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Retiring Well

Retiring Well is 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 journey towards and then into retirement and many issues to think though.

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

It is now also available as two Retiring Well Workbooks "Preparing for Retirement" and "New Patterns of Living in Retirement". There is a Facilitator's Manual for those wishing to run the course, using the workbooks, with a small group.

Hear Helen speak about retiring well

Helen has had several recent opportunities to speak about approaching and starting retirement:

  • Interview with Katie Tyler for BBC Local Radio in the South on 10th March. You can hear the 6 minute conversation here: Katie Tyler on BBC Radio Oxford - 10/03/2024 - BBC Sounds It’s about 1 hour 20 minutes into the programme.

  • Interview with Vicky Gibbens on UCB1 on 11th March. Here’s a link to the 15 minute interview: 

  • Interview with Chick Yuill on Premier Radio on 4th March. You can hear the 33 minute interview here: How should Christians retire? - Faith, Hope and Love with Chick Yuill - Premier Plus

  • At the Faith in Later Life Church Champions online event on 14th March when Helen was the speaker. You can watch this on the Faith in Later Life YouTube channel. Helen's talk is about 30 minutes, the whole programme including Q&As is about 50 minutes. 


Topics covered in both the course and the publications 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. Identity & self-worth without paid employment

  10. Supporting others, supporting yourself

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

  12. Staying on moving: where to live and when to move

  13. A balanced lifestyle: pacing life and use of time in retirement

  14. Volunteering: opportunities and tips
  15. Developing your devotional life in retirement

  16. Further steps on the retirement journey


By the end of the course or workbooks 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 an enjoyable, purposeful, fruitful and fulfilled retirement.

Here are some of the comments made by those who've attended Retiring Well...

"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"

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  Retiring Well courses and publications and to join the Retiring Well mailing list.   


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