About Us

A woman and a man talking about travel guides

In researching retirement lifestyles we found that the vast majority of retirement information that is published is about financial planning. Whilst financial planning is an important subject, it can be a bit boring, and there’s lots more to having a satisfying and rewarding retirement. So, this retirement lifestyle blog was born.

We – Rowan Rafferty and Jan Wild – are Australian baby boomers, who wanted to explore new horizons whilst re-wiring towards a fulfilling retirement.

Our retirement story

In our 50s we were living in Melbourne, in a beautiful home that we had renovated. We were very focussed on building our personal wealth towards being financially secure in retirement. We had each had some financial ups and downs, we were reasonably comfortable but had some uncertainties.

We spoke to several financial advisers, with varying levels of satisfaction and outcomes, but finally found a good one who recommended we establish a self-managed superannuation fund. We then began to work with our excellent accountants to set up and manage the fund.

So we thought, we are all set up to have a great retirement!

As part of our financial planning we realised that our Melbourne home had experienced considerable capital growth and that in a sense we could not longer afford to live there – we could, but we could also sell up and invest that money elsewhere for better cashflow.

During this time we had fallen in love with the picturesque coastal village of Mallacoota, and purchased a 2 acre sloping block of land overlooking the lake and the ocean. We had visions of building our dream home, growing our own produce and living out our remaining days in peace and harmony.

Enter a double hip replacement for Rowan (2 acres, sloping block?), but even that didn’t dissuade us, so we sold up in Melbourne, had the dream house built and moved to Mallacoota.

On reflection this is when we made our big mistake and we realised that retirement is about much, much more than financial security. We found ourselves isolated and unhappy and stuck with a beautiful home in a very flat real estate market.

You can read all the details in this blog post.

Our experience inspired us to dig deep into what a great retirement might really mean, including where to live. It took us around 3 years to sell the property and we did so at a financial loss. But at the same time we realised that we had learnt a lot that could benefit others who are planning their retirement. Or perhaps those who had already retired but had hit some road blocks or were just feeling unfulfilled.  We started this blog.

What you can expect from the blog

Our motivation for the blog is to not just help you avoid problems, in fact our real motivation is to help you to realise you are entering, or in, what should and can be, the best time of your life.

Let’s read that again, and excuse us for shouting RETIREMENT CAN AND SHOULD BE THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE!

We are now living a wonderful life in Noosaville. We didn’t build our home ourselves, it doesn’t have an ocean view, but we are surrounded by the world’s best neighbours, we are rich in friendships and family and are now happy.

We have now been blogging for almost 4 years, we have learnt a lot, made a few mistakes and met so many wonderful retirees. We have worked with amazing brands and had some fabulous guest authors share their story and their wisdom. We continue to learn new things every day and we have built sustaining connections all around the world.

We want to share those learnings with you, we want to inspire you.

We want to provide you with useful retirement information and to create a community which will enthuse you. We hope you will have some fun, explore possibilities, expand horizons, wonder “what if”, and share your experiences and ideas within our community. At the same time, we want to share some of our thoughts, and talk about things that we and our friends have found important to consider and discuss.

Location, relationships, physical health, time management, mental health, a sense of meaning, are all considered in the information on the blog. You might be wondering what to do in retirement? This blog is designed to help answer that question for you.

When should you start your retirement planning?

Some of our friends have started their planning in their 40s, others not until well into their 60s. The choice is yours but we would suggest that the sooner you start the better. Your plan will evolve over time, as you near retirement and as you move into and through your retirement. Unanticipated influences may affect your plan along the way; for example, health and family issues. We have found that being semi-retired has been quite different to what we imagined, and that in itself has resulted in changes to our plans….r

Retirement is a time of great expectation for our generation, unlike many of our parents’ generation. No longer does the male of the species typically leave work and then drop dead.  Many women have had careers that have been satisfying and stimulating. Both genders now seek a retirement lifestyle that is fulfilling. With our longevity increasing, your retirement is likely to be a longer period of life; all the more important that you should plan carefully for it. Our aim is to help you with that planning.

You don’t have to be planning to fully retire either (we both consider ourselves semi-retired or re-wired) but you do need to think about how you want your life to be in ‘retirement’, whatever that means to you.

How to use this blog

Retiring not Shy! is designed to share experiences, not just ours. We want to hear about your experiences as well. We invite you to comment on the blog posts and to join us on social media.

The blog is a series of posts which we hope will encourage you to explore options and be inspired, as you create your retirement plan. You can navigate the various retirement planning topics by using the Categories and/or the Search box. And of course you can follow the highlighted links between the pages to continue reading about a topic of interest.

Read more here about our attitude to retirement lifestyle planning.

Please read our Disclosure Policy. We aim to share what we have learned but not to give advice.