To my future self,
I am married and have three children, two girls and a boy. My oldest daughter is married with two sons and they live about 10 minutes by car from us. I look after them frequently and enjoy their company very much. It is lovely to see the world again through young children's eyes. I have one or two health problems but nothing serious.
I would have been happy to retire at 60 to devote more time to my children and grandchildren but the government has upped the pension age to 66 for me which seems an uphill struggle. However I do enjoy my life. My husband is 10 years older than me and the age gap is beginning to show. He is much more fragile than me. I live in a big country village in Dorset. My neighbours are great and we live in a very quiet street. We are thinking of down-sizing in the next couple of years as it is expensive to run a four bed house.
I like listening to music, watching TV, reading, gardening and cooking. Our household is very traditional in that I do most of the housework and cooking. I also love looking after my grandchildren and visiting stately homes. I am a member of the National Trust. My son lived in Boston USA for a couple of years and we visited him there and really enjoyed it. We have also been to Europe many times. We have a big holiday once a year – this year we are going to Sardinia in Italy with the immediate family. My son will join us for a week as he is currently living in Colombia. We hope to visit him there in the next year or so.
I have had a good family life and am grateful that I have three healthy, happy children. Moneywise it has been a struggle, we have not had many lucky breaks, but my family life is more important to me than money.
I worked full time in a bank before I had my children. After that I worked part-time so we could both work and look after them. My husband is retired. I have to keep on working – part time in an estate agents and as an invigilator at a local school. If the pension age had stayed the same I could have retired by now.
You do need money, especially with children, but it is not the most important thing in my life. I think I’m most proud of my children and the fact they all went to universities and obtained first class degrees.
Yours, Female, 61