Foundered Logo

Do you want to retire early?

Sign up for my newsletter to receive weekly tips on saving money, earning more, starting a business, and investing intelligently. Plus, get FREE access to my 10-Day Financial Freedom Mini Course for step-by-step guidance on reaching financial independence.


Table of Contents

A few weeks back I announced my retirement from retirement or my unretirement as someone else called it. Unashamedly, I’m back working. Maybe we’ll just call it a brief interlude because I’ll be back enjoying more free time momentarily.

Something was lacking

When you retire, it’s often said you need to retire to something and that your life might feel unfulfilled spending days endlessly wandering without aim. Foundered was my retirement project and to an extent, it more than filled this need. I’ve built a resource, and a community and helped quite a few people along the way. By many standards, it has been a success and it will continue to grow. I have some exciting developments to share in the coming months including the partnership with a new contributor to the site and social channels. It’s my wife and well, she’s been providing content ideas for the longest time, so now she’s helping further.

Always complaining about the weather

This winter was the wettest I ever remember. When I was in the office I would barely notice the rain, but living in NI, we’re sadly lacking in year-round golf or outdoor pursuits.

According to Billy Connolly, there’s no such thing as bad weather, but if you’ve ever played a round of golf and lost balls hit directly onto the fairway, you’ll understand clothing choices aren’t the issue.

The weather this winter sucked and I decided I want to escape it. 

Travelling in retirement

We have a pretty hefty travel budget each year and this year alone we’ll disappear for nearly 13 weeks (planned so far). But with a daughter in school for the next decade, this is limited primarily to non-term time.

I was a remote worker before remote working was a thing. I know the systems and processes it takes to work from abroad and for me, this doesn’t work in an unknown space. I need a studio and I need my own space. It’s how I work. 

Instead of moving from rental to rental, the plan is to buy something abroad. And this is the crux of the reason. 

For all my retirement planning, the bottom line is that I want more.

You don’t build a business, save and invest enough to retire at the age of 40 without “it”. Whatever it is, I’m not sure, but it must be good and I must have some. Let’s call it drive for now, but in reality, I’m just pretty good at making money. And I missed doing so.

I’ve noted before that one of the biggest challenges in my retirement was going from a mindset of abundance to one of scarcity. I’ve never had to consider a budget because I could just earn more. Until I self-imposed that I couldn’t.

When I was saving for retirement, I had an endpoint, a goal. And in that sense, I won the game. But the lust for more has crept back in and here we are. Building a business from the ground up. And I’m doing so publicly.

Building a lifestyle business

So, exactly 500 days after my retirement, I’ve decided to go back to work.

In my past career, I helped thousands of business owners grow and develop their businesses. Some had growth targets, others had the ambition to scale for sale. I helped them all through a strategic branding service. But the reality is, that many wanted to understand the process we were in the middle of – building a successful business for sale.

Since I left this business, I’ve helped a few entrepreneurs behind the scenes, but now I’m going public. 

Make no mistake, I’m not working because I have to, it’s because I want to. I get to help others achieve their business goals and like foundered, I could probably do this for free. I won’t, but I could.

This is purely a lifestyle venture that must follow my priorities

  1. Allow time with my family
  2. Give me the freedom to focus on my health and fitness
  3. Make money to buy property abroad

In the business world, I have a pretty good reputation. I managed to grow a multi-million-pound business, starting in the back bedroom and exited it successfully in less than 12 years. The businesses comprised of a commercial printing company, a web development agency and a branding and design studio. Pre-acquisition we’d a team of 40 and a healthy profit. Whoop!

The new business is dedicated to helping other service-based entrepreneurs build the best business they can and to give them options: whether that’s growth, exit or business transition.

Shameless plug: If you want to grow your business profitably and sustainably, please check out and set up a discovery call.

I’m 3 weeks in and I have a solid base of clients already, which is a huge vote of confidence in my service. The goal is to frontload and supercharge my plans, to expedite the purchase.

How I plan to save & invest for the property purchase

Being a personal finance site, I couldn’t just wash over the financial side of the property purchase. This also happens to be one of the most common questions I get – where to put our money for medium-term goals.

Normally when saving for medium-term goals it isn’t recommended to invest your money.  The markets go up and they also go down and the shorter the timeframe, the greater volatility is to be expected.

Yet, for my own medium-term goal of buying a place abroad, I’m investing.  And I’m doing so aggressively.

Here’s why I’m doing the opposite of what I’d tell anyone else to do.

1. The amount of contributions I’m making in the next 36 months will be far greater than any growth in my investments.

Let’s say I achieve sales of 10k a month after tax (for easy maths). And I put this to work for me achieving an 8% return. After year 1 the growth would be around £5,000 assuming an 8% return.

I’ve ambitious sales targets, and every penny I earn (except for taxes) can be put towards my goal. 

8% return is great, but in reality, the market growth doesn’t make a huge contribution to my goal in this short timeframe. Though £5k is not to be sniffed at. The same for any decline. An 8% decline would take a month more “working” to cover that loss.

2. Volatility is an opportunity 

If the markets go up or down I’ll continue to buy as much as possible and pound cost average my way. If I have to extend my goals due to a market downturn, so be it. I’ve a plan for that!

3. The plan 

Next year or the year after we’re going to rent a place for the year. Our goal is to pick an area we like, not somewhere we like on holiday. There’s a cost to this, but the alternative is we pick somewhere we don’t truly like. And that’s a costly mistake. 

If the markets aren’t favourable or we haven’t reached our target number, then we rent for an additional year. Enjoying the journey is the priority!

Now there’s a huge consideration around tax and using the most tax-advantaged accounts.

Pensions are a no-go because I want to withdraw the money within a few years. ISAs are limited below the level I need, but these will be utilised in full. 

The next option I have is whether to use a general investment account or to use the money to buy other income-generating assets such as rentals. And finally, there’s a huge consideration towards the amount of money I reinvest in the business.

Lots to consider and I’m only 3 weeks in.

Share this post

Related articles