I have always looked forward to finishing work at the age of 60 and using the funds from my online craft & vintage businesses to top up my pension, but when the goverment moved the retirement age to 67 a few years back, I, like millions of other women were left feeling robbed. Robbed of 7 years of freedom and now of having the disadvantage of being 7 years older when we finally get to quit the 9 – 5 to draw our well earned pension. Let’s face it, at 67, we might not actually be as fit and healthy as we would have been at 60. So, with this in mind, in January this year, when I reached 57, I started my very own 5 year plan. I purchased a 5 year diary, wrote a mission statement and started my journey, with the intention and determination to retire at least 5 years earlier than the new age of 67……
I was divorced at the age of 40 so had to start all over again on the mortgage ladder. If I don’t make some changes now, I realise that I will be 65 when my last payment is made. Around about the same time as my divorce, the company who I had been working for for 28 years, went into administration and my final salary pension pot of 25 years went with it, but, with everything else that was going on in my life at the time, I didn’t give this issue the attention that I should have. Since then, the government have stepped in to enusre that everyone who was a member of the scheme gets at least something back, allbeit it is only a small proportion of the total amount we saved. The downside to this is, I am unable to claim this fund until I reach the new State Pension age of 67. Robbed yet again!
Given all of the above, I wish somebody had sat me down when I was much younger and explained the importance of paying down debt and saving for the future. In my opinion, this is a subject that should be taught on the school carriculum.
It’s not that I don’t like working nor do I dislike my job, however, only having 5 weeks annual leave each year proves to be a nightmare when trying to book time off. There is always a busy work calendar and your fellow colleauges to consider when booking holidays, and then you have got the added fact that, once you have booked your weeks off, you then have to pray for nice dry weather. Mike and I have, on many occasions, waited for our long deserved break to find out that the weather in the UK is a total washout and considerably miserable, and given our lifestyle of loving the outdoors and camping with 2 dogs, this has often been a washout. So, back to work it is to wait for our next planned holiday and praying hard that the weather is next time, kind.
And so, back to my five year plan….. I am having a clear out!!! I am currently sorting through all of my unwanted / unused items that are lying around the house and I am listing everything on eBay…. I will use the profits made from this and also my three online Etsy shops to pay the mortgage off early and to top up the pension.
I realise that I have quite a way to go, but with the determination that I currently have, I am indeed hoping to be financially stable enough to at least be able to work part time by the time I reach 62!!!