Since returning to Canada six years ago, I’ve often joked that I have done my retirement in reverse.
For most of my 20’s and 30’s I traveled, lived overseas, and moved whenever I got itchy feet. I have surfed in Hawaii, raced in triathlons in New Zealand, been to the Melbourne races and lazed on the bank of a river in Switzerland. It was awesome.
When I arrived back in Canada, I had this overwhelming feeling of needing to ‘catch-up’. My old high school friends were married, had homes, jobs and kids. I had exactly none of those things.
In essence, I felt like I had to pay for all the fun I had been having. Financially I was all too aware that I needed to build some wealth and equity fast if I was ever going to retire and have fun again.
So I bought a house in a great neighbourhood…that was steeped in cigarette smoke and smelled like cat pee. Yes, I got a great deal.
It took 3 months to get rid of all the cat pee, smoke and kitchen grease. I moved in with a bed sheet as a bathroom door and make-shift plywood kitchen countertops.
When I moved out late last year, the final coat of paint in the basement was almost dry. 5 years of tears, sweat and a lot of hard work later my ‘home’ was ready to be a rental. I Obviously, flipping properties is not my game. I’m ok with that.
On the surface, I’m doing all the right things to satisfy the 2010 Liz – the one who badly needed to feel like she had some roots and could build a life that would allow her to retire in time for some undetermined future date. I got the job, house, car, pension payments etc.
2016 Liz is a little feisty and wants more, faster. She does not want to work another 25 years at 50+ hours per week commuting 15 hours per week. Nope. She wants to be outside, walking the dog, running in races, playing in the lake and generally loving the people she loves.
The two are at odds. Or ARE they? Can we have both?
Can I pay off debt AND build a financial future ahead of the curve?
Can I create an income AND have more time for family?
(Can it be done post 40? I hope so, I need to find those people!).
I feel a little stuck on building the an for the next 6 months – how did you build yours?