Author Topic: Vancouver  (Read 24387 times)

Zikoris

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Vancouver
« on: April 07, 2012, 03:00:47 PM »
Anyone else in the Vancouver, BC or the surrounding area? I'd love to meet other early retirement people! Virtually everyone I know has drank the Kool-Aid and spends every penny they earn, gets into ridiculous debt, and freaks out about having no money on a regular basis.  It would be great to meet some people like me!
Blogging about frugality, travel, and Vancouver life - www.incomingassets.wordpress.com

I also have a journal! http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-zikoris-diaries/

fubared

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 04:13:09 PM »
I live in Coquitlam. I agree it seems everyone in the GVRD has drank the Kool-Aid. I just stumbled upon this website myself. It would be great to get together and share ideas.

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 04:36:11 PM »
I'm in Victoria. 

fubared

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2012, 02:30:45 PM »
I am finding it difficult to meet my savings goals in this city. How are you two dealing with the disparity between job opportunities and living costs? I dread the thought of moving to a place like Edmonton but it would accelerate my progress towards FI.

Theriault

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 08:53:11 PM »
Now now, Edmonton isn't all that bad...it's actually quite nice for 3 months out of every year. That being said, housing is cheaper here than Van...and wages are generally higher...

KulshanGirl

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 03:50:38 PM »
I will add me to this thread, I am in Bellingham which makes me nearly Canadian.  I only got Canadian TV stations between the ages of 18 - 37 and therefore most of my adult life has been shaped and influenced by Canadian comedy shows.  And Coronation Street on CBC on Sunday mornings.  (RIP Blanche) I have been curling in White Rock, twice.   :D

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 08:35:32 PM »
Checking in from Victoria. We have a peculiar situation with the outrageous cost of home ownership here. It'd be interesting to hear perspectives from others in a similar situation.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 08:38:39 PM by MarkCB »

Zikoris

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2012, 07:53:34 PM »
I hadn't checked on this thread for quite awhile, but to answer the question about living frugally here - it's actually super easy, by far the easiest place I've lived so far to find cheap housing and food!

Housing - there are so many options. I live in a housing co-op in Gastown, which is cheap cheap cheap($732/month, utils included, which I split with my boyfriend), and there are tons of these all over the city - they're run by the members and nobody's making a profit, so the rent in exactly what it costs to run the place, i.e. mortgage, utilities, etc. Before this, I always rented suites, always private - some basement suites, some suites in houses that had been converted into 5 or 6 apartments. I paid between $450 and $625 depending on which place it was, and lived in Kerrisdale, Mount Pleasant, and north Cambie street area. I constantly see Craigslist posting for things in the range even now - there's just no reason to pay a ton of money, when there are so many options here.

Food - We spend $230/month total on food, including toilet paper and stuff, and eat like KINGS - we eat absolutely whatever we want, but I make everything from scratch from base ingredients, which cost next to nothing. No Frills, Costco, TnT, and Sunrise Market are great cheap stores to shop at. We don't have bikes, but we have a cat stroller that doubles as a grocery carrying cart whenever we need it so lug home a 20lb bag of flour or do a bigger shopping.

Transportation - We purposely live and work downtown. I walk to work, and buy one book of bus tickets a month for $21. My boyfriend works a bit further and buys a monthly pass(81), which we can share on Sundays, so we try to run errands together then.
Blogging about frugality, travel, and Vancouver life - www.incomingassets.wordpress.com

I also have a journal! http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-zikoris-diaries/

fubared

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 10:56:05 AM »
I've been interested in Coop housing. Did you have to buy a share to move in? Are there any restrictions?

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 04:22:55 PM »
New Westminster here.

MustacheMike

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2012, 09:39:46 AM »
Near Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam here. Expensive city.

fubared

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2012, 12:06:28 PM »
Another Mustachian named Mike in Coquitlam, what are the odds?

Zikoris

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2012, 12:12:10 AM »
I didn't have too much trouble getting into my housing co-op - you have to buy shares, but it's not very much - most places require around one months rent, with a small handful requiring a few months rent. There's a minimum income requirement(I had to bring a letter from my employer to the interview), but other than that you just have to pass a panel interview, have a bunch of references(we had around 10, employers, landlords, my boyfriend's university teachers, volunteer references, etc), and do a credit check.

There are size restrictions - a minimum and maximum number of people per bedroom, so if you`re one person and you want a three bedroom place, forget it. Almost all co-ops are pet friendly as well, which is nice in a city like Vancouver.
Blogging about frugality, travel, and Vancouver life - www.incomingassets.wordpress.com

I also have a journal! http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-zikoris-diaries/

monkeyslunch

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 06:31:15 AM »
I will be based in Vancouver starting January... maybe a good time for a meet up?

MetroMPG

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2012, 03:48:38 PM »
Hi folks...

I'm in Vancouver for a couple of months, and am offering free eco-driving/hypermiling coaching in January. 

(See: Offering GRATIS eco-driving coaching - Vancouver BC. Punch Big Oil in the face!

I'd be willing to do this in small groups as well, so it might be a good way for local mustachians to get together WHILE learning useful skills!

Darin

jopaul

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2013, 01:28:06 PM »
Hi,

I live in North Vancouver; been here for about 2.5 years. I am hoping to semi-retire in a couple years and  right now expect that I will move back to Ontario when that happens but who knows.

jeff

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2013, 12:22:07 PM »
Zikoris - a couple of questions about the co-op if you don't mind as I've been looking into this option myself.

How long did it take for you to get in? Did to apply to multiple places to get something quicker?

How is the condition of your building? I have looked at several co-op buildings and they have all been in noticeably poorer condition than surrounding buildings. Many desparately need a paint job. I've heard horror stories of infighting amongst members when badly needed repairs to the building are needed. How has your experience been so far?

To all other Vancouver folks - what % of your total spending is spent on rent (I'm assuming none of us would be silly enough to buy here)? Mine is about 40%.

Zikoris

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2013, 05:23:26 PM »
Hi Jeff!

I took me about three months to get in after the interview. I interviewed in June 2010, was accepted and thrown on the wait list, and a place came up mid-September to move in end of September. Being willing to move on short notice gives you a HUGE advantage as most "normal" people live close to the wire and can't afford to eat the security deposit at their apartment if something happens to come up mid-month.

We applied at our current place and this one www.foursisters.ca, buy got accepted here first - I think Four Sisters looks really nice as well though!

Our building seems to be in pretty good condition, though I don't have much to compare to - all my previous places were basement suites, or houses converted to suites. We hire cleaners and companies to do things like window washing, so the building looks pretty good from the outside, and we have a ton of people who love gardening and maintain all the gardens, flowers, trees, and keep all the outdoor spaces in good order. We definitely keep everything repaired that needs to be done - it helps that our board and finance committee(I'm on both) are really well organized and managed by people who are decisive and get shit done.

I think there would probably be a big difference between co-ops on the issue of politics/squabbling though - it's really going to depend on what the people in charge are like. I think that very large co-ops would be more likely to wind up with competent leadership, vs smaller ones where they might not have more than one or two people who really understand things like building construction/maintenance and handling the finances of a corporation.

Are there any co-ops you're interested in specifically? I might know of them.
Blogging about frugality, travel, and Vancouver life - www.incomingassets.wordpress.com

I also have a journal! http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-zikoris-diaries/

Zikoris

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2013, 05:13:46 PM »
There seems to be a huge range as far as what people pay for food here - I know someone who pays $400 for one person, and a one couple that pay around $1000. One of my ex-boyfriend spent $120 for himself. We used to pay $380, but that was a 100% organic(and mostly local) diet, hand-delivered weekly into our kitchen(honestly).

Do you have a food system worked out? Having a plan is probably the biggest help for lowering costs(besides cutting hand-delivery into your kitchen...). We have a very specific system we use, though it changes fairly often to accommodate our lives better. We have about seven stores we use for different things, all in different parts of the city, and a routine that takes us to the farther ones at regular intervals to get unusual things(teff and other weird grains mostly). We keep stocks of stuff in amounts that mean we rarely pay full price for anything. Any expensive ingredients(Gardein crispy chicken), we refuse to buy unless they're heavily on sale. We compare unit price on literally every non-produce item we buy. And of course, heavily game any sort of store-specific rewards systems we can manage.
Blogging about frugality, travel, and Vancouver life - www.incomingassets.wordpress.com

I also have a journal! http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-zikoris-diaries/

jopaul

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2013, 06:19:20 PM »
I am wondering if anyone in the Vancouver area can recommend a good cell phone plan. I have always had cell phones through work but I was recently laid off and have to return the phone.  I only need a relatively basic plan including text and prefer not to have to commit to a full year contract as I could move away or if I get similar work it may provide a phone again. Any ideas?

Jon_Snow

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2013, 07:56:19 PM »
I live and work in Vancouver, but at every opportunity I am on the ferry out of Tsawwassen to head to my slice of heaven on one of the Gulf Islands. I have 10 acres of stunning land that is just begging for a certain early retiree to start up a sustainable farm and garden.

Won't miss the high cost of living in Vancouver whatsoever.

gunnar

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2013, 01:12:12 AM »
 For a good basic cell phone plan check out the 7-11 Speakout Wireless(prepaid) plan. It is run on the Rogers network and the top ups are good for a year.  If you don't use the phone too much, it could be as cheap as $25 a year!
There is a good unofficial Speakout Wireless Canada web page worth looking into if you are interested.

lifejoy

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2013, 04:03:35 PM »
I'll be in Vancouver in May! I grew up in Abbotsford, but have lived in Vancouver, too.

misstache

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2013, 05:20:19 PM »
I'm up in the southern reaches of Desolation Sound, but used to live in Victoria, and still go there to see friends sometimes, or passing through to travel down to the States to see my family.

daverobev

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2013, 06:17:55 PM »
jon_snow - what is the price of land like there, now? I'd love to get away from the winters here (near Ottawa). Picking up a few acres would be awesome...

Where do you look for land - other than mls?

Cheers!

(I've visited Vancouver once, for a conference - very nice place, reminded me of home - UK :))
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lifejoy

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2013, 01:38:21 PM »
Daverobev - now that I've lived in Abbotsford, Vancouver, Montreal, and Saskatoon - I can certainly attest to the fact that winters in the lower mainland part of BC are brief and mild! So nice!


daverobev

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2013, 08:21:28 PM »
Daverobev - now that I've lived in Abbotsford, Vancouver, Montreal, and Saskatoon - I can certainly attest to the fact that winters in the lower mainland part of BC are brief and mild! So nice!

Just gotta convince the wife ;) Working on it!!
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GoStumpy

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2013, 08:22:47 PM »
I'm in Kelowna, got sick of the rain of the Lower Mainland ;)
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lifejoy

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2013, 09:50:36 PM »
Ah, Kelowna! Great weather. Victoria is good for less rain, too.

fwttg

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2013, 11:46:28 AM »
I will add me to this thread, I am in Bellingham which makes me nearly Canadian.  I only got Canadian TV stations between the ages of 18 - 37 and therefore most of my adult life has been shaped and influenced by Canadian comedy shows.  And Coronation Street on CBC on Sunday mornings.  (RIP Blanche) I have been curling in White Rock, twice.   :D

KulshanGirl,

Late to the party but had to laugh at your comments. I had the opposite experience: growing up in Vancouver watching cartoons and Batman, etc on KVOS TV!

Now live in North Van and vist Bellingham frequently (member of a camping association near Alger). Brought back memories when I finally saw the little KVOS TV building a few years ago.

We are very fond of the Bellingham area and all that it has to offer. My wife dreams of retiring in South Hill if she could work out the affordability and citizenship!

lifejoy

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2013, 07:53:42 PM »
"We are very fond of the Bellingham area and all that it has to offer. My wife dreams of retiring in South Hill if she could work out the affordability and citizenship!"

I would loooove to live in bellingham! So nice there, and the houses are cheaper than in abbotsford, bc.

KarenO

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2013, 07:26:27 PM »
Representing as a Vancouver Mustachian, hello! 

I am in the Commercial Drive area.  I have had my areas of frugality for a lot of years,  for example I have been car sharing since 2000 (before most people knew what it was), being car free makes me happy.  Finding this website has really challenged me to improve my game in a lot of areas where I was soft.  I had these areas of frugality already and figured I could "splurge", but I see those areas of splurge are not adding to my life, but are just sloppy, and sometimes actually take away from my lifestyle.  This process has been fun, and is definitely ongoing.  And retiring early and not having to depend on a job?  Awesome!  Very motivating.

Good info about co-op housing here, sounds like a good plan the next time I am looking for a rental. 

Would anybody be interested in a meetup?  I wouldn't mind arranging if there is interest. 
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 07:28:56 PM by KarenO »

Zikoris

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2013, 08:14:54 PM »
I'd be interested in a meetup, especially if someone else does the organizing - I'll bring the baked goods!
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KarenO

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2013, 01:03:17 PM »
Ok, a meetup it will be!  I'll plan one soon such as a picnic in the park, but will give it a few weeks lead up to see if we can get a few people responding.  This system doesn't seem to be emailing replies to this thread, so I might set up a Vancouver Mustachian Facebook group for quicker back and forth.  In the meantime if anyone else is interested, maybe send me a PM as well.  Does anyone know how to get replies emailed on this forum? Is it possible?

Hamster

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2013, 01:42:27 PM »
I'm also just south of the border. I'd join in depending on work schedule and if I can get the family to commit to joining in.

Zikoris

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2013, 11:52:33 AM »
I think a Facebook group is a great idea, post the link here when you get it up and people will probably gravitate there pretty quickly.
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KarenO

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2013, 02:05:00 PM »
Done!  Although it is a Facebook page, not a group, because it would not allow me to create a group without members.  If it does not fit the bill, I will fix it later. 

Link is www.facebook.com/pages/Vancouver-Mustachians/533039516759250?fref=ts, or search in Facebook for "Vancouver Mustachians".

Like the page if you like the idea of local meetups, and/or want to keep in touch with those in Vancouver area. 

I am thinking tentatively a meetup for Sunday, June 23rd, picnic at Trout Lake.  I will post it soon.  Any ideas, let me know, as I am not committed to any of that yet! 

Karen

expatforever

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2013, 06:07:22 PM »
New MMM registry here, also in Vancouver. Abhor Facebook, but that date sounds good - I'll check this forum.

Just cancelled my bus pass for the summer. I am not a badass winter cyclist (yet) but maybe this year...

KulshanGirl

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2013, 09:41:27 AM »
Regarding the mustache map ... We're going camping on San Juan Island soon and I am going to be SO CLOSE to a couple of you, yet so far.  :)  I will wave across the water at you! 

KarenO

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2013, 10:16:00 AM »
New MMM registry here, also in Vancouver. Abhor Facebook, but that date sounds good - I'll check this forum.

Just cancelled my bus pass for the summer. I am not a badass winter cyclist (yet) but maybe this year...


Fair enough, I don't think Facebook is the be all and end all.  I'll post on the Facebook page, and I will post on the Forum as well, in a separate thread as well as in this thread. 

The meetup is going to be Sunday June 23rd at 12:00 noon at Trout Lake.  I am thinking the meeting/picnic place will be just east of the concession stand in the grass assuming it is not taken, I will post a sign with a Mustache on it.  Also, I look amazingly like my avatar, so maybe you will recognize me.  Bring snacks/beverages to share if desired, perhaps a frisbee to throw around.  Although you would be welcome if you just show up.  Let me know in the forum or on the Facebook page if interested!  I am happy if 2 or 22 or 52 people come.  I have only heard from a handful so far, so am assuming right now that this gathering will not be large. 

I have a commute into Burnaby that I have been cycling, and I have gone down to 1 zone because I make a point to at least cycle through Burnaby, although I look forward to doing the whole trip going home.  I might go back to 2 zone in the winter, we will see, although I do winter commute sometimes, just have to have some way of keeping dryish, and do the brakes more often.  I organized Bike to Work Week this year for the first time in my office, and got 2 coworkers seriously interested in bike commuting who before thought it was not possible from our location.  Winning!  :-)

Jon_Snow

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2013, 07:01:22 PM »
Regarding the mustache map ... We're going camping on San Juan Island soon and I am going to be SO CLOSE to a couple of you, yet so far.  :)  I will wave across the water at you!

I can literally see San Juan Island from my property in the Gulf Islands... I could hop in my kayak and get there in about an hour and a half - if it were not for the issues of crossing the border, and paddling across a very busy shipping lane.

Good to know that other Mustachians are in the great Northwest!

KulshanGirl

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2013, 07:48:15 PM »
Jon Snow, I feel really lucky to live in Bellingham, and to be so near to the islands.  Right after I made the reservation at the campsite there was one of those "top 5 islands in the world" segments on TV.  Bora Bora, and ... San Juan Island.  So there you go, we're vacationing in a top spot.  For like, $140 for three days/two nights total, including the ferry and incidentals.  Woohoo!

Now, I hope I can get to Anacortes around the bridge clusterfack going on down south of here.  Will probably drive Chuckanut, which is just a horrible, unpleasant, unscenic sort of drive.  Hee hee. 



KarenO

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2013, 02:30:45 PM »
Hello Vancouver peeps!  This is still a go if anyone else is interested. 


The meetup is going to be Sunday June 23rd at 12:00 noon at Trout Lake.  I am thinking the meeting/picnic place will be just east of the concession stand in the grass assuming it is not taken, I will post a sign with a Mustache on it.  Also, I look amazingly like my avatar, so maybe you will recognize me.  Bring snacks/beverages to share if desired, perhaps a frisbee to throw around.  Although you would be welcome if you just show up.  Let me know in the forum or on the Facebook page if interested!  I am happy if 2 or 22 or 52 people come.  I have only heard from a handful so far, so am assuming right now that this gathering will not be large. 


KarenO

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2013, 08:38:44 AM »
The meetup was (very) small, but awesome.  Zikoris and her boyfriend showed up (not sure of his handle here), and we had a great time talking for a few hours.  It is so energizing to be around people with similar interests and goals.  Also cool to meet a couple so much on the same page with each other.  We compared a lot of notes and tips while munching homemade cookies and throwing around a frisbee.  I'm going to be more seriously checking out those TD e-funds myself as I am in the middle of questioning everything about my retirement savings. 

We discussed the idea of going to the Symphony in the park (Central Park in Burnaby) in the near future as a meetup.  I see from this thread that we are a fairly spread out group geographically, but we are going to see if we can draw another person or two into a meetup idea.  Check back for more details! 

Hamster

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #44 on: June 27, 2013, 01:10:09 PM »
My family and I just got our nexus passes so now it's much easier for us to get into BC than it used to be! Is it anti-mustachian to spend $50 once to avoid idling at the border for the next few years...?

I'll keep an eye on this thread, and would be up for a get-together in the Vancouver area - especially South or East of the city, when schedules allow. My wife may still be a bit wierded out by the idea of meeting mustachians from the internet, but I think I could get the family up there for a picnic and to play, especially if the park chosen has a playground for them. I was actually at Bear Creek Park in Surrey with the family a few weeks ago. It was quite nice (and free), and the kids loved the playground there. 

Stasher

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2013, 01:22:15 PM »
Hello West Coasters!
I am currently on a mission to be FI as soon as possible. I would also like to setup where I plan to spend my ER time while I am still working. I currently live in southern Saskatchewan and want a life of forests, no snow and ocean....therefor I am looking at moving to Nanaimo or somewhere along the east side of Vancouver Island. I plan on selling my current home and investing the proceeds to pad my Stash while renting at what would be much cheaper monthly cost than ownership. I will have my two children in grades 7 and 9 to consider best location to finish growing up and job opportunities while my wife and I complete our investments to reach the 4% mark.
Comments or Thoughts?
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lifejoy

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2013, 03:32:07 PM »
Stasher - I live in SK now, and I grew up in BC.

BC is heaven. But that is my very biased opinion ;)

Stasher

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2013, 06:09:22 PM »
LibraryJoy , there is good money to be made in SK now if you can manage to keep expenses low. How long have you been here? I'm down in Estevan myself. Do you have any experience with Island living?
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mmadness

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #48 on: May 24, 2014, 04:10:38 AM »
Chalk up another one in Vancouver, interested in any future meetups. I tried going to the Facebook link but it didn't go anywhere?

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Re: Vancouver
« Reply #49 on: June 08, 2014, 12:02:03 AM »
The "free entertainment" thread made me think to mention something here - every summer there's free ballroom dancing on Friday nights at Robson Square downtown, starting on the 27th this month.

If any of you are looking for that type of thing, it's something to check out - and it always starts with a beginner lesson if you've never danced before, and you can come as a single or couple or group - everyone dances with everyone. I go pretty much every Friday, except when I'm traveling.
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