After almost five years of blogging I have decided to bring Ranting Stan to a conclusion and this will be my last post.
Following Mrs Stan's breakdown and the demands, stress and strain of looking after two teenage boys on my own I made the decision late last year to take early retirement - even though I'm not yet in my mid-fifties. Today is my final day of the work and later this afternoon I will hand in the assorted accoutrement of employment and walk out of the office a free and very happy man.
The house is all paid for (I made the final payment last October - eight years early), I have been prudent and careful with savings and I have followed my father's advice all my life to avoid debt. Consequently, I'm in a position now where I no longer need to work to maintain our lifestyle - although I'm sure I will do something even if it is just to continue my voluntary work.
I confess that I feel a little guilty that I'm doing this at a time when so many others in Britain are facing hardship and a collapse in their living standards. All I can say is that I hope I am wrong in my forecast that we are about to enter a prolonged period of economic turmoil and decline that will match and possibly surpass that of the Great Depression - however, I see no reason to change my assessment.
My advice to anyone who wants to listen is to follow the model I have followed all my life - don't be tempted by easy credit and the prospect of shiny new things. Look after your money, save what you can, only spend what you have to and never, ever build up any debt apart from a mortgage which you can not pay off within one month.
If you do this while you are young enough then you will be able to look forward to an early and comfortable retirement too. It's called deferred gratification and is much underestimated.
I thank you all for taking the time to read and comment on my musings over the last five years and wish you all good health, wealth and happiness.
Thank you and goodbye.