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Hi from the prairies!
Old 02-23-2009, 12:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Canada
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Hi from the prairies!

Hi everyone, I'm glad to have stumbled upon this forum! I've been lurking reading posts for a week or so and I figure this is definitely an online community I want to be a part of.

According to the post for guidelines it said to be specific so I hope I'm not being too specific!

As for who I am:
-25 years old
-happily married for going on 6 years (man we were just babies when we got married!)
-Our only child is turning 3 in a couple weeks
-We live in Canada on the prairies in a small town, used to live in the city but moved closer to work almost a year ago. Fairly remote area.
-On the job for about 3.5 years now with the same company
-In the Agri-mfg sector, still seeing how we'll be affected by the downturn, we did about 22mil in sales last year, hoping for 30mil this year.
-I work as the 'Accounting Team Leader'... for lack of a better title, I wear a ton of different hats depending on the day.
-Training was initially in IT (where I started with this company too) but am now working towards my Accounting status (CGA) which the company is paying for.
-The company is owned by a larger company (probably 5 times our size) that is very people focused, so I definitely have lots of career advancement opportunities
-DW is a stay at home mom, and we're planning for baby #2 so she'll be busy.
-I earn about 75k/yr before tax in Canadian dollars.
Retirement Goals:
-I plan to retire at 45. I doubt I'll actually retire at 45, but I'd like to have the option. Basically at that point I'd like to 'slow down' and work more on my own projects.
-I plan to be financially independent at 35.
Savings Strategy:
-I currently contribute 6500/yr ($125/wk) into a middle of the road (risk-wise) registered retirement savings plan (tax deferral) with a mix of equities and incomes. I think this may be similar to 401k in US (?).
-5000/yr at tax time to a 'labor sponsored venture capital fund' (Saskworks venture fund), a special program that gives a tax credit, so after tax deferral and credit a $5000 investment costs me just $1500 after I get my tax return. I plan to max this out each year. The growth on this is probably in the 2-5% range, but it isn't typically subject to the emotions of the public market as these are all privately held regional corporations. Mainly do this for the amazing tax credit.
-10000/yr ($5000 x 2, one TFSA for me, one for DW) into an aggressive fund (Sprott Canadian Equity Fund) which concentrates on energy and resources and holds gold as well. I actually just started this this year but plan to continue, not likely in the same fund, but I plan to continue to max out my tax free savings account (I believe similar to US roth), basically TFSA means growth is tax free.
-1020/yr into registered education savings plan for child. Pretty poor returns but government matches 25% so pretty decent.
-Both of us are insured for 350K roughly
-160,000 Home - currently owe 157,500 I'd say this is worth less than I paid for it, but I don't know for sure since maybe 10 homes a year come for sale in this area. I intend to stay for 5-10 years so not too worried.
-10,000 RRSP - CI Invesments
-10,000 Saskworks venture fund
-10,000 TFSA - Sprott
-8,000 Bonds
-17,000 cash
-30,000 vehicles, a car (5000) and truck (25000) paid for.
-157,500 Home - as before I figure this is only worth maybe 160,000.
-12,000 - Student Loan, I have the cash to pay it off but I've decided to wait at least 6 months to a year to see how things go with the meltdown
Ownership of company I work for:
The other major item in my situation is that I currently own 2% of the company I work for which is financed through a loan from my employer. This is for $312,000 and I pay 4% on it per year, though this will be going down in the short term as it varies with prime. Basically the idea here is dividends pay down the principal and I pay the interest. I am in over my head on this one, but I can afford to finance it for about 5 years no problem. There is a shareholder buy back agreement whereby the company must repurchase the shares for the higher of my purchase price or the current value, so worst case the company goes bankrupt and I can walk away without owing anything additional and just lose my interest paid. The opportunity here is that we are currently in a big growth phase so those shares may increase dramatically, but we'll have to see.

So there's my situation in a nutshell, I look forward to communicating with everyone and hopefully we can all meet our retirement goals!
If you see anything bone headed in my above write up please let me know
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:18 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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Welcome Schmidt. Excellent status summary!

"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:13 PM   #3
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Welcome Schmidt

Your thoroughness makes me think you will meet your goals. Welcome to the forum and best luck with FI especially and ER when you're ready.
Ko'olau's Law -

Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:39 PM   #4
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Another welcome from the Canadian prairies.
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who can extrapolate conclusions from insufficient data and ..
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
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Welcome! The fact that you're saving nearly a third of your gross income, while supporting a family of 3 on a single salary, is noteworthy and commendable. You're doing far better than DW and I were at your age (and I thought we were doing pretty well back then).
I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.
- Joe Walsh
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:45 PM   #6
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What kumquat said.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:43 AM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
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Welcome from Ontario, eh.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:13 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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It all sounds great to me, just stay married!
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

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