Moving cities in midlife
with Sue and ‘Spoon & Spanner’
For Sue and her husband, finding meaning and significance trumped making more money. They wanted to change their lifestyle now – in midlife – and not put their lives on hold until their retirement.
Introducing Sue and John
Sue and John emerged from the Covid lockdown period with a totally different mindset. They wanted to live a more wholehearted life, find renewed joy, exit the rat race and follow their dreams of moving to a small Karoo town. They were ready for change and a fresh start.
Careful planning showed that if both resigned from their jobs, it would seriously damage their financial plan. Sue is fortunate to work remotely, allowing them one income. John now had the freedom to explore new work options, social connections and interests and managed to reinvent a completely new working life for himself.
Sue and John’s money and life lessons
What prompted your move to a new city in midlife?
After the turmoil of Covid, my husband leaving his job, and dealing with the grief of my mom’s passing, we decided that in our stage of life, we wanted to focus on the quality of our lives. We’ve worked so hard for many years to have what we have and felt that there is no better time than now to enjoy the fruits of our labours.
Has your new life in the Karoo lived up to your expectations? How are you adapting socially? Have you managed to join any social groups or made new friends? What about your family and social circle in Johannesburg – do you miss parts of your old life?
Our Karoo life is fabulous! We start our mornings walking, and I have even joined a Pilates studio – something I never had time for in Johannesburg. The fresh air, quieter life and quality of sleep are just unimaginable.
We have owned our new home as a holiday home for some time now, so our social network here is well established. Now that we live here permanently, we have become social butterflies and have met some incredible people. We don’t miss Johannesburg at all! I travel to Johannesburg for work every quarter and then take time to visit my family – although we chat frequently telephonically. All our Johannesburg friends left the city some time ago, so we were the last men standing.
How did financial planning fit into relocating?
We re-looked at our financial plan and investment strategy before we decided to move – we also asked our planner all the possible what-if questions. With the peace of mind that everything was in place, we felt secure to go ahead with our plans.
The move meant that your husband had to resign from his job. How is he adapting to the new life?
‘Spoon & Spanner,’ as I affectionately call my husband, is very happy! He is such a busybody and has kept himself busy with various projects around the house. His dream of being a ‘house-husband’ has been fulfilled, and he has even started cooking and bread-baking. I keep hearing the ‘pin-ping’ as he cruises around town with my credit card 😂
Let’s talk about money
What are your TOP 3 money tips (habits that have served you well)?
Save. Save and Save. You must ensure that you are financially self-sufficient in your older years. We don’t have children, so this was especially important for us.
What is your biggest money mistake?
Not reviewing my investments more regularly. If I had, I’d probably be better off.
In hindsight… what advice would you give your younger self…
“Live a comfortable life, but you don’t need loads of stuff. When we had to pack up our house, I donated half the contents to charity, and it looks like I have to get rid of another half down here. How much do you need to be happy?”
It is not easy to pursue your dreams without jeopardising your financial plan and financial wellness, and we certainly don’t all have the financial means to give up our jobs to live passionately with abundant financial resources. But careful planning and realistic action steps can help you get where you want to be without jeopardising your future.
Always remember, when it comes to your money, be inspired, be brave and be on purpose,