My Biggest Purchase Was Not A House

This epiphany only hit me a while ago when I was chatting some co-workers and the topic was purchasing houses. Yes, I bought my house last century, so the price was not nearly as high as the prices are these days, but my biggest cash outlay was about 33% more than what I paid for my house.

Big Purchase

Now THAT is a big purchase

Just to be clear this purchase was not a house, nor a holiday home (i.e. cottage) or anything like that (and no it was not a car or vehicle), and here is a final hint, it was not something I purchased a little at a time either (although you are heading in the right direction).

If you guessed it has something to do with retirement, you are correct, but I have not put that much money into my RRSP (nor do I have an RRSP that is that large (anymore)).

When I left Nortel I was lucky enough to have been at Nortel long enough, that my pension was actually worth a large amount of money, and thanks to my wife and Michael James I luckily removed my money from the Nortel Pension before Nortel declared bankruptcy. This left me with a very large Locked in Retirement Account (LIRA) and a smaller RRSP, which I then was able to buy into the Federal Civil Service Pension.  When I bought into the pension I paid for all of the pension (with no Government payment into it at all) for the period that I was allowed to transfer from Nortel (it is a program called Pension Buy Back).

This means that even though I have a federal pension, I paid for most of it (or more precisely, my defined benefit pension from Nortel paid for it).

The interesting part of the story is that the only reason I was allowed to buy into the Government pension was that I had:

  1. Started working for the government within 2 years of leaving Nortel
  2. Nortel’s pension is an “accredited pension plan” that the Government allows for transfer of funds and time from and into the Government Employees Pension plan.

I was very lucky that I qualified for part (1) of that statement (i.e. joined government within 2 years after being Laid off from Nortel), so again I fall bass ackwards into a good decision.



{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Tawcan October 6, 2015, 1:00 PM

    Definitely a good move back then. 🙂

  • Peter October 6, 2015, 10:32 AM

    Smart and now you’re lucky too! Who knew? Good buy – I call it winning the lottery. Can’t beat a GOC pension and hey you earned it. Enjoy the future it’s coming!

    • bigcajunman October 6, 2015, 10:41 AM

      The future is tomorrow, I hear, luckily tomorrow never comes 🙂


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