Dominic Thomas
Dec 2022  •  5 min read

Changing of the guard

I know that football isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it often provides useful metaphors. Whether you love or loathe it, I suspect that you have heard the name Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of the sport’s true superstars, with a career that has made him extraordinarily wealthy as his prolific goalscoring has resulted in team successes and trophies. At the age of 37 he is representing Portugal at his fifth World Cup (starting in 2006). His latest contract pays him £26m a year.

Yet on Tuesday evening, he was left ‘on the bench’ and watched as his team beat the Swiss 6-1 with a hat-trick from his replacement, Ramos some 20 years his junior. Few of us will contemplate retirement at 37, but in sporting terms, that is ‘getting on a bit’. Ronaldo and his many millions of admirers will have mixed feelings about seeing someone else take centre stage and provide an extremely good performance that threatens the possibility of Ronaldo’s normally guaranteed place in the starting line-up for the next match against Morocco on Saturday for a place in the semi-final. Those who know football, will observe that this is a normal experience for all players but rare for the superstars of the sport, but something that Ronaldo has only recently begun to experience at his club (or no longer his club).


There is no obvious way to prepare for retirement, for some it is a very sudden change of pace and evokes questions about purpose and meaning, for others there is a sense of relief, as though a great burden has been lifted. A recent webinar presented by researchers from academia, has found that most retirees are not very well prepared for the transition. Whilst finance and having enough money is a significant element of retirement, it certainly isn’t the sole consideration.

Researchers found that most people do not consider how a change in health may create problems where they live, if they are unable to drive, use public transport or have a hospital reasonably nearby. They also pointed to the underappreciation of social contact and community and how a once pleasant ‘get away from it all’ location becomes increasingly isolated from valuable personal connection.

One question that seems to be understood and answered differently in different countries is “when does middle age end? And when does old age begin?”. This reminded me of a clip that I saw recently in which it was argued ‘middle aged’ is between 35-50, being typically the mid-point in most people’s lives…

65 IS THE NEW 45…

Often, we hear “you are as old as you feel” I’m not convinced by that, but I do think having connections, community involvement, friends and family all help make life invigorated and outward looking. Pop star, material girl, Madonna will turn 65 in August 2023 (next summer) and if she had been a UK resident for long enough, paying her NI, would be eligible for her State Pension in 2024.

As for people who have already turned 65 in 2022 – Stephen Fry, Jo Brand, Nick Faldo, Jayne Torvill, Frank Skinner, Timothy Spall, Daniel Day Lewis, Siouxise Sioux, Fern Britton, Dawn French, Billy Bragg and Steve Davis are all part of the cohort that will collect their State Pension at 66 in 2023. As for Ronaldo, if he was eligible to claim a UK State Pension, under current rules he could do so when he is 68, which is in 2053, some thirty years time during which he would see a further seven World Cup tournaments.

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email