Retirement and the change it brings

I would like to talk about a few of the changes in both mine and my husbands life since we moved to live in our home in the bush. Before retirement my husband and I had our own retail shop for around 18years. It was relatively good business, with one full time and several casual workers. It was a huge undertaking at the start, many years without income or any free time but we managed to build the business into a success. So work was the focus of our life as we remember it. Very little time for holidays and certainly not enough time for relaxing or life in general.

We had no big plans for when we retired except to downsize so we would be able to be comfortable in our retirement. Therefore we put our house, in the suburbs, on the market and commenced building our new home in the mountains. Sold our business and changed our lifestyle. This all sounds easy but it wasn’t and it was not without a lot of difficult decision making and not without a lot of doubt and trepidation. There are decisions to make which affect not only yourself and your partner but your children and also your lifestyle, your friendships and other family. We had lived in our home at Kellyville for approx 15 yrs and our previous home at Seven Hills for 25 yrs. We were familiar with our neighbours, our area in general, shopping, entertainment, our friends who lived nearby, our doctors, the hospitals and specialists.and many other facets of daily living. One daughter lived in the city and the other was in the Lower Blue Mountains. We had no specific requirements but I always maintained that I wanted to be close to major hospital, and within walking distance of transport.I also did not want to be isolated. My husband ‘s main requirement was a flat block of land without many trees. This is funny when you consider we settled on The Blue Mountains. A haven for trees and not many flat blocks of land. So the looking started and took us 2 years to find the block we wanted and to start building. We did achieve what we wanted, close to the shops and station and a relatively flat block. Possibly more trees than we wanted but we settled on it and commenced the move. Financially we were not able to simply retire in full. Selling the business took time and what we made from there went in to boost our superannuation. Unfortunately we did not consider retirement enough in the earlier years when we should have committed more to our future. Both of us are fortunate enough to have the ability to continue working part time and to date it helps us to live comfortably. As it was we could build a nice new home, fill it with new furniture and a few other luxuries to see us through hopefully till the end.

Moving into a new area, we did not know our neighbours, or anyone else in the area. We continued with our friendships from previously. That meant travelling a lot up and down the Great Western Highway pretty much every other day. Once the shop was finished we started to settle a little more into the area. Commuting down from the mountain has diminished somewhat. We go to know our new neighbours who turned out fantastic. They look out for us and are very friendly and also entertaining. We discovered another couple of friends who actually lived quite close so that was a bonus we were not expecting. Our lifestyle slowly changed. We began to sleep longer in the morning without feeling guilty, we started to explore the area we now lived in and discovered many places to walk and enjoy. We realised this could be done during the working week when there were less people, better parking and less noise. My husband was in his element as he had been coming to this area with his parents since he was a child. He knew it well and was ready to familiarise himself with every secret hide-way he had found as a child. I was not into the bush or walking as much as he was so I had to find myself some hobbies. I will talk more about those things in other blogs. For now it is sufficient to say I had to do some thinking.

There are not many negatives that come to mind. We see less of some long term relationships that had developed. Simply because the distance is greater. We have to work harder at keeping in contact. We have less choices for shopping, restaurants, activities. Our doctors and specialists are further away. In the beginning our eldest daughter was at least an hour and half away. She has now moved to lower mountains which has made things easier. It is a little colder up here and a there are a lot more windy days in our particular spot. These are very minor things when we compare with what we have gained.

We love it here now, have settled into a routine and relishing in our choices every day. I will elaborate on the area and how we spend our time in further posts. See a few photos below of our transition.

Reflection

Planning earlier in our life would have made things easier. We let work get in the way too much.

Who out there has undergone a large change on retirement. How did you deal with the emotions that go with that?

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