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    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 5th Aug 18, 6:34 PM
    • 1,099Posts
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    50 something man seeking to save to retire before 60!
    • #1
    • 5th Aug 18, 6:34 PM
    50 something man seeking to save to retire before 60! 5th Aug 18 at 6:34 PM

    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.


    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 15
    • BucksLady
    • By BucksLady 5th Dec 19, 8:26 AM
    • 548 Posts
    • 1,794 Thanks
    Mr C - wishing you happiness in your new home and hope you feel truly settled soon .
    • MrAPJI
    • By MrAPJI 17th Dec 19, 1:08 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 1,288 Thanks
    A very 'Happy Christmas' to you All
    • BucksLady
    • By BucksLady 17th Dec 19, 7:35 PM
    • 548 Posts
    • 1,794 Thanks
    Happy Christmas MrAP - hope you have a lovely time .
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 14th Jan 20, 12:12 PM
    • 1,099 Posts
    • 2,430 Thanks
    Happy New Year to all!

    Apologies for the absence for some time. My updat for December and January Paydays-

    Spending I've remained quite disciplined, I still have room for improvement. I managed to have several hundred pounds left over at the end of each month which I then used to purchase items needed or rather wanted for the greenhouse- a self watering pot system so my efforts at growing things doesn't get knocked back by a lack of watering while I am working away, they should last a lifetime so hopefully I'll get my monies worth!

    Bills all paid!

    Sorting Been busy as usual- used stored wood to make some cold frames for the garden, gave youngest son some Christmas decorations but not made a dent in what we have stored, I can feel a charity shop trip coming on soon!

    Saving Spent my petrol money savings on the Christmas meat, had youngest son and Mum over for lunch- sent him back with what was left over and he made a curry!

    Savings rate will have to significantly increase!

    Other News

    Shed Pressed into action for storage so we can start to clear the loft!

    House Building Works Loft Conversion Not got a start date for this yet but the builder said he'd aim for mid January- held up by the weather on his other projects!

    Garden Works Now have 3 Cold Frames and managed to plant all my bulbs, put some bare rooted Peonies in on Boxing Day.

    Greenhouse I've ran a power cable down to it using an extension cable I had kept "just in case" so have a heated propagator on that I got for Christmas, and set the fan heater to keep it frost free only. Onions and Leeks sown New Years Day are already through.

    Retirement Plans Sat down with Mrs CRV yesterday to review everything ahead of retiring in May, didn't go quite as well as anticipated!

    I have unfortunately underestimated our expenditure and overestimated what our savings will support. We could go in May but would retire to existing rather than living!

    Not quite back to the drawing board but a change in plans- we need to have signifcantly more annual income than I thought. My new figures are-

    Basic Retirement- 24k pa
    Comfortable Retirement- 36k pa
    Luxury Retirement- 48k+ pa

    The 24k we could just about manage now but with little room for error so we're set on aiming for the 36k figure, that will allow replacement cars/ several holidays and hobbies.

    Then the how to reach it problem needed looking at hard. I spoke to NHS Pensions and they didn't send me my requested forecast from August so it will arrive in 10 working days so we know exactly what we will have but approximately 20k pa from my working out.

    That will cover all our bills and leave a bit left over.

    I then spoke to the agency I worked for some years ago, they have lots of positions on 3 month rolling contracts doing exactly what I do now available on a regular (every 4-6 weeks) basis. So securing a job seems to be okay- I guess I'll become one of Boris Johnsons 19,000 nurses he hopes to retain. The way the NHS Pension works means I have to retire and return or there is no further pension benefit that can be accrued.

    I then spoke to an Umbrella Company that handled my agency earnings last time- they sort all the tax and NI out and because of HMRC rules I cannot set myself up as a limited company- they also have an auto enrolled pension scheme. This uses salary sacrifice so I set my level of contributions to my new DC Pension at a level to avoid HR tax.

    Mrs CRV wants to continue to work but less hours.

    So the plan is 3 wages, NHS Pension- covers the household costs anything left over into cash saving, take the lower pension and higher TFLS, TFLS clears mortgage.

    Agency income- covers work expenses, personal spending, SS into my DC pension and put into Mrs CRV SIPP the same amount as her take home pay, anything left over into cash savings.

    Mrs CRV income- covers her personal spending and anything left over into cash savings.

    In preparing to retire we've already started to spend money on the house and garden from savings- biting the bullet while still earning. TFLS from DC pensions to provide a cash sum to cover any market downturn prior to SP kicking at 67. Then we both draw down our repective pots at the same amount of income we expect from our SP at 67.

    Stop drawdown when we reach SPA and continue to save into a SIPP the 2880 pa permited under the rules until 75 to provide money in case of care home/ home help is needed.

    We should be able to finally retire before I'm 60 but a lot of saving to do over the next 3 years!

    Sorry for the long post- I'll try to remember to not just make a living but to also lead a life!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • MrAPJI
    • By MrAPJI 14th Jan 20, 5:34 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 1,288 Thanks
    crv, if delaying your retirement date brings you 'peace of mind' - then it's worth it . I'm sure the time will pass very quickly.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 14th Jan 20, 6:22 PM
    • 1,099 Posts
    • 2,430 Thanks
    crv, if delaying your retirement date brings you 'peace of mind' - then it's worth it . I'm sure the time will pass very quickly.
    Originally posted by MrAPJI
    Hi MrAPJI, it isn't just peace of mind, I didn't realise how much the dogs are costing, we spent 6k last year on them including food, medication and vets.

    We could just manage if we went now but the idea is to be able to enjoy ourselves not have to spend time watching every penny, although we aren't extravagent or prolific spenders we want to be able to be secure enough not to have to go back to work.

    The last 30 years has flown past so probably the next 2 or 3 years will. The time seems to go faster the older I get!
    Last edited by crv1963; 15-01-2020 at 11:57 AM.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • MrAPJI
    • By MrAPJI 14th Jan 20, 7:36 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 1,288 Thanks
    Guess what I meant was 'peace of mind' in knowing that whatever life throws at you - financially - you will be in a better position to cope with that .
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