My Annus Horribilis, or: What to do with all these Lemons

I’m way late with this update, or any update to this blog for that matter. Writing needs to feel cathartic and not like whining, so this entry has been a lot more difficult than I’d first thought. You see it was about a year ago that I’d finalised my move from the coast to BC’s Columbia Valley. At the time, the rationale was remarkably simple: having depleted her financial reserves while still carrying a large credit line, and disabled by a separated rotator cuff, my mother needed my help, so, discouraged by job prospects and encouraged by a frothy real estate market, I decided to pull the plug. Take the equity and run. Abandon the coast for a bucolic existence in BC’s Interior; turning my back on some of the best Sushi anywhere.

Oh how the numbers where examined, scrutinised, analysed, turned on their heads, gone over with a fine-toothed comb; this was a plan that would work. There would be three separate but known consistent streams of income, with a fourth – my dividend growth portfolio – expected to grow to meet our expenses within 10 years. We’re talking retirement here, kids!

So, yeah, that was a year ago. But much as you’d like to think you know those closest to you, they can still jump up and bite you in the ass, and so it was that I found out – six months in – that my mother was not at all on board. And, so it was – minus the personal details that make this an interesting, albeit sorry tale – that I found myself loading up a moving truck yet again, at a cost of yet another $7,000, and heading back to some of the best Sushi anywhere.

The lasting problem with this change in direction is that my budget now exceeds plan by 150%; the costs of this little adventure have depleted my resources by a quite substantial 25% and all of this moving around has disrupted my spouse’s business to the extent that it no longer provides a meaningful income. The depletion of resources carries with it a resultant reduction in dividend income. I have to go to the well frequently now and at  inopportune times, like when Mr. Market is being maniacally depressive. Ahhh, yes, the ripple effect: clearly, none of this is sustainable; daddy needs to find work. Finding work in a world where I represent all that is ‘so last millennium’ is in itself challenging; trying to do it after almost 3 years out of the workforce, daunting. I see re-education and another 2 years out of the workforce in my future. Or, perhaps a lemonade stand…

But, damn it, on a positive note, in percentage terms, the financials proved out. Stay tuned for the portfolio update, it’s heartwarming tale of success in a market full of woe.


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