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I believe because I've done it before
Old 07-08-2012, 12:59 AM   #1
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I believe because I've done it before

I kind of 'retired' when I was about 25, after working for two years. I hated my job, which was in London. I decided to go back to university, and I funded myself by saving very hard (which I'm good at), buying a flat and taking in three lodgers. I was able to pay the mortgage, pay the subsidised university fees and live on the rent. I could have lived on the rent for the rest of my life, but life took me in other directions and I now live in New Zealand.
(I could actually do the same here and now - it wouldn't be possible from scratch with a mortgage, like it was in London in the early 1990s, but it would be possible for me as I wouldn't need a mortgage, but that's not the plan - just possibly of interest.)
I'm now 42, self-employed and looking to retire again. The idea is a little daunting because most people don't do it, but it felt very strange the first time around, but it worked.
I'm happy with a modest lifestyle, and mostly want to be free from the stresses of work. I'm a big worrier, so I do want to make sure I'm financially secure first, and I'm expecting that to take about three years. I actually thought that a few years ago, but I've had a few set-backs and also moved the goalpost to make myself more secure.
I have a partner, which constrains my lifestyle choices, but we do share expenses, which helps. He's right behind all my plans, although he has a few holiday ideas for the future, which I'll need to be able to afford.
My investments include residential property in America (Memphis), so I'm hoping the market is going to recover. I'd be interested to hear opinions, although it's too late not to do it.
We also have some concerns about the future of pension funding here in New Zealand, and I've been looking into our options for ultimately returning to the UK or EU and getting a UK pension there - which are better than I expected, although I'm still waiting for some information from the UK authority.
That's about it for now.
Jane
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:17 AM   #2
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Retirement is a big decision. Have you thought about what you would do if retired? The non financial aspects of retirement are often as important as the financial ones. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for responding to me. That really won't be a problem for me. My work is boring anyway, so anything I choose to do will be less boring. I like reading, learning languages, singing, walking, swimming, gardening (in moderation), watching TV and doing jigsaws. So I'll have plenty to keep me occupied on a limited budget.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #4
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Welcome to the boards, Aspire. New Zealand sounds amazing--is it expensive to live there?

You probably have used the FireCalc retirement calculator here or something similar. You sound like you have considered everything already, too. I hope the pension works out the way you want it to.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:29 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, Jane.
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for your message. New Zealand is a great place. What particularly struck me when I moved from the UK is that the main centres are scenic, so you don't generally have to balance job opportunities against living environment. I don't think it's exceptionally expensive. Property prices vary a lot in different parts of the country. And casual eating out and takeaways are very affordable compared to the UK.
I haven't used the FIRE calc, but I'll take a look - thanks for pointing that out. I have of course done some calculations of my own.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Aspire, I had a friend who lived in Auckland (her second child was even born there) while her husband had a consulting job. It was simply wonderful and I had the lucky opportunity to visit her as well as some friends on the South Island while she lived there. I'd want to stay, too, if I were you.

I also offer my welcome and think you are on the right track with your research. Time will tell if you wind up staying "retired" this time, or if the peace and lack of worry over work will turn you in a new direction after some time. That is the real beauty of downtime of any kind, it allows you to mull things.

Good luck and keep us posted on what you learn for your pension and investment options.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:47 PM   #8
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I have had a look at the calculator now, and it is certainly interesting - different from anything I have seen before.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspire View Post
- different from anything I have seen before.
Yes, that's exactly what the guy who created it said.

If you haven't seen it, this info on FIRECalc is worth reading: FIRECalc: Why another retirement calculator?
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:00 PM   #10
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Thanks Sarah. You could be right that I might go in another direction. If I could earn any money at all from singing, I'd be happy to.
I'm glad that you had a good time in New Zealand. We think it's a good place to live too, but we just want to have an eye on UK pensions as well, in case they're a better option in 25 years or so. (We worry that means testing could get introduced here.)
I will post it up when I get some proper information on the pensions. It's proving a bit slow to track down, but it's not that crucial - we just want to make sure at this stage that we are doing the right things. I only recently found out that there is a reciprocal agreement on pensions between the UK and New Zealand, so I can keep building my entitlement to a UK pension by accruing 'qualifying years' while living here. I'm just waiting for some information on the criteria for those qualifying years. It may not be directly relevant to many other people, but it might make some other people aware that such reciprocal agreements exist, and they can find out about the relevant one to them.
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #11
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Welcome Jane. I love your signature line ! Couldn't agree with it more. But as you say, financial worries are no fun so we have to balance the desire for te best things in life (free time) with the reality of life (expenses !).
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:25 PM   #12
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Yes, exactly - or to put it another way, balance the risk of eventually running out of money against the risk of wasting our younger years doing work that we don't really need to do. I think this must be tricky for most of us - those who don't suddenly come into a large sum of money. I don't think most of us can eliminate all risk, so what we need to do is make sure that we are genuinely striking the balance that is right for us, and not feel that we have to conform to what others do.
In some cases it might also be possible to keep a small work income stream open. That would be an option for me, but I woudn't feel comfortable about doing that (dropping most clients and being less readily available to the remaining ones) until I actually felt in a financial position to retire.
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