JollyScot's Journey Starts

Where are you and where are you going?
jacob
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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by jacob » Sun May 21, 2017 4:15 pm

Yup! A functional loophole that many Danes+Int. spouse pursued was to move to Malmoe in Sweden (a short trip across the bridge to Copenhagen) and stay there for a few years until the spouse qualified as a EU resident or somesuch. The Dane would then work in Copenhagen but the couple would live in Sweden and thus fulfill whatever legal obligations in order to "make it happen".

There are some links in the Brexit thread on which EU countries offer the "easiest" visas.

ERE level spending is that much harder to explain because it falls outside of what "authorities" consider normal standard of living, i.e. "According to the Bureaucracy of Economics, nobody can live on less $20,000/year, therefore.." I know a FIRE Brit+Int spouse who moved to the UK, and he had to get a random job for 6 months to tick a box about being employed so he could bring her along. So he did that ...

I think in order for borders to go away, the nation state has to become secondary to other concerns, both in people's minds but also in their hearts. I don't think this will happen anytime soon (figure at least 10+ years before the pendulum swings again) For a while corporations, the academy, monied people, ... were winning being able to move freely being allowed to do so by politicians ... while the average person were losing out. We're now seeing the blowback from this all over the first world.

JollyScot
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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Mon May 22, 2017 4:50 am

Yeah I think there are a few countries that have a 5 year path to becoming a citizen. Not sure if I will end up in one of them or just head to somewhere that I will settle permanently . Once I leave the UK this time I suspect that will be it, so the choice will be between one with the shortest passport time vs one where we will settle forever. EU would still be the preferable option but Canada, Australia, New Zealand and depending on how we enjoy our month trip, Japan.

I could do the UK path but it is purposely obtuse due to them wanting immigration numbers to be so low. I suspect the number will start to drop fairly quickly as the Brexit process starts. With the pound fall people are already 15-20% poorer on world terms, Housing and rental costs are starting to push up towards the 50% of income mark (London was getting close to 70% I think). So for anyone considering looking at moving here now I can't see the draw other than its maybe English speaking.

I don't have any particular pull to UK or any other nation for that matter. I do get that people like feeling like they belong to a group or "tribe", much like the FI community I guess. I certainly see that my Grandparents have very strong views about the nation, my Parents have some but are less attached, then as we move down to me I don't have other than specific people I actually know.

I was maybe attached to the NHS somewhat but that's being privatised in earnest now and at that point I may as well look at the US. I never would though just because of the health care system. Even though I have seen a lot of options for dealing with it, I just think its daft.

JollyScot
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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:36 pm

So I started the process of looking at roles and potential countries that I could relocate to. There are a few on the list, Ireland, I could just transfer my company over and pick up some EU based contract and be done fairly quickly I think. France, Sweden and Netherlands all seem to have a fairly steady stream of jobs that I could pick up to exercise treaty rights.

There are a couple of countries that are fine with the using "self sufficiency" as a way to settle. The rules are an awful lot more awkward and generally hidden from easy reach, so an initial job is just easier. I was considering doing the UK path had the general election fallen the way of the Labour party (they had planned to make the rules back to a more reasonable state) that however did not happen.

I also had my first interview for a potential role, been 5 years since I had to do one of those. I still managed to spot the early game playing over salary negotiations however. I guess one of the benefits of not needing a job is you can be a lot tougher in any stance you take. Specifically when the one you apply for you are not even sure if it is the best among the potential choices you have. One thing the interview brought to light is that I may be moving into the stage where I am less accommodating of company processes.

Other than the planning front not many changes, investments are plodding along without too many wild swings.

I did open up my bitcoin wallet for the first time in 2 years or so, was a nice to see what my 6 coins were at and I could maybe add them to my net worth. But for now I'm still not sure what to make of them, I understand the theoretical value of the block chain and what potential there could be however I don't have a firm position on whether bitcoin will be the one that wins or one of the other newer coins could take over. I should take another look at the whole area and see how the developments are going but I don't have the same interest as I did when I got them. I will probably leave as is on the basis that it is good to have as a "what if" for the technology.

JollyScot
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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:28 am

Now currently in Japan being a bit of a tourist, enjoying my time here. It seems to be both less expensive than I was expecting and more expensive than I was expecting at the same time.

So the general day to day costs of being here seems to be quite low when compared to other similar country centres (London, New York, Paris, etc), but when you start going out for food or to events or on trains and subways the costs can quickly start to jump up. Not sure if it is more or less than anywhere else, probably the same it is just that here I haven't made an attempt to find out how to cook for myself.

I do enjoy the country though and could see myself spending another extended trip here. The issue after speak to a few Japanese people here is that I could probably never work here due to the somewhat insane hours that they all do and that is expected. I could maybe do here if I were a business owner or if I were self employed I guess. That said no immediate plans for relocating to Japan though.

In better news I have been digging through the EU free movement rules a bit more and discovered that I can move around without having to work. The information is a little harder to find but I was able to dig out the self sufficiency requirement for a few countries. As such I am thankfully back into the early retirement bucket of people and won't be heading back to the working world after all. Yay, now just cross my fingers and hope the UK government don't manage to ruin it over the next 2 years (bad start though).

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by Jason » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:18 am

Damn, I got jet lag just reading this.

JollyScot
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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:59 am

Hmm, yeah after a reading I can see that I am still a bit all over the place with locations. Guess it doesn't seem that way when I am in it so much, I see the EU as one large block and so view the different countries like how an American might view their states. I jump my way through them looking at the pros and cons of each for living in each. At one point I had a huge list of potential places to go but most weren't really contenders, good to think about them anyway.

Japan well that is a long awaited holiday, but I suppose I look at everywhere for the pros and cons of living now, not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Should get settled somewhere by end of year I hope, after using this initial "freedom" period to find my way a little.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by Jason » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:00 pm

That's a point I never considered - that from the geographical standpoint traveling United States could be like traveling Europe.

I just turned down a trip to Florence so that tells you about my desire to see the world.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by Eureka » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:11 am

Is it Japan or Tokyo you want? There are organic farms and off the track communities where you can live and eat for free if you hang out and help a bit. And villages where you can stay rent free in an old house if you just live there and maintain the garden. The country is huge, the opportunities endless.

Even in Tokyo you could go to the areas with many drop out salarymen turned homeless, such as along the Sumida River. Make friends with them, most are well educated (but just happened to lose their jobs or get divorced) and into deep talks about the meaning of life. Build your own little cottage next to theirs, contribute to their society and you will be well off for basically no costs.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:29 am

We have been in Tokyo the last couple of weeks and will be heading out around some other areas of Japan in the next couple. I think if I were to seriously consider here moving via the "English Teacher" route would be easy enough. That said it is not where we are going to end up I think, I like the country but don't think the full time living is for me. The barrier is much higher than other places with the language, I could invest the time in learning it but there are other items I'm more interested in learning just now.

That said I agree that living here on a low amount is certainly doable, take out transport costs and the touristy food and things to see and costs seem pretty low (although I did see a 10,000 YEN mango). Once the flat I bought is up and running I think on its own could pay the vast majority of the expenses with the remaining assets left as a buffer.

It is looking like Europe will remain as the base for us though.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:45 am

Been back in Scotland for a while now and I have been organising the upgrade of the flat. Not had the best time dealing with people and institutions since getting back. I could go on a rant but will just leave it at my view of the UK post EU world being worse than it is now is more or less guaranteed.

Still been looking at where to relocate to still and now know an alarmingly large amount about various countries immigration rules. It looks increasingly likely that the flat I have will just be rented out when completed as staying here is now fairly far down our list of plans.

Other than that life been going pretty good, My partner and I are finally organising our wedding. It would be a very small ceremony with just our parents going. Some people have still been insisting on telling me what they think this usually only happens once though. They are quickly told that we are not going to listen to what they think as we have already decided what we are doing. I have been informed by more than one person that if I open the doors to opinions at all then things can quickly start to get out of hand. So I put the brakes on that kind of thing as soon as I saw it coming. My parents got over that quite quickly, my partners parents are more or less over it.

I have also had some chats with people around working from home for them. This would be at an hourly rate as opposed to a day rate and be along the lines of those "zero hour" contracts that are in the news in the UK every other day. That said there is a big difference between a zero hour contract for someone doing highly skilled work vs someone doing low skilled and low pay work.The government here like to use the odd person like me who benefit form a contract of this type as a justification for huge swathes of the low paid population being put on them.

Although I don't need to work still, an agreement where every so often they can send me some items to help them with or ask my opinion on issues works fine. For me it is a higher than normal hourly rate and for them they have no obligation to try and find full time work for me, so it should work out cheaper for them relative to what I produce, we will see though.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by Jason » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:23 am

Good for you for not getting caught up in the wedding machine. What people don't realize is that it's not the size of the wedding, its the type of wedding. Once you open door to one clown, let's say the photographer clown, well he's going to suggest his flower clown, who's going to suggest his music clown, who's going to suggest his chauffeur clown, who's going to suggest his wedding cake clown and before you know it the whole fuckin clown car is empty and running about like its fuckin Barnum & Bailey and when its all over you can't remember a thing, realizing you essentially threw a party so a bunch of people you don't care about only to be left behind to clean up the elephant shit.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:22 am

Haha sounds as though you have maybe had an experience of dealing with them, I have more seen it from the outside and just didn't want anything to do with it. Listening to people discuss what kind of covers they should have on the chair at the reception, putting together 3-4 lists of gifts that people can buy them (I own under 50 items). The best one was a couple arguing about the kind of paper that they should send invitations on.

In general I speak to maybe 6-10 people in my life regularly and luckily they mostly fall of the side of not caring about weddings so saying to them that no one was invited was easy enough. When other tell me they are struggling to keep the guest list under 200 I can't come to any other conclusion other than 'you're an idiot'.

Fortunately ours is more or less organised now, took us about 2-3 days of research, 1 form to fill in, a few emails and a couple of flights and hotels to book. The rest of it will be like any normal holiday. Compare that to one old colleague who was planning and doing things for a full year, it's mind boggling.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by Earlybath » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:03 am

I had a couple of those sort of zero hour things hanging off the back of a couple of longer term contracts that I'd done in the past. I found it a really nice way to work, a glimpse of how it could have been. They both kind of petered out after a couple of years but it was good while it lasted, a nice mix of intellectual stimulation / control, plus I could pace about swearing without getting escorted from the building. I remember my uncle had something similar going on with a company that lasted 20 years or so.
Not quite sure when princess weddings became a thing in the UK. A couple my OH knows seem to be caught in some crazed wedding death march. I reckon they are planning to spend about a years combined salary, after 3 years planning. All on tick mind. I'll pass on Jason's circus metaphor, I'm sure it'll help.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:54 pm

Yeah hopefully the work comes to fruition and suits my lifestyle fairly well. Seems like only one or two individuals I have met come down on the side of this kind of deal being benefitial for both sides. As for Jasons circus description I have shown it to a couple of people and those who have already had their wedding thought it was amazing. As for those in the process of planning they were less amused by the description, maybe they will think though.

Been smashing down some walls in the flat I bought to make the current layout a little better. Hopefully by the end of October the upgraded kitchen will be in and an additional bedroom added to the property. As it looks more or less certain that we will not be living in it any more I am trying to decide between renting the property out and just selling it on again after the upgrade.

There are pros and cons to both, I could have a nice lump of cash sitting to wait for any bargins or opportunity to arise over the next 12 months or so. The fairly stable income would be nice as the property is in an in demand place within the city. I will probably have a few estate agents in to give both a rental amounts and potential sale price and make my decision then.

Other than that I have been making some attempts at cold showers in the morning. The feeling of dread is a lot like when I used to be a swimmer and initially jumping in the pool. Some people said you get used to the cold showers however I don't ever remember getting used to the cold pool so I am sceptical. That said I will give it a try for a month and see how I feel afterwards, I am on the fence about it just now. Not sure if the good feeling afterwards is worth the initial feeling yet.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by MDFIRE2024 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:02 am

JollyScot wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:54 pm
There are pros and cons to both, I could have a nice lump of cash sitting to wait for any bargins or opportunity to arise over the next 12 months or so. The fairly stable income would be nice as the property is in an in demand place within the city. I will probably have a few estate agents in to give both a rental amounts and potential sale price and make my decision then.
Cash won't earn you any income, your property does. Also, the demand in the city could be beneficial mid-term.
Do you decide only on "numbers", e.g. price/earning-ratio, sales price...?
Or are there also some emotional factors for you, e.g. feeling of security, inheritance, ...?

JollyScot
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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:49 pm

When I bought the flat the plan was to stay in it for the longer term, now that I am not likely to be doing that I am looking at it more in terms of a long term investment view. When I bought the flat the rental yield worked out at 6.75% relative to the price I paid, which is pretty good for the UK. Since then the modifications I have made should have added some value and I have noticed a few more of the properties in my building selling for higher values (I think holiday let landlords have been moving in due to the gym and swimming pool).

So now I will look at the gross rental yield again and see where it is at, if it is still up at the 6.75% range I will propbably keep the flat and rent it out. If however that has dropped down nearer the 5% mark then it might be a good idea to capitalise on the rush to buy that has been happening in the block. I could go down the Airbnb route, but I have been watching the tide turn on the service and the city is starting to look at stopping the free for all that has been going on so far with it.

So yeah it all come down to the numbers, if the yield is good I will rent it out, if there is a quick tax free capital gain that can be made then maybe thats the best idea. As for emotional reasons, the only one I would have is that buying a property was annoying and I wouldn't want to go through it again if we did decide to return to UK in the future.

Yeah not sure what way I am leaning yet, I suspect it will land somewhere in the middle as opposed to an obvious "best" choice

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by MDFIRE2024 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:27 am

JollyScot wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:49 pm
...As for emotional reasons, the only one I would have is that buying a property was annoying and I wouldn't want to go through it again if we did decide to return to UK in the future.
Was there a UK specific reason why it was annoying? Or was ist because of the sellers? I am interested into the real estate market, but I don't have any experience with buying, renting, selling. I live in Germany, so I guess there are also certain laws and regulations. Well, but if you don't mind sharing what was annoying, it would be quite useful. Of course only if you like, because as you said it was an emotional reason, so I don't want to dig into that any deeper as needed.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:44 am

There are a few reasons that are probably UK specific and the way in which the system is set up.

In the UK the sellers can go to what is called a “closing date” when there is a few people interested in a property. This basically requires anyone who wants to bid on the property to put in the highest bid they are willing to pay in a sealed bid process. The seller will then pick (usually the highest) offer that they want.

For me I just won’t take part in this process, if I bid on a property I generally wanted the sale agreed with 24/48 hours. The issue was that as soon as I put in a bid the estate agents would convince the seller to go to a closing date. So the very offer I made would end up leading to the process of escalating up the price. So I would be left waiting up to a week to hear if my offer was accepted and not sure if I would offer on other potential places that came up.

Eventually any offers I made were along the lines of “I am offering X and this offer stands for the next 24 hours. If the owner decides on a closing date my offer is withdrawn and no further offers will be made”. The offers I put in were always what I thought it was worth and I would never move on the price if there were counter offers or anything else.

In addition to this people in the UK just now aren’t selling their properties. People are I think waiting to see what happens with Brexit before they make a move. With potential mortgages rates of 0.89%, it is pretty cheap for them to just sit on their hands. With the small number of places for sale it means a lot of people go and see what is available.

Combine the lack of properties with investors starting to shift out of the London market to Scotland. The increase of people buying up properties for holiday lets and there is a big squeeze going on. Which is leading to the estate agents not really needing to do a good job to sell what they are listing. This makes the whole experience very frustrating for someone who is trying to buy an actual home I think.

I’m not sure how this would compare to Germany as I have read you guys give tenants a lot more rights and that prices are therefore kept down. For the UK though the housing market here is a bit of a mess to navigate. With lack of houses being built, lack of current houses up for sale, increased foreign investments, increase in properties moving to holiday lets there's a big crunch.

Scotlands system is at least a bit better than what goes on in England. When a sale is agreed here then it is in effect legally binding and both parties can’t back out. In England thats not the case and you have cases where sellers demand a price increase the day before the move date or they will relist or a buyer will demand a price drop the day before move date or they will walk away. The issue with this is people may require the sale of their house to buy the next house or the buyer may be “homeless” because they expected to move in. It basically allows horrible people to be horrible.

I dunno this may just sound like a rant but I think I have highlighted the issues with it that annoys me. I would happily rent a property but that process here is almost as bad. So for anyone looking at the UK they should be aware that the property market here is a bit of a disgrace. It is very heavily skewed towards being beneficial to those who own multiple places I think.

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Re: JollyScot's Journey Starts

Post by JollyScot » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:50 am

Wedding is now all organised and after a few days of being pestered by people wanting to have "input" that's now all died down. They have finally all accepted that they don't have any say in what is going on. There still ended up being a reasonably big hit with family members demanding to attend. That said we will all get a 10 day holiday out of it for the family and the actual days cost is pretty negligible.

So far for the year my expenses are a fair bit higher than last year due to a few extra expenses, looks like it will be £6,000 higher for the year. Several months of travel resulted in flight costs and slightly higher accomodation and food costs. The wedding also added a fair bit extra, mainly because I'm covering the families accomodation for the trip too. In general though the "base" expenses with these items stripped out have been ok.

So the work on my flat is slowly coming along with the new bedroom almost done and the prep for the upgraded kitchen complete and waiting for install. Found an issue with a broken/noisy extractor system in the walls which is annoying but hopefully I can get that fixed but will probably need to create a hatch into the service shaft that contains the system.

This week I had a look at the communal insurance policy for my building. I noticed that it does not allow individuals to run holiday lets on residential properties, currently there are five in the building listed on Airbnb. This basically means the building is actually currently uninsured because of places being used for non residential purposes.

As I mentioned earlier a few people have been buying up places for holiday lets, I don't really care if people make a holiday let or not. If however by doing so my flat becomes unisured because of it then I have issues with it a little more. As such I will raise the issue with those who manage the building, hassle I didn't want but I am not going to pay insurance costs for nothing. My guess is that currently they are under the assumption that an insurer would still pay out, but anyone whos worked with an insurance company before will know that is not how they work.

I had the flat valued by a few estate agents and the rental yield I could get is at the 6.5% mark so it looks like I will probably keep the flat and rent it. If I were to sell it the profit looks like it would come out at about 2 years of rent, which is pretty good but I think I would prefer the income. I have added the house renovation costs to the value of the property and so haven't marked them down as costs. This will end up totalling about £10,000, but if I update my networth to account for the estate agent valuations then it was money well spent I think.

Some of my other investments took a tumble though so as of now the increase in property value is cancelled out by other things. Still I am not plannig to sell anything so it doesn't really matter as of now.

On the work front I managed to get the Zero Hours contract agreed and signed and it should result in maybe 20 hours of work a month being sent my way. It will also allow me to work from wherever I want, this should make the relocating to somewhere other than the UK a bit easier as the work will cover more or less all expenses and my savings can sit and build up more.

Over the last two years of officially leaving my full time job (although I found contract work) I still haven't really pinned down what to do next. I've tried a few bits and pieces but nothing has really stuck yet. I have had a stint of travelling which was fun and the contract work stopped the initial progress I made on other interests. Hopefully once I move and settle somewhere for a more extended period I can start getting some proper progress going again.

Partner is finally coming round to the fact that she can also go and try other things and maybe build something. She always insisted that she was going to get a job, took me a while to bring her round to the fact that she didn't need to. Maybe she will still end up getting one but at least now she knows it is not a requirement if she would rather do something else. It is up to her, she is currently trying to figure out what she wants to do. This seems to involve try every possible class or training that she can think of, hopefully she finds one she enjoys.

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