The Piano Diary

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  • glass_half_full
    glass_half_full Posts: 580 Forumite
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    Thanks @savingholmes! Sorry to read on your diary that you have been unwell. I hope you get well soon, please look after yourself. 

    Both OH and I are running on our respective hamster wheels, which seem to be going faster! Need to get to Easter for a breather. It’s been a busy at work. There is a lot going on. The VR scheme is causing some discussion. Apparently, if you want to go for it you have to speak to your line manager. There is a space in the form where you write down how your work will be covered when you are gone. Seems a bit of a Catch 22 given that most people are overworked and overloaded! I don’t think I am going to go for it. I have just taken on this new role. Besides, I want to go on my terms and when I am ready. I am transferring my SIPP to my employer DC fund so it will all be in one place. There is a good modeller so once it is all together I will be able to see the options more clearly. Backstop is 60, so as I am 57 ½ it is 2 ½ years or less, that’s for sure.

    The main challenge is work intensification. No chance of a gentle glide into retirement. I remember years ago when I started work, older workers in large companies doing ‘light duties’ in the last couple of years. I remember some interesting and creative ‘promotions’ for people on final salary schemes. Anyway, it is what it is now , so you need to be resourceful.

    The patio guy is coming tomorrow so we can talk about all the choices. Hoping to pay for everything in this calendar year. 

    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,580 Forumite
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    I totally hear you on work intensification.

    When are you getting the patio done?

    Thanks for the well wishes.
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 236 payments to go - now £183,036 Equity 26.8%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £12.65K
    3) CC £4.6K on 0% spends card but offset by £33.8K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £10.2K/£127.5K AVC target 8% value at 15/5
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
  • glass_half_full
    glass_half_full Posts: 580 Forumite
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    Dear diary and all,

    The work in the garden is underway. They have dug out the surface soil which is very waterlogged. Some interesting feedback from the landscaping guys. They are not impressed with the drainage that was put into the garden when the house was built. When they removed the previous patio they found pipes that had been laid which don’t go anywhere and are blocked. This is a good opportunity to sort out the drainage, and this is becoming more important with the increased rainfall. The cost is going to be higher than initially planned, so now £20k instead of the original £15k. This is to do with an increased scope to include the pathways down the side of the house and finishing off the fencing.  Anyway, I have had to… take out a loan to pay for this. First time we have gone into debt for anything since paying off the mortgage. However, it’s a big job and it needs doing. We could have waited until we had saved the money, but I am ok with the decision since we will get to enjoy the garden over the summer. We are doing jobs now that are probably long overdue. This will be it for big spends in 2024 and OH and I have started the 2025 list already. My aim is to have this paid off by the end of the year.

    Meanwhile on the pension front, total fund has reached £351K. The transfer still hasn’t gone through since although one side has all the paperwork filled in and signed each side wants their own paperwork fully completed before the transfer can go ahead. I am a bit disappointed that the stock market chose this moment to surge whilst half my fund had been converted to cash for the transfer. But I shouldn’t complain since half of it has still benefitted from the rise. So £49K to go before we reach what I think is the magic number.


    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,580 Forumite
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    Getting the work done sounds a good call despite the loan. You are in a fantastic position overall. Best of luck with the transfer and the pension.
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 236 payments to go - now £183,036 Equity 26.8%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £12.65K
    3) CC £4.6K on 0% spends card but offset by £33.8K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £10.2K/£127.5K AVC target 8% value at 15/5
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
  • glass_half_full
    glass_half_full Posts: 580 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Debt-free and Proud!
    Options

    Dear diary and all,

    The patio and garden work was supposed to finish today, but will probably run over to Tuesday after the weekend. In the end I extended the work to the front of the house. So we are having a new front path and the front garden has been landscaped. So the total bill all in is £25K. A lot of money, but it has transformed the house and it is worth it. The back garden in particular is now a really nice space and as it is south facing, I think will be great for us as Spring and Summer unfolds.

    We are now finding out who has been accepted for voluntary severance at work, and some surprises including some very capable and respected people are going. I am still committed to my new role and so I’m glad I didn’t go down that road, at least for now. Work environment continues to be challenging, but I am lucky to have a supportive manager which really helps.

    The pension transfer has finally got underway. I started it at the end of January so it has taken 3 months. I think this is around what they say it should take. It’s the second time I have done it and on both occasions its felt like one scheme is really organised and the other scheme isn’t! So I have gone from 3 legacy DC pensions, down to 2 and now it will all be in one place. So right now £200k had disappeared from one scheme and has not yet arrived in the receiving scheme, but it should get there in the next 5 working days apparently. It all being in one place will make it easier to do scenario planning since there are some good calculators / modellers in this scheme.

    So now just need to focus on paying off the cost of the work we have just had done, aiming for the end of this calendar year for that.

    Looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend for some downtime.


    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,580 Forumite
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    Enjoy your weekend. 

    Well done on the life admin. Never easy.
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 236 payments to go - now £183,036 Equity 26.8%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £12.65K
    3) CC £4.6K on 0% spends card but offset by £33.8K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £10.2K/£127.5K AVC target 8% value at 15/5
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
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