David and Karon Whenmouth were a couple facing an important juncture in their lives, with David fast approaching his retirement from the police force in April 2020.
David was not inspired by the opportunities that seemed to be available after his retirement, while Karon, an experienced and highly sought-after massage therapist who is not looking to retire for at least another decade, was wondering how best to spend the remainder of her career.
Following an initial PVL seminar and further support from its retirement specialist Mike Middleton, Dave is using his retirement to return to his original passion of farming, while Karon is also adjusting her professional work to be able to focus on new and exciting areas.
David said: “For my retirement, I was considering carrying on in a civilian role, but I really didn’t feel in my heart it was what I wanted to do.
“Mike worked with us to first of all look at it from the perspective of the lifestyle Karon and I wanted, and helped us break out of thinking we should carry on doing what we had always done.
“In his book, Mike talks about returning to your childhood and my career started at age 16 when I went to agricultural college and then worked on a farm for 5 years. My dream was to own a farm.
“I went onto teach farming, but sadly had to leave it when the industry went through the wringer many years ago because of the Common Agricultural Policy and many jobs were cut.
“I joined the police force and have had a great career there, but after 30 years you become comfortable and in a way protected, and the outside world looks a scary place.
“In fact, once I started looking at it differently, I realised that the police equips you with numerous skills, both through courses and your experience, that really are transferable and had actually equipped me with the skills for a much wider range of options than I first realised.
“I have decided for my retirement, which will be an active one, I will be able to return to my first love of farming. I will rent some land and keep horses and a tractor. To help finance this I will be starting in business maintaining paddocks and cutting grass with my tractor.
“It is so different and inspiring compared to what I just a year ago thought was a realistic retirement for me, and the guidance from Mike in his book, seminar and personally has been invaluable in allowing me to use my retirement to get back to my childhood dream of farming.”
Karon was also reconsidering what she wanted from her eventual retirement. With at least another decade of professional life as a physiotherapist, she wanted to consider how to make the most of this stage of her career.
Karon said: “I was definitely not looking to retire, and I had what I now realise is an old-fashioned view of retirement being you work hard and then stop. Mike’s coaching made me rethink a lot of my assumptions and undertake some exciting changes. This included enabling me to see a way to continue working within an industry that I love for many more years, focusing on less physical therapies, and simply reduce my working hours gently as time goes by
“Massage therapy is demanding on the therapist, and more so as you get older, and to enjoy my final 10 years as a self-employed therapist. He made me realise I needed to change the physical aspect of my work to get more longevity.
“I have already started this by undertaking two “light touch” courses so I can reduce both the hours and also the physical strain on me of providing the treatment by developing my ability to offer lighter touch therapies and expand this area of my work.
“The advice from Mike has helped me have exciting and practical plans so both Dave and I can have the sort of active and fulfilling retirement pursuing our passions with rewarding roles and the lifestyle we both want. He made both of us realise we don’t need to do a classic retirement, and instead we can use retirement to do the things that make our hearts beat.”