On Saturday 3rd August there was a meetup about FIRE in Frankfurt.
This event was described here, and there were also other similar events in the area. Ummm… FIRE got critical mass and is expanding everywhere. There are a few things that I would like to comment here.
It is great to have a look at what other people are doing. What decisions they are taking, what the difficulties are, how they deal with them. Quite interesting.
I got to know fairr.de, a provider of index products in Germany. It was promising, but it is expensive (about 1% per year) and very local regarding regulation. Even if the tax benefit is relevant (I am not sure about it…), its advantage will disappear as soon as we move to a different country. Therefore, not for us, we keep our do-it-yourself passive investing.
Young generations come full of energy. They find the Financial Independence community early and they start to think about it from the very beginning. A 22 year old person plans to retire at 30. If he makes it, he will be my hero!
There is another person that found the meetup just searching in internet «FIRE Frankfurt». He did not know anything about us, and just joined to have a look. Amazing.
We were mostly single or couples with no kids. That makes everything easier. However, there was a person with three kids, that’s a real challenge. Good luck!
We got some insights about people working in banking. They do not take any advantage of their job or their skill. They live from paycheck to paycheck like any other person. Even old people working in banking, with stratospheric salaries, they cannot retire early (at 60, for example), because they have no savings at all. The importance of keeping expenses under control.
Another interesting insight: there are translators working on the fact-sheets and investment documentation that do not invest at all because they «do not understand the products». Not even passive investing. The translators that write the documentation.
There is a person that we could define as being in Financial Independence, and however he is still working for the social aspects of his job. The importance of socializing, meeting friends, having a coffee with your colleagues. Ummm… perhaps the key is having an interesting job, or otherwise to have the freedom to search for it.
Something that we already discussed in FIWE Budapest: «Live FI before FI». Do not wait to live in Financial Independence, but start living that way now.
Finally, thank you Noemi for the organization! It worked very well. And thank you FIRE-friends for speaking English most of the time, and listeningto me when speaking German.
Once again, it was a very nice meetup. Many ideas to think about. See you the next time!