We've been filling out a tremendous amount of paperwork and visiting banks to enquire about tax free savings accounts, RIFF's and RAFF's and RSP's and RSVP's and on and on and on and so on and so on and so on and it isn't over yet.
Basically, as far as things stand at the moment in our limited human vision, retirement for us will mean a return to a state of life similar to the years when my husband was struck with his CFS and my heart murmur was diagnosed: simply grateful to have a roof, any roof, over our heads, food in our tummies each day and clothes to wear that are not too obviously from the thrift store. Once again we will be more dependent upon the direct provision of God than our pension cheques to keep body and soul together. On the one hand God's inclusion makes for a sense of deep peace about the looming retirement years, on the other hand it makes us realize we had better get some things together before my husband has to leave his position at work.
Not long ago someone said to me, "You DO eat out a lot!" as if a life of poverty is bound to occur as a result. I didn't and still don't appreciate the self-righteous attitude behind the comment, but it did get me thinking. My little shopping spree this past week also got me in the mood to do some expense checking. So, yesterday I hauled out nearly 2 years' worth of restaurant receipts that we have accrued since moving here, got out my calculator and added up the bunch. The result was rather interesting to my husband and I.
The cost of two YEARS worth of receipts, added to the less than three hundred dollars we have together spent on local entertainment during that same time period came to LESS than two month's rent on the suite we currently live in; quite a bit less in fact. It is also less than 2/3 of one month's rent payment in the seniors' condo my parents live in in Calgary...one of the two least expensive seniors' complexes in their city.
The end result is that last night my husband and I had a very serious talk about making sure we are using the most possible benefits of his health care insurance from work. My dental work is going to roll ahead for the next couple of years to get every possible necessity taken care of. Every time we get a chance to purchase something that will be useful/necessary for the rest of our lives as seniors we are not going to hesitate. We are going to stop fretting about every cent spent and continue to,within reason, enjoy our lives and spending/saving habits.
We are looking seriously at where we could afford to retire in Canada and South America is looking to be a better option all the time. It is doubtful we will be able to retain a vehicle once my husband retires and so we need to live in a city with adequate public transportation. However, since cities will likely be beyond our means and neither of us can face living in a small town or rural area again in Canada, South America once again is lookin' good!
Of course we have no idea what is actually going to happen in the future, so we have to plan based on what we know for sure right now and speculate on how best to handle life if that is actually what happens. With God involved it will be exciting in some way or other. It always is.
The best part of this is the realization that the adventure of life in the Spirit is continuing. Our sense of excitement about life has picked up since doing this simple exercise of discovery. Tomorrow we have more bank and financial institution appointments and more pension paper work to complete. We hope this will be one of the last days off my husband has to spend doing this sort of thing, at least for awhile.
Hmmmm.....in a few short years life is going to change again....oooooooh, goody goody. We have to admit we are getting kind of excited to see what the next chapter is going to hold for us.