Thursday, 13 March 2008

Now that a huge percentage of us has reached the exalted position that is retirement, we have many pitfalls to look out for .

Whatever happened to that great promise of "Freedom 55" - several years on and many dollars poorer the majority of us are feeling less -enchanted with this retirement dream and more driven than ever to become productive, valued and respected members of society.

For years we had been told that retirement would bring endless hours of leisure time for us to take those round-the-world cruises, buy the boat or the cottage by the lake where we could entertain our grandchildren. ( after or before our tennis match, was never clarified)

Now many of us find that our 30% income is not allowing for the cruise - the travel agent with no heart is asking for 100% of the price. The real estate woman whose children I taught and helped achieve their goals, annoying little people that they were, now wants me to raise my offer on the fly-infested cabin she calls a "rustic get-away"

Like most of us, I planned for my retirement, stashing away a small amount on a regular basis, investing in all the right places, participating in the company pension scheme and listening to "big folk" talk. Where did it all go wrong? Did no-one expect inflation and higher taxes or did the combination just spell out "higher expectations", which in turn became dream-stealers.

It's time to start the process, this rebirth that will not only free us from the chains of the established daily routine but also add to our paltry bank accounts. It's time to find opportunities for us too and thus avoid the scrapheap of life.