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Found this on my computer


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Browsing through some old files in my "Documents" folder and came across this from 2010.  Very glad to say it's all worked out well.  As I approach my 73rd birthday life is still good:2_thumbs_up_-_animated:


Life After Window Cleaning


I am the Messiah of the Shammy, the Squeegee and the Pole, and I am here to exhort you to mend your ways, expand your horizons and PREPARE. For verily there IS life after window cleaning, for I have seen it and am sent to spread the word


I retired (officially) in December 2009


I gave my last few hundred pounds worth of work to my latest recruit a couple of months ago, laid down my pole and relaxed.  No more alarm clocks, I wake when lying in becomes boring.  No more ‘ring the night before’s’, or trying to remember to put the battery on charge.  My scrim hangs stiffly in the van, dried to a crisp – the remnants of soapy water congeal in the bottom of my BOB (I always was a lazy, messy type).


I no longer clean windows.


Do I miss it?  Actually, NO! 


I’ve spent today preparing our motorhome for it’s first real outing of the year – the weather hasn’t been too kind up to now, but the weekend is set to be glorious, so Lise, I and our ancient greyhound are off to a nice secluded ‘Temporary Holiday Site’ for a few days.  Total relaxation, fresh air (didn’t I get plenty of that in a previous incarnation?)  Gentle walks (the greyhound can’t manage more than a mile or so)** regular beer, pub lunches, quiet evenings stretched out on the deep cushions in the rear lounge of the ‘van with a book, a glass of scotch and some pleasant music.


**(Now sadly departed many years ago)


And in the fullness of time we shall return, to the list of quote requests, complaints and sales calls faithfully recorded on our answer machine.  I shall confront them in the carefree, relaxed manner I have adopted.  Sales calls will be ignored; complaints will be relayed to whoever caused the wrath of the ‘always right’ customer and the quote requests I shall deal with in due course.  This is the only ‘real’ work I do, following up on enquiries, and I have to admit I still get the same quickening in the gut, the rush of adrenalin as I wax lyrical about the benefits of WFP and the infinitely satisfying feeling when I hear the words; “Yes, that sounds fine, when will the first time be?”


But the MOST satisfying part is knowing that retirement doesn’t mean we have to balance paying the bills with eating or not eating.  I paid in to a private pension fund for many years, and it was a total con.  My retirement fund was barely more than the total of contributions I made, although I was promised up to 50% growth on everything I invested.  My State pension wouldn’t pay for food, never mind gas, electric, council tax etc etc.


I was extremely lucky.  The scales fell from my eyes and I saw the truth.  In the nick of time (about six or seven years ago)** I realised doing nothing would condemn me to working till I dropped.


**(That would have been about 2002)


I thought, I schemed, I made plans.  And the PLAN worked. 


And so I say unto you: Your time will come.  You will reach the crossroads where you can take the lower road, and sweat and toil until your muscles and sinews crack, and  your body wilts under the strain of living, or you can take the high road and enjoy, for there really is life after window cleaning.


Which brings me back to where I started: PREPARE.  It’s never too soon to begin.  Make plans while you still have time, and whatever you do, don’t rely on the State, or the criminal ‘personal pension’ system. (If inflation is running at 3.5% and savings interest is 0.05% then every £1,000 you salt away will be worth £965.48 at the end of the first year, without paying the investment company’s commission – how much will you have left after, say, 25 years?)


I have faith.  I know window cleaners are clever, resourceful people.  Off you go, think, plan and prepare, because if you don’t do it for yourself, then sure as birds **** on glass, no one will do it for you.

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