Interview with Mike from Quest for Four Pillars

Today we continue to interview the writer’s behind Quest for Four Pillars.  Next up is Mike.

Tim: Having started as a frequent commenter on other blogs.  What made you want to start a blog of your own?

Mike: As much as I liked commenting on other blogs I was limited to the topics that other bloggers came up with.  I thought it would be neat if I had my own blog and could cover all the topics I was interested in.  Plus I thought being a blogger was cool. 🙂

Tim:  Cool?  Really when did that happen? *grin* So after all your reading and writing on blogs, what is the most important thing you have learned from a blog?

Mike: I think one of the big things I’ve learned is that you have to know a topic pretty well in order to write about it.  You can talk, read, and comment about a topic you think you know well, but when you try to put a post together you realize that you often have to learn more about the topic.  As far as learning from other blogs, I think the whole concept of passive investing has been the biggest lesson for me.

Tim:  Since I already asked Mr. Cheap I feel I have to ask you.  So why did decide to merge your blog with Mr.Cheap’s blog?  And how do you like being a co-writer for your blog so far?

Mike: Quite a number of reasons – the big one was that I just couldn’t see a long term future for my original blog doing five posts a week since I just didn’t want to spend that much time blogging.  I could have done it for a year or longer but eventually I would have lost the passion necessary to do five posts.  Another big reason was that I really enjoyed reading Mr.Cheap’s blog and I knew he would be a great partner for a new blog especially after meeting him in person a couple of times.  The fact that we had both started our blogs at roughly the same time made it easier to merge since it was kind of a “merger of equals”.

I love co-writing the blog since the effort to write two or three posts a week is just right.  It’s also fun to have different writers and opinions on the blog instead of just me, day after day.  It also helps to have someone who actually knows the technical side of a blog.

Tim:  Good to know Mr. Cheap is another guy to bug with WordPress questions!  As some readers may already know Mike also as a second child on the way the same as me.  So with your second child on the way, do you feel your RESP series of posts and the baby expense posts are going to be useful or not?

Mike: I will definitely be rereading the baby series since the central theme (buy used and get hand-me-downs) will be even more applicable for the second child.   I’m not sure how useful the RESP series will be since I already know how they work but I will probably reference it occasionally.

Tim:  Of course I can’t help asking people this question but could you describe your vision of your retirement?

Mike: This could be post, or even a series of posts :).  I’m hoping to retire in my mid-fifties (I’m 39) so it’s a long way off.  I think one of the things that I want to be doing in retirement is being active.  I love participating in sports and I’m hoping to be able to do that for as long as possible.  I have a friend whose retired father-in-law is in his late 50’s and plays hockey a couple times a week, squash, tennis, golf etc which I think is a great retirement.  My wife and I have also talked about travelling a bit – I don’t think we’ll do any major treks but maybe we’ll take a month each year and go somewhere.  My parents also own a great cottage which hopefully will be still be in the family when I retire, so that would hopefully be part of the picture as well.  Volunteering is another thing I’d like to do.  Not sure what type or in what field the volunteering would be.  I suspect we’ll probably stay in Toronto but that’s not written in stone.

Given that we have one and a half young children and quite a few years before retirement, it’s hard to plan for the future.   Maybe I will end up spending the first few years of retirement as a roadie for my kids’ rock band 🙂

Tim:  Now that could be fun!  Best of luck with the baby and enjoy the holidays.  Ok, next up is Trent from The Simple Dollar who has been making all sorts of interesting decisions lately, which I got to ask him about in tomorrow’s post.

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