Re: Pension at 55
Some wonderful replies. Thank you all for this, your help will be very useful. Iím going through them all again as I write this post to refer to.
I think itís important to note without being ageist that I am in a younger generation. Smack bang in the middle between the modern era and the olden days. It is far more difficult to save for anything these days unless you are privileged or are in such a job that is very well paid. I am neither. My wage is better than basic but itís a general working class wage for the job I do.
My parents would have been like some of you. They were of the built-in discipline of ďsave everything, spend nothingĒ and that isnít possible these days, not for me anyway. Yes, Iíve made some terrible decisions; Iíve been very impulsive Ė ďIíll buy that and worry about it laterĒ (then itís too late, Iím on the slippery slope trying to claw it all back the rest of my working life.
I also must mention that my wife was divorced from her first husband when her two children were very young and had to borrow money all the time they were growing up, that was the only way to survive.
I will be asking for some advice from Pensionwise Ė that is a good call and Iíll get in touch with them about August time. Cards on the table, adding everything up, taking things out.
I have also decided that I must take the amount I require to settle all of my current outstanding debt. I do not have a credit card anymore but my wife has. With some inheritance I receive a couple of years ago (as was mentioned by someone earlier), this was spent on settling a Debt Advisory loan which would not have been paid back until my wife was 81! That was a massive chunk of my inheritance and the rest I bought a new car with. My dad would have liked me to have something for myself from their lifetime savings I think.
I cannot carry on waiting until Iím in my sixties to pay everything off as someone said. I would surely be dead of a heart attack brought on by even more worry and stress if I did that. Itís surely the best option to pay it all off and get all house repairs sorted out so my later years can be spent with relative ease and comfort. We have both waited a long time to be able to simple go our and do what others do each week Ė eat in a restaurant occasionally, go on weekend trips. We deserve that I think after being not poor but having to watch our finances.
I only go out once or twice a week because my work pattern doesnít allow otherwise. So itís a meal in a pub with my wife on a Friday night and my social life time with my pals on a Saturday afternoon, which doesnít break the bank and itís not every week. Iíd go spare if I had to stay in on a weekend seeing nobody until work begins on Sunday night once more. Iíve earned my wages and itís my treat. Just basic things. Others go to rugby or football or whatever, I see the odd band too. My way of enjoyment and I do not spend a fortune doing all this. I cannot cut out these as my life would really be not worth living. Itís been hard enough for the past 20 years. Someone mentioned cutting back on the gym Ė itís £12.49 a month. Why should I stop doing the things I want to do. We donít spend a lot on food either and I am living very much within my means these days.
We have our house paid off as I said earlier, which is collateral and I will also receive a further pension when Iím 60 from the RAF, so that will enable me to go part-time hopefully in whatever job Iím doing then. For now though, Iíll see where the funds take me when I get my initial age 55 payment and watch how it all settles down after the debts are cleared. Then my only goal is to get off these bloody night shifts which are slowly crippling me. If I canít get a similar role on days where I work then I will be looking elsewhere. I donít want to do that as itís risky and it would be like beginning again, but Iíll be sending out CVs later in the year just to see what happens.
At the end of the day then when I put all this down on Ďpaperí like this it doesnít all look too bad. The debts are manageable and can be settled from the 25% with a further wedge taken out for the bathroom at least if not the kitchen. Plus, if you think about it, with these debts cleared our accounts will be free for the first time ever of anything more to pay out for than the usual bills, food and general expenses, so there is some light I think. I won't blow it all of course and I'm still working for another 10 years at least, so the pot will build up again.
Thanks again. Anything else you think of, please fire away. Cheers.