April 2018 – Birthday and new savings record

Posted on Categories ETF, Frugality, Investment, Monthly, Spending11 Comments on April 2018 – Birthday and new savings record

After a record-breaking March 2018, April 2018 is even better :) In fact, in terms of savings rate, it is the best month ever! I am really glad I achieved that good result.

Although I had some significant expenses this month, the savings were great. This is partly thanks to the gifts I received this month for my 30 years birthday! I also managed to keep my expenses quite low. And my net worth made a very nice jump. Overall, a great month :)

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How to calculate your net worth

Posted on Categories FIRE, Investment8 Comments on How to calculate your net worth

In this post we are going to see how to calculate the amount of your net worth. You net worth is how much your possessions are really worth, in money. Having a clear idea of your exact net worth is very important. It will help you to see how far you are from reaching your goals. If you keep track of it, you’ll also see how well you are doing.

The basic idea about the net worth is simple. Your net worth is the sum of your assets minus the sum of your liabilities. In mathematical terms:

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities

Let’s see in details how these two parts can be calculated.

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The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 4. Summary

Posted on Categories FIRE, Investment, Switzerland7 Comments on The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 4. Summary
This post is part 4 of 4 in the series The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland.

The previous three posts of the series covered the three pillars of retirement in Switzerland:

In this final post of the series, I’m going to summarize over the entire system. I am also going to talk about how early retirement works in this system.

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The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 3. The third pillar

Posted on Categories FIRE, Investment, Switzerland6 Comments on The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 3. The third pillar
This post is part 3 of 4 in the series The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland.

 

I started this series with details about the first pillar. I then continued with information about the second pillar. This post will cover the last of the three pillars, the third pillar. This pillar is the only one that is not mandatory. Everybody is free to choose to invest into the third pillar or not. It is simpler than the second pillar. But there are much more choices than you can make. In this post, you’ll find all the details you need to invest into a third pillar. And also, what you can do to optimize your use of the third pillar.

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The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 2. The second pillar

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This post is part 2 of 4 in the series The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland.

 

We have studied the first pillar and Switzerland three pillars system in the previous post in the series. Now, it’s time to see the second pillar. The first pillar cover the basic needs of everybody. The second pillar is here to cover a larger part of your salary than the first one. If you never worked, you’ll never pay anything for this and you’ll never receive anything from this. It is significantly more complicated than the first pillar. In this post, I’m going to try to give you as much important details as possible on the second pillar. I’m also going to try to help understand what you can do to improve it.

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The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 1. The first pillar

Posted on Categories FIRE, Investment, Switzerland10 Comments on The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 1. The first pillar
This post is part 1 of 4 in the series The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland.

 

Switzerland retirement system is based on a system with three pillars. Each pillar is paid in a different manner and will cover different needs. If you are working in Switzerland, it’s important to know these three pillars. This will help you plan your retirement.

In a series of posts, I’ll try to give you enough information on these three pillars. The goal is that you have a good understanding on how they work. And also what you can do with them to improve your retirement. In this first post of the series, I’ll introduce the system and talk about the first pillar.

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How to integrate second pillar in my net worth

Posted on Categories Budget, FIRE, Goals, Investment, Switzerland8 Comments on How to integrate second pillar in my net worth

I’ve been monitoring my net worth since October 2017. But until now I have not considered my second pillar into it. Why ? Because I do not get a monthly report on my second pillar. However, I do not really need this monthly report since I can extrapolate from the yearly results. I just was too lazy before to do it.

So, I decided to stop being lazy and do it. In this post, we are going to see why you should integrate your second pillar into your net worth. And we are going to see how to integrate it. It is very simple. And it will make your net worth calculation much more accurate. I believe it is very important to have an accurate view of your net worth.

If you do not know you net worth, first take a look at how to calculate your net worth. I strongly encourage everybody to compute his net worth. It is an important indicator, especially if you want to become financially independent.

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My review of Degiro as a broker for Swiss investor

Posted on Categories Broker, ETF, Investment, Switzerland2 Comments on My review of Degiro as a broker for Swiss investor

(This post was first published on Mustachian Post. Thanks a lot to MP for the opportunity of guest posting.)

I’ve now been using DEGIRO for about four months. It’s now time for a review of the tool.

I would like to mention that I never tried any other broker. I decided to use Degiro four months ago based on costs. Moreover, I’m a computer scientist, so no issues with potential tech issues. Finally, my portfolio is very small, so my experience may not compare to yours.

Note: The links to DEGIRO are affiliate links. If you use them to create an account, you will receive 20 CHF and I will receive 20 CHF as well.

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Degiro updated its Cash Funds structure

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DEGIRO just updated a few things about the cash you hold in your account.

Since Netherlands investment firms are not permitted to hold cash, Degiro invest the cash from your account in a money market fund. There is a separate money market fund for each currency that you can hold with Degiro. Money market funds are principally investing in government bonds, with very high quality. However, the interest rates are very low and even negative for many European countries. Therefore, some money market funds, such as the EUR or CHF cash funds, have a negative interest rate.

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Changed the accounting of my life insurance

Posted on Categories Budget, Investment7 Comments on Changed the accounting of my life insurance

In Switzerland, the third pillar of retirement can be either in a bank account or in the form of a life insurance. The bank account option is the obvious solution. This is a special form of life insurance. You will get some part of your capital back at the retirement age (65 years old currently). In the case you die, your spouse will get the capital. Moreover, most of these insurance policies also cover the case where you cannot pay any more. Not if you stop paying, of course. But if you become handicapped or unable to work. In this case, the insurance will cover your fee while you can’t work.

I am not sure this is a good deal for everybody. But I think it is a good deal for me. My future spouse does not yet work and will not have a full retirement pension once she retires. Thus, if I pass away, she will have a good cover from my life insurance. For some people, it is also a good way to force them to contribute to their retirement savings.

I pay 300 CHF each month for this insurance. Until now, I have always counted that as an expense in my budget. But, I now realize it is not really an expense. It is similar to the payment I do to my bank third pillar. And I do not account for these as expenses. This is an investment. So, I decided to remove this recurring expense from my budget. Since we are close to the beginning of the year, I also decided to remove it from January 2018 and February 2018. This means that my savings rate is better in these two months. It is now 33% in January and 4.2% in February. I will update the Savings Rates shortly.

However, my Net Worth does not get better since the current value of the insurance is 0 CHF. If you take out the insurance in the early years, you lose everything. In fact, I will start accounting the insurance as Net Worth in September 2018. I believe this makes my accounting better and more accurate.

What about you? How do you account for your retirement life insurance? Do you have one?