When contemplating retirement, and escape from 45 years of working under another person’s rules, you may want to prepare the ground by setting out the key principles by which this transition should proceed. The detail can follow.

And, unlike Theresa May’s five principles for exiting the EU, there is no hard deadline of March next year. You can always delay retirement and put up with your employer’s rules for a little longer!

Here are my five principles (with due respect to Mrs May):

Retirement means “Retirement”

You should be moving from one phase of life – one dictated by an employer’s rules – to a phase in life when you decide what rules to follow. The definition of “Retirement” is for you to determine but will include a large degree of self-determination.

Retirement must be sustainable

You will need a financial plan which is flexible to your changing circumstances (and may include periods of self-employment or part-time work) but is robust enough so that a return to full-time work can be avoided.

Protect your basic needs – food, shelter, heating

If the Beast from the East hits your personal finances in retirement, you will want to be able to meet the basics of food, shelter and heating from your everyday retirement income even if other luxuries are foregone.

Have a vision for what kind of retirement you want to enjoy

As we have written before, the Japanese have a notion of “Ikigai” which can be translated as one’s ‘purpose in life’. Studies have shown that having a sense of purpose in later life is important for maintaining good mental and physical health.

Consider your ‘nearest’ and ‘dearest’

It is quite possible that your nearest and dearest do not share your views on leaving the community of full time work and are anxious about how ‘your retirement’ will impact ‘them’. A positive and open relationship with family, friends and community is a key part of health and happiness in retirement.