Greetings from London

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Kipling
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:10 am
Location: London

Greetings from London

Post by Kipling » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:46 pm

Hello. I found JLF's still-active ERE blog in a moment of work-related despair [surely there must be a way out?] a decade ago. I have been reading the forums (pretty much every post) since the beginning- maybe 50% of my total non-work screen time has been spent on this site in the intervening period. I registered on the site a couple of years ago, never posted. So: this is finally to introduce myself and say, with the utmost sincerity, thank you for being the most interesting bunch of intelligent misfits on the Internet. Access to JLF's, and the forumites', thoughts over the past ten years has been of incalculable benefit as I have wrestled with what not doing what I do every day might look like. You have got me through a thousand insomniac nights.

Anyway, about me. 45. Un- (and never-) married, living alone, but currently in a relationship. INTJ. Brought up in the countryside but I have lived in London for last 23 years. Unorthodox (and financially unrewarding) route to it; but now a city lawyer in a highly technical specialist area. I was heavily in debt in my 20s as I was fairly extravagant even when I didn't have the money (lovely wine, tailor-made clothes, Michelin-starred food, collections of antiques). I buckled down to saving up and paying off debts in my mid 30s, when I realised I was working all hours, but still didn't seem to have any more money at the end of each month. Now have the basics sorted out. Small flat in the centre of town, no mortgage any more. No car, I walk to work. Pension fund moderately well stuffed. Most of the collections have been disposed of. Still spend a lot on wine, for pleasure and relaxation, and on clothes, mainly for work. Minimal non-pension savings, I've been concentrating on the tax-efficient stuff until now, so non-pension savings is the focus from now on. Had some fairly serious health problems about three years ago. Fixable problem, now fixed, but a wake-up call to cut the hours and the stress. So, I did; but, these things creep back up, and I need to keep an eye on it. Pension is accessible at 55. If I work all the intervening decade, it's definitely FATFIRE. My focus now is more on enjoying the ride until I decide to step away.

I look forward to interacting with you all.

wolf
Posts: 862
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Greetings from London

Post by wolf » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:13 am

Welcome Kipling frim London! You seem pretty outgoing. Wow (from another INTJ :-) Glad, that you decided to post. I am pretty sure you can add your perspective to some discussions to enrich them. How easy/difficult is an ERE-kind of lifestyle in London?

Kipling
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:10 am
Location: London

Re: Greetings from London

Post by Kipling » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:01 am

Thank you for the welcome. I don't know about outgoing, it did take me almost a decade to summon up the courage to write that post... I can certainly fake 'outgoing' for work purposes, but it leave me needing a lot of alone-time, which is a common theme on this board. An ERE lifestyle in London is relatively easy to live (free healthcare, food in shops pretty much same price as anywhere, lots of free things to do) but very difficult to achieve (extremely high taxes on income, insane property prices, unlimited temptations). I look forward to contributing to discussions.

prognastat
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Greetings from London

Post by prognastat » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:58 am

Thanks for joining in on the discussion. Are you shooting for FI at 55 or are you hoping to save enough in non-retirement accounts to quit sooner and tide you over until the retirement funds become available?

Kipling
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:10 am
Location: London

Re: Greetings from London

Post by Kipling » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:23 pm

FI before 50 would be ideal. 55 is the backstop. But, most important is enjoying the next ten years, and the twenty years after that. I am done with living to work.

prognastat
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Re: Greetings from London

Post by prognastat » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:27 pm

If you can manage a savings rate of 50% and maintain the same spending after that you should be able to save enough to make it through those 5 extra years until your retirement accounts become available.

Kipling
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:10 am
Location: London

Re: Greetings from London

Post by Kipling » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:37 pm

Absolutely. My savings rate has been above 50% every year the last decade [no incredible hardship involved, I get paid a lot by UK standards], except 2016 when I refurbished my flat [that year it was minus 20%: root-and-branch refurbishment is expensive in London]. The real question is about how much one wants to pad the safety net- which is a philosophical and psychological question rather than a mathematical one. Or, whether one simply goes and does something else before FI is reached.

Crazylemon
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Greetings from London

Post by Crazylemon » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:55 am

Welcome! Nice to see another UK person and londoner.

I agree there is this odd situation of being able to do with rather low expenses in london but relatively high taxes. Although there are at least a lot of tax free saving vehicles available.

Kipling
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:10 am
Location: London

Re: Greetings from London

Post by Kipling » Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:21 pm

@Crazylemon Thank you! There are several other UK posters but you are correct not many in London.

Alas, successive Chancellors progressively restricted access to the tax free savings vehicles, just as I started to earn enough money to be able to take advantage of them. But that is for another post, probably in a journal, when I want to delve into the man-traps in our crazy tax system...

Noedig
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:15 pm

Re: Greetings from London

Post by Noedig » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:03 pm

Hi Kipling!

Hmm....Is that Kipling as in "Losing theirs and blaming it on you", or as in "Mr Kipling makes exceedingly good cakes"?

Also am in London. Reaching FIRE around now.

I note there are meetups such as organised by The Escape Artist https://theescapeartist.me/, but I have as yet not gone to any. Can't be arsed. Takes all my energy just to respond to a post these days, seems like.

Am 54. Not even sure if that can be termed FIRE, I am a bit long in the tooth.

Definitely woulda coulda shoulda executed FIRE earlier, had I but the means and made super-prudent hindsight-guided decisions. But it was not to work out like that. Life -marriage, kids, house &etc- somehow got in the way. To make up for that, been saving like buggery for the last 8 years. Not managed 50% savings rate though, nowhere near. Well done you - awesome. I hope you have a graph somewhere.

London is definitely where I want to FIRE. Why would I leave for pastures bucolic, just as I reach the conditions (money, time, health) to enjoy it here? That would be perverse.

Kipling
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:10 am
Location: London

Re: Greetings from London

Post by Kipling » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:12 am

@noedig - thank you. I've followed your journal with interest over the years, and wondered sometimes in the last 18 months about how things have been going for you and Mrs N. I'm glad you're 'back' and in a pretty good place right now. Congratulations on FI- even if you aren't this day walking away from work. I think that the fantasies about making the dramatic exit, saying 'fuck you all' and walking out, are primarily fantasies of the helpless. When you aren't helpless any more, you no longer need (so no longer want) to do it like that.

The youngest Nobel Laureate for Literature is indeed the inspiration for the name. Some of his vernacular stories have not aged well but I have probably re-read 'Kim' more often than any other book.

For me the marriage thing didn't happen; I've never wanted kids; and after having had crushing debt to buy my little flat when in my first proper job I've never yet been able to contemplate the million-pound mortgage needed to get somewhere bigger. I am under no illusions that without that trio of circumstances I would be lucky to have a savings rate of 10%... I wasn't brought up in London and do not love it, although keeping a pied a terre is one possible (fantasy?) future for a life mainly based in the country.

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