|Honey, soy and chili silken tofu - delicious|
Retirement - such a long way off.....oh wait! I'm 50 this October, so it is time to rethink this topic pretty fast.
|I replanted my aloe vera as it had so many 'babies' cramped into|
one little pot previously.
Here are some random thoughts and realisations that I have had about retirement that have emerged since I posted about our "plans for the future" recently.
- Retirement would be just hell-on-earth unless we are healthy.
- Superannuation is a minefield of hidden fees, charges and ambiguity.
- I actually might not want to ever stop some type of work outside the home.
- Mrs HM and I need other factors in our life besides just each other.
- 'Typical' retirement is obviously now a myth of the past.
- Many of the happiest and healthiest older folk I personally know have not fully retired in the conventional sense.
- I do not want to be a boring, narrow-minded, shallow, annoying, judgmental old git - I feel myself automatically drifting this way ever so slightly and so I urgently need to put the brakes on that drift real fast. (I've scared myself a bit recently on this matter)
- I need to keep up with meaningful technology - as much as I love simple living and frugality, being a Luddite is not a virtue. I see too many older folk allowing legitimate and life-enhancing technology to pass them by.
|I still indulge in a latte when I visit my Sydney office once|
So some conclusions and goals from the above list would be:
1st and foremost - overhaul our health and mindfully plan and take action immediately so as to be active and self reliant for at least another 40 years (I hope I pass away with my boots on actually). I have been losing weight steadily over the past few months but can now see that this is just a drop in the bucket compared to what I need to do to ensure another 40 years of meaningful life. My relationship with food still needs to be significantly overhauled as does my relationship with exercise. Mental health is also a huge consideration and I need to purposefully and mindfully heal myself in this regard too otherwise the next 40 years is going to be a struggle that ends with a bag full of regrets.
2ndly - bite the bullet and understand Superannuation thoroughly and only use it for it's proven benefits. Other types of prudent investments need to be secured outside of Superannuation's highly regulated and fee-riddled, government-meddled-with, goal-post-changing, maze-and-mirrors scheme. Whilst the tax benefits inside Superannuation for most Australian folk are excellent, the fees pre AND post retirement are horrendous as is the limited ability to influence the investment outcomes with most Superannuation companies. My current Superannuation company (which I changed to a few years ago based on some positive initial research) is no longer as good as I previously thought. Now that I am ready to go into using the option to choose my own stocks within my Super scheme, I was deeply shocked at the tiny handful of stocks that I was allowed to trade and the also the horrendous fees attached to doing so. I am now wading knee-deep through copious amounts of Product Disclosure Statements from various Superannuation schemes to find which one has the lowest fees coupled with the greatest stock trading flexibility and choice so I can at least intelligently invest all that money that is mine but am not allowed to access till I am 60! (Grrr). Look, I too used to be a set-and-forget conspiracy-theorist when it came to Superannuation, but now that I am taking the time to educate myself and get the magnifying glass out on the ins-and-outs of Superannuation. I am no longer prepared to set-and-forget because that equates to oodles of my money out the window....I do still hold dark conspiracy theories about Superannuation - especially what it will be like when I am ready (allowed!) to access it. Nevertheless, I am determined to find who moved my cheese and to reclaim it as well as finding other sources of cheese! I intend to have some fun in the process too.
|Crispy skin salmon with stir-fried Asian vegetables.|
Succulent and nutritious
3rdly - Work: working outside the home is something I actually enjoy under the right circumstances. True, I would love nothing more than to click the gate closed on my home and not emerge for at least two millennia (!), but it is not good for me and I am noticing this the older I get. External stimuli is the thing that will stop my brain aging and prevent me from willingly falling victim to my all-consuming introversion. Also, having another small source of income is prudent even if it is a day or two a week or a month or two a year.
4thly and finally: We still plan to caravan and tour extensively around Australia as well as have a cheaper property as a home base, however, I can see we need to be totally flexible with this general plan. It is actually a bit of a selfish plan and I need to find a meaningful way to contribute positively to society as well. I'm on the look-out for what that type of contribution may be and which can happily capture the last 40 years of my life....hmmm, let me see.
|View looking down from my office window - so utterly different|
to the view in my mind's eye
Take care folks and stay nice out there.
Mr HM (Phil)