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    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 5th Aug 18, 6:34 PM
    • 442Posts
    • 997Thanks
    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 4
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 9th Sep 18, 4:59 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 997 Thanks
    i thought there was a new sugar daddy in town, lol, glad your feeling better now x
    Originally posted by xanthe06

    Maybe I should change seeking to hoping, but I'm not sure how!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • ManofLeisure
    • By ManofLeisure 9th Sep 18, 6:02 PM
    • 456 Posts
    • 1,057 Thanks
    LL, best wishes on your move - hope everything goes well for you. I should imagine you've reached that stage when you're just wanting to be settled.

    CRV, my duties start on Thursday . I've been round to meet ''the girls'' and received clear instructions as to ''what to do''. Fortunately, they seem very friendly and so I've no worry on that score lol.
    Glad to see you're settling into your new job. I was wondering whether joining a car share scheme might be an option - if only on an occasional basis. My brother used to do this and it worked out really well.
    I think inviting an architect round to look at various possibilities is a good idea. These days most firms will agree to an initial visit which is free of charge - so you've nothing to lose in that respect

    SukySue, I've also been having a good old clear out. In particular, the garage is an absolute mess and my wife has been nagging me about it for ages . I'm glad I did though as I managed to find a couple of tools that have been missing for ages.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 10th Sep 18, 8:48 AM
    • 442 Posts
    • 997 Thanks
    ManOfLeisure- Car share isn't really an option as I have to use it during the working day to go to different places, I have found somewhere to stay a couple of nights a week, which I am testing out in October. The cost of each night is only slightly higher than the cost of the fuel for the commute. Hopefully it'll work out.

    Hens are fun, do you get to keep your friends eggs while you care for the hens? If so that might persuade your wife getting some is a good idea. Our first hens were a wedding gift.

    LL- good luck with the move today.

    SukySue- Looks like I'm doing some clearing out today, I've discovered that I can't get in the spare bedroom for "stuff".
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • ManofLeisure
    • By ManofLeisure 10th Sep 18, 2:42 PM
    • 456 Posts
    • 1,057 Thanks

    Hens are fun, do you get to keep your friends eggs while you care for the hens? If so that might persuade your wife getting some is a good idea. Our first hens were a wedding gift.

    Yes, we do keep the eggs . I think my wife has been concerned about the hens welfare whilst we are away - but I've now compiled a list of volunteers for when the need arises . Additionally, once a week we care for my brother's twin grandsons (aged 4 and autistic) and I think they would benefit greatly by helping to care for the hens. They are a couple of super little lads - always a smile on their faces- but with so many developmental problems. In particular, they have absolutely no speech and severe co-ordination problems. However, they are extremely gentle and absolutely adore animals, so the hens would be of real interest to them. I'm even thinking of involving them in the process of building a hen house . Our own grandchildren would also be interested too.

    Fingers crossed that the place you've found to stay proves to be suitable
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 10th Sep 18, 3:06 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 997 Thanks
    Going away takes a bit of planning, days out the odd overnight is okay as long as you leave enough food/ water out. Just hope Mr Fox doesn't visit if they aren't locked in their house. Although you can get a gadget that automatically opens and closes the door.

    Hens really are good for people, children love being involved, I'd double the time allowed to build the run/ house and involve all the kids. Get them in their old clothes and helping to paint it would be great. We bought a wooden one new from the internet and I had to give it several coats of paint before use.

    If you drive to collect your girls then seeing lots and I mean lots of hens in one go can be amazing for a child. Or in my case the 22 year old son- he had no idea what a place like Durham Hens was like or the things you can buy for them, his face was a picture! I did draw the line at a cockerel though.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • sukysue
    • By sukysue 10th Sep 18, 6:15 PM
    • 1,758 Posts
    • 2,277 Thanks
    Well done Man of Leisure l am nagging my poor DH about his garage but there is no hope of getting him even starting!!
    CRV hope the decluttering went well !
    We walked down to the Goldcliff seawall 2 miles today and we really enjoyed it .The sun was shining and the wind was blowing a gale.... just lovely .
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 15th Sep 18, 1:09 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 997 Thanks
    Hi Everyone,

    Spending- 5 on lunch over two days, was based at an office away from our Team base on one of the days as part of my induction to the new job. 5 on essentials milk/ bread/ salad for tea.

    Saving- Feeling a bit demoralised that I haven't been able to start any of my plans this month, but haven't used the CC so a sort of saving.

    Sorting- We're going to de-clutter the Conservatory today, looks like a couple of tip runs are going to be needed.

    Other News- Have enjoyed work and even the commute, although a minimum 4 hours a day drive to and from won't be sustainable in the winter. Was discussing options for staying over 2 or 3 nights a week with Mrs CRV. Found somewhere via Airbnb for the cost of the daily fuel- no saving but then less wear and tear on the car and the driver!

    Then was telling a worker I met in another Team about it and was offered the option of staying at their house, at a lower cost. They are going to work out how much this will be and we'll speak next week a bit more about it. They are struggling a bit financially after changing jobs, so were considering renting a room out, but with a child want someone who has been vetted - I fit the bill as it isn't full time living there and have Enhanced DBS as part of my job requirement. So fingers crossed.

    Told workmates that I won't be going to the Christmas do. Although I'm quite sociable, I don't want a four hour round trip to sit drinking soft drinks watching everyone else get tipsy in the middle of December. So I volunteered to work nightshift that weekend, earning not spending is my plan.

    There's a fair few extra shifts available at the moment, some at overtime rates, some at bank rates (an NHS system of paying staff a fixed rate to cover shifts) which although lower than my hourly rate in my fulltime job is not something to turn your nose up at if you get a shift that attracts enhanced hours- weekends and nights. I've booked a Sunday bank day shift this month at a base closer to my home (taking me to two so far this month) and said I'm available for a Monday overtime shift in October in my Team.

    Son happy with his car, going to save for one for my other son.

    Mrs CRV discussed reducing her hours once we've established how much I'll get monthly, so we can work out exactly how much I need to put into our "monthly pot" that covers our outgoings. I'm quite keen on the idea as well, it'll reduce her work related stress, make caring for our diabetic dog easier in terms of the timing of her insulin and feeds, as well as allowing us to spend more time together- me days, her nights means we sometimes can go for regular periods of time without actually seeing each other. Even if I then pick up extra shifts to make up the shortfall, we'll at least eat and have evenings together.

    Plans for the weekend- de-clutter the Conservatory- getting it cleared out so we can get in it, then when I get Mrs CRV her jukebox for Christmas it can go in there while we ponder a bit more about demolishing it and extending the lounge it's attached to. That way the lounge will become a lounge/ dining room/ sewing room. We have to keep it as a lounge for when the boys come to visit us/ have people call up to see us (not often but it does happen!).

    Mrs CRV is busy buying singles from the 80s, to go with the several hundred we have kept from that time in our lives- neither of us have ever parted with any of our records! Going through our combined collections means we're bound to have several duplicates I'm sure.

    My lawnmower still hasn't arrived, so the lawn now looks like a meadow, but the flower beds are weeded, just one forty foot border to go.

    Well I'm off to have a cuppa then de-cluttering begins again!

    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
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