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Transitioning – musings on 2021 Get hold of US

2021 has been my third 12 months since I took that preliminary leap into the FIRE unknown and for me it’s been my largest 12 months ever for change.  Some good and a few not so good.  So with the solar quick setting on 2021 I assumed it was time to take inventory and write a few of this down.  Warning: Should you don’t like weblog posts that leap round this one might not be for you however if you wish to know what FIRE can actually do to an individual then I hope you discover it useful.


One of many 2021 elephants within the (influencing my life) room has after all been COVID-19.  What I’ve discovered fascinating is that it’s not the virus itself giving me mortality issues.  In any case I’m a late 40’s wholesome one who drinks little or no, eats nutritious meals, now has little to no stress, workout routines repeatedly and doesn’t smoke or occasion onerous in order that a part of life will in all probability end up okay if it occurs.

What I’ve nonetheless began to turn into involved about is watching what a mixture of a virus + energy + politics + cash + mainstream media promoting concern + no actual debate not to mention scientific debate can flip the world into.  

For instance right here in Australia I watched many Victorians being coerced into vaccination not as a result of they thought it was the suitable factor to do for his or her and their fellow residents well being however as a result of with out it they’d lose their jobs and talent to feed their households.  Coercion is rarely proper in my books. 

One other instance is that I’m actually shocked at what appears to be occurring in Austria the place very quickly in case you are an trustworthy law-abiding citizen who simply desires to dwell in peace you’ll quickly end up having dedicated a criminal offense punishable by massive fines or imprisonment.  It actually does really feel like we’ve regressed as a society considerably.

My COVID-19 coping mechanism is to minimise my contact with these promoting concern, notably the ‘information’, which has resulted in a major enchancment in my wellbeing.


Housing has been a giant matter for us this 12 months.  Firstly, let’s cowl our present dwelling preparations.  We’re nonetheless renting in a fantastic a part of the world near the ocean (together with seen sea life and loads of water sports activities) and forests (together with up shut wildlife like kangaroos and loads of trails) which we’re completely loving.  We’ve invested in some new bicycles and are actually racking the miles up.  To this point so good.

Whereas the above sounds idyllic, and it’s for our rental state of affairs, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s nonetheless in all probability not the place to speculate tons of of 1000’s of {dollars}, notably if one believes in world warming.  Why do I say this?  Helpfully, the native Councils right here in Australia publish ‘mapping’ for every of their areas which is de facto useful.  It lets you overlay your property and numerous ‘occasions’.  Doing this to our rental exhibits up an space vulnerable to flooding and storm surges in addition to being in a bushfire affect zone.  On high of this our rental is fabricated from wooden and Australia appears to be stuffed with creatures known as termites that appears to like devouring wooden.

So we lease in a fantastic a part of the world nevertheless it’s not part of the world the place we’d ever personal.  Tons and plenty of learnings on this entrance over 2021. 

In parallel to us having fun with the environment as we closed on 2020 and entered 2021 various issues occurred enabling the subsequent a part of our housing story to unfold.  Firstly, we settled actually shortly right here in Australia and secondly, we began to essentially really feel like Australia might be our dwelling.  We additionally noticed rates of interest on the ground and governments throwing taxpayers cash at housing.  We due to this fact determined to not look forward to a 12 months earlier than deciding whether or not to purchase or not however as an alternative to start out in search of a house instantly.

Initially, we began current houses that have been both transfer in prepared or that might be sorted with some superior DIY and some expert trades.  What we discovered although was a housing inventory that simply didn’t do it for us at a naked bones degree.  The development method appears to principally be some pine sticks are erected, that are then wrapped in what seems like aluminium foil which is then coated with a single layer of bricks or cladding on the surface and a few sheet rock on the within.  Insulation, what insulation…

So we went a special manner and moved onto viewing empty plots of land.  For an enormous nation I used to be genuinely stunned at how little land there was on the market that might go well with our wants.  Nonetheless, after a very long time trying and actually 1000’s of kilometres on the highway we discovered it.  

What makes our land so particular for us?  Right here we go:

  • It’s sufficiently big for us to develop some greens, fruit timber and develop some plantings that can make for an exquisite dwelling surroundings nevertheless it’s not so large that it’ll flip right into a full-time job.
  • It’s strolling distance to all of the services one may wish in day-to-day life.
  • It’s strolling distance to the ocean however as a result of it’s an elevated side it carries no flood or storm surge dangers.
  • It’s strolling distance to forests stuffed with wildlife however simply far sufficient away that we don’t have to provide any consideration to Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL)

We’ll nonetheless hold a automobile however I count on it should get very restricted use.

With the land in hand our focus has now moved onto what dwelling will we construct.  Our plans are presently in remaining revision with this being the gist:

  • Small in dimension by Australian requirements however greater than enough for our long-term wants.
  • Metal body!  Keep in mind these termites I discussed.
  • All partitions insulated each thermally and acoustically.
  • A steel roof that I count on received’t want upkeep till lengthy after I go away this earth.  Instantly, beneath that roof is an anticon blanket for each noise (assume heavy rain on a steel roof) and thermal insulation.  Moreover, we have now thermal insulation between the dwelling and roof areas.
  • A gorgeous outside kitchen space the place I count on many a day shall be spent barbecuing with associates.
  • A big storage.  The solar right here appears to destroy all the pieces and if the solar doesn’t do it the hail stones will!  We have now sufficient storage area for a automobile and my hobbies.
  • A warmth pump sizzling water system.
  • Sufficient photo voltaic photovoltaic panels to cowl our modest wants and provides a bit again to the grid.  At this level we’ve opted to not set up batteries and grid tie ourselves because the land growth allows trivial mains energy connection.  We’ll then see the way it goes.
  • We severely thought of a big water tank however figuring out our backyard shall be very drought tolerant and figuring out our dwelling water utilization patterns we simply couldn’t make it work financially at this level.  We have now loads of area for a tank so we’ll see how that one goes as properly.

There may be nonetheless numerous home logistics to work by means of earlier than we start development however 2022 goes to be a really thrilling (and busy) 12 months.


Previous to FIRE’ing the primary time I used to be a company profession drone.  That was not my dream.  I additionally discovered a chilly turkey no job retirement together with a transfer to The Med an excessive amount of to devour all collectively.  At this time, 3 years in to FIRE my work state of affairs is I’ve a job that’s 100% work at home, is 4 days per week, carries no stress and whereas undoubtedly not being my objective does permit me to work together positively with some actually intelligent fascinating folks.  It’s working rather well for now.  

Into 2022 I count on I’ll be trying to cut back these variety of days additional however I can see this being an fascinating dialog as a result of I don’t assume it’s what my firm has in thoughts.  They’re making an attempt to push me right into a ‘profession’ with them.  A lot in order that they’ve spent actual cash on me to assist me determine what I wish to do.  Been there, carried out that, acquired the t-shirt – no thanks!


In recent times various moderately distinguished FIRE bloggers have discovered themselves divorced.  They have been very ‘skilled’ in sharing what had occurred with out airing the soiled laundry.  I’m nonetheless beginning to perceive how FIRE can doubtlessly permit it occur.

When Mrs RIT and I met we each had our company careers spending lengthy hours within the workplace and never as many hours collectively.  There was stress and primary survival stuff in play.  In any case this was pre-FIRE.  We additionally had heaps in frequent given our stage of life together with we have been each restricted within the true pursuit of our desires.

Mrs RIT FIRE’d lengthy earlier than I did and she or he jumped in with each toes however the place I sank she swam alongside like a sleek swan.  She has pursued her ardour with unrelenting vitality and is loving life however this implies she as an individual has modified slightly with it.  How may she not.

This 12 months notably as I’ve discovered a piece life steadiness that’s actually working for me I’ve additionally been capable of make investments vital time in me and who I’m.  Similar to Mrs RIT as I embraced that I additionally change slightly as properly.

The top result’s that we are actually each totally different folks to who we have been and it 100% is placing slightly pressure on the connection.  Thankfully, we’re each very conscious of it and dealing by means of the challenges it creates however I now perceive how FIRE may doubtlessly trigger relationships to finish.


The place I used to obsess about funds lately it’s all a bit meh.  However given the historical past of this weblog possibly just a few titbits.

In 2021 we’ll spend about 1.9% of my wealth.  As soon as our house is constructed that spending will cut back considerably as we received’t be paying lease and our electrical energy invoice will fall considerably.  

I’ve additionally modified my strategy to withdrawal.  My standards at FIRE was to spend the lesser of:

  • as much as 2.5% of preliminary FIRE wealth (plus funding bills of round 0.2%) uprated for inflation yearly.
  • as much as 85% of my annual dividends.

On the two.5% Secure Withdrawal Price (SWR) entrance we’ll be properly beneath however at this level it actually doesn’t matter as my work greater than covers the spending together with the acquisition of very good new bicycles.

On the 85% of dividends entrance I’ve deserted the goal.  This isn’t due to the poor dividends of late however is only a operate of the investing panorama right here in Australia.  In Australia the equal of a personal pension is known as Superannuation (Tremendous) and there appear to be 3 important methods to go about it – Retail Tremendous Funds, Trade Tremendous Funds and Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs).  Retail Tremendous Funds appear to me to be excessive price and run for the advantage of the enterprise house owners.  SMSFs are one thing you construct your self with an accountant – it’s your fund – however with that comes vital charges as there are reporting necessities.  I’ve gone with an Trade Tremendous Fund for now.  

Positively, I additionally get a totally new and totally different set of non-public pension allowances with Superannuation.  There is no such thing as a interplay between my UK SIPPs and my Australian Superannuation from an allowances perspective.  So whereas if historical past repeats I count on to be “simply” beneath the UK Pension Lifetime Allowance with my UK SIPP by 55 my Australian Tremendous won’t be thought of and as an alternative is topic to its personal limits and guidelines.  It’s accessible at 60 and is tax advantageous so it’s recreation on with $120,000 already squirrelled away.  

Through the years as I strategy age 55 and if Mr Market behaves I then plan to maneuver massive chunks (Australian capital positive aspects tax may be very related right here with my ISA investments value base being the day I grew to become an Australia resident) of my ISA (it’s not tax advantaged beneath the Australian tax system) into my Superannuation and there will even be some methods to play once I take my 25% tax free lump sum at age 55 (given present guidelines which after all would possibly change) as a part of will probably be taxed right here in Australia ought to we nonetheless be right here at that time.

The Trade Superannuation fund I’ve chosen permits me to index observe with low charges.  The unfavorable is that the funds inside the Superannuation wrapper are successfully accumulation funds and never earnings funds which means I don’t see dividends.  Given I count on this to finish up a good portion of my wealth because the years progress the 85% of dividends goal simply turns into a nonsense so is dropped.

In graphical phrases my FIRE journey up to now seems one thing like this (Word: the two.5% SWR already nets off the anticipated housing spend backdated to my authentic FIRE date so I can measure myself towards it as soon as we transfer into our new dwelling however till then it seems as if we’re overspending):

Click on to enlarge, RIT Spending vs 85% of Dividends vs 2.5% Withdrawal Price vs Spending/Wealth


3 years into FIRE (beneath my definitions I truly imagine I’m solely FI at this level so please no web retirement police) and after a little bit of a tough begin I feel I’m lastly beginning to get the cling of this FIRE lark.  I’m now actually into my stride with a variety of change carried out and to go however on the identical time life is sweet.  No, let me appropriate that.  Life may be very excellent!

I’m nonetheless satisfied FIRE was the suitable factor to pursue for me.

#Transitioning #musings

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