Part 170


I find “why” to be one of the most useful questions I can ask myself, as it can strike to the heart of the matter in ways “what” or “when” simply can’t. In Japan, Sakichi Toyoda developed the Five Whys for use within the Toyota Motor Corporation. The idea is that you can drill down to the root cause of an issue by asking Five Whys. Wikipedia gives the following example;


There’s no specific reason for there being five whys, and you should not be fixated on always asking why a set number of times. It’s the principle of asking the question until you arrive at the simple, core truth.

I recently asked “Why?” on the FIREUK subreddit. Some of the responses were interesting, and I’ll share some of them here. I’ve grouped them into themes I saw repeated.


Hate Working/Feeling Undervalued

Wanting to be left alone…

FIRE seems to be gaining more and more followers, and I can’t say I’m surprised. It used to be the case that most people I knew were content or satisfied with their employment. Almost everyone I’m friends with, or related to, is seemingly unhappy in work. It’s strange, and worrying for the future. If more people retire early, then the economy could be in serious trouble. An aging population, which doesn’t pay much, if any tax, alongside a significant number of younger people retiring early and further reducing the money paid in tax, will make it difficult for the government to balance the books.

What’s the answer?

For a start, I think we need to move away from the 35-40 hour work week being considered normal. Covid has shown that many companies can make major changes to their ways of working at short notice and still thrive. If we decided, as a society, that a maximum 30 hour working week, for the same money, was the new normal, would it really cause harm? Or would it result in a happier, and healthier, population?

Weekly Update

I’ve heard from the hospital and I’m having the second part of my kidney stone operation on Monday.  I really, really don’t want to have a spinal injection again.  I’ve tried to explain why to a few people, but it’s difficult to put into words.  I’m sure there’s a word for what I’m about to explain, and if you know what it is, please let me know.  

When you have an injury, and it’s painful, and sometime later you think back to it and it’s almost like you’re back there and can feel the pain all over again.  It’s similar to when you throw up and then later when you think about what led you to vomit, you start feeling sick again.  Someone suggested it’s a form of PTSD.  I think that might be a bit extreme, but it’s in the same sort of ballpark for what I’m describing.  Anyway, I’ve had a couple of spinal injections over the years and it’s a horrible experience.  Whenever I think back to it, it’s like my back seizes up again and I can feel the needle in my back.  Even as I’m writing this, I’m uncomfortable.  The operation should be done under general anaesthetic and I think I will push for that this time.  The reason I was given for not having general anaesthetic the first time was because of my weight.  I was just over what they felt comfortable with, but having thought about it, when I was weighed at the pre-op assessment, they weighed me as I was wearing all my clothes, with my phone, wallet, and keys in my pocket.  Also, since the pre-op last year, I have lost some weight. 

On Friday night we had a friend over for dinner who we’ve not seen since 2018.  It was touch and go whether he was going to make it as he’s not been feeling too good recently.  In the end, he was able to come over and we all had a good catch-up, talking about holidays, tv, money, and conspiracy theories.  Hopefully, it will not be another five years until we meet up again.  

Saturday saw us go for lunch with my Dad to Juke & Loe @ The Milestone.  I had salmon gravlax for starter, with beef and bone marrow for my main, with a honey and malted milk parfait for dessert.  All three of us enjoyed every course.

How To Support Mortgage Advisor on FIRE

If you would like to show your support, please consider making a donation to my virtual tip jar at my page on Buy Me A Coffee.  You can use the link below, or click on the picture to be taken to my supporter page.

Alternatively, please consider sharing this blog on your social media.  Shares are the most valuable commodity for any blogger, and the most difficult thing to earn.  

Thanks, as always for your interest and support.

2023 Goals

Click here to see my 2023 progress (opens a new tab). 

What Am I Doing?

TV: The Last Kingdom (Netflix).

Audiobook: Tribe: Infinite Timeline by Jeremy Robinson.

We’ve just about finished season four of The Last Kingdom and we’ve really enjoyed it.  Although it deviates a little from the books, it’s remains faithful in spirit.  I’ve also just finished Tribe by Jeremy Robinson, which is my second time reading it.  Surprisingly I’ve not really enjoyed Tribe this time around.  It’s strange because I’m generally a big fan of Jeremy Robinson. 

Financial Update


Premium Bonds: £20,000.00 (+£200.00). 

Stocks and Shares ISA: £69,906.39 (+£2,690.65). 

Fuck It Fund: £50.00 (no change).

Pensions: £57,311.68 (+£941.65). 

Residential Property Value: £228,006.00 (no change). 

Buy-to-Let Property Value: £147,133.00 (no change). 

Total Assets: £522,407.07 (+£3,832.30). 


Credit Card: £0.00 (no change).

Loans: £9,900.00 (no change).

Residential Mortgage: £179,595.11 (no change). 

Buy-to-Let Mortgage: £105,015.74 (no change). 

Total Debts: £294,510.85 (no change). 

Total Wealth: £227,896.22 (+£3,832.30).

Investment Income in 2023: £285.46 (target £8,500).

We now have a date for our tenants to move out, and they’ll be leaving in two weeks.  This means that the transfer of ownership will be going through fairly soon.  I keep changing my mind about how I’ll invest the money when it comes through, but I can’t do anything with my ISA until the new tax year starts as I’ve used up all my allowance for the current financial year.

On the subject of my ISA, I was chatting with my friend who came over on Friday about investing.  He also wants to be out of the rat race, and I was explaining that regular, passive, investing will bring financial comfort but it takes time.  It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.  I started looking at the overall gains I’ve made from my ISA since I set it up.  In total, I’m £17,390.75 in profit.  That’s not a bad return.

If you have spare money, building wealth is not complicated.  It’s based on simple concepts and you just have to be patient, and resist the urge to tinker with your investments too frequently.  Although I still believe that property will be an important part of my FIRE plans, I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that the ISA is going to be a much bigger part than I originally realised.  


The views and opinions in this blog are my own, and do not represent the views or opinions of my employer, nor should they be considered advice.

If you want personalised financial advice, seek an appropriate professional.  If you are in financial difficulty, seek advice via the resources below:



Biolink and other links

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

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

If you want to show your support for my FIRE blog, please Buy Me A Coffee at the link below:


One thought on “Part 170

  1. Perhaps age makes a difference here – my friends (all in the 40+ bracket) all appear to be content/satisfied with their jobs (we’re all in ‘office’ jobs but different industries). True feelings about work generally come out after a few drinks but nothing unhappy work-wise was shared during recent social outings and it would be if there was any.

    Long hours are still rewarded (and is mentioned when employee of the month awards are announced). Sometimes, you just have to do the long hours if you want to do your job properly or succeed – the top sales guy is always the last one to leave the office and I know the new young lads try to emulate him and his success. It should always be a choice however if you want to do those extra hours.

    I’m fine with my 40 hours but after nearly 30 years of working those hours (on occasion, a lot more, unpaid), I’d love to wind down to 30 hours as a prelude to retirement. Not yet though, as I can’t afford the reduction in salary. However, that will be a difficult conversation to be had when the time comes and likely to be rejected – part-time hours are only generally offered to mothers with young children.

    Hope all went well with the op and wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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: