I have already talked about Swiss Life Select (SLS) in the past. I paid for their services. And I consider it is one of my biggest budgeting mistakes. There are many reasons for that. Not only was paying for their services a mistake but so was accepting some of the products they recommended. And I just thought a new thing that I find out about them. They actually screwed me over with bad insurance.
So I want to talk more about that. I do not want other people to do the same mistake as me. While this post is focused on SLS, it applies on most of all the financial advisors and insurance advisors you will be in contact with. They almost all have the same issues.
As a note, this only reflects my experience with Swiss Life Select. Maybe some other people had a better experience with them. And since you have a private advisor in the company, it is also possible that my bad experience is related to that.
So, let’s see what is wrong with that SLS offers you in this post! I hope that this does not come as too much of a rant. I did some bad choice by trusting these people and I want people to avoid doing the same mistake as me! Continue reading “Swiss Life Select will not help your financial life”
Marriage is a great thing in which I believe. However, something that not many people know is that in Switzerland, you are better off financially if you are not married. There are several disadvantages to being married in Switzerland.
Do not take me wrong, I am not saying you should not get married! We got married last year and I do not regret it at all. Marriage is about love not about money! But I know that in the future, we would be better off financially if we did not marry. This is important to know the differences between married couples in Switzerland, especially if you plan to retire here.
So in this post, we are going to see what financial difference there are between a married couple and an unmarried couple. You will see that there are some substantial differences in taxes and retirement for married couples.
Continue reading “Switzerland is unfair to married couples”
I had the chance of interviewing Daniel Peter, the CEO of VIAC. If you do not yet know what VIAC is, it is a Swiss company that is providing an excellent third pillar option. If you are not familiar with the third pillar, I wrote an entire post about the third pillar. It is the Swiss equivalent of an IRA but with less choice. It is tax-advantaged and should be used by everyone serious about retirement.
I have already talked about this company on this blog. Currently, VIAC is offering the best third pillar option in Switzerland. They have very low fees compared to the other Swiss options. It is very easy to open an account at VIAC as well.
Moreover, they were also the first company to offer a third pillar account with 97% of stocks. Before that, the best option has only 75% of stocks. This is really great because the investment time of the third pillar is very long. Therefore, we want a large allocation to stocks.
But, Daniel Peter will tell you all about VIAC much better me. So, without further ado, here are Daniel’s answers to my questions!
Continue reading “Interview of Daniel Peter, CEO of VIAC”
Neither Mrs. The Poor Swiss nor me are in bad health. We are very lucky in that matter. However, being a computer scientist and not going out a lot is not a good long-term prospect for my health. These last few years, I have felt that my health decreased. I am not as much in shape as I was 10 years ago. And my back has been painful a few times recently.
Even though we do not have big problems, health is really important. These days, we focus too much on our finances. I want to retire early and I also want to retire healthy! For this, it is important to try to work on our health as we are working on our finances.
In this post, I am going to discuss the things we want to do in order to improve our health in 2019. Do not expect any fancy cure that will solve all health issues. There is no such thing. We focused on simple things for 2019 to ensure that we stay in good health.
Continue reading “Health Plan for 2019 – Retire Healthy And Early”
There are many people who do not know what they will do in retirement. If you are serious about reaching financial independence and retire early, you should already know what you would do in retirement. You will have a lot of time on your hands.
I already know that there are a lot of things I would do more once I retired. There are a few things I really wish I had more time to do. It is my hope that in retirement, I will be able to do more of these things.
In this post, I am going to describe the changes for me in retirement. As you will see, there are a lot of things I would like to do more in my life. I am also going to describe how I am going to organize my days. Of course, this is only a thought experiment. I am far from retirement. A lot of changes will occur in the meantime. But it is still a nice thought experiment.
Continue reading “What Would I Do If I Retired?”
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.
Continue reading “How Much Will You Spend in Retirement?”
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.
Continue reading “Should You Contribute to Your Second Pillar?”
I recently compared the different third pillars available in Switzerland. I quickly came to the conclusion that VIAC provides the best third pillars in Switzerland. VIAC third pillars are cheap and have a very good global diversification. Moreover, you can have up to 97% of your portfolio invested in stocks. Before, my only problem with VIAC was that they are mobile-only. But I need to go over this small problem and be smarter about it! And since PostFinance increased their fees, I decided to walk away from them earlier than I planned.
Now that I have chosen my new third pillar, it is time to do the transfer. For this, I first have to open an account at VIAC. Then, I have to transfer my existing third pillar money from PostFinance to VIAC. In this post, I am going to describe the steps necessary to open a VIAC third pillar. In a second time, I am also going to describe how to transfer an existing third pillar to VIAC.
As you will see it is incredibly easy. If you think it is difficult to open a new third pillar and transfer your existing third pillar money on it, then I hope I will convince you that it is trivial! You should not delay changing a bad third pillar for a good one by the fear that it is difficult. Because it is not!
Continue reading “How to Open a VIAC Third Pillar in a Few Easy Steps”
My third pillar is invested at PostFinance in the PostFinance Pension 75 fund. This is a fund that invests mostly in Switzerland, with 75% of stocks. It is not a bad fund at all. However, a few things made me want to reconsider this third pillar.
First, the TER is a bit high. You pay 0.98% for holding this fund. It is not really bad since TER for retirement funds in Switzerland is quite high. This is already one of the best funds. But it is always better to reduce that TER even further when possible.
Secondly, PostFinance recently increased its account fees. Before, I was not paying anything for all my accounts at PostFinance. However, I will now have to pay 60 CHF per year to keep my money at PostFinance. Therefore, it is time to change. I am in the process of switching to Migros bank for my bank accounts. But I need to find a new third pillar provider to replace the one from PostFinance.
And also, it has been a while I wanted to study in details VIAC. This is a new provider of third pillars. It has some very interesting advantages.
In this post, I am going to try to find a new third pillar for me in Switzerland. Let’s see what Switzerland has to offer :)
Continue reading “Is VIAC the Best Third Pillar in Switzerland?”
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, is a book by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. This book is a study of millionaire households in the United States. In this post, you will find out exactly what this book is about and what I thought about it. I was lucky to find it very cheap on Kindle.
This book is one of the best personal finance books I have read. The authors have really gone into a lot of effort to collect all the data from millionaires. And they have drawn some very interesting conclusions from this data.
I am still reading many new personal finance books. And so far, it has been a great ride. There are some really great books about personal finance, investing and frugality. It is just a bit sad that most of these books are missing any international content. They are really made for the United States. However, a lot of their lessons can still be translated into Europe.
Continue reading “The Millionaire Next Door – Book Review”