So, I'm 32 but I've been retired for 4 months now. It's a mini-retirement covering all of 2016 and probably some or all of 2017 - we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I discussed the details of how and why I decided to retire in my last post.
One of my retirement project was buying the house that we will hopefully live in for the next 10 to 18 years, although don't quote me on that because I have a tendency of getting bored of houses and wanting to move on.
We made an offer at the end of Jan and the transaction completed on 31-March-2016 bang in time to help us avoid an extra £9,000 in stamp duty tax. eeek! The new tax rule went into effect on 1-April-2016 and it essentially says that if you buy a house whilst you own a previous a home you need to pay an extra 3% in tax.
Anyhow, here is the video of the refurb and because someone always asks, I give a breakdown of costs below.
Necklace by Stella & Dot - obtained from ChikoM's store
Builder: Nicu (Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham): 07758 947830
Refurb Costs & Items, links below
If you want to buy a house to let out or you don't plan on living there long you'd probably spend less than we did because you don't have to go for top notch everything and you don't need extras like instant hot water taps and underfloor heating. Those would just eat your profit margin without adding any real value.
COSTS OF REFURB
To view this list properly you need to look at the desktop version. It won't show well in the mobile version. I've hyperlinked some of the products in case you want to get the same stuff.
I know £32,000 disappeared from our bank account during this refurb but I can only account for about £30,500. There must be one large ticket item I'm forgetting.
Paint and wallpaper - B&Q Trip 1
Various receipts from Nicu for inputs
Various receipts from Nicu for inputs 2
Various receipts from Nicu for inputs 3
16 coat/towel hooks
Fixing of boiler (replaced fan and panel)
Various receipts from Nicu for inputs 4
GRAND TOTAL: £30,582
Notes - items included in the kitchen price
Chester, my little boy, was not even one yet and I was trying to do so much – be a great mum and run a business. I kept myself so busy that I was working again pretty much two days after giving birth. I didn’t feel I deserved a total break so I worked whenever Chester was sleeping and I also got a nanny to come round for 10 hours a week from when he was about 8 weeks old.
Anyway, I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of my childcare routine all I’ll say is you can only do so much before your body says stop, NOW!
In addition to my Virtual Assistant (VA) who works 20 hours a week, I tried to hire a couple of people but it didn’t work out so at the end of January I thought, you know what, I’m going to retire. I’ll let my VA do what she normally does and I’ll do almost no work until I start to feel like it again and so that’s what I did.
I’m only 32 so you might wonder why I’d want to retire and why I’m even calling it retirement instead of say, unemployment or perhaps housewife or my favourite term for it, homemaker – you’ve got to love the Americans…well…
I’m still employed as the business pays my salary every month and my Amazon sales are still rolling in day-in-day-out so I’m not unemployed. Chester still goes to nursery part-time so I’m not a full-time mum either. Finally, we have a weekly cleaner so I don’t spend much time making the home either.
What inspired me to retire?
Besides feeling constantly exhausted, I’ve always loved Tim Ferriss’s notion of interspersing retirement throughout life rather than working towards one huge break at the end.
There are after all no guarantees regarding when that end might come nor even whether you’ll be in good enough health to enjoy it.
Given my business runs using Amazon fulfilment which means my sales are immediately dispatched by Amazon without my input and my virtual assistant does a lot for me it is possible to reduce my work hours to almost nothing so I thought, let’s do it; now would be a great time for a mini-retirment.
So, what does a retired 32 year old do with their time?
I’ve missed reading fiction. I’ve always loved crime fiction and it’s taken a back seat since I started running the business back in 2012.
I then decided to sign up to a mortgage course because our property portfolio is growing and there’s nothing like knowledge to get you ahead in that game. I’m still building the property portfolio and the legal and tax framework surrounding mortgages is getting ever more complex so this will surely help. Mind you, even fully-fledged accountants sometimes feel as though they’re guessing.
I’ve additionally taken up an upholstery course because I’ve always been interested in upholstery.
Incidentally, at about the time I officially retired (end of January 2016), Harry and I put in an offer for a house and I worked on the purchase and refurbishment of the house.
It took all of April and £32,000 ($50,000) to get the house up to my standard, video coming up, and having loved that experience I’m definitely looking to do more of it. This purchase brings the portfolio up to 6 houses.
I've recently started jogging again too and within less than two weeks my BP was back down to all-time lows. It had been elevated for almost 2 years
How long do I plan to stay retired for?
All of 2016 and probably most of 2017. Ultimately, I’ve said I’ll literally only do things that a) I really, really want to share and b) that take no more than 10 to 15 hours of effort per week on my part. No work will happen in the evenings and nothing at weekends.
I’ve had a few people email me to ask for one-on-one coaching and I’m considering taking on a handful of people or so because I do enjoy getting into a person’s financial situation and sorting it out.
For me, work is a habit and I do find myself forcing my body not to work at times so I’m sure I’ll do some odd filing and edit the odd video at night. That said, taking a rest like this is AWE-SOME. It works because of the type of business I run but with technology this is the type of thing many people in the future will be able to do. To be honest, I don’t know why it isn’t the done thing.
Everyone should take a year or at least 6 months out every decade just to enjoy life a little more. You deserve it.
The only downside is that with so little input my business is unlikely to earn 6-figures as it has for the last two years but it's earning enough to keep the bills paid and I'm fine with that.
Ultimately, for me, retirement has been about doing more hobby-like activities and being less obsessed with productivity. Oh yeah, and doing more exercise.
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Heather on Wealth
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