About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Retirement is now called "LifeShift"

With retirement on my horizon, lately I've noticed much more information on the topic in magazines and newspapers. In the Vancouver Sun dated Saturday, April 22, 2006 there is an article entitled "It's not retirement any more, it's now called "LifeShift."

This article got me thinking about my own retirement. I've been telling everyone I know that I'm not ending my teaching career to sit in a rocking chair and knit bootees, but rather I'm excited about a new beginning for me. Now I'll be able to do all the things I've always wanted to do but couldn't because I had to make a living and raise my daughters.

I think that most single women fear poverty. Without a man in our lives to help out financially, we can be driven to work and save for our old age. We give up a lot of fun traveling, going out to the theatre, dining out at elegant restaurants, buying gorgeous clothes, etc. Our first priorities are our children and our pensions. We worry that we won't have enough money to live comfortably when we have to retire.

Some articles state that you need 70% of your gross income to retire. But by planning carefully, that is not the case. If you are debt-free, it is possible to live on 35 to 40% of your gross income. We are no longer like our fathers. We are healthier, more fit, and our life expectancy is greater. We also desire to stay active as long as our health lasts. Also, we are probably the first generation of women that are retiring. Let's face it, most of our mothers stayed at home and looked after the house and our fathers.

The future will be very interesting for us as more and more women retire and set out on their own to live the last third of their lives to the fullest. Whatever our dreams, may we all reach for the stars!


droma said...

Hi Leslie,
What I cannot quite understand, how can you afford to retire at your age?
I have always worked, and raised my 3 children 100% by myself. For 25 years I was self employed and the employer both. During those years I paid in maximum into Social Security. Than, because of the unfortunate circumstances surrounding my 11 years younger husband's death, I could not work for 2 years and than, being unable to reclaim my Ohio State Licence to practice Medicine, had to go to work at a poorly paying job.
Our Social Security payments for retirement are based on the last 5 years work. For me that translates into ~ $ 700.oo per month after the age of 62, a bit more after 65. It is only because I am debt free that I can "survive". Besides groceries I buy very little.
Is Canada that much better? I know with teaching retirement here is better than my situation.
So for me the "lifechange" has been a drastic shift down.
Like you, I want to write. But I have to keep on working till the book is published and hopefully successful.
Not much help, am I. But I have wondered that about several of the blogettes, how they can live "retired" at below 62.
Mo. 4/25/06 @ 1:45 AM EST

Leslie: said...

Hi Ellen, thanks for your interest. Actually, my teacher's pension is pretty small considering I've only contributed for 7 years. If I'd taught for something like 30 years, it would be better. I was a "housewife/mother" for most of my married life and loved it, but started working full time when my husband became ill. When he died, the mortgage was paid off (insurance) and I got all his pension plus life insurance. All that has been multiplying for 14 years now.

I've always been afraid to quit working because of fear of not having enough in old age. I, too, worked to raise my daughters after their father's death and it has been exhausting. But lately, I decided that enough's enough. There's more to life and other things I want to accomplish.

When you turn 65 in Canada, there is the Old Age Pension plus you get your own Canada Pension. I'll have my teacher's pension, too. My financial advisor says it's doable for me to retire this year and supplement myself temporarily until I reach age 65. So...I won't be living "high on the hog" so to speak, but I will be able to maintain my life style.

About other bloggettes, I also wondered how they could be "retired" but assumed they had either income from exes or inherited or something like that. I guess each person's situation is different. Good luck with your own dreams.

Dee said...

I have been a homemaker most of my life and my husband is retiring early in about four years. He can do it cause of some investments we made when his company bought out some shares the workers had in it. While others blew in on cars and such, we invested it and he will be able to retire. My children are grown now and my health keeps me from working at this time but I often wish I had worked when I was younger.

I do like the term 'lifeshift' better than retirement. When I think of retirement, I think of Granny in her rocker. I am not the rocker sort and neither is my husband....We do hope to travel some day.

heiresschild said...

hi leslie,

thanx for sharing this good "lifeshift" information. i worked some in my early years, but since my husband passed 20 yrs ago, i've only worked about 3 yrs and part-time at that. i'll be owning my businesses shortly, employing people and overseeing the businesses. that way i won't be working my fingers to the bone. i also have a book that's ready to be published, but i don't think it's time yet. i refuse to worry about how i will make it later on because if others knew what i was living off of now, they wouldn't even understand how i've made it all of these years. but God is definitely a provider and even before my husband passed, God promised He would take care of me, and He miraculously meets my needs.

everything i'm doing now will not only enable me to adequately take care of myself in the future years, but will enable me to assist in my grandchildren's educations as well.

thank you all for sharing. it's good to know you're not the only one who struggles or has concerns of this nature.


Leslie: said...

Hi Sylvia, thanks so much for your input and best of luck with opening your businesses. I'm hoping to fly East some time in the next year to visit Ada and would love to meet with you, too. I want to get going on the book so need to "interview" you guys. I'll start with the West Coast women first. How are the grandkids? Growing like weeds, I suppose, just like my little Noah. He's now on a 2-year-old's dirt bike having a ball going down grassy hills with his little playmates. Gotta run - still 8 weeks of school left.

heiresschild said...

hi leslie,

i always enjoy your posts. when you come this way, just let me know and i'll re-arrange my schedule if need be. the family is doing fine. karyce is almost 8 months old, and she loves to sing (that's what i call it). she's such a happy baby. karyce means "God's grace" and God has really blessed her with His grace.

i know you're looking forward to the school summer break. what will you do? relax a bit and enjoy the break? i know you deserve to because taking care of children and teaching them for most of the year is no easy task, but i'm glad there are people like you with a heart and passion for it.


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