Having given the finer details of the why, how, and how much of my annual income, it's time to consider the future.
As I fell deeper and deeper into the poverty well in the early 2000s, all I could think of, between bouts of depression so bad all I wanted to do was pack it in, was trying to survive long enough to be eligible for CPP and BC's Supplementary Assistance For Elderly Renters (SAFER).
I turn 60 in July.
My CPP payments will begin late August and likely be around $265. I assume my rent will go to $510 or slightly more starting in July, so my SAFER supplement will be about $387. Assuming these figures to be right, my monthly income from these two sources will be $652. It's not enough, despite it being about the same amount I've been living on the past several years. It's not enough, because costs keep going up.
All along, I've known I'd have to keep some of my savings aside to bolster the income during those 60 months between age 60, when I'm eligible for CPP and SAFER and age 65, when I can start Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement and BC's senior supplement.
I don't know how I'm going to do it. I've wondered out loud to a friend whether it wouldn't be better to go homeless now, at age 59, rather than be so at 63 or 64. Am I naive to hope that something will 'give' in the interim and by that time I'll be OK?
Because as I look at things now, it's either do that, go homeless now for a year or two and so save what's left or in fact, become homeless just as I turn 64 ... if I can make my savings last even that long.