I’m a miserable old git.
According to my son, I’m curmudgeonly! (Look it up!). Now, let me preface the following by saying that what I am about to write here is not intended to engender any sympathy at all toward me or my situation, which is, without reservation, entirely my own.
I am, I suspect, a product of the time and location I grew up in. I am English, a Londoner, even though I have lived in Australia for forty-five years and there is no way known I would ever go back to live there. Due in large to the experiences he had in the Middle East during the Second World War, my Father (the old man) was a cold, hard, martinet while I was growing up, and I couldn’t wait to leave home. I now realise that my experience of the old man wasn’t of the total man, and underneath that cold heartless persona there was another person. However, just as soon as I finished my apprenticeship I signed the papers to emigrate. I’ve been here ever since.
For the vast majority of my working life I was self-employed, doing various things from Contract Postman, Poultry Farm Manager and Linesman to becoming Chief Ground Instructor (the first in the country!) at a Helicopter Training School. Yeah, I’ve been around. I suspect that a lot of people reading this will be saying to themselves either ‘I know how it feels’ or ‘so what!’ The thing is that through all that time, and through some of it I was earning good money, there was never any thought given to what will come after I finished working for a living. To be perfectly honest I didn’t expect the end to come quite as quickly as it did, but that’s no excuse.
I didn’t plan for retirement! When it happened to me I was totally unprepared. We had maybe 60 grand in the bank and owned our house, and that was it! After a couple of years the cash reserves are down to about twenty grand and we’re living on the pension. For our generation, it is just about do-able, I pick up a day’s work here and there when I can and it helps.
The point is that a total lack of prudential planning on my behalf has put us in the situation we are now experiencing.
My old man was 99 last month, my oldest sister is nearly 80 and my youngest is 60. From all the evidence so far, we are a long-lived breed and I’m banking on another thirty years at least. Let me tell you that 30 years living on the pension is not a fate that any man would wish for.
I’ve just mentioned that the old man was 99 last month, strangely enough, next June he is going to knock up the Century (he’d always threatened to do that, the old bugger!), and I have determined that I am going to go over to celebrate his Centenary with him. That means that between now and about April 2015 I have to generate at least $20,000. And this is how I’m going to do it
It’s not going to happen overnight and it’s going to take a lot of work but I CAN DO IT! If you relate to my story at all and have your own reasons for wanting to be free, join me. Just copy and paste the link into your browser.