This was not something I was looking forward to. Not only did it mean you were oooold, but it really was the beginning of the end, as opposed to the 40s when it is just the end of the beginning and other such silly phrases.
The thought of trying to live on my pittance of a pension (or rather several pittances eroded even more by inflation) seemed terrible. I had worked hard all my life, not been terribly profligate, and in recent years saved quite a bit. Somehow it seemed to amount to little more than a state pension, which is not enough to live on in the UK, so I would be banished to somewhere cheaper eg Eastern Europe. Not that I really minded that, not wanting to live in the UK much anyway.
I went into a panic when Bee decided to be a doctor, thinking this was just more years of work and no comfortable end in sight.
However, now I have got to 60 it's not so bad. I got my bus pass. It seems OK to be offered cheaper this and that, if only I had more time to do them. After all I have worked and paid taxes for it for most of my life.
I fell downstairs but bounced on the way and nothing was broken, so I am not so decrepit yet. No need for the zimmer frame yet.
I have spent the last week or so with my financial adviser and accountant dealing with all the paperwork for these pittances, which now that I really add them up, amount to something reasonable, especially when expressed in Euros. Even the bad news about having to pay tax this year, as I have been at home for too many days, has been softened by the fact I can avoid tax by making extra pension contributions.
And I have no plans to stop work. 5 years medical university fees for Bee will make sure of that, but at least I will have a personal doctor in my (real) old age.
Unlike those who retire at 60, I am just off to start a new project in Georgia for 18 months, which I am really looking forward to. It's a new(ish) country for me, and I shall be doing something different (and perhaps) more useful. I shall get to see a bit of the country as well.
In our family we never think it's too late to do things. My mother retrained to be a teacher when I was 16 and she was 50. To be a full time student at 50 was unheard of at the time.
So the blog will relate tales of life in Georgia. Lets hope we start with a peaceful New Year.