This Saturday was not only a very sunny Indian summer. It was also the day that a group of FIRE enthousiast got together in Breda. It is amazing how easy a group of like-minded people can have a great afternoon, even when we only know each other virtually.
A few months back, after a first meetup, I reached out to team CF to see if we could organise an local meetup to discuss finances and our plans and actions to be free. We agreed on a date and a location and off we went.
The meetup was exactly as expected and even more. Our only plan was to chat and exchange experiences. And so we did. The group was very diversified, with a lot of opinions and approaches around our common goal: Be Financially Free. Here are some of my take aways.
- You do not need a specific goal. A system is enough. Tweak the system regularly and success will follow. Some ideas come out a book worth reading: How to fail at almost everything and still win big (Scott Adams).
- When your mortgage is at a high interest rate, try to pay it down soon. Being mortgage free in FIRE is a big surplus. In the Netherlands, a lot of people take a sort of bullet loan whereby the principle is not paid back… Sounds crazy to me!
- Study the system in your country well. Know how much days you need to work to maximise certain benefits. This can reduce your needed FU number big time
- With a little of programming in VB, a spreadsheet can absorb a lot of data and turn this into valuable information. Once it place, press a button and be informed.
- Couples can agree on the concept and yet have a very different view of what will happen when you reach your number. One might still want to work in a company where the other plans to take on personal projects. Why not?!?
- Life throws you a lot of curveballs. When you are flexible, you can bend rather than break. That goes for finances as well as personal matters.
- Some people actually discover at a young age the power of compounding. This brings a lot of opportunities and makes us wonder: is it possible in Belgium to be FIRE by 35?
- On a non finance related topics: kitchens always seem to be too small….
A good meetup also needs some bars and great food. We had plenty of those. We first met up in a bar to get to know each other. As the weather was super sunny, we then went for a small city tour. When walking, we discovered a nice outside photo exhibition with a bar. Then time for dinner. A great Turkish meal at a decent price with lots of variety. After a this, we ended up in bar to further discuss our plans and dreams.
A follow up meetup would be more than welcome. I did not have the time to speak to all people present. High level plans are in the make for an early 2017. I look forward to this. Big thanks for all that show up (bloggers and non bloggers) and thanks to Team CF to run this together. And thanks to all for being present.