What’s The Point of a Vacation When You are Retired?

I recently got back from a camping trip to Clear Lake over in Manitoba and it occurred to me that some of you might be wondering what exactly is the point of a vacation when your retired? Well the reasons vary a bit but I’ll try to touch on what I think some of the obvious ones.

First off in our case, my wife still works so she actually really does want a vacation each summer. Also frankly if I looked after kids all day every weekday during the year I would need more vacation than she takes. After all one of the major purposes of a vacation while you are working is to take a break from the stress of work. You know the entire relax and recharge idea.

In my case, I don’t really need a break from the stress of my life (frankly there isn’t that much to escape from), but I still enjoyed our vacation. Why? Because it is a break from your everyday life. It’s a chance to see new things and enjoy some time with those you are traveling with. I enjoy it because it is a break from my everyday sort of life which I think is important for everyone regardless of if your retired or not.

Now the other thing about being retired and traveling is you actually have some additional options open to you because you don’t have a set amount of time you can use for vacation. Effectively you are more limited by your travel budget than your vacation time. Which means you can take an option of renting an apartment for a month or two if you want and really spend some time in the region of the world where you are vacationing in. For example, if you wanted you could pick a country in Europe and make it home base for a while while you check out a number of countries near by. Alternatively you can split up your time and spend a few weeks in several spots or what ever combination of things you want to do.  Like I said, your options are more limited by money than time.

Of course, I’m not there yet. My wife still has a business to run so we typically limit ourselves to two weeks during the summer and another week around Christmas time. Also a lot of our vacations tend to involve camping as it is something both us and our kids like to do so we don’t actually spend all that much money on trips most of the time. But of course we do make exceptions like a few years back we did a big tour around the East coast of Canada where we took a month off and we are planning a trip to Disney coming up next year.

So what do you like most about your vacation?

June 2018 – Net Worth

Welcome to my net worth posts where I try to prove to myself and you that I wasn’t crazy for leaving work in the fall of 2017 to start my early retirement.   A few important notes:  we are mortgage free and our goal is have our income/investment gains exceed our spending on a 12 month rolling average (please note this metric is still under development).

Investments

Accounts

RRSP $65,160
LIRA $17,660
TFSA $94,100
Pension $173,810
Wife’s RRSP $93,190
Wife’s TFSA $87,420
Wife’s Taxable $45,110
High Interest Savings Account $36,450

Investment Net Worth $612,900 ($3090 decrease over last month from investments)

Home Equity

Estimate $395,000

Income

To keep things simple I’m only going to track what income comes into our main ‘house’ chequing account.  I won’t be tracking my wife’s or my businesses income as those don’t really matter until the money moves over to the ‘house’ account.  Also I won’t track investment gains since that is covered above.

  • Wife’s Monthly Payment to House: $550
  • Child Tax: $310
  • PST rebate on life insurance $9
  • Total Income: $899

I can’t  believe I got a cheque for just under $9 to rebate the PST on my life insurance I just paid in April.  Sigh.

Spending

Last Month $6856

Welcome to the most expensive month of the year for my family.  Why? Our property taxes are due in June for $3756 and our house insurance was also due for another $1523.  Other than those the rest of the month was fairly low key.

Results

Net Worth ~$1,007,900

This Month Investment Gains & Income/Spending Ratio = (-3090+899)/6856 = -0.3 (Target 1 or higher)

Sept to June Invest Gain & Income/Spending Ratio = (13039+16389)/30855 =0.95

Just a note on the multiple month ratio I stripped out all income related to my old job from the early months to provide a more realistic picture for retirement.

Commentary:

So with our really spending month we drove our multiple month ratio under target, which means we have now spent more than we took in in the last 10 months.  I’m not that worried as this is mainly the result of that really high spike in spending this month.  Likely it will end up closer to one after the next two months.

Any questions?

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May 2018 – Net Worth

Welcome to my net worth posts where I try to prove to myself and you that I wasn’t crazy for leaving work in the fall of 2017 to start my early retirement.   A few important notes:  we are mortgage free and our goal is have our income/investment gains exceed our spending on a 12 month rolling average (please note this metric is still under development).

Investments

Accounts

RRSP $64,070
LIRA $17,560
TFSA $92,840
Pension $173,030
Wife’s RRSP $92,540
Wife’s TFSA $86,550
Wife’s Taxable $46,070
High Interest Savings Account $42,690

Investment Net Worth $615,990 ($5920 increase over last month from investments)

Home Equity

Estimate $395,000

Income

To keep things simple I’m only going to track what income comes into our main ‘house’ chequing account.  I won’t be tracking my wife’s or my businesses income as those don’t really matter until the money moves over to the ‘house’ account.  Also I won’t track investment gains since that is covered above.

  • Wife’s Monthly Payment to House: $605
  • Child Tax: $310
  • Credit for life insurance over payment $155.
  • Total Income: $1651

My life insurance company dragged their feet refunding me an over payment so this should have happened back in April but it didn’t.

Spending

Last Month $2531

That included a few birthdays in the family including a party for my younger son which ran us around $250 or so.

Results

Net Worth ~$1,010,990

This Month Investment Gains & Income/Spending Ratio = (5920+1651)/2531 = 3.0 (Target 1 or higher)

Sept to May Invest Gain & Income/Spending Ratio = (16129+15490)/24029 = 1.32

Just a note on the multiple month ratio I stripped out all income related to my old job from the early months to provide a more realistic picture for retirement.

Commentary:

Yes, that is what a good investment return month feels like…I had almost missed that feeling.  So between the tax refund last month and the investment returns this month our ratio is firmly above our target of one.

Any questions?

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A blog about early retirement and happiness