Freedom Fund: £920,254
Hypothetical monthly income @4% SWR: £3,068
Actual monthly expenses: £2,436
October was a busy month and it turns out that it was good that we took the opportunity to get out and about and catch up with friends and family, as we are now back in lockdown in the UK for at least a month.
A few meals out, a birthday celebration, a car insurance & breakdown cover renewal and an expensive vet bill pushed our spending up considerably this month, but we are still well within what our freedom fund would provide at a 4% withdrawal rate (even though we are not actually drawing anything from it yet). We also optimistically put down a deposit on a cottage in Scotland for a week in April 2021. The plan is to spend a week sharing it with friends, but there are all sorts of things that could scupper those plans between now and then. Still, it’s fully refundable, so it’s nice to have something to look forward to.
I update the value of our freedom fund once a month, on the weekend closest to the 1st of the month. On 1st Nov the value had dropped slightly from last month, but I suspect if I were to recalculate today that would be a very different story. I imagine there is a lot of volatility to come, perhaps that is always the case, but there isn’t always an American president openly undermining the legitimacy of the US democratic process, a global pandemic threatening to overwhelm healthcare services and all the fun of Brexit to look forward to all at the same time. If you had told me a few years ago that the UK treasury would be paying 80% of the wages of up to 8.9 million workers in the UK for a year, I would have thought you were bonkers. But, here we are. I feel very grateful that I am in the financial position I am in, and I am able to largely let all of this wash over me in the knowledge that if we suddenly had no income at all we would be absolutely fine. I am sure there are some interesting economic measures to come in the future to help pay for all of this, and I am sure some of that will affect me, but I will deal with that when it happens.
For now, I will concentrate on appreciating the safety and options financial independence has given me, enjoying the great outdoors in the sunshine and focusing on the little wins. I’m now off to make the most of a few slightly overripe apples and pears from the garden….I feel a crumble coming on……