Saturday, 14 March 2015

My Non-Financial Life

This blog is focused on charting my progress to Financial Independence and optional Early Retirement.  By having to continually to write about it I am forced to stay the course because I’m continually held accountable.  You the reader get to see my journey, warts and all, which also includes most of the financial research I do behind the scenes.  It stays very unemotional and fact based as that’s what personal finance in my opinion should be.

Behind all this though is a living breathing human being and also my family who are personally affected daily by what I publish here.  I rarely write about this side for a few reasons:

All of that said it is of course relevant for anyone considering, but not currently on, a similar journey to my own.  Some 7 and a bit years on it’s now just the life my family and I live but thinking back our personal lives have changed a lot.  This was reinforced this weekwith a reader making the following comment:

“Have you previously posted on what you get up to in your daily life? I have a lot of respect for what you're achieving and would enjoy hearing how you enjoy daily living while being frugal. When last did you go on holiday? What do you do for entertainment? Etc. Does that make sense? Just trying to get a feel for the types of adjustments I'd have to make.”

So without further ado let me give some insights into how I live my personal life.

Monday to Friday

Monday to Friday really is all about earning the money.  You don’t increase your earnings by 44% in a year or by 128% over 7 years by working the 9 to 5.  I’ve chosen to increase earnings through my primary STEM career which means I need to be flexible, focused and hard working.  My morning starts early, this week it’s been 6am, 5.30am, 4am, 4.30am and 6am.  I always start the morning with food in my stomach.  This week it’s been from a 1kg packet of Tesco Crunch Oats Cereal at £1.99 which I know will last me 6 days along with some Organic Skim Milk.  I do my work preparations the night before (ironing, bag packing etc) so aim to be out the door within half an hour.  It’s a military operation.

Tesco Crunchy Oats Cereal

Once I arrive at work I’ll grab myself a free coffee (why anybody who can have free work supplied coffee buys it from Starbucks or Costa is just beyond me) as soon as I arrive while my PC is booting up.  I drink it while responding to the emails that have come in overnight.

I always try and break away for a short lunch break of 15 minutes or so because it just helps me clear my head and focus on what I need to get done in the afternoon.  I don’t always succeed here.  This week for instance I was able to break away three times.  For lunch I usually break my own sweat the small stuff rule (shock, horror!) and buy a salad sandwich which costs me about £1.70.

I haven’t been home before 8pm this week which then doesn’t leave a lot of time for other things, particularly as I really do function best on 8 hours of sleep. Dinner is usually a pretty simple affair with an aim to prepare in 20 minutes or less.  An example this week has been some pan fried chicken with steamed broccoli and carrots.  I buy frozen chicken pieces for cost and use by date reasons - the length of time at work can be a bit unpredictable so evening menu planning is difficult.

Saturday to Sunday

Now it’s my time.  I do no work and I mean NO work.  Breakfast is a far more leisurely affair.  Today for example is a freshly home brewed coffee with some fried eggs, fresh tomatoes and some rocket salad.

Personal Finance is a big hobby of mine.  Today I’m therefore spending the morning writing this post which is going to cost me £0.  This afternoon I’m planning a long walk because the weather outside is just fabulous which will again cost me £0.  Tonight as a family we’re staying in and a home prepared Thai Green Curry made from scratch will be the menu item of choice.

We rarely eat out, probably 6 or so times a year.  Usually this coincides with meeting friends.  This is mainly because we find our home cooked food healthier and we know what ingredients are really in it.  We would also go to the movies maybe 4 times a year also however here we go to the movie theatre that’s tucked out of the way rather than the big nearby multiplex.  Same movie, more comfortable seats, less crowded and a couple of quid lower cost.

For me the weekend is about time with family and recharging after a busy work week.  If I’ve spent plenty of family time on Saturday and then spent Sunday reading a book I’d call the weekend a success.

The Vices

This is an area where a lot of money can be spent but an area I spend little.  Let’s have a look:

Alcohol.  I don’t drink it during the week at all and on the weekend I will only have a pint or so of beer or a glass of wine if I’m with friends.  My tipple of choice is herbal teas, particularly peppermint tea.  This was not originally done to save money but simply to sharpen myself up.  I was finding that as I aged I was losing my sharp edge even if I hadn’t been drinking the night before.  I was also always a bit lethargic, again even if I hadn’t been drinking immediately prior.  This was certainly affecting me ability to perform in the work environment.  I cut out the alcohol and it was liberating.  My edge was back and I’m also saving a truck load.

Smoking.  Don’t do it and never have.  It’s known to be unhealthy and you just don’t see senior leaders of private companies hanging out in the smoking shed.  I also struggle with it ethically and it’s for that reason you don’t yet see fags in my HYP.

Gambling.  I don’t participate in the National Lottery, bet on the football results, frequent casinos or even gamble on the Grand National.  Why?  Simply because the house always wins otherwise the house wouldn’t be there.


Last week’s reader asked ‘When last did you go on holiday?’  As I detailed in last week’s post it was actually a visit to Puglia, Italy, in the middle of winter, to suss out whether it’s a future home for us.  Before that it was summer 2014, again Italy.  As a family we take a summer, predominantly European, holiday every year.  In recent years we've been fortunate to have some fabulous times in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France, Morocco, Turkey and Malta (our personal favourite where we've visited multiple times across all seasons.

When we’re on holiday our priority is to recharge and enjoy the outdoors and history - whether that is beach, greenery or a museum.  We get there via low cost airline and always try to stay in pleasant accommodation.  While this all costs money we find that during our time there we usually spend little.  We don’t hire a car or take taxis but instead use local public transport to get around.  This is actually one of the areas that hurt my savings rate over the winter as when in Puglia we realised after a few days we just had to hire a car to get around as our location was out of the tourist hot spots (we were assessing living and not focused on holidaying) and the public transport had all but ground to a halt.  This was the first time I’ve done that since being on this journey.

We also manage our holiday food bill through mainly eating twice a day.  We’re on holiday and so our mornings usually start with a leisurely late breakfast which we always ensure is included in the accommodation we book.  This means a late lunch/early dinner is also possible.  A trip to the local market always yields fabulous local breads and produce.  On a week’s holiday we might eat at a restaurant twice.  Where the tap water is safe to drink we’ll also just drink that including tap water refilled water bottles that we had to buy airside at the airport because you can’t take water past security.

So that’s a little insight into the non-financial side of my life.  Now you can see why I don’t post about it.  It’s hardly exciting but it works for me as today I'm happier and healthier than I've ever been.


  1. I appreciate this is the path you've chosen, and for well thought out reasons, but your hours of work sound awful. I'm all for achieving FI (I'd like to retire by 45-50) but want to make the most of my life while I get there. There's a lot more rewarding stuff I can be doing with my time Mon-Fri than working. Have you considered easing off a little, and perhaps delaying early retirement by a few years?

    1. I have considered easing off and actually posted about it a few months ago. For now though I'm going to stay with it as I've spent the last 7 years manoeuvring myself into this enviable position and can now see the finish line. I am also in a unique position where I know that I am currently probably seeing 'peak earnings' for a couple of reasons:
      - the skill set that I have is currently in short supply as companies have not trained new people and the more aged are retiring;
      - I know that my occupation type is slowly being off shored to low cost developing countries.

      Both of those dynamics will eventually shift salaries back into the employers favour so I'm going to make hay while the sun shines.

      I also genuinely meant what I signed off with - that I am happier and healthier than I have ever been. It's not for everyone but it is for me. Just one simple example. While I have plenty of stress/pressure at work as soon as I leave the office I really have no concerns of any note. It really is an amazing feeling so why change the status quo while I'm in this mode. I can't even imagine what the feeling will be like when I reach Financial Independence.

    2. The mardy one again. I'd agree with this. I have a good wedge of savings built up and the liberating feeling this gives vs being under the cosh with a job you hate and a crushing mortgage debt is fabulous. Well worth it in and of itself.

      You are saving up for Clough's "F*** you money" (see "Provided you don't kiss me" a reportage on time with Clough:

    3. In fact here is the key quote from that book - I've starred out the swearing but you have to take Clough as Clough comes.

      > With Leeds’ cash, Clough became one of the first – and certainly the youngest – of any generation of managers to achieve, at a stroke, financial independence. He described it to me (though not on that first afternoon) as ‘f*** you’ money. ‘For the first time in my life, if I didn’t like anything that was going on I could turn around and say “F*** you, I’m off”.’

      And you don't drink so you won't end up like Clough!

    4. Your mention of the 'F*** you money' phrase is a very interesting one. It's one of the psychological dynamics that I can't prepare for but I think could have a big influence on me at FI day. Dare I say it, it could even lead to OMY (one more year) syndrome.

      The way I'm thinking about it is that on FI day the balance of power shifts from employer to employee. So instead of saying 'F*** you, I'm off' you can first put an intermediate step in there to the effect of 'I'm not putting up with this and I am going to say so'. Prior to FI you can't really do this on many issues as it could leave you vulnerable but after FI then they either fix or your can be off.

      If you're rubbish at your job then you are going to probably be off pretty quickly as the employer won't tolerate it but if you're good at it then I genuinely think you might be able to get some change making it a pleasant experience.

    5. This is my aim. I want to be in a position where:
      1. I don't *need* the money
      2. Given 1 if I do walk it hurts my employer far more than me

      I'm a programmer. To this end I've kept a rule of:

      1. transferable skills take priority - out of hours work I only do things that add value to me (though they may also add value to my employer)
      2. try to be someone they don't want to loose - learn how stuff really works

      I found it hard to be motivated in the UK because wages were so detached from living costs. In Canada it's not so hard - if I work harder my life gets better. So hopefully I can now be of even more value to my employer.

    6. @Anon & RIT,

      I agree that being FI puts you in a huge position of power but even with a small amount of savings it gave me the balls to question some stuff at work and now I am working part time still on a decent salary. It will obviously slow my time to FI but gives me a nice work/living for now balance at the age of 34 and still have plenty of time to get to full FI.

      If you are in RIT's position and have the finishing line in sight then you may as well just knuckle down and go for it (especially if you are enjoying the process anyway as he is!) but if not then it's worth bearing in mind there may be other options. There are many ways to skin a cat and all that.


      I have to say I find it very hard to relate to your current lifestyle but massive respect for doing what you are doing and glad you are enjoying it.

      I am hearing you on the sharpness/alcohol thing. As I am getting older it is becoming so obvious that these two things are related and am trying to track and reduce my consumption over the course of this year. Results are varied so far :)

      One perhaps silly question, what was that comment also related to the peppermint tea, does that help you sleep or something or otherwise keep you sharp or did I get the wrong end of the stick on that one?

      My only tips for you I can see as you have most things nailed down are:
      1. That breaky cereal looks expensive - I use Tesco value porridge, 1KG bag for £1 lasts me about a month ;)
      2. You can generally take empty water bottles through security at the airport and then fill them up the other side at a water fountain for free

      Cheers for an insight into your life, I found it very interesting!

  2. I work from 08:30 to 18:00. No later as I get back to read my kids a bedtime story every day. I work hard, save a good amount but frankly you are still a serf you are just giving away a different part of your life.

    We should be aiming to smash the system. I think your main effect is in *not* being a consumer, which I heartily agree with. You are starving the system of tax and spare income. Good for you.

    We also need however to smash the rentiers. This can likely only be done in the UK through violent protest. Otherwise compromises such as yours will endure.

    1. RIT, you should delete this rubbish.

    2. @Anon 1
      I've never said that I have an effect. All I'm doing is piecing a few simple principles into a single strategy and then staying the course. It's nothing special and anybody could do if they really wanted to.

      I'm also not afraid of hard work in exchange for something of value. In this case FI. I freely acknowledge I'm working hard but I am certainly not a serf as I am receiving something of real value as a result. A wise person once said to me that life is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. It's one part of my strategy and right now it's freeing up a lot of savings which can be invested wisely. You sound like you have different priorities which is also ok. We all have to make our choices and live by them.

      I'm sorry but I can't agree with your proposal of violence or smashing others. IMO violence or ill wishes against others has no place in a civilised society. If you don't like what's going on then either change your situation (it's what I'm doing) or vote for someone who will change the situation more towards your expectations.

      I acknowledge I'm making compromises but who on earth isn't. That's what life is all about.

      Since starting this site in 2009 I've prided myself on not deleting any comments unless they contain swearing or are spam. I'll therefore leave the post. For the record:
      - the first paragraph is simply a different viewpoint to my own. That's all ok;
      - the second and third paragraph I do not agree with and cannot condone.

    3. Sure, I post, you reply. The other poster's immediate recourse to censorship is poor.

      I disagree that hard work leads to rewards. The real rewards are given to the rentier in the UK.

      As for my desire to "smash" others, I think you take that a little too literally in an absurd way. When people speak of dismantling a system they are not talking about smashing the face of individuals but of stopping the horrible system in the UK that sees the many working for the few.

      As for violent protest we see this work throughout history. Especially in the modern world of kettling - politicians just don't care if you don't like it. They have no conscience.

      I agree we have different priorities - all of that is fine. The other poster's childish reply has tainted your mood in replying to mine.

    4. Thanks for clarifying your thoughts. For me hard work is definitely leading to rewards but I also now understand your point about rewards going to the rentier. These rewards are actually one of the reasons I intend to leave the UK.

      I believe in the free market but when it comes to housing (including BTL) we definitely do not have one of those. In 2007 we had an over priced market which was starting to correct then in stepped government et al with their funding for lending and help to buy schemes which have pushed prices to record highs. IMHO housing values are now just absurd compared to other parts of the world. I could protest (peacefully) but there is no point as nothing will come of it. Instead I'm going to expend my energies on migrating and leaving the rentiers to it.

    5. Great - it gets better! The boomers+ can't tax you to cover the promises they made to themselves when you aren't in the country. I've already left the UK - I'd recommend it.

      The UK is pulling demand forward via housing but it's tipped from that into desperate printing of money. What else is it when debt is produced with no wealth creation to justify it?

      I agree there is no point wasting your time on it. This was the conclusion I reached in 2012. I moved jobs. I wasn't desperately unhappy in my current job but there was a queue ahead of me for promotion and no amount of hard work would change that. So I moved jobs, got a promotion and a raise at a better company. I realised:

      "you can't change the system but you can change the system you are in"

      I took that and applied it at the national scale.

      Just been skiing with my son today. It's far easier in Canada to have a cheap day as most people aren't as consumerist. It's not perfect but it is great.

      I do stand by my point that in the UK the establishment will ensure that only violent protest will change things - at least the threat of it. People like Cameron would rather kill every kid at Eton than see the system change. For them it'd be as good as doing that. Fair access to land would stop their kind stone dead.

      Anyhow - interesting you plan to leave the UK. Do it - it's going down. Let's see if the US raise rates. Carnayage!

      Now it's rare but time I think for a Cognac...

    6. I'm going to remember that phrase - "you can't change the system but you can change the system you are in". It sums up some of my thoughts exactly.

      I love this great country but I also have a duty to do what's right for us as a family. I could buy an over priced house here and then continue to run on the tread mill for a number of more years or I can go somewhere else with more affordable housing meaning I'm FI far sooner and have options. Of course the grass is rarely ever greener elsewhere.

      K last week came up with an excellent list of migration consideration criteria - quality and availability of healthcare, strength of legal and financial system, aspects of communication with locals (to which I added culture and acceptance of 'foreigners'), loss of UK entitlements due to non-resident status, access to airports links (not important for me), climate, local expenses and economic development of the region linked to petty crimes etc. I also added personality, which is something like history, as I have no interest hiding away in a concrete urbanisation full of expats.

      Interesting you chose Canada. Didn't Carney blow a big housing bubble there before he came to us?

    7. I'm in Quebec were housing costs are lower. They have a good health system. Both my kids have (unfortunately) already needed to use it for serious matters (both 100% better now). It's as good as the NHS with better after-care.

      Quebec has good public order, very strong local culture and lots to do. I'm sure there are many other places that also tick this box.

      I agree the UK is a great country. Sadly the boomers+ have trashed it and will continue to do so until they are all gone. I can't wait around for that.

      Would love to see Carney get what's coming to him. Vancouver is *insane*.

    8. Really great news that your family are 100% better following good care. Sometimes I do wonder just how many people could be healed if only we turned our considerable efforts as a global society away from wars to other pursuits such as health and wellbeing. But alas that is not the theme of this blog so I'll stop there on that one.

      I'm not going to blame any demographic as that doesn't help my plight and those energies are better spent improving the lot of myself and my family. Maybe some day this approach will see me as the blamed demographic...

  3. If your family is OK with all this, then crack on RIT, you're nearly there. The week after you get there it will seem as though you've always been financially independent.

    Whether, having attained your goal, you find yourself making a complete switch to a life of ease, I rather doubt! The habit of saving and accumulating is addictive in a way, and with your cautious approach I can see you will want to increase a margin of safety, provide for eventual care in older age etc.; and maybe (if you have children?) to accumulate a little more to help your kids.

    The question of what you will do for fulfilment if you take the gap and settle in Malta or Puglia is another matter - I hope you will continue with this website until we find out....

    1. Hi Keith

      Thanks for the support. I'm also going to be very interested to see how this all plays out over the coming 18 months or so. I say 'or so' as Mr Market will of course have plenty to say about the exact timing.

      In some of the forums I follow I've seen many people reach FI and then proceed to OMY (one more year or more). I hope I have the courage not to OMY but to instead go and try something new however I can't help but think that I won't know if I have it until I cross that 100% FI line.

      The fulfilment bit once I'm FI is something I'm still struggling with. I have some time to figure it out though. One thing I do know though is that it's certainly going to be nice to have options that aren't dependent on earning a crust.


    2. I'm financially independent, retired, and when employed I lived abroad for several periods and knew many expatriates. l will offer you one thought: unless expats marry locals, work locally and speak the language well, they usually tire of the expat life after a few years and wantto return to UK. Make sure you have the wherewithal to do that, otherwise you lose independence of another kind. Good luck.

    3. Hi Keith

      Great comment and I agree that integration is going to be critical to successful emigration. Local tolerance to 'foreigners' is therefore a key criteria for me as it will make that process easier.

      Have you settled in the UK or abroad?


    4. Not my thread here but I would back it up - the likelihood of you RIT coming back to England and even restarting the work would be very high.

    5. I've stayed in the UK, and if you don't have to work it's a great place to live, with so much going on and lots of interesting people if you pick a good place with intellectual stimulation and entertainment within easy range.

    6. > I've stayed in the UK, and if you don't have to work it's a great place to live

      Non boomers and non rentiers need not apply!

    7. @Anon, interesting that you also think it likely that I'll come back to England and resume work. Do you have some personal experience that you can share here?

      @Keith, thanks for clarifying. I agree that the UK has a lot going forward and it's a place I love. I'm also very conscious that elsewhere the grass is not greener but just different.

  4. Hi RIT

    I saw that question asked and recalled thinking at the time that I would be interested in reading more about your personal life so thanks very much for posting such an interesting and insightful post.

    It's funny how my family think my life is quite disorganised, yet most of my friends think it's organised! It's obviously something in between! Compared to your 100%, I think I'm at around 60% - the other 40%, I'm making things up as I go along or just flying by the seat of my pants.

    As another commenter posted, your work hours are excessive but as you say, you can see the finish line!

    There was a period of time when I was doing 50+ hours a week but it was not healthy and made me ill. The worse thing was that no one of any significance at work noticed the extra hours I put in and when I reverted back to normal hours, I found that the job I accomplished in that time was good enough for the people that mattered.

    I totally get what you are doing - sacrificing some of the now for the future, yet you still have a balance in your life and get to go away with your family on holiday.

    When you get to FI at 43, what an achievement!

    I'm not making such big sacrifices so for me, FI will take a while longer but I accept that.

    Even with the vices, while I don't smoke and have cut down on my gambling, I would struggle to give up alcohol! Although like you, I do not touch a drop in the week, I do enjoy a few (or occasionally, a lot) of beverages at the weekend. At least home brewing has cut down the cost.

    Thanks again for a great post.

    1. Hi weenie

      I've found your home brew posts interesting. If I was drinking I'd certainly be trying this with friends vs £5 a pint somewhere in London. It of course saves you a truck load of money but possibly more importantly it also presents you and friends with some interest plus different flavours vs "4 pints of Adnams (other brands are of course available) bartender" down the pub.

      My problem is I didn't stop (maybe severely slow is a better word as I very occasionally partake) drinking because of the money. Therefore home brew wouldn't help me. I still find it fascinating though. Maybe something to try in Early Retirement. I've also read about people making their own wine which also sounds interesting.


    2. It was one of my friends at work talking about making her own wine that got me looking at home brewing myself. Plenty of wine kits about for you to try.

  5. You say that currently your job type is in the process of being off shored to developing countries to cut the costs. I've seen this process many times in blue and white collar professions. Are you sure that your whole "financial independence" process isn't simply a reaction to the inevitability that your job will simply cease to exist as a high paying career option in the near/medium term?

    1. Financial security is a massive reason for doing what I'm doing.

      I'm a fan of Maslow and his Hierachy of Needs. To get a chance at level 5 which is the Self Actualisation phase you have to pass through level 2 which includes Safety of Employment. From what I see today as a PAYE employee there is zero employer loyalty in the modern world. You are simply a cost and as soon as an alternate method (whether from a lower cost human or mechanisation) is found to lower cost you are no longer required. Financial Independence is my way of gaining Safety of Employment.

    2. Oh, Maslow.
      I would argue that one trying to get to Self-Actualization by investing his life in getting past satisfying basic needs would never make it there.

      It does not work like this. But I recognize fellow STEM graduate :)

      Behavior leading to self-actualization:

      - Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths;

      - Trying to identify your defenses and having the courage to give them up.


    3. So when you have "financial security" will you actually retire?

    4. @K. Interesting viewpoint on behaviours leading to self actualisation. It looks like I'm in big trouble though :-) To date all of my work training and development has been geared around teaching me how to both manage risk and de-risk as fast as possible leading me to be quite risk averse in both work and personal life.

      Maybe Early Retirement is not such a bad idea after all. Give me a choice to break down some risk barriers.

      @Anon. I genuinely hope that when the time comes I have the courage to go from Financial Independence to Early Retirement.

    5. This is Maslow's, not mine.
      You are not in big trouble, just dedicated years of your life trying to find safety and security while sacrificing actualization of your capabilities.
      Based of this great blog of yours - potentially tremendous capabilities.
      That is very sad, but happens so often nowadays.
      I suspect that once you retire, you will be babysitting your portfolio watching your security....
      P.S. Have my own sins, so just being too frank.

    6. ... on the other hand... maybe this blog is that..

    7. Hi K

      2 very insightful comments in a row there. The first put me on my backside and the second made me lean forward. I haven't replied sooner because combined they've caused me some anguish and required some thinking through.

      As I was typing a reply this morning I then realised my reply had made it to 500 words so it was more of a post than a reply. So given that some others on here are also chasing early financial independence I'm going to work it up into a post in case others have missed this exchange. Give me a few hours and I'll get it live.


  6. For London professional who earns his living without parents, inheritance,etc.

    - get married in your 30ths
    - get kids around that time
    - start pension saving by saving percentage of your salary equal to half the age you started savings
    - either get a mortgage or rent and save for your house
    - enjoy your life, take holidays as much as you can but continue investing into 2 pools of money - house and retirement funds.
    - when you are in late fifties, your children should be close to starting their own life so you can stop financial support. You house is either paid or you have saving to buy a house for cash. You pension fund is built, let's say £1000000
    - retire. Own a house where you like to live but close to where you spend your best years.
    - split pension fund in 7-8 income monthly income paying saving account or income funds, 5% will be 50k per year.
    - enjoy retirement

    1. Not exactly. Just thought about what an alternative would be to your lifestyle.

  7. Interesting that so many of your " posters " choose to be anonymous . I perfectly understand RIT's need for anonymity but 13 of the current 26 posts ( nearly half of which are RIT's replies ) are also Anonymous . Could those of you who choose to be anonymous at least indicate which anonymous responder you are by adding some kind of individual identifier ( a number , letter , etc ) Even " Anonymous - the anonymous one " would be helpful if you choose to be so invisible .
    Maybe the anonymouses ( sic ) could think again about why they choose this security blanket to hide themselves in ?

    1. Whereas you only ever post under your real name?

    2. Good point stringvest. As the readership is growing here at it's becoming more and more difficult to link multiple comments within a post let alone building up a rapport with regular contributors over weeks or months across multiple posts. It's a bit of a shame for me as the discussion following a post is where I get most opportunity to learn something new.

      I must apologise here. I run this blog on the Blogger platform and I must say the Comments system is nothing short of rubbish.

      To give yourself a 'name' (and I don't mean your real name but simply an anonymous screen name as stringvest mentions) so that we know who we're all talking to simply reply as: Name/URL and fill in the Name cell. There is no need to fill in a URL.

  8. Yes - but at least it informs you of who has written the post . Who knows - there may be over 20 anonymouses ( sic) so it is sometimes difficult to know which one RIT is responding to.
    I don't want to know who you are - I just want to be able to link the comments and replies together - in an easier fashion.

  9. PS which anonymous are you ? ( 16th March 2015 @ 17:16 )

  10. I think my previous post disappeared so trying again. I am the author of the original comment asking about your free time and enjoyment. Thank you for taking the time to write an entire post in reply. I will continue to follow your site with interest and admire what you're achieving.

    1. Really happy to hear you're going to stick around as I really value the different view points that are starting to appear. Why? Simply the more differences of thought we see, the more private thinking we can do, to make sure we as individuals are on our best path.

  11. I don't know about home brew, but when we were young and skint we fermented our own wines, partly from cans of grape juice from Boots, but mainly from the picking of the hedgerows. Elderberry and bramble were best. It's a wonderful hobby - sunny Autumn Sundays collecting the crop, and then rapt attention to the progress of the wine.

    1. I can also recommend making sloe gin.

    2. Sounds fabulous dearieme. Unfortunately my London borough doesn't have to many hedgerows. Sounds like yet another reason to retire as soon as possible.

  12. I couldn't bend for brambles now: maybe I should investigate what can be done with rose hips. A liqueur perhaps?

  13. holy shit - good job you have an escape plan as that is a brutal life you currently have carved out for yourself - 16 hour days!

    you must be tough as nails!

    1. It's funny because I don't think of it as brutal but is it like the boiled frog in that over the years work has consumed more and more but I just haven't noticed.

      Full disclosure: The week I wrote this post had been possibly tougher than typical. The 2 early starts were the result of a deadline that I couldn't miss. The 6am starts are typical though so I guess you could say 14 hour days are the norm. Not sure if that still makes me 'tough as nails' :-)

      Full disclosure 2: Additionally all that time is not 'at work' but includes a monster commute at each end so typical at work time is closer to and never shorter than 11 hours.

    2. Hi rit, interesting to see your emigration country criteria, have you come up with a short list? Having immigrated into the UK 10 years ago and having lived abroad elsewhere before and travelled extended periods I fully copy the comments that moving to another country has its challenges. As an immigrant to the UK ( from the eu) I have to say that the UK is a great place to live and even retire with beautiful nature and coast line, good food available, largely friendly and open society, and good humour and cultural options. Yes the weather isn't brilliant and The property ponzi scheme is ludicrous and frustrating but a move away from London or the SE largely solves that,and life is about so much more than housing in the end. It's all a compromise there is no one place that's perfect. If the compromise is living in an expensive house which means you can only retire at 50 or so then in the bigger global scheme you haven't done that bad really .That's my current aim, in line with anonymous K. 's alternative.

    3. One more random question, if you live in London how come you have a monster commute? (I am making a possibly incorrect assumption that if you already live in London then you should be able to afford to move closer to work)

      Is it simply because you switched jobs a few times and don't want to constantly be uprooting the family from the current location?

      I only ask because I have a monster commute as well but that is only cos I go into London from way outside (and hence have a much more affordable house as the trade off)


  14. Just came across this and don't understand the logic. I completely understand putting in 60 hour weeks when building your career - been there and done that, but if you intend to retire in 18 months then why on earth are you continuing?

    It's not like you're going to get a promotion or payrise that will make much of a difference in an 18 month period? I'd also hazard a guess you don't get overtime either ;-)

    Time to put your feet up a bit, relax to some 'standard' 9-5 hours and spend a bit more time with your family when there is no 'need' to do the hours you are doing. If you've got that much work on your plate that you 'need' to work those hours then time to tell your boss they 'need' to hire another person.