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Retiring Well

Retiring Well started as a course for those approaching retirement and for those who have finished full time work in the last year. Retirement is a time of significant change for people. There are many ways to move towards and then into retirement and many issues to think though. It is now also available as a series of two Retiring Well Workbooks and a Facilitator's Manual.


The course can be run as a one, two or three day event or as a series of 6  to 8 mornings, afternoons or evenings on a fortnightly or monthly basis. It can be run as a small study group or in a retreat setting. It works best with 6 to 8 participants, although it can also be run with several table groups (or Zoom breakout rooms) in a larger setting. The course includes a mix of presentation from the front, interactive exercises in small groups and plenary, as well as opportunity for time alone to think, plan and pray.


Topics covered interlink as a series of jigsaw pieces. They include:

  1. How to make the most of Retiring Well 

  2. Opportunities & challenges in retirement

  3. Exploring God’s calling for your retirement

  4. Life journeys and life legacies

  5. Leaving work well

  6. An introduction to financial considerations for retirement

  7. The "Gap” possibility: developing a buffer between work and retirement

  8. A Christian perspective on retirement & growing old

  9. Supporting others, supporting yourself

  10. More time at home: for single living and those who are married

  11. Finding your new identity & self-worth without paid employment

  12. A balanced lifestyle: pacing life & use of time in retirement

  13. Staying or moving: key points about where to live and when to move
  14. Volunteering: opportunities & tips

  15. Developing your devotional life in retirement

  16. Further steps on the retirement journey


By the end of the course participants:

  • have had opportunity to personally consider some of the implications of retirement from full time work.

  • have been inspired to start praying and planning for their own purposeful, fulfilled retirement.

  • have been given resources to help them on their continuing retirement journey.

  • will hopefully and eventually have a purposeful, fruitful and  fulfilled retirement

"It was brilliant"

"Great: content, presentation, handouts, pace & participation of the other attendees."

"It has given me a process to work through as I consider the coming year or so, and plenty of food for thought."

"Helen was very warm, articulate and enabling and responded to us with wisdom and enthusiasm."

"Helen was a great facilitator, the content was practical & thought provoking"

"It covered topics I'd not even thought of"

"Retiring Well will have lifelong significance for me"

"Everyone should do it"

Retiring Well was developed by Helen Calder following her own journey from full time employment. She first ran it in 2017 as an evening life group for Emmanuel Church, South Croydon. She has also delivered Retiring Well as a day retreat at Vaughan Park Retreat and Conference Centre in New Zealand, at churches, retreat centres and conference centres in the UK and in a one to one mentoring format. 

A summary resource, Preparing for Retirement: some top tips, is included in the Personal Matters section of the Helen’s Headlines website.

Please contact Helen at if you would like further information on future Retiring Well courses.   


Helen has recently published a Retiring Well Workbook in two volumes  "Preparing for Retirement" and "New Patterns of Living in Retirement". These can be used individually or in a small group. There are 16 sessions on the same topics covered in the courses (see above). There is also a Facilitator’s Manual for those considering running a Retiring Well course locally. To purchase copies of the workbooks or for more information please contact Helen at

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