Lockdowns, a New Country and Financial Independence (India)

A cup of coffee for you and me!

Most of us are just coming out of lock-downs after months and almost none unscathed. Life has been difficult and challenging in so many different ways. I doubt most of the readers of this blog have faced any real hunger due to the stringent curbs but we have all faced a lot of anxiety. Anxiety about if we will come out of this with a job; what will happen when there is no increment this year. For those with an April cycle for increments it will be two years before their pockets expand a tiny bit definitely not in line with the already skyrocketing prices of everything. Let this post be a respite form all those worries and let’s sit down to talk about 10 years in future. IT might look like this will never be over but the reality is it will be.

How our time has been

We have tried our level best to stay on course and keep our spending down but it has not been an easy task. We were stuck in transit while shifting base for our jobs. We spent about three months in one room with our very energetic toddler in a guest house. There were a lot of tears and games and back breaking work but we got through it and now we are in a much more comfortable situation.

  • Financially we have been left untouched by the effect of the downturn even though a few colleagues above our level have started to feel the effects.
  • Market seems to have bounced back a bit though still not at the early 2020 levels.
  • Our net-worth has seen an uptick but we have not been investing anywhere as we buffed up our emergency reserves up to almost a year’s expenses.
  • And we are all set to leave our jobs by this September.*

If the last pointer surprised you let me clarify, we are not FI yet nor are we starting a new business or another enterprise. We have decided to get one of us a Masters degree in the UK and the other person and the toddler are tagging along. While we are both looking for jobs we can get once we reach, it is quite unlikely we will hit gold as soon as we reach.

Here’s where the years of hard work and cost cutting (though not since the toddler entered the world) have helped us. Our calculations say that we are well placed to get through this year and the next with our liquid savings without dipping into our reserves in Employee Provident Funds.

Our other reserves in PPF and NPS remain in place and we intend to keep them funded till we are back to work with our cash reserves. To be able to comply with quite exorbitant fund requirements and to reduce the education loan we have liquidated a part of our Mutual fund portfolio and taken advantage of COVID allowance for EPF.

That is dipping into your reserves you say. We count Mutual funds and salary as our available money and EPF, PPF and NPS i.e. our locked instruments as reserves which are currently adequate for us to fulfill our financial requirements.

*The part above was written sometime in late Julty and in keeping with my tradition of going AWOL every few months I am back to report how life has been.

The life update 🙂

We have finally moved into a house that we hope to be in till atleast end of next year. Both of us are still without a means to support ourselves financially (that’s not true we just don’t have jobs). As we feel more settled we are able to focus our energies in directions other than makign things happen right away. This also includes finding a job and a community. Both are in short supply right now since furloughs are a thing here and mixing of households is not allowed.

Whatever the locals might say about their lockdowns we think it is amazing that we can actually see people on the road living their lives respectfully socially distancing. I think distancing doesn’t come naturally to the locals as it does to me. Moving around every few years has left us capable of keeping to ourselves till we find like minded company. I am bummed too because summers are coming to an end and that means bitter cold… no doubt people hate being pushed inside int eh goprgeous weather that shines for a few hours on a summer day.

As I always intend, I am looking at keeping things updated here so that we can have a community growing and keep you informed how much of our stash we consume throughout the year!

PS If anyone is looking for two highly capable people (if I do say so myself) in the UK ping me! 😛

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