Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Countdown Continues

My counter is running down and I now have 18 days of work left before I head off into the re-design of my life - RETIREMENT.  So many decisions are scattered along this road to retirement - the when and where, the how and how not - I shuffled and dealt and finally the deal was done!  The when was decided first; then came the where and the how.  I chose an oasis in the desert surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains and a day's drive to visit daughters and grandchildren south, west and east!  A house was sold (YEAH!) and a new one purchased (YEAH).  Movers were hired (Williams Moving Solutions and they were awesome!) and furniture dispatched.

Although I am contracted to work until the end of June, I took two weeks off to meet my furniture in the lovely Okanagan and Raouf and I unpacked and established our new retirement home.  I was too busy to have second thoughts.  Too joyful to think about the last pay cheque.  Too excited to even pull up my budget spreadsheet and re-enter the numbers as the actual numbers started to flow in!

Our view from the back yard.  serene!
By the end of the two weeks, my head was surfacing into reality just a little.  I started taking care of the business of a move into a new province.  I was so glad I had made initial inquiries and set up all of our utilities well ahead of time.  Note to snowbirds undertaking an inter-provincial move:  Never leave these to the last week or two - you won't have time to mull through all the options. Although gas and electricity were a snap (Fortis BC for both but set up separately) the internet provider was more challenging.  We were moving into a smaller community and I had underestimated the choices that might NOT be available!  I discovered that Shaw was almost into Osoyoos but not into our area; Telus could provide service but the speed was too slow for Netflix; and, satellite is apparently so unreliable you only go that way if you have to!  We were attracted by Naked ADSL but just reading about it and all the considerations became a wearisome process.  Just when I was almost ready to go Naked (heh heh!), I discovered another provider through an overlooked source - the Osoyoos Town website!  Eastlink provides all services much like Shaw.  With a few phone calls, we were all set to get set the day after our move.  With Eastlink we had phone and internet.  We have eschewed cable TV for six months already and will not likely go back.  Utilities Box - CHECK!

Inter-provincial car registration - next!   ICBC website has a NEW to BC help section - guess I should have read that first!  However, with a little help from the staff at the insurance company, we got it together and the car was registered and insured.  The cost of my insurance was through the roof due to a recent accident in Alberta (no witnesses!).  Bad news!  But it will go down significantly next year when I  turn 65 - good news!  Also, if you are from Alberta, you will need to install a plate on the front of your car!  We were lucky to have a brand new Honda Civic and dropped into our local dealer who installed it free of charge.  The plate "holder" was in the trunk under the carpet so don't panic - your's may be too!   Vehicle "stuff - CHECK!

Property taxes - next!  We sauntered over to the Town Office (so awesome to walk into a small town office rather than trying to figure out what department to access!  We were pleased to find out that BC subsidizes seniors (65 or older) to the tune of 60% on property taxes!  Yahoo.  Note to new arrivals- you will need to have your drivers licence and your health care changed over before you qualify as a resident.  As long as you can do this before the end of the year, you can get a refund on your taxes paid.  You just have to fill out the form and pop into the town office!  We will - cost savings will more than cover the additional auto insurance premium!!  Property Tax - CHECK - well, partially as we don't qualify yet for the health insurance!

Before you can say "red or white", I was hopping on to my flight back to the big city of Calgary.  I am now settled into my daughter's guest room for my final days of work - 18 but then who's counting!  Well, for one - ME!!  Eighteen days of actual work - wow.

My blog will take on a new theme soon - the life of a new retiree!  My main priority will be settling in and exploring our new hometown!  Raouf is already sniffing out new fishing holes and I - well, I will start to get the arts/theatre/writing scene sorted out!  Oh yes, with plenty of wandering through the desert checking out the flora and fauna and sampling the local wines along the way.

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