Can't see the wood from the trees... please help

Discussion in 'Money makeover' started by rboyddd, 13 Mar 2019 at 2:58 PM.

  1. rboyddd

    rboyddd Registered User

    I am new to this forum so sorry in advance if I need to adjust the amount of information I have provided below:

    Age: 49
    Annual Basic Income: PAYE €160K
    Pension: DB Scheme with a notional value of €800K

    Spouse Age: 47
    Annual Income: €15K (Part time)
    Pension: State contributory only but also qualifies for 50% of my DB scheme in the event of my death.

    Children: 1 (Age 11)

    Home PPR Value: €700K
    Mortgage Outstanding: €175K (16 years remaining, interest rate 3.8%)
    Cash Savings: €90K

    Other Residential Rental Investments:
    1. Value: €390K, Mortgage €200K @ 3.5%, 14 years remaining, rent = €1,300 per month
    2. Value: €250K, Mortgage €10K @ 1%, 1.5 years remaining, rent = €900 per month
    3. Value: €230K, Mortgage €85K @ 1%, 11 years remaining, rent = €900 per month
    4. Value: €160K, Mortgage €44K @ 4.5% 16 years remaining, rent = €850 per month
    5. Value: €170K, Mortgage = N/a as its a holiday home that was bought by refinancing our PPR, rent = 0

    Savers/Spenders ? -
    Bit of both to be honest. We pay down about €35K off the principal across all mortgages annually.
    We spend a bit on the upkeep of the holiday home which is abroad, about €3K per year.
    We take a number of holidays each year, and are probably a bit extravagant in terms of eating out etc. A guestimate would be that we have a surplus of about €1K per month after all other expenses which just goes into a regular savings account that earns no interest.
    We have school fees of €400 a month and will have similar costs for another 7 years followed by college costs (fingers crossed).

    Lifestyle Loans:
    We run two fairly decent cars with both car loans paid off.
    No credit card debt.

    I have worked long hours in pressurized jobs for the past 25 years and while I consider myself lucky to always have had a well paid job, this money is hard earned often with long hours and weekends. I am getting to the point where I feel a little burned out, with energy levels not quite what they were. I would like to think about easing back a bit and am wondering if I can financially get out of the 9-5 graft by 55 while retaining some degree of financial comfort.
    Planning to sell our holiday home within the next 2-3 years and will use that money to clear down the mortgage on our own home.
    As like many other posters here, we have worked very hard for many years to build up our investments to where they are today. However, while we want to cash-out, we want to do so in a financially prudent manner. Maybe I'm too close to this and can't see the wood from the trees but I'm not sure about even the basic decision as to whether we completely cash out (taking a CGT hit of €100K) and live off the proceeds (est. €600K net)for a time, or partially cash out and keep 1 or 2 properties in order to supplement our income and have something to pass on to our child...

    Your thoughts would be most welcome, but please be gentle !
  2. NoRegretsCoyote

    NoRegretsCoyote Frequent Poster

    What is the net profit on your property portfolio?
  3. rboyddd

    rboyddd Registered User

    About €650K net of CGT if all investment properties were sold (main residence would be retained debt free).

    From a rental perspective, total rental is €4K per month with total mortgage repayments €2,500 per month. After tax, its about break even-ish.
  4. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

    Last edited: 13 Mar 2019 at 9:44 PM
    Weirdly you remind me of someone I know.

    Bet anything you’re not getting enough proper exercise and fresh air. Totally focused on work and letting that slide is easily done.

    What you need to figure out is how much income you need annually for your lifestyle and then work out if your pension and rents will give it to you.

    So how much do you spend annually on yourselves as a family. Start by working that out.

    Are you wasting money anywhere just because you’re used to it. Just because you can.

    Not sure why you want us to be gentle. Tough financial advice is surely why you’re here.

    And I for one would like to know how you swung two mortgages on BTLs at 1%!
    What are the mortgage repayments. Any other debts? Credit cards?
    Last edited: 13 Mar 2019 at 9:44 PM
  5. Sarenco

    Sarenco Frequent Poster

    Hi @rboyddd

    I know you asked us to be gentle but I think you need to define your desired outcome before you can start working out a strategy to get there.

    So, for example, what do you consider "some degree of financial comfort"? Does it involve €400pm in school fees? Multiple overseas holidays every year? Nice meals out?

    That's not a value judgment - you've obviously worked hard to achieve your current lifestyle. But what's more important to you - retiring early or maintaining your current lifestyle?

    Maybe turn it around, what do you think is the minimum you (and yours) would be happy to live on if and when you retire? Could your family live on, say, €3,500 per month (assuming your mortgage is history)? Or what figure would you consider comfortable?
    RedOnion likes this.
  6. llgon

    llgon Frequent Poster

    You could certainly retire on a reasonable income at 55 but as the previous posters have said you need to assess how comfortable you want to be.

    To address your question on whether to sell the investment properties or not, it's a personal decision to make and you obviously have plenty of first hand experience of the hassles involved in being a landlord to help you decide if you are prepared to do it in retirement as well.

    The yield on all your rentals is quite low. Is there potential to increase this in any or all of them? If not I would be inclined to sell up and invest elsewhere where you're likely to have less hassle. On the other hand if yields were better I think I would hold on to 2 or 3 of them in the long term with mortgages paid off prior to retirement.
  7. RedOnion

    RedOnion Frequent Poster

    You're mixing up cashflow and profit.
    You've a 4k rent income against 830 interest expense. That's profitable. However...

    You've over 1m in property assets, excluding PPR and holiday home.

    You're rental yield is very low on these. The first one is yielding 4% and deeply cashflow negative, although profitable. I'd maybe get rid of that, take your equity and repay against your PPR. Use cash to repay Balance of PPR completely.

    When you sell holiday home replace your nest egg, and set aside a college fund for child.

    By 55 your remaining BTL portfolio could be debt free, with a rent roll of 2600 (ish), and you should have significant savings.
  8. PGF2016

    PGF2016 Frequent Poster

    Small point. It would be worth your while switching your mortgage to a lower rate. 3.8% is too high.
  9. rboyddd

    rboyddd Registered User

    Thank you Bronte for your response. With regard to the sedentary lifestyle elements, I started to address this about a year ago through sport and regularly fit in 4 hours of anaerobic exercise each week with the target to achieving 6 hours each week by this summer. Equally I am trying to do a better job of switching off in the evenings and weekends, but working for a global company operating across multiple time zones can be challenging to limit email activity to Mon/Fri only. However that is something I am going to have to figure out.

    You point out something obvious, but a question I have struggled with.... if I calculate the annual figure I need for myself and family and decide to leave my job, I am concerned that this figure may turn out to be insufficient and it may be too late to return to the workforce, in any meaningful way.

    To answer your question regarding wasting money.... absolutely, yes. Every luxury is effectively waste that could instead be channeled to paying down mortgage debt. But we enjoy the "nice to haves"... that, I suppose is our choice and part of the question around balance between a good lifestyle in the immediate term versus deferred reward (which one may never see).

    With respect to the BTL mortgages, this rate was obtained by consolidating several mortgages spread across multiple lending institutions and moving most of them (had more back in 2007) to a single lender and exiting a revolver credit facility I had previously negotiated. Those two remaining BLTs are on trackers since 2007.

    With regard to other debts, no credit card debt to speak of as its cleared each month. I do financially support my elderly mother in maintaining her house and car etc. Only to the tune of €2-3K a year.

    Mortgage Costs Are:
    1. Value: €390K, Mortgage €200K @ 3.5%, 14 years remaining, rent = €1,300 per month : Mortgage Cost = €1,500
    2. Value: €250K, Mortgage €10K @ 1%, 1.5 years remaining, rent = €900 per month : Mortgage Cost = €600 (will be clearing this remaining balance in the next couple of weeks)
    3. Value: €230K, Mortgage €85K @ 1%, 11 years remaining, rent = €900 per month : Mortgage Cost = €700
    4. Value: €160K, Mortgage €44K @ 4.5% 16 years remaining, rent = €850 per month : Mortgage Cost = €300
    5. Value: €170K, Mortgage = N/a as its a holiday home that was bought by refinancing our PPR, rent = 0 : Mortgage Cost = €0

    Own home Mortgage Cost = €1,250
  10. rboyddd

    rboyddd Registered User

    This is the crux of the matter Sarenco... I am unsure of what strategy makes sense... 60/40 in favour or exiting the PAYE grind as early as possible as opposed to an "extravagant" lifestyle .... before 55 if at all possible, and yes, my wife is on board with this.

    I am worried that I will make a poor financial decision... short term gain but long term pain. The figure I consider comfortable is €4K per month net of tax and before expense. However, PPR mortgage must be clear and school/college and health costs all provided for (at a minimum).
  11. rboyddd

    rboyddd Registered User

    Thanks Ligon... you are absolutely on the money. There is hassle, coupled with a lot of risk with being a landlord in this country. I've seen other posts that suggest there is less risk but equivalent reward in other countries, so that is something I have begun investigating. I am open to investing in one or two BTLs or commercial in another country where there is more stability.

    Yes, I agree that the yield is low, too low for the risk. The properties are not located in a RPZ and I have already notified one tenant that a rent review notice will be issued shortly upon the 2 year anniversary of the last review. We have always been fair to tenants with respect to rent levels, but the rent levels on #2, and #3 are at 30% below market rate. An adjustment to market rate for these two properties would bring the yield back to 5.5%.

    Property #1 - The intention is to sell this, however as there is a significant CGT liability here, there is a loss I need to first crystalize to offset some of this CGT pain. This loss is complex and will take 12-18 months to realise, so I need to hold that property for another 18 months... as a loss maker. However, I expect that there will be a small uplift in the capital value of this property during this period which will negate the carrying cost.

    Thanks again Ligon, your opinion on perhaps holding 1 or 2 BTLs is appreciated.
  12. rboyddd

    rboyddd Registered User

    I know its a simple exercise, but very beneficial to lay out the basic financials. You are correct. The current yield is poor for #1, #2 and #3. It makes sense to sell #1. The rental levels on the remaining BTLs need to be brought up to current market levels.

  13. SBarrett

    SBarrett Frequent Poster

    With all the foreign investment in Ireland in recent years, you are in a similar position to lots of others. High pressured job, can't work at that pace until retirement age. As has been said, you need to assess how much you want to live off and where that money will come from. If you want to bow out early and don't have enough income from rental properties, you may have to sell one (or more) or take a transfer value from your DB scheme to avail of the ARF option. Your 11 yo will be a cost for many more years as well though.

    To retire early will mean a change of mindset. Being income statement affluent, you have been able to afford the luxuries without having to worry about money. Retiring young is expensive and requires advance planning so you know where to cut back and what needs to be done before you call it a day. Don't forget that your child will have to adjust too. If there is going to be cutting back, it will have to be across the board. If your child continued to receive the luxuries, it can continue into later life and they can be a drain on your assets if they can't afford the lifestyle they have grown up with (I know your child is only 11, but it is a real issue, believe me!).

  14. moneymakeover

    moneymakeover Frequent Poster

    By keeping the properties you are more inflation protected.

    You're well on the way to paying them down. And if you're retired it's something to do?

    And your PPR can be paid off by using the holiday home
  15. Peanuts

    Peanuts Frequent Poster

    What income will your DB pension provide if you retire at 55 but don't take up until 65? Will that provide you with sufficient income from that point on? If so, then if you liquidated everything at 55, had €650k clear and stuck it under your mattress it would give you a monthly income of €5,400 for those 10 years. Doesn't account for inflation obviously.
  16. rboyddd

    rboyddd Registered User

    Last edited by a moderator: 14 Mar 2019 at 1:58 PM
    Thank you Steven. Taking a transfer value from a fully funded DB scheme is not for the faint of heart I would think as it removes a high degree of certainty with respect to future pension income... using a blunt rule of thumb, if one had a DB fund of €1m, that should provide a €40K annual income. The benefit as you have helpfully pointed out is that one can access the fund ahead of turning 65, if I understand you correctly.

    Again, thank you for the points you have raised, plenty to mull over.
    Last edited by a moderator: 14 Mar 2019 at 1:58 PM
  17. rboyddd

    rboyddd Registered User

    Thanks moneymakeover, the point you make concerning inflation protected (NPV adjusted) is well made. The approach to keep 2 or 3 of the better yielding rentals, pay them down (rather than spending recklessly) is the prudent approach without doubt.
  18. WaterWater

    WaterWater Frequent Poster

    I totally agree with this statement.

    I was in Brown Thomas restaurant today having a coffee and cake. The only reason I was there was because I was given a gift card and wanted to use it up. They were selling Portugeuse custard cakes, Pasteis de Nata, for about €4.50 each. I buy these in Dunnes Stores at 4 for €3.
    I just couldn't bring myself to pay the price asked.

    I have a house with no mortgage worth about €1.5m and circa €600k in savings and nil borrowings. I can well afford to pay the price asked.

    I eat well. Travel lots but know the value of money.

    The question I will ask you rboyddd is.....would you have spent €4.50 0n the custard cake without hesitation?
  19. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

    Love it Water Water and somewhat agree. Did you bring your own bottle of water water?:)
  20. rboyddd

    rboyddd Registered User

    If it was for my own consumption and I was on my own, then no. However, if the ambience was good for the soul, then I would consider paying €4.50 just to sit there for 20 minutes.
    moneymakeover likes this.