A YEI member story:
Peter had to take early retirement due to health issues.
He recounts his story
– how he balanced financial matters against the odds
Two years before I had to take early retirement, I realised that my wife and I would not have enough capital to maintain our lifestyle. We were also in the situation that we are part of the sandwich generation, in that we had to consider a space for my mother in law to ultimately occupy.
My mortgage was paid off, but I decided to take out a re-advance on the paid off bond in order to build a two bedroom garden cottage. The idea was that we would rent this cottage out in the interim in order to pay off the newly increased bond. We also thought that we could possibly occupy the garden cottage down the line and rent out the main house.
I was forced into early retirement at the end of December 2008, at the age of 59, due to health issues. Way before my planned retirement. There was also pressure from the company that I worked for at the time, as it appeared that they wished to recruit younger and more technically savvy employees.
I managed to convince them that I was “in fact” being retrenched and managed to negotiate a small severance package due to my long service with the company. Erica, my spouse, retired approximately 3 years later. She is approximately 1 year younger than I.
In the meantime, we had been paying off the bond at a rate far higher than required to bring the balance down as fast as we could manage.
When Erica retired, we took a long-planned Southern African camping trip over a period of three months covering parts of South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland (as it was known at that time). We used our aged 1998 Isuzu double cab 4×4, which had 380 000 kms on the clock at the time. We also had a small modified trailer fitted with a roof top tent. In three months, we covered almost 14 000 kms – this was not without its challenges. Looking back on this trip, we know that we did the right thing, as today, the trip would be impossible, physically and financially.
Having said that, we have done a few shorter overland trips with other “oldies” to some of the more remote and wild areas in Southern Africa.
And then it was time to balance things financially and “pull our horns in” somewhat.
We were now ready for the next part of our life, and our plan regarding the rental unit then commenced…