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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:30 pm
by 1taskaday
Ok I have data for 3x2 week spending periods and as they say "it ain't pretty"...

My basic spending needs per 2 week period is approx.680.

My actual average spend per 2 week period is 784.

Naturally with more data which I intend to keep gathering will make this expense picture more accurate or do I mean precise...always kept forgetting which is which...

Anyways bottom line is I will earn approximately 1000 per 2 week period when/if I get my reduced work hours and this is why I am sending out mixed messages/signals to the universe about what I clearly want....or maybe I should say don't actually want yet... even though I'm dying slowly day by day off boredom and routine in my "cushy" job...

Based on these figures I will clearly be struggling to live the life I want...

During this 6 week period I also spent an additional 1168 on hobby equipment which is the "meaning of life" for me at the moment.This is a total investment in fun/happiness for me and will repay itself in 1000s of pleasure filled hours before the end of my days.There is nothing right now that I could imagine that I would rather be doing in my free time.

Anyway to get back to the nub of the issue, (that I think is the reason why most people would never cut their work hours and receive smaller wages) one will not be able to do all of the things one may wish to do on small earnings.... easily.

Daww... reminds me of the blog "You can afford anything but not everything"

I know that travel was always a major part of any plan I had if I had more free time...but how much travel will I be able to do on 216 per 2 week period...

I also wanted to be able to save or pay towards my kids college this possible on 216 per 2 week period??? (Not a deal breaker as we will be selling the house we now live in eventually???? and that will fund college expenses if necessary).

What if emergencies happen,such as car breakdown or major house repair requirements...will I really be able to afford these on 216 per 2 week period????

Now I have applied for my reduced work hours and intend to follow through with it if I get it... I am going to take the leap into the unknown... but I can sure understand why practically nobody does it.

The last time I worked reduced hours we were able to save a fortune in childcare and it all kind of balanced out.

So I am definitely full of fear and sending the universe mixed messages...IRL saying to everyone "I can't wait and why isn't happening now?"...the simple answer is that even though I am "living the life of quiet desperation" I cannot envision the reduced hours alternative life as working....

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:03 pm
by 1taskaday
So 1100 down after a family holiday week at our holiday home.I put myself under strict instructions not to refuse any requests and to spend freely.

A great holiday was had by all with water parks,ride parks,boat trips etc filling the agenda.

It really was tough for me to spend this freely but the teens had a ball...just goes to show definitely at their age "more spending equates to more fun"...even though it kills me to have to admit it.
If I am spending a week there by myself I usually end up doing it all for about 200 to 220 But it is lonely and boring,more like a retreat than a holiday.

No news on application to work reduced hours yet so I may ultimately have to retire fully and stick with plan A to get more time off...such a pity as I think reduced hours would suit me better for a few years before full retirement.

The good news is property prices are supposed to rise steadily for the foreseeable future and we may get a good price for our primary residence when or if we finally off load it.That is all so up in the air but one thing is certain I am so sick of cleaning 3 different houses,it seems to be all that I do when off work and not doing my hobby.What a waste of life...

I have now 10,000 saved half way to my goal of 20,000 before the reduced hours may???? click in.

No matter what anyone says it is so difficult to save when living with "normal" spending people...they just can't see any reason for doing without air conditioning,eating out or making any effort to cut needless that's such a subjective term "needless spending".
As the saying goes "One man's meat is another man's poison" and boy is that true when it comes to frugality.

Anyway as my DH says I will succeed "despite"them all...I often retort "No I will succeed to SPITE them all".

And life goes on....

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:29 am
by 1taskaday
Still no update on my request for the 0.5 working hours...could become a THING of anger and frustration if I let my mind dwell on it...but not going down that road...will concentrate on the fact that November 2017 could be the last November that I ever will have to work full-time if I so choose.

Once I feel I have some autonomy over my work time and that I am calling the shots I do a lot better.The trick always for my mind/ mental peace is to cut annoyances off at the root before my mind grows them into Oak trees and makes me unhappy.

If I do have to fully retire October 2018 I can always do a stint working in the Middle East on an 18 month contract.I have researched this a bit and it's quite easily done ...not that I'll really want to but it's a backup/emergency plan if I need the money.

I am so enjoying not renting out our holiday home by the sea this Summer.I can't believe I'm actually in it at peak season enjoying it when its at it's best.All I can remember is the rushing to clean it (and trying to keep it clean while minding 2 young kids until the guests decided to show,which was often 9 or 10 that night).

Was it all worth it?,Definitely NO but I had no choice if I wanted to pay our mortgage debt down really makes it all the sweeter now that I am fully enjoying it at peak holiday season.

This is a thing that I am so conscious enjoy everything that I have worked for...absolutely no point accumulating if it becomes addictive and one can't let go to enjoy.

It's always a mental battle to drop down into doing nothing for me but when I force myself into a slow simple life I am really at my happiest.

A good omen for when I retire I think as I thought I may have lost that ability through the high I got while on the "addictive" (for me anyway) path of accumulation and achievement.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:50 am
by 1taskaday
So a mid-summer update.

I worked 6 and 1/2 days in June,9 in July and (planned for) 9 in August due to annual leave.

Bring it on I say,best summer ever!

Weather overall showers,cloudy and breezy so I mostly get the beaches all to myself with my dogs,absolute bliss.

My extended family can't believe I am so relaxed and lazy..."a new me" they say,... a person that set a goal,achieved it and is now enjoying the fruits of it I say.

Is this not the most efficient way for everyone to live?...always met with muffled "Ya maybe,but not so extreme ..."

Anyway here I news on the application on the reduced work hours yet...the application is probably stuck with some "life-er's" paperwork,not being moved on due to some personal disapproval of such applications due to the " protestant work ethic".

Anyway I refuse to have any part of my life under the control of somebody else's whims or biases SO I have been listening and researching a lot on slow living.

The Slow your home and Live immediately podcasts especially (both a bit obsessed with de-cluttering).

The Radical Personal Finance podcast no.464 The seasons of work is also very informative,as if I do not get reduced hours I intend to continue to plan my work days to the zenith degree.I did this for 2017 and only ever worked a 4 day week-just not able for a full 5 days anymore.

As he says on the podcast "Control your time control your life",I am a firm believer of this now I intend to dissect the 2018 work year so that it looks balanced and slow with no extreme extended work periods without a break.I really am so lucky with the job that I have now that I can do this by planning ahead.

The podcast on Radical Personal Finance no.470 was also very interesting The danger of a financial plan built on extremely low spending projections also gave me food for thought,especially his examples of spending on dog vet bills and cosmetic/necessary dental bills...I would have had the exact same attitudes as him on issues like these but now ... who knows?

If I retire Oct 2018 my pension will "barely"cover my basic spending needs not to mind my possible dental,dog and Oh ya nearly forgot two kid bills...right now I am living an amazing quality of life using 3 different properties in their best seasons...moving and changing as I wish, but make no mistake about it I am paying for this luxury through house maintenance bills.

This is a huge drain in my ability to save up a large lump sum of cash but what an enjoyable life I am having...see the Live immediately podcasts...the obvious solution being, keep working to pay for a fantastic quality of this not what most of the population does...the usual dilemma.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:26 am
by 1taskaday
So it looks like the half time/job sharing will pan out after all.Who knew?

I had given up and accepted that I would have to retire fully in 2018...even though financially it would be insecure.

So typically when you let go of something that you want (without any anger or bitterness) it will pop right in.

I'm just going to keep gathering up as much cash as I can as an emergency/lump fund until it happens.So much for saving my 3,000 per month that I am now able to save ...this will reduce down to 800 maximum when job sharing.

But on the plus side I will only be working maximum 12 to 14 days a month with an income that will maintain my present quality of life ... basically I will have loads more time to take trips with enough money to do it.

The best of every world I think.

As I said I had resigned myself to working full-time for now and so immersed myself totally in a new fitness routine.
I am trying to do more kettle bell routines than aerobics and yoga this time.
I did the 5:2 fast diet for 2 weeks to rid myself of stomach fat that I had gained during the summer.
I only did it for 2 weeks as I don't want to get too skinny and scrawny...this always shows in the face especially in middle age.

So I will persist with the kettle bells to build up muscle and eat normally with no junk.

The caring for an elderly parent is continuing during weekends so time is precious...the life cycle of a typical female...being trapped with kids for fifteen years then the elderly parents kick in....really all these travel plans I have ... are they just pipe dreams...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:50 am
by 7Wannabe5
@Hear you on the "life cycle of typical female." Seems like I am constantly juggling a mixed basket full of limiting factors to "just doing what I want to do", but I have to wonder if it is mostly me getting in the way of myself. For instance, how did I end up cooking blueberry pancakes for my BF this morning before he went off to work? How did I even end up with another BF? All I can see are 3 options:

1) Complete social isolation
2) Avoidance of domestic responsibilities through clear commitments to paid work or some deceit (For instance, "I am writing a novel.")
3) Acceptance that if you do not choose, or succeed at (1) or (2) "woman's work" will be dumped in your lap, so make it part of your "retirement" plan to make sure you at least get "paid" for it.

For the time being, I am choosing (3), but I have also recently added a large cache of books (memoirs and how-to)on the topic of women traveling solo to my active stack. Please let me know if you come up with a (4.)

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:51 pm
by 1taskaday
Mmmmmmmmm...the hundred million dollar question for most females, How to avoid spending most free time on domestic or caring duties?...especially if the amount of free time expands.

My strategy is/will be to keep on the move...

Remember the old saying,"A rolling stone gathers no moss",.... a person constantly on the move (from country to country or house to house) can never really be pinned down or counted on.

I want to be this person...travelling light with no baggage.

Constantly on the move with a large amount of deceit about plans,commitments etc could work.

It will be extremely tricky and take a lot of strategy (an INTJ strength) but I think it could work.

Naturally being FI will be a major part of the plan,enough money to do what you want without being answerable to anyone (including spouse).

Will it be lonely?...quite possibly but every gain (as in freedom) has a just have to figure out what is the thing you want most in life (and be willing to pay the cost) - life is so short ... and even us females should get to put our "wants" to the top of the list at some stage.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:06 pm
by 1taskaday
An update is probably overdue...
Nothing very exciting happening.

Work is dragging on...

Have finally started a meditation/mindfulness course.
Only 2 weeks in but can meditate for 45 mins now without needing to stop and get up.
I say meditation but really it's my mind drifting off in to such urgent crap and to do lists that when I bring it back to breathing I can't even remember "all of this urgent/must do stuff".
Imagine our mind is full of unimportant rubbish that's draining our energy and preventing clarity most of the time.
I know I'm only at the beginning of a very long journey but from the bit of relief and clarity that I've achieved so far I intend to keep at it.

Still waiting for my halftime work.I think it will begin in January.I am really looking forward to it as more time off will be amazing.

By the time I get all my exercise,meditation etc done every day it could take up to 3 hours,who has time to work?

Still keeping track of every penny that I spend which is always below what my job sharing pay will be with a pretty good quality of life.

No foreign trips due to parental health issues and weekend trips to do my share.

As I have very little annual leave left I really couldn't go anyway,roll on job sharing with loads of free time for travelling.

So nothing very exciting happening except my meditation course,just looking forward to more time off.

Patience,patience, and more patience ....

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:05 am
by slowtraveler
Congrats on meditating. It is a great help to be present during times of stress.

I'm curious,why do you think deceit and constant moving is essential to feel free? Constant moving (more than monthly) is stressful, even with just 1 carry on. Deceit brings its own baggage as you have to keep track of all lies and lose social capital when caught.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:17 pm
by 1taskaday
I hate routine and love constant movement/ is only when losing your energy to work that energy levels are too depleted to put into the organization and execution of travel.

I have worked hard to have no "social capital" as you put it. Zero expectations from others is a great way to live. It sounds sad but is quite an achievement for middle aged female to achieve.

I use deceit because I feel guilty about the free pleasurable life I lead. Pretty dumb I know as I have worked by butt of for it BUT it allows me to escape scrutiny or people wanting to tag along.

Maybe some day I'll be brave enough to live my life openly but I think it's easier to live under the covers non conspicuously.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:43 am
by 1taskaday
An update is well overdue.

So still working full-time and kind of glad as my spending has gone up a lot due to a number of factors.

Naturally as soon as the reduced hours to half time come I will grab it...have no choice about it now as I am all signed up... which is a good thing as there can be no backing out.

My DH is just about retired on a full pension at a very young age ... interesting times for all !!!

Looking back through my life I have always prioritised my marriage above everything else and then when my kids came a long then included them in this priority ... I am so glad I did as this makes me the happiest that I can be (as far as I know as I have never been without them).

This has often been a tough journey but always worth the sacrifices or "give and take" to make a marriage work,(in my opinion).

I see a lot of couples going through separation in their fifties after years of marriage and it's not a pretty sight...loneliness and financial messiness being the two big ones that stick out at me.There's also usually a lot of drinking and partying involved to get over the pain which is a disaster health wise at this age.

Now as a couple we have a new challenge that I rarely see any information on these forums about... how to balance life when one partner is retired (full of energy and go),while the other person is in middle age and energy depleted from full-time work.
Add to that if the full-time working person is an INTJ and a lot of time on there own is a necessity ...

Makes for an interesting mix !
Naturally I am wise enough to know that this is just a transition period and things will settle down... the saying "Be careful what you wish for " rings in my ear ... but I feel wiped out and crowded all the time.

My spending has also gone way up as we now have a very active social life of bars and concerts etc.

It could never work long-term as I just physically could not keep up, so roll on the reduced hours which will be my life saver.

A few older women that I worked with hinted that it can be majorly traumatic when men retire at a young age but I did not think this would effect us as we both knew how to fill in all of our spare time and wanted out of working life so badly ... but it seems the lack of social interaction from the work place is a big gap that needs to be filled with other socialization ... which is taking up all of my energy and some of my "savings" right now.

My DH is really very brave as most people at his work place wouldn't even dream of retiring at a young age even though they could be entitled to their full pension.
The amazing thing to me is that not one of his work peers said that they envied him being able to retire ... imagine not one of them would want to retire on a full pension????

Anyway life goes on... still at the meditation course a thing my DH initiated ...still doing it but know I'm not at the deep meditation stage yet...will probably have to do a number of full day retreats to really get there with it. Hopefully never giving this habit up as it is definitely life enhancing.

No foreign trips as would feel too selfish to go on my own now...I know the rot has set in...does this mean I will only travel as a couple now ...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:59 am
by saving-10-years

Congrats to your husband on being able to retire. What I found when I did this at 57 (not on full pension but about 0.5 to 0.66 what others could have got) many colleagues also wanted to be able to retire but were not permitting themselves to think it was possible. Several felt they could not retire even when they hit state retirement age in their mid/late-60s. Commonly they had mortgages (sometimes more than one and some were paying into mortgages of their children). They had extreme expenses and sometimes debts. After all this time becoming specialists they also did not want to step back and lose traction (and the nice things that come with recognition as an expert). This is more of a fear if you know you need to still make an income and expect to do this in the same sector as 'brain for hire'. I have been very happy to step completely back away from it all and as DH stopped working 2 years before me I found his increasing happiness and contentment a real spur to leave work when the opportunity came up. Its hard to go off to work when your partner has a day planned* that you wish you could be part of. The option for me came up because older colleagues would not retire. So I have benefitted there.

But good news (for you) is that you will be part-time. Half the time you won't be going off to work.

Advice is that even when you think you know what you will do in retirement (and I had lots of plans) the shape of your life changes and I hear from many retired people that they found themselves doing something entirely different to what was planned. Its taken me 3.5 years to really get into the rhythm - in part because I had over-planned my first 18 months out so had commitments which I am only now starting to lose. I am sure you will enjoy it when it comes.

* Plans here tend to be around DIY projects or other activities which are free or very low cost. Friends we make now (away from work) assume that as we are retired and not yet getting a pension (i.e. state pension) that we are likely to be underfunded and choosing to perfect bean soup for that reason rather than choosing to be frugal. The bean soup and cooking in general has got much better because its a skill and we have time and energy.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:37 am
by 1taskaday
@ saving,well done you for making the leap at 0.5/0.66 of what you could have got if you waited longer. It really is a big decision and I'm glad you feel you made the correct one.

I would be gone in the morning if my reduced pension covered the cost of the life that I want to lead,(or should I say have reached a compromise as to the cost of the life we "need" to lead to keep everyone happy).

My DH is lucky having a full pension and a side income from his hobby/business.

So it will be reduced hours for me when it clicks in ... with hopefully enough time and energy to keep up with my DH.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:12 am
by 7Wannabe5

I have been in relationships with men who were more or less retired, and more or less introverted/extroverted than me. My suggestion would be to encourage your husband to go solo to most outings that are not couple-oriented. I found it rather awkward and oddly confining to have to attend couple or family events (even his family!) on my own or just with kids in tow when I was married to an extreme introvert, but I also found it exhausting and odd when I was in a relationship with a man who was so extroverted that he would be on the phone making plans to meet people for brunch within 20 seconds after rolling off of me on a Sunday morning.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:25 pm
by 1taskaday
@ 7Wannabe,

As I take my jaw back up from the floor ...

You certainly have a way with words and can paint a very explicit picture ...

Moving swiftly along... advice received...

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:01 pm
by CS

They really drag things out for the job sharing, don't they? That is pure torture.

Sorry to hear that you are being pulled in so many directions. Perhaps you could think of one trip for yourself as 'putting on your own mask before assisting others.' No sense bankrupting yourself energy-wise.

It seems like if your husband wants more of your time, and you are getting drained at work, perhaps he could shoulder some more of the finances so you could leave? Just a thought.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:45 am
by 1taskaday
All logical points CS.

As I stated earlier my priority in life has always bee my relationship with my DH and kids.

This simplifies everything for me.

If I had made my priority FI or early retirement I could have been there years ago but I would probably be on my own now. In my experience extremes don't work well in relationships,they need give and take ,creating balance where everyone feels comfortable.

One of the best decisions that I have made in my life is to separate my finances from my DHs.

There is never any arguments or resentments over money.

He loves buying clothes and loses/breaks expensive purchases frequently...would drive me nuts if we had combined I just smile and say "easy come easy go"...oh, the retention of peace,tranquillity and energy...

Think how much energy this saves in any relationship...believe me there are enough other things we could choose to fight about if we wanted...a complete waste of time and energy in my opinion.

My other priority in life is freedom and independence so in my opinion if I take a hand out from anyone then they get a "say" (however small) in my decisions...I'm of the view there are no free lunches...

Right now things are in a transitional period,and have actually settled down a little bit already.
My DH has taken a huge brave step that most others at his work place wouldn't even dream of at his "young" age...I like to think that my beliefs and principles have helped him my ability to earn and pay my half for all our "family" expenses.

Right now I will support this transitional period in whatever way that I can while,always keeping an eye out that I'm not allowing a huge dependence build up on us as a couple for his social interaction needs...see 7Wanbe5's "very descriptive" advice above.

I will resume my solo travelling in the future and haven't forgotten about this either...I should have so much more freedom if I get the job sharing...if don't I can retire completely at the end of next year anyway...I am focusing more and more on this right now in case I don't get the job sharing. Financially the job sharing suits me better but I should be set up for either.

Of course even though I'm a very logical INTJ about all this I'll still moan now and again...that's mainly what I use this journal for as I just can't be bothered maintaining friendships...too much time and energy required.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:45 pm
by 1taskaday
Work day trip abroad to new city.

Unbelievable how anxious I was before it...nervous about getting around the city in the timeline I had to get my flight home.Any way all went well...easy really,I wonder does this anxiety come with age or was it that I hadn't travelled somewhere new solo for a long time.

Maybe when I've more time off work and do more travelling I will be calmer...last night did not sleep a wink and had to force myself just to go through with it...not good for a person that wants to travel a lot in the future.

So had a pension agent come in to our work place to give a presentation on pensions and retirement...all she really wanted to do was sell her company's financial products and scare the hell out of everyone about the "gap" in our finances that would be there when we retire...But the good news for the "younger" lucky ones amongst us who joined the workplace much later than the rest of us is that they would be able/allowed to stay working until they are 70 years whilst the rest of us unlucky sods would have to leave at 65 years.

Honestly I jest not...we even gave a cheer when one of us would be allowed to stay till 70 years.

I had to bite hard on my tongue not to release my usual sarcastic comments as I didn't want to draw any attention to myself.I think it really hit me for the first time that there are obviously parallel universes out there with people wanting to prolong their work lives just as much as I want to terminate mine.

There wasn't many people signing up to allow the calculation of this mysterious "gap" after the talk.As I work with mostly young females who's biggest concerns right now are acquiring mortgages,childcare costs and the latest fashion trends in clothes, footwear and make-up...retirement doesn't even register...even though they were threatened with working until 70 years!

Any way it was a complete waste of my time and did nothing except frustrate me because I couldn't question any of the abhorrent assumptions that she was making about the cost of a "quality life" in retirement.

Really is it any wonder that people just suck up this tripe and resign themselves to a life of paid employment even if they hate their fact as I said I think after this talk people would feel more secure if they could work on till age 70 as really there is no alternative due to this ominous "financial gap" that is inevitable when they are forced to retire????

It's kind of sad that sometimes I feel lucky to be the age I am when I see how hard things are for the younger generations...But I suppose the generation before us felt the same about us when we hit the workplace.

Work sucks like sign of the job sharing and I'm running out of annual leave days to numb the pain of it ...really I often wonder where this will all end and secretly hope that I'll just be forced to pack it all in at the end of 2018 if I can last till then.

It kind of frightens me to think that sometimes drastic things happen to release people from circumstances that they hate because they haven't consciously got the balls to release themselves...the sub conscious mind can be a powerful thing and often a lot stronger than the bullshit that we feed ourselves to stay trapped.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:07 am
by 1taskaday
Update overdue...have kept up reading ERE but haven't updated.

DH has been retired 6 months...not easy...lost without his work social a job he supposedly hated...I'm at a loss about it all.He's finances are great...has a side hobby/business that keeps him busy on top of full pension...but it's a solitary hobby.

Some people should beware of early careful what you wish for...

My plans are still much the same...waiting for half time work to kick in...should happen in a few months.Really need extra free time as care of elderly parents has increased due to drop out of main family carer due to burn out...naturally responsible me picked up slack...

Seem not to have enough time to give anyone at the moment...nobody happy with my time juggling...but just keeping all the balls in the air for the moment as best I can...most unsatisfactory...

Financials are chugging a long a lot slower as with DH retired we do a lot more spending on entertainment...this is fine by me as there is a lot of things I want to see/do....I will be financially fine when I do half time work on almost half the pay that I am getting now...I just won't be able to save hardly anything.This is fine with my overall plan as I had intended retiring in October anyway...this is now delayed until I try out half time work for at least 6 months.

So all well really...doing Paleo for last 2 months so weight just stays perfect...and have started hill trekking,so fairly fit as well.

Re: The Reluctant Journal

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:50 pm
by EdithKeeler
I just want to say that I enjoy your journal. We struggle with some of the same issues, I think.