Retired health care worker Patrick understands the importance of financial security. At 75, he has enough saved to see him through to 100.
Working for the health services industry in Australia, Cambodia and Vietnam, Patrick has seen a lot in his lifetime. “I enjoyed my time working overseas. The rewards have been great,” he says. “I can see the effect of my work and how it transformed people.”
In Vietnam, he worked with people badly affected by war. “These people had nothing. Whatever help we gave them, they were so grateful.”
Patrick learnt a lot about human resilience and not taking life for granted. In Vietnam he spent time in a rehabilitation centre teaching a young disabled boy to walk, following surgery. “On my last visit there I went to see him and he had the biggest smile on his face and showed me he could walk. That will stick in my mind until I die.”
As a public servant with the Department of Health, Patrick joined First State Super when he began his career. “They were there to help you,” he says. “The advice I got from them was really good and I haven’t looked back.”
It’s a relationship that has served him well and one that has made him feel secure and assured. When he thought of retiring at age 65, First State advised him to stick it out for a few more years, which he did. “I’m glad I stayed longer because now I have a little more fat in my financial system,” he says. “I think I have enough there to take me to 100.”
Until then, Patrick, who retired four years ago, plans on spending time with his grandkids and travelling. A stamp collector for more than 60 years, his collection – depicting capital cities and famous buildings from all over the world – has given him a taste for what’s on offer outside Australia. “I’d like to go and see Stanley Gibbons, a rare stamp merchant, one of the big authorities on stamp collecting in England,” he adds.
Patrick has been married for almost 50 years – “to the same person!” – and has four children. “Financial security is important. If you don’t have security it limits the things you can do and puts more grey hairs on your head. I have enough,” he laughs.
“There’s a timeliness about retirement and in my situation I retired at the right time. I haven’t looked back since.”