Starting small, dreaming big – introducing The Joy Club

Mar 29, 2021

Starting small, dreaming big – introducing The Joy Club

Welcome back to my ongoing series of guest blogs, where I invite inspiring people from my community to feature their work on my site.

hannah thomson, CEO The Joy ClubThis month, we have Hannah Thomson, Founder CEO of The Joy Club, an exciting new website for people just like us who are motivated to live purposefully and passionately in later life. She’s here to tell us all about the club, and I’m excited to hear what she has to say. Hannah, over to you…

It is my very great pleasure to introduce you to The Joy Club.

The Joy Club – for those of you learning about us for the first time today – is a membership website for people aged 65 and over that helps members to save more, so they can afford to do more.

I took my first steps on this journey when my granny, Jean, became ill. The more ill she became, the more products and services were made available to her. We were, of course, so grateful for all of the support she received, but – I reflected after she passed away – it did have the effect of prolonging the number of years she lived in ill health. I began to wonder what could have been done earlier to extend the number of years she lived in good health instead.

The experience convinced me that healthy life expectancy, not life expectancy, is what we should be focusing on as a society. The more research I undertook and the more experts I spoke with, the more convinced I became of this. I also came to understand that you cannot talk about healthy life expectancy without also talking about wealth. In the UK, richer people get to enjoy 19 more years of good health compared to their poorer counterparts – and that gap is widening.

I spent the next several months investigating what could be done to close this gap in healthy life expectancy. My research conversations with people over the age of 65 were illuminating.

One woman described ageing to me as “a fight against invisibility”. Another told me how naive she felt when she realised (too late) that she had been wrong – that working hard as a social worker your whole life doesn’t mean that the state will give you enough of a pension to have the modest but enjoyable retirement that you’d been looking forward to.

The Joy Club is a membership site that helps members to afford a more active retirement.

I met with and listened to experts – a clinical pharmacist, a geriatrician, an occupational therapist, a care home manager, a wealth manager and so many others involved in the care of people in later life. “If you had a magic wand”, I asked them, “what would you do to make life better for older people?” They all answered, in their own particular ways, that they would remove budget as a barrier to a happy and healthy retirement for all.

That’s what we started chipping away at when we launched. Starting small, dreaming big. We’re bringing our members – all aged 65 and over and based in the UK – access to free, discounted and money-making activities that help them to afford to live the kind of active lifestyles that will bring them health and happiness. We’ve been learning and evolving rapidly, helping our members to overcome budget as a barrier in increasingly innovative ways.

Since December, we’ve had the privilege of welcoming more than 1,500 members to The Joy Club; we’ve launched The Joy Club Presents… – a series of free, interactive, online live events, which have quickly become some of the most popular activities on our website; and as of today (Monday, 29 March) we’re bringing our members outside and social activities for the very first time. It is our hope that, as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, we will be able to offer more and more community-focused activities and events for our members to enjoy. You can take a look at some of the events and activities available to our members throughout April here.

If you’re aged 65 or over and based in the UK, then we would love to welcome you to the club. I’m delighted to offer Retirement Rebellion Blog readers three months’ free membership by using promo code REBELJOY21. Simply sign up and enter the code when prompted. Offer valid until July 31st, 2021.

Books by George Jerjian

Dare to Discover Your Purpose is an innovative new online retirement course designed to help you change the way you feel about this important but often misunderstood life stage.

hannah thomson, CEO The Joy ClubHannah Thomson,  is the Founder CEO of The Joy Club, an exciting new website for people who are motivated to live purposefully and passionately in later life. Follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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