Journal of a 50-something professional looking to get out of the rat race early and start living simply, with intent.

Simplicity because it is a way to win freedom, to get one’s time back, to live intentionally.

To live with intent – Henry Thoreau had it about right

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life
to put to rout all that was not life,
and not, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.”

It’s not enough to drift along with life, and once I came to that conclusion,  things had to change. I have been working since 1983, and of late I grow tired of the world of professional work. Partly this is from changes in me, money becomes less of a priority as I get older. Much is due to the toxic changes in employment caused by globalisation.

The modern white-collar workplace is more of a rat race, than the nurturing cameraderie I experienced in my early days in research work. I despise things like ‘performance management’ and the other things used by weak leaders to try and organise people. Of course other things changed too. My employer’s business case is weaker than it was when I started, as its service becomes more generic and commoditised.

Personal Finance – I want to craft a richer life. and to do that I have to master the essentials of personal finance, rather than subsist in employment. My younger self chose his career well, but I now want to cut it short by about fifteen years. I have seen too many days from inside office windows, I want to hear the birds, live more simply and frugally and drink in the days, rather than sleepwalk my way through them

Why Somerset – I moved here to reinvent myself after retirement, because change means opportunity, and I wanted to travel more, pick up on some old friendships and see more of Britain. Connections with natural beauty and the rest of the country are easier here, although London is much further away.

Why Suffolk. (pre 2018) Well, I lived there, which is a good start, but I have failed to make full use of its understated prettiness over the last twenty years. The weather is dry, and the coast echoes to the sound of birds under the open skies. And I know people here, after living and working here since moving from London where I grew up. I want to appreciate the county more – two decades of working have dulled my vision, and I realise I have not “lived here deeply, ready to suck out the marrow of life.” That just will not do.

Why the blog? I like writing, and expect to do more after finishing work. The trend to simplicity looks like becoming part of the zeitgeist.

Caveat lector

This is my opinion. It’s worth what you paid for it 🙂 Everybody’s financial situation is different, what’s right for me isn’t necessarily right for you. I might even get something wrong at times. I do try and point to sources, but if you need UK financial advice then you should either

  • preferably take the time out to understand what you are doing and do your own research
  • or if you can’t be bothered then consider paying for an independent financial adviser, on a fee, not commission basis. Moneysavingexpert’s guide to how to choose and pay an IFA is excellent. The UK government’s  FSA has advice available, and this cautionary tale from Monevator is worth reading 🙂


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