O'Donnell Kerr Financial Planners
  • 30 May, 2017

What is your dream?

Do you dream of having a little place in the country, or by the beach, or perhaps in the mountains?

We often dream of living somewhere other than where we are. And for many, the dream of living outside of a big city, with its traffic congestion, noise, fast-paced and crowds, is something that many of us dream of for our retirement. Currently, around 70% of the Australian population lives in a major city. And this number, as a percentage of the population, is expected to increase over the coming decades.

I have always dreamed of having a little farm somewhere ‘out there’. I have had this dream since I was a young child but so far, it has evaded me. I am not quite sure what I would do on my small farm if it materialised, and I’m not sure how I would handle the isolation, but a small acreage near a regional centre has a certain attraction.

Last week I took a little road trip. I travelled with some colleagues from Bundaberg to Mackay, a distance of just over 600 kilometres. We stopped off to speak at a number of public seminars along the way. A very enjoyable few days.

The weather was just perfect, with warm sunny days and cool nights. And the countryside looked magnificently green, as a result of the drenching from the rains that accompanied Cyclone Debbie, a few months earlier.

Looking out over the flat expanse of grazing land to the distant hills got me picturing my dream of a little place in the country again. The dream of being self-sufficient, growing some organic fruit and vegetables, and being ‘off the grid’ has a certain idealistic ring to it. Perhaps, I would be close enough to a regional centre so I could access medical care if needed, and airport, and cultural and community events, and a decent cup of ‘real’ coffee.

However, as wonderful as dreams may be, we soon get snapped back to reality and realise just how our impractical our dreams might be. How sad!

For many Australians, either approaching or already retired, the ability to move away from the city and pursue lifelong dreams is often constrained by other obligations. Be it work, or more likely family, we don’t necessarily have the freedom we would like, or need. Often we become ‘sandwiched’, with commitments to care for grandchildren and our own ageing parents.

Having said that, some are able to live in ‘both worlds’, and fulfil their own dreams as well as meeting their commitments to family, work and their community.

For me, perhaps the dream is to have a little place in the country, or by the beach, that is not too far away from where family and work commitments lie. Or, perhaps it is having access to somewhere a little further away from where extended stays, perhaps for a month of two, could be enjoyed – the best of both worlds!. At least, that would provide an opportunity to ‘test drive’ alternative lifestyles without jumping in boots and all.

Whatever your dream might be, don’t give up on it, no matter how distant or unachievable it might seem to be. Keep dreaming and remember ‘dreams can come true’.

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

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