Rannerdale near Buttermere in the Lake District
It takes really bad weather to keep us ‘van bound on a camping trip. We have good waterproof gear and our map reading skills can deal with low cloud and showers. But the recent weekend was as bad as it gets in the Lake District. Of course, we did get out for a walk on both days but Saturday was that atrocious combination of high winds and heavy rain that makes walking more of a chore than an enjoyable past time. We walked from the campsite for about an hour and a half and then filled the site drying room with our dripping gear.
Spending time reading and playing cards in the ‘van did give us chance to talk over some things in depth; we talked about work and no longer working and we shared our worst fears for our forthcoming retirement. What was interesting is that for two people who have been planning this retirement for at least the last six years [and actually for the last 30-years] our anxieties are very different.
My worries are all about our health. I fret that one of us will either not even live long enough to enjoy our retirement or only survive for a year or two in to retirement before dying. My alternative nightmare has one of us becoming too ill or infirm to take part in all the walking and cycling we want to spend our long retirement doing. I am optimistic [or naive] about our finances, sure that the sums are robust and that we’ll deal with any problems as they arise.
Mr BOTRA’s worries are mostly related to money; he is the more cautious one of the team. He is concerned that we haven’t budgeted correctly and we will run out of money before all our pensions kick in [not until 2026] and he worries that by finishing work he is closing off options to earn a few thousand extra that could be kept in the bank in case we want to move house, buy a new campervan or have some other emergency [of course we have a small contingency fund]. Having worked full-time for all his working life [apart from our gap year] he also has concerns about how his days will be filled without work, although he has no shortage of interests and ideas for things he wants to do.
While Mr BOTRA assures me that we will probably live a long and healthy retirement, I equally reassure him that he will soon wonder where he fitted in the time to go to work and that the spreadsheet doesn’t lie. These reassurances are important but equally important is to recognise and face the fears of your partner honestly so that you can work as a team to put things in place and [hopefully] stop these fears becoming reality.