After 45 years of nursing, the rest of Peggy’s life is right in front of her
“Sleeping in, having coffee, going for lunches, it’s just a few months away I think,” says Peggy, a nurse with a 45-year career. She has worked in both the public and private health sectors and is currently a nurse at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Melbourne.
Peggy was drawn to nursing for the interaction with people. “Over the years I’ve met some amazing, wonderful human beings and the memory of them stays with me. I also made some great friendships,” says Peggy.
Peggy believes it’s important to maintain interests throughout your working life in order to have a fulfilling retirement. “You have to make sure you’ve got interests, so that when your children grow up and you start winding down from work you can develop these further. But I have a lot of these interests and I really believe in keeping very active and fit as long as I can,” says Peggy.
One such interest that Peggy has sustained since childhood has been dance. “As a teenager I started in Calisthenics which is about the foundations of movement like strength, flexibility and agility. I was also a marching girl.”
Peggy’s specialty is Ukrainian dance which she teaches at Lehenda Ukrainian Dance School, among other places. “When I dance I feel a sense of happiness and joy. I love movement and I love music. When I dance I feel freedom. Dance allows me to express emotion. When I perform I’m giving something and it makes people happy.”
What’s important to Peggy in retirement is maintaining all the activities she already enjoys. “I want to continue with teaching dance as well as practising adult ballet, which I do regularly. I want to continue with my yoga, which I also do regularly. And I want to continue with my German language course which I started because one of my sons lives in Germany. These all cost. So the question is, can I still afford it when I finish nursing?” says Peggy.
Peggy met with a HESTA adviser and has set up a Transition to Retirement plan. “That’s going to give me a fortnightly income where I can maintain all my activities. I’ll have to keep a strict budget, but my adviser showed me how it’s doable.
“My advisor put everything into perspective. My husband and I felt reassured that we’re both going to be able to continue with the things that we like to do.
“I’m going to enjoy life, dance, catch up with friends and regularly travel to Germany to see my son. I’m going to take time to smell the roses and do all the things that people love to do on the weekends… but I’m going to do it every day,” says Peggy.