June 2013 – Investment Update

The following is an update of Tim’s plan to retire early.  Please note the house is paid off, so net worth is no longer tracked.

To track my progress I’ve decided to track both my expenses and my investment gains.  So once the investments gains are consistently beating my expenses I’m financially independent and can stop working.  I think my ideal tracking of this would be one full year of investment and spending data, but I don’t have that yet.  So for now I’ll do a trailing six 12 month average on spending and investments for the calendar year to date.


Account (Contribution), [+/- Gain or Loss less contributions]

RRSP $32,880 ($100), [-$1140]
LIRA $12,260 ($0), [-$430]
TFSA $26,330 ($7710), [-$1600]
Pension $73,180 ($973), [-$1403]
Wife’s RRSP $38,440 ($0), [-$770]
Wife’s Investment Account $110 (-$13,350), [-$110]
Wife’s TFSA $26,880 ($13,400), [+$-570]
My Investment Account $100 (-$6556), [+$6]
High Interest Savings Account $1,210 (-$3200),[$0]

Investment Net Worth $211,390 (-$972 ), [-$5967 or -2.8%]

(YTD Contribution: $20,404), [YTD Gain: $8,285 or 4.5%], YTD Avg Monthly Gain $1380

Spending Averages

Last Month $7235

Trailing Last 12 Months (less mortgage payments) $3386


Number of months spending covered by investment gains: 0.41 {Target 1.0 or higher}


This month’s update almost needs a subtitle like: it can’t get any worse.  It’s interesting how I’ve lost almost $6000 in gains and almost undid the last five months of market increases.  Oddly enough…I’m not even upset.  I’m now used the fact the summer months always suck, so I don’t worry about it.  In fact, I look at the price drop as “Oh, what can I buy?”

You might notice we have mostly closed out our investment accounts and moved the cash over the the TFSA accounts.  We are just waiting to ensure any last payout from the stocks clear the accounts in the next month.  Then they will be fully shut down.

On the spending side, our property taxes were due which drained out the savings account and our house insurance.  Hence the negative contribution rate for the month.  Also some of our holiday spending is starting to show up this month.  I’ll back that out of future updates as that spending isn’t relevant to our retirement plan.

Any questions?

(click for a bigger version)


Gone Fishing…Or On Vacation

Tomorrow will mark the start of something I’ve never done before…I’m taking a month of vacation (yes, four whole weeks).  Excited somehow fails to fully explain how much I’m looking forward to my time away from work.  Also we are excited since we will be doing our trip to Newfoundland and back during this month. 

So doesn’t it mean this blog will have no updates for a month…of course not.  I’ve pre-written several posts and our usual guest posters will continue to write while I’m gone.  I’m just letting you all know so if Idon’t get back to you on an email or comment…don’t worry.  I’ll get back to you….at some point. 😉

Have a great summer,


Goodbye Money Worries

My wife said to me the other day “I no longer worry about money.”  Which might seem a minor statement, but  to me knowing her past this was a major breakthrough.  I nearly felt the desire to break out a marching band. 😉

So let me put this into context.  Her parents divorced when she was young and her mother raised four kids most as a single mom.  My wife grew up worrying about money…all the time.  They knew money was tight because if the washing machine broke, her mother didn’t always have the money to replace it.  So my wife learned a pattern that there was never enough money and you needed to worry about that fact.  So she repeated it all through high school, university and even when we got married.

In fact, shortly after we got married she was upset.  She thought she was spending too much, since I never seemed to spend anything.  I actually had to show her that I just had a different spending habit. I would save for six months to a year and buy something big, rather than lots of small things.  After that she felt a bit better about buying the odd new shirt or a book.

Then I introduced her to the idea of early retirement, and initially she didn’t really care about the idea (but she didn’t hate it either).  Until it occurred to her that that while I kept talking about freedom and choice of what do with our time, she could also use that to mean ‘never worry about money again.’  So with that she came on board to the idea of early retirement, but put her own stamp on what that means for her.  For example, when she quits working she never wants to do it again: even for fun money.  So she will likely work a few more years after I quit full time to build up her own fun money slush fund.  Totally her choice.  Even in the same household, FI doesn’t look the same to both of us.

In the end, even well before we got to early retirement my wife got her wish.  She has enough money now to know that barring catastrophic issues like every insurance company we deal with going bankrupt at the same time or the end of civilization she will be fine for money.  We have savings, a paid for home and insurance to cover the obvious big issues.

So what motivates you towards early retirement?  Freedom seem to be the most common, but what else?