Sometimes life just bumbles along on a pretty even keel. Other times it’s a jumble of ups, downs, and switchbacks like a roller coaster ride! Sometimes it is all roses and time seems to drift gently by, while other times life changes quick, and throws you around like a bumper car ride! I think the expression I remember from somewhere was “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”. So very true! Apologies, but can’t for the life of me remember who coined the expression. No doubt someone will put me out of my misery and post the answer in the comments, please. Thanks 🙂
My Plan A
So, let’s kick off with my “Plan A”. Well not so much a plan, but just a wish, a desire if you will. You can check the back story here, but long story, short, I decided a long time ago that I’d like to retire early at 60. This came about when I had the opportunity to enroll in a pension, where the company I worked for at the time, were going to add to my contributions. Great idea! I was asked to pick an age at which I’d like to be able to take the retirement benefits. I chose 60, thinking that why would anyone want to work to 65? (as it was then). What can I say, I like round numbers! I didn’t have a proper plan as to how I was going to make this happen, but I’d put it out there in the universe, and written it down on that application form.
Tip #1 Don’t be like me: make a proper plan. Write it down, and work out how you are going to achieve your goal. Make your goals realistic, with positive actionable steps, and set a time constraint for the accomplishment of these goals. You then have something definitive to measure your progress against.
I began a period of self-improvement, both personally, and also financially, reading books and also taking courses and going to events.
During this time, I came across many inspirational authors, one of whom was Robert Kiyosaki, who wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
This set off a train of thought around investing in assets, rather than buying liabilities, and so got me thinking along the lines of Buy-To-Let properties. The theory behind this being that the regular income from the lettings would more than cover the mortgage and all the property related costs, while over the years I could build a good amount of equity as the property market increased in value. Historically, looking long-term, over the years property should be a safe and solid investment.
Tip #2 Invest in your own self development, both in committing the time, and also financially. Don’t be scared of spending money on self-improvement. This is something that can pay off beyond belief over the years. If you are not continually learning, you’ll never know what you don’t know, therefore eliminating many potential opportunities that may have come your way otherwise. If you have the knowledge, you’ll have more confidence that “you can do this”, because of a far better grounding, and understanding of the subject. Also, if you have spent an amount of hard-earned cash, you will be more invested in doing the learning, and follow up on things you may otherwise have let slide.
My Plan B
So, having worked hard all my life, at 60 I was offered the chance of redundancy. I did not waste this opportunity! I took the redundancy package they very kindly offered me (yes, I’m prone to an occasional bit of sarcasm!), and planned to go contracting. My thoughts were to work 2-3 month opportunities, basing myself in different parts of the UK, and enjoy exploring the areas I wouldn’t normally get to see, on my time off. Then, also having good amounts of time off between contracts to travel abroad, therefore achieving the best of both worlds!
Didn’t quite happen like I’d planned! I took an opportunity within commuting distance, with a company I’d made parts for when I first started work with another company in Southampton all those years ago. It was like my working life had come full circle. This was fine until 2020! I was in the aerospace industry, one of the most badly affected areas to be in. Goodbye contract, jobs, and goodbye travel. Hello accidental retirement!
At this stage, I thought “that’s OK, I have my rental property which will provide me with an income, and along with my savings, and small pension, I will start an online business so I can be totally independent.
Tip #3 Set aside a good chunk of change for the unexpected. Life does not respect your personal choices, and dreams. I’ve heard it said 3-6 months earnings is a good safety net, but more is a lot better. Try not to limit your options and choices by your financial restrictions. Give yourself a good breathing space if you can.
My Plan C
Great, I’ve now thrown away my alarm clock (actually it’s still in a cupboard somewhere, just in case), and started work on my business.
I have the rental income coming in and on the 28th of each month a small sum hits my account from the pension people. I’m learning some new skills, and I get up when I want to. Nice!
Hello November! Good to see you – NOT!
Just had word from my tenant that they want to move on, and have given 1 month’s notice. A bit of background here; I’d just spent cash on the place, as I’d been reassured they wanted to stay another 4-5 years. I was thinking they would be my last tenants, as I was planning to sell up around the time I was normal retirement age, and my state pension kicks in. Would have been perfect timing.
At this stage I’m sure I have had enough of all the regulations imposed on residential landlords, not to mention the tax strangleholds, both on income tax and capital gains tax, and don’t relish the chance of having to deal with any possible future tenant issues. So, for these reasons, I have made the decision to sell the property, and bank the cash. This will give me a good runway to get my online business singing! At this stage, the decision was pretty easy. At some point I may invest in property again, but it won’t be in residential letting. Maybe Airbnb, in a couple of years when travel comes back properly.
Tip #4 The journey from A to B is not a straight line. It will involve many twists and turns, along with the ups and downs. Be prepared for this, for the ones who have the ability to flex, and pivot, are the ones that don’t break. You can only control what is within your power to control. Trying to control what is outside of your control is impossible, not matter how much you want to.
Plans Can Change Beyond Your Control – Be Flexible!
Always arm yourself with information, and be prepared to roll with the punches until you can turn the situation to a positive.
Flexibility of attitude will win through.
Over To You!
- Do you have a plan?
- What can you do to gain an advantage in your life?
- Do you need a back-up plan?
This is what I’m currently doing. Here is my plan. It may not be my only plan, or my last. Remember, flexibility, but I believe it is a solid plan, and it can be run as a Plan B alongside a “normal” job, if that’s what you’re in to.
If you have any great tips or life hacks, I’d love to read them in the comments below 🙂
You may also like this inspiring story of a man with a plan! The Power Of Not Giving Up – From 7-Eleven to 6-Figure Income!
Come on 2021!
Let’s be having you!
Wow, that was a bit of a Delia Smith moment! (football reference Norwich fans will remember!)
Wishing you much success……….
From The Desk Of THE INFINITE AFFILIATE