Travelling the world ‘DOING SOMETHING FOR ME’
Technically speaking, when Mag Rahui left her job in tertiary education, aged 63, she was taking early retirement. But in reality, what she did was start on a whole new adventure that has taken her around the world.
Mag (73), who was widowed when her two children were small, enjoyed her work as a school programmes administrator at a university, but decided that the time had come “to have a change and do something for me”.
With one of her daughters based in the UK and a desire to see more of the world, Mag got a job as a carer to a 98-year-old lady in Buckinghamshire, England, and on her time off, travelled extensively.
During her two-and-a-half years there, as well as seeing lots of the UK, she visited Italy, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Greece, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Jordan.
“I made the most of my time,” says Mag, who went on excursions on her own as well as with family.
When she returned to New Zealand, she still wasn’t ready to put her feet up, so after doing a course, began teaching adult literacy classes. “I did that for a couple of years, but I wasn’t a very good teacher. I was too helpful,” she says.
Mag now works two days a week doing administration for a business and also helps out for half a day at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
“I’m not very good at leisure,” she admits. “I’ve worked since I was 16, so I’m used to working.”
Financially, she copes thanks to her earnings, plus a superannuation fund she started paying into while she was working in education.
She was able to save a lot of the money she earned as a carer in the UK as her living expenses were covered, and she’s pretty good at not splurging cash.
“I choose not to own a car because they gobble money and I’ve never had flash things. My furniture is all mismatched. I haven’t been to a hairdresser since 1972, so that saves me money.
“The main thing was to make sure I was mortgage-free. And I am still paying into KiwiSaver. Otherwise, I’m a bit cavalier – I’m not a very good planner.”
She’ll probably cut back on working for the CAB later this year, when her first grandchild is born – she’s looking forward to spending time with them. Her only other plan is to keep travelling for as long as she can. Recent overseas trips have included Namibia and Mongolia is on her “to do” list.
“I don’t really feel like I am retired,” says Mag. “I just feel like I am living.”
‘ The main thing was to make sure I was mortgage-free. And I’m still paying into KiwiSaver’
Mag on her recent trip to Namibia.