Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Well I went back to my first actual weight watchers weigh in on Wednesday. I lost .6 of a pound since last week. I was a little discouraged as I felt I would have done better. Ginny reminded me that I need to focus on the long term and the pounds didn't come up over night and neither will the weight go away over night. Slow and steady is the key to avoid the yo-yo effect.
Still have 20 lbs. to go till I am back in fighting trim. It was through weight watchers I went from a 42 to a 34 the last time. Unfortunately the past year has been rough and once you start to get off track. You seem not to care anymore and it takes a while to get back in gear. I guess it is pride, as I am a Life Time member and achieved goal the last time , tend to beat oneself up a little more.
I should have not got to that point again and should never have stopped tracking. But I am back.
Mrs. managed 2 1/2 lbs last week. I just plan to be extra careful. I have cut my points from 30 to 28 to see if that makes a difference. Although I look a lot slimmer and feel better with the increase in exercise already. Next Wednesday will be a better result as long as it is a loss or stay the same will be a victory either way.
It takes about 3 weeks to get in the habit of doing something, then it becomes a life style.
Posted by The Old Tarf at 7:08 AM
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
We are under construction again. The Patio Door is in the process of coming out and a new one installed. This is all covered by the Condo Board here and doesn't cost us anything. Well not really true , we do pay condo fee's but extra out of pocket no.
It is about 40 degree's in here at present with the door open and will only get worse as the day progress's as it is just above freezing out doors.
So the saws are buzzing and the hammers hammering. You can feel the vibration through the floor and with the ripping of the wood, We do feel sorry for the owners below us for the extra noise.
It is a real pleasant place to be in this day. NOT. The door is about 30 years old and broken to bits, so it is need of replacement. Good thing I am a squeaky wheel sometimes, in order to get something done.
Well, I am going to put another sweater on and get some antifreeze in me. Just heard one of the workmen complain that they forgot to bring something important with them. Not a good sign of things to come. LOL
Posted by The Old Tarf at 6:01 AM
Friday, October 16, 2009
Can you retire at 55 or not, now that is a very good question? Especially if your like me and over that bench mark already. It makes it rather difficult but not impossible.
I was surprised to learn that most of my fellow Canadians like us have little or no savings. To put another wrinkle in our Financial mix is the fact I have been on forced retirement for 12 years. Due to a motor car accident, when I went over a cliff up in Cape Breton dropped 60 feet and rolled another 100 feet down the slope. The irony of this was I was selling Accident and Disability Insurance for Combined Insurance of America at the time.
Now you say, hope you had coverage. I had Short Term Disability but no LTD as I was not in the company long enough. Also when you are self-employed no Unemployment Insurance or Workers Compensation. Had to fight for about 6 years with both the Medical Field and the Government before I could get CPP. ( Canada Pension Plan Disability)
So we have been down to 1 salary all this time and have learned to live within our means and still save a little. Those of you who are single, either through your own choice or due to other circumstances would understand. Just how hard it is to actually sock anything away. How life forces you to stay in the same old, even if you hate it due to the way the economy is at present.
Seems better the Poison you know than the Poison you do not know.
They ( Financial Experts) keep saying that you must have 5 times your annual salary before you can consider retiring in both cash and stocks. Then you must limit yourself to a 3.5 or 4% of your worth to live on for the year. Providing of course that you have no other debts when you do retire eg. mortgage,loans, credit card issues. Although a Mortgage also means that you have some equity in the house and could over here when your 65 take out a CHIP ( Canadian Homeowners Investment Plan) to approx.. value of 40% of your home. No repayments for as long as you live in the home. Now this would work well for most people my age or older as about 70% of us actually own our home out right or have enough equity in the home for this to work.
Lets go back to the 3.5 or 4% you take out per year (assuming that you have no company or other pension plan to fall back on, apart from Old Age and CPP at least here in Canada at 65 and 60 years of age. A couple would get just on those around 18-20k per year). So at 65 years of age to retire 4% of 400k is 16k plus the 20k from the government for a total of 32k) that is between 2-3k per month.) Depending on the interest rate on the investment it would be enough to live on and to be able to Travel not First Class but Economy to distance places. Now if you want to retire at 55 in this case you would need 600k and only be able to take out 3% per year. Of course this assumes that you do and can take out more early on and less as you get older ( in moderation) depending on how the market does and interest rates.
You could also buy something inexpensive right now in Florida as in RV parks RV's are good value and will get better as the
older Generation Snow Birds (non baby boomers), hate to say it move on. Live there for 6 months come back to Canada to renew your visa's visit some family and friends and head back for another 6 months. Rent out your home, furnished ( as you get more money) and depreciate your home and furniture as an expense against the rent on your taxes; for several years and presto you can live very well. With the rent covering all or most of your immediate expenses. This is one of the options we are seriously considering down the road.
We are also lucky that Mrs. OT has a government pension that would allow her to retire at 55 but with 50% of her salary but at 59 she would get 70% of her salary. It is a hard call and one we haven't completely decided on yet.
So this is one of the the other reasons we down sized now to a 1 bdr; while most of the people we know think we are foolish to go smaller but we didn't need or use another 3 bdrs and etc full of stuff as it was. Now should my wife decide to retire at 55 we can take the hit on the pension and still manage.
We are also now mortgage free and can sock away a little more and still take Holidays while we are still fit and healthy.
So most experts seem to agree on the fact that, we are in a small group of people who can retire early and comfortability who have a Public Sector Pension, even without additional money in the Bank or Investments.
So it seems with the last stock market crash that the Freedom 55 is slipping away from some (esp those who want to live in exotic places and drive fancy cars, who are unable to live within their means).
Those who have a Public Sector Pension and with those who learn to economize without a pension and if both groups take a good hard look; a hard realistic look can and will have a brighter future. At least that is what I think. What do you think?
Posted by The Old Tarf at 8:53 AM
Thursday, October 8, 2009
So G. and I decided we wanted to get away somewhere warm and sunny for Christmas this year. But we were torn as to where to go for me Cuba would have been my first choice and the Blau Costa Verde would have suited me fine.
So as G. has the deciding vote after all marriage is a democracy and each person in the relationship has an equal say. ( as long as Mrs. has the final say). LOL. Cuba was not even considered, I wasn't even able to wear her down by price comparison either.
So we started looking at the Bahamas, Nassau would be nice we thought. But the more we checked up on the Breezes in Nassau the more the reviews were leaning more on the bad side than good. Most people thought the place was awful and as it would have cost us the same as Mexico, or Costa Rica and the Hotels there, we looked at all had very good reviews. The Bahamas trip left the picture and even with Cuba thrown back in by yours truly. ( I am like a bull dog do not give up with out a fight. Got the look finally, so even I gave up finally.) (Maybe in April we will get back to the Blau. Mrs Ot said;). All is not lost.
So in order not to wipe out our bank balance, I used a line of credit on one of my credit cards at a really good rate 1.9% for 8 months. I did get Airmiles for the trip by the way. Love those Airmiles.
Now I am ahead of myself as per normal. So we went to a Travel agent and worked with them to get us a trip to Mexico even with the H1N1 trouble.( we are getting our shots at the clinic next month).
So we are off to the Dreams Tulum for Christmas from the 20th to 27th and the Dreams Adventura from the 13th to 20th. The Hotels are next door to each other and about 1 1/2 hours from Cancun.
With the Tulum right next door literally to a Mayan Ruin by the same name. Hence the Pictures on the slideshow.
So I paid off the line of credit one day and forgot to cancel the payment for a later time. So I went to look on-line to look at our accounts and found us short by 4000. I realized what I did ( I actually paid the credit company twice, sort of gave them a loan.
I was advised that the 4000 credit wasn't going too compound and no 1.9 % interest paid back in our favor) Lest haste more speed in future and today I was able to contact the company and have the credit sent back to our account it will take a few days. I am so careful with our accounts as a rule.
In the mean time our regular bank is charging us interest at 4.50% for the loan I didn't know I was taking out to pay the off the first card. Talk about stealing from peter to pay paul. I should have just paid it in full in the first place. Live and learn.
Posted by The Old Tarf at 4:43 AM