Well, we got just over a half-inch of rain yesterday and overnight. It doesn’t sound like too much, but it is enough for now. The wind is up again and more rain is in the forecast. I just had to go outside to feel the rain on my body even though it was only 12 Celsius outside and a bit windy.
Getting older has its benefits. For one thing, I don’t have to rush off every morning to a workplace. That is priceless when one doesn’t have to worry about money for economic survival. My house is paid for, the car is paid for, and there are no debts. It took a long time to get to this situation. I worked for decades before taking a holiday, decades before daring to go out to a restaurant for a family meal. I am one of the lucky ones despite living in real poverty as a child and youth.
I say I don’t have any economic worries and that is the truth. However, please don’t read into that statement that I am anywhere near rich. For example, the financial community has this to say: “Retirement experts have offered various rules of thumb about how much you need to save: somewhere near $1 million, 80% to 90% of your annual pre-retirement income, 12 times your pre-retirement salary.” Well, needless to say, if this were the truth, I wouldn’t be able to retire for another – let’s see – oh my god! I’d never be able to retire.
So, how is it that I get to travel to many different countries around the world and enjoy my life? It begins with expectations. I have a small, old home that I have renovated over the two decades we have lived in the house. There is no “keeping up with the Jones’s [they live just down the block]. Home cooked meals with restaurant meals being rather scarce – we both cook. Home baked bread, soups, etc. We don’t spend a lot on fashion. Though I have a tendency to not wear clothing, I do go out in public and that requires that I be well dressed, after all in this small community, one is judged by one’s appearance, especially being the community school’s former principal.
When we travel, it is usually for an extended period of time. Plane tickets to a destination and then spend six weeks to three months in the foreign destination before the return flight home. We don’t stay in hotels. Long-term rentals in small one-bedroom or studio suites allow us to live without digging into our reserves.
In other words, the frugality we learned and lived while raising our family has continued. And, we like it that way. It feels comfortable. We don’t worry about the years to come. Que sera, sera!