I admire Wayne Rooney’s decision to quit international football while still in demand. He spent years giving his all, usually exhausted and/or injured from his bruising encounters in the Premier League. Enough was enough.
The timing of departure is all important.
For my own part, having carried a heavy workload as senior partner in family work for several years, with a number of clients expecting the improbable if not the impossible, and ever younger punks calling me out in the equivalent of legal shoot-outs, I knew what Johnny Ringo must have felt like.
Despite the enticing offer of three more years after 65, I called it a day. It is a decision I have never regretted.
So what advice can I offer those with the same dilemma of whether or not to go? Here are some things to consider.
Partnerships which usually insisted on departure at 65 are becoming less common and allow more flexibility.
If you have the chance to stay, are your partners really happy about it? Are you filling a slot they would prefer to fill with someone younger and cheaper?
On the other hand, are your partners taking advantage of your high earning capacity to put off the evil day when they have to take on a lesser earner?
Are you carrying on working to delay the date when you will claim that pension, having achieved all you will really achieve in your work? Are you really interested in slogging on and still able to give of your best?
Do you strongly suspect that your partner is – in the nicest way – happy to see the back of you at the office while they enjoy some free time?
Have you – like me – felt the damage to your nerves which hints strongly that you should quit, for fear of real damage to your health?
In the end, work, however rewarding, is now a prelude to all the possibilities available in retirement. These days you hope and expect it to be a long one – so do not do anything to put that at risk.
Be bold and resolute, and you’ll make the right decision.
John Greenwood, retired family lawyer, Chippenham, Wiltshire