Friday, 1 March 2013

Be Prepared

Being prepared -
having a camera handy when out and about
I like to Be Prepared.

Yes, I was a Girl Guide. I can’t remember exactly how long I was one for, but I do remember heading out for meetings once a week, in my snappy uniform. I probably stopped going when it was no longer something the cool girls did. Not that I was one of the cool girls, but I desperately wanted to be, so Girl Guides had to go.

But that is beside the point. The point is, I absolutely LOVE the motto. At the time, I didn’t really think about what it meant. I’ve just Googled it, and apparently (according to Wikipedia, so it must be right J) the first handbook for Girl Guides, How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire  says the motto is because you “have to be prepared at any moment to face difficulties and even dangers by knowing what to do and how to do it”.

Well, that may be true, but it sounds a bit dire and dramatic. For me, being prepared means I feel more comfortable, in control, and able to cope with what might get thrown at me. It enables me to feel comfortable that I’ve made the right decision. I can be a bit obsessive about it (some might say anal), and spend WAY too much time and effort getting totally prepared. But you don’t need to know everything in order to make the right decision, you just need to know enough to make a good enough decision.
Les is a lot like me when it comes to being prepared. You should see the work he does organising our holidays! Before our first holiday together, he even had our rest stops planned for days when we were driving. He isn’t as detailed now, but you get the idea on how he feels about preparation.

It can be tough writing a blog like this!
Yes, I’ve wandered from the point again.
Anyway, when we were looking at retiring, of course we had to Be Prepared (aren’t I a good little Girl Guide). Part of that preparation was reading suggestions, advice, and whatever we could get our hands on to tell us what we should do. I mean, we really want to enjoy our retirement.

We didn’t need to read all the stuff about financial readiness – we have a financial adviser who said we had enough money, and our own calculations (done using a much more conservative set of assumptions) agreed.
What we wanted to read about was what physical, mental and emotional preparation we needed to do. And it turns out there was a bit to do.

Getting into good physical condition
- Sand dunes at Kurnell

We had to be in good physical condition. Makes sense. Retirement is a bit of a waste of time if you spend it all being ill, or feeble, unable to get out of bed.
We had to really want to retire, not just not work – there is a difference.

We had to be ready for the emotions involved in retiring and being retired, and have strategies for dealing with them.
In future posts, I’ll talk about each of these in more detail. In the meantime, know that retirement is better if you are prepared for it. Here are some books we used to help us Be Prepared!

Brilliant Retirement by Nick Peeling

101 Secrets for Great Retirement by Mary Helen and Shuford Smith

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