Author Topic: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?  (Read 5647 times)

IWanttoBelieve

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Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« on: June 13, 2015, 05:04:46 AM »
Hi everyone,

I am new on this forum. I have been for a long time a proto-mustachian, able to save a lot (though nowhere near a proper mustachian) while still enjoying life and spending on things I like or even convenience services, but without succumbing to most marketing cravings.

Why am I only now lurking and appearing on these forums? Well, in the olden days, I had a lot of savings when renting and was enjoying a no-kid life knowing I could leave my work and have 5+ years of autonomy (much much more if reducing my lifestyle) if I didn't like my job or my boss. No need for Mustache then.
Then, for various reasons (personal and economic opportunity), I bought a house. And since then, I felt every single day of my life the shackle of the mortgage. I felt genuinely depressed. I could no longer decide on a whim to say "f**k you" and leave a job. I could no longer say to a CFO what was on my mind because I now NEEDED the job. Mr Mustache is right when he says free employees are the best, because they don't say what will save their job, they say what their jobs tells them to say.
And these shackles made me feel quite strongly how shackled I was by forced-work (by opposition to pleasing, non-forced work done for one's pleasure and development).

My sole goal in life (nearly) became to get rid of that mortgage. I have now hit the point where I can call the bank and get rid of that soul gutting feeling.
With the mortgage shackles gone, I can now clearly feel the forced-labour shackles. And they hurt my wrists. A lot. I am under 40, and realise that I still have 25-30 more years of work. That is stupidly insane.
I look at my dad who started working at 17 and still works, still HAS to work even though he is nearing 75!
I don't want a life of slavery.

Option 1 is to increase revenue: do more silly work, be more proactive, be better, stronger, faster = be even more of a slave and have less time for myself and my family. Or go the entrepreneurship road, work like a madman and *maybe* succeed in getting a one-off or stream of payments that allow us to reach freedom.
Option 2 is to try the Mustachian Way and ask for your good advice.

So my question is: can I retire soon on my savings (excluding pensions which would be a buffer), and if yes when and how? Or am I doomed to bear the shackles for another 30 years?

Life situation: 2 adults, 2 kids (<8yo). I am the only breadwinner. Live in the UK

Salary/wages: tax is taken from payroll, so my net take-home pay is currently about 43k / year. I am eligible for bonus payments, and they can range anywhere from 0 to 3k per year, so I tend to ignore them and treat them as a good news if they fall. In parallel, through my and employer contribution, about 10k per year go towards my pension fund.

Other income: no material ones, maybe 200/year in tax free interests in a ISA. If I work 23 more years, I would be eligible for social security of 5k or 6k per year.

Expenses

* mortgage: 965 /m but since I can/will repay it in the next 30 days, it will go to zero. Interest part is minimal currently as it is an offset mortgage with less than 6k net outstanding value.
* phone: 10/m for 2 mobile lines
* internet: 55 / month for unlimited download at 72Mb speed. I expect to be able to reduce this to 25/m towards end of summer or early fall as I can take advantage of a special offer then.
* electricity: 38/m just renegotiated
* gas: 56/m just renegotiated
* water: 38/m
* gas services (boiler yearly installation and emergency cover): 22/m
* council tax: 132/m
* gym: 28/m Now this one is a tricky one. I was a slob for 20+ year, then started running last year. However, I keep getting injured, and when I do, I can only do cycling or elliptical. I hate cycling and can't see myself finding the room in my house for an elliptical (and can't imagine training at 5am and waking up the house and neighbours). So I feel I am stuck with this expense, which is wasted when I am fit (why would any healthy person go to a gym instead of going outside?)
* British heritage: 7/m. Got suckered into this one... will force myself to visit a couple of castles, then will cancel at renewal.
* Groceries. Estimated about 588 per month. That's a lot. But then again, we made the choice of going primal/paleo, which means a lot of fresh vegetables rather than cheap pasta/bread/rice. Lots of nuts. Average amount of meat. Since we are not strict, we do still do the odd home made bread (without a bread machine). Everything is organic, and meat is grass fed. We don't buy washing powders or other expensive stuff, we do our own washing machine liquid with soap. Things like toilet paper in bulk from Costco. We don't know how to reduce without compromising quality. Our current best plan is to invest in a chest freezer to be able to buy meat/veg in bigger bulks and prepare home food in batches to be frozen.
* car fuel: 140/month. It's a Prius, but still has a 50/60 miles round trip commute 4 to 5 days a week.
* restaurants: 60 per month. Seems reasonable for once a month for a family of 4.
* clothing: 150 per month. Honestly, this one I don't know how to budget because we often spend months without ever spending a single penny, then suddenly both kids outgrow their clothes and hoes (even eBay is as expensive a new cloth!!) or we have to renew stuff because they crumbled to dust. This also accounts for replacing my suits when they die or changing running shoes when they get bad. I might be actually spending only 200 per year for all I know. Have started tracking in more detail this field.
* car insurance 26/m
* car repair fund: 21/m I think I spend more with annual service and the fact that those british B roads are killing my tires. I end up spending 400 on tires alone every 1 to 2 years!
* dental for 2: 50/m absolute necessity for me.
* TV licence: 12/m
* Home insurance: 29/m
* beer: 12/m I like nice British ales at 1.8 per pint
* subs (grocer, Costco, Amazon Prime): about 20 per month.
* Gifts, birthdays: 50/m. No idea how much in reality, but 2 kids, 2 adults, 4 grandparents, uncles, nieces, cousins, birthdays, Christmas, and kids being invited to birthday parties all add up.
* mandatory holidays: parents live in 2 other countries. 2 trip per year to see them (beyond skype) and make sure our kids see their grandparents while they are alive cost us about 3k per year.
* family holiday: 500 per year. Although it would be sad, this one can easily be reduced to zero.
* car payment: 256/m. My biggest sin. I admit it. I always owned 4-5 y-o cars for dirt cheap. My car fund was 100/m, allowing me to spend 6k every 5 years: But then  happened to be one of the rare people on earth who had their Prius die on them. Clueless technicians. So I did the unthinkable and bought a nearly new Prius+... Vanity? Or hope to avoid technical problems?


Liabilities:

* Mortgage:: 6k made of 52k gross mortgage and 46k offset savings
* car debt: about 13k
* credit card: today about 2k, but I pay it in full when statement come out.

Assets:

* current/ easy access savings: 14k
* ISA (a tax free account in the UK, but you can only add a fixed amount to it every year): 21k, delivering 1.5% net (2.5% equivalent gross interest rate)
* pension funds: 43k, can't touch before 55 year old I think. Split bonds/stocks 35/65
* Car: 15k? Let's say 13k..
* House: 350k estimated sell value, 380 to 400k if I invest about 20k of work in it



My summary

Feels to me like at this stage, with about 25k per year of spend and 43 of guaranteed inflow, I would need 625k in bank which would take me almost 35 years. So I could retire on my cash alone... 10 year after the legal age! Sure I'd have more retirement money (the stash, the pension and the social security), but I would have wasted most of my life.....
Even reducing permanently my spending by 5k would mean I still have 21 years to get to freedom. That means retiring only a few years in advance of legal age.

I am missing a trick, and I can't get my head around it. Or it's already too late for me?
Other things to also take into consideration, I'd really want to have about 20k per kid (40k total) set aside for them to either fund their university or go entrepreneur if they so wish. That's another saving.
The other bit is that house work. I suck at DIY. I beyond suck (even though my father s a DIY god). Should I spend 20k (which includes silly amount of labour costs) in doing up the house? On one hand, if it increases property value by twice the amount, it's still useless if I don't sell. But on the other hand, I'd enjoy a nicer house, without leaky taps and rotten but functional kitchen/bathrooms.
I could move nearer to work, but friction costs are high in the UK (stamp duty) and would take a few years to make up in petrol (remember, I have a Prius) AND would assume that I keep my job in the same company for another X years making the shackles even heavier.

Thanks in advance for your help (or your punches?)






Thegoblinchief

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2015, 06:57:46 AM »
Except for things you've already noted, none of your spending leaps off the page as egregious, but there's probably a lot of small optimizations to be done that could save a few thousand per year.

1. Raises - do you get them? People often forget that income generally rises each year, which speeds time to FI.

2. Investment compounding - can't know what the market WILL do, but average growth will see your assets accumulate faster.

3. Geographic arbitrage - willing to move to another country? Cheaper section of the UK? There's a lot of potential value to tap in that house to buy either a cheaper house or move somewhere with cheap rents. The value you have tied up in the house is more than half of what my family would need to live our current lifestyle (assuming still paying for housing) here in a mid/low COL area of the US.

IWanttoBelieve

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2015, 07:40:54 AM »
Except for things you've already noted, none of your spending leaps off the page as egregious, but there's probably a lot of small optimizations to be done that could save a few thousand per year.

1. Raises - do you get them? People often forget that income generally rises each year, which speeds time to FI.

2. Investment compounding - can't know what the market WILL do, but average growth will see your assets accumulate faster.

3. Geographic arbitrage - willing to move to another country? Cheaper section of the UK? There's a lot of potential value to tap in that house to buy either a cheaper house or move somewhere with cheap rents. The value you have tied up in the house is more than half of what my family would need to live our current lifestyle (assuming still paying for housing) here in a mid/low COL area of the US.

1- haven't for a few years, am nearing my glass/competence/incompetence ceiling I guess. Might get one this year, but don't expect more than a few k net improvement; Afterwards, I'd assume keeping flat with inflation at best.
2- true. With the 7% net return above inflation figure I see quoted here and there, then yes, it would be a bit better. Circa 15 years. Assuming I can indeed outperform inflation AND get get 7% after tax.
3- not in the plans for early retirements. The family has roots in many countries, including the sunny south of France where things are quite a bit cheaper, so could be a solution (though I'd need to understand how to hedge against exchange fluctuations). Moving in the UK could also be a solution once ER is possible.

StockBeard

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2015, 01:30:20 PM »
*** Travels/holiday
This is going to sound tough, but: I'm in a similar situation as you, with both our families living in different countries than ours.
We've made the tough choice that 2 trips abroad a year is *too* expensive for us, also too difficult with the kids. We've cut down to 1 trip a year, and we alternate the families. (my parents one year, her parents the next year). you would go from $3K a year to 1.5k. These trips abroad ALSO count as our family vacation, so your 500 a year I would cut. Maybe replace the 500 with a staycation.

That's an additional 2K you save a year. Look into those numbers, see how faster it makes you FI, and ask yourself, is it worth it? Once you're FI, it's easier for you to travel to see the grandparents, but how long this is going to take depends on how much you save I guess...
Also strike a deal with the grandparents, can *they* come and see you once in a while?

*** Car
As mentioned above, feels like you live too far from your work. Any way you can move, or change job? (I know this one's always tough)

*** Side gig
I personally have a side gig. It used to be minimal, passive income. Now I'm aggressively working on it. This means an additional 4h of work every day, but so far with promising results. I could be removing 5 to 10 years from my goals thanks to it. If you have a side business idea, and you can afford to spend 1h a day on it initially, I would give it a try. For me, my side business probably means I'll retire in 5 years rather than 15, so I'm willing to make the sacrifice and spend less time with my wife and kids to do that. A side gig is a mix of luck and motivation, so it's not for everyone.

*** Others
You mentioned a bunch of other things. Groceries, etc... each one of those can probably be reduced a bit with some effort. You'll need to put in balance how much closer it gets you to FI, versus the sacrifices you make

IWanttoBelieve

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2015, 03:57:06 PM »
*** Travels/holiday
This is going to sound tough, but: I'm in a similar situation as you, with both our families living in different countries than ours.
We've made the tough choice that 2 trips abroad a year is *too* expensive for us, also too difficult with the kids. We've cut down to 1 trip a year, and we alternate the families. (my parents one year, her parents the next year). you would go from $3K a year to 1.5k. These trips abroad ALSO count as our family vacation, so your 500 a year I would cut. Maybe replace the 500 with a staycation.

That's an additional 2K you save a year. Look into those numbers, see how faster it makes you FI, and ask yourself, is it worth it? Once you're FI, it's easier for you to travel to see the grandparents, but how long this is going to take depends on how much you save I guess...
Also strike a deal with the grandparents, can *they* come and see you once in a while?

*** Car
As mentioned above, feels like you live too far from your work. Any way you can move, or change job? (I know this one's always tough)

*** Side gig
I personally have a side gig. It used to be minimal, passive income. Now I'm aggressively working on it. This means an additional 4h of work every day, but so far with promising results. I could be removing 5 to 10 years from my goals thanks to it. If you have a side business idea, and you can afford to spend 1h a day on it initially, I would give it a try. For me, my side business probably means I'll retire in 5 years rather than 15, so I'm willing to make the sacrifice and spend less time with my wife and kids to do that. A side gig is a mix of luck and motivation, so it's not for everyone.

*** Others
You mentioned a bunch of other things. Groceries, etc... each one of those can probably be reduced a bit with some effort. You'll need to put in balance how much closer it gets you to FI, versus the sacrifices you make

Thanks for the suggestions.

However, regarding travel, I really don't see it happening. I don't want to explain to my kids they saw so little of their grandparents is because I was being cheap.
Yes ideally, they would visit us. However, there are issues on both sides that makes it "complicated". Age plays a role in this unfortunately.

Regarding the car, as per my initial post, not sure how much it would save to move closer to work. The money saved would take years to payback the stamp duty (tax when you buy a house) before generating a profit. I'd enjoy more time and less commute, but then I'd be even more shackled to my current company. There are not many other similar jobs in that town or its immediate radius.

Side gig. I'd need to grow less risk averse, as I can't see myself putting in the hours for no guaranteed return. That's the joy and the burden of being an employee. It's also why they are shackles. But even the couple of ideas I have would cost a lot of time AND money and may actually be quite a waste of both. Ideally it would be a hobby that grows naturally into a revenue stream, otherwise my risk aversion would take over.


lizzigee

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2015, 04:20:55 PM »
Can your partner bring in any income? If they can find something to do from home or during school hours (depending on the ages of your children) this extra income can go straight to investing for your futures. 

Also, I agree with the earlier poster who suggested making your fanily holiday part of one of the trips to visit your parents. Just tag a couple of days of doing stuff by yourselves on at one end of the visit. Or do day trips from your home during the year. If they are under 8 then time spent together should be more important than going expensive places.

Edited for typos

IWanttoBelieve

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2015, 04:35:25 PM »
Can your partner bring in any income? If they can find something to do from home or during school hours (depending on the ages of your children) this extra income can go straight to investing for your futures. 

Also, I agree with the earlier poster who suggested making your fanily holiday part of one of the trips to visit your parents. Just tag a couple of days of doing stuff by yourselves on at one end of the visit. Or do day trips from your home during the year. If they are under 8 then time spent together should be more important than going expensive places.

Edited for typos

Yeah, an extra income would be great if we could figure a fulfilling job that only requires 9:30 to 15:00 type hours ;)
Or a work from home job that is not a scam.

For family holiday, I agree, it's likely to be the one easy thing to be saved.
It wasn't anything fancy like going abroad. It's the simple cost of going in England somewhere, even using AirBnB.. Just 6 nights, plus the fuel, plus a few restaurants (living on sandwiches instead of sampling local produce is a bit sad for me) = easily a 500 budget.

Genevieve

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2015, 06:55:50 PM »
All the areas mentioned above will shave off some amount of expenses. However, it seems like you might have already hit the balance point where you are getting a lot of value out of each of your expenses. If you think you get your money's worth out of them, then it just means more working. You might be able to shave off a little bit here and there, but not significant amounts.

The easiest thing would be for your partner to start bringing in some income. If they have to commit to certain hours due to your schedule, it's always possible for them to start a business. Many people start small businesses even with kids at home. And if the kids are really young now, even more time will free up for bringing in income as they reach school age.

Another option: you switch jobs to make more money.

StockBeard

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2015, 08:31:52 PM »
Ideally it would be a hobby that grows naturally into a revenue stream, otherwise my risk aversion would take over.
This is how it happened for me. Whatever your hobbies, if you're paying for it, there are probably ways you can be on the other side of the fence. Regarding risk aversion: same as you. I made a point to keep my 9 to 5 job for as long as it pays *more* than my hobby and as long as I'm not FI. (my day job pays much more than my hobby, so I'll probably be FI first)

lizzigee

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2015, 08:33:21 PM »
"Yeah, an extra income would be great if we could figure a fulfilling job that only requires 9:30 to 15:00 type hours ;)
Or a work from home job that is not a scam."

How much do you really want your situation to change?  Your family needs to make more income unless you can find a way to slash expenses. Maybe it might have to be unfulfilling work for now.  Not everyone has the luxury of only doing work that they love - sometimes it's just a thing one has to do to bring in money.

Maybe there's not a career that your partner can do from home, but what about dogwalking, babysitting, custom made birthday cakes, upcycling and reselling items, gardening, home handyperson type odd jobs, depending on whether the kids are at home or school? There are so many people who need to outsource the basics, and every little bit would help your bottom dollar. Maybe one of the above can even be built into a business.  If your partner came from the corporate world pre-children, it could be a bit of a leap to get your heads around, but have a brainstorming session without any preconceived limits.

IWanttoBelieve

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2015, 07:13:47 AM »
I do agree the income part would help. For some reason, we find it easier to attack the cost side of things.
Probably as we have been culturally engineered to be employees, imagining those side gigs come at tremendous intellectual cost and irrational fears.

We'll definitely keep on investigating what type of job she could do locally in our village (or at home) while still being able to pick-up kids to/from school.


On a side note (mentioned in my opening post), should I invest the money on improving the property (and make a virtual profit on it) or ignore that since it is still fully functional (though I can see a tap or 2 going soon into full leak mode).

Genevieve

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2015, 09:36:05 AM »
Since it seems like you don't intend to sell, home maintenance and upgrades is really spending. The virtual bump in property value is useless because it's a consumer item -- the house you live in. Whether or not you do renovations has to do with your comfort in the house you live in. Are the renovations worth the money to you? Can you do them in a cost effective way?

If you plan to move in a few years, perhaps the argument of an investment makes a bit more sense. But it's really a long term game, and many people spend beyond what they can hope to recoup in house renovations. House renovations in the house you live in long term =\= investment that makes money for you.

IWanttoBelieve

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2015, 09:40:23 AM »
House renovations in the house you live in long term =\= investment that makes money for you.

Exactly what I am thinking. Thanks for reinforcing the message.

But if I were to follow the advice of moving closer to my work (even taking into consideration the friction costs and the increased shackles), then I guess that I would need to do them, if I was confident of a positive net return?


MustacheNY

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2015, 10:05:39 AM »
Is the neighborhood you live in one that would fetch a decent rental price?  One thing you could look into is renting out your home to tenants, and then renting or buying a cheaper place closer to work. If you rented something less expensive, you would not have to deal with the "Stamp Tax"?  It still might make sense to buy another place depending on the stamp tax, real estate market, and amount of mortgage payment going to principle vs. rent.  Any difference in what you rent out your home for vs. what you spend by renting or buying a new place could significantly move up your FIRE date.  Also, in a few years, you could be able to receive more in rent on the 2nd property than you spend on your mortgage and related expenses, giving you an additional source of income for retirement.

IWanttoBelieve

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2015, 12:08:41 PM »
Thanks for the idea. I tried looking into it, but not sure the rental math would work, because the income from the rent would be taxed. And my tax bracket is 40%.
I may be able to offset it against interest on the same house if I buy a buy-to-let home but even then it wouldn't be a full offset.

I obviously need to do more calculations, but it does not feel an easy way out. Possibly if I spot a great deal.

Still over the last 10 days I've been thinking and thinking, and I am starting to feel swallowed by the pits of despair (even though I just got an unbudgeted decent bonus of 5k net). It feels that I am on an "uncanny plateau" where I earn much more than needed for a comfortable life, but much less than needed for financial independence.
Almost makes me feel wanting to throw it all out of the window and splash all the extra income on useless stuff like a Tesla or a nice but expensive stuff like a couple extra holidays per year....

Really, most of the options to get to FI are way beyond the remit of our comfort zone... freedom is great, but some of the hardships feel a bit too much....

cripzychiken

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2015, 12:47:59 PM »
It looks like your spending and savings is pretty good.  The problem is you don't see the lack of debt and soon to be lack of a mortgage as the major assets that they are.

Roughly you have 25k of spending (after the mortgage is paid off) on 43k take home.  So you are spending over 1/2 of what you earn.  Which means you only 'gain' a bit less than 1 year of freedom for every year you work.  Reducing spending and increasing income can help that number, but as of now - work 15 years, have 15years of freedom (well it will be more after investment gains, but you get the point).

A few things you can do - sell your house and buy one for 150k.  That's 200k in cash you can take out and invest, or 8 years of freedom, while keeping no mortgage.  bonus for moving closer to your work (is the 60mile round trip a week total? because each day would SUCK).

Get the SO to work something on the side - even if it is minimum wage/part time work.  Nothing she makes is required for spending, so it's all going towards savings/retirement.  Another option would be to use her skills to make money - if she is a great cook, find some stressed out friends and see if she can make a "just heat it up" dinner for them once a week or more.  Even a bit each week will help.  Plus bulk buying food for cheaper per-meal costs for you too.  If your kids are in school, can she pick up other kids after school and watch them until their parents get off work?

Savings for kids - while 20k each would be nice, that's over 2 years of savings (which means 2 more years of working for you).  I'm sure they'd rather have a parent that is able to enjoy their life than have a cash payout.  Give them love and support, let them deal with the financials once they move out.

The last thing - and I'm sure you have already but I need to say it - talk to your SO about all this.  See what ideas she has. you are in this together, so she needs to be on board.

mandy_2002

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2015, 06:18:51 PM »

I suck at DIY. I beyond suck (even though my father s a DIY god).


Is there any chance that you can get your father to come to you for an extended period of time to do a few of the fixes you're looking to do?  This could eliminate one of the family trips for a year, and lessen the cost of some fixes.

I heard recently that most homes in the UK leak like sieves since the water fee is a flat rate rather than charged by the hundreds of gallons.  In the same story they talked about some areas getting meters on houses and changing the billing scheme.  If you will need to worry about this in the future, getting a few taps fixed by your father or a plumber would probably be beneficial. 

IWanttoBelieve

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2015, 07:38:52 AM »


A few things you can do - sell your house and buy one for 150k.  That's 200k in cash you can take out and invest, or 8 years of freedom, while keeping no mortgage.  bonus for moving closer to your work (is the 60mile round trip a week total? because each day would SUCK).



It is 60 miles per day (40-50 minutes *2).
Moving houses nearer to work would:
- generate little cash, as houses are marginal cheaper from where we are. And we'd also lose out a few percent to taxes and estate agents.
- It could improve quality of life, as long as I can walk/cycle easily there (I would no longer be eligible for on-site parking). And cycling in a suit opens another logistics nightmare (sure I could leave a suit at work, but then I need to manage suit rotation and cleaning). Effectively, I'd need to live VERY close to work.
- then there are some intangibles (kids changing schools, friends/neighbors, etc..)

So really the advantages could be there but are difficult to seize. I do (and have been) keeping an eye on the area (whether within walking distance or within a 15 min car trip) for any opportunity that would allow me to turn a profit to invest. But until now I haven't.

@mandy_2002 I did a quick check, and given how much water we use, a meter would cost us a fortune. The water bill (includes sewage too) isn't that big, and I think reducing water usage would be a bit too frugal for me (I do like my long daily shower, good relaxation moment)

IWanttoBelieve

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2015, 10:48:34 AM »
An update (and maybe a way for me to vent a bit):

Since last time, I have repaid my mortgage! :) and started seeing my bank accounts go up.

But... (there are always "but"s...)

I got really depressed. REALLY.

- going to work is getting tougher and tougher. Things that used to be minor and trivial annoyances (and still are from an objective point of view) almost make me want to shout or break into tears. It's almost as if working for 15 years, these irritations just piled up and are now about to overflow from their container. And I still have 30 years of this sh*t?! I can't do it. I feel I will crumble badly at one point if I don't find an exit that is imposed-work free.

- the bathroom taps I talked about? They died and leaked.... I have possibly 10k of work to be done on both bathrooms (part of it will increase property value though).

- I understand the UK educational system a bit more, and it looks as if optimising my kids' chance in life (i.e. give them a broad choice of options to do anything they want from theatre to bankster) would require them to attend grammar schools (state and free, but selective school) or if they do not pass the test, to go to private schools which would cost  about 15k to 20k per year per kid. Worst case, that could be about 200k to find :(

So here I am, mortgage free, should be enjoying life, but I am truly depressing at the idea of having to work a further 30 years. Even the idea of working another 10 years of forced labour is enough to bring me to tears.... I used to love going to work every morning, every Monday. Now I almost want to cry every minute of my commute.

I still do enjoy (a lot) parts of my work, but can't stand anymore the bits I don't enjoy. It's the whole idea that I "HAVE TO" do them, that I am a slave to them that kills me. But it's a nice golden cage. I don't have enough money to ER, I don't have the guts to risk it in self employment, and I don't want to compromise my personal life my taking on a pet project in parallel of my work.
I feel at times I am near jumping off a bridge when I see how my father only knows "work" in life, he's done it for almost 60 years and knows nothing else but work :(
I feel I delivered a lot of value in my jobs, and that there is no reason why I should work things I don't like for more than another 5 years. But all I could do in 5 years is gather maybe 100k, maybe a bit more. Even downsizing to a remote rural area in the UK or France would only release at best 250k of equity. With 350k, is it possible to live @20-25k/ year for the remaining possible 60 years of my life? And fund schools for my kids? And take care of my youngest's special needs?

I am privileged with my job and my financial situation compared to many, but I feel like a privileged slave among less privileged slaves. I am nearing breakdown.. Or mid-life crisis. But I need to find a way out of this and be able to enjoy life rather than work and have the scraps for myself.

bacchi

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Re: Reader Case Study: how:when to get free from work?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2015, 11:13:08 AM »
You're saving over 40%, right? That puts you about 20 years out. Subtract out your work expenses such as commuting and suits and your expenses and timeline drop further.

Yeah, you're still some 15 years out. The bottom line is your SO needs to get a job. Maybe your SO can't do it now but is it possible when the kids are a bit older? Alternatively, your SO can start working full-time while you take a much needed sanity break.