How Michael Caine shows you that retirement can be the start of a brand-new adventure

the actor, Michael Caine, in a tuxedo

Since making his film debut in an uncredited walk-on role in 1950’s Morning Departure Sir Michael Caine has become a British icon.

The actor has appeared in more than 160 films including iconic roles in Get Carter, Alfie, The Italian Job, Educating Rita, and Harry Brown. He’s also won two Oscars, a BAFTA, and three Golden Globes, and has appeared in seven films that featured in the British Film Institute’s 100 greatest British films of the 20th century.

Now, as he enters his ninth decade, Caine is adding a new string to his bow – this time as an author. His debut novel, Deadly Game, will be published this November and features an ex-SAS police officer called Harry who must grapple with neo-Nazis, wealthy Russians, and Colombian drug cartels.

While becoming a debut novelist in your 90s is unusual, it goes to prove that you are never too old to start a new adventure. So, read on to find out why your retirement could represent an exciting new step, and for five more people who found great success in later life.

Retirement can be the start, not the end

Historically, retirement has often been seen as the end of something. For generations, retirement meant “stopping working” and living out your remaining years in the garden or in an armchair watching daytime television.

Since 2015, the way in which retirees can draw their later-life income has changed significantly. Now there’s lots more flexibility in terms of how and when you take your pension savings, and this means your options in retirement are far wider than before.

Indeed, research by Legal & General revealed that almost half of employees aged 55 or over (48%) expect that they will take a phased approach to retirement rather than completely stopping. This may include reducing hours or responsibilities in anticipation of later retiring.

Your retirement is the perfect opportunity to do many of the things you want to do in life. You might take up a new hobby, learn new skills, or even set up your own business. Bernard Marcus was 50 years old when he co-founded the American retailer Home Depot in 1978 – a company that generated more than $150 billion in revenue in 2022.

Longevity experts often point to the Japanese concept of “ikigai” when it comes to living a long and fulfilling life. Ikigai roughly translates as “reason for being” and suggests that people with a clear purpose in life can often live longer and healthier lives.

Your “ikigai” might not be your work, but it could be other areas of life that give you meaning. This might be a hobby, volunteering, or another pursuit that nourishes your mind and emotions.

For inspiration, here are five people who found success in later life.

1. Ray Kroc

In 1954, Ray Kroc ate at a restaurant run by two brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald. Kroc was impressed with their food and operation, so the following year, when he was 52, he turned their business into a franchise and created the McDonald’s System, Inc.

The food became an instant success, selling the 100 millionth McDonald’s burger just three years later. Kroc bought the company for $2.7 million in 1961 at the age of 58 and, by the time of his death in 1984, the total system-wide sales of its restaurants were more than $8 billion and his personal fortune amounted to some $600 million.

2. Ariana Huffington

An immigrant from Greece, Arianna Huffington first worked as a writer and radio presenter. However, it wasn’t until she launched The Huffington Post (now known as “HuffPost”) in 2005 at the age of 55.

The commentary and news site slowly gained momentum, becoming known as one of the most influential blogs in the world and the first commercially run United States digital media enterprise to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Huffington sold the business to AOL in 2012 for $315 million.

3. Fauja Singh

Born in Punjab, Singh suffered from a disorder that left him unable to take his first steps until the age of five.

In the 1990s, the deaths of his wife, his eldest daughter who had died from complications after giving birth to his third granddaughter, and his fifth son, Kuldip, gave him the determination for a new focus in his life – and his passion for running became his “ikigai”. He was in his late 80s at the time.

He ran his first marathon at the age of 89 and became the first 100-year-old to run a marathon in 2011. He carried the Olympic torch at the age of 101 and has broken several running records in his age category.

4. Nelson Mandela

At the age of 45, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment having been found guilty on four counts of sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow the government.

Having spent 26 years incarcerated – including 18 years in the notorious Robben Island prison – Mandela was released on 11 February 1990. Four years later, after the African National Congress swept to victory in the general election, Mandela was formally elected as South Africa’s first black chief. He became South Africa’s president at the age of 75.

5. Colonel Harland Sanders

At the age of 40, after serving in the military and working several different jobs, Harland Sanders ran a service station in Kentucky and began to serve fried chicken to attract more customers.

Over the next few years, he became famous for his recipe and, at the age of 62, Sanders launched Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) when he franchised his recipe to a friend in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1952.

A decade later, the company had grown to hundreds of franchises, and Sanders sold his ownership in 1964 for $2 million. In 2022, KFC’s turnover was $6.8 billion.

Get in touch

As these fascinating characters show, your retirement could be the ideal opportunity for you to start an exciting new phase of your life.

To find out how we can help you to reach your retirement goals, please get in touch. Email or call us on 01454 416653.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

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