FI in 10 years

Where are you and where are you going?
jacob
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by jacob » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:40 pm

steveo73 wrote:It's like all this drama over nothing.
http://mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm --- maybe work places converge on the facebook experience as fb seems to have all the sociology figured out.

steveo73
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by steveo73 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:01 pm

Jacob - I had a look at that. I'm not sure how to respond though.

El Duderino
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by El Duderino » Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:27 pm

First off, congrats on killing that mortgage!
steveo73 wrote:It's like all this drama over nothing.
It is the sector you work in. From my experience in working with the big banks, they're beating the drum that the economy marches to and the faster the better.

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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by steveo73 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:01 pm

Another Update.

A couple of random points:-

1. Paying off the home loan is pretty good. I still feel I have to save a lot to become FI but being debt free means we can live off smaller amounts.
2. I sold my car. We only got $500 for it but I figure that it will save us at least $1k per year by not having it.
3. The electric bike's rim broke. I was offered advice on this on another thread but I think that this shows some reasons why buying cheap can lead to longer term costs and hassles. The rim cannot be replaced within Australia as the size is slightly different to where it was made (I assume China) so you can't get spokes to fit this rim. On top of that I had to fix the brakes regularly because it wasn't the best brakes. It was v-brakes but the bike is heavy and it chews through those brakes fairly quickly. I really like e-bikes and I think I will buy a quality bike at some point. That may be one week away but it might be 5 years away.
4. Work has been easy and stress free. The problem is that I'm taking it easy and I'll have to be careful not to take it to easy and get into trouble for not doing anything.
5. My wife is stoked at the moment because she is working part time. She keeps stating she could never go back to full time work.

steveo73
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by steveo73 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:31 am

It feels like ages since I gave an update but it's not really that long.

The main point from my perspective is that work has been reasonable. It's a dysfunctional maybe even toxic environment but I'm learning how to handle it. I just need to be extremely clear on what we are doing and then ignore any of the drama that comes up. I have to do a tonne of status reports. They are coming out of my backside. I then have status updates regularly. They add no value but that is what they want to see and therefore that is what I do. It leaves much less time for actually helping the team out and managing them. It actually puts a lot more pressure on the team because I have to get them to be really detailed in what they are doing. It's a micro managers paradise so I suppose it just depends on your perspective.

As for finances the biggest issue is things braking. We have bought a coffee machine, a coffee grinder and a laptop (for my son at school). They have all recently broken.

I will try and complain for all of these items but I reckon we will have to buy another laptop and probably another coffee machine. Maybe some of this is my fault as we tried to go cheap. I have a new coffee machine bought but it's just a stovetop espresso machine. I should have bought this initially as it's cheap and it should last.

cmonkey
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by cmonkey » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:26 am

March seemed very long for me as well. I feel like its been forever since I've been able to put any money away....but its only been 4 weeks. Glad to hear work is going well and you're taking it easy. I sometimes wonder how far I could stretch not doing anything around here. I think the closer I get to FI the more I will stretch that.

The problem with all those things breaking is that that is what they are meant to do. Otherwise the companies selling them would be out of business. New ones will break just as quickly in my experience. The quicker they break the more money they make (and you lose!).

steveo73
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by steveo73 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:47 pm

cmonkey wrote:March seemed very long for me as well. I feel like its been forever since I've been able to put any money away....but its only been 4 weeks. Glad to hear work is going well and you're taking it easy. I sometimes wonder how far I could stretch not doing anything around here. I think the closer I get to FI the more I will stretch that.

The problem with all those things breaking is that that is what they are meant to do. Otherwise the companies selling them would be out of business. New ones will break just as quickly in my experience. The quicker they break the more money they make (and you lose!).
I don't have a job where I can do nothing but I can work a lot less than full time work. I still think I will work part time if possible when I have enough saved up. It's a quicker path to a positive lifestyle change.

As for things breaking I reckon it really sucks. I have some things that have lasted really well. My computer just keeps going with very little maintenance. I have a pair of shoes that I wear all the time and they just keep kicking along. Shit happens I suppose.

steveo73
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by steveo73 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:20 am

We've had a couple of really poor purchases this year - a coffee machine and a grinder plus a laptop for my son that have all broken. This has made me think about paying for quality. I think Jacob mentions this as well so it's not really my idea however I think you need to purchase the appropriate product with the right level of quality.

For instance we bought the cheapest espresso machine we could. I'm not sure how much it cost but say $80. It broke when we had the family over and made a bunch of coffees. Now we've bought a stove top espresso maker. We had one of these years ago. I can't see it breaking. It also cost something like $20. So it's not the price per se but it's the price for what you get.

We've also now decided to buy my son a MacBook Air. It will cost another $1000+ (I'm talking Aussie Dollars now). We bought a cheaper laptop and it's broken. We bought my daughter a MacBook Air 2 years ago and it's still going strong.

My best purchases haven't been cheap but they aren't necessarily expensive and are appropriate for what we are using them for. So my desktop computer is great. I forget how much it was but it was definitely a lot less than the laptops. I also use Linux as my operating system. It's been going strong for a good couple of years now and I can't see it failing. Yes we may need to update some parts and we have even bought another hard drive that we needed but the thing keeps going and going better than well.

Another good purchase has been the beater bike. It's still going strong. I've had to replace the tyres, tubes and brake pads but it still gets me everywhere and I've left it out in the rain more than once simply because I have to if I ride to the train and then go to work.

Anyway it makes me realize that buying the right good is the key. Quality does matter in some instances but often it's about choosing the right product rather than the most expensive. Sometimes though it's better to spend more.

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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by George the original one » Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:25 am

steveo73 wrote:For instance we bought the cheapest espresso machine we could. I'm not sure how much it cost but say $80. It broke when we had the family over and made a bunch of coffees. Now we've bought a stove top espresso maker. We had one of these years ago. I can't see it breaking. It also cost something like $20. So it's not the price per se but it's the price for what you get.
Absolutely!

My own version of that was the lightweight cultivator (mini-tiller). Useful in tight places when you have a lot of area that's tight, but ultimately it's a machine that will need maintenance and break down. After the first use to loosen the soil, it's just as easy to use a garden fork & rake, so rental is a good option even though they're relatively cheap machines (<$100). Sooo... when I went from a house with a tight gardening space to one with wide-open garden spaces, the cultivator was instantly a dead machine due to non-use and I didn't have time to repair it.

Over a decade later, at my retirement residence while we're putting up the greenhouse, my father-in-law says, "You should get one of those mini-tillers for in here. I had one and it made short work of prepping soil." LOL, didn't bother telling him my story. Since I'd already used the big tiller on the ground before erecting the greenhouse, the soil broke up nicely with the garden fork.

Noedig
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by Noedig » Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:44 pm

steveo, keep on going my brother, you will get there.

Re working in a project environment where most effort is lost in internal reporting and procedure: well that sounds like where I just left, in EU investment banking. I hope you have a group of people at work who you can honestly talk to, to get things done when needs be (what I call in my mind 'The coalition of the willing'). Without that, I would not blame you for reacting to the available incentives, by sitting on your ass.

Re quality. Yea to a stovetop expresso maker, I have one, the Lavazza Principessa. Beautiful to look at, simple to use, indestructible, and makes great coffee. Also have a cheapo filter coffee maker which is also just fine: all those are fine until each one meets the inevitable fate of Death By Dropped Jug. As for all in one expresso makers, I have had those, they do not seem to me to be worth the effort or worktop space: perhaps if I wanted to splash 500GBP on a Krups (no way!) it would make fine coffee too. But no need. Glad you have the right idea and grind your own.

Re quality: my kids have old iMacs: these things go for an absolute song on ebay/gumtree. The software is beautifully functional and the build quality is impressive. I have the oldest of these for myself, a gorgeous 24" white transparent plastic iMac from 2006 that I simply adore. I know, yours wants a Macbook: all I can say there, is gulp!

steveo73
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by steveo73 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:12 pm

Noedig wrote:Re working in a project environment where most effort is lost in internal reporting and procedure: well that sounds like where I just left, in EU investment banking. I hope you have a group of people at work who you can honestly talk to, to get things done when needs be (what I call in my mind 'The coalition of the willing'). Without that, I would not blame you for reacting to the available incentives, by sitting on your ass.
The funny thing is that we have to deliver but there is so much crap that we have to do along the way. There is an older guy at my job who is a champion. Firstly he is an executive (which is still a pleb) which means he is on good money but he works as a business analyst. He constantly points out how stupid so much of the stuff we do is plus he wants to do the work.

Yes - I do have some people that want to get the work done. I also have some people on my team that just want to take it easy. I don't blame them.

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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by steveo73 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:40 am

A long time since my last post. I'm not sure where to start.

Work
Work is crap and fantastic. It's crap because the culture is crap. I should state what that means. We are just inefficient and do a lot of stupid crap and lots of people seem pissed off. We are just going through bonus payments and pay rises now and everyone thinks they have been screwed over. I don't know the bonus or pay rise that I'm due because I haven't turned up since they started informing everyone.

At the same time work is great because I'm working 2-3 days per week at work and the rest at home. Typically I do about 2-4 hours per day. So maybe 4 hours per day if I turn up and I tend to go for a walk as well. My biggest time sink is meetings when they are required.

I am actually really happy with this arrangement but I've done this simply by not turning up. So it's not official and someone could tell me off at some point but I don't really care.

Life
Not working so much is great. I hurt my groin and I got the flu and during that time I didn't train so much but now I'm fit and healthy I'm doing jiu-jitsu 3-4 times per well. I'm also doing some extra stretching/yoga and mild gymnastics.

I'm eating really well. I try to eat a lot of healthy vegan food. I still eat some meat each week but it's minimal.

My wife and 3 kids all seem happy.

Finances/FI

This is a tricky one. We own our house and it's worth probably $1.5 million. My FIL paid for 25% of this so if we sell we should end up with at least $1 million. We also have $100k saved outside of our super savings (Super is money that can only be touched when we reach 60). We have something like $280k in super.

So I think we already have enough money in super (post 60) and if we sell the house and bought another house for say $500k we have more than enough money. Now $500k isn't a lot for a house in Sydney but if we move areas we would easily have enough.

Therefore I think we have two options:-
  • Sell the House now, move and we are set
  • Save for another 4 years or so and then retire
My wife doesn't want to move so she is pushing for option 2. The advantage of this is that we can stay in Sydney and I do like where we live. The disadvantage is 4 (possibly 5) more years of working. If work remains as it is now for me that is cool but that isn't going to happen.

I probably prefer option 1. We can quit basically now.

The interesting point with saving more money now is that I think we should sell our house at some point anyway. It's just that we can sell our house a lot later and there is no rush.

The extra point here is that I may be pissing people off by not turning up to work and they may try and retrench me. That would mean extra money (I'd get basically a year's salary - at least $100k prior to taxes) and no option but to take the sell out and retire option.

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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by G_Dog » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:22 am

Steveo, do you think there will be the option to work to work a year or to longer, and then move as your kids begin to move out (if they are getting to that age)? It might be easier to persuade your wife.

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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by cmonkey » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:21 am

I have found that it's a fine line between pushing off the encroachment of work and keeping people from realizing you aren't doing that much. I do 1 day per week at home, sometimes 2. There is just one person on our team that "needs" that face time and I make sure to give it to him when I'm in. Without it, he would start "wondering if something is wrong" and would ask if I'm happy here at work. Just do what you gotta do to keep people happy, but no more.

Coming off a 4 day weekend (2 days vacation) and he has to know if I had a good time off and then proceeds to catch me up on "all I missed over the last 2 days" (not that much), implying that it's strange that I can actually disconnect from the office. Once he retires, my life get's super easy.

steveo73
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by steveo73 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:52 pm

G_Dog wrote:Steveo, do you think there will be the option to work to work a year or to longer, and then move as your kids begin to move out (if they are getting to that age)? It might be easier to persuade your wife.
The problem with this is that my kids are 15, 13 & 8. So the option is really work for another 4 years and then stay for longer or sell now. I think the kids are going to be too young to move out in another 2 years time.

steveo73
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by steveo73 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:02 pm

cmonkey wrote:I have found that it's a fine line between pushing off the encroachment of work and keeping people from realizing you aren't doing that much.
There is a line isn't there. I'm not good at turning up to work and surfing the Internet. I just tend to go home.

Hankaroundtheworld
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:12 am

steveo73 wrote:I have to do a tonne of status reports. They are coming out of my backside. I then have status updates regularly. They add no value but that is what they want to see and therefore that is what I do. It leaves much less time for actually helping the team out and managing them. It actually puts a lot more pressure on the team because I have to get them to be really detailed in what they are doing. It's a micro managers paradise so I suppose it just depends on your perspective.
Funny and sad to read, it is so recognizable, I had the same experience. Every week/Months, producing status reports with a lot of details (explaining deviations from previous reports), and in the end, hardly anybody reads these reports and will be forgotten quickly, and true, it does not add any value towards customers. All that wasted time that could have been used to interact better with Customers. What is it with these (big) companies that they become so inefficient and toxic?

steveo73
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by steveo73 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:03 am

Hankaroundtheworld wrote:
steveo73 wrote:I have to do a tonne of status reports. They are coming out of my backside. I then have status updates regularly. They add no value but that is what they want to see and therefore that is what I do. It leaves much less time for actually helping the team out and managing them. It actually puts a lot more pressure on the team because I have to get them to be really detailed in what they are doing. It's a micro managers paradise so I suppose it just depends on your perspective.
Funny and sad to read, it is so recognizable, I had the same experience. Every week/Months, producing status reports with a lot of details (explaining deviations from previous reports), and in the end, hardly anybody reads these reports and will be forgotten quickly, and true, it does not add any value towards customers. All that wasted time that could have been used to interact better with Customers. What is it with these (big) companies that they become so inefficient and toxic?
This has actually changed within my current role. I've started just not doing stuff. It was funny because no one complains and some people just state that is better or we don't need that.

I have a Project Working Group (PWG). It was meant to be every fortnight but I decided it was just pointless so I haven't had one in about 2 months. I was sending out a fortnightly status report that became too hard for me to make stuff up about. I stopped sending it. I sent it out again recently but I'm only going to do it monthly or if I need too. The funny thing is that the project sponsor wasn't on the email trail. I had my Project Steering Group (PSG) and said I realise I haven't been sending this to you and he basically didn't give a shit. The PSG is another monthly meeting. I just skipped a month and in that meeting I said I'm only going to have this if it makes sense. He goes no problems.

Today was funny. I got my bonus. It was crap but I need to put this into perspective. I received $9k before taxes and a 1.5% pay rise. To me that is a lot of money. In perspective though it's crap. I've though been working basically part time. Most people in my team got the same amount relative to their salary. People are pissed off. They've been working really hard. My boss said I've been trying to give this for you for the last couple of days but I couldn't see you. I said sorry about that and thanked him for the bonus.

I want to keep working as little as possible whilst getting paid.

Hankaroundtheworld
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:01 am

Great that you get away with it :-)

cmonkey
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Re: FI in 10 years

Post by cmonkey » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:54 am

Hankaroundtheworld wrote:Every week/Months, producing status reports with a lot of details (explaining deviations from previous reports), and in the end, hardly anybody reads these reports and will be forgotten quickly, and true, it does not add any value towards customers. All that wasted time that could have been used to interact better with Customers. What is it with these (big) companies that they become so inefficient and toxic?
The same thing is going on at our org, although I am not the one making up the status reports. I can attest to the claim that the updates are completely ignored. ;)

The inefficiency is coming about due to trying to squeeze every last drop out of the lemon and the more they squeeze, the less and less juice they will get. There is only so much "work" to do in a "hurry-up-and-wait" type of organization.

The one guy on our team doing all the planning and such is constantly going on about how "there's so much work coming", but it just never comes. Or it does and it's not that bad. I don't know. All I know is that he's been claiming that for 3.5 years now and I am doing less work now than I was when I started. He is the type of guy that deals mostly with people/meetings and he is 'oh so biiiiiizzzzy' dealing with people.

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