Wednesday, 31 December 2014

December 2014 Update

December's update is here.

The running total for my savings and investments for the year  is over £19,000 which feels like something of an achievement. :-) (Although some of this is down to the fact that I now know exactly what we've got whereas previously the figures were quite hazy). Let's hope 2015 goes just as well.

Next year I intend to try to spilt out my pensions from my ISA and record them separately. They have very different purposes and time scales, so I'm coming to realise that it isn't helpful to combine them for asset allocation purposes.

All in all I'm very pleased with how things have gone since March when I first started to actively manage my savings and investments with the goal of joining my husband as soon as possible after he retires in 2015. I have no intention of struggling out to work for another 11 years until my pension becomes payable at 66. Those years are precious and my job is not as satisfying as it once was.

It has been a steep (but enjoyable) learning curve. Our ISAs are finally sitting with a low cost broker where they can be managed easily online, I am now paying into a SIPP to help fund the years before I can access my LGPS pension, we have started to manage our rental property ourselves for a fraction of the cost and well defined targets have been set and a clear asset allocation devised. It has been a very productive year.

I started this blog to record my progress towards early retirement and entertain myself along the way. What I didn't expect was the extra bonus of the support, sympathy and good advice from fellow bloggers and readers along the way. Much appreciated. :-)

I would just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone out there and wish you a very, very Happy New Year.


  1. Great achievement there Cerridwen, congrats and well done! As you commented on my blog, it's the making the plan that makes such a huge difference, so you know what you're doing or what you have to do!

    I was wondering about my ISA and SIPP investments. It was easy to split off the stocks as they are different from the funds but at the moment, my SIPP and ISA funds are lumped together. As you say, the ISA will likely be accessed/cashed in before the SIPP. I have funds in my SIPP that I don't have in my ISA and vice versa. If I list them separately, neither of them resemble my target portfolio allocation haha, although they match in 5 allocation areas which isn't so bad. To balance properly, I would have to have the same funds in both, perhaps something that I have to consider and start addressing in some way.

    I'm going to carry on as I am for a few years and then see what it looks like.

    Good luck for 2015 - I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading more! :-)

  2. Thanks weenie,

    It's funny that you comment that your ISA will probably be accessed before your SIPP as it's completely the other way round for me. My SIPP needs to grow (a lot) over the next two years or so because I will then need to start to draw on it, whereas I'm intending my ISA to provide a little income, but to retain its capital value in case it's needed for care home fees in (hopefully) later retirement. It just goes to show that one size definitely does not fit all as far as investment strategy goes. (One thing I do need to check out though is what happens to ISA savings when you die - I've a feeling that the tax free status is lost on inheritance which might mean I need to rethink a little).

    Hope your new year celebrations went well? Mine were very subdued - the biggest excitement of the evening was watching the fireworks in London on our new HD television (bought by my husband with part of his pension tax-free lump sum). They were fantastic :-)

    1. Hi Cerridwen

      I think they have just changed the rules on ISA inheritance, and you can now retain tax free status. Not absolutely certain, but I seem to recall reading about this after the chancellors autumn statement.

      Best Wishes
      FI UK

    2. Thanks for the heads-up FI UK - it seems there are plans to introduce a system whereby a spouse can inherit the tax free status of their partner's ISA.

      However, I'm a little uneasy about this from the point of view of it actually being a reduction in inheritance tax via the back door. It will be useful to those who know the rules and how to arrange their finances accordingly (or can pay someone to do it for them) and have the savings in the first place but, as with a lot of "tax avoidance" strategies, a big part of me wishes that the breaks weren't actually there and the system worked a little better for those without than it does for those with.