What does “Retired” mean anyways?

You may have noticed that I don’t claim to be retired, but feel I am currently “retired.” Big difference, right? Huge! So, what does that mean anyways? It means that I don’t need a paycheque from a job right now to survive. To me, it means that I have enough in my savings for me to enjoy this lifestyle for a couple of years, but not for the rest of my life. “Boy, she must have a crap load of money to do that,” you may be thinking. I know some of you have more money than me. Some have less. I have no idea where I sit in comparison, but let’s say I’m about average. Everyone likes to believe they’re about average. Like people’s perception of their own driving skills. Everyone honestly believes they have above average driving skills. We all know how true THAT perception is. I ❤ all my friends, but there are some where I have to say a little prayer before I jump into a car with them.

So how am I doing this and everyone else is slaving away at their 9 to 5s? The easy answer is that I have a good grasp on my monthly cash flow. In other words, I know exactly how much money I have and how much money I need each month to survive. Can you say that for your own situation? How do I do that? Easy, I have a budget. Yup, I can feel all your eyes glazing over and ready to jump ship. I know, I know, its too early to bring out the dreaded “B” word. Relationship suicide! Like dropping the “L” word too early in the dating process; it’s a disaster! But bear with me. Just let the “B” word swirl inside your head right now and that’s it. I’ll revisit it at another time. Just easing it in for now.

So, if you’re continuing on with me, thank you. We may have lost a few who jumped at the mention at the “B” word; hopefully they’ll come back and finish this off once they get over the initial shock! Some may think I’m being a bit silly in regards to the “B” word; have enough conversations about this in person and I assure you the response is not entirely exaggerated.

But I digress. So, knowing my cash flow helps me. For income coming in, I don’t have a monthly paycheque, but I have interest income, dividend income, and money from other sources such as money from my favourite credit card (oh yes, I said it. You heard correctly. My credit card pays ME for the honour of using it) and from people who are paying me to help them with their financial planning. But alas, it is not enough, so I have to dig into my savings to make up the difference.

Savings? What is that? When I quit my job, the rumour mill at the workplace was abuzz on what I was going to do; how will I survive? I MUST be moving home to live with my parents; I can’t POSSIBLY afford to live without a job. These comments were coming from executives who were making 6 figures easily a year, but they couldn’t fathom the thought of taking some time off? I was shocked! But this emphasizes the importance of saving and paying yourself first; topics I will cover in detail later on. And yes, your savings will grow faster if you are making a full-time wage and living at home. But I still paid rent at home. And yes, I know other people who have stayed at home but cannot afford to take a year off. Full disclosure required to appease a good friend of mine. You know who you are.

The next thing is debt. I have ZERO debt. Nothing. Nada. I owe nothing to anyone. I’ve been working since I was 13 to pay off my own education and to pay cash for my car. So this definitely helps with my cash flow each month. Am I against debt? Certain types. Mortgages are fine, although if you can pay cash for a house or condo, I salute you! I don’t believe in financing cars and advocate saving up enough to pay cash for your cars. And what about credit cards? The root of all evil if used incorrectly. But we’ll save that for another post.

What do you think? Should I be using “retired?” Or should I think of using another word? I don’t like the connotations with unemployed, cause it implies that I am currently looking for employment. And if I’m unemployed, then I should be able to collect EI (employment insurance)! Are you financially stable enough to take a year off? Have you even thought about the possibility?


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angie
    Nov 25, 2011 @ 23:52:40

    Haha! I have to say I associate the L-word and B-word with totally different words than you do (and they aren’t wholesome).

    I bet your faithful readers are dying to know what credit cards you recommend. Will you be reeling us in with some Canadian specific tax savings/investment tips in future posts or iwill that be client exclusive info?

    Regarding the term “retired” I think for most people that implies you won’t likely be working ever again. The other problem with that word is it doesn’t necessarily mean financial freedom either (as there are many retired folks who struggle to make ends meet). You’re someone who is livin’ the life at 30, voluntarily unemployed, and financially secure. Maybe you can be described as someone who is ‘recreationally unemployed’ at 30?

    Keep up the blogging! Love that you’re keeping things conversational and easing us non-financially minded folks into thinking about our finances in a non-overwhelming way =)


  2. Vicky Vo
    Nov 26, 2011 @ 04:00:11

    I will definitely be sharing whatever I know in this blog! If you ever have any specific questions or topics you would like to learn about, let me know! And stay tuned for recommendations of my favourite credit cards and banks and brokerages!

    Recreationally unemployed; I like that! Thanks for dropping by Angie!


    • hockeygrl87
      Nov 27, 2011 @ 19:21:58

      I have a topic! Cars… Lease or financing? Say… For someone who gets bored quickly and wants to change a car every 3 years or so.


      • Vicky Vo
        Nov 28, 2011 @ 00:33:25

        I prefer cash, and I believe with a bit of planning, this is totally doable. But I will definitely do a post about the pros and cons of leasing and financing; thanks for the idea!

  3. Trackback: I <3 MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus MasterCard « Vix's Money

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