Opinion

‘How I took control of my finances in retirement’

"I'd like to think I have spent my money wisely."

Retirement brought me a new level of financial independence. As a teacher, I paid into the state super fund which guarantees me a lifelong pension.

It’s a good place to be in.

When I was married and had lots of little kids around me, money was a constant source of worry. Mainly, I never had enough of it. So, like so many, I borrowed on credit cards and got myself into all sorts of situations where banks loved to call and embarrass me with requests for outstanding payments.

For ten years before I retired I was able to take control of my finances. My children had grown up and become financially independent. I was able to save extra money to cover the debt from my marriage.

From my superannuation, I was able to pay out my mortgage and so own my house and have no debts in that regard.

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From the experiences of my former years I told myself I would never have a credit card and so far, I have stuck to that.

I like the fact that each fortnight an amount of money comes my way and it is mine to do with as I see fit, although bills have a nasty habit of turning up and dictating where my money goes.

As I live in an old house, my family home which I’m told goes back to Federation times, I have spent some money on giving it a make-over and, more importantly, making the place look more mine than my late parents’.

I had a son-in-law living close by at one time and being the handy fellow he is, he and I (well, mainly him) pulled out our 1947 bathroom and made it a tad more modern. I have been able to do up all the bedrooms, give them a coat of paint and refresh them each with new carpets.

I’d like to think I have spent my money wisely. I have done to the house what I could afford to do.

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Having some money upon retirement has also allowed me to travel, to Japan and Europe. I always think it would be good to travel some more, but finances being limited you have to make decisions that benefit you, and I feel I have done that.

As a friend of mine has told me on more than one occasion, “money is made round to go around.” I try and do that, make it go around.

What have your experiences of money after retirement been?

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