There seems to be a scarcity of UK retirement blogs out there (other than those proffering financial advice) and in the absence of my being able to read about other people's experiences, I instead offer you my own "Great Big Retirement Adventure."

My husband (Mister E) and I have moved from the initial concept through the planning stages to implementation and this site is intended to record the whole process. What I am seeking from retirement is now very different to what I thought I was planning and has gradually developed into a quest for fitness and a desire for simplification, with a transition away from both a highly organised lifestyle and the personality traits reflecting a pedantic professional career. Indeed I recently described myself as "a goofy idiot" who enjoys smiling at sunflowers; a far cry from the pre-retirement professional and an indication of just how far I have travelled.

Please visit from time to time and do add your comments. The blog is in reverse chronological order but popular posts and those highlighting our journey are specifically pinpointed below on the right hand side together with a list of topics covered. Alternatively you may prefer to look at the summary or wisdom we have acquired or even our have done list with its retirement atlas and dip in and out of the blog using the links given.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Smartphone Dilemma

One issue that I am finding particularly perplexing in planning for retirement is the extent to which I would use a smartphone. At present the firm I work for provides me with an iPhone. It is a dream for keeping me in touch with the office and diary functions, contacts and e-mail in-boxes are all readily accessible. I understand that I can use it to play games or listen to music, but even if I owned it myself, I wouldn't.

For private use I still have a stainless steel Nokia slide as pictured above. Truth is I do find it (much to my chagrin and the amusement of those who know me) an item of singular aesthetic merit.  I carry it for potential emergencies and occasional text messages to the eldest or youngest when we are arranging to rendezvous; normally so that I can pick them up off a train or from a friend's home. Obviously I run it as a Pay as You Go, topping up my credit by a limited amount of £10 every 6 months or so. 

Yes I am a seriously limited mobile phone user.

I have an iPad, which, Skype and Facetime excepted, I can't make calls from but and save for the quality of the photographs compared to those taken with the iPhone, it does everything that an iPhone does but on a much larger and user friendly screen. Of course it is heavier and I can't see myself lugging it around in my handbag just on the off chance that I might want to make a diary appointment. If, however, I am travelling any distance then it always goes with me.

So the quandary is, do I need to replace my long-trusted and to my mind totally stylish Nokia with a smartphone? If I don't and in order to replicate the services provided by the iPhone, which has the advantage of synchronising seamlessly with my iPad, it seems that I might need:
1. A small digital camera;
2. A connector to easily upload photos from the camera to the iPad
3. A paper diary for contacts and appointments
4. The Nokia
5. A replacement battery for the said Nokia as the current one is becoming unreliable.

I suspect that I would actually use a smartphone more for photographs and as an electronic  diary and organiser than for the e-mails I pick up on my business phone now. Is the cost, however, justified when I no longer need a mobile office, so to speak? Also do I want to intrude upon retirement with a means for staying in touch and being contacted by every possible means? Shouldn't it be an opportunity for a slower paced way of life and maybe regression to an earlier pre-digital age?

Mister E and I have spent hours discussing the various permutations and I am none the wiser as to what to do. How do others manage in retirement?

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