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Never ever hint at retiring in 2022, and do not give more than 2 months notice. I gave 3 months because I knew it would take the corp some time to pull someone from an Int'l assignment to fill the job but those 3 months felt more like 3 months in a dental chair. As it turned out, they found someone within 30-45 days and I spent a month turning over the files. A freaking waste of time that neither of us, i.e. me and my replacement, really wanted. Basically we agreed he'd take a week and goof off somewhere in the organization and I'd take the next week and goof off somewhere (included a few useless visits to Int'l offices).

You will be sidelined to some degree even if unintentionally. Your voice won't really matter. It is simply human nature.

P.S. It is easy enough to let management know you'd be willing to sacrifice your job to save a younger person's job supporting a family if head count reductions were coming. That was welcomed in our organization and I welcomed it as a manager of professionals.
 

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In general, I agree ... but the company plan/procedures may make the two month notice a bad idea.

For my company - giving two months notice means forfeiting medical coverage in retirement as well as the third month providing zero employment and pension income.


Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #203 ·
End of August 2021 Update

Savings and Investments

My investable assets: $2.152M. Up about $74.2k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $654k. Up about $16.8k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.806M. Up about $90.9k for the month.

The gains in my portfolio continued it's surprising run, at least to me, in August. As I somewhat similarly commented in the "Everyone enjoying these new highs?" thread, it’s obviously nice seeing a growing portfolio but I don’t want to get too comfortable with the lack of volatility, particularly heading into the scary months. I feel we're so due for a correction but who knows?
Most of the strength was on the non-registered dividend growth side, which lifted that account above my original $1.1M retirement target. The ETF’s in my registered accounts account pulled their weight too, getting my RRSP account close enough at the end of August to hit the $500k threshhold today.

All parts of the missus' portfolio contributed to her gains for the month. Her migrated RRSP account finally showed up in her direct investing account and she kept it simple by buying an all-in-one ETF. I’ll likely consolidate the 5 ETF’s I have in my RRSP to an all-in-one in the next year or so to make early withdrawals from it simpler.

Spending
July Spend Correction: $7900 to $8050 (forgot to include a bill)
August Spend: $2530
YTD Spend: $30760

We didn’t spend as much as we were anticipating in August. While we attended a few festivals and events, they didn’t really cost much from an access perspective, most were free or had inexpensive tickets, and there wasn’t a lot of interesting stuff for us to buy/spend on other than food going for $10-20 an item/combo.

I’m forecasting a lot of uncertainty around our spend during the last few months of the year. We might go on a few last minute trips. We might finally get around to doing a few repair/maintenance jobs around the house. We might attend a wedding and the associated stag/shower. We might go crazy during Black Friday. Our monthly spend could range from $2500 to $6000 depending on what ends up happening during the month.

Comments, Concerns, and Issues
  • After taking the feedback from strangers on the internet :p regarding giving/hinting at my exit notice, I’ll likely not hint at my departure in October but keep my ear to the ground if potential layoffs are required. However, I’m pretty much set on giving formal notice by mid January.
  • Without getting into the details, life gave us a bit of a punch in the face in August. The event kind of reinforced our appreciation that financial security gives us options and our decisions don’t have to be (extremely) dependent on monetary considerations.
  • We were planning to go to the Okanagan in September but due to local case counts and the wildfires we might pivot to somewhere else like Whistler, the Sunshine Coast, the island or maybe a couple of them if the weather stays nice for a few more weeks. I'm too busy at work to take a week off so I'm thinking about taking some Fridays off and doing some extended weekend trips.
Countdown to Retirement (April 2022)
7.5 months to go
~100 working days left
 

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Discussion Starter · #204 ·
End of September 2021 Update

Savings and Investments

My investable assets: $2.084M. Down about $68.6k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $639k. Down about $15.1k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.723M. Down about $83.8k for the month.

The markets giveth. The markets taketh.
The first negative month for my portfolio since February wasn’t surprising as I felt the run up, particularly August’s huge gain, was unsustainable. Correspondingly, most of that August run was given back in September. I find it funny trying to keep track of my feelings and jot them down here because they’re all over the place. It sucks having your portfolio drop close to $70k. But I try look at the big picture in that it’s only set me back a month. On the other hand, I’m kind of excited that the markets have taken a dip just prior to a heavy dividend month so I might be able to pick up a share or two more from the DRIPs. Anyways, here’s hoping for a Santa Claus rally to make the numbers look good for the year. :D

My portfolio was essentially broadly down on both the taxable and registered sides though a couple of holdings held up ok on the taxable/dividend growth side.

Same story for the missus portfolio. She has a chunk of cash she may deploy though. She's going to see how October looks.

Spending
August Spend Correction: $2530 to $2550 (forgot to include a small spend)
September Spend: $4640
YTD Spend: $35410

Kind of a larger spend than anticipated in September due to a few big ticket things that were on the radar. We got in some travel spend as we did do a weekend trip. The annual fee for a credit card came in as we play the credit card points game. And we spent a few dollars on activities and gifts for a stag & shower.

October’s spend is likely going to be in the same neighbourhood as September as we have another short trip planned and I think we’re going to finally get around to work on one of the home repairs we’ve been slow address.
At the three quarter pole mark, I suspect we’re unintentionally on track for a roughly $50k annual spend again this year.

Comments, Concerns, and Issues
  • At work, I need to focus on getting 2 projects over the hump and then I think I can feel comfortable in looking forward to taking a bunch of time off in December. Normally, as I head into Q4, I’d also be stressing about year end layoffs, performance reviews, and next year planning. It’s still on my mind but feels less of a distraction.
  • Approaching the 6 month to go mark, retirement still feels so close yet so far away. I suspect once I give my notice in January with 3 months/100 days to go, I’ll feel more like the countdown is on with a bunch of pre- retirement activities I’ll need to keep an eye on.
Countdown to Retirement (April 2022)
6.5 months to go
Just under 200 total days away
 

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Discussion Starter · #206 ·
Smart move to leave in April, it's so effective for income taxes if you have a high salary... I plan on doing the same.
Actually, I didn't select an April date specifically for tax purposes. It was mainly around the timing of financial bonuses and benefits at work.
Can you elaborate on why an April departure date is effective for income tax purposes for high salaries?
 

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There is nothing special about April. It is about total taxable income for the year. Four months of high salary is 50% of eight months of high salary and so on....

I suppose if you are getting some lump sum benefits like a retirement bonus et al, you'd want to be in a lower MTR to keep more of those taxable benefits, in which case it would be better yet to retire in February.

I retired at the end of April myself but that was tied to my birthday to reduce the pension discount retiring early.

P.S. You didn't ask but I will repeat what I've said before. Minimize the 'give notice' date to the extent reasonable. If you are in a white collar job, most folks become lame ducks once they give notice. 100 days or so of being sidelined out of the order flow can be deadly. Different in a blue collar or manufacturing job.
 

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Can you elaborate on why an April departure date is effective for income tax purposes for high salaries?
AltaRed explained it well, but yeah, in my situation, working till the end of April means all my gross income for that year will fall into the lowest tax bracket. Now, take into account the basic personal amount for the first ~15K and the tax credit for eligible Canadian dividends, which works better at lower incomes, and I will end up paying relatively little taxes for that high salary, compared to what I'm used to. Basically this is the highest ratio of net salary per time worked I'll ever get...It will take until next tax season to recoup those taxes though :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #209 ·
End of October 2021 Update

Savings and Investments

My investable assets: $2.140M. Up about $56.4k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $658k. Up about $19.6k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.799M. Up about $76.0k for the month.

Almost recovered from September’s dip.
My portfolio is still down about $12k from the end of August highs but I’m happy with a hefty $50k recovery. While all aspects of my portfolio were positive for the month, there were varying degrees of performance. The stocks in my taxable account saw mixed gains with a few also supported by dividends/DRIPs paid out this month. My TFSA is only rounding error away from a recovering from its dip versus my RRSP which still has a couple of thousand to recover. Overall, I’m not complaining.

The missus’ portfolio has fully recovered and reached a new high but it was also uneven with her taxable accounts reaching a new high and her TFSA and RRSP just a wee bit away from a full recovery.

Spending
October Spend: $4000
YTD Spend: $39420

October’s spend was roughly as anticipated in the $4k range. Most notable is that our travel spend has started to pick up with a couple of weekend trips completed and an upcoming longer trip. We also had a number of additional spends in the gift category with a wedding gift, some gifts for a few of coworkers leaving our companies, big number birthday gift, etc.

November’s spend might come in around the $4-5k range. Some of it will be for the upcoming trip and when we end up paying for the hotels. We’ll see if we get around to doing that house repair that’s been dragging on. I also have a few items on my Black Friday shopping list but it will depend on what kind of deals there are which are likely at the mercy of the supply chain issues.

Comments, Concerns, and Issues
  • Typical rush at work to get projects done by year’s end. However, since, I’m taking a little more than all of December off, I only have a little less than 4 weeks left to get my stuff done. This is even after my manager agreed to allow me to defer some more of my vacation to 2022 which is great; will make the final 100 days starting in January go even faster. But I’ll likely end up doing a bit of work during vacation anyways.
  • While there might be the odd person being let go here and there, there doesn’t seem to be the typical surge of layoffs happening in my division this end of year. On the contrary, my extended team has several positions it’s struggling to fill. Since the odds are likely very low of me getting a departure package, I’m not even going to hint for it.
  • One of our friends is very sick and it’s really upsetting. She's been sick for a year now but it's gotten worse over the last month. I’ve been pretty focused the last few years on hitting my numbers and reaching retirement. But I’m trying not to forget that life can turn on a dime and I need to live more in the present.
Countdown to Retirement (April 2022)
5.5 months to go
Just under 500 hours of work left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #210 ·
End of November 2021 Update

Savings and Investments

My investable assets: $2.175M. Up about $34.6k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $660k. Up about $1.3k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.835M. Up about $36.0k for the month.

Things were trending extremely well for November until Omicron fears rattled the markets.
However, it was still good enough for my portfolio to hit a new end of month high. While all major components of my overall portfolio were positive, under the hood, different sub-components had mixed results versus a rising tide lifting all ships.
It was nice seeing a few of my financial holdings in my non-registered account raise their dividends double digits percentage-wise in November after OSFI dropped their restrictions. (And the subsequent increases by the remaining banks at the start of December doesn’t hurt either.) That’s going a long way to support my dividend target numbers for 2022.

The missus’ portfolio remained in the black barely with her non-registered account taking a small hit and her savings, RRSP, and TFSA offsetting it.

Spending
November Spend: $4650
YTD Spend: $44060

November’s spend came in within $4-5k as roughly anticipated but it could have been higher as we did a bit of Black Friday shopping with a few big ticket items and started our xmas gift shopping. A few items haven’t shipped yet so they haven’t been billed and correspondingly aren’t reflected in November’s spend. One of the hotel’s we’re going to stay at during our December trip had a BF promo which gave a bonus on gift certificate purchases so that spend got pulled forward. We also stacked some BF sales and other gift card + bonus purchases with credit card rebate offers.

December is likely going to be a larger spend than the usual. On top of our typical spending around xmas, we have a December trip (though a lot of the trip spend has already been accounted for), if/when the rest of our BF purchases ship and get billed, and a special event for my siblings. Estimating a spend of about $6-7k.

Comments, Concerns, and Issues
  • I’ve officially started my xmas vacation but didn’t complete all my work so I’m casually working a few hours here and there. Hoping to start fully decompressing by mid December.
  • Ridiculously, I’ve started drafting my resignation/retirement letter and it’s got me nervously excited. On one hand, I’m looking forward to letting the cat out of the bag to my boss in January. On the other hand, announcing and essentially committing to ending what’s been a steady income from my job kind of freaks me out, though in reality, we still have the missus’ income coming in.
  • Starting to look more seriously at my list of pre-retirement tweaks I need to make leading up to retirement: Stop the DRIP's, build up some cash, etc.
  • Was looking forward to booking some big international trips post retirement in 2022 but omicron has thrown some question marks at it at the moment. We’ll still do some light planning for now but likely won’t book far in advance unless cancellation/rebooking policies are very flexible. Worst case, we’ll travel to other parts of Canada again or maybe to the States.
Countdown to Retirement (April 2022)
4.5 months to go
Less than 50 days of work left.
 

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When I decided to retire, my notice consisted of an email to my boss with 2-3 sentences (give or take). It was simply to the point for formality only. Anything else can be said verbally at one's retirement luncheon.

I still recommend NOT providing more than 3 months notice, and preferably less. Being sidelined and no longer taken seriously after notice can be a slow ticking clock. 90 days can feel like 180 days.
 

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Congratulations to OP who will retire soon.
From your financial success, I figure you hold an important position in your company.
I am just curios: will your employer ask you to stay longer until a suitable replacement has been trained to take over your post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #213 ·
Not going to be too fancy with the resignation letter. Just keeping it along the lines of sample letters I've pulled up: Final day of work, reason why I'm resigning, cordial thanking of the company and manager for the opportunities, and offering my support in transition. I still want to get the words right even though it's just going to get filed.

Not going to have a retirement farewell event if I can help it as I kind of want to just slip out the back door on my last day. I suspect with our company still on work from home for covid, getting together for work events still won't be a thing. I recently attended a surprise retirement farewell that was held on zoom which was fairly well attended. It was kind of awkward though with a handful of people giving some nice speeches but you also had dozens of people just lurking in the background.

Definitely going to give notice in January. We'll see how the last few months go.

From your financial success, I figure you hold an important position in your company.
I am just curios: will your employer ask you to stay longer until a suitable replacement has been trained to take over your post.
Nope, I don't hold an important postion in my company. I'm just an individual contributor working on various projects versus day to day operations. Some of the international projects I've worked on in the past just helped me get off the right foot financially. I would consider myself somewhat easily replaceable in the grand scheme of things. The problem is just the domino effect of handing off projects, knowledge transfering, and getting up to speed on what's going on, while compounded by the fact that my team has been oversubscribed recently.
With me giving notice in January, I doubt they'll need to ask me to stay longer. For anything less than 2 months, there may have been a slight possibility because the hiring process literally takes months. The most likely scenario is that my complex projects would eventually get reassigned to a particular coworker because only she and I currently have the experience and background for some of these projects (everyone else moved on so we usually cover each other when we go on vacation) and my manager would hire someone to backfill our smaller projects.
 

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Not going to be too fancy with the resignation letter. Just keeping it along the lines of sample letters I've pulled up: Final day of work, reason why I'm resigning, cordial thanking of the company and manager for the opportunities, and offering my support in transition. I still want to get the words right even though it's just going to get filed.

Not going to have a retirement farewell event if I can help it as I kind of want to just slip out the back door on my last day. I suspect with our company still on work from home for covid, getting together for work events still won't be a thing. I recently attended a surprise retirement farewell that was held on zoom which was fairly well attended. It was kind of awkward though with a handful of people giving some nice speeches but you also had dozens of people just lurking in the background.

Definitely going to give notice in January. We'll see how the last few months go.



Nope, I don't hold an important postion in my company. I'm just an individual contributor working on various projects versus day to day operations. Some of the international projects I've worked on in the past just helped me get off the right foot financially. I would consider myself somewhat easily replaceable in the grand scheme of things. The problem is just the domino effect of handing off projects, knowledge transfering, and getting up to speed on what's going on, while compounded by the fact that my team has been oversubscribed recently.
With me giving notice in January, I doubt they'll need to ask me to stay longer. For anything less than 2 months, there may have been a slight possibility because the hiring process literally takes months. The most likely scenario is that my complex projects would eventually get reassigned to a particular coworker because only she and I currently have the experience and background for some of these projects (everyone else moved on so we usually cover each other when we go on vacation) and my manager would hire someone to backfill our smaller projects.
Congrats on your anticipated retirement.
Reading about your stash I can say you have more than enough to enjoy a very good retirement without many, if any, constraints.
I have approx 1/2 of what you have but our spend rate is approx the same and I have no difficulties in paying the Visa (dividend card) at the end of the month. Pretty well do what I want to and buy what I want to without going overboard on fanciful dreams.
Hard to do but it is nice to put some thought in to what you will do in retirement. May sound weird but you have to remember you will no longer have weekends, holidays, meetings, etc., etc. Those actually added some structure to your days/weeks/months/year.

RICARDO
 

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Discussion Starter · #215 ·
Thanks.
Yeah, I'm still trying to figure out what my retirement schedule will look like. I'd like to maintain some structure by having some loose routines but I'm also looking forward to the flexibility of being able to pivot from what I'm doing and do something random/out of the blue. The missus is also putting together a list of projects around the house. :D
 

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Thanks.
Yeah, I'm still trying to figure out what my retirement schedule will look like. I'd like to maintain some structure by having some loose routines but I'm also looking forward to the flexibility of being able to pivot from what I'm doing and do something random/out of the blue. The missus is also putting together a list of projects around the house. :D
A House can keep you quite busy if you are handy with tools. I have always had a house and would hate an apartment/condo quite simply because there is very little to do. Then you have to have exterior activities to keep your mind active.
 

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I worked on quite a few reno projects around our home after retiring. Wife didn't want the mess again, so when we relocated we bought a newer home that wouldn't need reno's. It's taken a few years to adapt but now the days just fly by. I play golf so that eats up about 4 days a week :) I look after all our investments now and actually enjoy making a few trades, researching etc for the rrsp's, tfsa's and unregistered accounts. Always yard work at our place too and almost year round. I don't know how I found time for working all those long hours I worked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #218 ·
End of December 2021 Update, Year End Summary, and 2022 Targets

Savings and Investments

My investable assets: $2.240M. Up approximately $65.5k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $681k. Up about $21.7k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.922M. Up about $87.3k for the month.

Despite the turmoil caused by Omicron and inflation/rate hike worries, December delivered solid gains with some help from a small Santa Claus rally. Gains for my portfolio were across the board, fairly evenly split between my Canadian dividend growers in my taxable account and index ETF’s in my registered accounts.
The missus’ portfolio similarly had gains across her accounts. She’s also been slowly moving her cash into her non-registered account and dollar cost averaging into her broad equity index EFT.

2021 Results and 2022 Plans and Goals
2021 was a very good year for my portfolio as it grew by over $400k through growth and additional investments/savings. Even though it looks like a number of folks had better returns percentage-wise, I can’t complain. The growth during the year was fairly consistent with only 2 down months in February which was pretty nominal and September caused by Evergrande. My Canadian dividend growers continued to rebound this year contributing more than half the overall gains this year. Needless to say, all my 2021 targets were hit this year and even allowed me to hit all my original 2022 retirement year targets about a year early, other than my $50k dividend target which is on track for next year, aided by OSFI finally lifting the dividend increase moratorium.

The missus’ portfolio again suffered from lost opportunity by not deploying most of cash until late in the year. While she also hit all of her account targets for 2021, I think she’s coming to the realization of the problem of sitting on too much cash in her HISA. Her portfolio’s biggest change was migrating her RRSP from PHN to her self directed account with an all in one ETF. She’s debating whether to migrate the rest of her investments. Her pension website added a scenario tool so we were able to get a more accurate picture of her pension income if she retired early but didn’t draw on her pension until later. The scenario we’re using is for her to retire at age 50 but not drawing on her pension until age 60 which comes with a bridge benefit to 65.

General goals and plans for 2022:
  • While it’s generally steady as she goes for my portfolio, I do have some tasks I’m planning to execute in preparation for retirement.
  • Apparently, I have an account manager assigned to my direct investing account. I’m going reach out to him to see if he can help me migrate my pension and company options/stock to my self directed accounts when I retire.
  • While the plan is to grow my dividends from $47k to $53k in my non-registered account in 2022, I’m going to turn off the DRIP when I retire to start generating retirement cash flow.
  • I’m planning to start drawing from my RRSP in late 2023. Instead of doing a full 5 year GIC ladder, I’m thinking of just putting the amount I’m planning to withdraw next year, in a 1 year GIC this year. The goal is to just make it less painful to withdraw if the markets and correspondingly my RRSP takes a bit of a hit over the next 18-21 months.
  • I don’t think I’m going to rebalance in my registered accounts where my fixed income has drifted from about 25% to 20%.
My Portfolio2020 Actual2021 Target2021 Actual2022 TargetOriginal 2022 Retirement
EOY (Rough Goals)
Cash CHQ & SAV accts (soft target)27.0k20k32.5k30K30k
Non-Registered899k1.0M1.156M1.235M1.1M
RRSP439k468k505k537k450k
TFSA120k133k144k159k135k
DC Pension332k360k403k429k350k
Total1.816M1.982M2.240M2.390M2.065M
Non-Registered Account Dividends4045545000471405300050000


Her Portfolio and Combined Totals2020 Actual2021 Target2021 Actual
Cash CHQ & SAV accounts (soft target)97k97k59.7k
Non-Registered263.7k304K388k
RRSP89.6k93.1K93.9k
TFSA112.5k126k136k
Misc Pension Value (from prev job)3.8k3.8k3.8k
DB Pension (non-indexed) Estimate (not included in total)~35k/yr @55
(guess)
~36k/[email protected]
~34.5/[email protected]
Total567k624k681k
Our Combined Total2.129M2.606M2.922M

Spending
Dec spend: $5970
2021 total spend: $50030

December’s spend fell just below the low end of my $6-7k estimate. I was anticipating more towards the higher end, if not more, but our trip wasn’t too spendy and a few party/event spends got pushed out to January due to omicron issues. We also didn’t spend much at all during Boxing Day/Week as the sales have been pretty uninspiring. Going to instead watch for clearance events in January.

For the year, it’s kind of funny that we came in right around our usual $50k annual spend again. But again, the core reason was from a dearth of travel and reallocating the spend to other things. If things start normalizing in 2022, I can see our spend explode a bit from pent up demand on our side and things just being more expensive all over the place.

Spend Totals2020 Actual2021 Estimate2021 Actual2022 Estimate
Food & Eating Out13450150001598017500
Housing & Utilities17010170001477018000
Transportation4290450028504500
Personal8620800088509000
Entertainment1090200033404500
Travel381010000-15000386010000-20000
Side Business200200380200
Total4849055000-600005003063000-70000

Food & Eating Out: Food inflation was probably the most visible category of inflation for us, both from a groceries perspective and eating out perspective. Correspondingly, the biggest impact to our grocery purchasing habits is that I find that we’re buying steaks and rib roasts quite a bit less due to sticker shock. We’ll still buy steaks if want a steak but we’re more picky about the cut and marbling. However, we’re also buying other proteins and trying to be more creative with cheaper cuts. Our eating out spend edged back up percentage-wise as there were generally less restrictions at restaurants in 2021 and we took advantage of it. Our alcohol spend remained lower than pre-pandemic as there were still less events/league play to socialize and have a drink after.

The expectation is that food inflation will continue in 2022 so I’ve factored that in plus eating out more due to league play normalizing and getting together with friends more during retirement. I’m also concerned how the recent floods have damaged the crops/fields in the Fraser Valley will impact next year’s harvest of local produce and the pricing.

Housing & Utilities: Housing and utilities was a mixed bag this year with utilities and property tax going up usual. One small win was that I was able to get a lower house insurance premium by switching providers. We spent way less on repairs/maintenance and furniture/appliances this year and that was the biggest factor in our reduced housing spend.

For 2022’s spend, I’ve factored in a few repairs around the house we’ve been kicking down the road. These are on my post retirement to-do list the missus has assigned me.

Transportation: Transportation costs were again lower in 2021. While our fuel spend was pretty similar, our biggest reductions came from lower insurance costs as the BC moved to a version of no-fault and we had no major servicing like we did last year when we did the brakes.

Next year, we’ll likely spend $1000 on some new tires. I’m also anticipating more driving with the missus heading back into the office more often in the new year and me running errands and meeting up with friends.

Personal: “Personal” spend ended up fairly similar to last year instead of going down. Health and medicine went down as anticipated but was offset by charity and gifts which went up due to a few unique/special events, some unexpected vet bills, and credit card fees as we play the credit card churn game.

I suspect Personal spend will remain elevated in 2022 due to some event/gift spending we had to delay to January, some anticipated pet bills, new glasses again, etc.

Entertainment: I expected our entertainment spend to go back up as our leagues resumed play but they didn’t resume as fully expected. Instead, we spend some money on an outdoor party in the summer which fortunately aligned perfectly with the low point in case counts in BC and some other small get togethers with friends like golf outings.

I’m anticipating an elevated spend again in 2022 due to our pent up demand to get together and do some special events/parties with friends as I’m cautiously optimistic about normalization. I also want to see if I can get out to watch the Canucks more frequently and attend a few concerts.

Travel: Similar to last year, we fit in a few small trips this year including our first flights in about 20 months. While we splurged in some instances, we also capitalized on some credit card offers, Black Friday hotel deals, companion vouchers, etc that made our travel spend less that it truly was. Some of the spend is kind of indirectly captured under the Personal category via the credit card fees.

We’re ended up way below our normal travel spend because we didn’t feel there was enough stability with the international travel environment yet with things constantly at risk of changing on a dime. At minimum, we’re prepared to travel locally and across Canada again in 2022 but are optimistic that a trip or two to the States and maybe overseas might be in the cards. I’m spec’ing in a fairly large spending range because I don’t know what we’ll book yet. I was hoping to do a big trip/cruise right after retirement but that will likely be a last minute decision and dependent on how omicron plays out.

Side Business: I didn’t give my side business any love at all in 2021. Will look at giving it some TLC after I retire.

House Value
2020 Assessment: $1.467M
2021 Assessment: $1.728M

BC Assessment’s annual valuation (July 2021) had our house ridiculously jump by a quarter million this year which at this point puts us over the base property tax threshold. Our home valuation was pretty stable for the last 5 years but there have been a few of sales in our neighbourhood which may have forced a bump up in our valuation.

Comments, Concerns, and Issues
  • Covid: I really thought by late 2021, things would normalize in the world. And it seemed to be heading in that direction until omicron punched our plans in the face. Here’s hoping things normalize quickly in 2022.
  • Finances: The equity markets overall were pretty generous in 2021. I try to be optimistic so I’m hoping for another positive 2022. The realist in me also knows that a repeat of this year’s returns would be pushing it. From a portfolio grooming perspective, I’m just trying to organize things to get ready to have cashflow after I stop working and into next year.
  • Work: I had most of December off and didn’t miss work at all. So, pretty sure I’m not going to miss it when I retire. I still have another week off and am planning to hand in my resignation letter the week I’m back in the office. It’s 15 weeks to go until retirement and I have about 5 weeks of vacation so I’m going need to discuss with my manager how I deploy my vacation time the rest of the way.
  • Health: I need to get back on the good eating and exercise routine to get retirement off on the right foot. As I hit 50, I’ll probably head into the family doc to do a pre-retirement general check up and have a chat about colon exams, prostate exams, etc.
Countdown to Retirement
3.5 months to go.
Just over 100 total days to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #220 ·
Thanks Forebiz.
I'll probably continue updating post retirement at least for while to track and get feedback on my transition to decumulation mode/converting my savings to a retirement income stream. However, I'll likely scale back to quarterly updates.
 
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