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  • FIRST POST
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 5th Aug 18, 6:34 PM
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    crv1963
    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
    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 2
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 7th Aug 18, 6:14 PM
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    crv1963
    Hi all,


    LL- I like your career approach! I think that I'll have lots to keep me busy, the garden for a start, although I am planning on paying someone to cut the high hedges, for the couple of days I'd take to cut them I could work one to pay someone, and use the other day to do other things in the garden.


    Longevity is dependent on so many factors, but being active is a big one, I discussed my 79 year old mother with one of our consultants and her love of (obsession) with gardening and climbing ladders to cut her hedges. His advice? "Don't ever tell anyone to try to slow down or do less, just get her a set of platform steps so she's not wobbling about with the trimmer. The fatal thing is when you slow down you do less and less. Mixing even just chatting in a shop is just as important." Men die younger because many see retirement as either a long holiday and watch TV and drive places specific to whatever the need is. Women (on the whole) live longer because they keep houseworking, shopping, cooking......more women than men do keep fit/ dance classes/ are the primary grandchild minder.


    I intend to take after my mother even though I seem to follow the male trend (in my family) for heart problems and since I was clearly told my heart attack boiled down to stress and smoking I am making the needed changes, at times with difficulty. Although my wife did despair that she couldn't get me to sit still during my recovery- the garden never looked as good despite being banned from lifting anything above waist height at the time!


    Bugslet- I think a scattergun approach sounds good, I'm forming a plan that includes debt payment, mortgage overpayment and savings at the same time, no point in having lots in pensions if you then need to draw it all down to pay off the mortgage.


    LL and Bugslet- My wife names the seahorses, we even buried a maroon clownfish when he died. I've named some of the hens, still waiting for names for two of them. Watching the fish is very relaxing and the seahorses are great as they don't bob about as fast as most fish.


    ManofLeisure- I too am hoping that it is sooner rather than later, hopefully nearer the 18 months than the 5 years!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 7th Aug 18, 6:26 PM
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    lessonlearned
    CRV.....a friend of mine, nine years my senior, so now 76, did a stock take of his male family relatives on the paternal side. He was around 28 at the time, the age at which hus own father had died of heart disease.

    He realised that none them had lived much beyond 30, so he cleaned up his act, stopped smoking and heavy drinking, started exercising etc.

    Seems to have done the trick. .....

    Yes genetics are important but I agree with you, lifestyle also plays a role.

    My dad had two heart attacks in his mid 50s. Died at the age of 90 with leukaemia....up until the last few months he was hale and hearty, always active and on the go. Like your mum an obsessive gardener and diy-er.

    The platform step ladder is a good idea. I'm going to get myself one.
    • ManofLeisure
    • By ManofLeisure 7th Aug 18, 6:33 PM
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    ManofLeisure
    [QUOTE=crv1963; more women than men are the primary grandchild minder.
    [/QUOTE]


    Not in this house. Crikey, where am I going wrong . Still, it's a lot of fun playing with lego, building dens and tree houses, and jumping on trampolines .
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 7th Aug 18, 6:46 PM
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    crv1963
    Not in this house. Crikey, where am I going wrong . Still, it's a lot of fun playing with lego, building dens and tree houses, and jumping on trampolines .
    Originally posted by ManofLeisure

    Then you are following the advice of my consultant colleague, who advocates exercise is the best way of attempting a long life. Along with a decent diet, stopping smoking and drinking in moderation!


    Personally I'm struggling with smoking cessation although 20 a month is better than 20+ a day! Oh and I'm not that keen on salad, but do at the moment eat at least one a day! Exercise is easy dogs and gardening, parking at the greatest distance from the supermarket door, walking to the pub for a medicinal red a couple of times a week (also enables practising striking conversations up) lol.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • ManofLeisure
    • By ManofLeisure 7th Aug 18, 7:02 PM
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    ManofLeisure
    I've never smoked, but have friends that have also struggled to quit. The one thing they all had in common was a stressful job. Have you tried everything which is supposed to help?
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 7th Aug 18, 7:18 PM
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    crv1963
    Yes, I've managed a couple of times to stay stopped for 3 years and 3 years and 10 weeks respectively.


    I've in the past used patches, gum, nasal spray and cold turkey. This time round I'm using a vape, mind at around 45 a throw they eat into what would have gone up in smoke. The oils vary in quality and price but mine are around 11 for 3 bottles that lasts 10 days so 33 for a month supply. I know that there are cheaper versions available but the fire risk of the vapes that don't stop charging when fully charged, along with not knowing the true quality of oils bought off of the internet make the peace of mind that the house won't burn down if I leave one on charge when out and that the oils are safe makes the extra costs worthwhile.


    Yes having a stressful job doesn't help, I am learning to make me time and to not feel I should be doing something all the time. I am learning to do nothing and enjoy it. I don't rush around as much and walk when I can.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • joansgirl
    • By joansgirl 7th Aug 18, 7:49 PM
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    joansgirl
    Hi CRV, good luck with your plans!

    My retirement happened quite suddenly just after I turned 60. At that time, having worked out how much I needed to live on until I got my state pension, I realised I was going to have to work another 4 years in a job I didn't like.

    It was quite a depressing thought. Then, out of the blue, one of my pensions paid out. I didn't realise it was going to, I assumed it was going to be 65.

    I took a part lump sum and that added to what I already had stashed meant I could safely retire and easily live until my SP paid out.

    Then, a couple of months later, I had a couple of investments mature. And they paid out much more interest than I expected. So that cemented my plans to retire and I left work after working my months notice.

    After I'd left I claimed my last pension, which also paid a lump sum as well as a monthly pension, so now I'm "comfortable"

    However, I don't want holidays, new car or anything like that, not really interested in material trappings, I just want to live quietly but be able to afford the things I want and need. And that's what I've got now.

    Been mortgage free since my husband died, my car is 10 years old now but I rarely use it, but there's money in the bank should I decide I need a new one. I am perfectly content with my life now and don't regret retiring at all.

    One thing I've noticed with some retirees is that their jobs were not just jobs but vocations. That is a tough one to get over and many people have gone back part time or on an ad hoc basis. My job was just a job, I never loved it and I don't miss it.

    Good luck with your plans, and look after yourself (and Mrs CRV)
    Some people only exist as examples of what to avoid...
    .
    • ManofLeisure
    • By ManofLeisure 7th Aug 18, 8:00 PM
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    ManofLeisure
    A friend quit by reading a book by a chap called Allen Carr. Just taken a look on Amazon and I think it was the one entitled ' Allen Carr's Easy Way to stop smoking'. Might be worth a read - he had tried absolutely everything and this book was the answer for him at least.



    Learning to do nothing without feeling guilty, is a lesson I had to learn. I'm an architect and having waited years for a promised partnership which never materialised, I quit and set up my own business - taking a lot of clients with me . In the financial sense, it was the best thing I could have done. However, I was working every hour of every day and seldom had time for anything else. Then came the crunch - my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. I retired at 55 (7 years ago) and now look at life through different eyes. I no longer feel guilty that I'm not 'doing' and enjoy just 'being' . My wife is 'living with cancer' and so we try to make each day special - often spending hours watching the world go by - sometimes in beautiful locations.
    • ShyAndRetiring
    • By ShyAndRetiring 7th Aug 18, 10:51 PM
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    ShyAndRetiring

    I think that I'll manage okay- I do nights several times a year when I work my current "extras". I think it all depends if you can sleep adequately the following day. Luckily I seem to sleep better during the day than the night!
    Originally posted by crv1963
    CRV, my OH has transitioned pretty well to working nights / early mornings as his 'retirement' job. He gets home just as I'm getting up, then he sleeps until about noon. Blackout blinds definitely help!
    ~ * ~ "A goal without a plan is just a wish" Antoine de Saint Expuery ~ * ~
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 8th Aug 18, 6:43 AM
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    crv1963
    ManofLeisure- in a previous role I was working all hours, literally including taking work home nominally there but in reality working. The strain isn't noticed until you stop. Sorry to hear about your wife, but many people live many years "living with cancer", so as long as you're both "living" as opposed to "existing which sounds like you are then life is to enjoy.


    Joansgirl- glad that it worked out okay and you are content. I think that getting the mindset right is as important as the income!


    S&R- Mrs CRV works predominately nights so the when the curtains are shut it really is dark, I haven't had any issues sleeping so far following a nightshift. Hoping that continues when I work long stretches of them.


    Tonight I'll try to get some figures down so I can begin to hold my feet to the fire in terms of meeting our targets and look at our choices. I did a lot of working out last year so have a good idea of what we need to do.


    Mind the Lab had his teeth cleaned on Monday 250+ and a biopsy of a growth results today so we'll see if we're in for a rough few months blowing us off course today, the cat is going for her 3 monthly bloods today another 100 or so! Maybe I shouldn't save but put one of our wages by DD to the vet!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 9th Aug 18, 7:11 AM
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    crv1963
    Well as promised some figures, although debt rounded upwards and income downwards to give a bit of slack in the calculations!


    Me- Credit card 1- 800 (50 pm), cc2 1000 (90 pm), car loan 12k (260 pm), contribution to joint finances 1400 pm, savings (salary deduction) 200 pm.


    Mrs CRV- contribution to joint finances 1000pm, cc's and car loan @ 0% and she sorts from her wages.


    Joint finances- Mortgage- 90k opening balance in January, 600 pm, 2% fixed for a further 3 years allowed to overpay 10% pa. Joint sum pm 2400 but ongoing monthly vet spend is very high! Just keeping diabetic dog before vet fees is ongoing at 250pm, annual eye check, 3 monthly health reviews plus oncology for the Lab with 6 monthly reviews and cat with 3 monthly reviews all adds up!


    Income- Me 36k + 6k (additional shifts), Mrs CRV 27k.


    Initial plan- reduce and then pay off cc1 and cc2. Use cc1 as monthly petrol payment card, clear balance every month thereafter, keep cc2 as an emergency card (just in case I get a bad winter and have to stay near workbase- our town was cut off for 2 days earlier in the year so not impossible). Time scale- cc1 by end Sept, cc2 by Christmas. Anything left over goes to a) vet bills fund (VF), b) Emergency Fund(EF).


    Expected income current 36k+ 30% shift allowance. Additional shift earnings as is current but any increase currently unknown. I'm a bit circumspect about Mrs CRV outgoings as she's not so keen to post on a forum! It is my feet being held to the fire, she's much better at day to day, month to month finance than I but the idea of long term savings/ pensions/ investments turns her cold and I might as well be talking another language with her!


    Then after Christmas when my debt reduction is well underway, look to reduce my car loan as this is my first in 30 years as I hate paying interest on a reducing asset! But needs must because of need for a decent car suitable for the mileage and safety/ reliability so it's a 2.5 year old Ford- hopefully cheap to maintain. I also have an account with a local garage for servicing, tyres etc, currently 350 in credit.


    Also we'll have an idea of what I'm spending to commute, what my earnings average is and be able to form more concrete plans for debt reduction, increasing Mrs CRV pension and overpaying mortgage- I prefer ongoing payments as opposed to lump sum ones, but not adverse to making lump sum payments if that is better in the long run. If VF and EF reach a happy level then I might start a mortgage fund (MF) for lump sum payments.


    Edit= To correct English and add some detail.
    Last edited by crv1963; 09-08-2018 at 7:30 AM.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 9th Aug 18, 7:48 PM
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    Katiehound
    Just a thought about the CCs. Wonder if you could take one or 2 new ones with 0% balance transfer. Just had an offer from Mr T today for 12 months- but I've seen others which are longer.
    I don't know how to 'play the game' as I pay mine off monthly. I know there is a way to earn a bit of interest in the intervening gap.

    I also know it's only peanuts but having various different current a/cs earning monthly interest / cashback/ whatever can mount up and of course switching bonuses.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..6416cc+.2415mm (2.41.5) + RK 6.00
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 9th Aug 18, 8:03 PM
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    crv1963
    Hi Katiehound,


    I'm thinking I'd rather clear the cc's, I know logically applying for cards at 0% makes sense but if I haven't cleared them by Christmas I should look into it.


    Also moving money between accounts makes sense so will look into that at Christmas too when I have a clear idea of what my new earnings will look like, and if the commute is working okay.


    CRV
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 9th Aug 18, 8:23 PM
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    Katiehound
    Free will making here- this month only
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=74639883#post74639883

    I forgot to say - good luck with your plans. No pockets in shrouds.
    I have been to Botswana & Zim several times : The Okavango Delta & Victoria Falls both amazing
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..6416cc+.2415mm (2.41.5) + RK 6.00
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 12th Aug 18, 8:50 AM
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    crv1963
    Hi


    I like ShyAndRetiring methodology of keeping track:- Spending, Saving, Sorting, Other News and Simple Pleasures. I think I might become a plagiarist and copy it! For the simple reason it's easy to follow and look back on. My saving will include our monthly retirement savings, hopefully we'll see them grow as time goes on. I'll start that when we start our additional pension savings as currently I pay 9.3% salary into DB and Mrs CRV pays 3% into Nest, all from our wages before we get our take home pay so I won't count mine as I already know roughly what I'm forecast to get on my current salary and it shouldn't go down!


    Spending- My weakness! But kept myself in check yesterday an only 1.10 on a bottle of milk, today got to get sister a Birthday Card.


    Saving- 0


    Sorting- 9 hours gardening, 6 hours burning hedge trimmings, branches cut down two weeks ago when we built the hen run, loaded the car ready for a tip run today- kept bigger branches for my brother in law and his chimnea!


    Other News- Lab biopsy came back as benign so no expensive bills to look forward to yet, cat thyroid results came back as okay, so to carry on as we are with dose and feeding. Border Collie got into hen pen so got to get some stronger wire for it, if she can get in so can Mr Fox!


    Simple Pleasure- Enjoyed a Malt Whisky when Mrs CRV went to work (she can't stand the smell and I can only have one or I'm up all night!), while sitting in the garden enjoying the setting sun.


    Have a great day.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • MrAPJI
    • By MrAPJI 15th Aug 18, 7:59 PM
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    MrAPJI
    Pleased to hear the biopsy came back fine . Years ago I remember taking our cat for his annual check-up and jabs. After a lot of pushing and poking the vet then told me that she had discovered a hard mass in his stomach which would need further investigations. So out came the card and the tests began. We had quite a wait to discover what exactly was wrong because it was xmas time. Eventually results day arrived and I made the call, only to be told ''your cat's fat'' and there wasn't anything wrong at all! I was left absolutely speechless. Needless to say, we didn't return to that Practice again. As for the cat, he died aged 18 and other vets had never proclaimed him fat .
    • ManofLeisure
    • By ManofLeisure 15th Aug 18, 8:26 PM
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    ManofLeisure
    I was left absolutely speechless..
    Originally posted by MrAPJI

    I know what I would have said lol
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 16th Aug 18, 6:15 PM
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    crv1963
    Mr APJI,


    It is horrible waiting for results. I'm glad you found a vet that you trusted, our vet is very good we think, although having one having had Oral Cancer, another Diabetes and the cat Thyroid problems has led us to get to know them well!


    Some tell us "I would just have put the dog down!" but don't understand that as well as getting attached to them you also care about their welfare and their quality of life. They also of course give us endless pleasure.


    Sometimes you do have to ask- is this prolonging life needlessly or will it improve it? Luckily for us with a previous dog our vet was honest and up front, telling me I won't let you let her live simply for life, but will tell you when I think she should be let go.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • sukysue
    • By sukysue 17th Aug 18, 6:01 PM
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    sukysue
    Had a look at the Sea horses on You tube ,ahhh so beautiful and serene.
    xXx-Sukysue-xXx
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 19th Aug 18, 8:46 AM
    • 481 Posts
    • 1,048 Thanks
    crv1963
    Hi,


    Just an update so I can keep track.


    Spending- Bought lunch once a reduced price sandwich so only 1 and a bottle of milk 1.10, must be my best week of keeping spending in check for a while!


    Saving- 0

    Sorting- More gardening, cleared the remaining branches from when I cut trees and bushes back for the new Hen Pen, took them to Brother in law so he can use them for his chimnea. Tidied up and threw out some bits stored in the conservatory.


    Other News- Been a very hectic week at work, being peak holiday season less of us around but the workload doesn't drop. Most days it's been 9-10 hour days but of course we only get paid 7.5 hours. Still only 2 weeks left to go before I've finished working my notice! Not that I'm counting but that equates to 8 working days as there's the bank holiday Monday and that week I also have the Friday off.


    Results week and our niece got the grades she wants and the university, she's now having a gap year before her course starts. Her 18th Birthday yesterday so a good get together.


    Simple Pleasures- Collecting 4-5 eggs daily now the hens have started laying, spent a bit of time just sitting with Mrs CRV watching rubbish TV and relaxing.


    Have a great week.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
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