Newcastillian launches book entitled The Next Step – The Road Through Retirement

Barry Smith, co-author of the book, The Next Step – The Road Through Retirement.

NEWCASTLE – Retirement does not only mean financial planning – it is a lifestyle change, say Durban authors, Andrew Blaine and Barry Smith.

While many look forward to a time when they can relax and tick off items on their bucket list, some fear boredom.

This has prompted the authors to launch a book entitled The Next Step – The Road Through Retirement, which is aimed at getting the best possible start to retirement by planning ahead.

In an exclusive interview with the Newcastle Advertiser, former Newcastillian, Barry Smith relayed the ins and outs of planning for retirement.

Based on research tempered by their own experiences, the authors leave the money issues to financial planners, and focus solely on retirement as another phase of life with unique and exciting opportunities.

The friends and co-authors began discussing writing the book in 2014, and published it in 2016.

“Our decision to write this book was based on the need to address the current problem of people retiring with no or very little planning and ultimately considering retirement to be the end of life! With the life span of individuals increasing, people are living longer. Some are not enjoying their retirement as much as they should.”

Mr Smith has more than 40 years’ experience in the banking industry, while Mr Blaine shares his expertise on entrepreneurial skills.

“We put our experiences together in the hope of helping people enjoy their retirement, and having a purpose for life. We stress the choices people have. People I have met after writing the book inform me of their regret of not reading the book before they retired,” said Mr Smith.

Finding a hobby is a good way to spend your golden years, said Mr Smith. Sitting around and watching TV is not the way to retire from work, he emphasised.

“I suggest one finds a hobby, such as reading or travelling. It does not have to cost you a lot of money to have fun,” said Mr Smith.

“People are petrified to go on retirement. But I say; you have worked so hard, you deserve to spend your time wisely and constructively,” he continued.

These self-published authors have successfully sold more than 400 copies and are on their fourth print run.

“The most important chapter for me is the lifestyle adjustment, among other aspects such as keeping fit and taking care of oneself.”

According to Mr Smith’s experience, the first few weeks of retirement are compared to a ‘honeymoon’ period.

“After a month or so, people eventually become bored and suddenly realise they are not having fun any more. Some enjoy working, and they don’t see themselves doing anything else in life.”

A customised way to ensure you have something to do, is to have a bucket list, advised Mr Smith.

“What are the things I really want to do? Some of the things you would not get around doing, but the list aids individuals to tap into their interests,”

Although Mr Smith is well into his retirement, he still is a business consultant and mentors aspiring writers.

“Your retirement should be the greatest years of your life,” he concluded.

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