You may remember I mentioned Mr S and I are in the Deferred Salary Scheme. I mentioned it here.
We are being paid 80% of our salary. 20% goes into an account that we cannot touch. Until the fifth year. Then we get a whole year off. On 80% of our salary.
Some people have asked why we don’t just save our money. We’d earn more interest. Which wouldn’t be hard because the state government (my employer) keeps the money in an interest free account. We have no say in where the money is kept.
Well, I know we wouldn’t save. We’d put it on the mortgage. We’d fritter it away. We’d never save 20% of our pay for four years.
And we couldn’t guarantee that our boss at the time would grant us a year off. In five years time I could have a new boss and he/she could deny my request for leave. With the DSS, the right to leave is guaranteed. Mr S will be 60 when we take the year off. It’d be unlikely his boss would have granted the year then. More likely put pressure on him to retire. And DSS doesn’t count as leave without pay.
Others have asked why we don’t work through and retire a year earlier than we planned. Retirement is a big decision. When we retire, there will be no more big money coming in. We’d be unlikely to find a similar job at the same pay. This way we can return to work and keep receiving the income that gives us the opportunity to travel.
Mr S was hesitant about being in the DSS. He is always anxious about any change. He was worried we wouldn’t be able to manage in the reduced income. Never mind that we took on our mortgage when we both earned less, having received promotions since. And our offspring no longer need our wallets for all manner of expenses.
Anyway, the only thing that has suffered is paying off our mortgage. We are still over paying, just at a reduced rate. But half a year in and Mr S has decided he will apply for another round of DSS as soon as this one ends. So he will get another year off when he is 65. But that’s a long way off.
We’ve taken small steps to reduced waste, especially in groceries, which reduces wasted money. But our lifestyle has been maintained. And we have a WHOLE year off to which we can look forward.
Yes, a WHOLE year in addition to our LSL and our regular term breaks. I know! Lucky.! Greedy even. Our pay isn’t too bad. I know many people in private industry who have the same level of responsibility earn heaps more. But they don’t have the security of tenure and the hard won conditions. Time is what I’m greedy for now. Not money to buy stuff. Money to buy time and to do things.
What are we going to do in our year off? Fulfill some dreams. Do lots of travel.
- I’ve always wanted to live in England over spring and summer. So we will rent a cottage in a village and travel around England. Visit lots of towns and villages; do lots of walks along the coast and in the countryside.
- Massive roads trips! Up the east coast to the Cape; inland around Victoria and NSW; the Great Ocean Road. With a combie-sized van. Not something reall big but with a bed we can sleep on and a small fridge. Yes, we’ll be grey nomads before we’re too grey.
As we get closer to the year, our plans will firm up. And I will share them here.