O'Donnell Kerr Financial Planners
  • 19 June, 2019

Retirement - exciting and a little scary?

In a couple of months, I will turn 63, a year closer to my retirement.

The realisation that I am closer to my retirement is very exciting.  The thought of being able to start to live my actual retirement plans is quietly intoxicating. 

To this end over the last 10 months my partner Donna and I have conducted very extensive research into the vehicle – motorhome or campervan – that we buy to travel Australia. After looking at all the features we wanted and then compromising on costs we have finally made a choice and have paid a deposit.

It will take 9 months for the shell of the vehicle to be shipped from overseas and fitted out in Australia. Then, according to our plan it will take us a further 12 months to pay off.  No doubt some of you may be thinking based on this time frame that two years until a retirement date is still not that close.  But I can assure you that after 46 year in the workforce two years is very close.

Unexpectedly mixed with these feelings of anticipation and excitement about retirement is another feeling – apprehension and fear.

The first fear, and this is the most common among all retirees and pre-retirees – do I have enough superannuation to support my lifestyle in retirement?

I believe I do; I have set myself a dollar target and based on my calculation I should achieve this figure.

However, it still does not stop me from thinking about the “what ifs “.  Those unforeseen situations which arise causing your retirement funds to be depleted faster than what was set out in your plans. Solution -I go back to work and become the “oldest” barista in Australia

The second fear is health. As I age and my friends and acquaintances’ age around me the stories of people retiring or just about to retire becoming ill or even worse passing away become more prevalent. There is not a lot I can do about this fear other than try to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and see my doctor for regular checkups.

The third fear, what happens if I don’t enjoy what I am planning for my retirement – travelling around Australia in my campervan. Again until I actually start to travel in the van I will not know for certain and at the end of the day if I am not enjoying the travel, what is the worst that can happen – I drive home, sell the van and start a new plan.

The fourth fear, and this is one I have spoken of before – will I be able to relax; will I find sitting and just reading, a relaxing pursuit or will I become stressed over the fact that I am doing nothing.

A new fear, have I bought the correct campervan for what I want to do.  After all the research I believe I have but this still does not stop me from thinking if I have.

These are all very genuine fears and no doubt for some people approaching retirement there are many more. 

However, for me the one overriding thought I always come back to is that retirement is a new adventure and a new stage in my life.  My plan along with my partner and my dog is to enjoy every moment of our time on the road and in retirement, I want to turn my life upside down and ensure that my years in retirement are full and without regret.

I will now put my rose coloured glasses back on and all my fears will disappear for a little while.  For those readers who are retired or about to retire I would love to hear what your fears are or what your suggestions to overcome the fears of retirement are.

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