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Monday, 6 March 2017

Retirement planning & slow progress...

Some would say that at 45, I'm too young to be preparing for retirement...  those would be the people who don't have as many bits falling apart as me!

It dawned on us a while back that most of the world is full of people needing the latest, best, fastest, most elegant "whatever"...  of course when I say needing  I really mean 'thinking they need'.

Luckily for us, we worked out a long time ago that's  all a load of  bollocks cobblers.  When we first decided narrow boating was for us (some 7 years ago now) it hit like a bolt out of the blue.  We went on an early season hire holiday with Andy's parents from Skipton on the Leeds & Liverpool canal... the holiday came at a bad time for me work wise which meant I was wound up before we began and didn't really have my 'chill out and relax' head on.  THIS meant, that for whatever reasons, the group didn't all get along harmoniously!

Ignoring the tension this created, it occurred to me that having a holiday boat - or rather a Hotel boat, would be a great way to finance a move away from our traditional employment to something more rewarding... I actually thought  the concept was MY idea - I was gutted to find narrow boat hotels already existed.

Undeterred, we began our savings in earnest and here we are today with the boat on the water and in the process of being fitted out the way we want it - ie. with "guest accommodation" at the front complete with access to the master bathroom and "crew accommodation" at the opposite end (complete with a loo in a cupboard).

It's on this basis we plan to offer 'some kind' of skippered holiday to folk who may otherwise be unable to spend time on the waterways... only a max of 2 at a time - if they're a couple they can have the front cabin and if singles travelling together, they can have the rear.  We did the sums and worked out that even by "offering" a reduced level of service than a typical hotel boat (for a reduced price) we should still be able to finance our lives, working 12 - maybe 16 weeks of the year.

BEFORE we dare do this however, we have agreed to save up 2 years worth of mortgage payments on the house (although the tenants rent should just about cover it)... this preparation however is proving a very hard pill to swallow with work the way it is/has been/will continue to be.    On the first day of each month I now toss a coin as to whether to chuck it all in.  Luckily thus far, I've not had to call my own bluff...  We'd really prefer NOT to have to sell the house but if we have to, we can... and we'd still be a lot better off than many folk but more importantly we'd be free from what stresses us most.

For now however, it's another month of slogging on and biting my tongue.   To be part-retired within  18 months-2 years is the plan.

ANYWAY - back to the weekend ... Ahem, well, progress WAS made - albeit as predicted rather slowly.

My fault as for some reason I got it into my head that NEXT Sunday was mothers day and as the gas man is booked to come, it would mean I'm unable to go and see the crinklies parents.  SO, first thing Saturday morning we took a drive up to the Yorkshire Dales, stopping off for a bouquet of fresias.

Apparently next Sunday ISN'T mothers day - it's the 26th March... well in that case, I shall send a card nearer the time saying "see recent flowers"😏

On return home, the plan had been to go out and have a Greek mezze for a late lunch - alas, the restaurant didn't open until the evening and that didn't fit with our planned works.

So, instead I did some jobs and nattered to passers by whilst Andy did something on his kindle.

I Sikaflex-ed a couple of planks to the bulkhead in the gas-locker before screwing in bottle securing straps I'd bought off ebay the other week.

They tighten up ok so should do the trick.

I then set to and cut another hole to remove MORE ballast - we got carried away this time and took out another 7 blocks.  

It has made the back end a much better height now - I should think once the lockers have another bag of coal in them it'll be about right.

This 2nd hole is going to double as a cold store - I plan to make a frame around it (for support) and also make up a couple of steel drawers to slide under each side of the dinette to sit on the base plate... mainly to keep wine cool and the occasional vegetable when we've forgotten the size of the fridge and over bought.  

Once I'd had a bit of a tidy up *read put the floor back down* I ran  a couple of cables from the Thetford power supply, under the kitchen worktop to wire up another usb socket next to one of the chairs.  It's the perfect height for plugging in another of those Ikea bendy led usb lights for reading with - using about 1 watt they are brilliant!

By the time that was done, the weekend was about over so we called it a day and returned to the bungalow... which despite having the heating on constant felt very cold compared to the lovely cosy heat provided by that little stove on the boat... that REALLY was a good buy - buttons compared to the cost of the Morso but a brilliant little burner which is easy to keep in over night - in fact, when I get up, the lounge is still about 20 degrees c with the back cabin being about 17 thanks to the eco fan.  
Work is all consuming again this week although I do have Friday off to look forward to as I'm having some kind of injections in the facet joints in my lower back at the hospital - 'can't wait!

until next time...


Catherine VK4GH said...

In Australia they have raised the pension age to 67 now. They - the politicians - who of course have never been tradesmen, somehow expect tradesmen to keep working until 67! As you have found out many find 45 or so is the upper limit before the body starts falling apart. Then of course if they want to re-train, it is all at their own expense.

Anonymous said...

Great to read about your plans for the boat as work-cum-home. See above comment, the retirement age in Britain will probably be 88 by the time you're in your 60s, so you may as well make your way. Very frustrating that I still have to enter my comments as 'anonymous', don't understand why blogspot doesn't recognise my Wordpress profile, any ideas?

Steve said...

A few of my favourite quotations
If you don't have a plan for your life, someone else does.
Feeling afraid? Do it scared
Being miserable is a habit. Being happy is a habit. The choice is yours

Quaysider said...

I've got a bit of a pension plan which I can take some of at 55 or wait until 60 and have the usual lump sum and annuity - It's very modest though and even when added to the state pension (if that is still around) it's going to be a frugal retirement.

Quaysider said...

Not a clue Heather - for someone that spent 14 years working in IT, I know less now than I did when I started lol... a lot of folk think we'll find it hard work but there are lots of lovely and interesting people to meet out there so I think we'll find it very rewarding.

Quaysider said...

Nicely put - we'd rather do it with the comfort/safety net of keeping the house but if we HAVE to sell up to make the sums add up, we will.

Catherine VK4GH said...

Once living on the boat, you will have more time on your hands, and will be able to find ways to live more frugally, to make your money go further, without denying your selves simple pleasures in life. Most long term cruisers (yachts) we have met are extremely frugal indeed.