biking oshawa >>> guildwood

August 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

During the ten days following wisdom teeth removal, I basically sat on my butt and ate mushy food. Now I’m back to kicking butt and eating everything. Believe it or not, I miss exercising as much as eating real food.

On Wednesday, we spent 50 minutes in the condo gym and 15 minutes in the condo hot tub. While on the elliptical, I read about a new fitness trend: aerial dance. I saw Malaria Lullaby last weekend and was super impressed; not only the strength of the dancers but also the imagery.

On Friday, I ate roasted salmon sandwich from Montreal Bread Co for lunch and sticky rice potato pancake and bibimbap at Ka Chi for dinner. Maybe the recent stock market decline had a psychological impact on me but I can’t believe roasted salmon sandwich is ten bucks. Thank goodness for cheap Asian food.

[Interlude: When I made my first financial plan in 2007, I decided that I never want my public equity exposure to exceed 30% of my net worth. My thinking is that 30% decline in public equity is not unlikely and I’m comfortable with 9% decline in net worth. Recently, I was wondering if this 30% threshold should include my exposure to Manulife. I haven’t decided but, in the mean time, I’m speeding up my mortgage payments as much as possible and hopping into ING savings account.

I’m not endorsing ING. I would never put more than 100,000 in any institution. But ING allows you to do everything online. And they understand bunnies.]

On (non-slacker) Saturday, we took the Go from Union to Oshawa, biked to Guildwood following waterfront trail (55 km because we got sidetracked a few times) and took the Go from Guildwood to Union. Despite the industrial areas, the scenery was great.

After dinner, we took the ferry to Ward Island, satisfied our sweet tooth and enjoyed Hansel and Gretel. No, we didn’t eat Hansel and Gretel; S had praline ice cream and I had affogato (espresso + ice cream = keen) from Island Cafe. S is jealous of the cafe’s veggie garden. In the photo above, Freud is talking to the minstrels. No, Freud didn’t eat Hansel and Gretel either. In the photo below, S is playing the role of a telemarketer. Usually, they invite kids to participate but they asked S. He must look like a kid.

On the ferry back, we hummed Mack the Knife.


summer brunch 2011

June 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

We dragged our bikes out of our parents’ garages and into the condo bike room two weeks ago for ride for heart. Will make good use of them the next time we buy furniture. Inspired by Kyohei Sakaguchi.

In the mean time, making good use of them transporting groceries from T&T. We actually did two round of groceries this weekend: T&T (hot pot lamb, two kinds of tripe, petit cheese kitkat) followed by St Lawrence market (rosemary flat bread, salmon egg, pickled herring, chocolate/caramel/meringue cake from eve’s temptations). Because the parents are coming over for father’s day.

I have no doubt that S will be a good father. He vacuums. He does laundry. He takes care of groceries on week nights. Definitely above average. But I have doubts that I will be a good mother. I hate routine. People often ask me what I would be if not an actuary. The problem with most jobs is that you have to show up at the same time everyday. Can you imagine being a chef and arriving at the restaurant after it opens? As for me, sometimes wake up with work on my mind and get into the office before eight, sometimes linger in my starbucks at church/adelaide for an extra fifteen minutes and get into the office after ten (although I hate routine, I love watching latte making, the rhythm of the foam).

I have no doubt that having children will be a transformative experience. And I love transformative experiences. But I have doubts that I will transform into someone that does not crave constant change. My new theory is that volatile parenting is okay. Penelope’s son is perfectly okay even though she is clearly insane.

Dum spiro spero.

sixty year forecast

May 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Although an actuarial science major, I have never thought deeply about insurance.

No need to think too deeply about mortality. I accepted the term insurance offer when I signed my mortgage papers. I picked the maximum coverage when I enrolled in group benefits at work. Before age 50, life insurance is not that expensive. After age 50, it’s not necessary. not planning to make enough money to make tax planning necessary

Too early to think too deeply about longevity. Retire at age 65. Use retirement savings to pay for living expenses for 10 years. Sell house at age 75. Use proceeds to pay for living expenses including long term care expenses for 10 years. Use retirement savings to fund inflation-linked longevity protection that kicks in at age 85. hopefully inflation-linked longevity protection will be available in the Canadian market before I turn 75

No point to think too deeply about non critical illness. The best insurance is to marry a doctor. The second best insurance is to live in a place with a good public health care system. Because a good public health care system is the best way to keep costs under control.

Denise is considering buying critical illness insurance because hiring a care giver can help alleviate the burden on family members. I’ve always assumed that critical illness & disability would lead to lack of longevity, so it would be okay to use retirement savings. Maybe this is not a good assumption?

S making waffle brunch

six year forecast

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

  • 2005 Plan: PhD
  • 2005 Actual: Milliman
  • 2008 Plan: MBA. Management Consulting.
  • 2008 Actual: Oliver Wyman. Manulife.

For the past six years, although Actual deviated significantly from Plan, I met my skill development goals: risk > pricing > product.

One of my dreams is to work somewhere really emerging (e.g. Vietnam). I wonder whether it makes more sense to make a move now or later in my career. Having spent the past two years reviewing products sold worldwide, my current thinking is that people everywhere want the same thing and skills developed in one market can be transferred to another market. So the most important thing is to develop the right skills.

Over the next six years, I hope to broaden my horizons: ¬†product > marketing > distribution. But I don’t have a plan yet …

  • 2011 Plan: ?
  • 2011 Actual: ???
  • 2014 Plan: ?
  • 2014 Actual: ???

S is planning to grow tomatoes and peppers. In a condo. Clearly a keener.

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