Sunday, April 26, 2015

The retirement whisperer

Once again the retirement whisperer showed up.

Friday Michelle and I were off to the pool. You never know what you're going to get at Talisman on Fridays. This one turned out to be a semi-gong show, redeemed later for Michelle. We started in the training pool, then even though the whiteboard said it was open, they kicked us out part way. We had to find a lane in the competition pool.

Michelle chugged away working on her stroke. I played chase with the other girl in my lane. I was trying to stay just far enough back that I could get a bit of draft, yet not so close that she'd think I was pushing. After maybe 500 m she paused, let me go by, and darned if she didn't tuck into my draft! That was kind of fun, actually, and made me pay attention to my pace.

Eventually I moved back into Michelle's lane when the water runner left. 100 m 91 seconds, really feeling a strong rhythm with stroke and breathing. Then a bit of drill, and 50 m 41 seconds, still in the groove. I've love to be able to swim longer at that pace, but I'm pretty sure that even going to 75 m I'd see my pace drop off dramatically.

We had a lovely chat after, Michelle's eyes wandering to the pool occasionally, where the male water polo players did their thing. Nuff said about that...

Then in the afternoon I met up with my financial advisor. Some of that was routine shuffling of money to top up RSP and TFSA and other stuff. I'm very pleased with my investment performance. It's mostly clear I can't stop working right now, never work again, AND live to whatever age. Unless I was really lucky I'd likely run out of money. Maybe. It's getting to the point the uncertainties of market return, and figuring just how long I'm going to live, and just how much money I'll want to spend, all combine to say 'maybe.' But when you consider I'm planning to work at least part time for a while yet, that calculation gets interesting. Depending on the assumptions you make, I could semi-retire right now.

Saturday was a cold day. We had expected snow and rain, but it was just overcast. I hung out at home, relaxing. It was lovely, in between visits by the furnace guy. Friday we noticed it would go through the startup cycle, but the main burners wouldn't fire. I figured it was a sensor, but it turned out to be the main gas valve. Twice. He had to come back the next day and replace it again.

Sunday we had brunch with the retirement whisperer. This time it was Linda's cousin's wife, who recently retired from the City. She is loving it! There were no regrets at all about signing the paperwork. Her husband is still winding down his affairs, and is working part time. I was picking their brains about how this is working out for them. She's taken to it like a duck to water, and given how I got through 2009, she thinks I'll do the same.

Ran 4.3K, 30 minutes, feeling pretty good about it. Average pace was 6:54 per K, which is good for me. The last half K was a bit of a struggle as my legs were getting heavy. Still, for legs that were starting a bit tired from last weekend, I'm pretty pleased.

Then I was put to work at one of my specialties. Nuclear gardening. Today was cutting back the ambitious mint plant, then getting rid of some tree-ish herb that is taking over. Tough stuff. Linda thinks it's Hyssop. I managed to not dig up the little hens and chicks that are being slowly over run. The daffodils are still there, and two huge day lilies. We are budgeting a day each for those to divide and replant. I am seriously thinking about renting a chainsaw for that. There is a lot more work left to actually dig up the beds, amend the soil, and plant the split up day lilies and other stuff. (I wonder if Runkeeper has a gardening activity?)

There is still much to do out front. We could probably both take a week of vacation and do nothing but work on it. Considering how much we've ignored it over the years, this isn't a surprise. The Alberta rose is doing really well, winning the early growth contest. We figure it's getting ready to take over that whole bed. The plum is almost blooming, as are some of the other roses. Photos then.

Do I really need to mention BBQ bison burgers with wine? This weekend has passed in a blur.


  1. Teeeheee! How do you know it wasn't the aquabelles in the dive tank I was watching??? ;) It's all just upper appendages and heads above water. Yes, Runkeeper has a custom "other activity" you could use for garden and yes, daylilies need a chainsaw... Retirement whispers sound interesting if you take into account the part-time angle. You could never be bored because you have so many diverse interests Keith!

    1. Bored is the least of my worries. Finding out I'm running out of money when I'm so over the hill all I can do is be a Walmart greeter is a recurring nightmare. While I've no desire to be the richest guy in the graveyard, I think I'd prefer to err on the side of caution and work a little longer, just to be sure. And in case anyone is wondering, I do enjoy what I do, almost all the time. And I'm pretty sure it was the polo players. The dive tank was a long way from where we were sitting.

  2. LOL! Too bad I couldn't be there to watch. Ah well. Haven't gone swimming yet, hoping to get hubby to join me in the pool, I feel kind of shy just going alone, esp if practically blind without glasses. If hubby was there then at least it would be a most excellent case of the blind leading the blind. Must get on with chatting with the financial advisor too, much has changed and much needs to be discussed.


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