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About europbaron

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  1. Yes, thanks. It wasn't a response to you, but rather to the naysayers in defiance of figures showing what can be achieved. The figures I put forward are not the figures that apply to me. My FI target is lower. VMR makes some very good points above and if I had my time again (but with my current knowledge) I would follow more of them. I personally don't think living in a 1 bed flat, when that is all you need, to be exceptional. Children are a personal choice and in most cases are supported by a family unit comprising two adults. The figures for a single average wage earner do not apply. In the same way my figures don't apply to WICAO as he wants to retire on an income close to the average wage plus a paid for house. As the average wage for most people has to cover both their pension provisions and housing costs then it is no wonder that his totals seem exceptional and unobtainable to most. It's because they are. Then again few actually need this level of wealth. I'll not debate the figures further in this topic as it is derailing the thread. My apologies for contributing to this derailment. With regard to investing in the current environment, one thing recent events have shown me is the benefit of diversification. My investing strategy is to work from my current cash heavy allocation towards a more Permanent Portfolio style allocation using ETFs and Funds to keep costs low dependent upon the platform. Up until a couple of months ago, my investments were mainly cash and stock market index trackers. I was getting uneasy with my lack of diversification and added gold, bonds and inflation linked gilt trackers. These are all up over 10% since putting my money in, compensating me for the dips in stock values.
  2. OK I'll have a go. Current average wage = £27500. As we're not allowed to increase our salary throughout our working career I'll base my figures on earning £27500 every year. Rent for 1 bed flat £500 Groceries £250 Household bills £180 Leisure/clothing etc £150 Total £12960 a year. That leaves you ~£9000 of your take home per year to save. Don't forget your employer is also obliged to tuck away at least 2% of your salary in a pension for you. Stick half of your £9k in an ISA and half in a pension (getting a 25% boost), assume a 4% real overall return and after 24 years you can expect to have nearly £420,000 in your pot (>£175,000 in your ISA covers you until you can withdraw the SIPP). To cover your expenses this is 3.1% withdrawal rate - far more conservative than the oft-used 4% withdrawal rate and achievable by your mid forties. These circumstances may not be typical, but they are far from extreme.
  3. I'm another pursuing FIRE with a normal salary. I manage to put away nearly 60% of my gross income (if you include employer pension contributions and student loan repayment). I am still 6 to 8 years away from FI, but have a serious FU buffer even if I don't make it. Perhaps the biggest benefit though is the "I'll be ok" attitude obtained through the process. Advantages: Good academic qualifications. Very low housing costs and many other living costs shared. No dependents. Above average salary (although a long way away from higher rate tax). Disadvantages: Commuting costs of nearly £5k p.a. (counter-side of the low rent). If I was single I'd have much higher rent and probably no commuting costs. Demanding work - can be sent abroad at short notice for extended periods. Terrible pension plan (DC - 2% employer contribution). Lack of income diversification - salaried employee. Didn't start saving till very late 30's - when I started I had sub £20k income for 5 years. Due to time in education, it's highly likely I'll never accrue 35 years' NI contributions. It definitely takes longer on an average salary, but if you are willing to cut your coat according to your cloth, I'm sure it can be achieved.
  4. I'm meant to be working from home today so I took advantage of being able to miss the rush times and have just voted. I don't know if it's any indication of how the vote will go, but the polling station was relatively quiet. Three pensioners were dropped off from a car showing several No stickers. The driver then drove off - perhaps to get more? In the car park there was a Bently, an X6 and a Porsche SUV thingy. Who knows what that indicates other than people spend too much money on status symbols. I walked! At the door were two No canvassers. Over the last couple of weeks, the people I've met have been predominately Yes supporters. However, I didn't see a single Yes badge at the polling station. If it's a case of Yes supporters not having enough motivation to become Yes voters, then they only have themselves to blame if the vote doesn't go their way. I can understand that apathy for most elections, but not for this. Having lived in Labour strongholds all my life, this is the first vote in my 25 years of voting where my vote will actually have an effect on the final result. Regarding the campaign, regardless of the result of the vote, I do believe the Yes side came across better. However, both sides were aggressive and argumentative. The BBC coverage has been terrible. Last night's Channel 4 program put them to shame. It was still very argumentative and a bit gimmicky, but it didn't descend into two people shouting over each other continuously. On social media there have been examples of violence against both sides, which is sad. I think it's a bit unfair to blame the undoubted division after the result on Salmond, but it will take time for the resentment to fade.
  5. Is that not the case anyway? I thought you got 6 months of contribution based benefits (regardless of your financial circumstances), then moved on to standard JSA. It certainly used to be the case (mid - late 2000's).
  6. Similar story here. Sold 3 bed semi in Jan 2005 for £190k (agent thought we should have pushed for more). Sales since on same street have been Mar 2007 6 bed semi £180k, Aug 2007 3 bed semi £190k, Jun 2008 8 bed (!) semi £206.5k, Apr 2012 3 bed semi £147k. I think I got out pretty near the top.
  7. He's right only if the education increases your earnings by more than the sum of the additional "tax" you will pay and the lost earning opportunity for 3-4 years while you study. Today that is not no-win, no fee.
  8. That looks to be based on unrealistic salaries for most. Does a 21 year old researcher really earn over £31.5k? I thought that most research jobs required a PhD anyway, and I doubt there are many 21 year olds with doctorates. An overall average wage for 35 year olds of £41k? Really?
  9. It won't be though. With mp3s, ebooks etc, you can get exactly the same product that you have the option of paying to download legally. All it costs is the price of your internet connection and the energy required to run the PC/network. With a 3D printer you have to pay for the printing materials as well, which may well cost more than an OEM part through more conventional retail channels. Surely costs will drop, but until they do 3d printing looks to be more suitable for the hobbyist, or for small businesses making prototypes or very short runs. How many people made their own books from downloaded plans (i.e. printed/bound from an ebook download)? Only with the popularisation of the e-reader, did ebook downloads go mainstream.
  10. Nice vent but I disagree. Electrical engineering is an application of maths. It is not maths. Unfortunately many come out of good universities with good degrees unable to design or implement even the simplest circuits. Sure they can do the maths, but only when the problem is phrased in the same terms as the exam paper set the previous year. Designing and building circuits is an area that can really only be assessed by addressing real world problems. I found laboratory classes generally to be pretty useless in this respect. Do the experiment as told and ask the demonstrator what to do with the measurements. It was only when designing something from scratch, with a defined goal that you learned how to apply knowledge. Often it was only when you built and tested something (and it didn't work) that you learned that those theoretical noise calculations or op amp imperfections were useful in the real world. To be honest a lot of electrical engineering can be done with maths not much above high school level. The difference is that you need to be able to understand and apply that maths - not just solve equations laid out for you. As such shouldn't a top grade in maths (including the ability to relate it to the real world) be a prerequisite for entry into all engineering courses, rather than something you struggle to teach the students throughout their course? It would have been nice to be able to take more optional courses on areas of interest and not have to sit through what were effectively remedial maths lessons.
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