On Turning 50

Half a Century is a Long Time

Permit me a short wander off-topic to remark on some of the remarkable things I have enjoyed in the half-century I have now lived (yes, I am turning 50 sometime around now).

I have lived a charmed life (sometimes I refer to myself as one of the luckiest bastards on God’s Green Earth), even though in this blog, you might think I was more like Sad Sack or Joe Btfsplk in that I wander around with a black thunder cloud over my head, I can assure you, this is not the case (but I do get reasonably grouchy sometimes). What is essential in life? Money? Not really, but don’t quote me on that, or stop reading here, just that that Money is not the most important thing, it’s just one of the things in life.

Fifty Looks Big
Heck 50 Looks Big in Print Even

Financially I have been a little clumsy over these 50 years, however, all in all, I am a fortunate guy, but it also made me wonder what has gone on during the 50 years of my life?

Over 50 Years What Has Happened Financially?

Good question. Let’s take a quick run through some essential financial things that have happened over my lifetime:

  • Canadian dollar was worth about $1.01 American, and today (January 2011) it is worth $1.01 , interesting it is the same, but there have been vast changes over those 50 years.
  • Inflation was at about 2% back then, and it’s about 2% now
  • Bank of Canada’s rate was about 4% back then, but is now only about 1%, so that is a bit of a drop
  • We have moved off the Gold Standard, but now Gold is highly valued (like back in 1961)

More Birthday Ideas


Birthday things to remember

I will neither confirm nor deny that my birthday may have occured in the past or next few days. However, I will confirm that my age is between 30 and 75. You should not publish on the web your birthday and year, since that is the start of someone stealing your identity or something of the like. Let’s talk about the things you might do if your birthday anniversary is some time this year.

Things to Do Financially on Your Birthday

Just some ideas for some of the financial things you can do on the anniversary of your birth:

  • Are you old enough to retire? Seems like a straight forward question, but when can you retire is another question to ask if the answer to the previous question is No? If you can’t even guess when you can retire, then today would be a good day to figure it out, or at least make a guess and work towards it. Aim to retire at 61, that’s an interesting prime age.
  • Can you take today off today? Some companies actually give you your birthday off as a vacation day, I think it would be good to know that one (nope, not in my case).
  • You can get free meals at some restaurants, I think Denny’s is one of those places, but call around and see where you can eat for free. Free meals is a very good way to celebrate a birthday.
  • Does my car registration need to be renewed? Ottawa has an interesting problem because if you don’t renew your registration by your birthday, and take your car to Quebec, you can get fined a LOT of money, because in Quebec they’ll fine you for that one (I think they do in Ontario too, but they don’t worry about it too much until the next month).
  • Did your car driving license expire? I was surprised that one year I realized a month after my birthday that I had been driving with an expired license. I received no reminder in the mail. Luckily I was not pulled over or that might have been expensive.
  • Has your life insurance premium just jumped? If you have crossed an age group, your term life insurance rate may be increasing, so go check that out.
  • Can you get a senior citizen’s discount now? You’d be surprised, a lot of these discounts do not start at age 65, it actually starts at 55. This year I found out you have to be only 55+ for McDonald’s Senior Coffee. TD gives you a service charge discount at age 60.

Any other concepts I may have missed that you should do on your birthday?

More Birthday Ideas


Happy Valentine’s Day? No Happy Anniversary!

This is my parent’s wedding anniversary today, and I applaud and celebrate their lives together here and on my other web sites. Emerald is the anniversary gift for 55, if you are curious.

Good Comments

Lately I have had some very good commentary discussions and extra points made by my readers but yesterday there was a very good addendum to yesterday’s post Tomorrow May Be My Last Day where the commenter said:

Medical/dental benefits – if they are continued (sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t) re-order the longest supply of on-going prescriptions you can (sic) and schedule a dental appointment for as soon as practical.

An excellent point that I had not even thought of, but something to add to your “job doomsday” list.

Are You Buying $100 Roses Today?

I’d like to, but I also can’t get my head around paying that much for something like that. I could wait two weeks and buy the same bunch of roses for $60.00, and have enjoyed peace and quiet for those two weeks due to my wife not talking to me. These kind of choices are always interesting to mull over in my mind.

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