WEST LONDON, ENGLAND – This is my life plan: 

To spend the next few years hanging out with my family… having fun… having adventures… and trying to learn something together… 

Not exactly sure what we’ll do… but hopefully, it’ll involve a lot of laughing, a lot of friends, and some good books. 

How will we sustain this lifestyle without full-time jobs? More below…

Acting Like Tourists

Greetings from London…

My family and I are here to settle my mother’s estate (and maybe buy her row house).

While we’re in London, we’re determined to make the most of our time here, and so we’re acting like tourists. (There are hardly any tourists in London right now due to COVID-19, so most of the things we’re seeing are empty.)

On Friday night, I went to the National Gallery. The National Gallery is a 200-year-old art museum in London. It is the eighth most-visited art museum in the world.

Here is Water Lilies by Claude Monet…


Claude Monet’s Water Lilies at the National Gallery

On Saturday, we rode our bikes to Wimbledon to have lunch with a Postcards reader – Roger – and his family. Here we are in Roger’s back garden after lunch…


Met up with Roger (a Postcards reader) and his family

We’ve been to the Imperial War Museum and the Tower of London, too.

Next week, we’re going to Oxford and Hampton Court. And we’ve also got dates coming up for the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, the Museum of London, and Kensington Palace.

Now, back to how we’re sustaining this lifestyle, even though Kate and I don’t work full-time…

Multimillion-Dollar Payout

We have a million dollars or so in savings, which we worked hard for and saved up over the last 25 years. We’ve invested the entire lump sum in hard currency (gold, silver, and steel) because we’re worried about inflation.

We’re not greedy. We just want to make our nest egg last as long as possible before we die.

In addition to our savings, I have a multimillion-dollar life insurance policy. It’s a whole-life policy, and I’ve put so much money into it over the last 10 years, it’s reached the stage where it pays for itself.

In the jargon of the life insurance industry, it’s self-funding. In basic English, I never have to make another premium payment. 

If I die first, Kate and the kids will get a multimillion-dollar payout. They’ll be able to use that to live off for the rest of their lives.

(I’ll make sure they know what to do with the money to make it last. Also, Kate has a similar life insurance policy, also paid-up. So the kids will get another payout when she dies. Two out of three kids also have life insurance policies, also paid-up, so more payouts when they die…)

And that’ll be that. 

In other words, I’m off the hook financially. The kids will be provided for when we’re gone. Kate and I never have to work again. (I’m assuming the life insurance company doesn’t go bankrupt and the dollar hasn’t become worthless.)

One Long Vacation

Am I selfish to think like this?

Maybe. It seems a little self-indulgent to be retired at age 45 and wanting to have fun with my wife and kids until I die. But maybe if we’re making friends and entertaining people, that seems good enough.

Hopefully we don’t screw our kids up too badly with this experiment, seeing as their childhood will basically be one long vacation. I don’t think we are so far…

Am I lazy?

Yes, I think so, in certain things. I hate working, for example. I’m very lazy about that. But when it comes to having an adventure with Kate and the kids, I’m not lazy at all. I’ll jump right out of bed and “work” all day. 

So why do I write?

I just like entertaining you, my reader, if I can. I guess I might be a showoff… like the kid who does idiotic stunts for attention? That’s all.

A lazy showoff, though. 😉

– Tom Dyson

Like what you’re reading? Send your thoughts to [email protected].


Last week, a reader was concerned Tom’s decision to buy his mum’s home was “hasty.” Other readers come to his defense…

Reader comment: In reading your correspondents’ comments as to your mom’s house being an investment or some anti-freedom matter that deserves a rant… I have never considered the “home” as an investment that will yield a gain or a loss. I consider the house/residence as an investment in the family.

My kids have grown up in but two houses and they have very fond memories of both, the schools they attended, and the lifelong friends they have (and still have). We were able to give and give back to the community, as most people did, thus making it a safe place for the kids to grow up.

Reader comment: I think if you happened to be in London and randomly bought a house you liked, then maybe that could be considered “hasty.” However, you are dealing with your mom’s home – your home, which is a totally different situation.

For you to just disregard your mother’s things, and all the memories with it, would make life unimportant. Memories are part of family, and life, and tie us together. There may be a time later for you to let it go. But for now, it’s your family’s memories. Your kids can look at all that your mom was and learn much about their father (you)!

Meanwhile, another enjoys the Dysons’ Tower of London trip

Reader comment: What a fantastic photo of Penny, Miles, and Dusty meeting the raven at the Tower of London! Looks like it’s right out of Mary Poppins or Harry Potter! Glad you and your family are enjoying your mum’s home in London. Think you have a great plan to give it a year and then decide where to live. It’s a pause to enjoy fond memories and to make new ones with your family. Take care and my best wishes to all of you!

Tom’s note: As always, thanks for your kind messages! Please keep writing us at [email protected], and I’ll do my best to answer your questions in a future Friday mailbag edition.