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Midlife Relaunch

Is it possible to start a new career in your fifties? Is it feasible to escape the nine till five straight jacket and find greater fulfilment? Midlife Relaunch asks people who've tried.

When Denise and Paul from Portsmouth returned from a summer holiday they felt they couldn't face another winter commuting to their accounting and teaching jobs. They decided to move - to Cyprus.

"We realised we didn't want what we'd always had - to be living in the same old house doing the same old stuff. There came this point where I thought: I want to do this before my hips go- so it's now or never really."

Christine and Stuart from Nottingham gave up steady jobs and the prospect of generous pensions to set up a B&B and furniture making business, 500 miles north in the Scottish Highlands.

But, Christine acknowledges it's certainly not an idyllic dream: "This is the hardest we've ever worked in our lives and we'll never be money rich. But we have a wonderful quality of life here with a welcoming community with people who have time to care. We gave up our pensions to come up here, so we have to continue - our motto is 'adapt or die'."

Fiona from Derbyshire dreamed of working with cows but found herself stuck working in a housing association. Now in her 50's she's running a dairy farm in Ayrshire.

"I have no regrets about my midlife decision to leave a well-paid job for these long days with little money - but I just wish I'd made it earlier in life."

Producers: Kim Normanton and Elizabeth Burke
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

Release date:

30 minutes

Last on

Boxing Day 2010 20:30