It has been about a year since I first discovered FIRE, the concepts, side hustles, safe withdrawal rates and assorted things! Like most things in my life (this does not include my relationships), I am not 100% committed to it, but I have taken the ideas and concepts and started adding them to my life, my finances and my ideology (A man has to have an ideology at some point in his life!).
Speaking of ideology, I have to admit that I rather enjoy sharing my new found knowledge with people. This might be because I am an annoying blowhard who likes the sound of my own voice (hopefully not), but in carefully chosen situations I will talk to people about personal finance.
I have read on some FIRE blogs that others have shied away from sharing knowledge with friends and colleagues, and I understand that. Firstly, it isn’t the most fascinating conversation some times, although if you are in the technology world, it almost seems glamorous and normal. Secondly, most of us are British, (with British Values lol) and its not the done thing to talk about money.
I try and remember back to talking to older people when I was just starting out, and I think in my own way I took on board what some of them said. I didn’t listen to my parents at all, but if an older work colleague told me something, and it made sense, it was valued information. I like to think this is something I can do for others.
Apparently Samuel Taylor Coleridge said
Advice is like snow; the softer it falls the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.
I don’t have anything but Google to back that quote up, but I like its intention, not withstanding its source.
I try not to preach, I like to think I have the ability to guide, like a less informative, less educated, less funny, and a lot less wealthy Martin Lewis. I have had fascinating chats with younger people just setting out on their journeys with mortgages etc, conversations with people much closer to retirement, and even some with my peers that are juggling childcare, careers, mortgages, family problems etc etc.
I don’t actually go straight to FIRE with people, that is for a more advanced conversation, and I certainly don’t list my wealth, tax bill, earnings etc. I do like to talk to them about what is relevant for them, and try and impart knowledge or “best practise” or a recommendation of a service to use.
My favourite piece of advice relates to this Escape Artist Post and new parents, which because of my time of life I meet quite a lot of (parents that is, not escape artists!). The premise, if you don’t click the link, is to turn a 25 year olds £15k of savings into a million quid pension pot by the normal retirement age, without adding anything further to it for 40 years ish. Please read the article, it is quite enlightening regarding compounding and stock market performance. Anyway, for new parents, if you tell them that they can open a SIPP for their baby, save only £50 a month in it for 25 years (there are 300 months in 25 years, x £50 equals £15000), then stop paying in and it could very well become a million pound retirement fund, well that blows their minds. We usually go through the next bit of explaining a SIPP and a JISA and when/if they can get to the money, and what it can be used for, but I really feel this is a gift that parents can give. Importantly, one that you may well “give” long after you are gone from their lives.
Maybe I am wasting my time, maybe they don’t listen, but its nice to be able to help where possible.
Anyway, on a side note, I do now keep a track of my net worth, my bank accounts, my spending (to a certain extent, not properly yet, and by “my” I mean “our”). My net worth took an awful hammering since just January, if Zoopla is to be believed (like Wephway I use these values to guide me, they are reasonably accurate in terms of rent at least, but the housing market can be a bit of a beast as far as sales values), because I am far too heavily weighted with property wealth currently. Mind you, with the last few days of the stock markets, my very very new ISA`s aren’t looking too clever either, its just they are too small to notice in my figures.
On wards and upwards, thank you for reading