It was a .net domain I originally bought it from an australian domain registrar, don't ask me why, I have no idea why. Perhaps they had a deal with a British company that I bought it through or something. Anyhow now they seem to have upped the prices more than a bit and I am not a happy bunny!
Quite the opposite you want to get the transfer completed well before the expiry date. All you will have to pay for is the next year at the new registrar at the time of transfer. So if the expiry is 29 August 2010 you pay for an extra year on the day you move to your new registrar and the expiry will be reset to 29 August 2011.
Transfers take a few days especially if the losing registrar is awkward. What you don't want to happen is for the transfer to run past the expiry date as many registrars charge extra fees to cough "recover" the name and these can be quite high.
I've always had a small worry about this same scenario. In my opinion, who knows what cockeye renewal loops registrars are going to make us jump through 5 years from now. That is why for my main domains I always keep them renewed as far out as possible, which is 10 years for most.
I figure I can afford it today, what if I can't in 5 years? Buys me some extra years at today's discounted prices.
My only advice, don't do this all your domains. Just the ones you have built sustainable sites on.
It also doesn't hurt from the perception of stability. If someone sees your site is registered until 2019, and a competitor is set to expire next year, they may choose your shop because of the perception that you will be around for years to come.