Part 174

Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE.  This week I look at some projections for the next few years, and provide more updates on our BTL.  Also, some thoughts on autism following the recent BBC documentary.

Weekly Update

My recovery from surgery is pretty much complete.  It feels so good to have this issue behind me, and for the first time in a long time I feel I can look ahead without a health issue overshadowing everything.  My priority now is preparing for my next DipFA exam.  I don’t feel as though I’ve been able to prepare well, and I’ve just moved the exam back two weeks to give myself a bit more time.  Assuming I pass this exam, I’ll just have three more to complete.

At the start of the week I had a very poor interaction with the agent managing our BTL.  They were incredibly rude on the phone, interrupting me and almost shouting down the phone.  I was ready to cut ties with them, but they’ve managed to redeem themselves.  As I mentioned last week the tenant who moved out left the property in a bit of a mess.  It was not just dirty, but there was damage to the walls and some of the blinds and curtains.  Our agent has discussed the damage with the tenant and has secured their agreement to not only keep the deposit in full, but also for the tenant to pay something towards the excess damage.  The tenant will be paying back the extra amount in installments, and we’ve already received the first payment.  

On Saturday Oana and I went for lunch with my Dad, and then we made the fatal mistake of going to Meadowhall for some shopping.  I hate Meadowhall at the best of times.  As an autistic person, it’s just too much to face for extended periods.  My Dad is also autistic and finds that place stressful as well.  I’m not quite sure what it is about Meadowhall as other shopping malls are fine.  There’s a massive one in Bucharest that I enjoy visiting when I’m in Romania, but it’s much more chilled out even when busy.  There’s a smaller mall in Sliema, Malta, that I like looking around also.  So, it’s not all malls that lead to stress, but Meadowhall for me is in a league of its own when it comes to stress.


I don’t talk much about my autistic experience in this blog, but I have mentioned a few times that a major motivator for my FIRE project is the fact I’m autistic and I get burned out in the world of traditional work.  Social interactions exhaust me, but I do enjoy the company of other people.  I’m not anti-social; I just have limited mental stamina when it comes to socialising.  

The recent BBC documentary series Inside our Autistic Minds led to a lightbulb moment regarding my own past.  I’ve found that a lot of people who are identified as autistic later in life have a series of these moments where something from their past suddenly makes sense when viewed through the lens of being autistic.  Anyway, back to my past.  I hated much of school.  I just never felt like I fit in.  Then, when I was fifteen/sixteen I became fairly popular.  I was out drinking and clubbing each week, and had a series of girlfriends, and was generally at the centre of my social circle.  By the end of sixth-form I was done.  I was mentally drained.  I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I no longer felt like I fit.  Friendships that seemed effortless, suddenly became strained.  

After a year out I went to university.  Once again I was popular, with an active social life.  Eighteen months in, I was done.  It was like I hit a wall.  I ended up dropping out of university.  I then got a job with a health insurance company, and it was the same pattern; good social life, and then eighteen months later I burned out again.  I had a few weeks off before starting university again.  You can guess what happened next, right?  This time I made it through to the end of university, getting a first in my dissertation and coming agonisingly close to a first in my degree overall.  The fact remains that, my girlfriend and a couple of lecturers aside, I’m no longer in regular communication with anyone I went to school or university with.  It’s a shame because there are some people I went through school with, and through university with, who I really cared about.  If you are one of those people I went through school or university with and you want to get back in touch, please do reach out.

Back to my original point… What I now realise is that I was masking all that time.  The popular guy, out drinking and clubbing?  That was all a mask; a personality constructed to try and fit in.  Again, this is so common in autistic people.  Had I known then what I know now, I would have gone about things much differently.  I would have taken time out to make sure I never hit that wall of mental exhaustion.  There’s no point torturing myself about it though; I could drive myself crazy thinking “what if”.

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2023 Goals

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

What Am I Doing?

TV: Three-Body (YouTube), Inside our Autistic Minds (BBC).  Picard (Amazon).

Audiobook: The Lords of the North: Last Kingdom Book 3 by Bernard Cornwell.

Three-Body has improved from episode twenty onward, but I still think thirty episodes is far too much.  The Netflix adaptation will probably have far fewer episodes, and end up rushing through important plot points, but maybe I’ll be surprised.

We’re two episodes into Picard season three.  I thought the first episode was decent enough, but the second episode was quite poor.  Basically, nothing happened.  It felt almost entirely like filler, and after two episodes of a ten episode series that heavily promoted the fact it was a reunion of The Next Generation cast, we’ve only had Picard and Riker interact with each other, a short video message from Dr. Crusher, and a glorified cameo from Worf.  

There are some positives from Picard though.  The show is visually stunning, and the Titan-A looks beautiful.  I also think the captain of the Titan, Liam Shaw, is an interesting character and an entirely different type of Starfleet leader.  Hopefully the show gives us more of what was promised next week.

I’ve got to admit that no nu-Trek has really done it for me.  I’m very much a TNG-era fan of Star Trek.  The problem with the recent Trek shows is that the writers don’t seem to understand what they are writing.  Take Discovery, for example.  At the end of season two the ship and crew are transported almost a thousand years into their future.  They arrive a few decades after “The Burn” which resulted in the destruction of almost all ships that used dilithium (part of the FTL engines that many powers in Star Trek use).  The idea was that the galaxy has regressed to lots of regional powers now that interstellar travel is much more difficult.  This, in itself, is a good basis for a story in the Trek universe.  The problem is that it ignores the fact that, whilst many powers used dilithium, many did not.  So, to accept the story at face value you have to hand wave away literally decades of previous Trek stories.  

In a universe where there are god-like beings all over the galaxy, it would have been a simple enough exercise to come up with some other event that made interstellar travel more difficult.  Off to the top of my head, they could have had a story involving Omega (a molecule introduced in Voyager that can rip the fabric of space apart over vast distances) in which someone is experimenting with the molecule and it creates branches of impassable space throughout the galaxy.  Or, maybe an extradimensional race scoops up all antimatter in the galaxy.  Or perhaps the Q continuum changes the laws of physics.  There are so many possibilities that don’t mess with what’s already happened.

Financial Update


Premium Bonds: £38,000.00 (no change). 

Stocks and Shares ISA: £69,972.50 (+£354.08). 

Fuck It Fund: £100.00 (+£50.00).

Pensions: £58,110.22 (-£1,416.89). 

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

BTL Property Value: £147,133.00 (no change).

Total Assets: £541,321.72 (-£1,012.81). 


Credit Card: £0.00 (no change).

Loans: £9,800.00 (no change).

Residential Mortgage: £179,161.80 (no change). 

BTL Mortgage: £105,015.74 (no change).

Total Debts: £293,977.54 (no change). 

Total Wealth: £247,344.18 (-£1,012.81).

Investment Income in 2023: £458.81 (target £8,500).

Some more investment income dropped in this week, and one of my dividend paying stocks announced how much will be paid out later this year.  I’m expecting two payouts in 2023, and the one just announced will pay me approximately £1,350.  The announced dividend is a slight increase on the year before, and assuming the second payment of 2023 follows that same trend, I should receive roughly £800 in that second payment.  This would account for almost a quarter of my 2023 investment income goal.  

Our BTL will be relisted from 6th March, so I’m hopeful of having it tenanted by the end of March.  

Total Wealth

As many FIRE followers do, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about ways to make money, as well as running projections on how my overall financial position will develop over time.  So, I decided to run a projection for the next three years.  For the purpose of the projection I assumed overall annual growth of 10% on my investments, with my debts reducing by £6,000 each year.  I was pleasantly surprised with the results, which would see my Total Wealth exceed £400,000.  It’s important to note that these projections assume I will not acquire more BTL property, which is probably unlikely.  Still, it’s an interesting exercise.  

I’ve been looking at my ISA contributions for when the new financial year starts.  I don’t think I’m going to use up my whole annual allowance as soon as the new year starts.  Instead, I think I’ll invest monthly and start accumulating funds for our next BTL purchase.  Although I could throw everything I’ve got at my ISA and then sell stocks when I need the money for a BTL, it means that the allowance for that financial year would be used up.  So, it makes more sense to keep the funds in Premium Bonds.  If, at the end of the 2023/2024 tax year I have spare cash, I can then use up any remaining ISA allowance before the 2024/2025 year opens.  

That’s all for this week, so thank you for reading.  Please remember to like, comment, and share.


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:

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One thought on “Part 174

  1. This masking thing is a bit like limerence – at least in the length of time that it tended to last.

    The difference between limerence and masking though – the sense of mystery and that limerence is intended to supercharge bonding and pairing.

    [also it depends on the purposes of masking. Some people do it to survive; some people do it to be more of themselves or a different aspect of self which comes up].

    Is it the Diploma of Financial Advising for which you are preparing?

    [or something to do with Accounting?]


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