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Working after retirement – an escape to the country

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Country air, yurts and log cabins - this was the getaway that drew Richard and Julie Arme from the big city to a quieter life in Yorkshire. We chatted to them to find out why working after retirement was their dream.
 

The start of a new adventure

When Richard and Julie became a couple, working in retirement was something they both agreed on, it was just a case of finding the right balance between work and life. They decided that, with their families grown up, it was time to take a step back and create a living out of what they enjoyed. So they retired from the city and escaped to the country to set up a business together.
 
One of their ideas was to run holiday cottages but when they came across Acorn Glade, they fell in love with it. They immediately set to work, creating an idyllic off-grid glamping site.
 
Richard, who previously worked in the City of London, said: “It was our dream to create a 'green' holiday experience that would also be a peaceful romantic retreat and so we were delighted to see it come to fruition.
 
“When we moved in, there was a lake, plenty of space… and a joint vision! It's been a hard slog to prepare the site, get though the red-tape and deal with the logistics, but we're thrilled with the result.”
 
One of the first events they held on the site was their own wedding. As Richard and Julie enjoyed celebrating what they had created together and the start of a new chapter for them both, they took a step back to soak up everything they’d achieved so far.
 
“When our families and friends came together for our wedding, we realised that everything was just right – all our hard work setting up the site had paid off and our wedding was the icing on the cake,” added Julie.
 

A change of pace

Before their new venture, Richard and Julie both had demanding jobs. Richard had a very senior position with an American bank, setting off to work at 5.30am each day and returning home at 7.30pm.
 
Disillusioned with the pressure this brought, Richard left the bank and started his own gardening business in the South. Having met Julie, he then moved up to Harrogate to be with her.
 
Julie was a Chartered Building Surveyor and Civil Engineer. Her job involved designing roads and sewers and trouble shooting on site, but she decided to give this up to teach crochet. She did this for a few years and transitioned this into a business, running crochet workshops for the local community and visitors at Acorn Glade.
 
Acorn Glade is a grown-ups only glamping site, with the main focus on relaxation. There's no wi-fi and no pets, and visitors are encouraged to enjoy the peace and explore their surroundings, before slipping into comfortable beds in the charming yurts or well-equipped, cosy log cabin.

Drawing on their skills

Strong believers of using your talents and adapting them to new circumstances, Richard and Julie feel their complementary abilities helped with the creation and development of Acorn Glade.
 
However, they still had to acquire many new skills that were specifically key to this business, such as customer management, marketing, vendor management and site maintenance, none of which they had experience in.
 
Julie gained extra knowledge on the planning side because they had to change the purpose of the site from personal to business and, while she was doing this, Richard gained a first class honours degree in Business Management from York St Johns University. This allowed him to apply the theory he learnt to their business, including ‘the 4 Ps of Positioning, Promotion, Price and People’.
 
“We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved here. It's taken a lot of hard work getting to where we are now but we are confident that visitors will love spending time here in such a romantic and tranquil setting… after all, we do!” says Julie. (Affirmative as we hear that the site is fully booked!)
 
“Don’t allow yourself to drift aimlessly, there's a lot more to be achieved in retired life! Working in retirement suits us, because we’ve adapted work to provide us with the lifestyle we want. We are in control, and no longer part of the rat race. This is very empowering.”
 
So, a new business, a new degree and a wedding all within 18 months! What’s next?
 

A not so traditional retirement

Julie and Richard don’t think they will ever retire, in the traditional sense of the word. They want to retire on their own terms. It is unlikely that they will cease managing and developing Acorn Glade for a very long time and they plan to continue working much further into ‘retirement’.
 
Even when they want to take a step back, they tell us that they would look to scale the business up or down to suit their requirements. They wish to manage Acorn Glade as a lifestyle business in a way that matches their desired way of life as it evolves.
 
Don’t allow yourself to drift aimlessly, there's a lot more to be achieved in retired life! Working in retirement suits us, because we’ve adapted work to provide us with the lifestyle we want. We are in control, and no longer part of the rat race. This is very empowering. - Julie.
 
Have you quit the rat race but still found a way to work in retirement? We’d love to hear your stories so please feel free to share them with us below.
 
This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.

Comments

Sounds lovely - would love to visit.
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I can't wait to be retired - but for some of us, it's quite a long way away!
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