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About Pop321

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  • About Me
    Apocalypse Now.
    HPC: They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.
    118: Are my methods unsound?
    HPC: I don't see any method at all

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  1. Something occurred to me yesterday. A light bulb moment if you like. This relates to a sub group of friend I have. Not my ‘main friends’ ...they are all boomers and on occasion oddly b1tchy with each other...something I had never come across before. Still generally good occasional company. One of these friends is frowned upon because the guys think he’s tight. Despite inheriting a house and £400k on top of that (he really should never have told the guys all this) he is very frugal and perhaps even a bit mean with money when it comes to his kids etc. So yesterday...it’s come up briefly and as a connected comment someone says ‘pops when you getting rid of that car...you tight git?’....I drive a battered Jazz, a mates old car £200 it cost...nasty colour, 16 years old. Now I am tight...but definitely not ungenerous. Two very different things. I am far from defensive.....but I stopped and thought about that (perhaps a little miffed these 2 guys had been having a go at the 3rd behind his back) and asked why would I need one? It’s the most reliable car I have ever owned (X3 BMW was constantly in the garage), we play our old tapes in it...groovy baby, I did 4K miles last year with only a handful of longer journeys (80 mph is comfortable...90 mph it’s like a shuttle launch😆) I said my dogs operation had cost £3k, my trip to Aus will be er...a lot, my Swiss diving watch and it’s seversl straps costs...er a lot more. Why do I need something OTHER people think I should have. I asked he guy why he had a crap quartz watch...he said he didn’t care about watches....long pause....and I care less how my car looks. Fair enough, theymove on quickly ....but it really got me thinking (because I was actually starting to look at cars recently)....why do people do this. Spend money on what they ‘think’ they should....reflect, decide where you want your hard earned money to go. No more zombie spending...our French Louis sofa was £300, I know so many people who spend a fortune every few years on sofas (roughly takes the 6 months to save for it...what a waste of 6 months of their life) My cr4p car is carefree driving, can park it unlocked in Asda. And not worry about scratches....and it’s brilliant for blocking in inconsiderate drivings who park badly. I love watching people clambering through their passenger side door to get in their cars. PS don’t get me wrong. When this car needs an exhaust etc then I will just leave it on the side of the road...it’s looks really awful, I just wish it would break down and stop being so reliable 😆😆😉 Drive an old Jazz and retire 5 years earlier 👍🏻
  2. Pop321

    I think the wait is over

    Agree....and trying carefully to ensure I am not positioning any resistance for ‘fighting for equality’ 😏.....I think the fight came at a time when things were changing rapidly in the workplace in the way you describe. The bosses job is no longer the easy job For me, overall work was great but it was work. Stressful, ageing, tiring and it cost me my youth. It was never a ‘career’ or my chosen path....and I would happily have swapped it and stayed at home. I don’t need that social interaction I got from work. Its also not a male/female thing for me...it’s a dual income thing. Very senior execs at my work are female, are more competent, more resilient, more suited to corporate culture and much more capable than myself. So I am glad ALL those who are capable seemed to be rising as they should be It is vital we all pursue our dreams but many are being herded into having dreams like ‘marketing, finance, HR and professional office jobs’ and they sound great. Even better if we can herd someone through Uni and make them work in London. Tax, tax and tax But it’s a big myth for many...so many people are lost, believe the hype, think they are doing well because of the flat screen tv, Lexus, 2 holidays and new sofa. Now don’t get me wrong. Those office jobs were the dream for some people....but so many of us are forgetting what truely feeds our soul. Music, motor racing, astronomy, art, surfing, dance...who knows, just get an office job and work 60 hours a week. I hear people talk about careers but they are confusing it with a ‘job’. Not so sure about the cooking, unless it’s a BBQ....but joking apart social interaction is so work centric now because everyone is working. My wife never worked (sorry, she did as homemaker) and made sure she had a good social interaction....but she had to work hard at that to maintain/build that interaction. No judgements though it’s definitely horses for courses. Also many have little or no choice. I just wonder how many people (who have a choice) take 2/3 hours....sit down and ask themselves what they truely want from their short time on this spinning rock. We don’t have long and it’s important we grab every opportunity we can to have a truely wonderful life.
  3. The transfer values are probably fair but make an assumption that these gilt and interest rates are normal. Shake of a dice I guess but for me I know these rates are wrong....what I am less sure of is how long governments etc will continue to sustain them. The assumption of reducing transfer values to say 90% works for final pay outs if everyone transfers out...the failure of the scheme will be from having the commitment from existing pensions in payment and from those who remain in the scheme and do not transfer out. And that’s likely to be well over 50%. Not an argument for individual advice (because the safe option is to stay in the scheme) but my view is a DB scheme is far from safe. Companies have whittled away at schemes and benefits for years and my trust of both pension legislation and employers is very low. Very very low. Employers beholden to ‘shareholder value’ only. Talk of customers and employee value is a PR exercise because it serves shareholder value to say the right things. Short term shareholder value for Exec bonus is the driver. Redundancies, reduction is outlets and cost cutting impacting on customer service illustrate this. Typical corporate. Some schemes will have had 80,000 active members. But after redundancies, stopping of the scheme 15 years ago, transfers they will possibly only have 10k members now paying in. (But understand many receiving benefits). So the cuts begin and there is an outcry....but the new 70k employees actually don’t care, they are in the new DC scheme. The DB scheme is losing its voice...few more years and the employer may pull support all together. Pension protection scheme...not sure it could cover everyone. Under worst case scenario it may need to. A massive bailout could be resisted by that large and growing proportion of the population on DC schemes. So, I took my 46 x pension transfer value. I have made the risky and massive assumption rates will rise. What is frightening (and I am promising myself I won’t do this) but my 25% tax free lump sum will buy me a commercial BTL that covers the same income as the whole of my pension. Which leaves me with another 75% in a pension fund I then don’t need, a property paying my pension albeit with cost/risk and still owning the property asset. It was the size of payment that led me to believe the scheme will be in trouble...many transferring out and the company happy because short term it reduces liability and increases good old share value. I am not an advocate of transferring...probably more neutral than above suggests...but I see why people may wish to do it. My contra worry is some are transferring because they see a big number and have never had £50k savings never mind £500k. They may spend the money thinking they are ‘rich’ under valuing what a pension is. But for me it was a considered decision and some small element of that decision was that there was risk I believe in the company scheme and employer meddling.
  4. You are touching on a much wider debate about what the government should actually do. Grass roots rethink. Fighting talk...I like it 👍🏻
  5. Pop321

    I think the wait is over

    A frightening thought. I had always considered the dual tax...not the triple tax. My wife was challenged by others ‘why don’t you work?’...reverse discrimination from other ‘some’ others. We both took the most efficient roles (her homemaker and me corporate sleezeball) that played to our strengths to make our economic goals work. I earned OUR money, my wife sorted 90% of domestics. OUR money was the biggest success. I never had MY cash for ‘luxuries’ because I work...my wife didn’t have money to spoil herself following a hard day at work. Alien to many but funds were always and completely spent jointly. Although we may spoil EACH OTHER......we never spent money on ourselves....because it never felt any money was one of ours individually. A key difference I notice with some dual earnings is dual spending. 2 cars, 2 lunches at work, 2 outsfits. Lots more ‘spend’ tax I imagine. Now we are both retired @50. Apparently I cook, clean and pick up grandkids now...well I am enjoying learning to.😉
  6. Thanks. Basically my biography😂 Except I retired at 50....I earned more and very underconsumed and saved, saved, saved and saved. 1986 career start date....lucky.
  7. Or do I mean fair, unavoidable and simple? 😆
  8. True. As an employee paying higher rate, a LL (yep, apologies) and someone who has sold several properties I am no stranger to tax. No tax scams from me. CGT paid on sales, income split 50/50 despite my wife having no other income etc. The only mitigate I used was the ability to offset interest. Which is why my cash pile was high and so was my debt. S24 should close that issue....pleased it has. However there is a problem. 40% tax with NI, P11D benefits and negative K codes means working 5 days a week and feeling 2.5 days are paid away. So as your contractor friends did for 5 years I put 50/60% of my earnings into my pension....and lived off savings if need be. With other things (and that flipping k code) I still was a higher rate tax payer but overall in total I saved maybe £40k/£50k in tax. (Although will pay tax taking it out of the pension over the years to come...so a net gain of say £25k). Two points 1) despite being the very liberal in my views and leaning left wing in my politics....I have always struggled with proportionately higher taxes. If you charge someone 40% they will look at ways to legally avoid it. Particular into a pension 2) Yep, no idea about these ‘loans’ from offshore companies to avoid tax. Anyone sold into that scheme and able to avoid £300k tax knows it’s too good to be true. To save £300k is massive, the earnings must have been enormous. So overall, whilst I empathise slightly with the motive I cannot agree with the method. Earning such large amounts and paying little or no tax is wrong. If you can shave £5k off a £20k tax bill by paying into a pension...fair enough. But if you owe £40k tax and pay nothing...that can’t be right Tax should be simple, unavoidable and fair.
  9. Whilst transparency may not be everyone’s cup of tea....an attitude of proudly paying your tax is something everyone should do. In Greece (allegedly) they are great at not paying tax and it’s done wonders for them as individuals and their country as a whole 😉 Pay what is due, deduct rightly what you can ie costs...and be proud to pay that tax. Keep tax simple, fair and unavoidable.
  10. Tricky. The residents know he is within his rights. If someone offers up a home to look after people (I appreciate he bought it with them in already) and is then expected never to retract it....then even less would offer up homes. It’s like donating to charity then being chased every week for the same donation. HOWEVER, Harry shouldn’t have made a separate publicity stunt with homeless people before he was about to serve notice. Particularly after winning £500k in a tv show. The tenants seem to be crying out for help rather than to stay or for charity....it’s a shame the council granting planning permission are not already engaged and supporting. I guess that involves money and that involves taxes....and the public wouldn’t want that.
  11. Getting to the point of being able to make work optional is ‘the no brainer’. Doesn’t mean it’s achievable or easy I just mean that’s what everyone wants. What I am now trying to do is make the choice real. Everyone I know who leaves work early seems to end up either working or filing their time with ‘work like’ activity. That’s my (very privileged and fortunate) challenge...to try lead an ordinary life (kids and grandkids) but stretch to make it an exceptional one without work or structure 👍🏻
  12. Bored? I will let you know how bored I am in a few weeks time on Bondi beach 😆 I do agree though...some of my friends love work. The suit, the posh coffee, the professionalism, the identity, the achievement, the structure and the purpose. I have really challenge myself to drop all that knowing it will be difficult. I want to make sure my 50’s are not modelled by others or a conditioned pathway. Daft really but in my teens I remember watching a Tarzan film and the thing I noticed was his Victorian parents seem to be off the Africa for a few months travelling (obviously lost their kid on the way but every journey has a casualty😆)....but I marvelled at how the parents didn’t need to be working everyday. Same with Sherlock Holmes filing his days with experiments, heroine😆 and adventures. And that’s what I wanted....like a Victorian gent of independent means with an almost child like ability to fill his days with adventure and also travel....travel a lot. I do have an advantage of enjoying physical labour and renovating (casual work) may bring some diversity but it will be for the experience over a few weeks a few times a year rather than a need for work or structure. I may fail. I may get bored and return to work. I guess I am free to do that too.... horses for courses I guess. 👍🏻
  13. It’s complicated and rather oddly I have found it not a financial decision but a decision of the heart. I think that’s were the regulator misses the point. I transferred out. In away it will allow me to have a bigger pension earlier and a smaller one later. I will enjoy my all my 50’s, and then my 60’s, oh and my 70’s by which time others who are old and ill can overtake me with their DB pensions. My friend is the opposite. He is worried about health care and money in his 70’s and 80’s....so he is working until he is 60 and will never transfer out. He also doesn’t want to be thinking and worrying about his ‘pension pot’ To be fair I have a fair chunk of reserves and unlikely to ever run out of money. But that didn’t impact my decision too much. I have always said if I am old and ill and need health care....I will forgo that care for the years I have already enjoyed travelling the world and climbing mountains in my 50’s and 60’s. I can think if nothing worse than being ill, 85 and really wealthy....knowing I could have done more. But no rights and wrongs on this one. It’s a very individual and very personal decision. People should do what makes them happy as long as they don’t expect to have their cake and eat it. 😉
  14. Yep. Interesting...I keep harping back to 1986 when I started my job. It was definitely positioned as secure, pension, lots of fringe benefits ie we will look after you. I was and am absolutely loyal after 33 years service. However, the change of employer approach during my career impacted existing employees too. My employer overall was very good....however changes to T&Cs, pensions, other benefits and redundancies are really important for cost control and success...but it sends a really clear message to employees. You are expendable...it is not personal it is business. Once you see a redundancy of a friend who is then totally lost....then you know everything after that is just business. The absolutely message ‘employees are our most important priority and asset’ falls on deaf ears. No big corporate exist nowadays in order to leave a legacy with the families that serve it. They used to offer a family (albeit a professional relationship where both parties needed to keep to their commitments) but now it’s just a business relationship. There was some resistance when I left. Who leaves a successful career so young? Not the main reason I left but there were timing issues in my decision around changes in pension benefits pending. So leaving at 50 meant my pension was good and only be bettered after another 7/8 years service. If they could offer me a guaranteed job until 60 I am sure i wouldn’t have stayed but I would have needed to consider it. But no such offer could be made, nor would I really expect it to be......I shrugged my shoulders and left. Happy with what I put in and what I took out. My loyalty remains because overall I did well. But if I started today that message by corporates that employees are their priority would wear thin real quick.
  15. I see this too but obviously with exceptions. I reflected on why it might be...are boomers entitled, are they greedy, don't they care.....or is it a lack of understanding of the challenges faced by millenniums. I am 50, so Gen X rather than boomer but as an early parent and career starter I am on the shirt tails of boomers. So I may be able to offer some light....but please note this is not MY VIEW of younger generations but more a possible explanation of 'a failure to communicate' between Boomers and younger generations Boomers 'know' (wrongly now) every generation has it better than the last...whilst they were young that happened and had always been the case. So perhaps they feel what they see is the same. i.e. there appears to be a lack of 'struggle'....For example, I started as an office junior at 18. At 21 had 2 children and had no new clothes, no travelling, no holidays, no colour tv, food shopped frugally, never went out and really did struggle until we were 25. An old lady left a pound I our pram once...she could see we needed it (benefit of hindsight I could have sued her under health and safety regulations :)….We lived on £4K a year (say £14K now). Now bear in mind this is a perception. But it may appear millenniums are going to Uni and trying to get the top paying £35k a year jobs then say they don't have enough money. Many boomers may not earn that even now. (ignore housing costs this is perception theory). Many boomers will see 30 year old bosses coming through...earning more than they ever did at such a young age. I have seen examples....people in their mid 60's with an inherited house, plus their own house, plus their pension, plus their state pension etc and when I ask if they are handing over anything to their 35 year old kid they say no 'he earns a fortune'. Obviously this is a cohort, certainly not all.....but I wonder if boomers do not see the struggle of the millennials because it is visibly so very different to the one of yesteryear. One to ponder....its not a justification but I am sat in the middle (ish) and do see very distinct challenges. Not sure I would cope today....in the 1980's I knew the formula to succeed, not sure I do today.

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