And so begins another week of uncertainty. I feel utterly exhausted by the lack of sleep and worry about our future. In all probability I will only know where I stand by the end of the week and it’s a busy week with lots of meetings through which I will have to smile and behave as normal whilst inside my stomach is cramping and churning like a cement mixer. The dark rings under my eyes are not doing me any favours either.
I prepared a worst case scenario budget and even by eliminating all voluntary savings we are going to be in the poo. An aspect probably not thought through by my client is that to a large extent my operating costs will remain the same so every printer cartridge I have to purchase, every ream of paper, every telephone call will still eat into my fee reducing my income even further.
My once a week char lady will have to be let go, our twice a month gardener who has worked for us for the past 16 years will have to be reduced to once a month. Our holiday home which we own as part of a syndicate may have to be given up altogether although our son and DIL have indicated that they would like to pick up at least half the payment due. The holiday home was meant to feature hugely in OH’s retirement years and to be passed on to son and DIL who love it as much as we do. Losing it will be a bitter blow for the family.
Saddest of all, is the knowledge that there will be no chance of seeing our daughter and granddaughter unless they come to SA.
The ridiculous thing about all this is that we are not talking about a huge amount of money, just what would qualify as a very average SA salary, one on which you would be lucky to get a mortgage on anything more that a small apartment in an undesirable location. We have never lived extravagantly, and that is how we managed to afford our share of the holiday house. We have been through tough times before so I know how to budget and make food go further. OH will never give up on repairing something that has broken until he has tried everything he can. The difference now is our ages and the fact that our future earning potential is not good whereas in our younger days we had the hope that things would get better.
In September last year we sat down with our Financial Advisor and worked out a five-year plan that was sensible and somewhat frugal to try and add to retirement capital instead of depleting it too soon. That five-year plan did not have a chance …