{ in·deed·a·bly }

adverb: to competently express interest, surprise, disbelief, or contempt


Five years is a curious interval.

Too long to be considered short term. No longer an experiment. Indulgence. Romanticised hope.

Longer than early childhood. That period between birth and starting school.

Longer than most university educations, outside of the United States at least.

If an investment of time, effort, or emotion had merit it would have started to pay off by then.

A business worth owning would have secured a customer base and be generating cash flow.

A relationship worth continuing would have settled into a comfortable familiarity. The rewards derived outweighing the costs.

A career worth persisting would have enjoyed advancement and pay rises, for those who sought them.

In all cases, if it hasn’t happened after five years, some honest introspection is called for: is it ever likely to happen?

Five years is too short to be considered long term.

Not long enough for the compounding benefits of time to really start paying off.

Compounding education into earnings.

Compounding experience into wisdom.

Compounding productive assets into wealth.

Compounding intellectual property into perpetual cash flow streams.

Not long enough to distinguish good fortune from good judgement. A feat only possible in hindsight.

Old clichés are clichéd for a reason. Encapsulating the wisdom of crowds. Right enough, often enough, to be fallibly accepted: a rising tide floats all boats, while a receding tide will leave skinny dippers exposed. Both are true, yet only those riding their luck will endure sunburn in unexpected places.

This month marks five years of { in·deed·a·bly }. A personal indulgence, where I did the thinking and told stories about the everyday. Written by me, for me. Shared as an afterthought with the world, who for the most part wisely chose to ignore it! Viewed by a handful of generous souls, some of whom returned to accompany me part of the way along my journey.

These five years have been a learning experience. Although that should be true of all five year intervals. If they are not, we are doing something wrong. Stagnation, not growth. No risk, no reward.

Five years ago, I thought I wanted Financial Independence, and led a semi-FI kind of life. The goal drove my thinking. Underpinned my planning. Directed my prioritisation decisions.

Financial Independence not in the headline grabbing “world’s youngest retiree” influencer sense.

I had no agenda to monetise. No brand to build. No ideology to sell. My audience was not my product.

Plus, I was no longer objectively “young”. A short-sighted marketing strategy if ever there was one, due to its fleeting and finite nature!

Nor did I subscribe to the hustle porn induced game of chicken between attaining arbitrary magic numbers and enjoying life. A false dichotomy, while longevity remains an unsolvable variable.

No, my individual flavour of Financial Independence was one of balance.

Minimising how much of my time I needed to sell, by maximising the marketable value of that time.

Accumulating income producing assets to purchase control of my time investment decisions. Each cash flow stream received bought back hours I had previously needed to sell.

Recognising that not all time is equal. That most important things in life occur only once.

Prime parenting years coincide with prime earning years. All too soon, those hero-worshipping toddlers become moody independent teenagers, before leaving the nest entirely. Leading independent lives. Making independent decisions. Hopefully remaining our friends as adults.

I could have devoted myself to playing the breadwinner. Salary collecting through endless cycles of workplace theatre and corporate politics. Days consumed by low value tasks as an interchangeable cog in the corporate machine. Prostituting myself to meet my lifestyle costs and support my family. Possibly money rich. Certainly time-poor. Definitely missing out on a lot of the good stuff that matters.

Alternatively, I could have invested that same time vicariously experiencing the joy and wonder of childhood. Watching as my kids develop. Learn. Mature into the adults they will one day become.

The challenge with the Stay-At-Home-Parent model is it requires funding.

Having already made bank in the days before parenthood.

Alternatively, being financially dependent upon others. Benefits-FI. Spouse-FI. Inheritance-FI. None of which are financially independent at all. Anyone claiming otherwise is trying to sell you something.

However, I couldn’t do both. Opportunity cost. There is no cakeism magical thinking in the real world.

Instead, I had chosen a third path. Attempting a combination of the two.

Remote working over commuting and presenteeism.

Prioritising flexibility over advancement and earnings.

Entrepreneurship over employment, enriching myself rather than enriching others.

Allocating passive income streams to cover lifestyle costs. Funding enjoyable long summer days and school holiday adventures.

Making up the financial shortfall by working full time throughout the cold wet winter months while the kids were at school. Joining the rest of the adult population as they ride the endless stimulant rollercoaster. Caffeine in the mornings. Sugar in the afternoons. Alcohol in the evenings. Weekend to recover. Holidays to recharge. Rinse and repeat until we burn out, retire, or die.

On the face of it, I led a charmed life. A glorious existence. To a large degree it was, while it lasted.

When viewed with the clarity of hindsight, it proved a successful lifestyle design experiment. An answer, rather than the answer. Solving a timebound prioritisation question while my children first needed and later desired the attention, companionship, and interaction of an accessible parent.

Five years ago, I penned a bucket list of sorts. A living testament to my publicly professed desires.

Sporadically, I have gone back and checked off those few items completed, or crossed out a greater number of things that had once been attained, but were no longer true.

Over the entire five years, I don’t recall adding any new goals. To the list, or otherwise.

Reading back through that bucket list today, more items are complete than outstanding. To be honest, I wouldn’t be greatly troubled should all those uncompleted items remain so. The life expectancy tables guesstimate I’m a bit over half way through life’s journey, plus or minus the influence of luck and genetics. My bucket list suggests I have already accomplished almost all I had set out to achieve.

Which makes the list superfluous, as many such lists are. Less statement of intent, more signalling. Perhaps I lack the imagination to replace old goals with new ones. Or perhaps five years ago I was yet to earn the self-confidence needed to admit to a lack of ambition. Quite possibly both.

Five years ago, I wrote a 250 word autobiography, stream of consciousness style. This is harder than it sounds, I challenge the reader to try it for themselves. This too remains unchanged, nothing of sufficient note or novelty has occurred during the subsequent interval to displace the incumbents. I am now older. Possibly wiser. Certainly greyer. But the summary then and now are the same.

So what then does the next five years hold in store? For { in·deed·a·bly }? For me?

My writing has evolved over the life of this blog.

Early on there were lots of numbers posts. Seeking enlightenment in economic statistics and solace in spreadsheets. Over time, I learned that life and money are games played in the head, not a spreadsheet. Questions of psychology, not finance. At that point I stopped publishing my financial charts, as they were a distraction that did not answer the exam question.

No amount of numeric precision can help find happiness, contentment, or meaning. Which are exactly the things those seeking financial independence really desire. Beginning with control of their time.

It also partly explains why all but the most marketing driven FIRE movement voices fade away as they approach their self-selected finishing line. Their race run and story told.

The realisation dawns that they have merely reached the end of the beginning. Base camp. Before the real adventure commences. Recognising the challenges ahead cannot be met or measured with monthly progress reports and Monte Carlo simulations, nor from a fervent desire to be anywhere but “here”. Saving their way to happiness will prove to be as impossible as saving their way to riches was.

More recently, my writing has evolved to examine a search for meaning, a luxury few not yet financially independent can afford to indulge. I’ve also begun thinking about life after children, an evolution in self-identity likely to be as dislocating and impactful as redundancy or retirement.

Along the way, I have discovered some faulty mental accounting in my planning and approach.

Implicit assumptions, some of which were foundational, that had been baked into my plans.

The examples are many and varied, representing changes in the way I think about things.

Part learning.

Part course correction.

Part acceptance that there are many things I can neither change nor control.

My long-term planning had been based upon living in one of the most expensive countries in the world. Compounded by residing in one of the most expensive cities. Further compounded by choosing one of the most expensive neighbourhoods. Faulty thinking all.

Choosing a living location based upon proximity to opportunity and high paying white-collar jobs may have once made sense when I migrated many years ago.

Today, not so much.

My career has topped out,

I’m walking the tightrope between being at or beyond my level of competence.

This country of opportunity has been in a state of managed decline since at least the Global Financial Crisis, probably earlier. More recently, remote working has hastened the global race to the bottom for white collar wages. Residing in a high cost of living locale is no longer a necessity. It will soon be a handicap.

Indeed, when viewed in aggregate, my choice of living location no longer withstands scrutiny.

Now more habit than conscious choice. Not the choice I would make today.

I still wish to see my children complete their childhoods and educations with all that London has to offer. However, I believe their best opportunities for future employment and enrichment will be found abroad.

Another faulty assumption had been one of marriage, and the notion of happily ever after. Marriage has an asymmetric risk profile. Get it right and the upside can be immense. Get it wrong, and the toll can be, in the eloquent words of a wise friend: “apocalyptic”.

Those are things I got wrong. There are others, where externalities dictated a change in approach.

Buy-to-let land lording had long been a license to print money.

Use other people’s money to acquire well-located properties that should experience outsized capital appreciation. Create value via extension, re-zoning, subdivision, or title consolidation. Then revalue, refinance, release equity and go again. All while providing a safe warm home for tenants to reside in.

There was no desire to pay down loans on investment properties, that would happen upon disposal. Providing the rental income sustainably covered the holding costs, property investment was a case of set and forget.

But the world has moved on.

Interest rates have risen at a rate exceeding any increases the rental market will absorb.

Meanwhile, the ever-shifting balance between landlord and tenant is currently tilted away from the investment owners.

Both things are cyclical.

Other changes are structural.

In some markets I invest in, rent rises are now capped at CPI, irrespective of how the local market may have changed in terms of gentrification, fashion, or access to infrastructure.

In others, legal changes mean it now takes longer and costs more to recover properties from recalcitrant tenants.

In yet others, the introduction of retrospective minimum environmental or energy efficiency standards has incurred significant maintenance costs and negated investment returns. Properties cannot be tenanted nor leases renewed until those standards are met.

My age now plays an increasing role.

Loans are relatively easy to obtain for a landlord aged in their twenties or thirties. By their mid-40s however, the lender starts to tick the “it’s complicated” box on their application forms and ask inconvenient questions about retirement plans and how the debts will be repaid.

As a result, the duration of loans offered reduces. Which increases borrowing costs.

In high-value low-margin markets, the numbers soon fail to add up.

Of course the alternative is to shift target markets. Focus on higher-margin, lower-value properties. The McDonald’s end of the spectrum, rather than the Mercedes dealership. The same landlording hassles, but at much lower buy-in price. Potentially increasing the number of doors owned, providing some semblance of diversification via safety in numbers.

This can be dubious mental accounting however, akin to the stock market investor who foregoes tech stocks in favour of dividend aristocrats. In both cases, the investor is trading growth for yield.

Forgetting that it is capital growth that creates real wealth.

There are many things I have changed my thinking on over the last five years. However, this rambling post already contains a lot of words, but little substance and less definitive answers.

While it remains fun, I will continue to write stories here. The inspiration to do so strikes less often, and the words flow less fluently, than they once did. A product of mindset and competing priorities. The unfulfilling full-time job and the complicated home life that make it necessary. Both cruel creativity.

For those still accompanying me on the journey, I thank you for your attention. You are fewer in number this year, but just as appreciated. SovereignQuest audience statistics suggest that changing fashions and content consumption patterns may explain some of that. Today there are far fewer creators publishing long form writing, competing for far fewer eyeballs who still wish to consume it.

Happy fifth birthday to { in·deed·a·bly }.

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  1. Bernie 4 June 2023

    Happy 5th birthday Indeedably!

    I have learnt a lot from your ramblings and long may they continue. Your ‘Prison of my own making’ post was a real self reflection turning point for me.

    Thank you for your excellent writing (and the reading list!)

  2. Henning 4 June 2023

    Happy birthday. Thanks for writing this blog and continuing to do so, appreciated.

  3. Ben Swain 4 June 2023

    I see a lot of myself in your posts (clearly with far less wealth and maybe a handful fewer years on the clock). You articulate a lot of the tangle that is my consciousness. So thanks for your efforts. I expect that even if you had zero readers, this blog would still serve a useful purpose for you alone. More than half the battle is teasing out what is going on in your head.

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 4 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Ben Swain, that is high praise indeed. I suspect you’re right regarding the utility of the writing process. If anyone else gets something out of it, that is a bonus.

  4. AndrewfromAus 4 June 2023

    Your blog is one of the must reads across my continually pruned list. Is it a question of ageing readers also ? Perhaps many of the shouty FI bloggers and readers have gone ?

    Is it perhaps your musings are like Montaigne – appearing as mundane to some with the pearls revealing themselves over time?

    If my ear detects a reduced list of items to write about I for one would love any articles that you cared to pen on
    – how you have changed as regards your marriage over time and with FI
    – what, if any teaching, learnings or process you are trying to pass onto children (Financial but others also!)
    – as you look forward what elements of simplification (or not ) you are looking to make with your asset portfolio and why
    – does moving overseas as (one other uk fire blogger did to Australia ) hold any interest and if so where and why?

    An avid indeedably fan. Thank you

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 4 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks AndrewFromAus.

      Is it a question of ageing readers also ? Perhaps many of the shouty FI bloggers and readers have gone ?

      The changing readership probably has many causes.

      FI, and in particular FIRE, are symptomatic of economic prosperity. Frothy markets. Bull runs. Net worth consistently trending upwards, driven by rising asset prices rather than savings. We all sing when we are winning, but go inconspicuously quiet when times are tough. I suspect the shallow end of the personal finance spectrum is currently experiencing a resurgence, with spruikers romanticising van life, minimalism, coupon clipping, and budgeting. All relatable topics for an audience seeing their household bills soar but can’t remember the last time they received an above inflation payrise that wasn’t attached to a promotion. Which is a long winded way of saying FI has fallen out of fashion as markets have fallen or tread water, and those monthly progress updates contain little to shout about.

      Another change is technology. It takes little time to throw up a twitter thread, instagram post, or 20 second TikTok. Quickly created. Quickly consumed. Quickly forgetten. YouTube and podcasts take a more effort, the good ones are well scripted and well edited and served up as a nicely polished product, but the rest…

      It is worth noting that SovereignQuest suffers from selection bias, as it is driven by RSS feeds. Which served a purpose back in the day, but few of the modern platforms support it. Which means the content creators featured tend to be older, so too their audience. In other words it isn’t the message so much as the medium.

      Technology has gotten better at discouraging bots. It isn’t perfect, but reduces the volume of spammy hits. Which may be tough on the ego of numbers driven bloggers, but probably more accurately reflects their true reach or size of their audience.

      Finally, my stuff was more actionable near the start. Everyone likes a numbers post with a relatable story, a digestable chart, and some semblance of science behind the conclusion. Much more fun than wading through a 1000 words of angst ridden indulgence or tales of woe!

      how you have changed as regards your marriage over time and with FI

      I used to suffer from a “knight in shining armour complex“, convinced I could (and should) save others from themselves. I’ve learned the hard way that is neither possible nor welcome. Awareness leads to acceptance, seeing things for how they really are. My character flaws and shortcomings make me an easy mark to take advantage of. Which in turn raises questions about how much is too much, and what I am willing to endure.

      It is a journey, I don’t pretend to have all the answers.

      what, if any teaching, learnings or process you are trying to pass onto children (Financial but others also!)

      To be their own men.

      To be accountable.

      To always do the research and do the thinking.

      To see things (including themselves) as they are, not as they want them to be.

      To do the right thing.

      To remember that it doesn’t cost anything to be nice.

      If they can do all that most of the time, things will turn out just fine.

      as you look forward what elements of simplification (or not ) you are looking to make with your asset portfolio and why

      I’ve steadily been divesting directly held real estate over the last few years. Partly family pressures, partly recognising there are easier ways to make money, partly because what worked well for me a couple of decades ago no longer works quite so well.

      does moving overseas as (one other uk fire blogger did to Australia ) hold any interest and if so where and why?

      Yes, in time. I think I’ll probably end up back in Australia once my kids have grown and I revert to sporadically working on projects driven primarily by interest rather than money. That decision may be influenced somewhat by where my kids decide to settle down, as at this stage I’d like to see more of them than the week or two every couple of years that I have seen my own parents and sibling after I moved abroad.

  5. Sas 4 June 2023

    I very much enjoy your blog, your way with words and pace are beautiful and many aspects of your journey resonate with me. You may have less reader but I expect they are more likely to be people who you would enjoy debating some of the topics with. Well done!

  6. Michelle / F&W 4 June 2023

    Happy Birthday?! I’m glad you’re still getting something out of writing, as there are plenty of others alongside myself who enjoy it. Perhaps enjoy isn’t always quite the right word, but you had me hooked early on with your often painful honesty that it’s so tempting for many to hide from. But it’s the only real way forwards – wherever and whatever that may be to.

    It’s interesting the 5 year point. It’s not so dissimilar to my own conclusion lately. It will be 5 years since I quit in August, it will be a useful point to reflect and adapt. Lessons learnt on what has worked, what hasn’t. Several thoughts and ideas for what next.

    If I try to plan /think for ‘ever’ it becomes too overwhelming, I have no idea how I will change. But 5 years? Yes, that seems useful to me So I look forward and hope you will continue to feel like sharing your own journey. If only selfishly for the thought-provoking ideas and humour 😁.

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 4 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Michelle. I know what you mean, entertained even if that is while viewing a zombie apocalypse story!

      Good luck with your own ponderings, I look forward to learning from your learnings.

      Agree that “forever” is a long time. Too intangible to be realistically actionable, and an ever moving target.

  7. JBL 4 June 2023

    Happy 5th anniversary. While I comment infrequently, I always read new pieces by you on your blog, and greatly enjoy them. I also refer weekly to your site for new items in the UK and find that very helpful. So please keep up your writing and all the good work you do on the site.

  8. LN 4 June 2023

    Happy birthday, indeedably! Your writing is beautiful. Long time reader, first time commenter. This post describes so well how life changes. Evolving priorities are so much harder to predict than spreadsheets. Caring for aging parents is another curve ball we often do not plan when starting off the FIRE journey. Lots of parallels with your thoughts, including being an immigrant and having kids of about the same age. I will likely not move back to my country of origin so I can stay close to the kids, but will move to a state of lower cost of living at some point to accelerate independence. One idea for a future post (a blog I created that I’ll never publish – it’s too much for myself) – as a migrant and immigrant, what makes a place home? I hope you keep writing for many more years to come!

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 4 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks very much LN.

      One idea for a future post … as a migrant and immigrant, what makes a place home?

      Home is a fascinating notion. A place that feels safe and familiar. A place we can be ourselves. A place we retreat to when we need an escape from the world.

      It isn’t provided by the country, city, suburb, or building we live in. Instead, we bring it with us wherever we go. Several times I’ve been “homeless” in the sense of having no fixed abode during migrations or extended holidays, but didn’t feel like I was without a home. Conversely, I’ve lived in flats for a year or more that never felt like home.

      Twenty something years after I left, I still describe visiting friends/family in my place of origin as “going home“. I also still support the sporting teams I was raised with, tribalism is hereditary! Yet despite living here for twenty something years, at best I half-heartedly fake it when supporting my adopted country.

      Curiously, my elder son was born abroad but considers London to be “home“, while my younger son was born here but views himself as Australian rather than English and strongly believes we are living on the wrong side of the globe.

  9. Gnòtul 4 June 2023

    Sincere congratulations on the first 5-year anniversary, Indeedably! I say “the first” with a note of selfishness as I hope you’ll carry on for many more! As others above have indicated, for me too your postings are a must-read – I even save them to savor with a good cup haha. My “conscious” journey to FI started round about end-2018 and I cannot count the number of thought-provoking ideas and entertaining writing you provided. I even took much inspiration from your graphical depictions of different metrics. A warm and sincere “THANK YOU” for all you do, Indeedably!

  10. Ward Just 4 June 2023

    Well done! In sales they say that it‘s really after 4-5 years that you start to really get good.

    It‘s not always easy trying to have fun, being happy, and being contented with your existence. While I‘ve enjoyed work most of the time and have built up a great business at Megacorp, I‘m really starting to ponder going to part-time. The balls that I‘ve been juggling have changed, some lighter, some way heavier, some new additions, other colors, etc. Covid turned me on to some new interests that I‘d like to pursue more and none of them are the money-making sort.

    I‘m 2 years into guitar and convinced I‘m gonna be famous especially if rock music comes back! I‘ll give you an update in 3 years!

    All the best, have enjoyed your posts!

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 4 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Ward Just. Sounds like you are living a familiar story arc, let me know if you figure out the answers before I do!

      Sigh, guitar rock. Alas, you’re a man out of time. That peaked 50+ years ago and has been out of fashion ever since (despite the 80s hair bands, 90s grunge, and 2000s skater punk). Good times 😊

  11. Ward Just 4 June 2023

    Oh, and love your ability to sum things up. For example:

    Caffeine in the mornings. Sugar in the afternoons. Alcohol in the evenings. Weekend to recover. Holidays to recharge. Rinse and repeat until we burn out, retire, or die.

    Well, do I see myself in some of your musings? Well, fuck yes!

  12. Full Time Finance 4 June 2023

    It’s now been nearly a year since I last posted, at almost 7 years blogging. I even have some stuff written but haven’t been motivated to post. Partly the dwindling audience and partly it’s becoming harder to really be passionate on a subject once you’ve had years to say it. It could also be most of those I started this blogging journey with have move on.
    I appreciate your writing and will continue to read what you post. At least know there are those of us that do enjoy your stuff.

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 4 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks FullTimeFinance, for the support and endless generosity in sharing what you read. You’re a unique presence in the personal finance community, greatly valued whether you are actively writing or passively consuming.

  13. Gentleman's Family Finances 4 June 2023

    Great Post.

    I think that I must have found your blog back near when you started.
    I was firming up my own early retirement plans (with kids in toe).

    I especially liked how you planned to work for 9m a year and holiday for 3.
    That’s what I’m doing now – even though there’s no one guaranteed to be holding out a job in September.

    Like you, I find it an evolution to post new material in a blog.
    I’ve avoided the more modern media – and thank goodness.
    It’s more important to go through the journey of life thinking of only your own thoughts and not to perform for an imaginary online audience.

    My own financial haul might be enough to fully retire now and never worn again.
    It might not be.
    But basing your life decisions on financial reasons alone (which is just a form of power that holds no intrinsic value to you but can be yielded over others) won’t make you happy.

    How to put that into words (or describe the feeling you get from a mountain top you’ve climbed on a Wednesday when everyone else is in work) is much harder!

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 5 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks GFF.

      I especially liked how you planned to work for 9m a year and holiday for 3.

      Back at the start I was actually working for 3 months and “holidaying” (at least not working) for 6-9 months. Half a dozen rental properties and a nice share portfolio kicking off free cash flows. Happy days! Although being tethered to the school drop off and pick ups limited my range a little, leaving plenty of time to navel gaze and write blog posts. Seems like a different lifetime now.

      Good luck with the next evolution on your journey, both the summer with the kids, and wondering what to do with yourself when they are at school, your friends/spouse at work, and there is just you alone with your thoughts. For some this is glorious. For others, terrifying. One of those “learning by doing” things.

  14. David 4 June 2023

    1st comment but have been reading for a while. Always pleased to see when you’ve posted as I enjoy your musings, your turn of phrase and the way you look at things. Sometimes I recognise parts of me in what you say (though much better expressed than I’d put it) and other times not at all but that’s part of the enjoyment – trying to work out how, why and where the differences come from. I hope you do continue to find things you want to say as I very much enjoy reading your posts in longer form thinking style (with or without the numbers focussed pieces).

  15. Dee 5 June 2023

    Thank you for your writing over the years. My life has been enriched and I look forward to reading more from you. Your ramblings make for good thinking material…

  16. AoI 5 June 2023

    I just wanted to add my appreciation of your brilliant writing to those above in the hope it helps in a small way to emphasise there is a depth of appreciation for what you produce that I guess is lost in those page view stats. The post felt in places like it was a leading to an announcement of the indeedably blog’s end, it was heartening to find that wasn’t the case !
    Congrats on the 5 year milestone and for as long as you keep writing these posts there will be those of us who very much appreciate reading them

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 5 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Aol.

      No plans to go dark just yet. I think most blogs to tend go out with a whimper rather than a bang, so a big announcement would have been non-conformist!

      The tone was probably more one of my acknowledging a pivot that subconsciously had already been underway for some time. If I wanted more readers, I could always just start posting funny cat videos… but nobody wants to see that!

  17. Abel 5 June 2023

    My 2nd ever comment on your blog and maybe my 10th ever comment ever made online. I read voraciously across a wide spectrum of material; and indeedably is maybe one of the last few FI blogs I continue to read religiously (to the point I block off a proper 15+mins of headspace to consume this properly – sacrilege for a obsessed multitasker/optimizer like myself!). I hope you do get a wider audience somehow/someday – but rest assured, those who follow your ramblings greatly value them.

    You have a very unique website – definitely original to its truest sense – and I’ve sensed your tone evolve over the years (maybe a touch less chirpy but definitely more grounded). Don’t let life get you down! Wishing you clear skies and open roads ahead.

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 5 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Abel, for that very thoughtful and observant comment. I’m honoured to have received 20% of your commentary, high praise indeed.

      I’m a fervent believer that multitasking is a myth. The people who manage it are just better at dealing with the friction of context changes. Which might be why I find my current job so draining (apart from the endless selling of ideas I don’t believe in), plenty of spinning plates but never enough focus time. Which in turn comes back to simple prioritisation. That said, I choose to start late, leave early, and get through all the productive stuff at speed while ignoring/skipping much of the noise. Don’t try this at home, as it isn’t politick, but it does mean I get to hang out with my kids at either end of the day which is priceless.

      • Abel 20 June 2023

        I agree children are one of the best methods to recenter and recalibrate what’s important in life. Just need to remember not to take them for granted if they are always around.

        Children = so much work/pain yet so much joy. A bit of a sadistic thing to become an (involved) parent actually.

        • {in·deed·a·bly} 20 June 2023 — Post author

          Thanks Abel. That’s certainly one way of looking at things, I can’t say there isn’t an element of masochism in that sleepless first 18 months or so, but after that things tend to get better.

  18. ryangibsonclever 5 June 2023

    Thank you for all your have done over the past 5 years. Your words and wisdom have helped shape me immensely. I am far more understanding and objective as a result.

    It seems as though your life is going through a tricky path (trying to read between the lines of course). I hope this works out for you and you find some level of happiness in the next stage of your journey.

    I echo the sentiments of those above. One of the most gifted writers I have come across.

    Thanks again,

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 5 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Ryan, for the kind words and sincere support since the very early days.

      If everything was easy, life would be boring!

  19. Nick @ TotalBalance.blog 5 June 2023

    Congratulations on reaching a major milestone – and still planning to keep going 😉

    I too enjoy your ramblings as much as the next guy.
    I have also noticed a change in your writing style, and I assume this is a natural progression reflecting the changes in our real lives.

    I (like other commenters) are sensing a little less cheerfulness in your later writings, albeit it remains as sharp-witted as ever 🙂

    I hope you continue sharing your thoughts and ideas with us – it’s greatly appreciated.

    Perhaps it’s time to indulge in a new medium?
    How about a podcast?
    Just gonna throw it out there! 😛
    We could call it: “FIRE Hazard”.
    The premise is this: you are sitting in a bar. A “stranger” joins you and you ask what they’ll be drinking. A conversation begins…
    I’d so listen to that podcast! 🙂

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 5 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Nick. Sounds like I need to make a conscious effort to write some happy posts. Maybe it is time for a lockdown kitten cameo 🤔, it has been a while.

      If I was going to switch mediums I’d go all in on TikTok. Get ChatGPT to write me some 20 second personal finance hiphop songs. Perform them while doing some sick “Dad dancing” moves wearing a snapback cap, Patagonia vest, oversize Levis below my underpants, and shiny white trainers that cost more than my mortgage. My stage name could be Grizzled Shizzle, and I’d be the lamest old white guy in the history of FIREtopia. “Come for the laughs, stay for the affiliate links yo!

  20. Ian T 7 June 2023

    Just wanted to say thanks for the blog. Have been reading for the last few years and its one of the few I do read (well only 2 you and Monevator) Its refreshing to read online content that doesnt have an agenda around trying to sell me stuff. So thank you for putting it out.

    I think we are are at similar points on the journey. I got to FI in 2020 and left full time corporate job but also have 2 young children 7 and 13. So instead of travelling Im part time taxi driver! Seriously, I realise this time is very short so I love being able to see them grow up. I do feel there arent many people in a similar situation so this blog and community is useful.

    I think its natural for our thinking to shift as you talk about. For me once you have cracked the FI problem I tend to find myself thinking more about some of the bigger philosophical questions that people have been thinking about since the start of time. My interests and reading have shifted from FI type stuff to more philosophy which I enjoy, maybe thats similar to you?

    So thanks for the blog so far, good luck on the journey!

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 7 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Ian T. That’s quite a career change, but not as unusual as it may at first appear. While most of the Uber/taxi drivers I encounter are migrants with big dreams but limited means/opportunities, more than a few were rat race escapees like yourself who chose the taxi driver option for lifestyle and social interaction reasons. I can’t fault the logic, though I think I’d find the traffic a bit frustrating personally.

      The philosophising is an interesting one. I think pre-FI most of us can’t afford to worry about it too much, bills to pay, bosses to appease etc. Post-FI our decision making becomes independent of finance, and suddenly questions of why we do what we do/think what we think/feel what we feel become worth exploring. No longer “having to” means we are consciously “choosing to“, which has all kinds of tricky implications as our excuses we previously used as a crutch to explain our unhappiness or discontent or ennui have suddenly been removed.

      It can be confronting, at least it was for me. Is also a genie that can’t be put back in the bottle, once seen it can’t be unseen. Leads to self-awareness and more self-honesty, which can only be a good thing.

  21. weenie 7 June 2023

    Congratulations on 5 years of some great posts, indeedably. Although a cause for celebration, I noticed the melancholy and introspective aspects to your post (as in the past), so I hope it makes you feel better and more able to cope with things by writing about them in your own unique way!

    I think you are right about the changing face of FI/FIRE due to economic prosperity – the well known success stories eg Mr Money Mustache did their thing on the back of massive bull runs and buoyant stock markets and low interest rates. FIRE is a harder sell these days, fewer people want to shout/blog about it, although we still get a good turn out for the face-to-face Manchester FIRE pubmeets so there are still some die-hards out there!

    Here’s to the next 5 years!

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 7 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks very much weenie. Your journey and the sharing of it has long been an inspiration for my own, so I thank you for the generous support and encouragement you ceaselessly provide to PF and FI bloggers all over the UK.

  22. Mac 9 June 2023

    Also just wanted to say how much I enjoy the blog and the thought provoking posts. The recent one in respect of your hospital visit has had me pondering life ever since.

  23. Donk 10 June 2023

    Similar sentiment to other readers. Never commented but been reading your blog for the past five years. Your articles are always thought provoking and typically touch blind spots in my own life.

    Many congratulations on the five year anniversary of this superb blog.

  24. Gaurav Gupta 10 June 2023

    Congratulations! Keep up the good work, I am one of your regular readers and enjoy your long form, insightful posts.

  25. Devonico 11 June 2023

    Congratulations on your 5th anniversary. Since I found your work via Monevator, I have greatly enjoyed your content, which I find well above the average in the FIRE blogosphere. You are a remarkable wordsmith. I just wonder if you ever tried your hand at poetry? It seems you might excel at it.
    Do not be discouraged by the dwindling audience numbers. I think you have a faithful following. I am also a migrant to this country, although I am about to do my own RE and return home, even when I am fully conscious the fallacy of “home” after half a life in another country. Anyway, thanks for the superb content, best of luck, and I hope that you will find your own path to contentment.

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 11 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Devonico, best of luck with the next phase of your journey.

      I just wonder if you ever tried your hand at poetry?

      No. I used to hate poetry when we had to do it at school. The over analysis. The flowery imagery. The awkward allusions and metaphors. All of which no doubt now show up in my writing, how ironic! 😉

  26. FI-Firefighter 11 June 2023

    Congrats and Happy 5th, just want to echo all above, thank you for taking the time and making the effort.
    My initial long list is down to 3 now, you, Monevator and the lovely ranting ermine😁
    I have gone for quality content over quantity, no disrespect to the other bloggers, but you 3 are where I personally get my value added.
    Many happy returns 😁👍

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 11 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks FI-Firefighter. I too love an ermine rant, one of the best parts of the internet. Puts the grumpy back into grumpy old man, as nature intended!

      Monevator and Morgan Housel posts are always worth making the time to read also.

  27. Kamae 12 June 2023

    A 5 year period is called a lustrum. A word I was very taken with when I learned it. I love the sound and feel of it. To my mind it gives the period a sense of solidity as well as a gilded quality. Much easier for my mind to handle than a decade, which is a word that almost invariably scares the bejesus out of me in whatever context. (Although if I or a loved one were given a lustrum to live rather than a decade, I would be less enamored).

    Anyway, long time reader, first time commenter. I wanted to add my voice to the plenty who have assured you that you have an interested and devoted readership. One of the triumvirate of FI blogs mentioned above that I also make time for.

    I think maybe the FI journey from numbers and tracking investment outcomes to a more philosophical, questioning, wider approach is a natural one (for a certain type of person) which may sit alongside the transition from investing/trading in individual stocks towards a more passive index based investment approach. A natural maturing of outlook possibly. A turning inward as Jung, and Ermine, may have it. Whether a natural progression or no your journey, and Ermine’s to an extent, has certainly chimed with mine and I find much in your posts to chew over. Many thanks and long may you find the energy and motivation to continue.

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 12 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Kamae, for the kind words, support, and new word.

      Lustrum’s other definition turns out to “purificatory sacrifice made after a census every five years“. After reading my stuff for five years, continuing to do so for as long as my ramblings flow is a sacrifice I’m willing for you to make! 😉

  28. SirRik 12 June 2023

    Congratulations on your 5th anniversary! I continue to think that the quality of your posts is really high. You have your style and I read your posts knowing they are not like others. Keep going on. “Ciao” from the Land of Venice. SirRik

  29. The Rhino 12 June 2023

    Congratulations on the five year anniversary. I get the impression your not fully enjoying the return to full time employment. I would concur that the workplace is a source of much pain, existential angst and general misery but I think no work can be worse. Leaving a question mark over what the hell anyone should do. I’m starting to think a trip to the shaman and a hefty dose of psychadelics is required. Anything to induce a seismic, rut-altering change in perception. On a slight tangent, been looking at a house move but its monumentally expensive and I’m wondering whether I should keep my options open, forgo the increase in space/status/comfort for the (perceived) freedom of having a few extra sheckles in the bank?

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 12 June 2023 — Post author

      Thanks Rhino.

      Work, like most things, is what we choose to make it. A prison. A temple. An amusement park. A theatre.

      Once we’ve worked at a few sites, we start to realise they are all pretty much the same. Full of people socialising and working together with all the fun that brings. Many of the problems and stressors we experience are ones we bring with us, and alas we can’t run away from ourselves.

      To survive we surrender to it. Coping by trying not to worry about things outside our control. Recognising that work is a means to an end. The hard part (for me anyway) is leaving it at the door when we clock off, instead of mentally bringing our work home with us.

      You’re right though, that a job can mask a void in our personal lives, or even an abyss where we are told there should be a strong community of family and friends to share our down time with.

      The enforced socialisation with colleagues (and their enforced putting up with us) isn’t the same as having loved ones, but more reminiscent of our classmates at school who we saw daily for years, then never thought of again the moment we graduated and went our separate ways. Familiar faces, but few who could be considered friends.

      It is said the first step to dealing with a problem is acknowledging its existence. Once done, we can start making inroads to resolving, coping with, or working around it. Sounds like you’re on a personal journey where you haven’t liked the view from the first couple of stops. Perhaps it is time for a change of scenery, or perhaps a third way?

      Best of luck with your housing decisions. Owner occupied housing rarely makes financial sense in a spreadsheet, yet we do it anyway for qualitative lifestyle reasons. Which can be just as, if not more, important.

  30. John Smith 12 June 2023

    Hi indeedably, congratulation for your 5 years perseverance!

    Sorry that I am late to your “party” celebration — because my (8 years old linux) laptop crashed, and I am [temporary] annoyed by windows-10 bull-sheet again (priorities, storm in a cup, I know).

    But your post are “forever” so is “never too late” to enjoy them. Cheers from Europe – Vienna.

    • {in·deed·a·bly} 12 June 2023 — Post author

      Dankeschön John Smith. I hope your technology travails are soon behind you. Sounds like a good excuse to treat yourself to a new toy!

  31. Raph 7 July 2023

    Congratulations. Keeping the incredible quality of the blog over those 5 years is quite an accomplishment!

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