Retirement planning time!

Time to start planning for retirement, if you say it fast the end of 2019 is not that far off and that is my official retirement date! As the old saying goes and it's so true "Where did the time go?". I will be 59 at the time of retirement and with good health I should be enjoying this next phase of my journey for some time. So where does ham radio fit into my plans? I could say that once retired I will have all the time in the world for radio......BUT........I have been off for extended holiday periods and at that time I thought I had all the time in the world. It seems even when not working you can still become very busy and radio gets crowed out with other "things" So one of my goals is to make sure I put time aside for radio time.
One of our big retirement plans (as Julie retires the same time I do) is that we are picking up and moving to the UK! We both are citizens of that great country and will be spending our retirement years there and also traveling abroad from our UK home homebase. This brings me back to ham radio again, at this point in Canada I hold an advanced ticket which includes 12 wpm CW. I have been all over the Ofcom (Office Of Comunications) site in the UK looking for information on how my transition regarding my amateur radio licence will be dealt with by Ofcom. Those of you over in the UK reading my blog maybe you can add some insight for me in regards to when I move will my Canadian licence transfer to a UK licence, do I have to start over or a combination of both? I did try my best in going over the Ofcom website but to be honest it is a confusing site.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

12 Responses to “Retirement planning time!”

  • Jan DK3LJ:

    Hi Mike,

    I did the same research some years ago when I moved to Germany from Singapore. That information is a nightmare to find out. All European Countries have guaranteed to reciprocally issue licenses as long as they conform to a comparable syllabus as defined in regulation T/R 61-02 which is certified by a HAREC certificate. Those would be mostly the EU countries. On top of that, there are some none EU countries (like Australia) which also have agreed to that guideline. Then, there are additional countries (like the US) which have agreed with the EU that the license may be reciprocally converted. So far I have not seen wether Canada is in that list. Singapore ended up not to be so I had to take all licenses a second time. I would be hopeful that the above list for the UK might include all former commonwealth countries but could not confirm that.

    73 Jan (DK3LJ, ex 9V1LJ)

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Mike, I have some very, very bad news for you. Two things happen when you retire that you probably would not ever expect. 1) You will find out that you can NOT get as much done in the time you now have. Soon you will wonder, “the the hell did I do all of this and that and work full time too”. I am retired and know many others and we are still amazed and frustrated by the fact we did more with less time then now…

    2) Yes were did time go, and how did I get to a age that was once a number. It took a long time to get to were we are now. I just turned 70 in December. What seems like a few weeks ago I was just turning 60. The time it took to go from 50 to 60 seemed at the time to take forever. The time it took to go from 60-70 seems like a couple of weeks flew by.

    That all said, I am sure you will find time for ham radio and other things that will be fun to do. I know I do. However as the clock times, time will compress. You will find waking up a bit harder to do, you will discover new aches and pains, have more frequent brain farts, and maybe more farts (LOL), and discover that a 30 minute project will take 30 days.

    If you are looking for more time then don’t retire. Now that I put this out, let’s see how many others will agree with me. LOL

  • Alan G4TMV:

    Hi Mike,

    Most UK licensing is now done online at the OFCOM website, so you might check out the page below. The good news though is you could get a CEPT Permit and continue to use your Canadian callsign with M/ at the front for up to a year, and then get a UK licence sorted out after you are settled here again:

    You could also send them an e-mail to: [email protected] I’m sure they’ll be able to advise you.

    The word ‘retirement’ gives the wrong impression entirely, it should really be called ‘you’ll never be busier’! 🙂

  • John KU8Q:

    Mike: DON’T DO IT!!!! Harry is right on target.
    I’m 75, licensed for well over 50 years, and upon retiring I found the same as others. There is little time for ham radio because of some unknown/unspoken reason. I went back to work, part time, shortly after the XYL said she was tired of me being around the house. I now have time to “play radio” and get all the “honey dos” completed when she does see me. My doctor tells me that going back “probably” added several years to my life expectancy, and I’ve found the extra dollars from the paycheck help buy those ham trinkets I want. DON’T DO IT!!!!!

  • Sean KJ6TTR:

    “Retirement” is a terrible mindset. Always have goals, always be moving toward something. Start a new business. Volunteer for a charity. Never just “retire.” Might as well die.

  • Colin GM4JPZ:

    Mike, I agree with those who say complete retirement from working might not be the best idea. It really depends on how fulfilling and interesting your work was, I suppose. In my case, I missed it, and continue now at the age of 71 to work at least a few hours most workdays and occasionally at the weekends:) The money comes in handy for buying radio goodies, and you also feel like you are contributing to the family budget (not that it really matters, but old habits die hard).

    As for your licence (and we spell it with a ‘c’ here in the UK!), I did the German exam in 1979 (which included 12 wpm CW), received my first call DJ0ZF after passing it, and was granted the UK licence in 1980 on the strength of it. I didn’t have to take any additional exam in the UK and the whole thing was done back then by letter. I’m not saying it will be just as easy with the VE call, but I’d imagine it might be, so it’s well worth trying to obtain your licence simply by asking for an M call because you have the highest level of VE call.

    Good luck, and enjoy your retirement, 73!
    GM4JPZ (ex-DJ0ZF), N6OET

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Jan thanks for taking the time to comment on the post, a few years ago I was in the UK for vacation and was able to get a temp licence while there M/ve3wdm. From the digging I have recently been doing it seems that Canada is T/R 61-02 comparable. Today I will be sending an email to Ofcom to get the ball rolling to make sure I have all my ducks lined up before we head over.
    Have a great week 73,

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Harry very nice to read of the wisdom and insight you have, It’s true that time sure does fly and I imagine that as I hit retirement it will still keep going way to fast. I agree whole heartily that when retirement comes it will take longer to do things as the atmosphere is much more relax. No longer do weekend “things” have to be done before Monday……..everyday is Friday. I have spoken to some who have been retired for some time and their motto is ” what does not get done today gets done tomorrow” I see this mind set stretching out jobs for sure.
    73 Harry and thanks for the great input and anytime you come up with more gems shoot them this way… :))

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Thanks for stopping by Alan and commenting, thanks for all the great info and I have already had a CERT permit a few years ago when in the UK. The links in your post are a great help and later today over some tea I will be moving things forward with Ofcom. As you pointed out it’s good to know that I do have 1 year with a CERT permit as M/VE3WDM.
    Thanks again for the great info.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hello John and your advice and warnings are greatly welcomed, it’s very true I will be retiring but as you put it doing a little something on the side is good for the health. I plan once settled in the UK picking up something small to do a few days a week (some radio money). The job I have now and for the past 30 years is a very very high risk job, very physically demanding and for this reason I won’t be continuing for a longer period of time. As for the Honey do list it will keep me out of trouble.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment John

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Great to hear from you Sean and the wise information, it’s so true that I’m not stopping per say but just moving along into something different. When I settle in the UK I a very positive that I am not going to stop……I never have up to this point and really never going to stop. As my wife Julie often says “even when your off work and at home you are go go go go” Working part time in a ham radio store in the UK would be very cool.
    Have a nice week Sean and again thanks for stopping by.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Colin, I say retirement but I am one who just can’t sit still and to be honest I consider this a good thing. I am sure once I settle in the UK that I will be looking for something part-time. This week I am going to get the ball rolling regarding the UK “licence” as a side line there is also “jumper”, “lift”, “bonnet” “chemist” “bangers and mash” and it goes on…… :))
    Thanks for all the info and have a great week

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Please support our generous sponsors who make possible:


Hip Ham Shirts

Georgia Copper

Expert Linears


Ni4L Antennas

N3ZN Keys

West Mountain
R&L Electronics

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: