Free Money

Whoopee! Despite the wider economic doom and gloom, my shares are finally taking an upward trajectory. In fact, some recent investments from when I had my pension lump sum to invest, are doing very nicely indeed. But there’s one or two howlers. You can’t get it right all the time. At least I’ve spread my bets. My little pot might not make me rich but I’m hoping that the ‘free money’ will supplement my income. After all my NHS pension only covers my day to day living expenses. There’s nothing over for treating myself and others, doing up the house or emergencies.

I’ve worked out a little strategy for myself about how I might take money from my portfolio but make it last for the rest of my life time. If you invest in the stock market you sometimes receive dividends which are a share of profits from the company. When I’ve been choosing shares lately I’ve been picking ones that have a good yield. Some of them pay eight or nine per cent a year. That’s better than a poke in the eye and way above current interest rates. If I need to, I’ll allow myself to pop any dividends that I receive into my spending pot. That should at least pay for a couple of ferry crossings to the continent.

There’s another way that I’m hoping to make money on my shares. With luck, financial astuteness or a bit of both, their value should grow over time. I’m planning to keep investing a monthly sum until state retirement age That’s ten years away. But it might also be nice to be able to take out money for extras like those home improvements, treating my family or an extra special holiday away. So once I’m in profit any excess is up for grabs. I can spend that if I need to as well.

I’ve been thinking about money recently and how I’ve intrinsically linked it to being a reward for paid employment. There’s a measure of unease around receiving that ‘free money’ for doing nothing. Perhaps I should go and get a job to assuage that guilt? But I value my freedom too much. With this, I have time for people again. Recently helping my son set up home, advising friends about how to plan for the future of their loved one with advanced dementia and labouring for my partner when he installed a wood burner for a friend has all taken up time. And it’s all been done for no financial gain. It occurred to me that I should think about investment income as my salary from the universe for my hard labour. Maybe the source of a reward can be separate from the work done to earn it!

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  1. I think there’s a difference in investing hard earned money and generating a return than the rich type that generationally inherited wealth and live off dividends. Your “free money” was earned by making sacrifices, some small, some perhaps large, to free up funds to invest. Enjoying the rewards so you have some of the good stuff in life while having time to help the people in your life is nothing to feel even a twinge of guilt for.

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