Episode 05 – FIRE Yourself to Switzerland

Episode 05 – FIRE Yourself to Switzerland

Hello and welcome to the fifth episode here at Financial Independence Europe! Today we’re interviewing Mr RIP (Mr Retire in Progress, no he’s not dying), an Italian living in Switzerland and with an awesome blog on his FI journey. As usual, we recommend listening in. If not, here’s a cool summary for you.


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Who is Mr RIP?

After being given the option to change locations of his job as a software engineer, Mr RIP chose to go from Italy to Switzerland. He is married and recently had a daughter, and as he likes to put it, a cheap-ass. Living in Switzerland is expensive: buying food, getting medical care, buying a house – everything is expensive. And yet Mr RIP still manages to keep his living costs low. Thanks to this, he is on a way faster path to FI and is hoping to retire early. We were intrigued, which is why we interviewed him.

Why Switzerland?

His job has offices all around Europe, and out of all the locations, Switzerland had the easiest immigration option. So nope, nothing to do with FI. One might even call it an ‘accidental FI decision’. However, Mr RIP was aware that the absolute value of his savings would be higher. Although he’ll be spending a lot in Switzerland, once he moves somewhere else the value of his savings will be much higher. Clever.

One month saving in Switzerland will buy him four in Italy. It’s a no-brainer.

How does he do it? €€€€€

Mr RIP explains how high the social pressure gets. Everyone’s doing expensive things and wants to spend their money – and yet, he still wants to reach FI and save a whooping 70% of what he earns. How does he do it?

Attending meetups with other finance nerds: Financial Independence week Europe – no pressure to spend there
Focusing on absolute frugality and not relative frugality – always staying frugal and not comparing to others
Accepting to be the cheap-ass (all finance nerds can relate)
Buy things with the highest saving density – what will last the longest at a cheapest price (food, furniture, etc)
Do not own a car
Have a small apartment (he mentions 1380 Swiss francs/month)
Shop at the cheapest grocery store
Use the free T-shirts at work (clever)

The job part

The Switzerland tactic is a great way to reach FI. Simply by earning more you get to save more – and if you keep your costs as low as possible… bam, FI comes running to you. But the tricky part is… actually getting the job in the first place. Mr RIP gives us a few tips.

  • Get good at something and then broaden out
  • Get good at machine learning
  • Practice the soft skills – many times companies are looking for people who are good at communicating
  • Keep updating your skills – if not you will become obsolete (that’s why there’s FI!)

And Mr RIP’s advice to college students: go to uni, do a side-hustle on the side and do a ton of NETWORKING. It’s the connections that get you the great job in the great location. He also believes portfolio careers will become more and more prevalent – hence the importance of a side-hustle. Some great tips here.

Top takeaways

In this awesome episode we interview Mr RIP, a cheap ass living in Switzerland. We cover how to live cheaply in an expensive country, how he’s reaching FI and how to get the best kind of job.

The important stuff:

  • A job in Switzerland is a fast track to FI
  • Do not let social pressure make you spend more. A true cheap ass always stays a cheap ass
  • The skills of the future are: machine learning, soft skills, having a side-hustle and networking.
  • If you don’t want your job to disappear, learn to update your skills and even build a portfolio
  • Mr RIP would like to meet other like-minded people in Switzerland. He is tired of being the only cheap ass there is. Send the FIRE Brigade (see what I did there).



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