Getting closer…..

My countdown says 29 days to retirement.  That is only 12 work days, as I have booked Christmas off, using up the last of my vacation days.  So, what have I been up to since my last post?

Well, I think I have an apartment booked in Cotacachi.  My friend Don Simms, who lives in Cotacachi, found a 1 bedroom unit in Primavera II, a place we have stayed in before.  The price is considerably less than what a tourist would pay as it is owned by an Ecuadorean and has been referred to me by a local.  It pays to have local friends looking out for you!

At work, I have cleaned out my service vehicle of a lot of “stuff” that most technicians would have thrown out a long time ago.  Being in the industry for over 40 years has taught me to hang on to used parts that still work.  You just never know when it might come in handy!  It has all been sacrificed to the electronics recycle bin at the warehouse…..  I had a drawer full of user and installation manuals for a ton of older, obsolete equipment.  I have promised to give them to the next-in-line technician, as they were given to me by my predecessor.  A lot of this stuff can be found on Google, but it is handy to have the original paper copies as well.

I had a meeting with my financial advisor last month.  He laid out the steps I need to take with my work benefits, investments, insurance, etc. that need to take place within the first 90 days after my last day at work.  I made a large contribution to my RRSP, so I should have a sizeable tax return in the spring.  That will be used as income along with my CPP and OAS and some TFSA withdrawals for the next few years before I have to start withdrawing from my RRSPs.  He thinks I will be quite comfortable financially during retirement.  I am a bit apprehensive as my investment took quite a hit this past year because of the state of the world in which we currently live.  Hopefully things will recover over time.

Ecuador has changed it tourist visa terms it seems.  You used to be able to extend the 90 day tourist visa by another 90 days but were only allowed to do it once every 5 years.  That has changed, now allowing it to be done annually.  That will make it much easier for those of us Canadians who like to spend 6 months a year somewhere warm.  It is now an option that I am seriously looking at.  Time will tell.