Part 146

Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE.  This week I discuss the new “Enough is Enough” campaign.  Also, a look at what joint FIRE means to us.  There are the usual financial updates, and a busy week.  First the Quote of the Week:

Quote of the Week

A campaign has been launched to combat the soaring cost of living, and a number of unions and MPs back it.  The campaign group is called Enough is Enough.  They have five aims;

  1. A real pay rise
  2. Slash energy bills
  3. End food poverty
  4. Decent homes for all
  5. Tax the rich

Some laudable goals and I agree with them all.  The problem with these goals is that they are not specific enough.  If you read the detail, the group does provide some more substance for these aims but I think they could have worded them differently to make them more specific and impactful.  For example;

  1. New minimum wage of £15 p/h
  2. Reduce energy bills to pre-pandemic levels
  3. Free school meals for all children
  4. Build 100,000 new council homes per year
  5. Increase taxes on multinational businesses operating in the UK

Alone, I don’t think the group will force through any meaningful change.  I suspect it needs to be backed up with peaceful protests on the streets of our major cities.  

Personally, in terms of energy, the answer is nuclear power.  I know people get scared when confronted with nuclear power, but it’s the safest type of energy out there with the exception of renewables.  The problem with green energy is that it’s not reliable, and the price point is still too high.  There’s the additional problem of grid storage, which just isn’t up to the task.  Let me explain in a bit more detail.

Power demands fluctuate through the day, week, and year.  Our energy production needs to keep up with changing levels of demand.  If we had a system where excess energy generated through solar and wind could be stored on an industrial scale, and then used when needed, that would be great.  We don’t though.  This is why it’s not a choice between fossil fuels and solar/wind.  It’s a choice between fossil fuels and nuclear, because nuclear is the only thing we have right now that can create a constant supply of electricity.  

If we invest heavily in building a new network of modern nuclear power stations, under national ownership, with a simultaneous upgrade of the power network to improve grid storage and charging points for electric vehicles it would make a huge difference. I’d even propose a temporary energy tax to fund this project, with additional laws to force new buildings to have solar panels (where appropriate, subject to expert review).

The problem here is that it’s a generational project that would take decades to reap benefits, and the short-term nature of party politics doesn’t go well with these long-term national projects.

Weekly Update

Things have been piling up over the last couple of weeks.  I’m still in pain down my left side, with my elbow, hip, and knee all causing discomfort.  My stress levels have been steadily increasing as well. 

The work on our apartment continues slowly.  What was initially quoted as a week and a bit of work is coming to the end of the fourth week.  We’ve told our contractors that once they’ve done the living room, we are calling it a day and will seek other people to complete the remaining bits.  We can’t carry on living as we are.  We were willing to rough it for a couple of weeks, but we’re a month in now.  It’s particularly annoying when they rock up at 09:00, take 45 minutes lunch, and leave around 14:30-15:00.  

We had one of their flooring contractors come over a while ago to quote for the job of reflooring the apartment.  He said it would take two weeks.  We got someone else in, and he worked his ass off and got the whole place done in two days.  

Dealing with tradespeople is a nightmare at times and, in combination with everything else going on, I ran out of spoons.

Saturday was, well, it was an interesting day.  A few weeks ago I arranged with my Dad for him to come over and help me and my girlfriend assemble our new bed and wardrobe.  First of all, we spent an hour trying to repair the damage our contractors did to the blinds in the bedroom so we could open them and actually see what we were doing.  Then, the fun started.

The bed from Ikea came in four boxes.  The first few steps were easy, but when it came to putting together the mechanism that allows the mattress to be lifted so we can store things under the bed, things started going a bit wrong.  The instructions were awful.  The diagrams made little sense with the tools and pieces we had.  YouTube tutorials helped a little.  Another major problem was that holes didn’t align, meaning a lot of pressure had to be exerted to force things into alignment.  It took the two of us seven hours.  Seven.  Hours.  We didn’t even get started on the wardrobe.  

Support Mortgage Advisor on FIRE

I love writing this blog, and I’ve met some great people because of it.  Maintaining a website costs money though, and if you want to say thanks for the content I publish, consider a donation to my virtual tip jar on the link below:

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/davidscothern

2022 Goals – to be achieved by 31/12/2022

1 – Reduce weight to 90kg.  (Current weight 118.9kg).

2 – Complete 10 “classic” books (4/10)

  1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)
  2. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
  3. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897) ✅
  4. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
  5. The Iliad by Homer (8th century BC) ✅
  6. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1844) ✅
  7. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1867)
  8. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859)
  9. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1862)
  10. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605) ✅

3 – Read 10 authors I’ve not read before (12/10)

  1. John Birmingham ✅
  2. Nicole Perlroth ✅
  3. Sabine Durrant ✅
  4. Luke Smitherd ✅
  5. Max Skittle ✅
  6. Harlan Coben ✅
  7. Jo Spain ✅
  8. Kate Elizabeth Russell ✅
  9. Kiersten White ✅
  10. Rob Hart ✅
  11. Edward Aubry ✅
  12. Marina J. Lostetter ✅

What Am I Doing?

What I’m reading: Hostage by Clare Mackintosh.

What I’m listening to: Noumenon Ulltra by Marina J. Lostetter.

What I’m watching: The Sandman on Netflix; Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney +.

I’m still working my way through Hostage and enjoying it.  I would love to read more, but my headaches and problems with my vision make it difficult to read for extended periods.  Noumenon Ultra isn’t really grabbing me so far, despite enjoying the first two books in the series.  

We started watching The Sandman a few days ago.  The first few episodes were not interesting me, but I stuck with it and the series is getting better.  When not watching The Sandman with my girlfriend I’ve been watching Obi-Wan Kenobi on my own.  The production values are insane for a TV show, and Ewan McGregor plays the part brilliantly.  

Financial Update

Assets

Premium Bonds: £7,000.00 (down £5,000.00 from last update).

Stocks and Shares ISA: £63,478.88 (up £813.35 from last update).

Fuck It Fund: £800.00 (no change from last update). 

Pensions: £54,216.64 (up £821.83 from last update).

Residential Property Value: £229,159.00 (no change from last update).

Buy-to-Let Property Value: £147,876.00 (no change from last update).

Total Assets: £502,530.52 (down £3,364.82 from last update). 

Debts

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

Residential Mortgage: £182,507.87 (no change from last update).

Buy-to-Let Mortgage: £105,316.74 (no change from last update). 

Total Debts: £287,824.61 (no change from last update).

Total Wealth: £214,705.91 (down £3,364.82 from last update).

Investment Income in 2022: £2,756.09 (target £6,000).

Joint Fire

Originally this FIRE plan was for me.  My girlfriend had little interest in pursuing FIRE as she enjoys working.  However, now she wants to be part of the journey, and that’s great.  She is happy to leave the investment decisions up to me, which means she’ll be able to benefit from avoiding the mistakes I’ve made along the way.  

We’ve spoken about how her investments will be structured, in rough terms, but she doesn’t share my interest in finance.  The plan is simple, I will help her build a Fuck It Fund and then she will invest heavily into a stocks and shares ISA, whilst getting the most from her workplace pension.  

Achieving joint FIRE will take a bit longer, but we’d already discussed this in the context of the work we are having done to our apartment.  It has gone over budget meaning we have had to dip into our investments slightly.  It will take a little time to rebuild and then move forward, but it will be worth every penny.  Our home will be much nicer to live in now that we’ve grasped the nettle and just done the work.  Too many things were being covered up with temporary solutions, but we’ve now stripped the place almost bare and started again.

So what is the new timescale?  It’s hard to say exactly as we’ve not agreed on a definitive picture of what our joint FIRE will look like.  Will it be an amount of passive income, or will it be a total wealth target?  I think a lot will depend on the underlying assets that produce the passive income, as we don’t want to be too dependent on one income stream.  

The way I see it, there is income before our pensions mature, and then there is income after our pensions mature.

Pre-Pension Income Streams

  • Property
    • Rental income.
    • Value growth which allows funds to be released.
  • Stocks and Shares ISA
    • Dividend payments from stocks and funds.
  • Revenue from website
    • Although I get decent traffic, I’m still orders of magnitude off generating advertising revenue to fund retirement.
  • Casual work and/or royalties from writing
    • Who knows, I could strike lucky and write a best seller, or I could end up making nothing from my writing at all.

The first two income streams, property and stocks, are going to be doing the heavy lifting.  I need these to cover my basic cost of living and some extras.  The last two income streams would just be a bonus.

Post-Pension Income Streams

  • Property
    • Rental income.
    • Value growth which allows funds to be released.
  • Stocks and Shares ISA
    • Dividend payments from stocks and funds.
  • Pension
    • A regular income, possibly through an annuity.

Just because I will be drawing a pension, it does not mean that the website or any books I write, will just stop earning income, but again it’s not something I can depend on; it’s just there as a possible bonus. 

The good thing about the pension is it should provide an income, and maybe a lump sum that I can then use to shore up my other income streams.  All of the above applies to my girlfriend, but as she is several years younger, her FIRE journey will be staggered behind mine, giving us a hedge against potential economic downturns.  For example, if my pension matures in the middle of a recession but I still have to cash in, then the likelihood is that my girlfriend’s pension will reap the benefit of lower pound-cost-averaging for when she draws her pension.  None of this is an exact science, but these are factors to consider.  

Whilst looking at goal oriented targets is motivating, as you can monitor progress, it’s always useful to remember that results follow from the process.  If you follow a sensible investment process, the results take care of themselves.

Biolink and other links

You can now find all my social media pages by checking out my Biolink:

bio.link/davidscothern.

Also, check out Darren Scothern’s blog which talks about autism, being autistic, and general mental health:

www.darrenscothern.com

One thought on “Part 146

  1. Obi One Kenobi was a double disappointment for me.
    Firstly, it messed up the logical continuity with the original movies. Can’t really explain why without giving you spoilers though, but you’ll realize when you get to it.
    Secondly, and much more annoyingly, it was too freaking dark! Why they shot all the lightsabre fights in the dark is beyond me. I have an HDR TV, but it was absolutely impossible to see anything on full brightness when not at night. Why would you make a TV show only watchable in movie theater conditions?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: