A Difficult Balance

Hello all, Partner (29M) and I (31F) have been together for 4 years, and are staring down the barrel of a 34 year mortgage.
Bought a £115,000 house with 15% deposit in late 2020; so took a mortgage of £97,750 over 35 years.
We've got £96,000 left to pay, paying £360 each month, with around £220 of interest each month. Fixed at 2.76% till December 2023.


We combine all of our income, and have combined savings, and I handle our budgeting. I recently got a new job, and an increased income. The statement of affairs below is an example of our expanded spending - we have cut back a lot in some of these areas previously, when I've been on a lower income eg. less personal spending money, less entertainment money, less money spent of presents, less spent on groceries.

We have no unsecured debt, just a hire purchase against Partner's motorbike, with is 0% for 4 more years. We recently changed Partner's car from a petrol-guzzling Jeep to an electric car (approx. £24/month to charge, included in the electricity cost), on Motability, and my car only does small miles to the train station. The £115 travel expense are my train fares.

We do home haircuts, don't watch BBC/live tv, don't have life insurance (both uninsurable, apparently!), and my car parking and road tax is free.

Our pet costs are extortionate, I know, but it is an accurate figure (1 dog, 2 cats, 1 rabbit). No pet insurance, and 2 senior pets who we won't spare cash on to ensure their comfort.

Our 'amount left over' goes towards our emergency fund, vet costs fund, and any other things we're saving up for.


We have an emergency fund of £2.1k +£2.5k - the £2.5k is ear marked in case our dog needs a second leg surgery, and so I want to grow our £2.1k to £5k - this would cover 3 months of bare bones expenses.
We also have a fluctuating fund for vet costs (fluctuating, depending how much mischief they've got into that month!). It's currently at £650, but I would like to grow it and keep it at £2k.
The rest of our cash assets are savings pots for Christmas, annual car insurance, and saving up for a fence; totalling about £1.5k.


The Difficulty comes 2-fold, when deciding on how best to plan for our futures.
1. My Partner has cystic fibrosis. He started on Kaftrio 18 months ago, but we still don't know what sort of impact that will have on his life expectancy. 18 months ago, we were both resigned to the fact that he would likely be unable to work by the time he/if he reached his 30's, and that he would likely die well before reaching state retirement age. He's lived all his life with a 'live fast, die young' attitude, and so this new medication and what it could potentially mean for his life expectancy has both us of in some confusion.

2. Neither of us has, or has any desire to have children. We are both only children, and neither of us has any strong desire to leave large estates to our next of kins - our first ones would be each other, and after that his would be his parents, and his friends; mine would be my cousin's children, and my friends. For these people, any inheritance would be a bonus, rather than something they would desperately need in their lives.


With these things in mind, I often wonder if it's of benefit to our particular circumstance to rush to pay off our mortgage as soon as possible?
We don't know what his new future will be, but Partner has historically never believed he would live to see 40. The thought of having a mortgage, or saving for his retirement, was alien. We both want to make the very best of his healthiest years, and don't really want to pour every penny into paying off or saving for a future he's not likely to see, as opposed to making the most of our combined income, while he can still work, and using that for more short-term things which enrich our lives now - Partner would say a new TV, or home improvements, and I would say holidays!

Trying to strike a balance between having enough put by for a rainy day to feel secure, hopefully without needing to resort back to credit cards in emergencies, but also appreciating and enjoying our dual income is very tricky.

I know it's a very personal situation, but I would appreciate any input from anyone who has dealt either with CF, or with other life-limiting conditions.




[font=courier new][b]Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet[/b][b]

Household Information[/b]
Number of adults in household........... 2
Number of children in household......... 0
Number of cars owned.................... 2
Number of motorbikes owned..........1[b]

Monthly Income Details[/b]
Monthly income after tax................ 1451
Partners monthly income after tax....... 1200
Benefits................................ 350
Other income............................ 0[b]
Total monthly income.................... 3001[/b][b]

Monthly Expense Details[/b]
Mortgage................................ 361
Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 30
Rent.................................... 0
Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
Council tax............................. 75
Electricity............................. 160
Gas..................................... 40
Oil..................................... 0
Water rates............................. 0
Telephone (land line)................... 0
Mobile phone............................ 0
TV Licence.............................. 0
Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
Internet Services....................... 38
Groceries etc. ......................... 400
Clothing................................ 20
Petrol/diesel........................... 60
Road tax................................ 0
Car Insurance........................... 38
Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 20
Car parking............................. 0
Other travel............................ 115
Childcare/nursery....................... 0
Other child related expenses............ 0
Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
Buildings insurance..................... 11
Contents insurance...................... 0
Life assurance ......................... 0
Other insurance......................... 0
Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 85
Haircuts................................ 0
Entertainment........................... 50
Holiday................................. 0
Emergency fund.......................... 0
Partner's personal spending............. 200
Personal spending....................... 200
Therapy................................. 180
Dog medicine............................ 180
Cat medicine............................ 80
Pets - food & litter.................... 100
Gym..................................... 20
Sports channel.......................... 12.99
Spotify................................. 13.99
Netflix................................. 15.99
Disney+................................. 7.99
Motorbike insurance..................... 19
Partner's mobile........................ 45.99
Partner's mobile storage plan........... 1.59
Mobile handset finance 0%............... 39
Mobile storage plan..................... 6.99
Mobile provider......................... 10[b]
Total monthly expenses.................. 2636.53[/b]
[b]

Assets[/b]
Cash.................................... 7000
House value (Gross)..................... 115000
Shares and bonds........................ 0
Car(s).................................. 6000
Other assets............................ 0[b]
Total Assets............................ 128000[/b]
[b]

Secured & HP Debts[/b]
Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
Mortgage...................... 96000....(361)......2.76
Hire Purchase (HP) debt ...... 1440.....(30).......0[b]
Total secured & HP debts...... 97440.....-.........-   [/b]

[b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR[b]
Total unsecured debts..........0.........0.........-  [/b]

[b]
Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
Total monthly income.................... 3,001
Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,636.53
Available for debt repayments........... 364.47
Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 0[b]
Amount left after debt repayments....... 364.47[/b]

[b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
Total assets (things you own)........... 128,000
Total HP & Secured debt................. -97,440
Total Unsecured debt.................... -0[b]
Net Assets.............................. 30,560[/b]

[i]Created using the SOA calculator at www.LemonFool.co.uk.
Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.[/i][/font]
‘When you only have two pennies left in the world, spend one on bread and the other on flowers. The bread will sustain life, the flowers will give you a reason to live.’

Frugal living in 2024.
NSDs:
January - 26
February - 26


Amount saved in 2024:
January - £14.03

Comments

  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,324 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Just wanted to wish you good luck on your journey.

    I can't comment on life limiting conditions - but I think few people would regret having a good nest egg set aside for the future. That way if one or both of you is unable to work at any point it will cushion things and help support some of the nicer things in life. You also said you are both uninsurable - a good nest egg of at least 12 months - would help the survivor have time to mourn even if they were unable to work for a while due to grief... 
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 237 payments to go - now £184,341 Equity 26.26%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £11.9K
    3) CC £3.7K on 0% spends card but offset by £34K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £9.6K/£127.5K AVC target 7.5% value @15/4
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
  • SecondStar
    SecondStar Posts: 365 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Just wanted to wish you good luck on your journey.

    I can't comment on life limiting conditions - but I think few people would regret having a good nest egg set aside for the future. That way if one or both of you is unable to work at any point it will cushion things and help support some of the nicer things in life. You also said you are both uninsurable - a good nest egg of at least 12 months - would help the survivor have time to mourn even if they were unable to work for a while due to grief... 
    Thank you for the input - grim, but probably true.

    Not even sure who you’d speak to about these sort of things? Therapist can’t ethically advise on financials, but not sure a financial advisor would understand our situation. I’ll maybe get in touch with the national cystic fibrosis charity - we’re not exactly the only couple to have been through this problem!
    ‘When you only have two pennies left in the world, spend one on bread and the other on flowers. The bread will sustain life, the flowers will give you a reason to live.’

    Frugal living in 2024.
    NSDs:
    January - 26
    February - 26


    Amount saved in 2024:
    January - £14.03
  • dark^knight
    dark^knight Posts: 526 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Photogenic
    Hi,

    Firstly, wishing you both all the best...I feel most of us don't appreciate our health until we hear about people's situations.

    You are right about focusing on the here and now, and making the most of life.

    Are you covered for health insurance that may help you both when required?

  • SecondStar
    SecondStar Posts: 365 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Hi,

    Firstly, wishing you both all the best...I feel most of us don't appreciate our health until we hear about people's situations.

    You are right about focusing on the here and now, and making the most of life.

    Are you covered for health insurance that may help you both when required?

    Thank you, appreciate that!

    I'm only a few weeks into my new job, and still getting to grips with the benefits, but I know there is optional health insurance available (civil service). Partner is lucky enough to have a fantastic local specialist NHS team, but I'll definitely be looking into what help might be available through my work scheme too - good idea!
    ‘When you only have two pennies left in the world, spend one on bread and the other on flowers. The bread will sustain life, the flowers will give you a reason to live.’

    Frugal living in 2024.
    NSDs:
    January - 26
    February - 26


    Amount saved in 2024:
    January - £14.03
  • draiggoch
    draiggoch Posts: 153 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    If you are with the Civil service then that includes a lump sum if you pass away as an active member and a pension for your partner. 
    The only advice I would give following the loss of my father at a relatively young age is to make the most of today in terms of experiences and travel.
    In terms of overpaying your mortgage you could just increase your monthly payment by £100 and forget about it until new deal time. This should bring the term down about 10 years by itself without stretching yourself.
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,324 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    If you join health scheme linked to work existing conditions may be covered. Sounds positive.

    Perhaps make your bucket lists and work through them. I do that now. This year was Kew and then also took DS to HP world.
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 237 payments to go - now £184,341 Equity 26.26%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £11.9K
    3) CC £3.7K on 0% spends card but offset by £34K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £9.6K/£127.5K AVC target 7.5% value @15/4
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
  • SecondStar
    SecondStar Posts: 365 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    I lost my mum when she was only 61 - she had MS, and had been disabled for 10 years before she passed. I don't want my life to be filled with 'what if's'.

    I know we could afford to overpay, but I'm also conscious that even if we overpay a little to reduce the term to 25 years, my partner might not be around by then to enjoy not having mortgage payments; so is it better to enjoy the extra cash now? This is the crux of the problem!

    I'm just not sure how to strike that balance between putting money aside, so that when he reaches a time where he's not physically able to work (will very likely be before state retirement age) we have a 'pension' available for him; vs using our current joint income to make memories now and enrich our current lives. It's not like we're playing with big figures either - it would be easier if one or both of us were earning big money and could afford to put big chunks aside, but we're already living on the skinny side of financials.

    Bucket lists is a good idea - we check in every few months to set little savings goals, and then figure out how many pay cheques it'll take to reach those goals. But it would be worth expanding that out to cover a longer period of time.

    Then the difficulty is for him, as he's never had the option of being able to look/think 5, 10, 15 years into the future - all his life, he's believe he will be dead by then, and it's incredibly hard for him to realise that he might actually need a 5, 10, 15 year plan!
    ‘When you only have two pennies left in the world, spend one on bread and the other on flowers. The bread will sustain life, the flowers will give you a reason to live.’

    Frugal living in 2024.
    NSDs:
    January - 26
    February - 26


    Amount saved in 2024:
    January - £14.03
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,324 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Can he get any counselling support through his GP and a charity - and maybe for you too? Sounds like you are both having to review your life plans.
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 237 payments to go - now £184,341 Equity 26.26%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £11.9K
    3) CC £3.7K on 0% spends card but offset by £34K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £9.6K/£127.5K AVC target 7.5% value @15/4
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
  • powerspowers
    powerspowers Posts: 1,111 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Oof this is a difficult one. There probably isn’t an ideal answer- it’s a balance of future security vs focusing on what you want to do now while he’s well. I second the suggestion to talk it through with someone- finances are emotional enough and could bring up strong feelings! It sounds as if your partner has a here and now attitude (which I understand)  whereas you have some anxiety about the future (which I also understand). Learning to talk about them together would be a great help but not an easy one. 

    One thought is you need to consider your own circumstances if he were to require care or to pass away. I understand the worry of “he might not be here to benefit” but it might ease an anxiety to think through the financials of that for you. 

    I’d also do some research into if there is a difference in the finances if you are married or not and how that affects things. I realised if I died, my partner wouldn’t get my pension benefits which was a practical prompt to get married- romantic! If you don’t want to get married- think through things like wills to ensure that you can stay in the house. 

    Sorry, that seems quite a brutal way of thinking about things! You don’t need to solve everything now, I’d keep striving a balance between the here and now and growing your saving pots. Maybe a small overpayment to bring the mortgage term down in the background. 
    MFW 2021 #76 £5,145
    MFW 2022 #27 £5,300 
    MFW 2023 #27 £2,000
    MFW 2024 #27 £1,075 /£3,600


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