UNLIKELY

This afternoon I met with someone from Sun Life Financial at work for a bit of a financial analysis of my current situation. I hadn’t really done something like this before so it was a very interesting process.

The nice lady from Sun Life took all my relevant financial info from me, then asked me how much money I thought would be required per month in my retirement. I didn’t really know but she suggested that $2000 was a conservative amount. Using a program that she had on her laptop computer, she estimated that I could retire at age 57.

While I appreciated the analysis, I believe there’s very little chance I will be able to retire at age 57 with the amount of money she thought I could have. The analysis assumes that I’ll be working at EA until age 57 and that my salary will stay relatively the same. There’s no way I’ll be making games until I’m 57. This industry is for young people and while developers have started to skew towards being older, the percentage of people making games over the age of 50 is still really small. Also, even if I stayed in the industry until I was 57, very few people stay at one company for such a long time. I know someone who just left the company and he was at EA for seventeen years. His tenure is quite rare these days.

I believe the analysis did have merit however for some of my short-term financial goals and it also clarified where I need to put my money to maximize its potential. I’m not expecting to be retired before 60 but hopefully I can do my best to get there.

RAMEN DANGER

There’s a good chance I’ll be going out for lunch tomorrow and we’ll be going for ramen. My lunch companion is well aware of my dicey past history with ramen. He’s joking that I shouldn’t worry because the washrooms in that place are pretty nice.

You maybe wondering why would I even agree to go to a ramen place for a weekday lunch. That is indeed an excellent question. Based on the third person in our party, the ramen place might be the most convenience place to meet. This is a terrible idea. I hope it goes well.

HOTELS

So I spent the better part of my Sunday evening looking at hotels in Calgary. My grandmother lives in Calgary and she’s having a birthday celebration in her honour at the end of September. A large number of family are going to be there and I need to figure out where to stay. I’ll probably be sharing the room with my parents as well.

I’m only going to be there for three nights while my parents are going to be there for five. In the last few years when I look for hotels, it’s usually in very exciting cities because I’m going on a vacation but I gotta admit, looking for a hotel in Calgary was a pretty bland exercise. No offense to the fine people of Calgary and their wonderful city. It’s just that when my last couple of hotel stays were near oceans or one of the oldest cities in Europe, Calgary seems quaint in comparison. Well, at least the hotel rates in Calgary appear reasonable.

REFERRAL

A few months ago there was an opening for a position on my team. Some dude did an internal transfer to work on a Star Wars game. I have a friend who I knew would be a great fit to the role. He had previously worked with me at EA years ago.

It took several long weeks but he finally got an interview. It apparently went well because they offered him the job and he accepted. He starts in about three weeks. The most important thing about this is that I will be receiving a referral bonus as my friend listed me as the person who told him about the job. The bonus isn’t a massive amount of money, especially after taxes but it’s better than nothing. Oh, I guess it’s also pretty cool that I get to work with my friend again.

MEAL REVIEW: VIETNAM RATIONS

YouTube recommended that I watch the above video where a gentleman named Steve opens up a ration that was distributed to members of the US Armed Forces during the Vietnam conflict.

Field rations, or in this particular case, an MRE (meal, ready to eat), were conveniently packaged so soldiers could have a nutritious meal that also increased morale. You’d often find things like coffee packets and cigarettes in them so that troops could have a bit of comfort even near the front lines.

In this video, Steve attempts to actually eat and drink what is still safe to consume from the MRE. Keep in mind, at the time of taping, most of foodstuffs were at least 45 years old. It’s a fascinating video.

INTERESTING

Many financial pundits think the Bank of Canada will raise the key interest rate tomorrow. As I have a variable rate mortgage, such a change is of interest to me (get it?).

Since I bought my home, the key interest rate has changed just five times and the last increase was almost seven years ago. It’s been a good seven years from a debt perspective. I don’t know how much the BoC will raise the rate but I’m hoping it won’t be more than 0.25%. My mortgage will undoubtedly be more but how much more is the question.

Will such a move put me in dire straights? No, but there will be less money to go around and the bigger question is, when is the next rate hike? Does this signal more frequent and larger hikes? Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

LACTOSE

I’d like to report a significant milestone last week. I ate an entire ice cream cone for the first time in years. In recent times I’ve stayed away from most dairy as I’ve become increasingly lactose intolerant. Things like whipped cream, heavy cream, ice cream, and just general things with cream in it do the most damage. In a way, this development has a silver lining in that dairy kinda makes you fat if you think about all the things it goes into.

For a while now, my brother-in-law has suggested taking pills which contain lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose and allows your body to process it. I finally took his suggestion last weekend when I knew I was going to be out and having ice cream with some friends. I bought some of these pills and downed two of them before eating an ice cream cone.

I was slightly apprehensive about it but even hours afterwards, there was no gas, bloating, nor diarrhea. Does this mean I’m going to now binge on milk shakes, ice cream, cream puffs, and anything with whipped cream? No, definitely not. These items should be consumed only in moderation and these magic pills won’t make them any less healthy. The good is news is now I won’t have to poop whenever I drink a frappuccino!

HOT

It’s been quite warm the last two days here in the local Vancouver area. Since I now own a fan, I’ve left it on while I sleep on the lowest and quietest settings. If you were to believe Korean superstition, I’d be tempting fate right now. Luckily, nothing has happened yet and there is no scientific proof this is harmful to my body.

I was told the name of the movie would not appear on the hotel bill