Thursday, June 07, 2007

Endless vacation

Someone commented recently that we (me and hubby) always seem to be planning one, getting ready for one, or going on one –- vacation, that is. I'm sure it seems that way; and to a certain extent, it's true.

In the last few years, we've been going on vacation several times a year -- sometimes just short little get-aways, sometimes two or three week trips. You'd think we were retired - but we're not. You might even think we have oodles of money – but we don't. It's all about the priorities we've set for ourselves at this stage in our lives.

We'd like to retire. Really. So why don't we? We have friends our age who've already retired and we've certainly thought about it. Sometimes, after a particularly stressful day, I just want to walk out the office door and never look back.

We're self-employed and don't have the luxury of a company pension, so retirement money will come from Canada Pension, Old Age Security, and anything we manage to save ourselves. In truth, we could retire now. It's not like we're destitute or living paycheque to paycheque. We'd have a nice home and comfortable lifestyle. We're lucky to be in this situation and don't ever take it for granted, but we wouldn't have the luxury and freedom to do all the things we'd like to do - notably, travel.

So, on the one hand, we're hanging on a few more years to build a $$ cushion in case of unexpected life pitfalls and some emergency rainy-day money for our kids (shh, don't tell them, and yes, we're of a generation that worries about these things). On the other hand, we don't want to wait until after retirement to do the things we enjoy, lest we're in no shape to enjoy it. We've seen too many friends and relatives who saved and saved, waiting for retirement – but never got there.

As a result, we've come to this happy (well, not always happy) medium of spending some of our would-be savings on vacations, now, and having to work a few more years before 'actual' retirement. We revel in our vacation planning and take our 'now' trips guilt-free sandwiched between have-to-work days. I think it's a good trade-off.

Of course, we could win a big lottery. Then, baby, retirement here we come!


Lew Weinstein said...

Great story.

There are ways to create an exciting retirement, with lots of travel.

Home exchange is one of the ways to reduce costs while maximizing your travel experience.

My wife and I have created a blog to describe what we think is a fairly unique approach to retirement travel …

We invite you to visit our site and leave your comments.


ell said...

Lew, I just had a look around at your site. Very interesting. I've heard of home exchanges, but never thought of doing it ourselves. Still not quite convinced I'd be comfortable having strangers in my house.

Joy said...

I love the way you've established your priorities. Keep up the fun times!

I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted. Thank you for missing me. :-)