Ditch a day job for a dream you never quit

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - MONEY -

Mr Bell meant the cou­ple were able to aban­don ca­reers around Lon­don for projects of choice in the Sus­sex sea­side town of Bog­nor Regis.

Mr Bell said: “I’ve got about £500,000 in money pur­chase [de­fined con­tri­bu­tion] pen­sions and a small £2,000-a-year fi­nal salary scheme. Re­becca’s pen­sion pot is prob­a­bly worth around £40,000 in to­tal.

“Be­tween us we have around £800,000 in three prop­er­ties, mort­gage debt of £140,000, which will go when two sur­plus prop­er­ties are sold now that we live to­gether, and £460,000 in Isas and cash we can in­vest for in­come.”

Ms Olds said she “can’t claim much credit” for their sound fi­nan­cial po­si­tion. “Adam planned for the fu­ture much bet­ter. But then he was able to con­trib­ute to pen­sions and other in­vest­ments most of his work­ing life, rather than liv­ing pay cheque to pay cheque as I did.”

Mr Bell, a keen cy­clist, took early re­tire­ment from the fi­nan­cial ad­vice firm where he was a part­ner and re­trained as a cy­cle me­chanic and teacher for the Bike­abil­ity scheme, which re­wards young­sters for tak­ing part in cy­cle train­ing.

He said: “I en­joyed my job but I wanted to help peo­ple in a bet­ter way.”

He is in the process of cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity in­ter­est com­pany to re­cy­cle do­nated bikes and of­fer them at a low cost, as well as set­ting up train­ing pro­grammes to teach peo­ple bike main­te­nance skills.

Mr Bell said: “Bog­nor Regis is very flat, so ideal for cy­cling. I’d like my busi­ness to be a so­cial hub with a café.”

The cou­ple are in the for­tu­nate po­si­tion of not re­ly­ing on their dream projects mak­ing a re­turn, which they don’t re­ally ex­pect.

“It would be nice to run a profit in­stead of a loss,” Ms Olds said. “My goal is for it to break even by the 202021 tax year. But I’m not count­ing on it.”

Em­bark­ing on an ex­cit­ing sec­ond ca­reer in later life is more com­fort­ably done af­ter sound fi­nan­cial plan­ning dur­ing the first. So how do you fi­nance decades of a hobby re­tire­ment from the earn­ings of a typ­i­cal 30-year ca­reer?

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Bell and Ms Olds, you live fru­gally, in­vest well, pay off debts and be lucky enough to ben­e­fit from ris­ing house prices.

Mr Olds said: “To some ex­tent we are able to do this due to in­her­it­ing, while the boom in prop­erty prices over the past 20 years has def­i­nitely helped in our long-term plans for down­siz­ing. I also worked in a well­paid in­dus­try, which en­abled me to save for the fu­ture a as well as en­sure my chil­dren owned prop­er­ties.

“But we’ve also m made sure our dayto-day ex­penses onc once the mort­gages are paid off will be v very low at less than £15,000 a year year, which should be cov­ered by in­com in­come from our in­vest­ments.” Lisa Davies, an in­de­pen­dent fi­fi­nan­cial fi­nan­cial ad­vise ad­viser at Sut­tons, said the cou­ple wer were ben­e­fit­ing now from ear­lier pr pru­dence, although this was be­com be­com­ing harder to repli­cate.

She said: “It is much more ex­pen­sive now to ac­quire prop­erty, even m more so as a land­lord thanks to in­creased stamp duty for b buy-to-let or sec­ond proper prop­er­ties. So prop­erty in­vest­ing now t to fund your fu­ture is per­hap per­haps less at­trac­tive.

“If you do de de­cide to pur­sue this route, try to place any in­vest­ment pro prop­erty on a re­pay­ment mor mort­gage rather than in­ter­est-only, as many peo­ple do, in or­der to l lower the debt and grow your e eq­uity in the prop­erty, which will leave you bet­ter off when you come to sell. Re­mem­ber to p plan to pay cap­i­tal gains tax out of any prof­its above your an­nual £11 £11,700 al­lowance at ei­ther the bas ba­sic rate of 18pc or 28pc for higher-rate higher tax­pay­ers.”

Com­ing at a 3 30-year re­tire­ment with­out a plan w would be a mis­take, warned Mar­tin Stew­art of ad­vice firm Lo Lon­don Money. He said: “Your pla plan will go wrong any­way but it’s bet bet­ter to have it and adapt as you go alon along. Money is re­ally good for buy­ing goods goo and act­ing as a se­cu­rity blan­ket. It i is a great po­si­tion to be in to be able to ac­com­mo­date do­ing both.”

This cou­ple are em­bark­ing on sec­ond ca­reers and hope never to re­tire. It’s eas­ier with care­ful plan­ning, says Laura Miller

Re­becca Olds, left, who left her job to de­sign and make pe­riod cloth­ing; Olds with her hus­band Adam Bell, be­low and right

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