Thursday, October 9, 2008

What is Retirement?

Retirement for me means freedom to do what I would like. In Canada, one of the few ways of receiving favorable tax conditions is to be self employed. Our country is not known for low income taxes. Therefore maintaining my business would be a smart thing to do unless I no longer wish to work in such a capacity.

I am happy to report that I have achieved most of my work, life and retirement goals. I am still working towards a 2 day work week. It is a matter to being able to afford a reduced income. This is where my frugality comes in. I am still on the down slide with respect to monthly expenses and expect to bottom out in the next year. The only left after that is debt of which in my case, they are in 2 categories--a home equity line of credit and a mortgage.

Today is a special day as I am expecting the line of credit to be done by the end of the business day. The HELOC was used to put a 33% down payment on another property. That is the only way I've ever used a HELOC--as leverage towards an asset.

In Canada, if you do not have 20% down on a real estate purchase, it is considered a "high risk" mortgage and thus requires "insurance" that is calculated as a percentage of the purchase price. I've only paid this fee once on my first home and never again since.

By taking advantage of the 15% yearly prepayment allowed on my mortgage, I gain equity sooner. When new opportunities arise, it is nice to know that I am able to get into the "game" should I wish. I like to leave myself some room to play.

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