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55850 Posts in 6180 Topics by 556 Members - Latest Member: wallynicholson666 December 14, 2017, 10:17:12 AM
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 1 
 on: September 27, 2017, 02:57:32 PM 
Started by Ed - Last post by omega1300
Just dropping in - been a long while since I've been here. Looks like flash competitions have dropped off? Hope everyone's been well!

 2 
 on: August 05, 2017, 03:51:30 PM 
Started by Ed - Last post by Ed
Just read the critique notes from a story I posted way back and recently rediscovered. Man, this place was a gold-mine for a period of time. I think (hope) I'm a better writer now, but if I am it was in no small part thanks to the critters back in the day.

Hi Del, good to see you dropping in.

Maybe we will resurrect the beast someday, get it going again. I do miss it. I'd much rather somebody had taken it over and kept it running, rather than me letting it slide. It was often a problem getting enough folks together at the end of each month to get a crit session going, but when writing a story to enter for a comp, or an anthology, it was really good to have a few people giving good crits to keep everything on track.

I'm writing factual stuff mostly, these days. Proposals and web site content, that type of thing. I sometimes take for granted the skills that I learned. Things like editing out pleonasms and word repeats. The frugality of words you learn from the flash challenge, and editing down to a eord count without losing meaning. All useful stuff afro

 3 
 on: August 01, 2017, 03:37:58 PM 
Started by Ed - Last post by delboy
Just read the critique notes from a story I posted way back and recently rediscovered. Man, this place was a gold-mine for a period of time. I think (hope) I'm a better writer now, but if I am it was in no small part thanks to the critters back in the day.

 4 
 on: July 16, 2017, 03:33:53 AM 
Started by Ed - Last post by Ed
Ed, I think I've lost my mojo for a full time office job, and with the weather we've been having even a part time job feels like it might be a chore!

Anyway, a friend who runs a consultancy offered some ad hoc work last night and I think that might do me. My Financial Adviser has a plan for the pensions I have.  It just about gives me the income I need, plus the flexibility I need, and the attention that investments will need through brexit, but comes with an annual 2.5% (of the investment pot) fee. I've no idea if that fee is good, ok, or bad, so I'm currently waiting on a similar proposal from Fidelity (who hold one of my workplace pensions).

It's all a bit complicated.

Personally, I've heard so many horror stories about pensions being worthless at retirement that I don't trust the high street names. My uncle watched his pension pot grow by a meagre one or two percent for years and, frustrated by this, he asked his accountant what the hell was going on. What it boils down to is you give your money to 'Jones the Pension', or whoever else, and they invest it in funds. If the funds make money, so does your pension, but the problem is Jones pay their fund manager and take a profit for themselves, and by the time you get your share it's diminished quite a bit. What makes this doubly sickening is that the fund Jones buys into with your money already has its own fund manager, making the Jones fund manager pointless. The fund manager at the coal face buys and sells shares for the fund, spreading the risk and using his expert knowledge to choose which ones to keep and which to drop. Since then, my uncle chose to invest his pension into directly into the funds. The company he uses is Hargreaves Landsdown, and that's where I have invested mine now. He keep a close eye on his and makes strategic buys and sells. He manages to get growth anywhere between 8% and 12% per year.

I don't like financial advisors either. The commissions they take can be massive. You have to watch them. I invested a lump sum in a pension years ago as a one off. Then the net year the pensions company wrote to me asking where that year's payment was. It turned out the financial advisor had signed me up for an ongoing committment and taken a massive commission for his trouble. I managed to get it frozen, but he had taken a quarter of the money I put in as commission. I've never been to one since.

Good luck with the new part time job -- sounds good.

Jerry -- hang in there. I'm a firm believer that it'll come good one day and be better for the wait  afro

 5 
 on: July 06, 2017, 02:07:53 AM 
Started by Ed - Last post by Russell
Ed, I think I've lost my mojo for a full time office job, and with the weather we've been having even a part time job feels like it might be a chore!

Anyway, a friend who runs a consultancy offered some ad hoc work last night and I think that might do me. My Financial Adviser has a plan for the pensions I have.  It just about gives me the income I need, plus the flexibility I need, and the attention that investments will need through brexit, but comes with an annual 2.5% (of the investment pot) fee. I've no idea if that fee is good, ok, or bad, so I'm currently waiting on a similar proposal from Fidelity (who hold one of my workplace pensions).

It's all a bit complicated.

 6 
 on: June 27, 2017, 07:34:50 PM 
Started by Ed - Last post by elay2433
Quote
Brainstorming, nope -- that's part of the problem. My brain needs a certain amount of downtime for creative ideas to formulate, and those 'what if?' thoughts just aren't happening with how busy I am. I would still like to pursue writing in the future as a pass time, though. Maybe in a year or two I'll be in a better position to actually do it.

I know what you mean, Ed. I hope things slow down enough for you so that you can get back to it. I'm brainstorming still, but I don't often get much farther than that. I'm attempting a reset of my daily schedule now, trying to get up early enough to get my butt back in the chair. Problem for me is discipline. I've gone as long as about 5-6 months without missing more than a few days at a time, accomplishing about one (too long) short story per month. But sooner or later I always seem to get derailed. I'll get the hang of it one of these days.


 7 
 on: May 29, 2017, 05:07:15 AM 
Started by Ed - Last post by Ed
Thanks for the birthday wishes, you two.

Brainstorming, nope -- that's part of the problem. My brain needs a certain amount of downtime for creative ideas to formulate, and those 'what if?' thoughts just aren't happening with how busy I am. I would still like to pursue writing in the future as a pass time, though. Maybe in a year or two I'll be in a better position to actually do it. Have you got anything fermenting in your synapses, Jerry?

Russel -- sounds like interesting times. Funnily enough, I've been thinking more about when I can afford to retire without dropping my standard of living too much. My accountant told me last week that I have to put a ton on money into my pension if I'm to avoid paying massive amounts of tax. It's put me in a bit of a quandary, because that was the money I was planning to put into property development. I've recently got cold feet about investing in property with the uncertainty and economic upheaval that is likely to accompany the next few years of Brexit, but at the same time I don't like the thought of locking my money into a pension, albeit a SIPP, for at least the next five years, but then again it's better than handing it to the govt as tax I'll never get back. Why's everything so damned complicated?

So, are you going to get yourself a part time job, or are you looking for another full time job, Russell? I know a few people who went from positions with a lot of responsibility in one field of work to ones with none in a completely different field. They found it a refreshing change.

 8 
 on: May 27, 2017, 01:37:37 AM 
Started by Ed - Last post by Russell
Happy 50th.  Oh that takes me back.

Today was my last day with the employer I'd been with for 12 years.  They did a restructure that was designed to let everyone keep their job  (at lower pay) but it meant redundancy was on offer.  I was lucky enough that I could put it tax-free straight into my pension (the equivalent of roughly 5 years contributions), and not be in too much of a hurry to find new income. I'm 58 and a good bit, and whilst I've not started talking about bowl movements, I have been thinking about how close I am to be being able to get by without having to work - or rather having to work full time in something stressful. 

Some form of retirement !!?  It creeps up on you (this age thing).


 9 
 on: May 26, 2017, 01:51:25 PM 
Started by Ed - Last post by elay2433
Happy 50th, Ed. Take care of yourself. You'll need your wrists in decent shape for when you hit the keyboard again. Brainstorming any story ideas?

 10 
 on: May 26, 2017, 03:01:29 AM 
Started by Ed - Last post by Ed
Yeah, it's funny, isn't it? I thought I was busy ten years ago, but that's nothing compared to how it is now. Maybe it's just our perception changing as we get older, though -- could be that we are less able to cope with multiple simultaneous challenges the older we get?

I've just hit the big five-oh, which made me stop and think a bit. Take stock, and all that. I'm starting to find that bits of me are wearing out after years of heavy lifting and wielding tools. Apparently my flexor tendons are shot and I've got carpal tunnel syndrome. When I play squash my wrist aches for three or four days after. Oh God, I've just realised I'm turning into one of those old people who talk constantly about their ailments. Next thing you know I'll be talking about my bowel movements....  Shocked

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