Crazylemon's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:40 am

Well looking back on the last Journal entry in a much better place, the joys of proper staffing :D

Savings have carried on and I now have a graph of NW and progression to FIRE:

Image

Not particularly exciting. But back of the envelope estimate would still put this as only 6 years to FIRE in a bare bones form!

I had previously read the infamous Office politics article from here and naively felt it didn't apply so much to medicine (clueless me). A recent conversation with my supervisor made it abundantly clear that sadly it does apply and how my cohort are bottom rung priority when compared to the institution. They really don't like how much they are paying us currently (I agree I am probably being overpaid for value right now, but they screwed up with previous docs, did nothing and arena complaining about how unfair it is they are being penalised. I have very little sympathy.

A week off now, nice cheap holiday hiking in France. Think of spending my other week off this rotation volunteering for the National Trust. Cheap holiday and I get to learn how to build dry stone walls and footpaths or alternatively learning bushcraft and woodland maintenance. Not sure which would be more useful yet.

Looking forward to August when I will not be working any weekends for 4 months, unless I choose to to try and bring FIRE a bit sooner.

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Tue May 24, 2016 4:20 pm

New place to live!

Sadly not as cheap as my current £300/month deal. £430/month. Ouch. But it does have a few things to make that more palatable. Double bed (makes the boyfriend happy :p ) and not having to pay for usage of a washing machine (knocking a grand total of ~£5 of the monthly bill at most, small silver lining). But £1.5k less of savings a year hurts.

Trying to avoid a car

I was almost resigned to the fact that a car would be necessary from August because of the way my work will be changing (I will have 2 places of work rather far apart, one fore 4 months and the other for 8 months). But then I looked at insurance. Being young and not having had my own policy would make this cost £650. This is ignoring any other car running costs (the car itself would be free. Parents have 5 sitting on their drive at the moment...because reasons). So the new plan. Commute by bike again. At 10miles one way this would be the longest commute by bike I had done (used to do 6 at uni) and google says just under an hour. So totally doable although I would like to do a few trial runs. I need to be sure they have showers at the office though or this is completely dead in the water. Public transport would be similar in cost to the car with the disadvantage of no car for weekend adventures...Any other suggestions are recommended. I really hope they have showers or I will be stuck :(

Holiday

Just what I needed. Absolutely beautiful and with free geology lectures from the other half. Even if I did have to put up with some grumbling about wishing he had brought some tools and a fieldbook.

Saving

Continues. Average Savings Rate has dropped to 71% though sadly thanks to the additional holiday costs. Currently debating on investment strategy. Keeping my current 90% index 10% play/learning until I learn more. Although most of my money is currently in cash at rates of 3-5% as I am debating about whether house buying in the medium is probably the way to go if I end up in 'not london' because of all the stupid benefits from a tax point of view that permits.

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:52 am

Sort of having mixed feelings about the new job. Hours are going to be a lot better, it is going to be less stressful. But I think I am probably trading satisfaction of higher needs for more satisfaction of lower needs. We will find out, only for 4 months and then I revert back to 'busy but fulfilling'.


They can't yet tell me whether I will be on the new or old contract. This is frustrating given if on the new contract because of flawed payment protection mumbo jumbo I would be 4k better off over the 4 months or near enough.

Avoiding a Car

Likely this is now going to be successful. There are shower facilities at the workplace! Better yet, looking at it I will be able to claim expenses on cycling because it isn't my usual place of work. HR have tentatively said 'probably but we need to check'. If so that would be an extra £4 a day for cycling, so being paid to get to work, on free transport, that makes me healthier. I mean an extra £80 a month isn't huge sums but any net plus for something I am gonna do anyway always helps!



I also did some rough workings on 'what if I wanted to buy a house in london now'. In short with my partner we could if we wanted today get a 2 bed in a less desirable location now, let alone in a year or so when I move back. This was a surprisingly good feeling, especially for my partner who has been very much in the 'non one can afford to buy in london' camp. It does mean I have rather little sympathy for friends who out earn me by 50% of my salary who feel that it is unaffordable...

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Eureka
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Eureka » Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:01 pm

But shouldn't you just buy a house? I suppose house prices in London are on the rise so once you move out and resell you have increased your net worth quite some and at the same time lived in a good place?

At least this is how it works in Copenhagen. The interest on the mortgage is so low (1-3%) and the houses/apartments in the right areas of town increase in value by 10%+ per year. And when you sell again you do not even have to pay taxes of your profit.

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:02 am

Unfortunately it isn't that simple as I will not be living in london for another year and also it would mean an unequal share with my partner in the house, which I don't think is ideal for several reasons. I would rather if I was to buy in do equal share. And to have lived together at least for 6 months before considering any purchase. Distance makes this less viable

Add in this is on my current pay, on my reduced pay (due to more sociable hours) I wouldn't be able to hit the affordability multiples (despite any mortgage payment being less or at least similar to the amount of rent you would pay but never mind.

Also tbh I think the london market is very much liable to any shock at present (Brexit or any other trigger) that would be at risk of negative equity.

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Eureka
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Eureka » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:14 am

I see.

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:50 pm

Well today was an interesting illumination into the hazards of specialisation. Complete curve ball from asking a specialist their advise and getting something that with retrospect makes total sense but had been overlooked by consultants in several alternate specialties which wasn't that hard to find once the correct specialist illuminated the facts but would probably have also been picked up by a general practitioner.

Has also reaffirmed to me the importance of study as well as practice. Something that this year I have probably neglected somewhat and need to get back in to, while I am a better clinician now than a year ago some of that more broad knowledge has slipped or needs updating.

This also applies to life in general. I fear becoming to narrow from having lost the desire to read and wander through odd topics. Which is no doubt a result of the amount of hours spent on work, but I sadly can't change that for the foreseeable (bar the 4 months from august) so I need to work with it.

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:43 pm

Apologies for an almost 2 month Hiatus!

Several interesting things have happened. This new rotation has been good. I am enjoying the 9-5 and the Commute (hah!). The 50minute bike ride to and from work has been brilliant. Well, apart from the accident I had 3 weeks ago. That was pain. Aquaplaining round a corner and coming off the bike was not fun. But I did a self primary and secondary survey, concluded no broken bones. Two very lovely people stopped to make sure I was ok (I was other than a bit of bleeding, pain and generally feeling like a tit) but after working out neither of their cars would fit my bike in and I didn't really want to bleed over what looked like nice interiors I declined any help. Damned if I was going to let anyone even THINK of calling an ambulance and have to turn up at my own ED. Working out that bike was also fine I decided to try to cycle the remaining 8 miles home, which was a bit of a tough slog but managed. Learning points? 1) Slow down in the rain 2) An accident doesn't stop you making your way home under your own steam.

Amusingly everyone kept commenting on my injuries afterwords, just come nasty grazes/wounds on my arm that might scar but nothing facial or anything other than very minority cosmetic. The less kind said I looked like a small child with all the injuries! Although I think that is in someways something to be proud of.

The actual work is miles away from clinical work. This has been nice. I still feel like I am making a difference (although it is more abstract). I have actually been thanked more often by some members of the public (not all most are wonderful) than I did when literally stopping them dying not that I need any it is my job. I have thought about taking this route long term. But I vascilate because I like my hard earned clinical skills and wouldn't really want to seem them atrophy completely and permanently. The pay cut is less appreciated but I can't really expect the same pay for less work with the same employer.

As for ERE, the saving carries on, albeit it at a reduce rate with the pay cut. I have been reading this thread: http://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com ... f=7&t=8103 The one thing it shows me in terms of obvious area of weakness which I was already aware of to an extent is income streams. Other than Primary employment and dividends I have no other real stream of income that amounts to anything at all (<£100/yr). Part of this is I can pick up additional shifts at a rate that is so much higher than anything else I have been able to find. Such is the curse of specialisation. Monetising most of my hobbies appears too be a challenge as high barrier to entry with things like Scuba diving. I do get payback from my gradual improvement in fixing things and cooking, though ever becoming good enough to monetise this is rather far off looking at this point.

My main issue now seems to be the internet. I spend too much time on it. Not useful time. Pointless time sink activities. I use SelfControl which helps but is rather a blunt tool. Trying to work on this is I think going to be my major issue. I may not watch TV but If I spend a similar amount of time reading the same news sites, social media etc. that doesn't really count for much. Part of me wonders if this will ever get solved in any sort of entirety. But I am at least moving forward on most fronts, if not at the speed I would like.

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Chris
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Chris » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:01 pm

Crazylemon wrote: My main issue now seems to be the internet. I spend too much time on it. Not useful time. Pointless time sink activities.
You, me, and probably several hundred million people suffer from this. It was definitely different with dial-up internet, when you only had four hours per month of access. Didn't waste a lot of time with only 8 minutes per day!

I saw a tip from Aziz Anzari recently about wasting time on the Internet, putting it into perspective with spending time productively:
Like, here’s a test, OK. Take, like, your nightly or morning browse of the Internet, right? Your Facebook feed, Instagram feed, Twitter, whatever. OK if someone every morning was like, I’m gonna print this and give you a bound copy of all this stuff you read so you don’t have to use the Internet. You can just get a bound copy of it. Would you read that book? No! You’d be like, this book sucks. There’s a link to some article about a horse that found its owner somehow. It’s not that interesting.

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:24 pm

@chris that is an interesting way to look at things. I have had some limited success at reducing my internet usage now, and making that which I do use higher quality. I tend to find here and a few other site very much benefit me from regularly dipping in for small amounts. I tend to find useful nuggets that I can use to my advantage. Mainstream news? Not so much and I am going to try and avoid it as much as possible!

Having done an additional shift back on my old ward it has been clearly hilgihted to me that it is the volume and intensity of the work that makes me want to leave at time. I enjoyed the whole day. Despite not eating lunch or drinking anything for 10 hours. I guess a form of flow. Whereas everyone else was a little bit miserable. They only slightly vexing thing was at the start where my registrar tried to baby me. After I explained I had actually done this job before and was an SHO not first year doc they did twig and in the end thanked me for being so useful!

So I think part time occasional work is very much on the cards. I could earn my monthly expenses in 2 days of locuming shifts at this level and my value will only go up with years of experience. Alas as a trainee my standard shifts are paid at a rather less desirable rate.

Outside of work I have tried baking a variety of things. All with white flour so less than ideal in health terms...might have to try harder on that one :P

I really miss having a garden. But when moving every year in August for jobs there seems little point. Any work will be harvested once I leave somewhere. Sadly I can only think I need to wait until I can set down more stable roots.

I was reading the epicurean thread and in particular the linked comic (on tablet so linking will have to wait). I think I might have to try offering simple group activities to my Dr colleagues and see who is interested. Might be interesting to see who turns up. Most still seem to think a 'night out' is the pinnacle of socialisation sadly. I am not sure make your own pizza will compete very well...But my close friends are rather scattered to the winds at this point so I do need to find a few new ones.

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:45 am

Saving rate has held up rather well, transport being the only area spending could be easily cut if I wasn't regularly travelling to London, that is unavoidable for now unless I want to ignore my partner, which I don't! Sadly when that gets solved it will be with increasing rent costs from a return to London (moving in with my partner will hopefully reduce the pain of that). Brexit has made me look on paper rather a lot wealthier, in a large part due to the devaluation of the pound boosting the pound-value of my international assets. How much of that goes up in inflation smoke remains to be seen.

Career-wise I now know which training scheme I am applying to and where, I just need to wait for the application to open. If I don't get a job I want I will probably decline any offer and then take a non training position for 6 months, then decide. The current shortage of doctors is really starting to play into some trainees favour like me who are able to now afford to be very fussy/take time out to do fun jobs/make training work for them. Unless you want to do a very competitive specialty most programs now have some spaces after round 1 and increasing numbers round 2. That and my increasing savings mean I feel in a relatively strong position on any 'workplace dispute'. Sadly these are becoming more often as doctor shortages increase, and for those friends less financially secure it does seem to be starting to take its toll. It is regrettable for the NHS that things are like this, but I don't have much hope the government is going to be trying to actually fix any of the problems any time soon, this winter is likely going to be rather scary given how things are now and it is only the tail end of October.


Having read this thread viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8215 it has highlighted again that I am relatively fragile with a score on the metric of 1.notalot. Currently I am very much trapped in the salary-man position, I am not sure how easy this is to avoid at present as training has to be full time, leaving rather limited time for any other revenue avenues. I could improve my score by separately counting my part time work but as this is also pretty much the same work as my normal day to day it isn't sufficiently unrelated for this to be anythign but chart buffing. the joys of specializing meaning I can take well paid hourly based work leaving little incentive to look for unrelated work. I need to work on this and be more mindful of it, I do have some hobbies that could become 'monetized' and it could naturally happen in all likelihood at the point I can reduce hours.

My individual actions do seem to be slowly changing others behaviour as well which is heartening to see. 1 person at work is now cycling to work once a week and another once the office moves in a few weeks time is intending to cycle most days! Hurrah for lead by example! Parents also seem to be making healthier choices which is great.

Reducing internet use has...not gone quite as well, although I have got better at avoiding the complete dross and I find when I read threads here I do at least tend to learn something of value. Once again I must dust myself off and try again.

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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by George the original one » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:56 am

> Currently I am very much trapped in the salary-man position

Everyone are trapped for awhile unless they were born to wealth. The key is reducing the entrapment period rather than eliminating it.

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:48 pm

@George I agree to an my main issue is for how long the entrapment period is, if I can create alternative sources of income such that the fragility can be reduced and also at the same time reduce the time spent accumulating wealth solely from one skill set that would be desirable.



With the switch form Daylight Saving time I am now cycling back in the complete darkness. This is both Exhilarating and terrifying with my probably not up to the task lights. I am visible enough with my trade union Hi-Viz (Although that probably makes me all the more tempting a target for some drivers, hey at least it doesn't say 'official picket' unlike the armbands) but I think this weekend I am going to have to purchase a brighter front light, because on 3 miles of unlit roads it would be nicer to see slightly further in front, the rest of the journey is fine. This feels very different to when I was in london cycling in darkness but with plenty of street lights even if I was probably less safe due to being tired (being up for over 24 hours for on-calls as a student...because employment law doesn't count if you are not employed).
It was also completely freezing today so shorts are out and diving thermals are to be repurposed tomorrow for cycling. A fashionable cyclist I am not, but I do aim to be warm ;) .

Applications for further training open tomorrow so I then get to see the run of the gauntlet and all the jobs available. Hopefully it all goes alright, although the application process is drawn out until March.

Savings continue to pile up with every Paycheck and it still Surprises me how fast. The next milestone is 50k which will be hopefully sometime in the first half of next year.

G_Dog
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by G_Dog » Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:19 pm

Crazylemon wrote:With the switch form Daylight Saving time I am now cycling back in the complete darkness. This is both Exhilarating and terrifying with my probably not up to the task lights. I am visible enough with my trade union Hi-Viz (Although that probably makes me all the more tempting a target for some drivers, hey at least it doesn't say 'official picket' unlike the armbands) but I think this weekend I am going to have to purchase a brighter front light, because on 3 miles of unlit roads it would be nicer to see slightly further in front, the rest of the journey is fine.
I have the same issue with unlit roads, I find adding a flashing red to your continuous red really helps with drivers seeing you.

Good luck with your applications!

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:34 pm

@G_Dog Thanks!

I did end up with probably too much light related fun recently. Multiple light failures simultaneously despite having spares was slightly stressful. Thankfully by the time I was down to a single (dim) front light I was into well lit urban areas and nearly home. But at least I had redundancy in the first place or I would have been completely screwed!

Another time a motorcyclist stopped to point out my back light wasn't visible...It had managed to reposition itself to be rather useless.
Ah well. I survived!
I am going to miss my long commutes now the office has moved closer and even that shorted commute will be gone in a weeks time when I rotate back in to the hospital.

Currently having a bit of a crisis with career planing at the moment. I have realised that one of the things I really like is just changing jobs every 4 months which is why I have enjoyed my current program so much. GP (family med) at least does this for the first 2/3rds (well, every 6 months) but I am having a bit of dilemma as I really want to do more than that number of rotations before getting stuck in to an 'end job'. Because 1) I think it would make me better at it and 2) I find it fun. Not sure how easy it would be after training to go back and works at a lower grade in another specialty. I suspect not overly easy. Although given money isn't a major issue I could take any following pay cut. I can apply for time out of program during a program, but it isn't as simple. Sadly the deadline for applications is in 4 days so I will probably have to submit while I try and find stuff out. The ideal solution would be to finish this section of life FIRE'd and able to then not work if I choose to do so.

Unfortunately I can't really go through it with my partner who is currently looking for jobs as 'Argh I have too many options' is unlikely to go down well. As for peers, well I don't think they can help as either they 1) 'want a break' from training (after 2 years?) or 2) Know exactly what they want. Maybe my educational supervisor might be able to help. Unfortunately most previous mentors/supervisors have taken the the view of I am one of the brighter students and so should be doing 'higher' things which I find boring, pretentious, or both. I don't think I am very popular with the current programme director for my outspoken views...

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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by G_Dog » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:27 pm

Hmm I don't envy you with that career decision. I suppose the most variety at the end point, comes from working in an urban hospital with a high turnover of patients as opposed to the more rural family centred units where you see the same people with similar problems. Then again there is a lot of talk at the moment about shortages in thing like A&E and you could end up overworked.

Changing speciality I can imagine would be quite difficult. It would probably boil down to; what you were changing from, what you're changing to, and how difficult the knowledge crossover. Then factoring in things like internal politics, how popular the programme is. I'm inclined to agree with the build a position where cash isn't an issue and go from there.

I'd speak to you're supervisor, and see which options leave you the most flexibility to change without boring you in the meantime.

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:46 pm

@G_Dog the thing is A&E is in itself a specialty. Yes you see more different conditions than supreme professor of X who sees nothing but X and things other doctors think might be X but the environment remains the same and the general case load and your role remains the same: Is this person sick? How do I initially treat them? Do they need admission? Who do I refer to?

GP again has variety of conditions but is still the same job day after day. As is any job...Could always try and pick somewhere remote and become a Modern Dr Finlay although not sure the partner would be happy, and the job is rather different these days.

Well I spoke to my supervisor beyond 'you spend a long time in your final job' didn't really end up with career decisions. That statement also being debatable with respect to ERE for a given value of 'long'. In short practical advise or signposting not forthcoming. But then I guess I have to accept that asking the system for advise on how to work for the system on yours rather than its terms is not always going to be easy.

We will see how the applications pan out. I can always say no at the offer stage without penalty.

Back to work in the hospital tomorrow. Apparently it is a more stressful place than before. The general mood around the NHS from doctors is starting to get rather ominous. I know rather a few to many senior doctors jumping ship 10 years before workforce planning would have had them go, not helping with shortages. Add in the younger ones heading off the the antipodes... Working in a system under increasing stress is going to be 'interesting'. I am not sure there is political will to solve it sadly...

Crazylemon
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:00 am

1 month in to my most recent job it is certainly more exciting than my previous one, and at times rather more stressful. By and large I find it fun.

My latest dilemma is now with work. I have come to the conclusion It is probably best to at least start GP training next year assuming I get a job I like in a place I like. By the end of the scheme I would be pretty much or actually FIRE assuming no major hiccups anyway. So in that respect I guess it doesn't matter what route as I can always do 'not medicine' at the point and be fine in all likelihood. Or dead end medicine from a career perspective. I think I need to get hold of a copy of 'disciplined minds' and read it as seeing how it has been recommended I think it will probably apply to me.

Recently on discussion with friends I stated my 'probably won't be working for the NHS much longer if things don't improve' position and got in essence a guilt trip back of leaving makes it even worse and perpetuates the understaffed,miserable, leave cycle. Which I understand but also don't want to sacrifice myself for. Although there is still some lingering sense of duty that makes me feel bad about leaving colleagues proverbially out to dry. The 'you are replaceable' doesn't hold true once you already see the shortages in real time. Needless to say the Red Cross is right with respect to 'humanitarian crisis' felt like it where I work at least...

Savings have carried on well but I now need to actually reduce my cash position, getting to the point where any more interest I will pay tax on which isn't desirable at all. So making sure I am tax efficient for next year where I will enter higher rate really is the next priority on this. Likely going to need to read up on SIPPs, much as I am loathe to lock some cash up until 50 when I am already accruing a pension and state pension the potential tax savings are too large to ignore at the higher rate of tax.

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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Chris » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:04 pm

Crazylemon wrote:Likely going to need to read up on SIPPs, much as I am loathe to lock some cash up until 50 when I am already accruing a pension and state pension the potential tax savings are too large to ignore at the higher rate of tax.
As an American, I don't know anything about tax-advantaged accounts in the UK. But reading up just now on SIPPs, it looks like they aren't as well-tuned for early access as accounts we have over here. But as you wrote, they're still might be worthwhile due to tax savings.

What is your drawdown plan? If your pension + SIPP can meet your income needs in your later years, then your FI cash to only last you until you reach 55. Sorry if you already mentioned this in your journal and I missed it.

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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:57 am

@Chris I was planing on some point to go through my rational on the various tax advantaged accounts available in the UK and how I (currently) am thinking on using them so now seems as good a time as any! Don't worry I hadn't clearly mentioned it!

Pensions:

Currently I have an NHS pension I pay in 7% of pre tax earnings (rising as I earn more). In return I get 1/54 of my earrings for the year at State pension age (SPA) (currently 67 for me) uprated with CPI + 1.5% each year while I still work for the NHS and up to 5 years after working for them. Past that I get only CPI protection. Once claiming payouts rise at CPI + 1.5% currently. Claiming earlier results in actuarially calculated reductions and loss of CPI protection if too early. This is unfunded but 'backed by the government'. This is too good a deal to give it up assuming it doesn't get overly messed around with and even if it does well it has to be REALLY messed with to become a bad deal. Also functions as a part insurance as if unable to work due to sickness you can claim what you would be able to get at 67 straight away assuming you meet the criteria.

SIPP - This is something I have mentioned considering opening next year. Because it is tax deferred in the same way 401ks are (ish). But, there are rather a few restrictions. Maximum tax free value is £1million and that is ALL pensions (including the above). Max pay in a year is £40k over all pensions too. Both limits are academic from an ERE point of view for me. Can't access until 10 years before SPA. At that point, up to 25% can be taken out tax free in one go. The rest can then be then widrawn using draw down/purchase an annuity. There are some restrictions on what you can do with this but because of the defined benefit scheme I have above currently that wouldn't be too much of an issue for me.

Stocks and Shares ISA: Essentially tax free (income and CGT) savings post tax. Current limit of £15k/yr rising to 20k next tax year. This is my currently only place I have S&S as I have yet to save enough in a given year to hit that limit while putting other cash into more advantageous areas. This is in my opinion the most useful single accounts for ERE as it has instant access without penalty while being totally tax shielded.

Help to Buy ISA: 25% boost to savings provided it is for buying your first house. comes out of the total ISA allowance when funding. Several restrictions on how much can be saved /month and in total (£200 and £12k respectively)

Lifetime ISA: Set to replace HtBISA in theory. Same 25% boost but 4k in a year limit and can only be accessed for first time house buying or, at 55. Some convoluted ways to get early access without penalty if odd situations.


So my current system has been to save into a S&S ISA and....Cash...lots of cash...far too much cash. Well other than the potential optionality of wanting to buy a house in maybe 5 years time meaning putting too much into the market would have been sub optimal. However, thanks to accounts juggling I have been able to keep savings getting 3-5% which with 1k of tax free interest outside of ISAs allowed hasn't been (I hope) too bad a decision long term. But I have now built up enough of a 'housing deposit' that the rest is now going straight into the S&S ISA. Because I will only but a property joint with my partner and currently I have far more savings than them so they will need to 'catch up' on the housing deposit side. Plus I don't want to buy anything too expensive as that would be counter productive!

The issue is next year. I will probably earn just over £43k and so be on the higher rate 40% band. This is what makes opening a SIPP to suck up the extra that is over £43k and not covered by my NHS pension contributions. Because it is just too much 'free money' to give up. Especially given at the other end it is going to be taxed at 0% or at most 20% (unless I over save and am drawing more than a total 43k income in retirement NOT including ISAs which I just can't see). The fact it is locked until 57ish does limit how much as a proportion I can put in there but for now, I can't think there is going to be enough OVER 43k minus NHS contributions for me to need to think it further for at least a few years (at which point I will probably reduce hours to keep the same total income anyway).

So yes I have to make sure I don't save tooo much into a SIPP that it gets lean at some point in my 50s. The exact maximum ratio I have yet to calculate because I am so far away from approaching it. I take the view of my NHS pensions and state pension being insurance that I can't count on so would want a 3-4% SWR from SIPP+ISA+other accounts.

In general the UK seems pretty well set up for ERE in that I don't have to worry about long tail health risks and we have a very flexible tax efficient counts with a rather generous contribution limit (ISA). Further to that income from capital is much more lightly taxed than employment income. No NI contributions and £5k tax free for dividends and a lower rate than standard income thereafter, ontop of whatever is in ISAs! Plus up £8k from lodgers. I find this slightly odd but I am not going to say no given most of it is very advantageous to me!


That turned out longer than expected.

In other news met up with a rather large bunch of my Medical student friends yesterday. Slightly scary to see how unhealthy some of them look and how unhappy pretty much everyone is with their work with no idea what to do...I am the only person who has applied for further training starting next year out of 10 of us, not going to be good for the NHS workforce. I perversely seem to be one of the ones (seemingly) coping best while also being the one that will probably get to the exit first. They don't know this, obviously. I am not sure how or if I can help them though.

Crazylemon
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:30 am

Work

As I have previously mentioned work and what to do about it has been something that has troubled me for a while. Having had a few particularly bad weeks on the job (staff sickness and various other things) had lifted the back burner thought of 'Should I leave now/soon and do something else'. Add in the NHS woes which anyone who reads the UK press will have an idea of (note: if anything they show a rosey view, in particular with respect to workforce)

Apparently this is a big deal when mentioned in passing to the Program lead. Queue meeting with them. Which was nice, although the system is clearly not designed for 'able bodied person without kids who is very good at the job wanting to do less/non of it' (surprise surprise). So not much career advice in the actual meeting. Slightly unnerving when you know the person in the room is doing a mental state exam on you while trying not to be too obvious about it. Because of course not wanting to work under poor conditions flags as alarm bells for mental health issues...Which I am pretty sure I don't have (I mean I could lack insight but given I don't have any flags I am pretty sure I am ok). I think in some respects it would have been easier for the lead to have had me sit in the room crying about how I can't cope :P I have finally ordered Disciplined minds (library doesn't stock alas) hopefully it will have arrived and been read before stage 2...

In short there seems to be a rather laborious route to getting any actual advice about alternative careers. Fair enough they don't want to train people to have us run off into the sunset too easily. The system is designed for 'struggling' trainees and so all the forms are 'risk to self/staff/patients' which don't apply or asking about health/financial/conduct issues. None of which apply...But I have elected to give it a go to see what happens.

Cycling

Sadly less now that I work within walking distance which has been a shame. Our city has free rudimentary bike check occasionally and I happened passed on my way back so I thought I would give it a go. They identified the small issues I was aware of but hadn't got round to fixing but also found the rear wheel needs truing. Having looked online there do not seem to be any particularly good ways to do this without a stand and given I will very much be moving in 6 months or so I don't want to have to buy more stuff so I may need to get it done for me (ugh) if I can't find a solution promptly.

Saving

Still at 70%, 80% inc pension. I have thrown more of the money into the market and out of cash finally!
Probably 5 years of work to get to a FIRE point. Assuming I stay Doctoring....
At some point I might try and graph things, now that I have more than a year of data I think it might be useful to visually see progress.

George the original one
Posts: 4282
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by George the original one » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:33 am

> Because of course not wanting to work under poor conditions flags as alarm bells for mental health issues

Bloody hell, that is a broken system!

Crazylemon
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:33 pm

@George Yes it is.

There are good reasons for concern. It is coming up to the year anniversary of a foundation doctor's suicide which made it into the news in a big way.

Doctors sadly are rather high risk because they know how and have access to life ending treatment while working in high stakes high stress environments.
Also if a doctor is unwell rather a lot more people are at risk than with a member of the general public.
Fortunately it is a topic that now is being talked about more and there are steps being taken to address it.

Crazylemon
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:07 am

Work

So as of August I will be unemployed. Currently.
They have given me a training job but given I would like to be within an hours distance from my partner if I am gonna lock down for 3 years so I am going to have to politely decline their offer and they can have another unfilled post. This could change between now and the 9th but I think it unlikely. This is my own 'fault' for 1) being fussy and 2) probably on one level not really wanting the job and it showing in my level of preparation for interviews.

Following the meeting with the program lead I now have a 'case manager' who has so far emailed me but nothing else. I am not sure how useful they will be...but given we have now got to the point where 50% of doctors at my grade stop working for the NHS for at least a year they should have a pretty good idea :P

So I now have to decide what to do with myself for at least the next year before training schemes open up again!

I have thought about working abroad and when the NZ jobs open in April/May I will be looking with great interest, as an element of slow travel and to also see a different healthcare service. I have also found a few 'service provision' jobs that are advertised that I am cautiously asking about given I think that they are in specialties a generalist should have knowledge of but the training programs disagree. Needless to say my partner isn't particularly enthusiastic about me looking for jobs on the other side of the planet, but it would only be fore a year!

This is also I guess an opportunity to try some sort of proto-retirement. One luxury ERE has given me is even though I have only been working for a year I have more than enough saved that I could do nothing income producing for a year, although obviously the would make a non insignificant dent in the FIRE time. For that I am very thankful. Although actually doing that and just being a tourist for a year really doesn't appeal and I don't want to end up 'defaulting' to it.

Other things I have thought about is becoming a SCUBA instructor, at least for the second half of summer. Club knows a few centres which normally take a few of us as guides. The pay would probably only cover costs + a bit but, I would in essence be being paid by living in a beautiful part of the world diving.

Having now read Disciplined minds I realise how lucky I am I could actually go up to my program lead saying 'I don't like this and want to leave' and get help rather than just being ignored/risking being sacked. Although it probably has a little bit to do with the powers that be slowly realising that there are rather a lot of shortages and that trainees have realised this and are getting fussy as a result. Pretty much everyone I know has only applied to their first choice job/region. Don't get it, don't take a job, and end up where I am now. Always next year. Whereas in the good (bad) old days competition would mean people would be thankful of their job in the middle of nowhere. No longer. That post...stays empty. There is still a lot that rings true from the book, especially for me that work is in itself political. It explains what I have rather disliked about my job so well. Plus the whole profession = work until the work is done.

I need to get out of the salaryman 'arghh I don't have a job this is a disaster' mindset which I am still in to an extent despite all I have just written. Any advice on that would be great, or what to do in my 'year off'. All suggestions welcome! Probably essential to stop me defaulting to something meaningless/allowing fear to take over.

Savings

Another month at 70%
I Hit that 50k point! This is for most here are pretty small amount but it feels rather big for me, even if it does mean I am still a rather long way of being FIRE. Next point of interest is 100k which is going to take a whole lot longer especially if I do have a year of sub optimal earnings.

Crazylemon
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Crazylemon » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:35 am

Work

Well it took a grand total of 1st job application to get a job. So I know what I am doing from August now, which is another specialty I have no experience in post graduation (Paediatrics). I realised there was a shortage of doctors but I don't think I quite appreciated the shortage until I had to call a consultant who was going to be interviewing me with respect to 2nd Job application that I wouldn't be coming to interview having already had a (more suitable) offer. Most awkward conversation I think I have had to date. Definitely off the Christmas card list. People don't like it when the only applicant pulls out It turns out...

So I now have very little fear of ever being reluctantly unemployed. At least for the next 10 years by which point the increased med school intake might start to ease the shortage. Although, obviously I would have 10 years experience on them so even then hardly a precarious position.

This is making me feel better about the whole year out and letting my try a few more specialties. I will also get to live with my partner which is why I made the choices in the end. Slow travel can wait. For now I want to spend time with my partner.

Started working in the emergency department and honestly the best job I have had so far 90% of each shift seems to be spent in flow. Solving problems and puzzles where that is being sure someone is safe to go home or trying to get someone's heart restarted. Both happen within the same hour not infrequently.

I met with my allocated mentor who seems far more amenable to my concerns and seemed to hint if I was staying in the region that dropping to part time might be a possibility. As I am moving back to London the will not sadly be on the cards for now. But who knows, maybe soon. The Royal College of emergency medicine is piloting 'no reason' part timing for trainees. So there is yet hope that more Colleges will realise this is a good way to keep retention up. But I really an't currently see myself doing anything else other than medicine while enjoying ED as much as I am. I do think General Practice which is similar without the really sick people is probably where I will end up for at least a while, maybe after several more 6 month jobs in various specialties to try them.

Cycling

Les than I would like, ED rota doesn't help that...

Net worth

£53k. This seems less meaningful when I feel at least currently I don't want to hit a 'number' and pull a the trigger on work. But I am young and this will all surely change again

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