Future Finances: Time vs Money

edited 16 July 2018 at 3:55AM in Over 50s MoneySaving
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ShyAndRetiringShyAndRetiring Forumite
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edited 16 July 2018 at 3:55AM in Over 50s MoneySaving
:wave: Hello

I'm a long time user of MSE and used to have a diary on the MFW board (different user name). These boards are just such an incredible source of advice, information, support and inspiration that now we're moving into the next phase of our lives, I find myself returning more and more and really feel the urge to reconnect with a new diary to help keep us focused and clued up in what we're doing: looking towards early retirement.

:o I know there's a pensions and retirement board, but I do find the numbers on there to be quite intimidating. I'm not knocking anyone else's choices and lifestyle needs, each to their own, but do feel that the numbers I'm looking at are in a different league to those on the main pensions board (far less £ involved) and as we're risk averse and thinking more about money-saving rather than investment per-se, I feel more comfortable over here, if that's OK with everyone?

So, the background:
* OH is now 60. 2016-2017 was a horrible time for him, reaching an age where he was sidelined professionally (extremely common practice in his profession, so much so that the union advised him to take a 3 month settlement to leave as they'd "seen it all before and it's the best you can do, no point in fighting it").
'Fortunately' for us, the writing appearing on the wall coincided with the youngest dependent flying the nest, so we sold our house and downsized. It didn't leave much of a pot for us, but we did become mortgage-free ... something that wouldn't have been possible but for the support and focus on paying down the mortgage via the MFW boards on here. The 'pot' we did achieve was mostly used to get our new place and garden suited to our (existing and future) needs. It also kept us afloat once OH finished work, as he didn't want to claim any benefits but needed a period of not working so he could recover from a stress-related health issue which arose largely thanks to the awful politics of his work situation.
:) Turning 60 earlier this year means OH accessed his lump sum (£50k) and a pension of around £6.5 k a year. For the last 7 months, he's been working part-time in the warehouse for a local retailer, minimum wage, anti-social hours (very early morning) but he's happy to be earning and useful again.
:( As he lived and worked abroad for a long time before we knew each other, he does not have full NI contributions, so another reason for his part-time job is to help build up his contributions before SP age.

* I'm 52.
:( I had to give up my main professional, full-time role due to a long-term medical condition (auto-immune). I took up self-employment instead, working freelance for myself in order to manage my recovery and balance my health - this vastly impacted on my earning capacity and pension planning. I did have 'full' SP contributions but thanks to recent changes, now have to make another 5 years to get back to full contribution.
:) Last year one of my freelance clients asked me to work for him exclusively (and permanently) so I now work part time for his company, working remotely from home. I can access my Occupational Pension (from professional role) once I'm 60 and I currently use NEST pension for building up another pension pot as I earn approx £10,500 from my part-time work.

The plans / point of this diary:
* We'd really love to be in the position to retire together when OH reaches SP age - I'd be 58 then. So at the very least, this diary's likely to be my place for accountability for our actions (big or small) towards trying to achieve this.
* That said, if there's the chance to do this sooner, that would be so much the better! We didn't meet each other until a bit later on in life (it's a 2nd marriage for each of us) and with the slight age difference between us, we'd rather have time together than lots of money to spend. For us it's about living simply and wanting what we have, rather than spending money on 'wants'. I'm hopeful that this particular focus will help to get us to the finish line a bit sooner, so I'm sure some of this will creep into the diary too, especially as I'm about on the boards a bit more (I'm very at home on the frugal threads)!
* I spend lots of time on the spreadsheets and our numbers just about work for us retiring together when OH reaches SP age, but I can't make them work for doing it any earlier. However, we benefited so much from the focus our MFW diary gave us (to the point that we could become MF when the fan started up and poop started flying) that I can't help but think a little of that focus again would help us to position ourselves a bit better for the next phase in our lives.
* I also like setting myself cheeky goals and challenges, so having a diary's also a good way of recording my monthly goals and helping me stick to the actions needed to achieve them - especially as the mini goals would all be towards that main prize at the end - time together!

I'm sure I'll share more thoughts and numbers down the line, but I'll stop there for the moment. Thanks for letting me settle into this new spot and if anyone would like to stop by from time to time, it would be lovely to meet you.
~ * ~ "A goal without a plan is just a wish" Antoine de Saint Expuery ~ * ~
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Replies

  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
    13.3K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    What a lovely idea for a thread.

    Like you I tried looking at the retirement and pensions board and found that the numbers bandied about were intimidating and bore no relation to my life.

    My situation is somewhat different from yours in that I am a bit Older and am now a widow but I can relate to a lot of what you have written. My husband got sick when he was 48 and died when he was 57. Our finances were ruined so my retirement is now vastly different from what we had planned and envisaged. My income and savings are modest to say the least.

    No matter, I have embraced simplicity and frugal living with enthusiasm and gusto. This website and the blessed St Martin saved me from bankruptcy and with the help, advice and support from these boards I have managed to claw my way back from the abyss and, although by no means wealthy, I am at least financially secure with no debts.

    I shall follow your journey with interest and will shamefully pick your brains for further money saving tips. :rotfl:

    Good luck.
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    ShyandRetiring
    Really enjoyed reading your post. Please read through my thread and you will come across other ideas and ways forward too. Totally agree with your comments about some of the figures in the main pensions forum! Best of luck and I look forward to reading more.
  • ShyAndRetiringShyAndRetiring Forumite
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    Hi LessonLearned
    Thank you so much for taking time to reply.
    What a lovely idea for a thread.

    Like you I tried looking at the retirement and pensions board and found that the numbers bandied about were intimidating and bore no relation to my life.
    This is exactly it, I'm way out of the numbers league of much of what is discussed there, although I do enjoy the What's Your Number thread as a useful reality check and to make sure I don't miss anything in relation to expected outgoings etc.

    My situation is somewhat different from yours in that I am a bit Older and am now a widow but I can relate to a lot of what you have written. My husband got sick when he was 48 and died when he was 57. Our finances were ruined so my retirement is now vastly different from what we had planned and envisaged. My income and savings are modest to say the least.

    I'm so very sorry to hear this LL, what a ghastly experience and terrible loss for you. It's this kind of life curve-ball which really brings home how unpredictable things are and how precious that time factor really is. Thank you for sharing this and I'm so sorry for your loss.

    No matter, I have embraced simplicity and frugal living with enthusiasm and gusto. This website and the blessed St Martin saved me from bankruptcy and with the help, advice and support from these boards I have managed to claw my way back from the abyss and, although by no means wealthy, I am at least financially secure with no debts.

    I'm with you there, this site really is an inspiration and such a help. Great to hear that the financial side of life is back on an even keel for you.

    I shall follow your journey with interest and will shamefully pick your brains for further money saving tips. :rotfl:

    Good luck.

    I really appreciate you stopping by LL and it's great to have you along. I'm not sure that picking my brains will take very long, but more than happy to share what occurs (in all its randomness)! Lovely to 'meet' you! :)
    ~ * ~ "A goal without a plan is just a wish" Antoine de Saint Expuery ~ * ~
  • ShyAndRetiringShyAndRetiring Forumite
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    Hi ExcelPaul, thanks for visiting.
    excelpaul wrote: »
    ShyandRetiring
    Really enjoyed reading your post. Please read through my thread and you will come across other ideas and ways forward too. Totally agree with your comments about some of the figures in the main pensions forum! Best of luck and I look forward to reading more.

    Now I must confess I'm a bit of a lurker on your thread, but I hadn't signed up to MSE again until very recently and haven't contributed on your own thread yet, although I am up about half way through and am learning a lot from your experiences.

    Figures are of course subjective and it's great that some on the main pensions board can share with others in a similar finance bracket. Certainly I've learned a lot from some of the posts over there even if I can't quite relate to the numbers. For my part though, it's great to meet a few like-minded people over this side who have being over 50 in common, but can share the ways to manage on a few less £ as we all head towards pension age!

    Thanks for stopping by, I do appreciate it :)
    ~ * ~ "A goal without a plan is just a wish" Antoine de Saint Expuery ~ * ~
  • edited 16 July 2018 at 10:09PM
    ShyAndRetiringShyAndRetiring Forumite
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    edited 16 July 2018 at 10:09PM

    :wave:

    Hope everyone's had a lovely day and been enjoying the beautiful weather! I have to confess it was a relief when it cooled down a little this evening - got the dogs out for a long beach walk so that everyone could cool off a bit and it was by far the best part of the day to do so!

    £ Future Finances
    Today's been a bit busy, so I haven't had much time to spend on finances, except:
    * I was awake ridiculously early (bad side issue of OH going to work super-early is that I tend to get woken up too). Still, gave me a chance for a bit of checking out some boards and I did read that it helps to have a definite date to work towards, with retirement in mind.
    So I've checked on the fledgling spreadsheet and have identified a Desired Retirement Date (to be known henceforth as DRD)! As it stands at the moment, we're looking at 20th December 2023. Date is a little arbitrary, but is based on:
    • Stopping work in time for the Christmas break and not returning in the new year 2024. Seems quite good to finish at the year's end.
    • I'll be 58 in the new year 2024 and OH will be 66 and access his SP in the Spring 2024, so some extra income will be coming into his coffers, However, it reinforces the fact that I'll need to be doing what I can now to bridge the 25 month gap between stopping work and accessing my LGPS at age 60.

    With this DRD in mind, I've decided to focus on an area of financial planning / saving each month, to help keep us on track. For the rest of July I'm going to start gently with a few random aspects which just need ticking off the to-do list, mainly relating to the greater good!

    1) There are 16 days left in the month, so I'm aiming for 10 No Spend Days (NSDs). 1st one bagged today, so 1/16.

    2) I got a new T&Cs letter from T3SCo today ... bulk of lump sum is currently residing in the 3% current accounts until we get a better place to put it. I must read the new T&Cs and possibly research better-paying alternatives so that the lump sum can provide more of an income to draw down (but not an annuity as this is on OH's not-with-a-barge-pole list). So, goal by end of month: find somewhere suitable to put more of this by so that it's working a bit harder for us. Then I can crunch the numbers generated from this and see what happens to the DRD.

    3) Organise a few figures to share on here, to see if there's anything else we could be doing in the short, mid, longer term.

    And finally, because I don't want to just be seeing £ signs but do also want to keep a focus on what's important (thanks again to LL for such a sharing post which also reinforces it), I'm also going to include a few simple pleasures from time to time. Today's were:

    :) Starting my new work hours and having the p.m off to do some extra work for a local charity OH & I are involved in.
    :) Eating a ridiculous amount of fresh beetroot OH cooked and made a wonderful salad from. These were from a bargain bowl priced £2 at the local market last week and were absolutely delicious. Plenty left too!
    :) Seeing a Heron fishing, a Marsh Harrier hunting and two Little Egrets who were fishing together when we walked the dogs this evening.
    :) Neighbours popping by this evening ... we don't know them very well but they came to ask us about something and ended up staying for a drink (bottle of wine bought with loyalty points at local supermarket was in the fridge from weekend, so 'free' hospitality). Lovely people and great to think that we're getting to know more people around here since we moved.
    It made me think that the community side is an important part of future planning, and although we downsized with a hopeful attitude, it is essentially a punt into the dark as there's no way you can know everything about a neighbourhood generally and new neighbours specifically before you move. Thankfully, it's all proving positive so far and this evening was unexpected and really lovely.

    Hope everyone else has had a good evening. SaR x
    ~ * ~ "A goal without a plan is just a wish" Antoine de Saint Expuery ~ * ~
  • crv1963crv1963 Forumite
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    Hi S&R,


    Like you we're in our 50s. I too have been retirement planning, seeking to lower spending and increase saving- although life and vet bills do keep interrupting this!


    I follow Pauls thread and "know" in the loosest possible terms LL from the Millionaire thread! I think the Early Retirement Wannabe thread is good too.


    I like the community threads as it gives a dry topic a bit of reality. We're busy trying to maximise earnings, save into Mrs CRV pension and keep a life balance!


    Good luck I'll follow your journey with interest if you don't mind?


    CRV
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
    13.3K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Good morning Shy......

    Just to expand a little on my previous post ........

    I don't want to dwell on my husband's illness and death but it taught me a couple of valuable life lessons.

    1. Time is more valuable than money. - you can always find more money but you can never buy back time. Once it's gone, it's gone.

    2. Life throws curved balls, some are nice, some are horrible. You have to be flexible and adaptable. So always keep an open mind.

    3. Aging is a privilege denied to many. Don't fear it, embrace it. Stay as fit and as healthy as you can and try not to worry too much about the future. Enjoy the present.

    I cared for my husband for 9 years, it seriously impacted my own health. His illness also nearly drove us to bankruptcy. But I have fought back. Whilst I'm am by no means wealthy my finances are ok (and as CRV mentioned I hang around the Millionaires Thread to keep myself motivated, to continue to try and rebuild my finances).

    I am also steadfastly working on my health, healing my depleted adrenal glands.......I lived on adrenaline for years and eventually more or less burnt out.

    I now have my IBS and GERD under control and I am currently investing in a course of acupuncture treatments for my fibromyalgia and arthritis .

    Gawd.....I sound like a wreck:rotfl: but what I'm trying to say is that over time I have managed to rebuild my finances and my health is vastly improved.

    I have just this last week become a grandmother for the first time and I am about to move house, taking on a fixer upper - aka The Money Pit.

    I am not downsizing as such, more a case of Rightsizing....the new house is roughly the same square footage but has a better layout and can be future proofed to meet my changing needs as I get older.

    I will have room for a mini home gym so that I get and keep fit and get strong and healthy. And space for a workshop.

    Since my husband died I have managed a few singles holidays.....my last one was a 6 week cruise to the Amazon and Caribbean....I have another big one booked to Iceland next year.

    As I said I am not rolling in money and but I do want to travel whilst I'm still fit enough to do so. So I "skimp and save" to find the money for travel and some fun stuff.

    Whilst I will always hold my husband in my heart, earlier this year I decided it was time to cast off my metaphorical "widows weeds" and embrace life again. So I set myself a challenge. "A Year to Change My Life".

    So I am starting over.....and the new house will be part of that. Then maybe a little micro business of some sort. I'll see how it goes. And of course lots of hobbies, new interests, new friends etc.

    My new mantra.....

    "Life is short. Take the trip, buy the shoes, eat the cake".

    All in true MSE fashion of course. :rotfl:
  • edited 17 July 2018 at 2:18PM
    plumduff55plumduff55 Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Hung up my suit!
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    edited 17 July 2018 at 2:18PM
    Hi, I too am really enjoying reading your thread and looking forward to following you in your run up to retirement.

    I used to read the retirement threads but some of the figures stated really intimidated me and made feel quite anxious in regard to my own situation so I stopped reading them.

    With very little notice I retired in October 2015. I did the sums and was really happy that I could afford to live a work free and frugal life till state pension kicks in in October 2021 using 3/4 of my lump sump and not touching any of my savings. This paid for deficit in income till 66 and major work to house inc re-roofing, roughcast, central heating etc.

    I love being retired but have to admit that psychologically I still struggle with withdrawing money from the bank every month instead of saving. The financial plan I made in 2015 is running smoothly and exact to the penny and I know I will be ok.

    I always feel better when I set myself a challenge - this month it is to spend only £50 on everything including food and petrol except bills. Crazy I know but I might just manage it :rotfl:

    I have subscribed to your post and really looking forward to keeping up with your journey xx
    Debt free - Mortgage free - Work free ( in that order :) )
  • bugsletbugslet Forumite
    6.9K Posts
    Shy and retiring, looking forward to reading your adventures on your way to early retirement. It sounds a lovely place to have moved to.

    I think having those goals will keep you focussed and having become MFW by following a plan, you know it works.

    I have no idea if I belong at the poorer or richer end of early retirement wannabes. I certainly don't feel rich. I am 54, run my own business and have in the last few weeks told my main customer to find another supplier, which means that we will finish once they replace me. Until then I have no idea what will be left in the business once I have paid off money outstanding, sold assets and know what staff are doing- will I be paying redundancy, will they TUPE over..... Bit of a leap of faith, but I have seriously had enough of the corporate carp, though I still love the job!

    Like LL, I'm a widow (5 years this Dec), but I expected to be since he was 23 years older than me, no children or family whatsoever, so it's a mix of enjoying the freedom of not having to consider anyone else and being a bit fed up of having to do everything myself!
    Congratulations on being a grandma, LL - how exciting:j
  • edited 17 July 2018 at 9:04PM
    ShyAndRetiringShyAndRetiring Forumite
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    edited 17 July 2018 at 9:04PM
    :T Wow! What lovely visitors, thank you so much for coming by!

    1. Time is more valuable than money. - you can always find more money but you can never buy back time. Once it's gone, it's gone.

    2. Life throws curved balls, some are nice, some are horrible. You have to be flexible and adaptable. So always keep an open mind.

    3. Aging is a privilege denied to many. Don't fear it, embrace it. Stay as fit and as healthy as you can and try not to worry too much about the future. Enjoy the present.

    ^^ LessonLearned, this is such good advice, thank you. All of it, the time, the health, the rollercoaster of this life, it all resonates so strongly with me.

    I cared for my husband for 9 years, it seriously impacted my own health. His illness also nearly drove us to bankruptcy. But I have fought back. Whilst I'm am by no means wealthy my finances are ok (and as CRV mentioned I hang around the Millionaires Thread to keep myself motivated, to continue to try and rebuild my finances).

    ^^ Gosh, you have overcome so much. I do empathise, my mother is widowed and life changes in such an instant. It's great that you've managed to bring the finances and the future back into play, the holidays sound fabulous and you more than deserve a bit of fun!

    Congratulations on your grandchild, how exciting! That's a whole new phase of life for everyone right there, but bittersweet I'm sure, with all the emotions a new baby stirs up. Hugs to you.

    Your proposed move also sounds like you have a firm plan for future-proofing your life. Hope it happens smoothly for you. It sounds like your plan to change your life in 2018 is well underway! Loving the mantra too, thanks for sharing, LL

    plumduff55 wrote: »
    Hi, I too am really enjoying reading your thread and looking forward to following you in your run up to retirement.

    I used to read the retirement threads but some of the figures stated really intimidated me and made feel quite anxious in regard to my own situation so I stopped reading them.

    With very little notice I retired in October 2015. I did the sums and was really happy that I could afford to live a work free and frugal life till state pension kicks in in October 2021 using 3/4 of my lump sump and not touching any of my savings. This paid for deficit in income till 66 and major work to house inc re-roofing, roughcast, central heating etc.

    I love being retired but have to admit that psychologically I still struggle with withdrawing money from the bank every month instead of saving. The financial plan I made in 2015 is running smoothly and exact to the penny and I know I will be ok.

    I always feel better when I set myself a challenge - this month it is to spend only £50 on everything including food and petrol except bills. Crazy I know but I might just manage it :rotfl:

    I have subscribed to your post and really looking forward to keeping up with your journey xx

    PlumDuff, thanks for stopping by. Gosh, it sounds like we think so alike ... I totally understand how squirrelling it away becomes such second nature that actually withdrawing money feels counter-intuitive! Hurrah for monthly challenges too, funny how making a challenge out of a need strengthens the resolve.
    Thank you for subscribing ... it's going to be a bit of a long road yet, so it's great to have company!

    bugslet wrote: »
    Shy and retiring, looking forward to reading your adventures on your way to early retirement. It sounds a lovely place to have moved to.

    I think having those goals will keep you focussed and having become MFW by following a plan, you know it works.

    I have no idea if I belong at the poorer or richer end of early retirement wannabes. I certainly don't feel rich. I am 54, run my own business and have in the last few weeks told my main customer to find another supplier, which means that we will finish once they replace me. Until then I have no idea what will be left in the business once I have paid off money outstanding, sold assets and know what staff are doing- will I be paying redundancy, will they TUPE over..... Bit of a leap of faith, but I have seriously had enough of the corporate carp, though I still love the job!

    Like LL, I'm a widow (5 years this Dec), but I expected to be since he was 23 years older than me, no children or family whatsoever, so it's a mix of enjoying the freedom of not having to consider anyone else and being a bit fed up of having to do everything myself!
    Congratulations on being a grandma, LL - how exciting:j

    Bugslet, Thank you for visiting. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your husband ... yes, that sounds like a real mix of emotions there, doing it all yourself can be exhausting at times. Exciting that you're on the cusp of moving into retirement, is it all going to plan? Looking forward to hearing more!
    ~ * ~ "A goal without a plan is just a wish" Antoine de Saint Expuery ~ * ~
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