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“Re-tyring”-reshod for a new life

(This revealing article on Malcolm Bell, Wellington Co-ordinator of Silververve, first appeared in lifetime and is reprinted with permission).

Malcolm Bell, doesn’t use the ‘retirement’ word, he prefers ‘retyrement’ as he considers himself reshod with a new life at his disposal.

Turning 70 this year, Malcolm officially ‘retyred’ in 2017, but after a two-year break has been back working 10– 15 hours a week. Luckily, this continued through the lockdown.

‘Retyrement’ to Malcolm means doing just what he wants to do, and it turns out that’s quite a lot. When I call, he’s about to head into a meeting with a local secondary school principal as part of contract work he is undertaking for the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce. He’s helping young people better transition from education to employment, quite a challenge in the COVID-19 environment.

A former teacher with a 48-year career in education and politics, his career included working as a senior adviser to seven successive education ministers.

Then there’s the Hutt River Valley Rotary Club – he’s the incoming president, and the Education Leaders’ Forum he helps organise on a voluntary basis. Later he mentions Co=Gen, a programme he is forming with a fellow ‘retyree’ – coaching 21 to 39-year-olds on the cusp of middle management.

“One of the best things about retyrement is the alarm clock not going off at 5.45am. There is no train to catch or drive into town,” he says.

Now he gets to read the newspaper from cover to cover and take a walk with his wife each day. They often pick up the grandchildren from school and spend time with them.

“The saying goes ‘I don’t know how I had time for work once I retired’ and that’s certainly our case. But we’re not frantic, we’re not flat out. It’s being able to take on work that you want to do. You don’t have to do the sh..t stuff,” he says.

Malcolm and his wife retired at the same time.

“We decided that while we still had both our knees and our hips, and most of our brain, that we would retire. We wanted some “us time” to enjoy the fruits of our working years and to travel – which we did, and we’ve got a place in Taupō which we escape to.

“We’ve had a ball and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and we’ll continue to do so,” he says. “I’ve been learning all my life and I’m still learning now. Now I can spend time imparting some of that knowledge to others. I think it’s a really nice place for retirees to be.”

More on Co=Gen https://www.smartnet.co.nz/cogen/

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