Part 72

Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on F.I.R.E.  This week I will be talking about suicide and suicidal thoughts, in addition to male on female violence.  The following content may not be suitable for all readers.  

Quote of the Week

There has been a lot of talk recently about suicide, in the wake of the interview with Meghan Markle.  As always when suicide is discussed by celebrities you get the same ignorant comments from people, such as, “what do they have to feel depressed about?”  This is a dangerous and ignorant line of thought.

Suicide is not just the end result of someone feeling a bit down.  It is complicated and sensitive in nature, and even if you think someone might be lying about having suicidal thoughts it does not do anyone any good for you to voice the opinion that you think they are lying.  

Let’s assume that you bump into a colleague at work at the vending machine.  You are talking about the Meghan Markle interview and your colleague comments on how Meghan had talked about suicidal thoughts.  You respond with a scoff and state your opinion that she was just lying for attention.  Your colleague gets their drink and walks back to their desk.  You did not know that your colleague was suffering with severe depression and suicidal thoughts.  That evening, they take their own life.  

The situation could have played out differently.  Your colleague could have commented on the suicidal thoughts Meghan had mentioned, and you could have responded with something like, “it just goes to show that anyone can be struggling.”  Later that night, your colleague reaches out to you and opens up about their depression and suicidal thoughts.  

Basically, if you don’t have something supportive to say about suicide, it’s probably best not to say anything at all.  You never know who is struggling with their own thoughts, and if you talk about how you think someone is just making up things for attention, you are declaring to the world that you are not receptive to people talking about their mental health.  

I know, and have known, several people who have spoken with me in confidence about their suicidal thoughts.  I think it’s probably more common than most people realise.  Many of these people have stated the only thing keeping them from acting out their thoughts is a feeling of connection or obligation to the people they know and care about.  You might be the reason someone is alive, just by being you.  Don’t be an asshole and say things like “suicide is wrong” or “suicide is selfish”.  If someone gets to that point, they are in a state of crisis and they need to know that you will not judge them.  Be supportive.  Be kind.  You never know what is going on inside another person’s mind.

Weekly Update

It’s been one of those weeks which seems to have both dragged and flashed past at the same time.  I’ve also spent most of the week with a headache and neckache.  I have absolutely no complaints about the way my health has been handled by my employer; they have been fantastic.  The thing is, I’m finding it harder and harder to get through the days of work.  I think part of this is due to my own mental health and also just the fact that I’ve been doing this job for a decade.  I need something to change and I’m hoping that my DipFA studies will open up some doors for me until I achieve FIRE.  

The news about Sarah Everard is tragic and horrific, and if it turns out that a police officer is responsible for her death it could cause a huge amount of social unrest.  

Male on female violence is a problem, as is misogyny in general.  Yes, there are other forms of violence and men can be victims too, but that’s not the point here.  Just like Black Lives Matter does not state anywhere that other lives do not matter, just because we acknowledge that male on female violence is a problem it does not mean other forms of violence are irrelevant.  

There was a post online a while ago, where the question was asked of women, “what would you do if men had a 9pm curfew?”  The answers should be a source of shame for men everywhere.  The link to the story on BBC is below, but a quick google search will bring the story up on other sites too:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/491cd13b-fcfd-4e9b-b64d-a72cf8ad8c8b

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The hashtag “curfewformen” has been trending recently and although I get the sentiment, I don’t think it’s a helpful suggestion.  Assuming for a moment that all men had to stick to a curfew, what about the military, police, doctors, firefighters and so on?  Well, you could say there would be an exception for police officers.  However, the lead suspect in the murder of Sarah Everard was a police officer.  The solution to a social wrong cannot be another social wrong.  

I have some ideas about how to make the world safer for women, but unfortunately none of the ideas are flashy or exciting.  There needs to be more street lighting.  There needs to be better public transport.  There needs to be more police on the streets.  Also, I would install panic stations throughout our towns and cities.  The idea is that anyone can go to one of these stations and push a button, and bright lights would light up the area, CCTV would cover the station from several angles and it would immediately connect the person through to a security office.  

In an ideal world, no one would have to think about how to contact the emergency services discreetly but we don’t live in an ideal world.  I’ve placed a link below to the Apple support pages which show how you can secretly call the emergency services.  I would suggest if you have an iPhone that you review that information.  If you have another make of smartphone, research the equivalent settings.  

Also, there is an app that I’ve seen people recommend, although I have not tested it out.  The app is called Hollieguard and it is designed to alert chosen contacts if you are in danger.  I would suggest researching this app, or equivalent ones.  

2021 Goals – to be achieved by 31/12/2021

1 – Reduce weight to 92.8kg.

2 – Finish 104 new books.

3 – Complete RO3 for my DipFA.

4 – Complete RO4 for my DipFA.

5 – Complete RO5 for my DipFA.

6 – Complete RO6 for my DipFA.

I finished book fourteen of my reading challenge this week, which was The Supernova Era by Cixin Liu.  I’m a big fan of Liu’s work, but this was his weakest book.  I was not surprised to learn it was one of his earlier works either.  The premise is that a nearby star goes supernova and the resulting radiation kills all adults on Earth.  It is left to the children to rebuild.  The book started well, but I felt it lost its way around the halfway point.  There were plot threads introduced and then seemingly forgotten about.  It was a confusing book and, if I’m being really harsh, read like it was written by children.  

Financial Update

Assets

Premium Bonds: £150.00 (no change from last update).

Stocks and Shares ISA: £21,133.23 (up £679.29 from last update).

Fuck It Fund: £40.00 (down £60.00 from last update).

Crypto: £120.47 (up £10.30 from last update).

Residential Property Value: £194,909.00 (no change from last update).

Buy-to-Let Property Value: £125,775.00 (no change from last update).

Total Assets: £342,127.70 (up £629.59 from last update).

Debts

Credit Card: £0.00 (no change from last update).

Residential Mortgage: £140,665.49 (no change from last update). 

Buy-to-Let Mortgage: £93,163.50 (no change from last update). 

Total Debts: £233,828.99 (no change from last update).

Total Wealth: £108,298.71 (up £629.59 from last update). 

Investment Income in 2021: £4.14 (target £5,000).

A few points to note this week in that my ISA increased in value, as did my crypto balance.  I had to use some of my Fuck It Fund to avoid putting a balance on my credit card.  With my partner not having a regular income, and with various expenses relating to the BTL cropping up, it has been difficult to accurately budget.  This has meant I’ve had to dip into my reserves more than I would have liked.  Hopefully this situation will stabilise now that the BTL has a tenant and the initial set of costs have been covered.  

I have also signed up for a SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension).  This is a way of me thinking ahead to when I eventually leave my employer.  When that happens I will transfer my pension to this SIPP so that I can manage the underlying investments myself.  I will also invest a little into the pension each month, as another strand to my eventual financial independence.  As this is a very long-term investment, I will not be counting it as part of the regular financial update.

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My Instagram is @david_scothern and my Twitter is @advisoronfire. You can also email me at mortgageadvisoronfire@gmail.com.

Also, please check out my cat’s Instagram @sweep_the_kelham_island_cat

Finally, have a look at Darren Scothern’s blog at darrenscothern.com.

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