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Archive for February, 2016

First 300 Days

It’s now 300 days since I retired and I’m taking a look back at what I’ve learned, and how it’s going.

The big one I guess is the CPP (Canada Pension Plan), didn’t realize I could collect that as well until a buddy told me (big thanks mate!). The scary part is how I missed that little detail because I must have been told at some point I reckon. Wonder what else I’ve missed, I do receive it now though and it’s helping to put our new micro economy on track as we adjust.
I’ve also learned the hard way that no amount of planning can prepare one for the financial part but I guess some people do get it right if they started years ago. I also mistakenly thought for instance that the medical was still paid so that one was a rude awakening too. A previous post talks about the three stages of retirement and it’s a pretty good description I found of what we’re actually experiencing.

So, how it’s going? Well, not bad at all really. We slowly adjusted to the realization of not working, doing what we want and sleeping in. That part has now begun to change now though as I myself like getting up in the quiet of the early morning and doing what I’ve always wanted to do, and that is write. Okay, not very good at it yet but like anything else I need to spend the time to practice at it meaning the 10,000 hour rule. Turns out that may be wrong in the end as evidenced by this link as an example.

One wonderful thing we did was just go camping now we have the chance, went to a bit warmer climate down south and wintered. It became a bit of a challenge to see if we could do it and it has turned out pretty darn good. A little bit harsh at times and had lots of crazy adventures as recorded in The Crazy Retired Englishman’s Weakly …but you’ll have to be family or a friend to view it. I’ve closed that part of the written record off now as we move on to other things. Another wonderful thing is my health has definitely improved probably because I more time to focus on it and get control.

Bottom line is I highly recommend retirement so do it as soon as your able. Myself I have about another 117 days to go to get good at retirement apparently and who knows how many days to get the writing thing going.

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Pot Calls Kettle Black

potkettle

Watched that news story unfold about ‘journalists’ being barred from an Alberta government news conference with great interest. Aside from the fact that this Ezra Levant is not well thought of (will delve into that interesting subject in a subsequent post perhaps) the outcome was somewhat predictable, the Alberta government back tracked and apologized because of the bad press and publicity it garnered. So, I was poking around the news story, following links down the garden path, as most of us do and ran across this posted by Alheli Picazo. How true is it all? Don’t know. I’m a small bit player on the journalistic landscape and probably not even a player actually, still learning the ropes. However, it all really struck me as the pot calling the kettle black, can’t have it both ways, complain about the censorship but do the exact same thing yourself.

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Three Stages of Retirement

Source:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/rrsp/rrsp-retirement-planning-beyond-money-1.3401637
Quoted part from article…
“Stages of retirement
Retirement can be divided into three stages, said McCaw.
First is the “go-go” stage, which could involve travel and home renovation. Early in that stage, during the “honeymoon” phase right after retirement, spending tends to go up as people fulfil their retirement goals, be that travel, renovation, starting a business or joining clubs, she said.
“You’re getting your hobbies up and away,” McCaw said.
That honeymoon phase usually lasts anywhere from a few months up to about two years, she said, although the go-go stage lasts longer.
What retirees don’t think about is what McCaw calls the “slow-go” stage. In this phase, a retiree’s energy level may have changed, priorities may have shifted and they are not doing the travelling and active things they may have previously done.
“You may want to stay home a little bit more. You’re a bit more adjusted to the retirement and more connected with your community and your interest groups,” she said.
Last is the “no-go” stage. At this point in life, people’s health is such that they are not able to travel.”

This article hit home because I realized it describes us pretty darn good, so let’s compare.

Go-Go Stage
We did indeed experience a “honeymoon” phase. The euphoria of being free from going to work, the ability to now go camping until we’re sick of it. I even did an amusing newsletter for family and friends to highlight and record our adventures. Great fun it was. Also fired up the languishing hobby of genealogy now that I had some time. A few events though during this phase tempered our enthusiasm which dragged us back to earth, and we drifted into the next stage slowly but surely.
Slow-Go Stage
Once we had reached our destination of choice and finally began to slow down we dug in an adjusted to the more mundane tasks and chores of long term camping. We became less mobile for many reasons and spent more time close to camp. I have begun to write and start some of the things I’ve always wanted to do.
No-Go Stage
Not there yet of course but we certainly realize it’s coming as we now plan our final more permanent last stop on this adventure and stop camping.

camper2

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Clever Idea

Interesting idea…looking for how different plants get their nutrients though.

Bale Gardening

bale (Mobile)

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Tai-Chi?

peeka-boo2

Because our current abode is rather small (actually an understatement) it requires some rather interesting maneuvering and contortions when attempting to avoid stepping on our dogs that always seem to be underfoot. We’ve taken to calling it cute special names based on Tai-Chi, because it’s like that with arms and legs all over the place as we balance ourselves. For the eldest one , called Boo, we call it Boo-Chi and the youngest one is Peeka-Chi. I know, too much time on our hands (and feet).

As a side note, the better ‘alf is still looking forward to me yelling, “Peeka-Boo!”, outside for the dogs. That’s why they’ll always be on a leash so I can avoid this rather disturbing prospect.

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Expiring Air Miles?

The attack on loyalty points continues. First it was Aeroplan air miles expiring, they backed off apparently because of the outcry. Then it was The College of Pharmacists of B.C. winning a court battle(Global News Story)stopping the collecting of points on prescriptions. Now Air Miles are expiring at the end of this year. These are all precedents in a way and others are watching how it plays out I’m sure. To extrapolate with some analogies of sorts it’s a bit like what I said about the smoking thing way back. Once they’ve finished with us smokers they will go after the overweight because of poor eating habits trying to put in controls and they have begun haven’t they. The Daily Mail News Story is one example of many out there. Extrapolating further how about the interest given on money saved having an expiry date, okay banks wouldn’t like that but governments might use it as an economic tool to boost the spending of it’s citizens which in turn would boost the economy. Who knows who else is watching ready to take advantage. I just have this feeling that society as a whole is being molded slowly into some form of conformity. A bit Orwellian perhaps but that’s how it feels.

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