O'Donnell Kerr Financial Planners
  • 11 December, 2014

Christmas: a time of reflection and renewal

The Realise Your Dream blogs are written by Peter Kelly and Mark Teale. More information about the authors can be found here 

Like most people, we find it hard to believe that Christmas is once again very close, but it must be true: all the shops are full of decorations and we have seen Santa having his photo taken with small children.

Christmas for most people is a joyous time and a time to give thanks and the reality is despite the media, as people living in Australia most of us have a lot to be thankful for.

We live in a country that is not torn apart by conflict and disease. We have choices, for the most part our society is a tolerant one which is supportive of our less fortunate residents, we have readily available fresh water, fresh food and shelter…so the next time you feel stressed and life is not treating you kindly, take a deep breath and give thanks.

Christmas is also a great time to look back over the last 12 months and try to fathom not only where the time went, but what you have done. Have we achieved the goals we set ourselves at the beginning of the year or did they just get lost in the everyday activities of living?

The hardest part of achieving a goal is the discipline that is required. If you are able to master the discipline, you can turn the routine that is required to achieve the goal into a habit and then it is easy.

If you feel like you have failed over the last 12 months, Christmas is the perfect time to renew your vigor for what you are trying to achieve.

For you pre-retirees, it is essential to look at your financial position now and what is required for you to meet the target of the lifestyle that your want for Your Time.

But where do you start?

We suggest re-reading PK’s blog on ‘How Much is Enough’, talk to a financial adviser who understands the rules (how much you can contribute to superannuation without breaking the rules), compile a budget, buy yourself a notebook and record your spending – this will give you a good idea of where you may be wasting your money and savings can be made.

As a person who may have retired, you are not exempt from reflecting on the last 12 months. Take the opportunity to look at what you had hoped to achieve and what you are looking to achieve in the next 12 months. Remember this is Your Time and as we have often said, it is not a time to sit around and look at four walls. Take the trip you have always dreamed of, do some volunteer work, go to the extreme and train as a barista for some part time work.

Essential for all of us is the mandatory health check. Listen and look at your body: have you been sitting around a little too much and the weight plus the shortness of breath is just a little worse than what is was 12 months ago? Again, it just requires a little discipline and small targets to begin with…a simple two or three kilometre walk in the fresh air will do you wonders.

Christmas means something different to everyone but it is for all a time of reflection and renewal.

To our thousands of valued readers (I know, very hopeful with that number), we wish you a safe and joyous Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year from PK and Tealey.

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