The cost of raising children and paying off the mortgage on lower unskilled and semi-skilled incomes has left Twilighters with minimal personal life savings or investments come retirement. Consequently these married or single Kiwi pre-boomer households now subsist on government pensions of $15-30K per year. Day-to-day living expenses are carefully monitored, and they rely solely on public hospitals and subsidised aged care services. Twilighters feel increasingly unsafe and insecure when alone, even in familiar home-town environments, and so go out in coordinated groups. They are extremely risk-averse and avoid new experiences and technologies.
Walk with Me
I’ve got a busy week coming up. My grandson Simon is getting married on Sunday, to a nice-looking girl. From Whangarei, I think she is. I do like weddings; been to enough in my time. I have to say, it’s a treat putting on the old suit and tie for anything other than a funeral these days, which is mostly when it comes out.
Maybe I’ll wear my hat. I’ve had it for over 50 years, I’d say. You don’t see them much anymore, it’s all jandals and untucked shirts and jackets with the sleeves rolled up.
My daughter, Simon’s mum, will be picking me up first thing. I told her, I couldn’t afford anything for a present so she’s bought something to give them from me. I can live alright on the pension so long as nothing comes up. Maybe I should have saved more when I was working, or figured out some way to put more aside. Don’t know exactly how I could have though: four kids and a mortgage wasn’t exactly easy living on my income from the freezing works. Still, it was worth it: the kids mostly did alright and they’re able to help me out now and then with extra expenses.
Monday I’ve got nothing on, which is handy because the cricket’s showing, but Tuesdays the retirement community bus goes down to the RSA. Wednesday is cards night. Barbara and I have been on a roll as a canasta team, so I don’t want to miss that. Barbara’s only been here a few months. We’re both on our own now, so she’s been good company.
Friday night we usually have a few drinks in the main lounge and watch the footy if it’s on, and Saturdays I check out the guide and allow myself a little flutter on the GGs, just a few bob here and there doesn’t hurt.