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Canadian Realestate Magazine | 27 Nov 2014, 07:29 AM Agree 0
Home ownership now more affordable says RBC… IMF says housing market is in for a soft landing… Baby boomers would be happier not downsizing says expert… Alberta budget will not be broken by oil price…
  • | 27 Nov 2014, 10:53 AM Agree 0
    At 71 I'm already into semi-retirement so the baby boomer retirement strategies are no strangers to me. At 46 I started my new life with a new wife, 2 teenagers from my first marriage and soon had another baby boy and a girl shortly after. At the time after my divorce, my net worth was -$20,000 and my wife's was +$20,000 and I was out of a job.

    30 years later, our net worth is a bit over $800k and we are trying to carry the small house we just downsized into and a ski chalet we bought 2 years ago. In other words, it is never too late to start over and make a go of it.

    But I must say, becoming a born again Christian shortly after remarrying had more to do with our success than my hard work, perseverance or wisdom. Too many "coincidences" occurred that enabled our financial recovery. Quite frankly, if you don't get your spiritual life in order, sooner than later, you are going to have an extremely difficult time of it. The difference is that we had the faith and outlook needed to cope with all the set backs life throws at everyone. Without this spiritual strength, it will be extremely difficult to avoid a retirement that quickly leads to impoverishment and dependence upon government largess.

    Financially, we knew we didn't have a lot of years left to establish a financial cushion. We scrabbled together a 1st and 2nd mortgage to buy a small house just before prices collapsed in 1990. Fortunately I got a few small consulting and business turnaround jobs to enable me to pay the child support. But once the babies arrived, it made more financial sense to stay home with the kids until they began school.

    But it wasn't until I was 52 and got a real estate license before we started to contribute to RRSP's, more to reduce our taxes than to save for retirement. After 5 years my revenues finally stayed above $100k for 6 years and I even learned about the 43% tax rate a couple of times. Meanwhile my wife seemed to change jobs every 3 or 5 years but her career prospered as well. We invested $400k to update and expand our home which added to our selling value 8 years later. We also tried to add $20k to our RRSP's each year. Real estate appreciation eventually contributed half of our present net worth and RSP's and RRSP's added the other half.

    The other major contributor was buying used cars. By keeping our depreciation to under $2k per year per car, we saved a huge amount within our cash flows over the past 25 years.

    We know that we were blessed over and over again for our faith and trust. There is no doubt whatsoever, that He will do much more than we can ever do on our own. The secret is to begin to read your bible and trust in the knowledge and wisdom He gives to you.

    God bless you.

    Jim Reid
    P.S. Retirement is a misnomer. After 70, we live full lives doing what we want to do. We don't just play and watch TV until we die.
    • J.G. | 29 Nov 2014, 11:24 AM Agree 0
      Thank you so much for sharing your story, Mr. Reid. Inspiring & Interesting. God Bless!!
  • Travis Bowman | 27 Nov 2014, 11:43 AM Agree 0
    Great story Mr Reid,
    I thank you for sharing your story.
    I fully agree that the faith in ones life will allow God to work with you to keep a persons head up through thick or thin.
    Success starts with knowing God, this will reflect in ones everyday life to be the best they can.

    Travis Bowman
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