Hello from London!

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ember
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:41 am

Hello from London!

Post by ember »

Hello! I’m a 46 year old woman living in London. A friend introduced me to the concept of ERE a few years ago. I’ve read the book and I’ve enjoyed lurking on the forum.

I spent my twenties dithering around in academia before deciding I wasn’t really cut out for it. All my career profiling tests indicated that I should become an accountant :shock: , a dreadful fate that I rejected for a long time before discovering that it was possible to combine it with working in the non-profit sector. That appealed to my desire to something vaguely socially useful. I spent three years doing the necessary training and then got a job in a local charity. I’ve been there almost 14 years and it’s reasonably rewarding most of the time but I have to admit I’m beginning to feel a little jaded.

For a long time, I was planning to retire at around 55 and thought I’d probably move back to the countryside near where I grew up. But a couple of years ago everything changed when I met a woman living near Pittsburgh and we embarked on a long-distance relationship. This was a new thing for me as my previous relationship was with a man, so I’ve had to get used to telling people. (There are still a few people I haven’t got round to telling, such as my boss!) The reaction has generally been very positive and my friends are more amused by the fact that she’s taken me on various hiking trips, as I’ve never been the outdoor type. I’m definitely getting fitter and feeling the benefit of forest therapy.

I’ve visited her quite a few times - Greta Thunberg would definitely not approve of me – and reduced my hours at work to enable me to stay for longer. I now go over every 6 or 7 weeks and spend a week there, and she’s been to visit me once, but it’s harder for her to get time off and she doesn't really like cities. It’s better than nothing and I always have the next trip to look forward to, but after crunching the numbers I decided to take the plunge. We’re planning to get married next year and then hopefully I will move to the US a year after that. The prospect is both exciting and scary, and there’s a lot to get my head round. I’m very risk-averse by nature, but the older I get the more I feel the need to turn off the auto-pilot and start living more intentionally.

Things are in a decent position on the financial front. I have a reasonable chunk of savings, my flat is fully paid-off and I have that rare thing, a defined benefit pension. This site has been very helpful in introducing me to concepts such as sequence of returns risk, and I’m currently trying to keep my head down, get through the next couple of years continuing to sock away as much as possible and reach the end of 2021 with my stash intact, keeping my fingers crossed about the exchange rate. I’m fairly confident that I won’t need paid employment when I move to the US, although I wouldn’t rule anything out at this stage, and there’s a possibility that I could continue to do some work for my existing employer remotely. I’m fortunate that my fiancée is very self-reliant and is a frugal person herself. She loves backpacking and we recently took a road trip to Maine which combined camping and staying in the odd hotel so that I could have a shower, being a wimpy metropolitan type! :)

That was a long introduction. I’m going to set up a journal soon and look forward to discussing the journey towards early retirement with you all.

wolf
Posts: 966
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Hello from London!

Post by wolf »

Welcome ember! Glad you introduced yourself after a few years lurking. Looking forward to read more about ERE living in a big city like London.

ember
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:41 am

Re: Hello from London!

Post by ember »

Thanks wolf! I've gained a lot from lurking but thought it was time to show my face :) London is definitely an expensive place to live, but I'm hoping to turn that to my advantage when I move to Pennsylvania as house prices in particular seem to be much more reasonable over there. My fiancee can't quite believe what my tiny flat is worth. Selling it will constitute around half my net worth when the time comes.

halfmoon
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: Hello from London!

Post by halfmoon »

Welcome, ember! Congratulations on finding love and getting yourself in a position to retire in 2 years. I grew up in Pennsylvania, and it still has a lot of rural land and forests. The rural areas are employment-challenged, so you can get some remarkable deals on real estate.

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