FIRE in the Netherlands – continuing the talks

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Last weekend it was that time of the year again. On a bloody hot summer day, we decided to sit inside all day talking about money, investing, wealth and other life questions that pass by when you’re on the journey to FIRE.

Cheesy Finance had organized yet another NL FIRE Meet-up, one we could actually bike towards this time!

As always there were some great guest speakers to talk about related topics. Adine from Lekker Leven Met Minder spoke about how you can earn money blogging, a crowdfunding expert talked about investing via… well uhm, crowdfunding of course. And our friend from The Pursuit of HOT led a discussion on how EVERYTHING is negotiable.

Besides the guest talks, there was more than enough time to mingle and talk to one and another, and I’m sure I still missed talking to some.

As this was our fifth time attending, we noticed that the focus on investing (or saving) only has shifted a bit to the more softer side of personal finance:

  • What do you do once you reach financial independence?
  • How do you deal with other people (or partners) in your journey?
  • How can you optimize your daily life in one of more joy and freedom?
  • The impact of sharing on your energy level, dreams, and growth.
  • Inspiring each other and get inspired by being open to one another.
  • Shifting the mindset in it’s all about the money to it’s all about HOT.
  • How the barrier of quitting a day job is bigger than you thought.
  • What brings true value to your life and what not?
  • How our mind is telling us the same stories over and over again and FIRE is about breaking out of the status quo.

Basically saying that aiming for FIRE is about more than hitting a number and is nothing more than a lifestyle choice. A choice that leads you forward into new possibilities, ones you have never thought of before and is opening up a different kind of life than that we are all used so used to.

I’m grateful to know and regularly meet these group of wonderful people.

And in order to fill up the gaps between the 4 meet-ups per year, Spekvet.com and I set up a Slack group together in order to continue the talks online and for whoever is interest in reaching FIRE in the Netherlands (or Belgium).

If you’re interested to join, you can do so via this sign-up link.

We are happy to see you there!

The Cash Flow Index to Financial Independence

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If you have ever played Monopoly or the Kiyosaki Cash-flow Game, you know the most important part of winning either game is having enough assets that provide a stable income. In the case of Monopoly, it’s to build the biggest cash flow portfolio in the form of real estate. And in the case of the Kiyosaki Cash-flow Game, it’s making wise money decisions to be able to quit the rat race for good. Both are needed in the journey to financial independence. 

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Are You Worth What You Think You’re Worth?

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I’m sure we are one of the ugly ducklings in the personal finance hemisphere. As many know to the penny how much their net worth will be. And we? Well, that’s a long story.

Three years ago we set out on an adventure and started investing. Our goal was to accumulate a 100.000 euro net worth within five years, starting from zero. Ambitious, yes. Daunting, yes. Impossible? No. 

Although this was our very first financial goal, and the one on which we started our journey with, we never made work of tracking the progress. We never even knew when we reached this point. Because as it turns out, we already did.

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Rethinking the Retirement Manifesto

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With so many blogs, coaches and gurus telling you how to retire early, it’s no surprise that many are following the footsteps of those who have already done it. And all these stories have the same steps in common: live below your means, pay off debt like crazy, saving and invest the rest, hit your target number and live the rest of your life comfortable while withdrawing a certain amount of money each year.

Sounds simple. Their focus is on analyzing how much wealth you have to accumulate in order to quit the 9 to 5. When you hit that target, you have enough to retire early. Your accumulated wealth will last a lifetime when keeping your lifestyle at the same level. Within the FIRE community, this is a very common mindset, which is often referred to as the ‘regular’ FIRE approach.

And if this is the ‘regular’ approach, are there any others? Well, thanks for asking. Because yes, there are. You have the Lean FIRE and Fat FIRE ‘movement’. People who’ve set up a different set of rules that deviate a bit from the status quo of FIRE.

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Procrastinating on Your Job? Bad Idea

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When we started invested almost 3 years ago, our first objective was to get rich(er). We started buying stocks of which we believed would reach up to great heights so we would be able to cash in.  Of course, this wasn’t build to last. By researching more and more about investment strategies and how to deal with money, I stumbled on some PF blogs that were talking about a whole different way of thinking than we had at that time.

So, we shifted our focus to the long haul and started investing in dividend stocks. Aiming for a more meaningful and happy life by reaching financial independence, and the freedom to do whatever we choose. In other words, being opportunity-rich and time rich.

I can tell you, that it’s working. And over the years we’ve built up a small portfolio providing us with some passive income. We’re still far from reaching financial independence and it will take over ten years before we get there. The thing is, my objective that motivated me on this journey was the promise that one day I would be able to stop working my day job and could ‘finally’ pursue what I really wanted and when I wanted it. But I’m not that willing to wait until then, in order to pursue the things I like to do now.

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Is H.O.T the new F.I.R.E?

Image - Is H.O.T. the new F.I.R.E

Our second BE/NL FIRE meet-up is already in the books. Last weekend we came together with 28 other money and PF geeks, to talk about investing & financial independence specifically related to the Dutch and Belgium circumstances. And this time again we’ve had the fortune to be in good company with new but also many familiar faces from the meet-up earlier this year. In short, it was a great success.

During the Meet-Up, I had the pleasure to give a talk about F.I.R.E. in general, and in relation to our situation in Europe. The outcome was that because of some big differences in legislation, the build up in pensions and the closed mindset of Europeans, talking about it and reaching FI is far more difficult than it would be in the US.

Another outcome was that the equivalent of FIRE doesn’t really exist in the EU society, and possible nowhere else as well. Simply because the whole idea of an early retirement doesn’t cover what it actually means. Simply put, we don’t have a word or term for the kind of lifestyle we are creating for ourselves.

But we might have another that comes very, very close!

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What’s The Deal With FIRE in Europe?

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When I started this blog in September last year, I did so with the thought there weren’t much Dutch or even European finance bloggers out there. Little did I know.

I’ve connected with the world of #FIRE through 2 top-notch bloggers out there, Jason Fieber (formerly known as Dividend Mantra) and MMM. When Dividend Mantra was no more, I quickly ended up looking for other blogs and found sites like Dividend Diplomats and later on some others as well. But it wasn’t for after I started Divnomics when I learned how big this community really was.

Still, it looks like the growing flow of FIRE and personal finance blogs has much more ground in the US than in Europe. How could that be, and is it really the case?

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