Monday, 6 August 2012

Why, Larry?

16 years ago I sold my business that I had previously managed for 16 years.  The return from all the years of hard work, long hours, and stress was more than generous.  I was free from all the pressures of running a recruitment business with 24 offices, supplying up to 4,000 people a week to hundreds of different companies. 

With mixed emotions, I banked my cheque and headed off for sunnier lands with my wife Michele and my three children aged 13, 11, and eight. For two years I worked for a charity organisation helping new immigrants, mainly from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia settle into life in a new land. 

It was a time when I really got to know my children, something I would have missed if I had not sold out.  This was a joy and something I will forever appreciate,  but I really missed the UK. My work with the charity and the adventure overseas just masked the fact that I was retired. 

So, we packed up once again and returned to the UK, unemployed, yet relatively financially independent.  Sounds good, sounds lucky, sounds like most people’s dream, but in reality I felt bereft, lonely, and a little irrelevant, a lot like empty nest syndrome and definitely not that sexy.

After a few weeks back in the UK I was contacted by my financial advisors, one of the largest accountancy firms in the world, who asked me if I would be interested in presenting at a conference that was designed for high worth individuals considering retirement.  For the company it was a great opportunity, at this level if a client retired they would often sell their businesses which meant the company would receive some high fees. 

They said that I would have the closing spot which would deal with the emotional aspects of retirement and of course they would pay me for the work.  I was so excited for the prospect of some real work, three paid conferences.  I began to feel alive again and set to preparing for my entry into the world of conference speakers, which unfortunately, in relation to this firm was to be short lived. 

I called the speech ‘How to retire and still have a great sex life’ in which I described the journey I had made from feeling relevant, with a routine, a purpose, status and a life that was full of interesting and challenging conversations with both colleagues and customers, to my present state.  I warned the audience that whether you’re a Director or at a lower level, once you have given up work and are in that period of re- establishing your life, you often didn’t feel as sexy as you may have before.  That bit of information, together with the fact that a number of delegates said that they had second thoughts about giving up work after hearing about my experiences, I found myself promptly unemployed after just one gig.

Writing the book Great Retirement Great Sex has actually taken me more than 14 years. The first version was written 12 years ago when I was too young to fully appreciate the challenges of this stage of my life.  This final version focuses not only on how to cope with this life changing event but looks in great detail at how our sex life changes over this period.  I have been inspired by people’s accounts of how sex continues to play an important part in our lives just through our 60’s and beyond. 

So, if you want a book that will show you how to have amazing penetrative sex with multiple orgasms then you may be disappointed.  Society assumes that your sex-life must fizzle out at a certain age, but thankfully this is nonsense.  As you can discover, a great sex-life is built on intimacy rather than intercourse and represents an intrinsic aspect of our personal well-being.  If you want to have a great sex-life by making simple and practical changes then read the book.

Next week with you I will tell you about the Pledge. This is the beginning of the road to a happier life – whatever your age!