If you could go back to your 50-year-old self, what would you do differently when it comes to retirement planning?
The first thing that comes to mind is that I would think more proactive about retirement instead of telling myself, that I still have a ton of time ahead. The last 10 years have come and gone so quickly, and now I am not better off than back then. Taking responsibility for this part of my situation is just one side of the coin.
The Meaning Of Work In Your Life
The other side is possibilities. As long as I was still working, my future looked much brighter. There was a reliable income, and Super increased steadily. Losing my job in my early 50s was an unexpected setback; not just to my life, but to my financial situation as well.
While to no point I regret having left Melbourne in 1997 for country Victoria, finding a job was never easy. All my adult life, I worked in the social field. My last employment was with several companies providing out of home care for young people.
I say several companies, because in 2011 this sector of the social welfare system was privatised, which meant, if you were not working in the office, you were only employed as a casual and penalties fell to the sideway as well.
Therefore, it was crucial for being employed with several providers to make sure to have a liveable income. Staying always on the ball to ensure enough income was a bit stressful, which was, however, balanced by doing a rewarding job.
I was 55 plus when this source of income dried up. Finding work the usual way was impossible so far. The town I am living in is small and more and more businesses are closing.
Those who do open at a frightening speed are job network agencies. And even there are almost only young people employed. Like most young people, they feel entitled to tell us oldies what we need to do and how to live our lives.
My lifeline was my passion for writing and speaking more than one language. This gave me the opportunity for additional income. My heart is going out to those people who do not have the same option to create a custom fit job and secure some income.
Do 10 Years Make A Difference in Retirement Planning?
Reading over what I have written so far, I realise, I did not tell you much about how I would better prepare for retirement if I were 10 years younger. Simply because 10 years would probably not have made this much of a difference. Particularly, if the necessary opportunities are not in place.
When I look at my boys, they are between 30 and 40, they are much more retirement oriented and think of their Super more than I ever did or will. I am sure, this is not only negligence on my behalf. I came from a different background and did not know any better.
Life always looks less complicated if you look at it through the rear mirror.
If you want to know more about my story read my another article – Too Young To Retire, Too Old For Employment.