Retirement blues again

In Latest, Money centsby Donna Willan

Retirement Blues

Retirement blues

Retirement blues

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?

Donna

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