“We were lucky. This is what Pierre Vromet and Lyne Tremblay often say. When discussing finances with this retired 60-year-old couple, we realize that patience, prudence and creativity have played a much bigger role in their current well-being than mere luck…
Married for 39 years, Pierre Vromet and Lyne Tremblay met at the Lucie-Bruneau Physical Impairment Rehabilitation Center in Montreal, where both worked as specialized educators for adults with physical disabilities. They weren’t making millions, but had a “good” salary with benefits and a pension fund.
At 44, Lyne learns that she has a degenerative eye disease. At 50, completely blind, she was forced to retire. Thanks to the various tax measures to which the couple is entitled, this does not have too much impact on their financial health.
It takes six years, a lot of exhaustion and serious calculations for Pierre to be able to retire in turn. He was then 57 years old. The couple had calculated — without the help of a planner or financial adviser — that they could continue to have the same rhythm of life… or almost. The price to pay: putting a cross on trips to Cuba. “But in the end, we didn’t sacrifice them because I went to clean up! laughs Pierre Vromet. Eh yes ! The new retiree has become a “housekeeper” in order to earn the money needed to pay for annual trips to the South. For this couple who had already had a cleaning lady, it was the world upside down.
At 60, the age at which he was able to start withdrawing from the Quebec Pension Plan, Pierre Vromet stopped households. “If you wait until 65, you have a little more pension, but how long are you going to live? You don’t know! I said to myself: I am 60 years old, I am still in great shape, this is where you have to take advantage of it. »
Careful…and wise spending
When it comes to finances, Pierre Vromet and Lyne Tremblay are rather cautious. No spending splurges, no high-risk investments, a little cushion to deal with the unexpected. Lyne admits to being more worried than her husband: “I don’t have a big income. For me, spending is always a little stressful. »
Pierre Vromet recalls buying the couple’s first car in 1986, four years after he and his wife became parents. “It was a Hyundai Pony, bought for $7,000. Lyne was so stressed that she thought we wouldn’t eat anymore! [rires] »
It was also on the initiative of Pierre Vromet that the couple bought a property in 1996, when they had just reached their forties. To do this, he “rapped” RRSPs.
It was still an investment in something that does not lose value and is likely to increase. We always thought it was our old age.
Lyne Tremblay, about the purchased house
You guessed it, the couple took out a five-year fixed-rate mortgage, which they religiously renewed.
The duplex in the Ahuntsic district that he still lives in today is paid for in full, which considerably lightens the budget. “We were lucky, though, because mortgage rates only went down. When we bought, they were at 7%. That’s the most we paid,” said Pierre Vromet.
The recent rise in interest rates therefore does not worry our retirees, who are nonetheless stunned by the current price of houses and rents. Aware that their property brings them peace of mind, they wonder how some young people can manage to achieve this. “If the fact of buying yourself a house means that you don’t go out anymore, that you are no longer able to go on a trip, even in Quebec, it’s not worth it! thinks Pierre Vromet.
Speaking of travel…
Recently, thanks to legacies, Pierre Vromet and Lyne Tremblay took a three-week trip to Europe. “It wasn’t millions, but still… It’s not bad why we were able to afford that trip,” says Pierre Vromet. “Of course, as long as we are able, travel, no matter where, will be part of our life. We are committed to it,” underlines Lyne Tremblay. To be continued.