Few thoughts on mortality…

It all started a few years ago with a trip to Sedona, Arizona. We were planning for the first time, in as many as …almost 10 years, to do some hiking. Our oldest daughter was, I think 9, and son 6, yes, old enough to hike up in the mountains. So, the first surprise that make me think of my own mortality was when on the second day in Arizona I picked up my hiking boots…and the soles peeled away. These were ‘expensive’ Mountain Equipment C0-op boots that I had bought more than 10 years prior to this trip. They were nicely stored in the room upstairs waiting to be used again…and after that many years – the rubber sole just peeled off ( I wish I had a picture of that – maybe I do). Now, when is that thought of one’s mortality you ask, well, it came right after getting the new hiking boots – for the first time a thought crossed my mind along the lines ‘will I be able to get full use of these shoes before I die ? will I have enough hiking trips to wear these boots out before I die?’…that was it. And after this, it just keeps on coming, buying new pants or shorts…will there be enough Summers in me before I wear them out, will I have enough time to …and it goes on and on…is there enough time to do all the things I’ve put off doing for later, enough time to read all the books I want to read, enough time and money to take the trips I wanted to….And the answer sadly becomes ‘no’ day by day, year after year. Unfortunately there is not enough time to do all that. There is only that many vacation days in a year, there is only that many weekends, and at the same time…there is less energy (starzeje sie skokowo), as I get older in a step function (on the way down…

 

Few thoughts on mortality…

So my question is…

[…] in our situation, should I even consider owning another property? […] Am I just super greedy and should stop being influenced by all the real estate talk in YVR [Vancouver]?

“Yes. Get a life. For a couple of twenty-somethings to be lusting after a detached house in a city where one costs well over a million is insane. Give your head a shake. Get your priorities straight. More consequential should be your careers, your mobility, flexibility and the freedom you’ll only come to value and understand later in life. There will be time enough for you to accumulate both stuff and debt, to crave capital gains and covet wealth. But this ain’t it” from Garth Turner’s blog

 

So my question is…

It was 26 years ago this very day…

Sounds like Mandela Day song by Simple Minds, but it’s simply the day I started a new chapter in my life…still being written 🙂 26 years of living in Canada, far from my childhood home and places I used to hang out in my youth.

Starzeje sie skokowo (I’m getting old as if in a step function) said Krystyna Janda on her blog after getting sick – I share the same feeling (and love her blog by the way)…sometimes feel old, sometimes feel young – I bet 16 year old would say I’m old, and 60 year old would say I’m young. It’s a strange feeling – feeling young in an old/er skin, wearing KSU patch on my bag, loving music the way I liked it when I was 16, loving sports the way I liked them umpteen years ago, but huffing and puffing more and more often.

17,340 photos scanned, all the family albums – it has taken the last 4 or 5 months, but it’s done…it’s all digital…all this for what? I’d like to know.

PS.

Just noticed that this post is dated November 25, even though it’s still November 24 where I write (Toronto)…it’s still 24th for 4 more hours…Europeans already moved onto Wednesday 25, how sad…

It was 26 years ago this very day…

Unsleeve…this day and every other day (the art of remembering or not forgetting?)

Someone said that if you don’t write down what you did each day in a journal, the days will disappear. You will not remember what you did as if the day did not exist…true dat :)…after few days or weeks at most I can’t recall single thing I did on a particular date…days on the calendar, without notes, become just Mondays and Tuesdays and so on.

So, today, there was another Santa Claus parade in Toronto, and we went…and what a gorgeous day it turned out, balmy mid-November…little did I know when I was thinking this morning that this is going to be my first ‘missed’ Santa Claus parade in 11 or 12 years…well, it’s still there and going strong…the bands are getting better and larger and louder…one coming all the way from Ohio.

Unsleeve…this day and every other day (the art of remembering or not forgetting?)

Free and wise advice from Garth Turner on employment vagaries…

First, everybody should strive to make themselves indispensable. Managers are human. They finger people with bad attitudes, excessive wage demands, poor work habits or who back sick days into every long weekend. Corps don’t care if you just bought a house, got married or are fourteen months from your pension. Jobs aren’t social programs. Nobody’s entitled to one. And right now we don’t have enough to go around.

Second, assume your income could vanish. Keep debt low and manageable. Live beneath your means and save the rest. Have a Plan B. Don’t snorfle debt just because it’s cheap. Be diversified and balanced. Shun having all your net worth in one thing, like real estate. Understand that when you lose a job you need liquidity and cash flow, not granite and stainless.

Third, never assume your employer needs you. He doesn’t. So it’s a swell idea to have a up-to-date resume, a network of industry contacts and a line on job openings elsewhere. It’s never a wrong time to think about being an entrepreneur, either. Nobody’s ever going to walk into your own bakery, office or garage and fire your ass.

Fourth, if you’re axed, be smart and calculating. Hiring a pricey lawyer because you dislike your package is almost always a loser move. The lawyer loves it, the company ignores you and you burn through precious capital while feeding your anger. Move on. And commute your pension instead of leaving it in the company plan. You can usually roll it over into a self-directed LIRA or RRSP, then get it invested for growth. The more you control, the better

Don’t be proud. Apply for EI. Move back home. Beg your ex to take you in. Shop at Costco. Turn the thermostat down. Get a crappy part-time job some Millennial will hate you for. If you’re over 50, face the fact this might be the last time you have a career gig. So do a financial assessment and determine if you actually need to work again, or can get by through adjusting your lifestyle, downsizing, moving or just putting all your capital to work generating investment income, trading brain-dead GICs for things offering regular dividends or tax-cheap capital gains. If you don’t think you need some help, you’re (a) rich or (b) ignorant.

Finally, never assume this happens to some other dude. I’ve lost jobs, been fired and seen my position eliminated. It sucks. But after the first episode I made sure I was ready for the next one. Minimal debt, max liquidity and lots of self-employment. Things don’t always work out. But failure beats rejection.

Or, you can always start a free blog.

[Excerpt from a free blog at http://www.greaterfool.ca]

Free and wise advice from Garth Turner on employment vagaries…

In the news today…186 days of instructions

In Ontario elementary teachers, starting in 2016, will have one day less of instructions, 186 down from 187….that’s just barely 186…out of 365 days in a year. Below a comparison of number of days students attend schools in different countries (take it with a grain of salt, not verified)…but still (China, Japan, South Korea) and Germany (?)

schooldays1

In the news today…186 days of instructions