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Jewels of the North
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The Island of Crete

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Ancient Rome
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Some tips on
Living Simply

Tips for Retiring

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By Pat Mestern

A number of people have asked how to prepare for retirement. Considering the number of people that will be over 50 years of age in the next ten years, it's a valid question. Even though you may be living on a limited income and raising children, you should also be thinking about your retirement years. There are tomes written about retirement and income needs. Most make good bedside reading.

In order to approach the subject a little differently, I went looking for a few happily retired people for some good down-to-earth advice. The information they imparted is invaluable.

Even if struggling to raise a family, plan for retirement now. Remember the old Amish saying - To soon, old; Too late, smart. Retirement can be very pleasant if plans are well thought out in advance.

Know where you want to live, how you want live, if and when you want to make a move and why. Never make hasty decisions about important issues.

If you own your home, make sure that all expensive electrical appliances i.e. stove, fridge, freezer, washer, dryer are replaced before retirement. Don't forget your computer. Have all major house repairs done.

Retire with no debt. Pay off all credit cards, your mortgage, your car and any other outstanding loans. Replacing your vehicle will be the biggest post-work expense. Have enough money in the bank to do this. You don't want to negotiate loans after retirement. Use credit cards or line-of-credit for major expenses such as a holiday, but only if you can pay the balance at the end of each month. Try to pay everything with cash.

Begin to track your expenses to give an accurate picture of spending habits. Lose the bad habits, expand on the good.

You can live on far less when retired. One gentleman mentioned that with no debt, he lives well on 40% of his former wage. You don't eat as much so groceries are cheaper. Clothes are not so important. Restaurant meals are a treat, not a necessity. Commuting charges are almost nil.

Restructure your lifestyle to fit your finances. Gear retirement activities to comfortable expenditure levels. Walking is far less expensive than membership in a gym.

You don't need to accumulate STUFF after retirement. You should be giving some away. Remember, looking is pleasurable; recreational shopping can lead to financial hardship.

Pursue a hobby, but only if it generates enough income to pay for supplies. Some hobbies are financial burdens. If this is the case, switch to one that is as creative yet demands a more reasonable financial outlay.

Scale festive occasions back to comfortable financial levels. Don't give gifts if you can't afford to buy them.

When you are retired, don't do without because you want to leave a financial legacy. Your children should be the first to encourage enjoyment of life in your retirement years.

If possible, ease into retirement over several years. T oo quick a change is difficult for some to handle, mentally and physically.

Don't approach retirement as you did work. You don't have to follow a 9 to 5 routine. You're free from the clock. Slow down. Relax. Take time to read, to reflect, to enjoy life without hassle.

Begin now to put emphasis on the simpler things in life. Not only are they worth your full attention, they are usually less expensive to pursue.

Retirement is inevitable. Look forward to the day with all your strategies firmly in place.

Walking Bills:
Looked into my mail box the other day and thought my bills were taking a hike. A colony of ants had taken up residence. Time for my no-fail ant eradicator, white sugar and baking soda mixed in equal parts then sprinkled over the ant's territory. What kills them? The baking soda. Sugar sweetens the bait. I've also used baking powder, but soda is cheaper.

For closed areas such as a mail box, be a little more creative. You'll need an empty plastic margarine tub with a lid. Cut around the tub, one inch from the bottom so you end up with a shallow plastic dish. Cut a little V-shaped entrance in the side of the dish. Mix equal quantities of baking soda and white sugar in the dish then cover with the lid. Of course, the lid doesn't fit. Not to worry. Using duct tape (Canadjen, eh?), tape the lid onto the dish. Don't tape over that V-shaped entrance. Flip it and the lid now becomes the base for the feeder. But, don't flip the feeder until you're ready to use it. This feeder is good for mail boxes, basement areas, cupboards-anywhere you find ants. You might have to refill it several times but the method is safe, effective and uses no harmful chemicals. Goodbye ants.

Gentle Ginger Drink:
To answer a request, here's an easy recipe for people who love ginger-ale but who don't want to ingest the sugar or artificial sweetener found in commercial beverages. You need two large, fresh ginger roots, one large bottle of Club Soda - 750 ml in Canada - and a glass pitcher that holds at least twelve cups. Wash the ginger roots but don't peel them. Cut in 1/8 inch slices and put in the glass pitcher. Pour the large bottle of club soda over the sliced roots. Cover the pitcher tightly. Let it sit, covered, in the fridge for at least three weeks.

To serve: You need one more large bottle of plain club soda. For each serving of ginger drink, fill a glass one-half full of root-soda from the pitcher, then top the glass up with plain club soda from the new bottle. Strain the root-soda as you pour it from the pitcher into each glass. You don't want to serve root-bits. Some people add a tiny bit orange or other juice to each glass. Peach juice or raspberry juice is excellent.

I keep a pitcher of root-soda in the fridge all the time. When the pitcher is almost empty, I add another bottle of club soda. Use the sliced ginger root several times. You can tell when to add more ginger root by the strength of the root-soda. Some people like it strong, some weak. Some slice three to four ginger roots into the pitcher. I use two.

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Memo 1Memo 2Memo 3Memo 4Memo 5 |
Memo 6 |  Memo 7Memo 8Memo 9Memo 10 |
Memo 11Memo 12Memo 13Memo 14Memo 15Memo 16 |
Memo 17 |  Memo 18Memo 19Memo 20 | Memo 21 | Memo 22 |



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