Perhaps I'll set a background to my retirement. Born in 1943, I was of the generation deeply affected by war. Brought up by my mother with two sisters and a brother, I had a very happy childhood.After wasting my education at Churchers College in Petersfield I left school at 16. I worked for a County Council, then a Borough Council where I qualified as an accountant.By the time I was 30, I was married, had three daughters and was working for my sixth local authority as Finance Director.Then in 1976 I joined New Forest Council as Treasurer becoming Chief Executive in 1989.
So by my early 50s I had been in a top management role for over twenty years. Demanding but, on the whole, happy years. Even after all these years I still decline to talk openly about events and people from my years in public life.I'm not going to change now.I decided I wanted to retire.For many people, early retirement is a polite form of dismissal. In my case it was perhaps the reverse. I wanted to go. I no longer wished to work for politicians.And that's as far I will ever go in talking about my career.
So for me, retirement was a golden opportunity to be free to determine my own way of living. I was in a fortunate position of having a retirement package commensurate with my level of responsibility. So I really had no need to seek any form of paid employment.
I was a lucky man.