My retirement life – part one 120



View Profile

When I was made redundant just over two years ago, it was one of the happiest days of my life.

There were so many people I worked with who felt so sad for me. That was a wasted emotion because while they were feeling sad for me, I was fist pumping. It was the greatest favour anyone has ever done for me in my life. Even the young man I spoke to at Centrelink said to me “You have worked for over 35 years, now it’s time to go and enjoy the rest of your life”, and that’s certainly what I intended to do.

I was fortunate in that I had a small private super I opened before super became compulsory, and paid small amounts into it whenever I could. Company-paid superannuation was part of my employment package at my last job, and the company paid 10 per cent instead of the mandatory nine, so with this and the redundancy payout I received, I was able to retire on a full pension once I paid a few bills and my car. It wasn’t enough to pay my mortgage out, but with the small amount of interest I earn and the pension I am quite comfortable for now. I will eventually run out of money if I live long enough, but I’ll worry about that when it happens.

My daughter has warned me not to leave any money when I die as she is not about to fight with her brother about who gets what. We haven’t seen him for years but we both know he will be on the doorstep with his handout before the rigor mortis sets in.

I have to tell you at this time, there is nothing noble about me. I was never going back to work again. No little part time job for me to keep me busy. I can be as busy as I want when I feel like it and I am also very good at doing nothing.

So here I am in a whole new unfamiliar phase of life I know I am going to enjoy. There is just me, as I left my late ex-husband many years before, so for the first time in my life, I can do what I like and it feels absolutely delicious.

The first few weeks were spent not getting out of bed before the crack of dawn to travel three hours a day on public transport going to and from work. When I did get out of bed there was the luxury of spending as much time as I liked having my first and second coffee, thinking about all those poor souls packed into the peak hour trains and of course a thought for all those silly buggers I left behind at work, feeling sorry for me.

A few weeks into retirement I decided it was time to freshen up my shabby house. It definitely needed a bit of a lift as nothing had been done since I moved in 10 years before.

I started by having the living space and hallway painted, had new blinds put up, took the rotten old vanity out of the bathroom, replaced by a new basin and pedestal, and had new tap wear in the basin, bath and shower. I must confess to you I did feel a bit full of my own self-importance – in my own mind anyway. Here I was for the first time in my life handing out money without having to worry about it, after years of making ends meet and scrimping and scraping for something special; I’m sure a lot of you know the feeling. I think that’s one of the things that made our generation as resilient as we are. We didn’t have much, but we always got it done, one way or the other. I then had a huge clean out and took half my house to the Salvos.

That was all very tiring so now it was time for me, so I booked a two week cruise for February. I must admit I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had enjoyed previous cruises – this was number nine. I went around the islands for the fifth time and I think the last time for a while, but it is nice to get out of bed and leave the room, do what you like and come back to the bed made, room tidied up and bathroom cleaned.

That was two years this month and I am a bit embarrassed to say I have done very little for those two years. I looked into lots of clubs and associations I can join. They were all a good idea at the time but I just never seemed to GET there.


Was Dorothy’s first taste of retirement similar to yours? What did you do when you first retired tell us below.

Dorothy Hayes

I had a forced retirement one year ago and I am loving it. I have four wonderful grandsons aged between fifteen and twenty six. I do lots of craftwork which I donate to charities. I love fashion and some of my best days are having lunch and browsing the shops with my daughter.

  1. Also love retirement I was told I would get bored – I never get bored. Too busy enjoying what I want to do, wether it be something or just nothing.

    3 REPLY
    • I like this little story. A wife asked her husband what he was going to do one morning and he replied, “nothing”. To this the wife stated “but that is what you did yesterday” to which he said, “I haven’t finished yet”.

  2. Good for you, it’s good to be able to do what you want to do, when you want to do it Enjoy your retirement 😀

  3. Nope nothing like my experience, but I am so happy for you, good on you!

  4. good on you. I moved into a lovely 2 BR cottage in a retirement estate. new, fresh, clean & no maintenance or big garden to worry about. I do lots of things & hardly home but enjoing my life.

  5. My husband and I both retired about 5 years ago and love it. We both worked all our lives, he was self employed for 30 years, so all the super we have we paid ourselves, we will never be rich, but are comfortable and love to travel. Never get bored because we both have interests, and enjoy each other’s company.

  6. I retired as well at 65,50 yrs of working I’m am enjoying every minute,people said I would get bored but the days go so fast,see my grandchildren more & was able to spend more time with my Mum who past last year,I do feel lost without her but don’t miss working at all

  7. I’m enjoying no longer getting up in the dark , heading off on a 2 hour commute each way, doing what I want to when I wish to and mostly not being abused which is a very common event working in health both from patients and medical staff – all good here- never bored, don’t miss working one bit

  8. It’s nice when you are comfortable in your own skin and with your own company, I’m the same.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *