Today, I am going to go through a simple thought experiment: What would I do if I were given one million dollars. I am thinking of several things I could with one million dollars. I am currently at the beginning of my journey towards Financial Independence. One million is more than eight times my current net worth. So this could mean a lot of different things for me!
Now, I did not invent this thought experiment at all. It was introduced by the Saving Ninja. Actually, I did not discover it on the Saving Ninja blog. I discovered it by reading about this experiment on Retire In Progress blog. You can find many answers by other bloggers in the original post. I thought it was interesting. So I decided to try it and report my thoughts on the blog.
The original thought experiment, proposed by The Saving Ninja, was in British Sterling Pounds. And Mr. RIP did it in Euros. In this post, I am going to talk about a million Swiss Francs (CHF). But, this is currently the same as a million U.S. Dollars. So, it is the same thought experiment as getting one million USD.
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Your net worth is a very important number. This is the number representing the value of what you own. We have already seen how to calculate your net worth. This is especially important if you want to become financially independent. For this, you will need to accumulate a large net worth that is able to cover your expenses.
However, something we have not discussed in details is the difference between the different parts of your net worth. In this post, we are going to discuss that exactly. You are going to see that not every part of your net worth is equal. Some parts of your net worth should be treated differently.
If you want to become financially independent, you cannot consider all the parts of your net worth as equal. Some parts of your net worth will not help reach Financial Independence (FI)! And some assets will not evolve in the same way over the years. If you are serious about reaching FI, it is very important to know what your net worth is composed of.
To improve, you can use two different net worths. Your regular net worth as you know it and your FI net worth that will help you towards Financial Independence. So let’s see where all the different assets fit in the grand scheme of net worths!
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The Financial Independence and Retire Early (FIRE) movement is not very old. But lately, it has started to get more and more traction. There is a ton of blogs on the subject and we are starting to see several articles on the media about the FIRE movement. With many different people starting to follow the movement, there are now several sub-movements with different kinds of FIRE. You probably have heard of the FIRE way. But have you heard of Lean FIRE or Fat FIRE?
It is very interesting to see what are all these different FIRE ways. All these acronyms are a bit ambiguous and can make matters a bit complicated. It is not extremely important to know what kind of FIRE you are. But it is an interesting thought!
Once you finished reading this post, you will know what kind of FIRE you are! Or maybe you will define a new kind of FIRE! And that is perfectly fine. Each way to FIRE has its differences.
Continue reading “The 6 Kinds of FIRE: Which One Are You?”
If you read personal finance blogs, you will see that most of them are advocating investing in Vanguard Index Funds. On this blog, I also recommend using their index funds in most cases. In fact, I have more than 75% of my portfolio invested in Vanguard funds. And I plan to continue investing most of my money into their funds.
There are many different mutual funds companies. You probably have heard about Fidelity, BlackRock or T. Rowe. And there are others. But most people are talking about Vanguard. So what makes Vanguard so unique? Why is everybody recommending you to invest in their index funds?
I believe they are the best mutual fund company currently. There are many reasons that make them so great. In this post, we are covering the main points that make Vanguard unique.
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If you want to reach Financial Independence and be able to retire, you need to know how much you are going to spend while retired. If you are retiring next year, it is really easy to know how much you are going to spend. However, if you are going to retire in a long time, it is not trivial to estimate your retirement expenses.
I have already talked about the different ways tor each Financial Independence (FI). Regardless of which way you choose to reach FI, you will need an accurate estimation of your retirement expenses. Without this, you will not be able to know how much of the road remains.
You could think that you are going to spend exactly the same as you spend now. But this is quite wrong. You need to take into account many things. You will normally pay fewer taxes. But your health expenses are likely to increase. And inflation will increase your expenses significantly over the years.
In this post, I am going to cover the main points that will impact your retirement spending. It is not a surefire way to estimate your retirement expenses. But it will definitely help if you want an accurate estimation.
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We have seen that there are many reasons to want to reach Financial Independence (FI). Once you reach FI, you can do what you want without having to worry about money. This is awesome! You only keep working if you want to. This is something most people would want to achieve. For me, my ultimate goal is to reach FI.
There are several ways to achieve Financial Independence. Indeed, there is not a single path to go from where are you now to the point where you are financially independent. Of course, there are some similarities between some of these ways. But they are different enough. Most of the time, you will need to follow several of these ways to reach Financial Independence earlier.
In this post, we are going to see the different paths you can take to become financially independent. There are surely other ways to reach Financial Independence. But these are the main ways and the ones I know. If you know of another sure way to become financially independent, I would be glad to hear about it.
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In Switzerland, you can do a voluntary contribution to your second pillar. The second pillar is the Swiss equivalent of a 401(K). These contributions come with some tax advantages since you can deduct that from your income. Therefore, you have a return equal to your marginal tax rate.
However, the money is then blocked into the second pillar. And the returns on that blocked money have been very low in recent years. Finally, you can only withdraw the money from your second pillar if you retire, if you buy a house or if you start a company.
One question that I actually ask myself these days is whether I should contribute money to my second pillar or continue investing in stocks. These days we are able to invest enough money each month that I am wondering about this. I could contribute some money to my second pillar and continue to invest enough in stocks. But is it a good solution. In this post, I am going to try to answer this question.
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We already discussed whether you should spend less or grow your income. The answer was that ideally, you should do both to reach Financial Independence (FI) faster. In this post, I am going to focus on growing your career income. There are other ways to grow your overall income such as side hustles or real estate investment. But I am not going to cover them in this post. I am also not going to talk about starting your own company. I will only cover your main career income in this post.
There are several ways to grow your main income. Some of them are easier than others. And some of them are best applied to some field but may not work in some fields. There are no simple get-rich-quick ways to increase your income. It will take time and commitment. But if you are really committed to increasing your income, you will get a better salary.
In the next sections, I am going to talk about increasing your salary. However, you may also try to get new advantages. Getting Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) from your company is very good. If you can participate in an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP), you will also get some very interesting extra income. You could get your company to participate in your fees for commuting or your health insurance fees. Or you could get a better pension plan. There are many other things that you could get. You need to look at the bigger picture!
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I was thinking to buy a small book on minimalism recently. But actually, I bought a pack of several books about minimalism. To be honest, I was thinking I was buying a single book but ended up with a pack. Oh well. The first book I have read is Adopting the Minimalist Lifestyle by Ariel Horowitz.
It’s a really tiny book. I was thinking the entire set of book was small already, but each book is tiny. It’s a minimalist book about minimalism ;) I have been able to find it for very cheap on Kindle once again. It is difficult to find this kind of books in my used book shop. But if you are patient, it is relatively easy to find them for cheap on Amazon.
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When you are trying to reach Financial Independence (FI), the best way to reach FI faster is to increase your savings rate. Your savings rate is the amount of your net income that you are able to save. For this, you have two options. You can either spend less or grow your income. These two options will directly increase your savings rate. And as a result, they will speed up your road to Financial Independence and make you reach FI faster.
So which should you focus on if you want to reach Financial Independence? There are some advantages and disadvantages to each of them. They do not accelerate your path to FI at the same rate. Find out what you should do to become financially independent.
Continue reading “Grow Your Income or Spend Less to Reach FI?”