Are you retired and living in the Greater Manchester area?

Manchester retirementIf you live in the Greater Manchester area of the UK, check out our Manchester Retirement blog...  it contains details of a wide range of leisure, wellbeing, education and voluntary opportunities that should keep you out of trouble!

Posts this week include:

Get Active with Active Lifestyles - run by Manchester City Council  and offering a range of weekly physical activity classes across the city suitable for older people.

Front Row: Film Showings for the Over 50's in Newton Heath

Volunteer Centre, Manchester  - provides information, support and training to Manchester residents who want to volunteer.

Take an Inspiration Day by Steve Pavlina

Inspiration dayThanks to Steve Pavlina for the following article.  Hopefully, you'll be inspired to take a day to try out something new!

Have you ever felt the urge to explore a totally different field, skill, or interest for a while?

What is it you’d like to try, if you only had the time? Music? Programming? Web design? Entrepreneurship? Camping? A new exercise? A better way of eating? A new social group?

But then of course, you talk yourself out of it, don’t you? You probably tell yourself things like:

I can’t be starting something new right now.

I have too many other things to deal with.

It would take a big commitment to get anywhere with this, and I don’t have that kind of time.

I’m not ready to transition yet.

No one is forcing you to commit though. Commitment is unnecessary at this point. Why not simply taste and sample your new interest? Give it a day to impress you.

Set aside one day to explore your new interest. Say yes to it for one day only. During that day let it guide you, lead you, and make its case for further exploration.

Fire up GarageBand, and try writing your very first song. It’ll probably suck, but so what? It will be your own creation.

Film some video with your phone, fire up iMovie, and make your first movie. You’ll learn a great deal by doing.

Go to an art supply store, tell an employee you want to try painting, and ask for help to buy the bare minimum supplies you need to paint for one day. Take it home, and paint the day away. See what flows through you. Maybe you’re more creative than you realize.

Spend a day researching and reading about a whole new field — the one that keeps coming up for you recently.

Go out and visit stores you wouldn’t ordinarily visit. Talk to the salespeople. Ask all the questions you can think of. Become as much of an expert as you can in one day.

Go vegan for a day, and you’ll save more water than you would by not showering for a year. There are thousands of free recipes online, so use Google to find them. Make a shopping list, cook up a storm, and have a feast.

Read about the equipment in a part of the gym you never visit. Learn some exercises you can do. Then do a full workout there. It will give you a nice sense of accomplishment.

Have you ever played tennis? Disc golf? The equipment is cheap. Go have your first game.

After that one immersive day, you’ll be a slightly different person. You’ll have a fresher understanding of your interest. And you’ll be in a better position to assess and evaluate whether you’d like to explore it further.

Maybe one day is all you need. You satisfied your curiosity and discovered that the door wasn’t for you. That’s a good outcome since you won’t have to worry about those distracting urges for years to come.

Maybe that day triggers many more questions. You got a taste, but it wasn’t enough. You want more. So take more inspiration days, half days, quarter days, or whatever you need to continue your exploration. Lean into it more.

Maybe that day was amazing — full of rapid learning and encouraging progress. You walked through a door and discovered a delightful new path. Wonderful! Keep going. Let the inspiration continue to motivate you.

What if nothing inspires you? Then you’re not listening very well. If you can’t hear the voice of inspiration, turn down the volume of everything else. Turn off the distractions like the constantly buzzing phone, sit quietly by yourself, and take an hour to simply listen. Reflect on your life, your lifestyle, your work or school, your relationships, your finances, and your body. Listen to your thoughts. Hear yourself think. Notice your feelings.

What’s nudging you to change, grow, or shift? Where do you notice a pushing or pulling sensation? Where’s the dissatisfaction? Where’s the disappointment? Where’s the gentle request to try something new and different?

Maybe you have many commitments already. Maybe you’re busy. Maybe you have some great excuses. Give your inspirations an outlet anyway — a small slice of your time. Otherwise they’ll poke you… then nag you… then eventually overload you with regret.

Give an inspiration a day to make its case. Open the box and peer inside. Listen, taste, and explore.

Are you feeling sleepy...?

Feeling sleepySleep is on my radar at the moment.  There have been a couple of memorable news items about sleep this week - one of which lead to me eating my breakfast this morning, gazing at a white sandy beach, with a gentle breeze stirring the leaves of a palm tree, whilst beautifully clear water lapped around the base of its trunk. 

First, I read about how having too much or too little sleep puts people with high blood pressure at risk of having a stroke.  (Unsurprisingly, 7 to 8 hours is considered to be the 'ideal'  amount.) 

Then I learned that millions of people are (apparently) turning to YouTube to cure their insomnia - by watching a video of an Irish waterfall.  So, naturally, I logged into YouTube for a little look which lead me to other relaxing videos and my new favourite thing - the 'Tropical Beach with Blue Sky White Sand and Palm Tree' (sic) video.  I'm sure it brought my blood pressure right down! 

(And before you write in and tell me it's just a 24-second loop of video repeated for 3 hours, I figured that out already but, once you've spent time working out where the loop repeats (watch the little pebble that gets picked up by the incoming wave), you can relax into it and it's probably the next best thing to actually being there. 

What's lighting you up today?

Lighting you upAbout 4 years ago, I changed the way I talk to clients about retirement.  I used to ask them what they wanted their retirement to look like.  And then I came to the realization that it doesn't matter a jot what their retirement LOOKS like.  It can LOOK happy, successful, prosperous - and all those other good things that we want our retirement to be... but if it doesn't FEEL good, then none of the rest matters!

So, with that in mind, I invite you to take a look at the coming week, and all the things you have planned for it and ask yourself these questions:

How do you FEEL about the stuff that you've got on your calendar?


How do you FEEL about the people you'll be spending your time with?

And, since I love a good thought-provoker, try these too:

What's lighting you up today?


What are you really looking forward to doing this week?

And, finally, if your answers to the above have left you feeling a little less than enthusiastic...

What's the next step?

7 Questions To Ask Yourself at the End of the Day

Question_markThe quick version: 

1.  What did I learn today?

2.  How do I feel?

3.  How did I make others feel?

4.  What can I do better tomorrow?

5.  What am I grateful for?

6.  How much stress did I experience?

7.  What made me smile? 

The longer version (from the Huffington Post and can be found here.

Retirement Business Ideas #8: Start a Household Clearance Business

House clearanceA household clearance business can be a huge help to a whole variety of people. The house clearers enter the homes of those who have deceased or vacated and essentially clean them out top to bottom. They get rid of everything inside from garbage to collectibles and everything in between.

How Does a Household Clearance Business Make Money?

A household clearance business generally makes money by selling the items they find inside the home. A home that’s been foreclosed on is often left full of furniture, appliances and equipment that the previous owners just couldn’t take with them. A clearance business can sell all of these items for a profit. In the case of foreclosure or a death, that’s generally how they profit. However, a clearance business can also charge by the hour or by the home or project.

What Do You Need to Start a Household Clearance Business?

If you’re going to be removing and transporting garbage, you’ll want to look into your local licensing regulations. Many communities require a special license for transporting waste. Additionally, you will likely want to make sure your business is insured.

You’ll need vehicles to transport all of the waste and items found inside the home. Storage for the items you find inside the home and intend to sell is also helpful. You may also need a few employees unless you are content to work long and laborious days on your own.

You’ll want to have some basic cleaning equipment as well. These might include gloves, shovels, and containers for waste and items to be removed. While no formal training or education is required, if you’re looking to sell collectibles then knowledge of antiques and collectibles will help.   Marketing Your Household Clearance Business

In this business it pays to have connections. You will want to connect with funeral homes that can pass out your card when a client asks for guidance. You can also connect with real estate agents who will be aware of foreclosed homes. You can also market your business online and in local business directories. Think about where someone would look for your service and then make sure you’re represented there.

Owning a household clearance business can be a lot of work but it can also be a lot of fun. You’re able to see real progress as you clear out a home. You might find rare and valuable items inside a home and you’re providing a service. If you don’t mind working the occasional long day and you do enjoy clearing, cleaning and selling items, then a household clearance business may be your dream opportunity.

Retirement Business Ideas #7: Start a Home Organizing Business

Home organizingOrganization is often the key to better productivity. It helps you stay sane, keep your home clean and perhaps live a better life.

However, many people don’t know how to organize. Or their homes have become so out of control, they just don’t know where to start. They need help. If you have a knack for organizing and creating effective systems, consider starting your own home organizing business.

What Is a Home Organizing Business?

A home organizer is someone who is paid to help people organize various aspects of their home. You can organize garages, basements, closets, kitchens, bedrooms, home offices and so on. As more and more people learn the value of an organized home, they’re realizing they need help to achieve it.

As a home organizer you would make money based on an hourly rate or per project.   You may want to consider specializing or creating a proprietary system. This would help you differentiate your business. It would also help you market your business and offer more value to your customers. For example, you could specialize in organizing garages or home offices.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

Starting a home organizing business is actually quite economical. You really only need a website and a few marketing materials. However, if you create a proprietary organizing system you may also need the supplies that support that system. For example, if you use a container system then you’d need to provide those containers to your client. You will also likely need reliable transportation to get to clients' homes and a phone.

You’ll also likely want to have some organization supplies. Even if you don’t use a proprietary system, some things like labels, containers and notepads might be helpful when you meet with a potential client.

No formal education is required to become a home organizer. However, you'll want to have good organization skills. You may also want to brush up on various organization methods and philosophies. Good communication skills and a desire to work closely with your clients will also help you succeed.

Marketing Your Home Organization Business

Marketing your business will likely be accomplished in a number of ways. Initially, you’ll probably want to create a business website. You’ll also want to consider local advertising and marketing tactics. The majority of your clients will be in and around your community. Consider the yellow pages, classified advertising and brochures and flyers. Also consider partnering with home designers, cleaning services and other home-related businesses. You can cross-promote each other.

Retirement Business Ideas #6: Start an Errand Business

Errand bizIf you’re looking to start your own retirement business and work from home, consider starting an errand running business. This type of business offers you the ability to help people, make personal connections with customers, and make a nice income. Here’s what you need to get started:


An errand running business has a number of potential customers. New mothers and mothers of young children are a fantastic audience. Additionally, the elderly or people that are home-bound can also benefit from your services. Finally, consider also targeting affluent customers who work twelve-hour days and don’t have time to complete many tasks.


As a concierge or the owner of an errand running business, you have many options. You can offer a number of services or you can specialize. Some options include:

  • Dry cleaning
  • Grocery shopping
  • Shopping
  • Post office/shipping
  • Banking
  • Appointment making
  • Buying tickets
  • Walking/caring for pets or taking them to the vet

You can also specialize in a specific type of task or service like financial errands which would require a high degree of trust. Research your competition to choose what services you offer and how you price them. You can charge by the hour, by the errand or offer package or membership pricing.

Start-Up Equipment

The wonderful thing about an errand business is that the start-up costs are extremely low. If you already own a reliable vehicle, your costs may be less than £100. However, you’ll also need a telephone and email address. If your phone has email capability and texting and instant messaging options, that will help your customers stay in touch with you. You’ll also want a computer, a website, and the means to invoice your customers.

Marketing Your Business

Initially your marketing campaign will be local. You’ll want a website for customers to reference and you’ll want to be listed on local search engines like Google Places. You will also likely want classified advertisements in your local papers, Gumtree or Craigslist and the yellow pages. Networking and word of mouth are perhaps your biggest sources of clients. Help your clients spread the word and consider offering a referral bonus. Flyer and brochures will help spread the word too.

An errand running business is a wonderful business if you’re personable and responsible. Additionally, it’ll help if you’re excited to start and grow a business focused on helping people. Research your competition, plan your business, and help meet the needs of your community. What are you waiting for?