Saturday, September 8, 2012

I am not prepared!--for retirement.

I wrote a series of blogs many months ago, titled ‘DIJATC’ (Damn, it’s just around the corner). I was of course referring to retirement. As I just past my 62nd birthday last week, it all seems to be like a looming train, transfixing me in its bright lights. I am simply not ready.
There’s the mortgage to think of and probable medical expenses that won’t necessarily be covered by the state, and who the hell can afford medical insurance beyond 60, never lone at all. Now that my subsidy from work has gone for that purpose, I shall let it lapse. It’s a huge monthly figure for the 60 plus brigade.
Why am I in this reflectively fearful mood? Well I am on what many would say is a good salary and yet my disposable income is not big after all of the expenses one associates with owning (trying to) a very very modest unit. I look at friends who are on various benefits and see their daily struggle. Some of them are stubborn buggers and won’t accept any help, in the form of the odd hand-out or food etc. I can’t push that.
It brings home to me, the struggle many like myself will also face. I have been preparing for the drop in income, by making changes to the way I shop. I try to make things last longer and attempt to ignore the advertisements on TV for products of ‘want’ and concentrate on those that I ‘need.’
I do not look at the crap that comes through my letterbox---it goes straight in the bin, along with my desire to pluck out the ads on ‘fabulous savings on wine, this week on at----‘you get the picture.
I know that I won’t be travelling so much, so my car mileage will drop dramatically when I retire. I hope that other expenses will head the same way.
I am not relying on Kiwi Saver, because I will not have been in it for long enough. I have been thinking of other ways of making savings; for example, growing my own veggies. That will mean retraining my Jack Russell so that she doesn’t ‘help’ me so much with her digging. You should see the holes in my garden!
So in the knowledge that the ‘train is coming,’ I shall continue to find ways to shop cooperatively, do my garden and just retreat in my desire to keep up with the ‘Johnnies’---not that I ever did.
Oh yes, I will have to continue working for maybe two years before I absolutely stop working. Then of course there are my books, if they ever sell. So far that little venture is just costing me heaps of money, with no profit, unless of course you readers get out and buy them. Ooops, you may be in the same position as me---so go and get them free at your local library---ask them and they will buy them. You get them free and now that I am my own boss re publishing--- I shall get a pittance for my efforts. At least it keeps my mind in an ‘exercersive’ mode. I better stop, because I am starting to sound like our dear ‘Miranda.’

Thank goodness not all landlords are nasty and mean!

One has to be very careful about pointing the finger at landlords and labelling them all as mean and only concerned about their own profits. We all know that we have people living in substandard accommodation and the families suffer with the dampness and the related health issues. We know that this has ramifications for their education and their start in life. They start behind their healthier cohorts in the education system and become tomorrow’s poor.
An exaggeration?----Just go into some of the lower decile schools and talk to the hardworking teachers and teacher aides, who often feed and go way beyond their job descriptions to try to make a difference.
Today’s news that John Key is investigation one of his MP’s in the National Party for not insulating one of her hoses because she couldn’t get a subsidy. I could understand (assuming that the report is true?) a landlord who is stretched to the limit, trying to save money, but an MP is on a reasonable salary and could well have other income sources (not just National MPs, so let’s be fair).
I am going to wait until we know more before going too far in my musings, but this all makes me wonder at the fairness of our system. I have been following a debate on Facebook about people receiving the pension while they are still at work and suggestions about making it means tested. I swing in my thoughts from side to side; unable to comer to a comfortable position. Perhaps it is a ‘middle position, where a phasing process would be best. The bottom line in relation to the above report is that as a society we should not allow such mean, and yes unnecessary profiteering, especially when the victims are so visible.
Let’s continue the debate. Yes, landlords are providing what the Government cannot to the point where everyone is housed and paying fair rents, but don’t label all LL in the same manner.