I have been truly worried about the transition to retiring for some years now. How I would survive what would I do and what sort of world I was leaving for my children and their children.
Goodness knows the younger generations add to that worry by making us feel as guilty as we possibly can with their accusations of us ruining the earth for future generations and purposely trying to be different from our parents to the detriment of family values and life.
Yes I admit guilt in wanting to be different from my parents but only because they were so tied down to a boring lifestyle and world and we wanted more. I suspect every generation is guilty of that but I don’t subscribe to the ruining the earth theory.
The population explosion has caused tremendous strain on every aspect of our lives but we have always stayed positive, identified the problems and searched for answers and outcomes to those problems.
Boomers are doers and we want a better world for all so I feel strongly that the scale is balanced without input to discover better ways of doing things in the arts, science, business, construction, medicine and a variety of other fields.
My working life was always full on with over 50 jobs in a 51 year period with a sustained work ethic to them all. I never let anyone down- colleague or employer.
I loved work and I love people so it was never a huge problem to go- I owe, I owe it’s off to work I go – was the general policy. I also found work to be some respite from home life and parenting which can be both very demanding and I worked as hard on my home life- my parenting and partnership- as I did my work life.
Indeed I used many of the skills I was taught at work to make sure my home life was enhanced and have had a good partnership and family life due to that attitude.
At 63 my work colleagues suddenly saw me ageing and changed their attitude to me from respect to tolerance.
My employer upset me with what were clearly ageism practices which deflated my ego and made me feel worthless. I was seen as interfering and problematic whenever I pointed out bad practices in our workplace. My past accomplishments and high standards seem to matter little- which is common I have found to my age group.
I resigned after being pressured to do so and suffered health problems accordingly as, like most men, our work is our ego. My X generation wife was devastated as she felt strongly that I should have seen out my role until retirement and she was not supportive of my stand against my employer over my principles.
So I was 63 and unemployed and soon realised after numerous knockbacks from employers for other roles that I may have been unemployable.
The plan was always to sell my skills and high qualifications for a similar or better role in another company if I lost my job and I formed my own consultancy to spearhead that push. I managed many interviews but could not secure a new role.
I was forced to look to the future and start planning for retirement. My wife has superb skills in budgeting so with her assistance and now much appreciated support I planned my time until aged pension.
Firstly an interview with the FIS officer at Centrelink who was able to calculate what I would receive in part pension. Then it was only a matter of doing my yearly budget based on past costs and decide how much money would be needed annually to supplement my living from my superannuation.
I discovered through my planning that my super would easily last for another decade of living and with some luck we would also be able to travel by banking any extra income.
I went to my network next and asked a good friend for work as a part time cleaner which was to bring me a few hundred dollars a fortnight for coffee and takeaways and then some bigger roles like the G20 as a security guard and the federal elections eventually enabled us to have a travel account and a trip to UK and Norway this year.
All things in all life are now good. My good stress less health is supplemented by regular yoga and gym visits, walking regularly with my FITBIT in tow- 10 000 steps a day- and cutting down on the sugar intake which has shed 10 kilos from my body. I feel great and I am enjoying life to the max with my kids and grandkids so for those of you who are worried about retiring then can I say it has been like most things we have had to face in our Boomer life- take it as it comes.