In five years …

Ever thought what you’d like to be doing in five years time?

I have just over two lots of five year blocks until I retire. Put like that, it isn’t very far. 

So I’ve been thinking about retirement options. And what I need to do by then. And what I want to do by then. 

I have three main goals:

  1. Financial = pay off the mortgage by 57.
  2. Home = fix up the house and garden. 
  3. Travel = have regular holidays and biennial overseas trips. 

With out high mortgage repayments and lots of travelling, we don’t have much money for the second goal and we don’t have time, energy or skill. (During holiday breaks we are travelling.)

I’ve done some thinking and contemplation and realise I don’t want to go further in my career. Bureaucracy bores and frustrates me. I do confess my work takes much of my energy and life force, leaving little time or energy on work days for anything but collapsing in a heap. I can’t see myself doing this until pensionable age of 67. 

Even 62 sounds a little undoable. 

Then it struck me. 

We have a scheme called Deferred Salary Scheme. For four years you get 80% of your salary. The remaining 20% is put in a bank account. So it is really forced saving. You can’t access the funds in that account until the fifth year, when you get the whole year off on 80% of your salary! But the other bit is the leave is press proved and with right of return to your position. You can elect to have the funds in a lump sum or in fortnightly payments just like your income. 

As an added bonus, we still accrue long service leave. So in the intervening four years, we can still take extra holidays, as we are doing for our planned 2017 trip to France. Mr S has months and months of LSL on full pay owing to him. Me not as much as I changed employers and took time for the children. 

My plan is to have both Mr S and me apply for the Deferred Salary Scheme at the end of this year for next year. (You can only commence at the start of a calendar/school year.) 

If approved, in the year I turn 55 we will buy a combi van and be grey nomads for most of the year. There’s so much of this country I want to see. And I want to do it while we are still able. 


Some people I have shared my thoughts with have said we won’t want to go back to work. 

Maybe. But maybe it will be the same as every other first week back: I know I have to do it or have no income. And I remind myself of all the wonderful things I get from the money I earn, not least the ability to travel and own a lovely house. 

Besides having a year to travel around, the 80% model will help us get use to living on less income. When we do retire, our income will drop massively. 

If we manage and love the year off so much, maybe we will apply again! 

7 thoughts on “In five years …

  1. What a cool idea!! I like it

    On the “can’t be bothered with beaurcracy” : I’m “young” relatively speaking and I can see others thinking “just wait wil she’s my age, she’ll have had enough of all the gaff”. Which isn’t to say I write off older staff but I can see how they could be weary of all the changes, dramas etc. It makes me relish my youthful vigour and wherewithal. You need it currently in my business.

    I guesstimate I could pay off the loft in four years – but knowing I might sell it or use the money on a primary place of residence; a family home. I did write a “life plan” a while ago for the bf who thought I was without a career plan (retrospectively, I agree he was right!!) it’s really helped me and probably him to know if we can make a life together.

    • You are so organised. What does bf do? Business? Accountancy? I can’t imagine most young people needing a career plan in their partner to work out if they could make a life together. Or even thinking it was a thing that people do.

      No life or career planning here. Until this one. Maybe I’m just a late starter?

      • Nah I think early on, I was floating along (when we met) cause I think I was mentally all ‘babies now would be ok, work could easily fit around it’ rather than stretching and aiming for more at work. I think it all came from “you don’t have a ‘career’ plan” and I didn’t – so I at least shared all my other plans, and then… well my career has taken off in the past few years!!

  2. I have a close friend who’s done the Deferred Salary Scheme for years and years…maybe a dozen? She finds that instead of making her less likely to work, it recharges all her batteries, reboots her with other life experiences and genuinely makes her happy to come back each time. I think it gives her a really fresh angle on her job, as well. It’s an amazing option to have.

    I would so much buy the kombi and hit the road tomorrow, if I could! I have to talk to you again about France, too. Hope the plans are going well!

    • Fiona, I’m hoping that will be my experience. Knowing my work is paying for me to have a year of doing as I wish with no interruptions and with the security of a job to return to. And taking away the constant drag of working all the time, I can see a return to the idea of work as fun.

      Currently planning the Victoria trip but will be posting about my plans for Sept ’17 France. Definitely went your input.

  3. I wouldn’t do the deferred salary scheme… in the long run you’re slashing the amount of money you’ll have to set yourselves up for retirement, because you’re not getting paid during the year you take off. That’s a LOT of money to be doing without, and makes for a very expensive holiday.

    • Yes, I think about that too. If I work straight through, I could retire that year earlier. But the reality is sometimes I don’t think I can work through – physically and emotionally exhausted. Even the thought of a year off gives me energy and hopefully will enable me to work into my 60s. And I think the lifestyle choice of a year to travel may be more important than nonstop working. Working straight through wouldn’t necessarily give me more money as I’d probably go out by 60. Reminds me of the year I took off to backpack. People commented on the lost income. But I really enjoyed it and don’t regret the lost income at all.

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