Retirement blues again

Donna WillanLatest, Money cents

By coincidence, it’s been one year since I wrote my last blog on retirement  after having written my third Money Cents column on retirement as well. It seems that I panic around this time of year. Could it be that my birthday is soon and it reminds me that I am getting old? So yes, I am getting old, and retirement approaches, and at the rate I’m going I fear it’s going to be a very frugal retirement, which sort of takes the thrill out of the idea of retirement!

A year ago I committed to saving 20% each month towards my retirement – this is what the retirement sages (including our Simon) suggest in order to be able to enjoy retirement. So am I doing it? Sadly, the answer is NO! I am still failing miserably in one of my retirement goals, which was to start a regular Satrix investment for my retirement – “why have I not done it?” I scold myself.

On the plus side, I am paying quite a bit extra into my bond every month – that’s good right? My house will be paid off in seven or eight years. I also have a Retirement Annuity Policy, but everyone knows those are old-school and not going to do much for me (despite contrary advice when I took it out 19 years ago). So basically, I am at the same point I was a year ago – yes, I will have my home paid off, but not really anything else. I am panicking that I may never find retirement – crisis!

Action is needed. I think I’ve discovered my problem! I keep waiting until I have enough money to make a really big, wham-bam plan. I am so busy aiming to save 20% of my income, and I can’t do that, so instead I save nothing. So let’s change gears here, forget impossible goals (unachievable 20% be gone); I will pay for my retirement one rand at a time. This means that starting next month – as I turn 45 – I will put a small stop order and start buying Satrix every month. I’ll start small – just a few hundred, and if I get any extra money I’ll pop that straight into my “Retirement – Satrix”. I will start small and start now; that will be how I retire in 15 odd years’ time! One small step at a time is what won the tortoise the race.

Phew I feel better this seems like a plan I can do! Retirement, here I come! One small step at a time; watch out hare I’m coming through.

In my next column I am going to reflect on that annual monster: Preparing my tax return, why is it so traumatic?


Money Cents blog

Meet the Just One Lap team at these free live events

Click here to meet the Just One Lap team at one of our live, free events.

Subscribe to Just One Lap