Category Archives: Kids

Your Relationships in Retirement – Part II

Yesterday we covered your relationship with your spouse. Now I’m going to talk about your relationship to your children.

You will likely find that during raising your children that they say some of the oddest things. It’s like they forget about reality for a split second and try to ask for the moon (or in my son’s case reading Good Night Moon for the 3rd time in a row). In retirement you might find them doing a little relapse even if they have then own kids.

To demonstrate my point I will provide a story. I know one person who retired a few years back who was approached by one of her grown children looking for someone to look after the grandchildren. Up to this point the grandchildren had been looked after by the other grandparents, but they were now moving so the parents turned to the our retiree for help. The retiree agreed to temporary give them a hand while they looked for childcare. The parents couldn’t understand why they grandmother didn’t want to look after the grandkids permanently.

Um, excuse me did you just lose your brain or something? To me the answer was obvious, but the retiree had to explain to the grown kid “I’ve raised you and your siblings. I’m done with that now. I just want to be Grandma, not their primary caregiver.”

So often retirees have to put their grown kids back in their place by explaining to the: “Listen I’ve saved and worked my entire life to get to my retirement. I’m not going to start doing what you would like me to do just because you ask. I will try to help you out when I can, but you have to understand sometimes I won’t be able to.” I rather doubt they would be that blunt about it, but you get the idea. It’s time to be selfish.

Feel free to help the kids as much as you want, but don’t feel obligated to do it. You are retired now and you are beyond the realm of obligation. So learn to ignore those guilt trips and do want works the best for you. After all, you are still their parent.

The $0 Baby Room Challenge

After discussing this with my wife I’ve decided to embark on an interesting challenge for us. I want to decorate and prepare the baby’s new room with a total budget of $0. So I can only reuse items from our first child or beg, borrow or steal items to complete the room. The only sort of exception to this is I can use our credit card points to get gift cards to buy some paint.

So why am I doing this? I think people spend too much money on their kids before they are born. This time we are limiting ourselves to using what we have or what we can obtain without any money. It’s the ultimate expression of frugal thinking in my mind.

Looking around the house last night I figure we am already most of the way there. Here’s what I know I have:

  • Cradle – Borrow the family one from my brother
  • Crib – Reuse our existing one
  • Change mat – Get our first toilet trained so we can steal his (he will be three by the time his sibling arrives)
  • Rocking chair – Use our existing one.
  • Paint and related supplies – Reuse what I have in the house already and buy the rest with gift cards
  • Drapes – Use an existing set from storage.
  • Bedding and blankets – Reuse from the first kid’s bedding and if it is a girl ask for bedding as a gift from one of the grandparents
  • Dresser – Borrow one from my parents which is just sitting in storage
  • Clothes – Reuse the gender neutral clothing from our first kid and if it is a girl beg, borrow and request gifts to get the initial amount

So far the only problem item I’ve thought of is how to bath the kid. We don’t own a little tub. So far my plan for that is to just use an existing towel in the bottom of the tub, unless we can get something from someone else.

So what do you think? Can I make it or am I missing something? Any ideas from parents who had more than one kid would be most appreciated.

Interview with Derek Foster

In case you haven’t heard Derek Foster, author of Stop Working, has come out with a second book called The Lazy Investor. So out of curiosity I sent Derek an email requesting an interview and he was kind enough to give me a call (I should point out I did the interview before I had read the book, I’ll post a book review tomorrow complete with a contest to win a copy of the book).

Tim: So what can we expect in the new book?

Derek: This book is basically the strategy that I would have done if I could do it all over again. People often think I came up with my investment strategy all in one go. I didn’t. The strategy evolved over time. I started in mutual funds which isn’t something I would do now.

Tim: Ok, how would you start now?

Derek: I would start with as little as $50 and use DRIP’s and SPP’s. Are you familiar with those?

Tim: I know the DRIP is a Dividend Reinvestment Plan, but I’m not familiar with SPP.

Derek: A SPP is a stock purchase plan with isn’t offered by a lot of companies in Canada. You can buy shares directly from the company without having to pay any fees. [Editor’s Note: Also sometimes referred to as DSPP –Direct Stock Purchase Plan]

Tim: Ok, how do you start.

Derek: You have two options on how to can get your first share of a company that offers both a DRIP and SPP. The first is through a discount broker, which is more expensive. First you buy the share and then request the stock certificate. The total cost will run you about $80. The other option is to go to a share exchange board like the Investing Resource Center. There you can request that someone will sell you a single share. The cost of this is a $10 courtesy fee.

Tim: Sound’s great. So where did the idea for this all come from?

Derek: The idea started from my own kids [Editor’s Note: Derek is now up to four kids ages 7, 5, 4, and 1], which is why the second section of the book deals with investing just for kids. I don’t like RESP’s and I wanted to provide something for their future, but still leave them with responsibility for paying for their own education.

Tim: I can totally agree with that. I don’t intend to pay for everything for my own kid either. So you started a similar strategy for each kid?

Derek: Yes, I started with $8500 for each kid and invested in four companies in their names. I believe financial education is sorely lacking in our schools and this will provide some incentive for the kids to learn. After all some of the dividends they earn pays for their allowances when they get older.

Tim: Now that is a great idea. So do you also provide an update on your own situtation from the last book?

Derek: Yes in the appendix I address some of the most common questions I’ve been asked.

Tim: Derek, thank you so much for your time. It’s been great talking with you.

I should point out that this interview actually went on for a lot longer, but I had to paraphrase it down to a reasonable length.