We had a big change at the Exacting House this month. Rom retired from his job! He had been increasingly unhappy there and knew he wouldn’t stay another 8 years to age 65. He saved half his take-home pay “FIRE-style” for the past 5 years. His savings will pay all his expenses and a “personal allowance” until his various pensions become available. It’s possible Rom will look for supplementary income, but it isn’t strictly required. He much preferred his 10+ years of self-employment to working for a corporation. The firm put the minimum amount of money into HR and infrastructure, in order to maximize profits. Eventually he felt he was doing the workload of 3 people. They were OK with letting him walk, rather than change working conditions for staff. Capitalism at its finest!
I bet many of you are thinking it won’t be long until I throw in the towel because I’ll want to be home too. No, my timeline for retirement is the same as before, 3 to 5 years. My financial considerations include my earliest civil service pension date, the earliest date I would want or need to take CPP, when to start drawing on RRSP and LIRA funds, investment returns, and the availability of supplementary health insurance. I appreciate having a salary and continuing savings for a few more years. Besides the financial aspect, I like my work and feel I can contribute there. It’s my career and a source of self-worth, not just a job. I’m not being exploited!
That would only change if I had an irreversible change in health, or if I had to assume full-time care of a loved one. I know these things happen, given the experiences of so many of my peers.
Our lifestyle won’t change in the near future. Neither of us has or had many work-related expenses. You might remember that Rom and I contribute equally to household expenses and keep the rest of our money completely separate.
That has helped us make our independent work/retirement decisions, knowing the other is completely OK. For example, I didn’t have to reduce my spending to fund Rom’s early retirement, and our monthly household budget includes an amount for any big home maintenance projects that come up. If we had planned a shared retirement date in a few years’ time and he opted out of that plan to retire early, it might have messed up my retirement too (for example, if one of our retirements had been dependent on the other making spousal RRSPs). Not a typical scenario but it worked out great for us. You might say we were on parallel journeys.
Rom had developed dangerously high blood pressure in his last few months of work. He got that under control and he spent his first month of retirement at home relaxing. I have no concerns about him being at home every day; he is fully able to occupy himself! I have enjoyed seeing him become himself again and the return of his sense of humour. I don’t mind if he gloats a bit on sunny days 😊
In other health news, we’ve both had our two Covid shots and Link has had their first. I’m really excited to know we are unlikely to be hospitalized or die from Covid, yay! Even before the Delta variant showed up, people in our province got lax and we had a big uptick in cases, leading to another lockdown from April 26 to June 16. That seems to have done the trick and we’re now gradually loosening restrictions. Our family had a Fathers’ Day barbecue and a campfire after not being able to meet as a group for 8 weeks, so we are thankful for everyone’s good behaviour.
You will have read or heard about the victims of Canada’s residential schools being found in unmarked graves. There were 132 schools operating for over 100 years. The death toll, once calculated, will be staggering. We always knew that, but no one was willing to face it until the physical evidence was literally unearthed. It’s time for justice for the survivors. If everyone in Canada had equal rights (and the resources to make it so), our country would look and feel very different. I want us to get there.
Meanwhile, especially in these Covid times, I’m in my own little bubble. I‘ve been doing lots of gardening, reading, and watching movies from my unwatched DVD stack. I hope you are all well and you’ll tell me what you’ve been thinking about and doing.