Welcome, Willkommen and Bienvenue. This is the Financial Independence Europe podcast, where we talk about reaching Financial Independence (FI) in Europe (surprise, surprise). What is FI? What is FI in Europe? Why FI? Why a podcast?
A lot of questions – let’s get started.
Who we are
My name’s Araminta and I’m the one in charge of the writing. I can be funny sometimes – get ready. I’m a half Spanish half Scottish college student living in Edinburgh, Scotland and studying Business and Finance. I also run a snazzy website called Financially Mint which is all about financially education and money management in university.
I am Alvar from the Netherlands and at the moment I am living in Edinburgh. In 2016 I graduated from uni and decided to travel around Asia and New Zealand before starting my career. I have also always been interested in stocks and money saving methods but never realized something like financial independence was exciting. When I found out I started to read every bit of information I could find from the 4% rule to the amazing articles from Mr. Money Mustache, I was hooked. The only thing I had trouble finding was EU specific information and this made me decided to launch the financial independence Europe podcast together with Mathias and Araminta.
My name is Mathias I‘m from Berlin and live in Cologne. I, together with Alvar, am in charge of finding the most inspiring people and interesting topics for the podcast and I enrich our episodes with my German accent and cutting edge grammar experiments. I also do my best to manage technical tasks to simplify our production and distribution workflows.
In Germany I currently organise B2B meetups for digitalisation in finance and insurance and meetups for financial independence, the cashflow game and passive income in Cologne and Düsseldorf. To this day I am a IT and Business Consultant. As a thirtysomething I’m pretty much the fossil here.
What is FI?
Great; you know who we are, now it’s time to tackle this whole FI thing.
To put it simply, Financial Independence is saving up enough money every year so you end up with a nice lump sum and can retire early. Or from a more exciting angle and quoting The Escape Artist:
‘Financial independence is the freedom to choose whether or not you want to work and what sort of work you want to do’
Yes, because when you retire early, you suddenly have the freedom to actually do what you want. No more waking up at 7 to go to work. No more getting home at 9 pm exhausted from your boss screaming at you. No more ‘ugh I have to work tomorrow’. The grind ends, and what starts is the adventure of finding what you really want to do in life.
Every person’s path to FI is different. People use different strategies, ideas and methods. Here are some examples:
The high-paying job one: Save up 25 your annual expenses, retire and live off 4% of your saved up nest egg.
The online work one: Work part-time online. The flexibility means you get to work from where you want and at the time you want.
The entrepreneurship one: Build your business, sell it and retire.
All the paths are different, but they all have the same goal: to be able to have choices. To have the choice to work or not. To have the choice to work on what you want. To have the choice to work how, where and with who you want.
Sounds pretty amazing? Yes, it is. And that’s what we’ll be exploring on this podcast.
Why FI specifically in Europe?
The FI community in the US is hUGE (Trump says so). It’s amazing and inspiring how many people work towards achieving FI and improving their lives (check out an entire directory of them a Rockstar Finance!)
There is also a big community in Europe, but they’re a little more hidden. Those who have reached FI are hard to find, and unlike the Americans, they don’t start a blog to share their wisdom to the world. We want to find those people, and extract the juicy FI info from them.
You see, FI in Europe is an interesting thing: the large variety of countries and cultures means there are tons of different strategies and opportunities to really optimise your life.
What do I mean by this? I call it life-hacking, but normally it’s called geoarbitrage: finding the best countries to work in, to invest in, to study in, to live in and to retire in. And we have way more interesting opportunities to do this in Europe than in the US.
So we want to find people in Europe who have done this: someone who has studied in Italy, worked in Switzerland and retired in Portugal. Someone who grew up and worked in Germany, invested in Bulgaria and set up a business in Estonia. Or someone who lives in Germany but works in Switzerland and is planning to retire in Spain.
Not only do you get to cut a lot of expenses, earn more money and make life more comfortably, but the culture diversity makes it so much more fun and interesting (you get to learn a language or two!). Studying, working and living in the same country is so 20th century. Welcome to 2018, where we prioritise our lives over ‘la patria’.
What we do on the podcast
It’s very simple: interview people who are on their path to FI or have reached FI by life-hacking Europe.
Every person’s path to FI is different, but some of those paths might resonate better with some people than others. So we want to hear as many people’s stories as possible to get a ton of different viewpoints on FI in Europe. And guess what? You’ll be able to hear them too (check out the first interview **here).
These people come from all over Europe: Germany, the UK, France, Spain, maybe even an American or two. But, fret not, both the podcast and website will be in English. Alvar and Mathias will be the awesome interviewers extracting juicy FI info (FI is now a fruit?), and I’ll be writing a blog post or two for the readers.
There you go! A little intro to Financial Independence Europe. It’s exciting, it’s invigorating, and the interviews coming are literally going to change lives. FI is the new American dream, and this time it’s achievable in Europe.
Have a question? Want to be interviewed? Send over an email at: financialindependenceeurope at gmail dot com and we’ll be happy to respond.
Also, any ounce of support is very helpful and encouraging (especially as a new podcast)!