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  • FIRST POST
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 5th Aug 18, 5:34 PM
    • 963Posts
    • 2,168Thanks
    crv1963
    50 something man seeking to save to retire before 60!
    • #1
    • 5th Aug 18, 5:34 PM
    50 something man seeking to save to retire before 60! 5th Aug 18 at 5:34 PM
    Hello,


    This thread is inspired by reading others journeys, and at the suggestion of ShyandRetiring. I have been a lurker and commentator on a number of the excellent threads on this Forum. I like the Pensions Board, this board and the Pet Board in particular. I have been given some excellent advice and had answers to many specific questions on them.


    Background:-


    I'm a 54 year old soon to be 55. Where did the years go? I'm an NHS worker and can take my pension unreduced at 55 due to having "special officer class" because of my particular area of work. I currently have "all my years in to get a full pension" each years contribution counts as 2 years from 20 years service, in March I had a total of 40 years or 40/80ths pensionable pay.


    I am- because of the way the scheme is calculated allowed to accrue a further 5 years or up to 45/80ths from the age of 55-58. I also am allowed if I work shifts to have any shift allowance calculated as part of my final pension.


    So far so good, Mrs CRV and I married later in life than was originally planned, we lived together many years ago but parted without rancour in 1992 because in part of my career ambition and her reluctance to leave the area she lived in. We both went on to marry others, finally get back in touch through Friends Reunited. Two divorces later (we ended up divorcing our respective spouses) we finally married each other. I have two sons from my first marriage who live in the South East, Mrs CRV never had children but she (now we) has two nieces whom she/we adore. We both work in healthcare same qualification, me NHS, Mrs CRV always private sector since qualifying.


    I had a brief career break when I moved in with Mrs CRV, so did have an NHS Pension break but re-joined in time to preserve my special class status. Last year I had a heart attack- fully recovered now thanks to excellent emergency care and treatment, but had an enforced 7 month break from my stressful current role. This led to my MSE addiction and our planning carefully our retirement. I say it as the "Royal We" as the whole topic is cold for Mrs CRV!


    Part of my personal journey was re-evaluating my current role and seeking to reduce my stress levels. My cardiologist suggested that I should seek to return to shifts as a means of getting additional days off from work. This in addition to feeling side lined at work even being labelled as too old for the job and rather unkindly a dinosaur by a colleague said in jest I'm sure but left me feeling undervalued and not part of the Team.


    So luckily for me the Trust I work for realised that they had got rid of all the experienced staff and the in-patient services it runs needs experienced staff to provide leadership, coaching and in some cases straightforward "you do it like this" support for younger qualified and inexperienced staff. I applied for one of the posts and got it, starting in September! Luckily for me and my pension it is all "out of hours" and unsocial hours work, so I'm swapping my M-F, 9-5 role for a post that is almost all night and weekend work. It is worth around 12k extra on my salary and of course around 6k pa on my pension when I get it. I'm going from 20 days every 4 weeks to 13 shifts every 4 weeks, so will be able to also work a few extra shifts boosting the coffers more, as currently I work 2-3 "extras" at weekends while doing my M-F role, so having only 4-5 days off every 4 week period.


    Mrs CRV isn't so well off with her pension planning, she has some SERPs pension pot, with nothing between that and her now auto-enrolment pot. So this is where we'll have to concentrate I think.


    We have some debts, a 90k mortgage at a fixed rate and I was forced to borrow 12k for a new car 2 months ago as mine was written off and I need a decent economical car for work and the commute.


    The purpose of this diary?

    To document my journey to retirement which I hope will be 18 months- 3 years time, 5 at an absolute push, I don't want to be the richest in the graveyard but want a decent comfortable retirement.


    I also hope others will see an ordinary man can have aspirations, share what goes well and help others learn from what goes wrong!


    To get some advice/ ideas that add to our plans. I already have picked up tips, one thing we do need to sort is wills, LPA and future proofing our home, in addition to Mrs CRVs pension planning. I'll hopefully get some ideas?


    We live in a large bungalow with a very large garden, isolated on a hill in the middle of town, a cat with thyroid problems, a diabetic border collie !!!!! and an old Labrador dog who has had to have major surgery for mouth cancer, a collection of hens, a collection of tropical marine fish tanks (Mrs CRV hobby I am only allowed to look at the Seahorses!), we have a collection of outbuildings- shed, summerhouse, air raid shelter and garage full of my junk aka "valued items" that need de-cluttering as well as a loft heaving with an assortment of junk including 9 old fish tanks!


    We worked our number out- current figures-


    Me DB 16.5k pa 48k TFLS or 13k pa 85k TFLS
    Old Equitable Life AVC 6k
    Full SP is forecast if contribute another 4 years


    Mrs CRV 24k SERPs pot (2004 valuation, updated one requested)
    5k Auto Enrolled pot
    Full SP if contribute another 4 years


    We think save into PP or SIPP for Mrs CRV, draw down at 8k pa or up to PA. We think 24k pa would be manageable, any extra would be a bonus. We are in the position that if we live long enough as we age we'll actually get an increasing level of income!


    Motivation for saving?

    We've seen too many struggle to "get by" on SP alone! We want to be able to run our cars, keep our pets/ hobbies and have some decent holidays- we're having our gap year(s) at the end of our careers. So a tour of China maybe to see the Great Wall etc, tour of SE Asia see the Temples, Tour of India, and I'd love to see Botswana, Bermuda and go to Moscow! All depends on a) finance and b) health.


    Thank you for reading my ramblings!


    Never look down on someone unless you're helping them up!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
Page 13
    • bugslett
    • By bugslett 15th Jul 19, 12:14 PM
    • 326 Posts
    • 1,190 Thanks
    bugslett
    Same here with the old photos, some lovely ones, but no idea who is who, not even which side of the family.

    No I havent see the canal programmes, I dont have a tv., but everyone recommends them! I'll have to do some catching up.
    Yes I'm bugslet, I lost my original log in details and old e-mail address.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 15th Jul 19, 12:20 PM
    • 963 Posts
    • 2,168 Thanks
    crv1963
    Hi

    Bugslett- Mrs CRV would love to blame me for all the clutter, but I'm not the one collecting boxes of materials and fish tanks, although I seem to have tools in every room!

    Mr C- It is quite a task, my sibling kept literally everything she was ever given, bought or won. It makes it a challenge because of the distance 4 hour drive there, work then 4 hours back, so now we're onto the last room, with lots of treasured possessions I decided packing it up, bringing it back and then sorting it was the best use of time.

    Sorry that you don't like the place you are in much, but it may be more bearable knowing it is only for six months so you have an end date?

    Happyandcontented= that is the problem for almost everyone, there are treasured photos that meant a lot to the owner and some were treasured but they lose meaning when they are gone.

    My course was useful this morning and now I've to start on my shed. At last!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 16th Jul 19, 5:25 AM
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    • 2,168 Thanks
    crv1963
    Good/ bad news on the future proofing, the heating and hot water have packed in, apparently a blockage somewhere in the system, so we need a power flush at 699! The Gas Man asked what was wrong with the Labrador and we hadn't noticed his swollen ear. Turns out he's got an infection, another 100 gone and more to go!

    Had to cancel my overtime to allow access today for the power flush, so looks like I'm 10 days off now so gardening while they spend the day flushing all the pipework. Taking stuff from the shed to the tip and laying a paving stone base for my new lean to shed for the gardening tools.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • Mr Costcutter
    • By Mr Costcutter 16th Jul 19, 7:00 AM
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    Mr Costcutter
    Sorry to hear that crv. At least the problem with your
    system has happened during summer and not in the midst of winter. Those power flushes are really costly though - hope it resolves the problem. Also hope the lab recovers quickly.
    • bugslett
    • By bugslett 16th Jul 19, 7:03 AM
    • 326 Posts
    • 1,190 Thanks
    bugslett
    At least doggy's ear is not serious. And you get the good weather in which to do the garden!


    Never heard of a power flush before!
    Yes I'm bugslet, I lost my original log in details and old e-mail address.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 16th Jul 19, 7:28 AM
    • 963 Posts
    • 2,168 Thanks
    crv1963
    At least doggy's ear is not serious. And you get the good weather in which to do the garden!


    Never heard of a power flush before!
    Originally posted by bugslett
    Power Flush apparently is where they shut all the radiators off, pump water through all the pipework relating to the boiler then through each radiator one at a time, takes about 8 hours and should leave the system like new. That's the theory, I'm just waiting to be told that we need this and that also replacing!

    Dogs ear is just another glich!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 16th Jul 19, 6:05 PM
    • 4,921 Posts
    • 39,726 Thanks
    Katiehound
    I can confirm seeing is not a cheap hobby, !
    Originally posted by bugslett
    I love it!
    In your case it's "I came, I saw, I squandered" (to plunder a well known phrase!!)
    Enjoy that 'narrow' boat- guess they come cheaper than wider editions. At least you won't need jabs and visas.
    .......Seriously: have lots and lots of fun!!
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks


    • bugslett
    • By bugslett 18th Jul 19, 8:03 PM
    • 326 Posts
    • 1,190 Thanks
    bugslett
    I love it!
    In your case it's "I came, I saw, I squandered" (to plunder a well known phrase!!)
    Enjoy that 'narrow' boat- guess they come cheaper than wider editions. At least you won't need jabs and visas.
    .......Seriously: have lots and lots of fun!!
    Originally posted by Katiehound
    New phone and it does very strange things with the auto correct.

    I could get the boat lifted across to france and set off on a european leg!


    I still think a power flush sounds as more like a steroid packed smoothie that a weight lifter would have for breakfast
    Yes I'm bugslet, I lost my original log in details and old e-mail address.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 26th Jul 19, 8:19 AM
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    crv1963
    Quick update- back to work tonight after 9 days off with annual leave and days off.

    Have made progress with the shed- 4 days removing rotten parts and stripping roofing, followed by the rebuilding of it, helped on the 3 hottest days so far this summer by my Mum and then Mrs CRV joining us. Got a few more days work to go though, still to cover the roof timbers with tiles, fit the floor, tongue and groove the inside, electrician is coming next week to re-wire it and then it all needs painting.

    Every day is a school day at 80 I taught Mum how to use a nail gun and Mrs CRV how to use a jig saw. I learnt that it is less frightening using power tools ones self than watch a loved one doing so!

    Quotes coming in for house repairs- and a couple due for a loft conversion in readiness for retirement- I get a refurbished shed and Mrs CRV gets a cosy sewing room.

    Although only 9 days off I am with Marine_life on his recent retirement news, the more time I'm away from work the less attractive it becomes. I really am after enjoying doing the things I want becoming more wed to the idea that if I can go by the end of the year then maybe I should. I'd love to learn to motorcycle but I'm torn by the thought that one it'll add an expense I don't have and the money could be better spent elsewhere and bring retirement a few or even 6 months nearer.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • Mr Costcutter
    • By Mr Costcutter 26th Jul 19, 12:44 PM
    • 380 Posts
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    Mr Costcutter
    The thought of ''stepping into retirement'' is a scary one for many - for so many different reasons. But life is short and I'm firmly of the belief that if financially it is possible to retire - then go for it . I doubt that I'm alone in saying that when one door closes, another is bound to open. Ill health forced retirement upon me and it was a blessing in disguise. It made me stop in my tracts to evaluate and appreciate all that was good in my life.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 26th Jul 19, 12:57 PM
    • 963 Posts
    • 2,168 Thanks
    crv1963
    The thought of ''stepping into retirement'' is a scary one for many - for so many different reasons. But life is short and I'm firmly of the belief that if financially it is possible to retire - then go for it . I doubt that I'm alone in saying that when one door closes, another is bound to open. Ill health forced retirement upon me and it was a blessing in disguise. It made me stop in my tracts to evaluate and appreciate all that was good in my life.
    Originally posted by Mr Costcutter
    Food for thought, especially as it was my own ill health that prompted the research and planning process for us. Sibling unexpected death at 60, 12 weeks ago brings home the reality of mortality.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • bugslett
    • By bugslett 30th Jul 19, 8:04 PM
    • 326 Posts
    • 1,190 Thanks
    bugslett
    I'm with Mr Costcutter.

    After 10 days of being retired I've taken on a consultancy job, a whole 2 days in August, think I'll manage. Once you are retired you may find something local for a few hours a week that brings in some motorcycle money or you could start a shed construction business
    Yes I'm bugslet, I lost my original log in details and old e-mail address.
    • Mr Costcutter
    • By Mr Costcutter 4th Aug 19, 5:46 PM
    • 380 Posts
    • 1,090 Thanks
    Mr Costcutter
    You certainly don't ''let the grass grow under your feet'' bugslett .
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 8th Aug 19, 9:23 AM
    • 963 Posts
    • 2,168 Thanks
    crv1963
    Hello,

    An update from July payday-

    Spending I've been careful to buy needed rather than wanted items so far, new suit, reduced in a sale from 400 to 160 along with a new shirt and tie, not that I have a particular purpose as yet for one, but I seem to have expanded over time and my current suits are a bit tight!

    Progress on the shed expenditure- no need to buy ant further raw materials so hopefully that will come in on my planned budget.

    I've finished the bulk of Christmas shopping, just Mrs CRV present to go and the little odds and ends for people to open. My present draw is groaning with bottles of Gin, Vodka and Rum all bought on special offers!

    Got a couple of nice pieces of Jewelry for Mum and Mrs CRV, along with some Perfume bottles for my sister from an antique shop I've discovered on my wandering around York.

    Saving I've managed to get my savings to a level that means we can look to get Mrs CRV hobby/ sewing room sorted and I can get some help in with removing/ pruning hedges and trees as the garden is looking decidedly neglected and overgrown.

    Progress on adding to Mrs CRV SIPP is stalled pending the works we want in preparation for retirement.

    Mum has given us some cash to use how we want so rather than waste it we're getting some windows replaced as the double glazing is blown and new roofs on the bays and the main roof needs some replacement lead, so hopefully we'll be dry and draft free by winter!

    Sorting Almost finished emptying my siblings house, it seems to have been a long process with some differences of opinion with my remaining sibling, but we've rubbed along okay on the whole. Hoping that we can get it finished by September and on the market.

    My home looks like a jumble sale with shed insulation and tools dominating the living room- luckily we don't use that, the bedroom full of Mrs CRV bits and the spare bedroom piled with things I've been given from my siblings home, once we've finished sorting the loft I expect some will go there and some more will go to charity shops. I don't sell on line so I'm not going to start now, I have little enough time as it is!

    Other News A department store in a nearby town, well it is 16 miles away is closing down, allegedly end of lease but they are selling everything 50-70% off, so going to see if I can buy pans etc for my sons for when they do get their house together, I'm told this will be early next year so not needing to store the things for too long.

    Shed progressing slowly- rain keeps stopping work, windows ordered and roofer booked for mid September, as said earlier aim to be dry and draft free this winter.

    Had an Architect up on Monday, he's going to draw up plans for a loft conversion, creating a single room, it will be listed as "a one bedroom conversion" but used as a sewing room, staircase will be fitted and all the building regulations met. Building inspectors will have to sign it off as compliant but I'd rather pay the fees and have the job done correctly than simply board it out and have a lot of wasted space.

    Have had a few quotes for the work and local estate agent tells me that it will maybe add a little less than it costs to the value of the house as we're at the upper end of the ceiling for prices in our area, but we don't want to move, but want to be able to use the space when we retire. So on balance we're going to have it done. Hopefully it will not be us selling it but heirs in we hope a distant future!

    Tree Surgeon coming this evening, four large trees to fell, lots of hedges to get back into shape and some fencing to put up, we're hoping he'll give us a reasonable price and be able to do the work by the autumn. He's taken down some overgrown trees a couple of years ago so we know the high quality of work and he clears up. I could do the fencing myself but I think the time would be the hardest part.

    Only one overtime shift this month- already done, night shift through to mid September then holiday, more sorting I think!

    Pleasures Have had a couple of hours wandering around York, Hexham and Durham, with a decent lunch at reasonable prices!

    Have a good day!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • bugslett
    • By bugslett 11th Aug 19, 7:38 PM
    • 326 Posts
    • 1,190 Thanks
    bugslett
    You certainly don't ''let the grass grow under your feet'' bugslett .
    Originally posted by Mr Costcutter
    I can assure you it's a one off, wouldn't be doing it except that they are as much friends as (ex) customers.

    Mr crv, we suffer the same problem, clothes shrinkage over time. Trust me, it's not you, it's the clothes.

    Will the roof work and double glazing sort all the likely work on the house for the next few years? I'm curious how other retirees are planning to cover future major house expenditure.
    Yes I'm bugslet, I lost my original log in details and old e-mail address.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 12th Aug 19, 1:02 PM
    • 963 Posts
    • 2,168 Thanks
    crv1963
    I can assure you it's a one off, wouldn't be doing it except that they are as much friends as (ex) customers.
    Originally posted by bugslett
    Ah bugslett- a good plan, but what about when you're asked next time? I have a friend who reluctantly did some work for a former employer, different to his retired from job and it has developed into a part time, enjoyable post- two days a week for nine months of the year for the past six years!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 12th Aug 19, 1:06 PM
    • 963 Posts
    • 2,168 Thanks
    crv1963

    Mr crv, we suffer the same problem, clothes shrinkage over time. Trust me, it's not you, it's the clothes.
    Originally posted by bugslett
    Although fitter than I was 3 years ago my waistline has developed a rate of growth that I'm going to get into check. Whilst never have I been able to boast a six-pack, my beer barrel needs stopping!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 12th Aug 19, 1:48 PM
    • 963 Posts
    • 2,168 Thanks
    crv1963

    Will the roof work and double glazing sort all the likely work on the house for the next few years? I'm curious how other retirees are planning to cover future major house expenditure.
    Originally posted by bugslett
    No unfortunately not. I think we need to also re-point the house, have new walls around the garden- walls to all four sides of the property, have some brickwork repairs to the garage, some further electrical work/ wiring installed such as power to the greenhouse (also being replaced), power points for the pond filter etc and possibly the house re-wired.

    How I am approaching the various needed and likely works is-

    1) What is essential for immediate repair-roofing and glazing?
    2) What is essential for future comfort-is loft conversion?
    3) What is desirable for retirement- electricity in the greenhouse/ another outside tap?
    4) Redecoration of rooms affected by the work carried out? (In a bungalow with work in every room then probably whole house redecoration?)

    So essential, then desirable, then probable. Get big ticket items replaced while having a steady known income, use overtime to pay for some works (save up for desired rather than essential items with no urgency- outside electrics/ plumbing/ shed), use savings for big ticket building work, use unexpected/ gifted money to pay for items depending on priority- roof/ glazing then greenhouse.

    Then look at the guarantees, most things come with 10 years some like roof with 20 years and at how frequently we do big things- wiring/ boilers etc every now and then, so need a pot of money put aside, topped up every now and then to keep pace with inflation, regular works- guttering clearing twice yearly at 30 a side x 4 so 30 x 4 x 2= 240 pa out of income, hedges once a year at 380 pa (per day gardening services is 380) from income.

    Part of how we reached our number was-

    Essential monthly costs- utilities, food etc 1k pm= 12k pa
    Desirable spending- holidays/ days out= 500 pm= 6k pa
    Desirable pocket money each at 250 pm = 6k pa

    So our target is 24 k pa after tax. Running cars comes from the desirable spending money. As does saving to top up the replacement items fund.

    By sorting the expensive items out while working we're hoping/ expecting to reduce the likelihood of having unexpected big purchases other than white goods, maybe if we live long enough a couple of boilers over retirement. By paying for gardening services to keep hedges trees in order annually we're preventing the trees and hedges getting out of control and too big a task as they are at present.

    A stitch in time saves nine approach. It is easy to think that we'll be able to do all the work ourselves especially in early retirement but it takes me 3 days to cut all the hedges moving ladders about and disposing of cuttings, I need dry weather as I use electric tools, the gardening services - 3 of them, use petrol tools so can work when damp and dispose of cuttings.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • bugslett
    • By bugslett 13th Aug 19, 9:04 PM
    • 326 Posts
    • 1,190 Thanks
    bugslett
    Ah bugslett- a good plan, but what about when you're asked next time? I have a friend who reluctantly did some work for a former employer, different to his retired from job and it has developed into a part time, enjoyable post- two days a week for nine months of the year for the past six years!
    Originally posted by crv1963

    No chance, it really is just a few days assist on gaining an accreditation. I'm quite resenting it tbh, though they are putting me up in a nice hotel, taking me out for dinner and it means I get to see my friend in Reading without spending money on fuel, so it's all a win.
    Yes I'm bugslet, I lost my original log in details and old e-mail address.
    • bugslett
    • By bugslett 13th Aug 19, 9:21 PM
    • 326 Posts
    • 1,190 Thanks
    bugslett
    No unfortunately not. I think we need to also re-point the house, have new walls around the garden- walls to all four sides of the property, have some brickwork repairs to the garage, some further electrical work/ wiring installed such as power to the greenhouse (also being replaced), power points for the pond filter etc and possibly the house re-wired.

    How I am approaching the various needed and likely works is-

    1) What is essential for immediate repair-roofing and glazing?
    2) What is essential for future comfort-is loft conversion?
    3) What is desirable for retirement- electricity in the greenhouse/ another outside tap?
    4) Redecoration of rooms affected by the work carried out? (In a bungalow with work in every room then probably whole house redecoration?)

    So essential, then desirable, then probable. Get big ticket items replaced while having a steady known income, use overtime to pay for some works (save up for desired rather than essential items with no urgency- outside electrics/ plumbing/ shed), use savings for big ticket building work, use unexpected/ gifted money to pay for items depending on priority- roof/ glazing then greenhouse.

    Then look at the guarantees, most things come with 10 years some like roof with 20 years and at how frequently we do big things- wiring/ boilers etc every now and then, so need a pot of money put aside, topped up every now and then to keep pace with inflation, regular works- guttering clearing twice yearly at 30 a side x 4 so 30 x 4 x 2= 240 pa out of income, hedges once a year at 380 pa (per day gardening services is 380) from income.

    Part of how we reached our number was-

    Essential monthly costs- utilities, food etc 1k pm= 12k pa
    Desirable spending- holidays/ days out= 500 pm= 6k pa
    Desirable pocket money each at 250 pm = 6k pa

    So our target is 24 k pa after tax. Running cars comes from the desirable spending money. As does saving to top up the replacement items fund.

    By sorting the expensive items out while working we're hoping/ expecting to reduce the likelihood of having unexpected big purchases other than white goods, maybe if we live long enough a couple of boilers over retirement. By paying for gardening services to keep hedges trees in order annually we're preventing the trees and hedges getting out of control and too big a task as they are at present.

    A stitch in time saves nine approach. It is easy to think that we'll be able to do all the work ourselves especially in early retirement but it takes me 3 days to cut all the hedges moving ladders about and disposing of cuttings, I need dry weather as I use electric tools, the gardening services - 3 of them, use petrol tools so can work when damp and dispose of cuttings.
    Originally posted by crv1963

    Interesting, broadly the approach I adopted. In the last 5 years I have had new kitchen, bathroom, fencing, roof, soffits etc, and the house redecorated. (When Maggie the 11 month old Old English Sheepdog stops eating the staircase, I'll have some new spindles.).

    Just having pointing done at the moment. Sheesh, it causes dust and more dust. Even with covers on the scaffolding the garden looks as if it was near a volcanic eruption.

    The only major outlay will be a new boiler and I have a recessed front door that I want to have some outer doors put in front of, my hallway gets very cold in winter, so that should help.

    The attic isn't really suitable for conversion, but the garage is, like mrs crv, I have plans for a sewing table.

    Your numbers are similar to mine. They were a bit less since there is only me, though I have three dogs (another hopefully in spring), but I had to up it a bit with the boat. Figures a bit nebulous on that at the moment.

    I did meet a lovely chap recently and he rented his house out which provided all the income he needed to fund his life aboard his narrowboat, which cost him 27 k, 5 years earlier. Could be an idea.....
    Yes I'm bugslet, I lost my original log in details and old e-mail address.
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