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Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

Including Financial Independence and Retiring Early (FIRE)
saechunu
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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35475

Postby saechunu » March 1st, 2017, 4:07 pm

Just had a medical which involved being asked lifestyle questions including employment related...

"Well I'm sort of retired" prompted a puzzled look. "I run an investment portfolio" didn't help much. "It's not like Trading Places - I just hold a bunch of stuff and hardly ever buy or sell anything. Just read quite a lot. And work the dog. Not stressful". Sensing progress I expanded on it a little, "Anyone who has a defined contribution pension scheme will probably end up doing something similar - I'm just doing it earlier in life". Totally blank look so called a halt.

tjh290633
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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35501

Postby tjh290633 » March 1st, 2017, 5:42 pm

TedSwippet wrote:Thinking back, how often have you heard or read some variant of the phrase "... lucky enough to have a decent pension"? As if the entire thing was created entirely out of pure good fortune, and with no element at all of doing without and sacrificing current consumption for future financial security.

Good point, Ted. There is no doubt that those of us whom were fortunate to have worked for a major company, with a good pension scheme, for a decent number of years have an inbuilt advantage. Another factor is the entitlement to the maximum amount of SERP, which occurred in 1997, whether contracted in or out, adds a substantial amount to one's State Pension because of the indexation provisions.

But above and beyond that, if one had decided to save a certain amount outside the pension schemes, using PEPs and ISAs when they became available, it was possible to have additional income available, from the investments made. What is more, that income could increase at a faster rate than that from typical pension schemes or annuities.

There is no doubt that dedicated saving into pension funds and outside has a major effect. That dedicated saving was achieved by careful control of expenditure so that a surplus was available.

TJH

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35522

Postby DiamondEcho » March 1st, 2017, 6:55 pm

MaraMan wrote:Interesting thread. I struggle to make a decision about retiring to be honest. I am 55, still do a largely unrewarding but highly paid job, have a nice mortgage free house, decent amounts in ISAs and Pensions, but have what seems to be a far from frugal lifestyle. Think I will retire soon but am worried that the shock of a significant fall in annual "income" will be an even bigger shock to the system, although I hasten to add we won't be on our uppers. Its very difficult to know how much income we will "need" in retirement. I guess its down to how much discretionary spending you want/need. We enjoy a lot of travel, high end cruises, flying in the front of the plane, that sort of thing. We do what we want, and get what we want, when we want. The idea of a retired frugal lifestyle doesn't really float my boat, of course though this is no criticism of those for whom that is either an enjoyable reality or a realistic aspiration.
Each to their own I suppose, just not sure what my own is at the moment. I will probably just jump in and see if I can swim.
By the way we have 4 adult children between us and they are convinced we are loaded so we will need a way to manage expectations with them.
MM


I compleeetly hear you on the 'how much' question, it's pretty terrifying IMO, suddenly you're on your own.
A couple of things I found and accepted, was, I have the most expensive house I am likely to ever wish to own [largely mortgage free], so since I eventually intend to move away from London to cheaper areas that's an additional asset that will release funds in due course.
Once you're out of the career and milieu of people daily having to demonstrate/live/flag your wealth and income - it will take time to adjust - but you will be just as happy living on far less. In a way there is far less or no pressure to 'keep up with the Jones'' if you don't wish there to be.
Re: 'how much', there is a good budget estimator on the website moneysavingexpert. Give it a go :) The first time you do it it seems impossible to answer: what you expect to spend on holidays, on food, on cars, utilities, dining out etc? Took me about 3 versions before I thought I had a ballpark on it. But the result might really surprise you. It did me, I imagined I'd be ££ to 'run' in retirement, but costing it carefully it looks much less than I'd imagined.
I found [and still do] the more challenging step not how much can I spend in retirement whilst maintaining the capital income-earning pot, but how much can I additionally spend down the capital so I leave minimal sums to be inherited after my/my wife's demise. I haven't thought that through further but as time goes on and as travel, luxuries etc get reigned in I imagine it'll get additional focus.
ps. Your last point, can't help, I was brought up told I'd inherit nothing [even if that turns out to be untrue], and in a way I'd wish not to - I'd rather those who earned it enjoyed it, and I might feel saddened if they were eventually not able to do that.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35538

Postby Snakey » March 1st, 2017, 8:18 pm

It's often socially sensible to downplay your success in today's hate-the-evil-rich climate. I used to say it with metaphorically gritted teeth - yes aren't I "lucky", nothing to do with all the hard work and study and saving while you were living it large and laughing at me for being a no-life loser - but on reflection there is something in it. I am not lucky compared to the guy on the next desk who gets paid the same as me and spends it all on his lifestyle. We both made a choice which came with a cost and a benefit. But I am lucky, financially, compared to somebody with an IQ of 90 and no particular skill or talent, who works just as hard as me but is on minimum wage, and I don't want to rub it in.

It seems the consensus is that it's a non-issue in practice, which is a relief anyway.

It's also socially sensible to pretend that you don't care in the least whether you inherit or not, but I think that most people can't help but factor their "expectations" in to their idle thoughts about what their future lives might look like. If you are planning to die with just two coins to put on your eyes it would be nice to let the kids know this asap, just in case they might be daft enough to make decisions based on somehow being "OK" on retirement thanks to you popping your clogs round about then.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35542

Postby vrdiver » March 1st, 2017, 8:28 pm

MaraMan wrote:Interesting thread. I struggle to make a decision about retiring to be honest. I am 55, still do a largely unrewarding but highly paid job, have a nice mortgage free house, decent amounts in ISAs and Pensions, but have what seems to be a far from frugal lifestyle. Think I will retire soon but am worried that the shock of a significant fall in annual "income" will be an even bigger shock to the system, although I hasten to add we won't be on our uppers. Its very difficult to know how much income we will "need" in retirement. I guess its down to how much discretionary spending you want/need. We enjoy a lot of travel, high end cruises, flying in the front of the plane, that sort of thing. We do what we want, and get what we want, when we want. The idea of a retired frugal lifestyle doesn't really float my boat, of course though this is no criticism of those for whom that is either an enjoyable reality or a realistic aspiration.
Each to their own I suppose, just not sure what my own is at the moment. I will probably just jump in and see if I can swim.
By the way we have 4 adult children between us and they are convinced we are loaded so we will need a way to manage expectations with them.
MM


Before we "retired" we kept a detailed expenditure log for a few years. I recorded if costs were work related or personal so as to be able to strip out employment costs, but then we also put back in "free time" costs. If you want 6 long-haul trips a year, plus associated costs, then estimate a cost (roughly). If you want to have 10 weekend city breaks, add those in. By creating a plan of what you might want to do, you can come up with a budget. It will be a bit rough-and-ready, but then so what?

Our plan assumes we live forever, so no dipping into the capital: it has to grow by inflation and we skim off the excess growth (standard HYP, nothing exciting) so we also have an income safety margin which, if there are no disasters means we get a "pay rise" as the excess earnings come in, but don't hit the buffers if the market has a few grumpy years.

We also put in place a "retirement toy fund" that represented money we'd spend in the first few years experimenting with different hobbies. That could be residential courses, flying lessons, recreational vehicles, etc etc.

One of the nice things about early retirement is that you have much more freedom to "get what you want, when you want" without paying through the nose for it. We enjoy travel, but tend to avoid popular places during school holidays. We have other things to do then! You may also find that having control over your own time means you don't need some of the stress-relief-spending that pressure promotes.

You mention children: would be good to figure out in your own minds what you plan re inheritance (gifting to charities, or do the kids get a look-in?) Once that decision is figured out, then you can work on minimising IHT / helping the kids whilst they can still thank you etc. but also, retiring early allows you to get a grip on your real post-work lifestyle and therefore your ability to gift away excess capital etc.

Whatever you do, enjoy it and don't get stuck in the "could've" connundrums....

VRD

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35667

Postby BarrenFluffit » March 2nd, 2017, 12:05 pm

Work ends up as a strange lens that distorts how you see things. So you seem to spend much more because you don't have much time and some things are appealing because you don't have the time to do them. The appeal of luxury travel is a bit like this.
Also owning stuff imposes an overhead and has to be managed; experiences at least are low maintenance.

Certainly going through a years bank statements and classifying stuff gives a decent handle on where it goes. It doesn't have to be precise (which saves a lot of mucking around with poorly described items) It seems that PFS is Petrol Filling Station for instance.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35676

Postby TheRIT » March 2nd, 2017, 12:30 pm

vrdiver wrote:...
Our plan assumes we live forever, so no dipping into the capital: it has to grow by inflation and we skim off the excess growth (standard HYP, nothing exciting) so we also have an income safety margin which, if there are no disasters means we get a "pay rise" as the excess earnings come in, but don't hit the buffers if the market has a few grumpy years.
...

Could you share a little more on this topic:
- What withdrawal rate in % do you think is sustainable to not draw on the capital including allowing for bear markets?
- Are you just HYP or do you have other income streams? Eg A balanced portfolio which might include bonds or property, a nice juicy DB pension scheme etc

I'm personally about to FIRE at age 44. I have a balanced portfolio which is crudely 60% equities : 40% bonds but actually includes cash, REIT's, gold. I want my wealth to stay flat in inflation adjusted terms over an infinite period and have settled on a withdrawal rate of 2.5%. I'm assuming no State Pension in my calculations and I have no other backstops like a DB pension or an inheritance due in a few years.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35686

Postby LadyGagarin » March 2nd, 2017, 1:15 pm

Fascinating thread, thanks. A few thoughts:

Firstly, please don't be tempted to lie to your nearest and dearest about what you do. My circumstances are very different but I have had a(n ex) partner lie to me for months about still having a job - I only found out when he blurted the truth out to a friend whilst I was standing there and I later found out he had been contributing to our bills off his credit cards. This was one of several factors (though not the only one) contributing to the breakdown of our relationship. It wasn't so much the money but the question "How can I possibly share my financial life with someone who won't be honest with me?"

As regards children's expectations, again it's better to be honest and lead them not to expect an inheritance; even if you are relatively wealthy, if you live long enough you may need to pay for care and that could quickly deplete any assets. So they will regard anything they do receive as a bonus.

As an aside, I am a fairly low earner (£14.5k) and my reading of this page is through purely academic interest - therefore I expect to be working for as long as I'm physically able - but it has never occurred to me to be envy those who have managed their finances well enough to retire early. My landlord has just retired in his early 50s - but he has been working 70-hour week for many years and looks at least 10 years older than his real age.

Those I do resent are the ones who (a) flaunt their wealth ostentatiously, (b) suggest I am worth less as a person/lazy/irresponsible because I don't pay as much tax, (c) accuse me of being a spendthrift because I find it a struggle to live on a third of their income. It's all about sensitivity and common politeness - and if anyone criticises you after observing those three guidelines, they're not worth caring about IMVHO.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35702

Postby dealtn » March 2nd, 2017, 1:48 pm

Thanks to all for making an interesting thread.

I was made redundant last year at the age of 46. I am pretty certain that will be my last employment although I haven't been broadcasting that fact. I can genuinely say I am happy and not missing work (it's even worse now apparently from what I have picked up from infrequent encounters with ex-colleagues). To date no-one has really questioned what I do. It's only really family and friends, and they all know that I put in the hours, studied for and got additional qualifications etc., and in the main (when it happened and I said I was in no hurry to find another job) were very supportive and said I deserved my "year out". In time some will no doubt begin to ask questions, although maybe only to themselves and not to me directly.

I expect in time I will discover new hobbies, which may lead to some form of self-employment, but I am happy to be an "asset manager" with me (and wife) as the sole-client. My wife is a bit more traditional in thinking than me, and in truth doesn't know how much we are worth financially, so I think will be expecting me to return to formal employment at some point. She loves her job, has no interest in "money matters" and absolutely trusts me in looking after that side of things. I have said she could stop working too as we don't need the money, but she laughs it off, and wouldn't give up her job anyway.

My mental health has improved many fold, and looking back now it's amazing to realise how mentally ill work was making me. So I may have given up (future) financial wealth, but I feel wealthier generally as a result, and definitely healthier. Not everyone has the same choice that I have, but whilst, no doubt, there has been some luck along the way, I feel these are at least compensated for by sacrifices also that others would have chosen not to make, so I have no guilt about life's outcome.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35713

Postby DiamondEcho » March 2nd, 2017, 2:19 pm

TheRIT wrote:
vrdiver wrote:...
Our plan assumes we live forever, so no dipping into the capital: it has to grow by inflation and we skim off the excess growth (standard HYP, nothing exciting) so we also have an income safety margin which, if there are no disasters means we get a "pay rise" as the excess earnings come in, but don't hit the buffers if the market has a few grumpy years.
...

Could you share a little more on this topic:
- What withdrawal rate in % do you think is sustainable to not draw on the capital including allowing for bear markets?
- Are you just HYP or do you have other income streams? Eg A balanced portfolio which might include bonds or property, a nice juicy DB pension scheme etc


I'm quoting the above as it highlights the issue of drawing down capital [or not].
@VRD re: the withdrawal rate%. Presumably taking just the income with the capital untouched would meet your suggestion. That would be HYPish which AFAIR never addressed what happens to the capital when you pop your clogs.
On which note given the capital should have grown over it's lifetime, and perhaps considerably, is the suggestion under HYP that you leave all the capital to others? Even if there is no one you consider needing or deserving of it? That wouldn't sound particularly Foolish to me...

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35715

Postby MaraMan » March 2nd, 2017, 2:32 pm

I don't want to clog up this great discussion, but just to offer a quick thank you to those who offered wise and helpful advice. It has very much set me thinking, as have other's stories about the afterlife (as it were - post work). I suspect events may rapidly overtake any voluntary decision so its very helpful for me to start to get my mind in order and plan in the light of the advice from the wise fellow Fools.

MM

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35771

Postby vrdiver » March 2nd, 2017, 6:56 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:
TheRIT wrote:
vrdiver wrote:...
Our plan assumes we live forever, so no dipping into the capital: it has to grow by inflation and we skim off the excess growth (standard HYP, nothing exciting) so we also have an income safety margin which, if there are no disasters means we get a "pay rise" as the excess earnings come in, but don't hit the buffers if the market has a few grumpy years.
...

Could you share a little more on this topic:
- What withdrawal rate in % do you think is sustainable to not draw on the capital including allowing for bear markets?
- Are you just HYP or do you have other income streams? Eg A balanced portfolio which might include bonds or property, a nice juicy DB pension scheme etc


I'm quoting the above as it highlights the issue of drawing down capital [or not].
@VRD re: the withdrawal rate%. Presumably taking just the income with the capital untouched would meet your suggestion. That would be HYPish which AFAIR never addressed what happens to the capital when you pop your clogs.
On which note given the capital should have grown over it's lifetime, and perhaps considerably, is the suggestion under HYP that you leave all the capital to others? Even if there is no one you consider needing or deserving of it? That wouldn't sound particularly Foolish to me...


TheRIT
My assumption is that the portfolio of dividends will keep pace with inflation and that we draw down 75% of dividends, leaving 25% to be reinvested or to top up cash reserves should the market have slumped and recovered. We currently have a three year cash buffer, so could survive a 50% market crash for six years, (forfeiting pay rises) or longer if the market starts to heal after a year or two. We could also tighten our belts for a while, deferring discretionary spend if necessary should it be a really bad crash.

The HYP portfolio currently yields over 4.5%, but that waxes and wanes according to price movements. I don't worry about "safe withdrawal rates" as it's dividend withdrawal, not capital withdrawal, so nothing to compute, provided my "dividend growth EQ or GT than inflation" assumption holds true. I do look at RPI-X each year and use that to check whether my assumption is true; so far so good, and by quite a big margin, but I expect leaner years to erode the gain over time.

We're fully HYP. If the state pension still exists and isn't means tested by the time we get there (13 years, which isn't long for a government to figure out how to avoid electoral suicide if they remove the state pension, especially if it's a Conservative one removing it from their own voters) then it will be a bonus.


DiamondEcho
At some point I expect me or Mrs VRD to either go gaga or become frail and in need of care. At that point the capital will probably take a hit, but then we will be in the final rounds of the game of life and the capital really won't matter any more!

I did calculate a range of capital run-out ages (120 being a nice target to aim at!) and in reality it made about 6% difference to our annual income, simply as a function of early retirement and the cumulative years it was depleted for. As we get older, the % impact on income will become more pronounced, so it may get reviewed, but not for a decade or two.

Capital growth, assuming the 25% dividend reinvestment suggests a real growth of about 1% year-on-year. If we don't use it for care-in-old-age, then it will give our heirs a bit of a boost, as well as helping a couple of charities. I prefer that scenario than living on a means-tested state pension because I got the SWR wrong and there was a bear market early on in our retirement.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35784

Postby dspp » March 2nd, 2017, 7:38 pm

LadyGagarin wrote: It's all about sensitivity and common politeness - and if anyone criticises you after observing those three guidelines, they're not worth caring about IMVHO.


Very well said LG.

regards, dspp

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#35806

Postby TheRIT » March 2nd, 2017, 9:14 pm

vrdiver wrote:TheRIT
My assumption is that the portfolio of dividends will keep pace with inflation and that we draw down 75% of dividends, leaving 25% to be reinvested or to top up cash reserves should the market have slumped and recovered. We currently have a three year cash buffer, so could survive a 50% market crash for six years, (forfeiting pay rises) or longer if the market starts to heal after a year or two. We could also tighten our belts for a while, deferring discretionary spend if necessary should it be a really bad crash.

The HYP portfolio currently yields over 4.5%, but that waxes and wanes according to price movements. I don't worry about "safe withdrawal rates" as it's dividend withdrawal, not capital withdrawal, so nothing to compute, provided my "dividend growth EQ or GT than inflation" assumption holds true. I do look at RPI-X each year and use that to check whether my assumption is true; so far so good, and by quite a big margin, but I expect leaner years to erode the gain over time.

We're fully HYP. If the state pension still exists and isn't means tested by the time we get there (13 years, which isn't long for a government to figure out how to avoid electoral suicide if they remove the state pension, especially if it's a Conservative one removing it from their own voters) then it will be a bonus.
...

Thanks for the detailed response. We're actually a little alike. 75% of 4.5% is 3.4% so I'm a little more risk averse with my 2.5% and bonds/property/gold on top of the equities. I'm also looking for 3 years of cash at FIRE. I'm also spending less than the dividend yield of my portfolio with the aim being to bolster the cash reserves in the good times and deplete them (somewhat) in the bad times.

Longtermyieldman
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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#37009

Postby Longtermyieldman » March 7th, 2017, 8:39 pm

SalvorHardin wrote:I have a lot of experience with pretending to still be working, having retired some 13 years ago just before turning 40 thanks to stock market profits (thank you Soco, amongst others). Retiring at 39 is way too early to explain without saying "I made a ton of money" so I established a cover.

My immediate family know what is going on. If you live with other people it is almost impossible to successfully pretend to be working unless you act like you are still working. You'd have to act like those people who continue to commute to and from "work" after losing their job because they can't bear to tell their spouse.

As far as my friends and other relatives know (since I retired) is that I became a self-employed consultant and writer on a variety of extremely boring financial matters (I think of this as my "fake job"). My "clients" demand confidentiality whilst my writing is done under a pseudonym or appears under someone else's much better known name.

It is hard (to put it mildly) to prove that I am not what I say I am, especially because I did similar work for most of my working life. It's easy to fake being a self-employed engineer if you were an engineer when you worked - it isn't so easy if you were a taxi driver. I do this because some people may react adversely if they knew that I am retired ("how can he afford it?", jealousy, etc.).

I strongly recommend making a fake job as uninteresting as possible because people rarely enquire further about boring matters. It is easy for me to make people glaze over when I start talking about technical accounting, legal and actuarial topics - on the rare occasions when I have been asked about work that person gets bored with my answer.

Occasionally I reinforce the pretence by cancelling something because of work (e.g. I can't go down the pub tonight due to a client deadline). Client confidentiality is another good defence whilst my occasional trips to London are great for reinforcing the pretence (they are for "work').

I have been greatly helped by my last five years of work being in London whilst the rest of my life is in rural West Country. The only connection between the two lives was me!

Recently I moved into semi-retirement by cutting back on my fake work. No-one has questioned this. Once my cover was established it has never been questioned, except once when I let something slip - that was followed by a four day trip to London for "work" to reinforce my cover.


I grinned from ear to ear when I read your post, for two reasons. First, it reminded me of a chapter in Hunter Davies' book, Living on the Lottery, which chronicled the lives of some of the early winners of big jackpots in the National Lottery. One guy from a working-class background, many of whom's relatives would have leeched off him had they thought he'd made it big, made up a fantastic cover story: he told his folks he'd been given a job as a handyman for some rich guy, looking after his house as he was in tax exile most of the year. This enabled him to buy a huge country house, Range Rover, the lot, and live the life of the gentry, without them suspecting a thing.

Second, it reminded me of myself. Many of my own relates are what might cynically be seen as potential candidates for Channel 5 fly-on-the-wall documentaries about long-term benefit claimants. If they knew I'd retired aged 45 with a few million invested, they'd want a chunk of it. Worse, if I gave it to them, they'd burn their way through it, and want more. And if I refused? They would never forgive me.

So I follow an approach similar to yours. I tell them I advise people on financial matters and help them with their investments. They don't understand it, never could, so they can't question it. Kindest solution, in an imperfect situation.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#37070

Postby gbjbaanb » March 8th, 2017, 1:42 am

So longtermyieldman, err, can you spare a few quid..... :-)

I am considering fire myself, but as someone particularly risk averse, I do worry about the amount required for long term living with only my assets for company. But that's my problem, for everyone else who may also be a little concerned about their living expenses, I can recommend Microsoft Money, it's a free download now and you can import back and cc statements into it to figure out how much you actually spend. (No doubt other products are available)

It makes a huge difference to retirement if you can see what you spend right now.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#37074

Postby DiamondEcho » March 8th, 2017, 7:06 am

I haven't tried MS-Money but I'd recommend MoneySavingExpert https://budgetbrain.moneysavingexpert.c ... it/2130165

It in Excel and prompts you to go through your income and expense at a granular level. It's also written from a British perspective so has line-items for British things: council tax, ISAs, TV license and so on which might otherwise be forgotten. So I went through the past couple of years spending and considered that. I also thought about large irregular items of spending that need to be budgeted for, like having the house 'externals' done every 5-7 years, ie having the outside of the house repainted + associated repairs. Once I'd done that it was certainly food for thought... I'm cheaper to run that I'd imagined!

I then took it a step further. As my wife currently works our finances are pretty split. Her employer currently pays our rent, but she also mostly keeps her own income as do I. So for retirement purposes [hers not mine I expect :)] I needed to budget for her expenses. She resisted that, several times, it's not in her nature. So instead, knowing her salary I estimated her outgoings; estimating is better than omitting IMO.

I then took it another step further. I considered how we aim to live in retirement with how we currently live, and sought to incorporate any major differences. That's an interesting process as you're projecting your future lifestyle and needs. Less commuting, less formal-wear, more holidays, and what kind of car etc? From all of that I got hopefully a reasonable estimated household budget. It took a couple of mornings to pull it all together but was absolutely worth the time. Reason being: I have always been a saver, it's just in my blood and I've never considered retirement, so I save the majority of my income. But you can't take it with you, and have you slogged all your penny-wise life to leave your pot to others who don't need it? So it highlights where you can reduce outgoings but knowing your est. £x income needs you can estimate say a passive 5% investment income [HYP?] and hence take £x*20 as the amount of capital you need to generate it. That was another revelation for me, I've been saving and investing for 25 years but had never considered what the required end-point, the target was. Seems a curious yet major omission but perhaps it just seemed too nebulous, scary, hard to estimate. I recall being apprehensive before I started the process, but I found it rewarding and even quite liberating. Which reminds me it is 2 years since I last went through the process, so it's perhaps time I run an eye over it again, make any tweaks and check we're still on track.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#154716

Postby SalvorHardin » July 24th, 2018, 2:39 pm

A bit of thread necromancy. This is a useful thread, dealing with early retirement and how much you tell people, so newcomers might like to go back to the start. In my case as a very early retiree (just before turning 40) I've avoided telling anyone unless absolutely necessary, even going as far as to create a cover of fake self-employment!

Anyway I turned 55 earlier this month, which meant that I could finally draw on my pension fund. It's a tiny fund so I took it all in cash. This gave me a topic of conversation where I could test the waters by laughing about the tiny pension that I could now draw (about £250 per year). As I suspected the reaction of the people who I didn't want to know that I had retired convinced me that I should continue to maintain the cover of my fake job (which requires very little work nowadays).

Talk about bureaucracy though. Whilst the company was highly efficient when it came to processing the paperwork, I had to answer a lengthy series of questions on two occasions so that they could tick the boxes that I had been informed about the risks, notably including being scammed. That I was a retired pensions Actuary made no difference, though it generated some laughs!

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#162271

Postby Pipsmum » August 26th, 2018, 8:10 pm

Wonderful thread thank you.

Self employed and work from home would be my answer. Then upon further questioning on the topic of what, it would be 'this and that' and a joke about doing anything anyone gives me money for. Then another about being an arts prostitute for the same reason. Hubby works extremely hard with his own business but pays his staff before himself when the chips are down. We don't have oodles of dosh floating about, but we do slowly accumulate possessions by being careful and canny.

I'm not retired but neither am I employed, so I'm somewhere in the no mans land of really meaning it, saying that I'm doing 'this and that'.

I've been chief carer to the kids for years and now am carer for my parents on and off. I'm certainly very, very busy every single day and my time is not spent being lazy excepting on a rare holiday. I can be doing totally different things from one week to the next. I can be letting a room, making a cushion, painting a picture, designing a logo, baking a cake, selling crap on ebay... and because of you wonderful lot, making a bob or two on shares now. Or more often, actually losing a bob or two as well. It actually takes lots of time to organise paperwork and stay on top of things.

I met a chap at a party once who upon being asked, said he was a funeral director. However it generated so much genuine interest from me that he admitted in the end that he was a financial consultant but that it was so very boring that he daren't say so because he could see peoples faces glazing over as he said it. So maybe that will do.

Most people only want to talk about themselves anyway so more often the question can be turned back on them.

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Re: Sunday afternoon musings: Not telling anybody

#162284

Postby DiamondEcho » August 26th, 2018, 9:07 pm

Pipsmum wrote:Most people only want to talk about themselves anyway so more often the question can be turned back on them.


I'm not sure it's 'want' ie. implying active choice, I think it's more instinctive. I remember going on some kind of course when in outplacement re: networking, that might have been called 'The structure/path of inter-personal discussion' or similar. The single biggest thing I still remember is how when trying to flatter a person in conversation you effectively just listen to them, at length. And occasionally bounce 'confirmatory questions' back at them.

A. 'We were in southern France for 3 weeks, the weather was awesome. Driving there is easiest'
B. 'So you'd suggest driving down that way would you?'
A. [etc]
B. [And just let it roll onwards, cue-up and listen].

As simple as that [and so on]. It lets a person who wants to speak just get on a roll, and feel like they're being listened to, and with interest. But a surprising thing is '''psychological tests' have shown people conversationally groomed like this leave feeling they've had a notably rewarding 2-way discussion, even if has been almost entirely 1-way. Furthermore, they will feel more positive towards you, when they've done much or most of the speaking. [weird eh!?]. I've used this in a social setting, where someone new I met who appeared to want to talk, I just queued him up and let him talk. BUT, another time I also once encountered a person who was surprisingly alert to the to/fro, and really worked to get as much from me as me him. I'd love to know now what job he had, or how he was so attentuated to the relative flow ... :)

Try it sometime. Have a chat with someone, and try and get as much from them via as little from yourself. The result might surprise you :)


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