Defined Benefit Pension and FIRE

Defined Benefit Pension And FIRE

Some of us older Financial Independence types, or those who work in certain public sector roles, are lucky enough to have Defined Benefit pensions. But what is rarely talked about in any detail is how you should factor a Defined Benefit pension into your FIRE planning.

Given that both MAFF (my wife) & I have defined benefit pensions and they will provide a relatively large proportion of our desired FIRE income, they are a subject I have thought long and hard about.… Read the rest >

Transferring Investment Accounts – And Getting Paid For It

Transferring Investment Accounts

I have been thinking about transferring our investment accounts (ISA & SIPP) away from our current provider (to save on fees) for some time, so I thought I’d bite the bullet and take advantage of one of the cashback offers this year.

In this post, I’ll detail the offers available and give you my experience of the transfer process.

I transferred two pensions and two ISAs (my wife’s account and my account). We already hold all of our ISA’s and our SIPPs with the same provider (Interactive Investor) after I spent some time a few years back consolidating the various pensions we had.… Read the rest >

Best Trading Platform in the UK for Larger Accounts -2023

Best Trading Platform In The UK For Larger Accounts

I have decided to take a look at my current trading platform costs to see if I can get a cheaper one without compromising on quality of service/range of services or safety.

So is there a better or best trading platform in the UK for larger accounts? By ‘larger’ I talking investments of circa £250k and upwards. I spent a good few hours researching the most likely candidates, so let’s see.

My Requirements

  • I hold both ETFs (Shares) & OEIC’s (Funds)
  • I have funds/ETFs from a range of different providers
  • I have two accounts, one for me and one for MAFF
  • We both have a SIPP an ISA and a GIA
  • I am currently buying monthly on an automated basis but this will stop soon
  • I would like a better set of tools for portfolio performance and analysis than my current platform offers.
Read the rest >

Emotional Stages of Retirement

‎Emotional Stages of Retirement

Retirement, at any age, is a significant life event that can cause a range of emotions. We all tend to concern ourselves with the financial side of retiring early and forget about the emotional stages of retirement. The different feelings we all go through as we near retirement and once we retire.

I remember when I took voluntary redundancy from a company I’d been with for 18 years. Even though I wanted to go, I still went through a whole range of ups and downs both before my leaving day and for months afterwards.… Read the rest >

How Much Do I Need To Retire At 55

How Much Do I Need To Retire At 55

The seemingly simple question of ‘how much do I need to retire at 55’ is actually far from simple to answer definitively. All the articles I read online about it fell very short of providing a comprehensive enough answer to be useful. So I thought I’d write up my thoughts on the matter based on my own personal circumstances.

Single readers please note. I am writing this based on my own circumstances i.e. as a couple, you’ll need to make some adjustments to what follows.… Read the rest >

FIRE Types – Lean FIRE, Chubby FIRE, Fat FIRE etc.

FIRE Types by Value of Investment Pot

As you explore the FIRE movement you will come across terms such as Lean FIRE, Chubby FIRE, Fat FIRE etc. But what do these terms actually mean?

To my mind there are two ways of defining these terms, the first is the more subjective ‘what kind of lifestyle does my FIRE income allow me to have’ and then a more objective definition which is hard numbers based.

I also think, that whilst the Financial Independence movement has come up with catchy definitions such as Fat FIRE, you need to be careful not to get hung up on these terms or where you are on some financial scale relative to others.… Read the rest >

What are the UK Equivalents of Popular US Funds?


A lot of the portfolio recommendations you come across online are from US-based investors. You’ll see portfolios like VTI and chill, or 80% VTI & 20% VXUS, but as UK investors these funds are not available to us, so what are the UK equivalents of popular US funds?

Why can’t I buy US-based funds in the UK?

First off let’s touch on why you can’t simply buy US funds when you are based in the UK (or Europe).

All funds sold in the UK and Europe need to abide by a regulatory framework called UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities), which is a European Union regulation.… Read the rest >

Our FIRE Portfolio

FIRE Portfolio

After hours of research and analysis, I have created a FIRE portfolio that consists of a range of low-cost index tracking funds. The aim of the portfolio is to be low maintenance, low cost, well diversified and give a decent return.

Avoid the Biggest Portfolio Mistake – You

Having been guilty of exactly this myself in the past, let’s get this one out of the way. General perceived wisdom backed by statistical evidence from the likes of Jack Bogle (founder of Vanguard), Warren Buffett and various others says that over the long run, investors get better returns using broadly diversified low-cost index-tracking mutual funds & ETFs.… Read the rest >

Getting Rid of the Piranhas


Piranhas are those sneaky little monthly subscriptions that you take out and as time goes by you have a whole shoal of them nibbling away at your money.

What are my Piranhas

When I did my Getting to Grips With My Outgoings budgeting a few things jumped out at me that I need to tackle. The obvious ones are the biggies like food shopping and discretionary spending but there are quite a few little things that I pay for monthly that I want to kill off, namely:

TV Streaming Services – £386.66/$478.49 p/a

  • Now TV
  • Amazon Prime
  • Apple TV
  • Disney+

Recurring Software/Online storage – £99.88/$123.73 p/a

  • Apple iCloud
  • Microsoft 365

Dog Walker – £576/$713.59 p/a

That’s a potential total saving of just over £1,000 p/a.… Read the rest >

FIRE Goals – 2023

FIRE Goals

I don’t normally do new years resolutions or that type of thing but there is a Reddit subgroup I’m on and people list their FIRE Goals at the start of each year. A lot of what was on there gave me some great ideas and I started to realise that a list of FIRE goals at the start of each year could be really useful, so here it goes for 2023.

  • Work out my detailed expenditure and come up with an easy way to track it
  • Sort my financial plan out and track it annually
  • Develop a side hustle 
  • Reduce alcohol assumption
  • Start running 4x per week
  • Lose a little weight (14 pounds/6kg)
  • Some dedicated time every weekend where MAFF & I do something together
  • Go on holiday for at least 1 week

Work out my detailed expenditure and come up with an easy way to track it

When I started Getting to grips with my outgoings the first thing I obviously needed to do is find out at a fairly granular detail what we spend and on what.… Read the rest >