Retirement and me: Man reveals how he tops up state pension by £400 a month | Personal Finance

Picture retirement and it could very well look very different to what another may think of. From pursing interests and hobbies to spending time with loved ones, to taking on caring roles, there is an array of ways in which a person may spend this time of their life. David has explained how he spends his retirement, as well as opening up about how he boosts his monthly income on top of the state pension and private pension income.

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David Griffin, 73, had originally planned to pursue a career in civil engineer, instead going on to work in sales.

He retired from his career when he was 60, and David and his wife – who have paid off their mortgage – moved from east Anglia to West Sussex in order to be close to the grandchildren.

David first retired at 60, with him and his wife living off her state pension, his “pretty useless” private pension, and rental income coming in from a second property they own.

However, retirement which David struggled with. He says: “I’m afraid I was just getting so bored – playing golf and generally doing very little.”

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Retirement and me is the series which looks at how people are spending their time and money (Image: GETTY)

He adds: “You can only play so much golf.”

David looked for a job, and while it proved to be difficult considering he had retired, around three years after first retiring, David got a full-time job in telesales, working five days a week.

When he turned 65, David claimed his state pension.

“The money was very good. I was getting my old age pension [and] I was getting £21,000 a year on telesales.”

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However, it came to a point when David was ready to stop working five days a week, cutting down his hours to two days a week so as to enjoy more of this time of his life with his wife, who had also retired.

Later, David moved to a different role, where he now works 10-hours a week across two days – all of which he does from home.

It’s something which he thinks “is marvellous”.

“Mainly, I’m working now purely to stop me going senile. If you can use the brain, and just think a little bit, it’s very dangerous,” he says.

“I work mainly now purely to use the brain, because I enjoy it. Talking with people.

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“You phone people and everybody’s different. It’s really enjoyable.”

While his decision to work in his 70s is a lifestyle choice, David explains the money is helpful too.

Earning £10 an hour, he gets around £400 a month – which works out at £4,800 over the course of the year.

“It means we can eat out a lot more. Occasionally, we can go away for weekends,” he explains.

“It’s definitely a help. It’s quite useful – I’ve got an extra £5,000 a year coming in – or just under.”

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This income is in addition to the state pension, and David explains he’s also got a “very small” private pension.

“It does help,” he says. “But as a I say the main reason for me carrying on working at 73 and hopefully a bit longer is purely to keep me occupied and because I enjoy it.”

David is a Saga member, and he and his wife go away for Saga getaways at Christmastime and have been on Saga holidays in the summer.

Are there any financial decisions David has made which he’s particularly happy about?

He reflects, and says opting to buy their current house in cash rather than getting a mortgage stands out as having been a good option for them.

“We knew that I was retiring, wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get a job, and so we paid cash [to pay the surplus on their new house after selling their property which was cheaper].”

“I tend to, now, not build up any debt,” he adds.