Helms and Els van der Vegte together followed the course Pension in sight

“The pension is eand new beginning, not the end of your life.”

You can do the Pension at a Glance course alone or with your partner. The 65-year-old Helms van der Vegte opted for the latter. Together with his wife Els he participated in the three-day course at De Essenburgh Castle. “I’ve learned not to make every day a vacation day. Besides: retirement is a new beginning and not the end of your life.”

Until recently Helms worked at Royal HaskoningDHV, in recent years as head of procurement. “I was looking forward to retirement,” he says. “But I did have to pry myself away from the company. At first I thought it was a bit too early for me. But at some point I decided to retire a year early. The HR department advised me to take a pension training course. I thought, ‘Well, you always learn something. We decided to sign up together.”

Overwhelmingly enthusiastic

“Actually, we thought we all knew,” Helms admits. “My wife wasn’t too keen on coming along beforehand either. But afterwards she was really enthusiastic. The course is well organised. The location is beautiful, you really get away from it all for three days. We followed the course together with like-minded people whom we all knew quite well by the end. And they knew us.


The course itself was, according to Helms, “very enlightening.” It gave them both new insights. “I already had a picture of retirement. I have a house, a boat and a garden with overdue maintenance. I have children we want to be there for and I’m a member of a boat owners association. When you’re retired, you have time for everything. But you shouldn’t turn every day into a holiday. And you have to keep celebrating the weekend. Don’t go around enjoying yourself either, because then what’s left? On the other hand, you shouldn’t plan your life completely full either, so that it stresses you out.”

Light, pleasant and well-founded

“The way the course was delivered was light-hearted and enjoyable. And yet everything was scientifically based”, says Helms. So they didn’t just announce something, they really know about aging. My wife also learned a lot from it. She’s seven years younger than me, so she has to keep working for a while. How do you deal with someone who is retiring? And how do you deal with this if you are already retired, but your partner is still working? It’s good to think about that. And: the more positive you think about retirement and about old age, the longer you’ll live!”

Checklist: Finding a new balance

When you retire, you have quite a bit to look forward to. Your financial situation changes, as does the way you time. Time that, if you don’t make a good plan for this. can slip through your fingers.

Pension in sight - Checklist

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