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On Growing Older

This was written in 2008, just as I was about to be laid off from Nortel. My salary is higher now, but some interesting perspectives.

This past year saw me get a year older, and it struck me how much closer I am to the end of my working days. I am not sure how much closer, but I am much closer to the end of my working days than I am to the start.

Let me elaborate on a few points:

  • I have worked for more than 47 years, given I have had jobs since I was about 12. That always staggers me that I have been working for that long.
  • I am allegedly 8 years from retirement age (I think that is a synthetic value, I hope to stop HAVING to work before that, but don’t think it is likely).
  • I have been working full-time for 33 years.

All of this suggests that I should be well on my way to paying off debts or being out of debt and planning my retirement. However, consider these points:

  • I have four children 1 about to start University, and within 5 years I may have 3 children in University so this point in my life may be the high point for spending money (I hope), so my goal should not be to be creating new debt(if not paying off old debt).
  • I am being taxed at the maximum rate that I will ever be due to my exorbitant salary (ask the CRA) and the amount of sales taxes I pay on things I buy (given I am spending so darn much).

What does this mean?

  1. I should be saving for my retirement in my RRSP, which I am doing, but maybe not at the level Financial experts say I should.
  2. I shouldn’t be accumulating junk debt (i.e. credit card debt), which I think my family is doing better than it has done in the past.
  3. I should have saved for my children’s education with an RESP, which I have done, but maybe not enough for an entire University degree.

Overall, I think I am doing fine, but as usual, I could be doing much better, so I can strive for more. No point in getting complacent.

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