I'm sitting here quietly fuming at the English tax authorities. When the government encouraged people to save for their old age I did not realise it was so that you have enough money to pay, not only the tax due but also next year's possible tax in advance. I retired a couple of years ago, a few months before my 70th birthday, but have carried on doing a little work freelance, for my old boss.
I carried on working for so long, mainly because I enjoyed my job, but of course the earnings helped me keep an active lifestyle. I am Danish and moved to England in 1971, so am getting my state pension here, but I also worked in Denmark for some years before moving here, so also get state pension from Denmark. Because of this I have to fill in a tax return every year and this year the extra tax I have to pay worked out at £1150. I have to accept this as I think the figures are correct although one difficulty I have is that the Danish tax year is different from the English.
I file my tax return on line, so get the amount I have to pay immediately. I phoned and queried the amount but the person I spoke to was not really interested, and her attitude was that pensioners today were really well off! Needless to say, she sounded very young. What I find difficult to accept is that because it is more than £1000 I also have to pay next year's tax on account, 50% now and 50% in June. The bit of work I do, together with a few savings, enables me to lead a very active life with travel, theatre trips,gym membership etc. but the authorities seem to think that once you become an old age pensioner you should sit down and watch TV and not do anything else, or at least not anything that costs money. I'm afraid that is not for me (although I do admit to be a TV addict!).
There is a lot of life in the old girl yet. How do you explain to people that just because your birth certificate says you are nearly 72, your brains think you are 52, despite stiff limbs etc. and you really need to keep going? I enjoy the little bit of work I still do. It makes me feel still part of the team and helps keep my mind alert, but the tax people make me feel like I should be punished for this.
Apart from the above I am really enjoying my life. I feel it is important to get out of the flat every day, so if I am not visiting my children, on an outing or at the gym (actually walking 1000m in the outdoor pool, not working out in the gym!) I go into town for a coffee. Wonderful.