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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: jade on April 11, 2018, 06:12:21 AM

Title: UK couple needing fresh perspectives
Post by: jade on April 11, 2018, 06:12:21 AM


I am 42 and my husband is 47 and we are child free (apart from our cat :)). We own our 2 bed semi detached house in the SE of England and it's probably worth 200-220 k.

We have had lots of good advice here already so wanted to lay out our situation to see if there any thoughts on our options, financial and otherwise.

I work on a zero hours contract for a university providing student support. I have been doing this for eight years. I enjoy the work, flexibility and benefits of the role overall but also find it tiring and emotionally draining, more so the longer I do it. I have found working three days a week term time (plus usually one day, non term time) manageable and I usually net 17-18 k per annum as I earn 31.00 per hour (inc holiday pay). Although it is zero hours, I usually get the hours I need each year though the precariousness of the role, lack of sick pay etc. does add to my anxiety levels. I also contribute 9% to my workplace pension find and the university contributes 19% having joined in sept 2016).

My husband is an agency nurse earning 19 per hour inc holiday pay. He hasn't got a workplace pension. His work is much more sporadic and he now seems to be spending more time dealing with cancelled shifts and red tape than getting paid work over the last few years. His net has been 4.5k the last few years. He also has a previous NHS pension which he could take at 50 at 2100 a year plus a lump sum of 6k (64% of what he'd get at 60).

Where we live there isn't a huge about of work around and a lot is minimum pay so though we have our different issues with our jobs, we've hung on as most other jobs don't compare, in terms of hourly rate and flexibility, especially in my case. We want to retire early but financially aren't there yet, at least in our current circumstances, but are trying to look at it from different angles hence this post for feedback.

We're both quite used to a lot of free time and the truth is we're both also feeling quite burnt out from work in different ways, which has also led to anxiety isdues for us both so extra work or new roles just don't feel doable right now. Though we're physically fit, hard workers and open to other work in future, we are trying to see if we can work things to get a basic level of financial independence sooner rather than later to take work out of the equation, at least for now. My husband has been nursing for over 22 years and would like to leave especially as the stress of the work and uncertainty exacerbates his IBS. He also volunteers in a conservation role which he loves.

We met when I was 30 & he was 35 & bought our house in 2006 for 133k and paid it off in just over 8 years in 2015. We continue saving as much as we can and currently have 34k in Vanguard life strategy 60 plus 7k in an emergency fund.

We live on 12k a year.

In an ideal world, my husband would retire and leave nursing now and I would stop my role in a few years (or if I felt better than I do now, possibly carry on for a couple of days a week). Crunching the numbers, we've come up with a few options:

Either now or in the next few years move to a lower COL area to release equity to add to our money to live on.

1. Thinking of South Wales where it seems possible to get a nice 1 or 2 bed house for approx 85k, releasing approx  100k to add to current pot of 34k to live on (pros are larger equity release, we like Wales, new start etc. cons are moving further from aging parents and family in South east and concern of not giving ourselves the option to move back if needed, as equity has been released).

2. Move to a LCOL area closer to our current location. It's possible to get houses for 140k upwards in areas not a million miles from where we are. (pros: we know these areas better than Wales and it would be easier logistically to move and scope things out. Some nice regenerating seaside areas with cheaper houses. More to do with free time (we live v rurally now). I could still commute to my job so that option is still there and possibly at reduced hours and travel to parents etc. should remain the same. Cons. These areas can have their issues, esp could be hard after living in a quiet area).

3. Move to a flat locally (possible for 100k). We are less keen as prefer freehold property if possible to avoid potential financial and other complications.

The other option is to keep doing what we're doing.

It seems tight in some ways, but we don't need a lot to live on and the plan is to bridge things till we get the state pensions and if needed, hopefully top things up with extra work over the years as needed.

Thanks for reading and your feedback.
Title: Re: UK couple needing fresh perspectives
Post by: crispy on April 11, 2018, 06:17:21 PM
Would moving to another are open up more opportunities for work?
Title: Re: UK couple needing fresh perspectives
Post by: jade on April 12, 2018, 09:54:30 AM
Not really crispy, I think as we really want to wind down rather than start new jobs and the associated moving costs for don't really stack up. Thanks though.
Title: Re: UK couple needing fresh perspectives
Post by: AMandM on April 12, 2018, 12:50:38 PM
Speaking as someone whose father and parents-in-law are in their 70s and 80s, and feeling their age, I would be reluctant to move farther away from them.

Might you be able to test options 2 and 3 by renting out your house for a year and renting a house in the cheaper area or a flat? That would give you the chance to keep working while you see whether you like the lifestyle change. The best choice might then become more obvious.

Title: Re: UK couple needing fresh perspectives
Post by: jade on April 12, 2018, 01:52:52 PM

Thanks AMandM... True and probably something that would be harder than I think it would be.

For other reasons, those aren't really options for us but feeling clearer about things with talking it through here... Think it's about keeping on trucking for now. Thanks again.