MCR FIRE meet up 27th September 2019

My 1st and and Manchester’s 2nd!

  • Venue 7/10 – J said it was too noisy
  • Atmosphere and conversation = 10/10
  • Fire fans = around 15
  • Pints of cider = 2
The Well Area in the Rain Bar

A great night last Friday at Rain Bar Manchester for my first meet up with other FIRE chasers. Some venue issues, it was noisy, they finished food early and they didn’t reserve the area as I agreed. However all this didn’t spoil the evening at all. I met lots of lovely new friends and learnt a lot and have some actions for the coming months.

My favourite conversations….

  • Talking match betting with W and K – both gave me some tips, confidence to give it a go and offers of help.
  • Using a SIPP as a bridge between your FIRE and DB Pension date with M – this has had me thinking how I could use my combination of a DC pension pot and a Stocks and Shares ISA rather than take my DB pension early. Taking the DB pension early is subject to penalties so I need to do some analysis on how I can use the DC pension pot and ISA investments as a bridge, at least for a year or two.
  • Had a good chat with B and her partner D, B is interested in doing a FIRE podcast, good luck B – looking forward to seeing how you progress this.
  • Met J, a long time FIREer – probably before FIRE was a thing – who talked about being FI since Margaret Thatcher came to power! How impressive. This was at a time when you had to fill out forms and send your investment instructions by post!
  • Chatting with S who is in the same sector as me.
  • Finding out about the North West Shares Group with DW and starting to think about some joint activity / attending their more formal investment club skills share meet ups.
Thank you

We also discussed ‘coming out’ to friends and family about our FIRE journey. It was interesting to note and reflect that many of us don’t share our FI aspirations and goals. B said she did share her savings with one friend and the conversation didn’t go well. W thinks when they talk about RE with colleagues they think she is banking on winning the lottery! I do have a couple of friends who are financially flexible / near independent through frugality and saving rather than investing. However I am still in the FIRE closet (albeit with the door open) so I could not be more surprised when after about an hour into the evening who should turn up but a good friend who lives 40 miles away and I haven’t seen for a while! I’ve been outed, my cover blown. I and Namaste Marn (a pseudonym!) had a good catch up, a laugh about the randomness of the evening and made a pact to try match betting in a couple of months.

Next steps / take-aways

  • Investigate the DC part of my pension and do some scenario-ising around using it as a bridge between when I want to FIRE and taking my DB pension – avoiding at least some of the penalties of taking by DC pension early.
  • Read up on and watch the match betting videos recommended by W and set a date with NM to start our match betting challenge!
  • Chat with other FIRE chasers and DW about a possible more formal joint meet up with the investor club.
  • Get our next meet up in the diary, November or January anyone?

And it didn’t end there…

As if talking match betting and SIPPs with complete strangers but now new friends and meeting up with NM wasn’t random enough – as me and NM were leaving RAIN Bar and discussing if they were coming back to mine for the evening, or taking the train home a young man came up to us wanting directions.

He was looking for his friend’s flat near a McDonald’s, but not the one he’d just passed. We pulled out our phones to help. While chatting we found out he was a drag artist called ‘Tallulah Tampax’ from Potters Bar, had just got off a train from Blackpool, where he’d left his phone down a drain and needed to get to his friends’ flat near the other McDonald’s – which was actually in Salford – and be on the door at Napoleon’s on Canal Street in full drag and high heels in an hour!

After messing about and trying to give him directions – I am a good map reader but it was quite late, I’d had a couple of ciders! I gave up and said – ‘look let me get you an Uber’. Whooooah you are saying why are you prepared to spend £3.97 on a complete stranger when you could invest that and get £10.77 in 20 years time at 5%! It might be worth saying he guessed my age 10 years younger than I am. NM and I waived him off with the advice to pay it forward, he got in the cab, didn’t look back or return our wave. Oh well.

  • What where your highlights of the evening?
  • When shall we meet again?
  • Where shall we meet?
  • Would you be interested in more formal learning session with North West Share Group?

4 thoughts on “MCR FIRE meet up 27th September 2019

  1. Hello 🙂

    Thanks for the write up and it was good to meet you and the others. I should have made more of an effort to mingle more, instead of sitting in the corner but I was having some good discussions!

    A shame it was a little noisy but everywhere is going to be pretty lively on a Friday night. Another place to be considered could be the Atlas Bar where I’ve seen sections cordoned off for parties at the back?

    Anyway, I’d probably be ok to meet again in November or January.

    Interesting that you mention the ‘bridge’ between your FIRE and DB pension as that is precisely what my plan is – my bridge will be my ISA, SIPPs and DC pension. I can’t take my DB pension before 65 without severe penalty, so my bridge needs to last 10-12 years.

    Good luck with the matched betting and as I mentioned, if you want a hand, let me know.

    I’ve not had the chance to read through your blog so excuse the comments in a random order!


  2. Hi. Great to chat with you at the meet up. It was nice to talk openly about FIRE aspirations with others who look at life in a similar way.
    I’m looking forward to meeting up with everyone again and seeing how the meetings develop. Hopefully we can help each other. I’d certainly be interested in a learning more about different approaches and investment strategies.

    A November meeting could also be good for me.

    Also fantastic that you’ve started a blog! I don’t think you mentioned that on Friday. I look forward to reading about your progress. I agree with Weenie that its great to read a little about your background and what’s driving the FIRE goals.


    Liked by 1 person

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