Like many people I’m reaching that point in my life where retirement is just around the corner. At 67, I’m well and truly ready for it and have been planning and dreaming about it for the past seven years or so.
I’m single now, after getting divorced 17 years ago, so I’ve had to be careful with my money and smart about the way I spend and invest. I’ve recently finally finished paying off my mortgage so I’m clear of debt for the first time in years and have been voluntarily putting extra into my super for the past 10 years.
Despite all this though, I’m not sure my retirement is going to be everything I hoped.
My dream is to buy a camper van and spend two years on the road driving around Australia. I’m a teacher, so I’m hoping that I can pick up relief work along the way if I want extra cash.
I want to pack everything up, sell all the crap I don’t need and hit the road with my labrador. While the plan sounds great, the closer I get the finish line, the less sure I am I can pull it off.
I lost a lot of my super in the global financial crisis (GFC) so the funds I had been relying on were largely lost. It’s made me hesitant to spend so much on buying a van and paying for all the costs involved in travelling for so long.
Also, I keep hearing lots of talk about older teachers finding it harder and harder to even get relief work in schools, which makes me wonder if I’ll be able to count on that extra income when I need it.
My real problem with this is that it just doesn’t seem fair. So many of us spend so many years working our butts off and for what? Just so we can live frugally for the rest of our lives and count every cent along the way?
I don’t need much, but wouldn’t it be great if the generation that spent the good part of 40 years building this country up weren’t left to live in hardship?
I know there are lots of people out there who get to live a comfortable retirement, being careful with money but not really struggling, but I hear so many stories about seniors who are really doing it tough.
The pension doesn’t seem to be enough to live on and the Government doesn’t seem to care. I find it so wrong that we as a country don’t take care of our seniors as well as we should and that we’re so willing to turn a blind eye to their problems.
I know I’ll be ok in the end, whether I get to live out my retirement dream or not. I’m lucky enough to have my house and have some money saved and in super, but I know not everyone is this fortunate.