

So if you are lucky enough to have an existing income it's wise to take advantage of it as early as possible and start using some of it towards planning for your retirement.

What Will Make You Happy In Retirement?

retired-couple-px_250Despite my Dad's tongue in cheek advice about being miserable in comfort, hopefully we all agree that there's more to being happy than just money.

What inspired this article was a very interesting radio program in the BBC Radio 4 “You and Yours” series.

It was based on a report prepared by the UK Office of National Statistics suggesting that, on average, people are most unhappy in their middle aged years (45 to 54), and this group experienced less personal well-being and higher anxiety levels than any other age group.

The report found that younger people and the over 65s were more satisfied with life than the “middle-aged” group. Presumably the “happy over-65s” they found had good retirement plans in place, which is becoming less and less likely in the prevailing economic climate!

The BBC wondered why the “middle ages” were so miserable and heard about these challenges from those ringing the programme:

  • Job pressures – threats of unemployment / redundancy
  • Financial problems and debt
  • Realization that life is now more about loss than about gain
  • Empty nest syndrome when “children” move out – OR –
  • Family stresses when “children” can't afford to leave the family home
  • Responsibilities caring for elderly parents
  • Concerns about planning for retirement
  • You feel that you've missed out on your dreams

old ageThe most miserable take-away message for me was that I'm apparently no longer “middle aged” – being over 54; does that make me “old”?

Well – you're as old as you feel and I still feel about thirty, so I shall ignore that side-swipe!

But the program put a positive spin to all the woes of the middle-ages, because it invited listeners to share the retirement solutions they used to beat the misery. Suggestions included:

  • Exercise – get those endorphins going, with the added benefit of improving your health
  • Find a community – which could be the pub, the Church, or volunteering for a favorite charity
  • Practice gratitude – for anything and everything: family, friends, health, just waking up to each new day
  • Live in the present – what's past can't be changed. So forget the regrets; fears for the future may never materialize; live for today
  • Take a new challenge – one lady had started studying to be a gold-smith! Others were looking to start a part-time business alongside present commitments so they would have a second income in place for later years

How To Have A Satisfying Retirement

It's never too early to start putting some of those tips in place, and I've already done several of them myself. Here are the steps I have taken for “me time”:

  • Weekly yoga and dancing classes
  • Meeting for a local book club (sometimes we even discuss the book we've read!)
  • Gone back to Church and started to get involved with some of their activities
  • And of course……

Starting An Online Business For Retirement Income

When I have more time on my hands my current spending levels are likely to go UP, rather than DOWN so I'm using an online business to bring in extra income for my retirement.

Here are two options I'm having success with:

  1. More effort required, but you can see income more quickly (month 1 in my case). Product based.
  2. Can be completely passive – with long-term (3-5 years) profitability OR take action and see faster results. Shares involved, so be prepared for a little risk, but spread into very small chunks.

Option 1 – Added September 2020

Regular readers will know that my preferred way of communication is my blog, but I have to confess that's been a pleasure rather than a money spinner.

So I'm delighted to have found a way to earn an income from blogging.

I'm working with a team of bloggers on a health and wellness blog, so that Google sends clients to us, rather than us having to hunt for them ourselves.

The theory has already proven itself, as within just a month of starting I've seen my first commission – and the best of it is that the sale came as a result of team efforts, rather than my own efforts.

Click here to read here how I improve my income from blogging.


Option 2 – Long-term profits, long-standing option, still successful

But because I don't want to spend forever and a day producing my own products I'm promoting a “done for you” system round a Private Members Club. Each month we are allocated SMALL stakes in exciting start-up companies and the club manages everything for us.

I pay an affordable monthly subscription and I can either sit back and just learn about the companies as they grow (one has quadrupled in size, one has launched on a stock exchange and doubled), or I can take a completely passive role.

Alternatively, if I want to build a business I have the option of earning an affiliate commission for introducing new members using ready-made videos produced by my team leader.

If that sounds attractive to you – contact me about the share club.


Warning About Some Retirement Businesses

retirement planningI can help you with the goal setting side of planning for retirement but I'm not a qualified financial advisor, and I do not give investment advice!

Only take financial advice about retirement solutions from a qualified and FCA regulated independent financial advisor. Here's the UK site to help you find a registered financial advisor. Outside the UK, please search for a similar organization in your own country.

Due your due diligence: changed pension regulations in the UK mean that scamsters are cold-calling people close to retirement age and conning them into taking out their pension pots to invest in “schemes” promising tempting returns that will never deliver.

Many have already lost their entire life-time savings to these scamsters.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably IS too good to be true. “Get rich quick” is more likely to be “Get poor quick”.

Never invest more than you can afford to lose, and always take professional, independent advice.

Your Retirement Plans Please…

I'd love to hear how you plan to finance your retirement – and please share this post if you know anyone who still hasn't got their plans in order!

  • Have you got your retirement solutions safely in place?
  • Or are you wondering how you will cope? Emotionally and / or financially?
  • Would you like to retire early?
  • Or do you think you'll never be able to afford to stop work?

I will never give you financial advice and I don't need it either. My finances are handled perfectly well by a qualified IFA. However as I'm successfully bridging the gap between full-time self-employment to part-time self-employment, please don't hesitate to contact me for a no-obligation chat about your goals and things to do in your retirement. Or even just to chat about how you are preparing for a satisfying retirement emotionally.



Joy Healey

I left it too late to plan for a financially secure retirement. Don't make my mistake. Start building an extra income with a part-time (or full-time) business online. Think you don't have time? Can't afford the start-up cost? Can't meet sales targets? Contact me for free advice (no obligation) on the best fit for your circumstances. Exciting retirement business opportunities here.

Donna Merrill - February 15, 2016

Hi Joy,

This is an interesting way of thinking about retirement.

It’s nice to think about all the options, instead of just assuming that you’ve just got to toe the line, so to speak.

It can be scary to think, as you said, that in your retirement years you will have to focus on the things you’ll have to lose, instead of what you can gain.

That’s a bit chilling for sure, but I think the real solution… besides several others you mentioned… is to “live in the present.”

I often think about my dogs, and they don’t seem to have any concept of getting older, or the winter beginning, or any other scary scenario. I’m convinced it’s because they don’t anticipate. They just live in the present and accept that it’s the only thing that really exists. The past is gone (forever) and the future is only something we anticipate, but may or may not be.


    Joy Healey - February 15, 2016

    Hi Donna,

    Yes, the programme did get me thinking about what to do after retirement, and I liked their suggestions – some of which I already do.

    At one level I can’t see me EVER retiring. We’re a family of workaholics, and my 93 y/o Dad is still very hands-on in his business. However, there are things I want and need to do, so my current self-employed / semi-retired state is good. I choose my own hours to work and can’t want for more than that, although I often wish my working day would end before 2am LOL

    I’m trying very hard to “live in the present”. I understand now that not doing so is causing me a lot of stress. Love the dog analogy, that’s one I can realluy relate to.

    My very wiser younger son told me “If not now, Mum, when?” when I was stressing about whether to take a particularly nice holiday. Yep, I booked it. Good old / young Matt.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Harleena Singh - February 15, 2016

Hi Joy,

Interesting topic 🙂

I say that because sooner or later, all of us are going to reach that age, which they call as the retirement age, though it differs in different countries I guess. But as you mentioned, you are actually as old as you think you are!

No, we haven’t thought of our retirement plans as yet, but we know what we are working for now will give us good returns when we reach a particular age, hopefully! Most of us who work online have such thoughts, and that’s one reason we ventured into the online world, isn’t it? I know of many people who have retired and now taken onto writing and blogging, to start a new chapter of their lives.

So, there is actually no age that defines you as retired – all you need is to be young at heart and have the spirit to carry on. Yes, your suggestions would help many.

Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    Joy Healey - February 22, 2016

    Hi Harleena,

    Ah, I have no fears for you two with your retirement plans! You’ve already built a solid online platform that I’m confident will take you comfortably into your later years.

    Yes, that’s the beauty of an online business – once the foundations are laid, you can continue “working it” from the comfort of your own home as long as you’re sound in body and mind. Exactly what we bloggers are aiming for and being able to start part-time, while still doing my main work, is perfect.

    I reckon blogging is a good challenge for the spirit, and the constant learning keeps us young too.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

James McAllister - February 16, 2016

Hi Joy!

I’m one of those looking to retire early – somewhere between the ages of 30 and 35 probably. Of course I don’t ever think I’ll stop for good but I do envision myself from doing this internet marketing thing as a business to more as a hobby. I love it too much and these days most of the benefits I get from it aren’t monetary.

So true that money isn’t everything, that’s actually why early retirement is so appealing to me. I won’t live off a lot (or at least I’m not expecting to) however I do value my time and growing up very poor, I’ve learned how to be happy with very little. Of course I want as much as I can get but there is a tradeoff.

My retirement plan is pretty simple – invest in index funds, live off 3.5% of my total assets + inflation every year until I’m gone, pass on everything that’s left to charity and family. Unless there’s some huge economic collapse that lasts for decades, this money should still continue to grow drastically over time, so I’m optimistic.

I’m also getting into real estate investing so that should provide some good income as well, although I may sell all of the properties when it comes time to retire.

Really looking forward to it!
– James McAllister

    Joy Healey - February 22, 2016

    Hi James,

    Thanks for an insight into your fascinating retirement plan – ambitious, but knowing you…. not a problem!

    And of course, building up your digital assets too will provide a solid recurring income to supplement you in retirement.

    My elder son DOES feel there’s going to be a huge economic collapse, but people will always need somewhere to live. I also have some rental properties that supplement my income, but they’re very stressful to run because the tenants always seem to find some job that needs doing. The UK tax system is changing soon and I may sell at least one of them – because the new laws mean it will hardly be worth while for that particular flat.

    But at least we’re thinking abou retirment. I suspect many are not !

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    I look forward to reading about your early “retirement” – every chance it will be before mine!

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Neena - February 19, 2016

Hi Joy,
You bring up a topic that scares most of us.

People are just living longer, darn it. 😉 And seriously, you want to build up that nest egg. But when you are young, it seems so far away. Before it isn’t.

Thanks for highlighting such an important issue.

    Joy Healey - February 19, 2016

    Hi Neena,

    I think I should have been more scared, earlier LOL.

    Of course I see both my sons making the same mistake that I did, and with no retirement plans in place because – just like I thought – it’s so far away, there’s plenty of time.

    It comes round sooner than you’d think, and I just hope everyone will have a good “Plan B” in place.

    Have a great weekend, Joy – Blogging After Dark

Kathryn Maclean - February 21, 2016

Your article Joy, comes at just the right time for me.
My husband recently went on a trip and the weather was really quite bad.
I wondered to myself what if he never comes back.
I had no idea of the bills and it really scared me to think of what would happen
as we have had a small business for 10 years but haven’t looked at any type of
retirement saving. So I am going to learn to handle all the bills for the house
hold as well as our two businesses and start saving for retirement or any event
of loss of revenue. Thanks for the eye opener!

    Joy Healey - February 21, 2016

    Hi Kathryn

    I know of two ladies who were left with a big wake-up call when their husbands tragically died, and they found they had no idea bot any of the household bills etc. Even my son took it as a reminder to get his own wife more involved.

    Working on the theory that if you prepare for it you hopefully won’t need it!

    However, as you’re already building an online business, and well past the “start-up learning curve” you’re well ahead of many people.

    But, never too early to start looking at finances when you retire.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Mary Sloane - February 21, 2016

Great article Joy and a good wake-up call.

It can happen to anyone. My husband and I thought we were all prepared and then some unexpected things happened and now we’re literally starting over and we’re not alone.

Each day I wake up grateful we both have sound minds and bodies and with that anything is possible.

I love the day and what I do so it can’t be so bad

To the top


    Joy Healey - February 22, 2016

    Hi Mary,

    It’s tough to have thought you’d sorted your plans for retirement then “Life” gets in the way and it all goes out of the window. Sorry to hear that, but as you say, you’re not the only ones.

    Again, with your thriving blog you’re in a better position than most to have an online business that you can build up.

    Healthy minds and bodies are so much more important, and it’s good that we enjoy life.

    Yup – see you at the top 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Edward Thorpe - February 22, 2016

Hi Joy,

Emotional subject for people who feel they haven’t done enough to ensure they have a safe retirement without running out of money when they may not be capable of caring for themselves. Life’s a risk, we all know. But, if it’s to be done, we must accept responsibility, as you so reasonably point out.

I’ve retired, so far, 4 times. Lost my money 3 times. And, looking forward to losing it again…

    Joy Healey - February 22, 2016

    Hi Edward,

    Yes, it’s a scary topic, but one that has to be faced.

    And as more of us are living longer (from reading the excellent advice on your blog!) the problem just gets bigger.

    I’m sure you won’t lose your money a 4th time – and if you do, perish the thought, I’ve no doubt that you’ll earn it back again just as quickly.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Adrienne - February 24, 2016

Hey Joy,

I KNOW what you mean, these years just creep up on us and the next thing you know we’re at “that” age. I now qualify as a senior citizen which is kind of scary actually. I love it though when I go to a restaurant that has discounts for senior citizens and I ask for them. They look at me like I’m nuts, which I LOVE, but it’s so very true. I’m there!

We had a family that used to live across the street from my Mom. Of course Mom has sense moved but they’re still there. They invested ALL of their retirement into Enron and they would have been filthy rich had it all worked out as they had planned but most people will remember what happened to Enron. They lost everything and by this time he’s no longer able to work. His mother had to help them financially and it was really a very sad state of affairs.

Even when you think you’re doing the best thing possible for your future, anything can happen to all of that hard earned money you invested throughout the years.

I wish I had started much earlier in life myself but I didn’t understand the importance of it at that time. I do know though that we all should be investing in our future and I love being able to plan a new one for me with my online business. I’ll be able to make so much more money doing this then I ever earned in corporate America.

Thanks for bringing this subject to light.


    Joy Healey - February 24, 2016

    Hi Adrienne,

    Ouch to those poor Enron investors – that’s terrible. Actually a failed pension company took a good chunk of my savings too.

    The old saying “If it’s to be, it’s up to me” is certainly one to remember these days. Which is precisely why I’m building my own online business – just part-time while I’m still working, but everything will already be in place when I need it – or if my current customers no loner need me! It gives me an extra string to my bow, which is a warm feeling in an uncertain world.

    Yes – here in London (UK) senior citizens like me get what’s called a Freedom Pass that lets us travel free on London Transport. It’s a brilliant perk – I had a lovely day out visiting The Bank Of England Museum on Monday – and all my travel was free. Entry to the Museum is free too – so well worth a trip!

    Enjoy the rest of your week, Joy – Blogging After Dark

Chery Schmidt - February 25, 2016

Hello Joy, Well I started saving for my retirement at age 24, each paycheck I added to my IRA! Well I thought my financial adviser had my best interests at heart, but when everything crashed..

Well there went all my money! I was left with a measly $4000, a far cry from the $30,000 I had in there.

So it was then time to rethink this strategy of mine! GRRRR

The best one I can come up with so far is my online business, it has taken me a lot of time and money to get it right but things are starting to look up. YEH

Great Share My Friend!
Chery :))

    Joy Healey - February 26, 2016

    Hi Chery

    Oh, that’s horrid. I had a similar one with my original retirement fund, quite a few years ago.

    We can only really rely on ourselves, can’t we?

    I’m really pleased your business is looking up – I know you’ve worked hard on it, so time to reap the rewards now.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Lesly Federici - March 11, 2016

Hi Joy,
Very packed with info and things to think about. All I can say is I’m glad I live in the 21st Century where there are so many options – IF you have an open mind. It’s not like it used to be when our parents were faced with retirement. I think absolutely having your own online business is the best … informative post .. thank you!

    Joy Healey - March 11, 2016

    Hi Lesly,

    You’re dead right about options being available to those who have an open mind!

    Many (most!) people I know socially just can’t conceive what or why I am doing what I do. I’ve stopped even talking to them about it. I just fear that if I didn’t keep soldiering away with my online business I would be sleeping in front of the TV at the times when my offline business is quiet. And we can’t have me relaxing can we LOL ?

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Monna Ellithorpe - March 11, 2016

Hi Joy,

Great topic to talk about and become aware of. It is so sad to hear of anyone who were planning and then something happened for their money to be gone or taken.

In my case, we just didn’t read the fine print to find out what we needed to do. We assumed too much and after my husband’s death, I was not “taken care of” as we thought we had planned.

Almost 8 years later and I’m ashamed to admit, I still haven’t done anything about it now but I now that I do need to start making some plans.

    Joy Healey - March 11, 2016

    Hi Monna,

    Well, I sort of forgot about it too, until it was far too late to do anything conventional. We won’t be the only ones.

    However we are both “doing something different” to prepare for retirement by running part-time businesses – which is probably more than many people.

    Perhaps by writing about what we do, and what happened to us, others will be helped to plan ahead.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Yvonne I. Wilson - March 14, 2016

Hello Joy

Awesome post! It is packed with a lot of information and great advice on the solutions for retirement. Planning is very essential and it is never too early to get yourself in the right frame of mind for this stage of life.

Initially, I just thought a savings would suffice but then I realized that a specific plan had to be made towards that end. There is a retirement package that I would benefit from my current workplace. The good thing about the package it is transferrable even if I change my workplace. I also have a retirement package built into my life insurance.

Thanks for the awareness. Have a great day.

    Joy Healey - March 14, 2016

    Hi Yvonne,

    Sadly I left it far too late for savings to do the trick!

    That’s really great that you have a retirement package from work.

    One of the very few downsides of being self-employed is that you have to make your own provisions – and I didn’t.

    Never mind – by running a part-time online business I’m setting up my Plan A!

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Michael - March 18, 2016

Hi Joy,

Nice post, and reminder to everyone on the importance of saving for retirement!

The best time to save for retirement is when you are young. You leverage the power of compounding.

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.” — Albert Einstein

The more you procrastinate saving for retirement, the more you will need to save to make up for it.

You might be interested in reading this post on the power of compounding – http://stretchadime.com/power-of-compounding/.


    Joy Healey - March 20, 2016

    Hi Michael

    While I agree that it’s important to save for retirement, I still prompt everyone to have their own business too. I saved and the firm collapsed, taking my money with it.

    Thanks for the interesting article – I don’t live in the USA so that helped me become familiar with some of the terms I’ve come across without fully understanding before.

    I loved the quote from Albert Einstein 🙂 I can actually see how that applies to my Premier Cashback business, where you leverage the power of repurchasing to compound your earnings. I hadn’t really thought of it like that !

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Sue Bride - April 2, 2016

I live off a part carer’s pension and rapidly dwindling savings and am hoping that what I earn online to be enough to keep me from having to sell my house (again). Selling and buying costs are a lot here in Australia so whatever I buy will have to cost a great deal less, which leaves few options. Because I work for myself and only part time I can’t join any retirement plans so don’t get the tax breaks that go with them.

Yes compound interest is great as long as you don’t have to withdraw it and more.

    Joy Healey - April 3, 2016

    Hi Sue,

    It’s tough for those of us who are self-employed and don’t have a good pension income. I know friends and family whose pension income is almost as much as when they were working. Of course they’ve saved and paid into it, but often their employer did so too.

    I guess we self-employed, without that luxury, will probably end up working for many years to come.

    I’ve just been looking at the WordPress and social media services you offer. You have a great portfolio there, and years of experience so I hope you get all the clients your talent deserves. I wish I had hired a professional such as yourself to set up my site instead of struggling alone. It would have been money well spent.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Comments are closed