tonyreptiles wrote:It's ridiculous, I know. But here I am, in the most secure financial position of my life, about to start investing with money I can (almost?) afford to lose and I'm almost in tears with worry. I think it comes from having been down and (almost?) out before in my life. Sleeping in my car and living in a homeless shelter gives you a unique and unenviable perspective and, despite my relative affluence and security, I have a fear in my gut which is literally sickening.
In my brain I know the risk of me becoming an actual bag lady are almost zero. I have two-year strong emergency fund and a diverse freelance income stream which I'd say is as reliable as anyone could hope for. My expenses are low and I have no debt. My home is paid for and, at almost 50 years old, I'm fit enough to hold my own at most gyms. I have few real money worries to worry about. But I am worried. I feel the dread of messing it all up and becoming destitute. I worry, because I've been there. And it frightens the hell out of me.
rereading this thread has caused me to reflect on your situation and attempt to appreciate your anxiety.
You have cleared all debt, have a place to live that is your own, an emergency cash fund of two years income, and a secure income.
You also enjoy what you do, and can keep at it.
1st thing to do: Give thanks to whatever god you believe in. You are in the most fortunate 1%? of the population.
2nd thing to do: Keep working and earning
3rd thing: Try this investment thing; you have received plenty of advice here
then: When you have proved to yourself that this can generate sufficient income for your to live on, you can decide whether to back off work.
Key thing to realise is that you do not have to worry about an arbitrary deadline. When YOU have sufficient confidence in the portfolio income, you can decide whether to make changes to your working life.
Bigger question to worry about: If you slowed down on work, what would you do with yourself?
The work thing is an interesting one, as I've not often had to do a job which didn't have at least some recreational qualities. Reptile breeder, doorman, roadie, zoo keeper, fitness professional, and now, writer - these are not the kind of jobs that suck your soul, but neither are they the jobs that pay well either. All told, I think I backed the right horse, because life, to date, has been an adventure. Not well paid, but an adventure, nonetheless.
It's rather typical of me to be finally ready to invest just at the point where the world (and the market) is potentially at its most volatile and unpredictable. We're looking at drip-feeding an ISA worldwide tracker starting in a month or two and seeing how we get on. I have a couple of questions about how that might play out, so brace yourselves, but it seems like the start of a plan anyway.
WRT your last question, that's something I've spent a lot of time thinking about. While I do enjoy writing, I do feel that it keeps me indoors at my desk rather more than I would like. It seems rather fickle to be bemoaning making a decent living in an industry many believe to be their dream job, and I do acknowledge how lucky I am. But that said and aside, I do covet a role which is more active and outdoors.
Unfortunately, most roles which fulfil that criteria aren't really that rewarding. I can't imagine working on a building site, for example. I am, however, considering the idea of learning thatching. It's probably not the most reliable of work, but it fulfils the criteria and you'l likely be working with craftsmen with passion and intellect. And you'd have decent clients.
All I need now is for my investments to net me a pretty penny to give me enough confidence to become an apprentice again - at the age of 50! But, you know, it could be fun, and it beats retiring and joining the queue for the big pearly gates.
Thanks again all.