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  • FIRST POST
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 5th Aug 18, 5:34 PM
    • 992Posts
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    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 14
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 14th Aug 19, 7:00 AM
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    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.....
    Originally posted by bugslett
    I think that it is a pragmatic approach. We're hopefully going to the next phase of life not our dotage so with that in mind and no plans to move it makes sense to get our home as we want, able to do the things we want without falling over each other/ getting in the way of each other.

    I think it is important to have space to do your hobbies/ have a mess/ lay things out without needing to clear it all away at the end of the day, especially for Mrs CRV as clearing all her sewing/ quilting away makes the next day longer having to get it all out again!

    Mums approach to her sewing was/ is to use one of her bedrooms for it so she didn't make the rest of the house cluttered, worked for her and Dad when he was alive, so Mrs CRV having a sewing room should work for us.

    I'll be delighted with a new shed and greenhouse, having the hedges get an annual trim to shape/ trees shaped and cut back, leaving me more time for the rest of the garden. At 80 I've finally got Mum to see the sense of getting someone else younger, fitter and faster to do her heavy work- although she is still up and down ladders helping me with my shed!

    If we stay on top of the upkeep of the house then hopefully as we see tasks that need doing we can get them done before they become a bigger problem. It is the age old bind- you work so you don't have time to do everything at home so have to pay someone to do it, or you retire and have the time but not the money.

    Hopefully our approach and planned income will allow us to reach a happy compromise!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 23rd Aug 19, 9:08 AM
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    crv1963
    Update -

    Spending Kept under control, no wasted bargains bought so far! Did spend 100 getting some drip trays for the shed roof, to try to preserve the edges of the wood on the roof, but rain has prevented me fitting either them or the roofing felt.

    Saving No additional money saved, but gave my sons 100 each towards running costs of their cars.

    Sorting Finally finished emptying my siblings home, last trip was sorting the shed contents. Note to self label all boxes of belongings and make sure the instructions for electrical goods and tools are in one obvious place- my sibling did and this was a real help!

    Started on sorting our clutter out, moved all the shed materials into the Conservatory laid out in the order that they'll be used so when I can finally get it finished it should be easier just picking the stuff up and using it rather than searching all over the place.

    Mrs CRV has sorted her collection of materials and placed them in neat boxes ready for storing when the loft work starts.

    Spare bedroom still a jumble of all sorts!

    Other News Things are progressing slowly on a number of fronts-

    Loft conversion Architect has been and measured up the loft the whole house and is drawing up plans for the conversion and an extension to replace the Conservatory. Loft conversion should be within permitted rights as it is measured by volume not square feet. Replacing the Conservatory has long been on Mrs CRV list of "to do" and it makes sense for the plans all to be done at the same time and save on cost of calling an architect out a second time.

    Siblings home Remaining sibling awaiting letters of administration to put it on the market - we had a leaking roof so had to pay for a replacement flat roof last week!

    Our Bay Window Roofing Work stalled due to rain, I'm told it will be done next week if the weather remains dry.

    Shed I aim to try to do the roof next week, the floor the following week and the tongue and groove for the inside walls the first week of my annual leave, and then empty the loft into it ready for the Loft Conversion.

    Loft Conversion Architect coming back next Friday with draft plans, if they are okay then off to a Structural Engineer for 2 weeks, submit to a Building Inspector for a couple of weeks. Then if all is well and the builder is free work can start mid October for an estimated 6 weeks, so if everything falls into place by December it could be finished but I'm being cautious so in reality expect it finished end January.

    Garden Works Have the estimate of 10 days work by the Gardening Firm, at 380 per day. This will include felling several self sown Ash Trees standing 20+ feet tall, two Pine Trees- too close to the house so need removing, two possibly three Beech Trees standing 40+ feet tall and only juvenile trees so will grow too big for the garden and should never have been put in, get all the hedges - some 300 feet in total length back into order- we have staggered double hedges as wind breaks because we live on a hill. Finally remove the buckled greenhouse and erect a new one on the same site- busy trying to select the replacement. Work to start in two weeks time.

    Redecoration Probably the whole house as every room will be impacted by the dust and mess from the building works.

    Sons Youngest going to look at some rental flats with his friend from school, at 22 they both feel now is the right time to leave their respective homes. He's looking Tuesday, so the collection of household goods I have for him from my siblings home may not even have to go up into our loft!

    Retirement Have decided that I have had enough! This waiting around to go for night shift drives me mad and we get a sunny day at last and I can't get out and work on my shed/ garden because I need to be awake during the night.

    Having read through lots of threads, spoken to friends and of course Mrs CRV I think that I'm going to bite the bullet and give notice next month that I intend retiring at the end of May 2020. Pension not quite boosted as much as I would have liked or planned but we'll have finished the work, paid off debt and the mortgage so even if I need to find something else part time for a couple of years it should be manageable.

    I think retirement is like having children- there's never a right time, there's always an excuse to put it off. With my sibling dying at 60 and my own resolved heart problems I think what the heck just go!

    Excuse my rambling on and have a great day/ weekend.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • Clowance
    • By Clowance 23rd Aug 19, 9:39 AM
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    Clowance
    well done for decision to retire soon, doubt you will ever regret it. May is the start of your new life! best wishes
    Don't forget quidco/topcashback - I do!
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 23rd Aug 19, 9:51 AM
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    crv1963
    well done for decision to retire soon, doubt you will ever regret it. May is the start of your new life! best wishes
    Originally posted by Clowance
    Thank you Clowance.

    I could find excuses forever not to go, but I think going is probably better for me at the start of summer- hopefully spend the winter boosting the pension, then take it from there. Might have to try to do some overtime between now and May as Mrs CRV wants to be totally debt free come retirement, having said that we have a combined debt of less than 20k so it should be manageable over the next 9 months.

    Mrs CRV is less convinced that she wants to retire but may drop her shifts down to 2 nights per week and if we find things are tight I could also pick up a few shifts each month, one night a week would give me 700 pm so an option, also may ease me into retirement.

    Edit- as a taster for retirement I've just arranged to meet a retired friend (same profession/ organisation) next Wednesday afternoon at a local Beer Festival! He went on his 50th Birthday just over a year ago and hasn't missed it once!
    Last edited by crv1963; 23-08-2019 at 9:56 AM.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • thriftytracey
    • By thriftytracey 23rd Aug 19, 11:07 AM
    • 150 Posts
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    thriftytracey
    I retired in May 2019. My pension fund could have done with another year's contributions but I had had enough. Best thing I ever did. I am so happy now, relaxed, chilled and calm. I can live on my modest income and so busy now. Done all the jobs in the house and garden I never had time to do, go to yoga, pilates (needed after all the lunches and meals out - taking advantage of special offers), U3A, Let's Meet Up, reading more, playing piano,and listening to music and Radio 4 Haven't even started going away yet! (caravan breaks). It's also good to actually take pleasure in your house and garden after major declutter and having more time for our doggies too. The only cloud on the horizon is a possible no deal Brexit!
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 23rd Aug 19, 12:01 PM
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    crv1963
    Hi TT,

    We are thinking a motorhome, but maybe a Caravan would work for us as an alternative. Glad you're enjoying retirement.

    CRV
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • thriftytracey
    • By thriftytracey 23rd Aug 19, 12:29 PM
    • 150 Posts
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    thriftytracey
    CRV

    Many pros and cons for both! Be good to have one of each if one had sufficient funds! We spent 7 weeks touring in France and moved site 7 times, 4 times with putting up the awning and taking it down again. Got a bit quicker each time and having unlimited time helps.
    • bugslett
    • By bugslett 23rd Aug 19, 11:10 PM
    • 348 Posts
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    bugslett
    Congratulations on the decision crv, like TT I retired in May, at least operationally. No regrets and I think once you have put your notice in, you will find that work feels different with a definite date.

    Of course a narrowboat takes only a couple of minutes to moor up and, er, demoor. That is so not the right terminology
    Yes I'm bugslet, I lost my original log in details and old e-mail address.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 24th Aug 19, 8:27 AM
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    crv1963
    Congratulations on the decision crv, like TT I retired in May, at least operationally. No regrets and I think once you have put your notice in, you will find that work feels different with a definite date.

    Of course a narrowboat takes only a couple of minutes to moor up and, er, demoor. That is so not the right terminology
    Originally posted by bugslett
    I was told by a colleague who retired that the best feeling is waking on a Monday and saying to yourself- "Should I go to work today, then saying don't be silly take the dogs out instead!".

    As you cast off, just don't fall in!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • BucksLady
    • By BucksLady 25th Aug 19, 5:38 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 1,769 Thanks
    BucksLady
    [QUOTE=crv1963;7619037


    I think retirement is like having children- there's never a right time, there's always an excuse to put it off. .[/QUOTE]


    Very true, but sometimes I think one just has to listen to one's heart
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 29th Aug 19, 2:27 PM
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    crv1963
    Last August Update As I wait yet again to go for my commute to work.

    Today the Roofers have completed their work and we are now watertight and I'm 2040 lighter! They seem to have done a good job on time and budget, feedback left on Checkatrader and FB sites.

    Had a good night last night, met up with some old colleagues- all retired in their 50s (still) and encouraged to try to retire sooner than later! All have so much to fill their days they don't know how they managed to work.

    Edit- my DB forecast ordered and it should be with me by 4 October, I was told by the pension agency and my former colleagues that it will be an under forecast as it is based on payment information given by my employer in May this year and of course does not take either our payrise in July or shift enhancements paid from June into account.

    Have just topped up Mrs CRV SIPP with the rest of this months money I'd put aside for fuel but not spent, so feeling I'm achieving making our plans work.

    Have a great weekend everyone.
    Last edited by crv1963; 29-08-2019 at 2:30 PM.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • bluenose1
    • By bluenose1 29th Aug 19, 5:16 PM
    • 2,167 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    bluenose1
    Last August Update As I wait yet again to go for my commute to work.

    Today the Roofers have completed their work and we are now watertight and I'm 2040 lighter! They seem to have done a good job on time and budget, feedback left on Checkatrader and FB sites.

    Had a good night last night, met up with some old colleagues- all retired in their 50s (still) and encouraged to try to retire sooner than later! All have so much to fill their days they don't know how they managed to work.

    Edit- my DB forecast ordered and it should be with me by 4 October, I was told by the pension agency and my former colleagues that it will be an under forecast as it is based on payment information given by my employer in May this year and of course does not take either our payrise in July or shift enhancements paid from June into account.

    Have just topped up Mrs CRV SIPP with the rest of this months money I'd put aside for fuel but not spent, so feeling I'm achieving making our plans work.

    Have a great weekend everyone.
    Originally posted by crv1963

    I have put in a quote for my deferred civil service pension in anticipation of a Voluntary Severance scheme from my current employer due to a reorganisation.
    Now that I have got it into my head cannot wait to retire. Though have a feeling I could still be waiting and saying this 6 months from now. Hoping to be retired by 54 at latest, hopefully 53.5.
    Money SPENDING Expert

    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 30th Aug 19, 5:55 PM
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    • 2,255 Thanks
    crv1963
    I have put in a quote for my deferred civil service pension in anticipation of a Voluntary Severance scheme from my current employer due to a reorganisation.
    Now that I have got it into my head cannot wait to retire. Though have a feeling I could still be waiting and saying this 6 months from now. Hoping to be retired by 54 at latest, hopefully 53.5.
    Originally posted by bluenose1
    Good Luck bluenose1 even though I've not told my manager yet or put my papers in the clock is ticking and the work feels different, the buzz wasn't there last night from the usual busyness of the work, I felt even more skeptical and cynical than normal!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 10th Sep 19, 9:50 AM
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    crv1963
    August Pay Update-

    Spending I've managed so far to stick to my budget, in fact as I go through the process of is this a need or a want when spending I've found all I am really spending on is the essentials and presents for others. Currently I've not spent my first weeks budget amount and this weeks is still sat in my current account.

    Bills all paid, overpaid on a credit card as I paid for an autumn break, trying to clear this before Christmas.

    Sorting Some small progress and items taken to the charity shops, but spare bedroom and loft to sort still! At least only the conservatory and spare bedroom a mess everywhere else looks tidy!

    Helped Mum sort her spare room out- lots to the charity shops and to friends, taking her to sort her POA later today. Had to make her a gate to try to keep her dog and new puppy in the hard standing/ patio area ready for the winter, post snapped when I tried to hang it so... new gate posts cut but not yet put in- ran out of time.

    Other News


    Shed Still waiting to put the roofing felt on so progress slow, have got someone to help with the gable and dormer window I've made, looks great but makes roofing complicated, maybe I should have stuck to an apex roof.

    Got to finish it next week, put the floor in and tongue and groove the walls ready for the electrics.

    House Building Works Finally approved the Architect plans, large loft conversion, with access to two parts of the loft that aren't being converted but boarded out as storage areas- one for Christmas stuff the other for everything else. Going to put shelving into those areas and then use boxes with it all clearly labelled so we know what is where and have some order up there.

    Extension to replace Conservatory- to make the space useable, cosy and comfortable. Plans label it as a Sun Room, but in effect it is simply a room for the cat, not very MSE!

    Garden Works Due to start the work felling overgrown and wrongly planted trees, fencing and hedging to be brought into order. Garden Services people tell me that the Beech Trees and Conifers we have are far too close to the house, replacing them with something that doesn't grow to over 100 ft high, but what they will be I'm not sure yet.


    Excuse my rambling on and have a great day.

    Smile rather than frown- it uses less muscles and makes people much happier!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
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