My name is Dave Robinson and my wife and I are both 68 years old. Maggie and I worked hard all our lives. I had a career in advertising and Maggie was a secretary in a doctor’s practice. I suppose we were lucky to grow up in an era of full employment and we never had to worry too much about work. You just worked, that’s what you did. Working in advertising, I had a lot of contacts in tourism or travel agencies.
Travelling abroad became a reality in Australia for the middle-classes in the late 1960s. Before that it was mainly something that the well to did. Anyway, our firm had a couple of regular clients, and as a the perks of the job go, a couple of guys on the team and me got some good discounts on some holiday packages back in the early 1970s to New Zealand and Fiji. We took the kids, they were still quite young and we all had a great time. New Zealand was quite similar to where we came from but Fiji was a bit of a cultural shock, but any way that was a good family holiday.
Australia is a bit removed form the other Western countries and it makes it a bit harder for us to travel to Great Britain or the United States. We also have such a huge country that it is worth exploring in its own right, which a lot of us tend to do. So when Maggie and I got closer to retirement, we weighed our options and tried to decide what would be a good way to treat ourselves a little bit.
The kids have their own families now; they often let us have them during school half terms and holidays. Donald our son’s 41 and his daughter Jessica is 6. Patti our daughter is 39 and her sons Blake and Tim are 7 and 9.We saved hard to put them through to college and helped them to start their lives with their houses. We feel that we’ve done our bit. We had good pension plans and invested our savings in safe bonds products. We want to enjoy our twilight years and do a bit of travelling. The kids will be fine; they’ve got good careers and good heads on their shoulders.
Next year we’ll be travelling to Europe for the first time, all the way to the United Kingdom. Maggie still has relatives in Manchester, where her family originally immigrated to Australia from. I have relatives in Scotland. It will be a 6 weeks trip, which will take us a whole year to organise and put together, but it’ll be worth it. It won’t come cheap either, especially when we both have to fly business class because of our health conditions, but we’ve made up our minds that we’re going to spend some of our savings on trying to enjoy life while the both of us are still in good health and up for it.
There’s a bit of a trend like that, which we’ve noticed around us, with people our age. The media even call it “Spending the Kids Inheritance”. We’ve read some of the open letters to their children that people have published. We’re not quite as bad as some people who are spending everything they have and reverse mortgaging their homes, but we also feel that it’s only fair that we should enjoy the rewards of the hard work we put into our careers and our family over the years. As the self appointed chairperson for the unofficial SKI club of Australia, I decided that we should start a web site and share our journey with others. I hope you will enjoy it and find it useful.