Sunday 6 June 2021

Blogjune Day 6 - on catching up

I said that I'd catch up by Sunday night... here I am, in the wee hours of Monday morning, but I feel like it still counts. I often feel like I'm falling behind, and catching up.

I was out to dinner with my partner's family and friends, and I was struck by some comments around the importance of making the right career decisions that will help ensure a comfortable retirement. This was from somebody who was only a handful of years older than myself.

I felt that familiar pang of, "So, Andrew. How are you going with that, then?" How long will it be until I catch up with where I need to be to be able to retire comfortably by my mid to late 60s? Yes, I have a mortgage, a moderately sized superannuation - and a sizeable HECS debt - certainly not yet on track for where I "need" to be...

Then again, I feel like the goalposts are always shifting. I hear from those a decade younger than me who feel like they'll never be able to own property. For every person who I hear talk about putting extra money into their super, I hear about others contemplating taking out of the super to pay their daily bills and rent.

Part of me still aspires to try to aim higher, earn more, purely for the sake of being able to hang up my hat in 25 years and not have to worry about these things. But at what cost? If I'm comfortable now, somewhere in the middle, then why should I risk making my life more difficult or miserable, for a few dollars an hour more?

Then I think back to the years that I spent volunteering overseas. There's not a day that I look back and wish that I'd spent that time working in a regular job in Australia, earning more money, getting a mortgage sooner, putting more into my super, etc...

I realise that this is a position of massive privilege as it is. So why do I constantly feel like I'm still at a disadvantage?


  1. I can't just like your tweet and be done with it - the absence encourages comment. I'm older than you again and still not thinking properly of retirement (privilege blah blah blah) and not keen to stop working or even able to think of what not working would look like. I have super because the govt legislated such but never got round to adding to it. I'm paid well in my current job but past jobs not so much, plus a decade as a professional student which didn't pay at all. I am happy with where I'm at.

    1. Thanks - that's encouraging to hear! I also feel like I should be happy with where I'm at... it's just weird when I start hearing people talk about where I *should* be as a bare minimum benchmark. I mean, sound financial advice is universally applicable, right?