“There are some of us who still view life realistically but Vancouver is a lonely place for financially responsible people.
My partner and I are alike when it comes to finances. Our friends have been buying houses, condos, cars, boats, and all the toys in the world on incomes we know are similar or smaller than ours. Often we get lessons on how easy it is, “just put $10000 down and you’ll have $700 payments, its so cheap these days.” That would be a fine statement if we were talking about housing, unfortunately many of our peers talk in such a way of car payments. I get nightmares imagining what it must feel like to spend $1000 +gas on a car with my income. Dreadful thought, but I know first hand of people who do this without a second thought.
With housing its no different. We purchased a condo in 09, at a small monthly discount to renting. Our mortgage is just barely 2 times our annual income. We feel the need to get rid of this debt as soon as possible. Yet, we have friends who have bought both houses and condos in the past year valued 4 times that of our condo! These people earn the same money!
I would venture to say people are so conditioned to debt these days, they feel naked not having obscene monthly payments. When a car if finally close to paid off, they trade in for the newest model with biggest possible payment, or newest cruiser, or newest Bowrider.
The irony of it all? It makes us feel poor! We look at our friends, over extended, loaded on debt, enjoying all the spoils of life. The appearance of the wealthy elite.
Us? No consumer debt, used cars, and a big savings accounts, even bigger investment accounts.
This is partly why Vancouver is such a hard place to live, if not for us both being grounded and reminding ourselves that by 40 we will have enough cash-flow to retire or work part time, we would likely go insane and cave to the temptations. Its hard not to feel vindictive, and wish financial reckoning upon the indebted masses who get to enjoy the spoils without the work.”
Burt has our sympathy; it isn’t easy running against one’s herd, or even just sitting out while the herd is running.
The one note of surprise in the post regards Burt’s early retirement. It would be interesting to see his retire-at-40 math, given current interest rates and investment environment.