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Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-07-2004, 11:55 AM   #1
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Another new young dreamer...

I have been lurking for awhile reading posts and impressed at the quality of the postings around here.

I have thoughts of ER around 3 years ago when I was 27. So I started to educate myself on budgetting, savings and investing. Learning to budget was a sobering process as I got to see how much money I was really spending on clothes, entertainment and meals out. I didn't have too much debt but I didn't have too much savings either.

Fast forward 3 years, I have cleaned up all my debt to the point that the only debt I have is my $100k mortgage on my $150k condo. I have around 48K in retirement savings, and $11K emergency cash. Not much but a lot more than 3 years ago. More importantly now that I am learning to live within my means: I don't buy too many new clothes/books anymore (my weakness before), bring lunch to work everyday and save 30% my gross. I also have realized that I don't need my gym membership to stay trim and pretty and have since cancelled. I opted instead to skate at my community centre, bike on the nearby trail or use the old treadmill in my building's little gym area.

I have yet to determine the date when I am going to retire since I actually like my job (but hate the management of course). Definitely before I turn 55 though. I am not, as of today, married nor with kids so I am quite flexible with RE date.

Btw, I am also a Canadian (if you haven't guessed from my skating and lack of IRA talk)...

Right then, time to go back to the igloo and tend my sled dogs...

Jane
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-07-2004, 12:13 PM   #2
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Hi Jane,

Very impressive start at ER. Congatulations on eliminating debt and learning to live below your means. I look forward to hearing more about your path to retirement and freedom from that management.
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-07-2004, 01:30 PM   #3
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Thanks for the note of confidence. But don't get me started on "the management" rant...whenever I read Dilbert I laugh and feel sad at the same time because I see a lot of things in the comics happens in the office.

I guess what trigerred the desire for ER for me was one of the conversation I had with one of my older coworkers (most people work in my office are baby boomers). he just told me that he just upgraded his housing to a much bigger house (4500 sqft!) because he said that the interest rate was the best in decades. He said he remember in the 80's when he has to pay double digit mortgage rate. And then he proceeded to lament on how hard it is to keep up with bills and 3 kids and mortgage blah...blah...blah. by this time me (the young punk) cut his complaining by pointing out that by now he should have his mortgage almost paid off. He then said, "Ah no...it will still be a while for me before everything is paid off". Right then I could see myself being 55, still working trying to pay off my debt, having an ulcer etc, etc.

So I decided to not succumb to the materialistic tendency and quit the rat race early since I don't think I want to be one old, tired, overworked hag who just can't seem to quit...

Btw, I was bracing myself for a storm of Canadian jokes and none is forthcoming...

Jane
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-07-2004, 02:57 PM   #4
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Jane, keep in mind that OAS is a given at 65. Your CPP however is a result of your contributory period. You can access CPP in Canada as early as 60. It would be 30% less than if you wait and pay in 'til 65. I retired at 54 and am currently receiving monthly CPP as of NO 2003. Because of CPP's drop-out provision (around 6 years), and child-rearing calculations you can still get the full amount, minus 30% at 60. If you ER much below ~ 54 you will exceed your dropout period and slowly erode your CPP payout. At 55 you would be safe and eligible for the max at 60..........minus 30% of course! : Being Canadian, you know you won't need to worry about Healthcare. : I'm in London ON. In what province are you located?
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-07-2004, 06:57 PM   #5
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Quote:
Btw, I was bracing myself for a storm of Canadian jokes and none is forthcoming...
If you could be more specific about what part of canada you live in, we could more closely target the jokes.

I do have a repertoire of basic standard canada wide jokes, but far prefer snipership to carpet bombing...
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-07-2004, 09:00 PM   #6
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Quote:
...

Btw, I was bracing myself for a storm of Canadian jokes and none is forthcoming... *
I would never make fun of CANADA, the retarded giant at our doorstep.
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-07-2004, 10:40 PM   #7
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Quote:
I would never make fun of CANADA, the retarded giant at our doorstep.
From "Rick Mercer Talks to Americans":

Canada: a Retarded People's History
http://www.wedonotliveinigloos.com/m..._retarded.mpeg
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-08-2004, 03:46 AM   #8
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

I live in Oakville, Ontario - one of Toronto's many suburbs. Not quite big city like Toronto but I like the fact that it is not as crowded, noisy or dirty as Toronto. Plus I live in a neigbourhood where there are lots of nice walking/bike trails/parks, which are almost non-existent in Toronto.

Weather here is ok, not as mild as Vancouver but not extreme like Alberta or something.

I realized about the CPP cuts if I quit early and it is something that may (or may not) keep me working longer. I guess it will depend how much savings I will have at that time. 20-25 years is a very long time. Who knows, maybe my portfolio will do extremely well that I wouldn't care whether or not I receive CPP, or my portfolio will be completely busted and I will have to work until 65 (hopefully that will never happen but hey, life is an adventure). But I agree with you Zipper that unlike our American neighbour, we don't have to worry about health care (who is the retard here? ).

Funny on the giant comment. I was sent to Finland a couple of years ago for work and the Finns was surprised to see me. They have expected someone tall, white, with blond hair and blue eyes from Canada, and all they got was a short Asian lady. They kept making jokes about Canada sending the wrong person, etc : For some reasons, they found that really funny.

Jane
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-08-2004, 04:24 AM   #9
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

I started my teaching career in Burlington, next door to Oakville. The population then was 45 000 (1964). I know you are all included in the GTA (Toronto) of 4 500 000 these days, but still maintain your individual status. Ford has been very big in Oakville for decades. I mentioned before that all Crown Vic cop cars are built at St. Thomas, just south of London. Make sure you max your RRSP each and every year Jane, and if you are in a Defined Benefit Plan, all that much better! : Never buy a new car. A good used 2 or 3 year old will save $$$$. Buy a house. The market is a bit toppy now in the GTA, but interest rates are at generational lows so you'll have to carefully weigh your options.
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-08-2004, 04:59 AM   #10
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

RRSP - I am trying to max out my RRSP right now and I should use up all my contribution room by the end of the year. When I started working at 24 I didn't know what RRSP was. My family's (parents and grandparents) way of investing is to keep all money in saving account or GIC (CD for you Americans) and lately, buy condos in Toronto for "investment". I have to learn about RRSP and pension myself through readings and 'net surfing. Some in the family tried to get me to buy property as "investment" but I told them that I only buy property as a place to live. My preffered method of investment is "the market". My meager RRSP account is now in low-fee, no-load mutual funds and ETF's, but when it gets bigger I am going to invest in stocks directly. My family members were quite horrified as they told me that I could "lose my shirt" if I continue to invest like that :

My pension at work is defined-contribution whereas my employer contributes 5% of my base salary. I decided to put my own 13% contribution in RRSP outside my company pension since I would like the freedom to direct the money where I want it. Right now what I am planning to do is max RRSP every year, maintain a min of $6K emergency fund, and channel all extra money to pay down mortgage. My goal is to pay the mortgage in 6 years.

The only smart thing I did when I graduate from university was to buy a used car. As I commute to work with train I didn't feel the need to buy a fancy new car. I don't care much about new cars really, but clothes now that's different....I curbed my clothing spending though and although, I have yet to buy used clothes, I now shop at much cheaper stores. I guess I am not really frugal but I don't think I am a big spender either.

House prices in GTA are ridicoulously high right now. When I was looking at places to buy a couple of years ago I didn't want to stretch myself too much and thus I settled on a small 1 bed+den condo. Right now I can sometimes work 60 hours week and not having to do lots of house maintenance work really helps. I don't really care much for big houses, it is just a place for me to live. Most of my friends are now buying new cars and big houses and tried to convince me to do otherwise (but I am not buying!).

In few years if the house prices going down or I get married/have kids, I will consider selling the condo and buy a house. Who knows. I have a fixed mortgage at 4.4% for 5 years so I am not worried.

Jane
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-08-2004, 11:28 AM   #11
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Quote:

I would never make fun of CANADA, the retarded giant at our doorstep.
Shhhh...they'll invade...

Alrighty then...

TOP 10 REASONS TO LIVE IN ONTARIO
1. You live in the center of the universe
2. Your $400,000 Toronto home is actually a dump
3. You and you alone decide who will win the federal election
4. There's no such thing as an Ontario Seperatist
5. Your grandparents sold booze to the States during Prohibition
6. Lots of tourists come to Toronto because they mistakenly
believe it's a cool city
7. The only province with hard-core American-style crime
8. MuchMusic's Speaker's Corner - rant and rave on national TV
for a dollar
9. Baseball fans park on your front lawn and pee on the side of
your house
10. Mike Harris: basically a sober Ralph Klein
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-08-2004, 02:21 PM   #12
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Sounds like you have set up the best of both worlds - have figured out how to live and save at the same time. I pretty much followed the same path. Bought a house (small cheap) young and saved a lot. I would buy Honda Civics and run
them into the ground. My friends were off spending three times as much on sports cars, but I was putting the money into the house. I always read alot, but used the library, and now that you can request books on line from a group of 50 libraries, I only buy guidebooks for my traveling.

Fast forward 25 years and I could retire (last year at 49). I did it without much knowledge of financial planning, so you are in much better shape being interested in stocks. And will probably need it, as the stock market boom of the past 20 years seems over. I just kept saving, thru all the ups and downs, like in 87, and then all of a sudden it kind of
struck me that I had a lot of money.

I was always pretty cheap, so I never formally budgeted. I just hope that you don't feel that the 'sobering process' hasn't continued to be a pain. I think it's important to be able to enjoy being frugal and not feel like you are on an unwelcome diet all the time!
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-09-2004, 04:26 AM   #13
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

TH: funny...!I have tried to find my "My name is Joe and I am Canadian" joke but alas, it is nowhere to be found. Oh yeah, our premier is not Mike Harris anymore but Dalton MacGuinty or Dalton MacFlop as our media called him after he broke his election promise of "not raising taxes" by promptly raise taxes after he got elected....@#$%#@!!!!

But enough about taxes....

Thanks lb for the vote of confidence. So far the sobering process hasn't hurt too much. I just stay out of the malls and I feel fine

I also have discovered library for reading material. I feel quite silly actually to have been buying all books I read in the past. They are all here in the library (and not to mention already paid for by my tax dollar)!

Anyway, gotta go back to this thing call work!

jane
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-09-2004, 05:01 AM   #14
 
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Hello Jane. Know what you mean about feeling silly
for having bought books and magazines, since the
library has it all for free. I got the same feeling when my wife introduced me to "dollar stores" and
"resale/thrift shops". I knew these places were there.
I just never went in.

John Galt
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-09-2004, 05:54 AM   #15
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Quote:
I have tried to find my "My name is Joe and I am Canadian" joke but alas, it is nowhere to be found.
http://www.canada4life.ca/videos.php?video=1

Quote:
Hey, I'm not a lumberjack, or a fur trader....
I don't live in an igloo or eat blubber, or own a dogsled....
and I don't know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada,
although I'm certain they're really really nice.

I have a Prime Minister, not a president.
I speak English and French, not American.
And I pronounce it 'about', not 'a boot'.

I can proudly sew my country's flag on my backpack.
I believe in peace keeping, not policing,
diversity, not assimilation,
and that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.
A toque is a hat, a chesterfield is a couch,
and it is pronounced 'zed' not 'zee', 'zed' !!!!

Canada is the second largest landmass!
The first nation of hockey!
and the best part of North America

My name is Joe!!
And I am Canadian!!!
(From a 2000 Molson beer commercial.)
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-09-2004, 07:34 AM   #16
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

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I have tried to find my "My name is Joe and I am Canadian" joke but alas, it is nowhere to be found.
I quite like the "Pet Beaver" Molsons ad. You can see it here - http://www.visit4info.com/details.cfm?adid=13359
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-09-2004, 08:32 AM   #17
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

Oh yeah the pet beaver ad...I nearly killed myself laughing when I saw it for the first time.

John Galt: my mom is a dollar store aficionado! The first thing she did after I moved to my condo was to find out where the dollar store in my area was (thanks mom! ). I bought most of my kitchen and bathroom stuff from dollar store. I love that store!!

One of my friends took me to her "favourite" kitchen & bath store one day and I was flabbergasted to see a spatula costed $20 or something. I told her you can get a perfectly fine spatula at the dollar store for guess what, a buck!!

She in turned was stunned to find that I shopped at the dollar store. She asked, do you have a money problem or something? I was like, yeah I have a money problem: I can't RE right now, he...he!

To this day, she didn't think that was a funny joke at all...

Anyway, the reason I wanted to post the "my name is Joe and I am canadian" (thanks bigmoneyJim) because I wanted to tell this story:

When I was in high school (long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away), I went with my HS choir and band to US for some music conference. I think it was Maryland, DC but I am not sure.

At the end of the conference, they held a big dance for all of us. So my friends and I were hanging out at the dance, checking the boys, minding our own business when a couple of American girls started talking to us. One of them kept asking, so do you really live in igloo? Do you have cars in Canada? Does it really snow in August?

We had a pretty good laugh...that was the highlight of the dance! We had to explain that where we lived wasn't really that much different than where she was...

Sometimes it's weird to think that you know alot about the world and then find out that you don't know much.

Jane
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-09-2004, 09:04 AM   #18
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

I've always been curious as to what life is like up by the arctic circle. Do you use sled dogs or reindeer to pull your sleigh?
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-09-2004, 09:04 AM   #19
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

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John Galt: my mom is a dollar store aficionado! The first thing she did after I moved to my condo was to find out where the dollar store in my area was (thanks mom! ). I bought most of my kitchen and bathroom stuff from dollar store. I love that store!!

One of my friends took me to her "favourite" kitchen & bath store one day and I was flabbergasted to see a spatula costed $20 or something. I told her you can get a perfectly fine spatula at the dollar store for guess what, a buck!!

She in turned was stunned to find that I shopped at the dollar store. She asked, do you have a money problem or something?
What you are doing is quite commendable, so don't take this particular cavil the wrong way.

My experience with dollar stores is that the merchandise is generally crap. When a kitchen store sells $20 spatulas, they're made of silicone, which means they don't melt into unusable junk the first time they touch a hot surface like the dollar store gimcrack. Kitchen stores sell $15 can openers while dollar stores sell $1 can openers. The difference is the $15 opener allows you to open a can without effort and will last for 50 years while the $1 opener puts a crease in your palm, takes twice as long, and will be out of alignment and useless in six months.

Penny wise pound foolish.
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Re: Another new young dreamer...
Old 07-09-2004, 09:56 AM   #20
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Re: Another new young dreamer...

nfs: no I don't take it wrongly. I understand completely what you are saying.

I do buy quality for things I think is important (to me). For example: I do mountain biking. Instead of spending $200 on some cheap bike, I spent $1200 (yes) on a Trek mountain bike. If I buy some cheap bike, it won't last a season for all the hell I put it through.

I LOVE camping and hiking and I spent pretty money on my gears. I have my gears and bike for years, I took care of them and they will last me for awhile.

But $20 spatula? $40 shower curtain? And for that matter $40K brand new shiny car?

No sorry, those are not my priorities and I won't spend my hard-earned cash more than I need to. I guess I should say that I wouldn't judge people's purchase if I don't know them well. But I know my friend doesn't even cook. I am not sure why she thinks $20 spatula is a good purchase.

My motto is: I will pay pretty penny for things that will enhance my quality of life (bike, camping equipment) but I will not pay more than I have to (or pay even a cent) for things that do not enhance my quality of life.

Btw, I have been using my dollar store spatula and can opener for over a year and I have yet need to replace them.

Jane
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