Retirement A Personal Journey, Is Your Journey Ahead…

Retirement, The Next Step, The Big Change, The Whole Enchilada, The…Well You Get the Picture… 

Boy this is a big one. If you have retired or at that point in your lives where it is being seriously considered, a real event on the horizon it consumes a large part of each day. As I have said in my post Why Would You Want To Read This, I am not going to offer any financial advice. I am not an accountant, stock market analyst slash investor or anyone that would even consider giving advice. I am a 55-year-old employee that was living life, and I can relate my journey here. 

So how did I know when the time was right and to make the big change.  

I first documented the steps I had in mind in making this decision, motivation, financial, and since we lived on the east coast of the US how to move back to Canada and the west coast. 

Well, as for motivation, when you work for someone that makes you detest coming in to work each day, it forces you to look at making changes. Secondly, we had lived in the USA for ten years and simply wanted to come home.  

I had absolutely no experience in making a retirement plan so I used what I did have, common sense. I sat down with a good old Excel spreadsheet, laid out expenses, monthly, annually, and unexpected. Next, I laid out expected income sources monthly. In the last column I listed investments, pension plans both in the USA and in Canada.  

What needs to be stated at this point, obviously, the expense column should be less than the income column and make sense. Surprisingly, it did. 

Expenses and incomes are only the start, that is if you want something beyond sitting at home. Travel, fun and hobbies had to be considered. In my case I set a budget for annual travel that would fit with our funds.  

The company I worked for is big on five and ten year plans, being familiar with this tool, I applied it the retirement plan, adding an additional column for expected age-related pensions.  

I again, reviewed expenses, looked at options to reduce each amount and reduce the impact of the unexpected. At this point you reach a number, if the number, again, makes sense then the last thing to do, is literally sign the papers and leap off that cliff.  

Fast forward a year, so what’s different. I now know why older people drive and move around in places so slow, were not in a hurry, don’t need to be, that’s nice. Cell phone has now taken its proper place in life, on a table top or desk somewhere, don’t miss it, that’s nice. Phone is now something I use, not so much for calls, I use it more for pictures and Snapchat, lots of Grandchildren pictures are sent to me that way. I have this site going, evolving as the weeks go by, learning and using Twitter, reading books again has taken a form of prominence after many years on not enough time.  

Financials were tweaked, if I have any advice in this area it is simply, have an investor or bank you trust and after a year what you think is enough per month will need to be reviewed to make sure you actually have enough and are enjoying yourself. How you rate enjoying is of course to the individual, but it is something that is likely normal and should be prepared for.  

That’s it for now, I will be posting more information and happenings as the weeks move on so watch for the areas that may interest you. As always leave comments, questions, whatever you wish.