Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE. This week I discuss the relationship between the brain and mind, and how physical and mental health interact. Also, a look ahead to projected investment income in 2022 and 2023. FIrst, the Quote of the Week:
Quote of the Week
Mental health is weird. The mind is, in one sense, what we are. However, the mind is not a physical thing; it’s an emergent property of the brain. When you are feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious, it can sometimes feel like your mind is a separate thing to your brain that is making your life miserable. It’s like your brain is creating the mind, and the two are competing against each other. I don’t claim to have cracked the secret of what consciousness is, or what the soul is, but this concept of there being two sides to each person, with the rational brain and emotional mind, competing against each other is something that I’m sure most people will be able to identify with to some degree.
The most effective treatment I’ve had for improving and maintaining my mental health is exercise. Unfortunately, since 2019 I’ve not had a single sustained run of good health that has allowed me to exercise. I’m itching to get back to the gym and start getting back in shape. As with the mind-brain duality that I’ve talked about, there is a symbiotic relationship between physical and mental health, at least for me personally. The more I look after my physical health, the better my mental health.
I’ve started feeling a little better as the week has progressed. I think some of it was anxiety about a dentist appointment I had, and the surgery I have booked in for later next week. I don’t have a fear of dentists, but I knew this time would require much more involved work. I struggle to breathe through my nose, so when I have to lie back and have all sorts of dental equipment blocking my mouth it can be difficult to catch my breath. Fortunately, my dentist was very understanding and the appointment went well. I was fitted for a mouthguard for when I sleep. The hope is that it will help prevent me from grinding my teeth when I sleep.
In addition to the dentist stressing me out, I had my pre-op assessment for my surgery next week. It took over two-and-a-half hours. I had many tests and interviews, and spoke with at least nine different nurses. It was exhausting. It might not sound like much, but as I talked about in a previous blog, it just felt like I didn’t have the resources available to cope with all the demands life was placing on me. Spoon Theory in action…
My health is not great. I still have pain in my achilles tendon, which makes it difficult to walk long distances. Also, in recent weeks I’ve been feeling light-headed and breathless at random times. This could be anxiety or just the fact I’m overweight. My GP has suggested I am pre-diabetic, and so I need a further blood test in a month to see if I am diabetic or not. The whole thing just sucks.
It might not seem like a big deal to some people, but this week also saw the release of the ninth, and final, book in The Expanse series. I can’t praise the series highly enough. Through the series, the authors have maintained a high quality of storytelling. In a post-GoT world, it’s nice to see a long-running series nail the ending. It’s such a shame that the TV adaptation is ending with season six. I’ve been a fan of sci-fi ever since I was a little kid watching Star Trek reruns each day after school. The Expanse is, simply put, the best sci-fi series I’ve encountered. The Three Body Trilogy is a close second, but The Expanse just about claims the top spot.
A Brief Interlude
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2021 Goals – to be achieved by 31/12/2021
1 – Reduce weight to 92.8kg. (Current weight 123.2kg).
2 – Finish 104 new books. (Current total: 111).
I’m not even going to talk about the stalled attempts to lose weight. It’s just not happening. Hopefully, once I have my surgery I can get back to some form of exercise.
In terms of my second 2021 goal, I’m smashing the books and might pass 120 completed books by the end of the year. Before the final Expanse book I had started a different sci-fi series and finished the first two books. I’m currently halfway through book three, and you can see the full details on my reading list page here.
Premium Bonds: £20,000.00 (up £600.00 from last update).
Stocks and Shares ISA: £41,986.56 (up £384.43 from last update).
Fuck It Fund: £2,200.00 (no change from last update).
Crypto: £726.12 (down £71.42 from last update).
Pensions: £51,461.85 (down £116.82 from last update).
Residential Property Value: £210,058.00 (no change from last update).
Buy-to-Let Property Value: £135,550.00 (no change from last update).
Total Assets: £461,982.53 (up £796.19 from last update).
Credit Card: £1,001.56 (up £545.40 from last update).
Residential Mortgage: £166,365.78 (down £798.74 from last update).
Buy-to-Let Mortgage: £92,976.55 (down £24.19 from last update).
Total Debts: £260,343.89 (down £277.53 from last update).
Total Wealth: £201,638.64 (up £1,073.72 from last update).
Investment Income in 2021: £3,475.39 (target £5,000).
My finances haven’t recovered back to the peak that was achieved a few weeks ago. It will come though. Once Christmas is done, I’ll be able to reduce my credit card. The balance on that card looks worse than it is. Included in the outstanding amount is the cost of my dental treatment, and mouthguard. It also includes the insurance renewal for our BTL. We’ve paid the premiums upfront for the year rather than monthly.
Our old insurer, AXA, sent through the renewal quote, in which they increased our premiums by over 40%. This is despite no claims, or even contact, with their staff. I asked if they could do anything about the renewal, and they offered a 10% discount. I told them to jog on and went elsewhere. I don’t know how they can justify such an increase. I think they just hope that people don’t pay attention and let the policy auto renew.
With our current tenant moving out in a couple of weeks, it’s unlikely we will receive any more rent before the end of 2021. Unless something unexpected comes up, I’ll not quite hit the income target for the year. I’m not too concerned though. The income received this year is still much higher than the year before. As long as I keep increasing my income from investments each year, it will be a case of when, and not if, I hit FIRE.
I’m not sure how to determine my target for 2022 without it just being a figure plucked from the air. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, because what will be, will be. To hit my FIRE goal I need to have an annual investment income of at least £18,000. Assuming I finish the year on £3,500, and I double that in 2022, and again in 2023, I would have income of £14,000 by that point. Doubling the income may seem like a tall order, but there is reason to be optimistic. We are looking at acquiring two more properties in 2022. Also, I would expect some sort of dividend to be paid from my shares in banking. If I’m looking at doubling the income each year, maybe I should set the income target for 2022 at £7,000? I’ll think about it.
There are only three more FIRE blogs to follow in 2021. Part 111 may very well be a shorter post than normal due to my surgery later in the week. If there is anything you want covered before the end of the year, please let me know.
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Finally, have a look at Darren Scothern’s fantastic blog at darrenscothern.com.