Six weeks ago, I played my last professional game of rugby. The chapter of my life that started with my debut at Newcastle at the age of 19, ended at 36 in Oxford with the final shrill of a referee's whistle. Just like that, Tom May, London Welsh captain became Tom May former rugby player. So what now?
Why on earth would you want to cash in your entire pension pot at age 55 when all the statistics point to you living well into your 80s? For many people, the answer is that you would be crazy to do so - you should leave the pot alone to let it grow and be thankful you will have a pension to fall back on when you reach 65.
Pensions are still regarded as incredibly complicated, scary and boring. We need to dispel the myth that investing in a pension scheme is hard work. For the woman at the party, the advantages of receiving valuable matching contributions from her employer had not got through. She had lost out on 10 years' free money between the ages of 25 to 35.
In the working population, the word retirement generally conjures up wistful thoughts of long lie-ins, lazy days, unlimited opportunities to pursue hobbies and the chance to finally get around to doing all of the things that you've never quite had time for. Is that really the reality of retirement though, and what can my 30-something generation expect in later life?
What is it about rock stars that won't make them quit while they're ahead? ... I mean, just think of some of the more hedonistic behaviour - eating bats (Ozzy Osbourne), the shark episode (Led Zepellin), urinating on the Alamo (Osbourne again) - if any of them behaved like that in a nursing home then they'd be dosed up and diagnosed with senile dementia.
Steven Gerrard announced his international retirement to a chorus of fans and experts claiming he did the right thing, but why is it left to players to make the call? After captaining England at their most disappointing World Cup, Gerrard has opted to call time on his international career, just as he was expected to do.