The Piano Diary

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    Hazelnutty wrote: »
    Sorry to hear about your cat GHF - hope the vets manage to come up with a solution

    Thanks Hazelnutty, he is definitely one of the family! We should hear something on Monday about what the vet recommends.
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • glass_half_full
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    Dear diary and all,
    OH has gone for a coffee with a friend so I am spending a bit of time doing a deep dive in the finances. DS is coming home later for the weekend, it will be great to see him later on today.
    I have been looking a bit more closely at my pension contributions. I had always planned to use some of my payrise to increase these, and recently I had decided to increase my AVCs to 7% above the basic 8% to make it 15%. I have been doing a bit of modelling this morning and I found that if I increase AVCs to 9% (total 17%) this would mean I would be putting half my pay rise (net) into the pension. I worked this through the budget and it is very affordable, so I have decided to do that. I need to do what I can afford now so I have more options for retirement in due course. I have always done AVCs since my twenties when I had a conversation with someone older at work who explained the benefits of doing so to me. I have moved employers several times so I now have three defined benefit schemes which will pay small pensions when I am 65. I have one AVC fund from earlier in my career with £20,000 in it. Then I have another defined contribution pension with £110,000 in it. My goal is not necessarily retirement but to be able to spend more time on what I want to do once mortgage free.
    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • Hazelnutty
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    Interesting that you've been doing AVCs since your 20s. Am now wondering if I should start, even if it's small fry. Are there any calculators out there you can use to work out the benefits?
    Choose kind:)
  • glass_half_full
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    Hazelnutty wrote: »
    Interesting that you've been doing AVCs since your 20s. Am now wondering if I should start, even if it's small fry. Are there any calculators out there you can use to work out the benefits?

    Hi Hazelnutty,
    If you are in the USS then you can go to https://www.uss.co.uk and log in to MyUss. Under My contributions there is an additional contributions modeller that shows the potential effect of additional contributions. The first 1% is matched by the employers.
    Hope this helps. :)
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • Hazelnutty
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    Thanks. I do need to get on with that at some point!
    Choose kind:)
  • glass_half_full
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    Good morning diary and all,
    The vet has been in touch about the cat and said he proposes to do a procedure to drain the cyst. This would require an overnight stay so they can observe him afterwards. This is a lower risk than surgery but should give him a lot of relief. He has said that it will cost no more that £700. OH and I have discussed and decided to go ahead. It is clearly needed and there is the concern that the poor thing’s life may well be shortened if we don’t do it. The procedure is scheduled for the week after next. We will both have been paid by then and I am going to use the extra money from the work in Germany to pay for it. I’m hoping that we will also have received back the money from the insurance for the last procedure. This means that at least the emergency fund will be back up to £1000.
    Work has been really busy, but we are both planning to take some time off during the week after next. I need to get away from work for a few days!
    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • Hazelnutty
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    Fingers crossed for the operation GHF. I hope he has a speedy recovery.
    Choose kind:)
  • glass_half_full
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    Hazelnutty wrote: »
    Fingers crossed for the operation GHF. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

    Thanks Hazelnutty :)
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • glass_half_full
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    Good morning diary and all,
    Made it to the weekend! We have a quiet weekend ahead which is nice. One week away from pay day and just about keeping inside the budget which is good.
    Had a great piano lesson yesterday. I had a chat with my teacher and we are going to start working towards grade 3, quite exciting to choose the pieces etc. I need to get back into the good discipline of daily practice.
    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • glass_half_full
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    Dear diary and all,
    We have both been paid and I received a bit more for my work in Germany which is good news. Also found out yesterday that the £900 pet insurance claim has been paid which is a relief. I have been able to build the emergency fund back up to £1800. We have some costs next week which are budgeted for. The treatment for the cat (£700) and a bit of work on the car (needs a new tyre and the bonnet is stuck shut!).
    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
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