As parents, as a country and as a nation, we seem to be at a crossroads.
And there’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode should we get things wrong.
Whether that be constitutionally, economically or considerations closer to home, things don’t feel like they’re going well at the moment.
First world problems, I know but nonetheless they affect my family and many others around the UK and beyond.
Not Owning A Property
When we first moved into accommodation provided by my wife’s employer we decided to sell our flat.
It was at the point that property prices had nose-dived and it meant we ended up making a loss.
However since most of the flats were no longer owner occupied, it had become less appealing to live there.
And we didn’t want to run the risk of getting bad tenants in if we were to rent the place out.
Having experienced the types of people moving into the block, I think it was the right decision.
Although it leaves us without owning a property and we’ll have to get back on the ladder at some point.
With property prices ever-increasing that could be a ticking time bomb if we decide to leave it until later in life.
Putting The Kids Through School
Since my wife works at an independent school, it’s a perfect opportunity to give our kids a head start in life.
We get a discount but it’s still similar to our mortgage payment before we sold our flat.
Whatever happens if we remain in Scotland they will stay at the school.
I don’t want to risk sending them to a local state school because I don’t rate them.
If our plans to move back down to England in the coming years come to pass then that may change things.
I’d be happier for the kids to attend a state school in England because I want them to do GCSEs and A-Levels.
I just hope that the ticking time bomb doesn’t explode before we get to that point.
If we were to get to that stage in Scotland, I’d immediately look to return to work.
Only One Income Coming In
Having only one income coming in doesn’t provide much security.
It’s always in the back of our minds what would happen if my wife lost her job or became ill.
The latter is now sorted because we’ve taken out insurance but the former is always a concern.
I’m pretty sure we’d both be able to find jobs fairly quickly if we needed to.
But I don’t want to test that theory out any time soon.
Assuming we stick where we are, I’m planning on looking to return to work in 12 months time anyway.
Then maybe that ticking time bomb can disappear altogether.
I have a number of pensions from various periods of employment but it doesn’t add up to a whole lot.
Not being in work exacerbates the problem.
As my wife is also the one who receives child benefit, I don’t automatically qualify for national insurance credits towards my State Pension.
But I’ve been plugging the gap with some self employed earnings and voluntary contributions.
Since category 2 national insurance contributions are disappearing though it’s going to get trickier to maintain my qualifying years.
There’s a form you can complete to transfer national insurance credits between spouses in relation to child benefit.
You have to do it after the fact though so I’ll have to wait until the earlier of me going back to work or my daughter gets to age 12.
Who knows whether they’ll even be a State Pension when I get to my allotted retirement age of 68.
We’ll have to rely on my wife’s teachers pension for much of our income in later life I suspect.
Brexit And IndyRef2: Extreme Ticking Time Bombs
I hate Brexit with a passion and I hate the thought of IndyRef2 with even more passion.
Both are a disaster waiting to happen I fear.
Brexit’s more than likely going to happen whether I like it or not.
Scottish Independence on the other hand I don’t think will happen, at last not in my time or my children’s.
I think those who voted for Brexit didn’t consider future generations and their long term opportunities.
It’s better to be part of a bigger pool of people rather than a smaller one, surely?
Cutting ourselves off from our nearest neighbours doesn’t feel like a good plan.
Economically unless we can get some kind of deal with the EU and others, a financial ticking time bomb is waiting to explode.
Only time will tell.
What do you think?