O'Donnell Kerr Financial Planners
  • 10 December, 2020

The year that was 2020

As Christmas approaches and the beginning of another year looms, I always think it is a good time to look back on the last 12 months and review ambitions for the next year.

Did you have a definite plan or goal you were hoping to achieve by the end of 2020?

For most of us this year, because of the circumstances, many of our objectives would have been difficult to achieve.

Our travel plans were completely disrupted

In my own case I took delivery of my new campervan in February, with grand plans of travelling to many different parts of our wonderful country. In the 10 months since I took delivery, I have done a total of just over 3,000 kilometres. The good news, I have saved a reasonable amount of money which I have used to reduce my mortgage.
Our retirement savings objectives were not reached.

In the first eight months of the year the markets have not been kind and most of our precious retirement savings – superannuation –have taken a bit of a hit. The good news is that, if you remained in the market, the last three months have seen a definite recovery.

Spending more time with our families and friends

Again, because of the circumstances, I have not seen my children or grandchildren for close to 12 months, as the border restrictions have kept not just my family but many families apart. The good news, with the border restrictions lifted, I will see half my family for Christmas and the other half in early 2021.

I have not completed in any events this year, no triathlons, no running marathons, or endurance events

The good news, I think my legs and body have appreciated the break. The bad news from my partners perspective is I have rediscovered the joy of stand up paddle boarding and decided I need a new board, which I will purchased with the money I saved by not entering any events this year.

I have also been lucky

I have been employed for the whole year and have not had to rely on any government benefits or draw down on my superannuation. However, I have watched with a great deal of concern during the year several close acquaintances who were not so fortunate, and who did have to make significant sacrifices after losing their jobs.

I then watched with a great deal of pride and admiration as these friends decided that this was the perfect time to reset their lives and chase their dream. Beginning in early 2021 they will be managing a caravan park in a small beachside town in regional Australia. Even better news for me - discounted site fees?

Despite the difficulties that were a part of 2020, for me there were still some bright spots and I do hope that for most people this was the case as well.

I am looking forward to 2021 with a renewed vigour and optimism

My objectives and goals will be the same:

  • more travel in the campervan practicing my grey nomad skills

  • catching up with my children and grandchildren on a regular basis, I would like to be a part of my grandchildren’s life as they grow

  • achieving a superannuation balance which enables me to live comfortably in my retirement

  • learning how to do proper kick turns on my paddle board – this is a new objective

We are seeing large scale vaccination programs start to roll out across the world. I know this will not immediately solve the problem, but it does give a reason for more hope and optimism for 2021.

My lovely partner often tells me that I look at the world, despite all the problems, through “rose coloured glasses”. Maybe I do, but after surviving 2020, I believe life is easier if you maintain an optimistic outlook on life. I do recognise that for me it is a lot easier than for those whose 2020 has been so much worse.

So, this Christmas, as you revisit your 2020 and reset for 2021, do keep an eye on those closest to you to ensure that they remain safe and positive. If they need someone to chat to or need your time, do not ignore them. A little of your time can provide a substantial difference to their life and outlook.

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