A quick tour of the blogosphere indicates that the most vocal proponents of financial independence and early retirement are American. So it was quite a find when I finally stumbled on The Mustachian Post, whose author has taken the trouble to put together a list of European FIRE bloggers. I am looking forward to slowly working my way through it and getting to know fellow financial independence and early retirement enthusiasts on the continent.
When we read the news we are constantly told that there is a pensions emergency. Governments all over Europe want us to work longer and longer, in order to alleviate the “pensions crisis”, as an increasing proportion of Europeans age and put the public coffers under stress. Our countries are going through a demographic tectonic shift, which will result in decreasing numbers of young people working and paying taxes (apparently we are not making enough babies) which fund an increasing number of old people who are retiring and withdrawing a pension. The numbers simply do not add up.
Two days after finalising the sale of my company, we hopped onto a plane en route to Sri Lanka for a dream family vacation.
Sri Lanka is amazing! It is an absolutely lovely country and I cannot recommend it highly enough . There are excellent hotels and good food, the roads are great and the people are really friendly. To top it all they have a wonderful culture, beautiful temples and lush parks where you can see a wide variety of birds and animals.
Over the past year I became an avid follower of a number of financial independence and early retirement blogs where a commonly recurring topic is frugal living, keeping spending to a minimum and saving and investing as much as possible. I have been advocating this approach to spending and saving for years with friends and family, often without getting very far, so it was really encouraging to find out that I was unknowingly part of a growing tribe of frugal spenders and maxi savers!
I have been an avid saver since I was 10 years old. My favourite “toy” was an elephant piggy bank and every Sunday my grandfather used to give me some coins which I eagerly inserted through the slot on the elephant’s back. I also had a little scam going. I would count 90 cents and ask my mum to change it into a pound. She never checked the small change I gave her, just putting the 90c in her purse and giving me a nice shiny pound coin. I used to open the piggy bank every couple of weeks and count the coins over and over, hoping to discover that they had magically multiplied while I was not looking. It was something of a precursor to how I feel today when I go check my investment portfolio when the going is good.
After selling my company I took off for a two-week vacation in Sri Lanka with my family. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to unwind after one year of discussions and negotiations. Frankly I needed it badly.
Tomorrow will be my first day at work. I am obviously a little apprehensive. For the last few years I have been the Queen Bee at work (as a rather brutally honest friend pointed out to me recently). I was in a position to decide who to recruit and I made sure that it was people I could respect and get along with. I did not have to worry about office politics or making sure that the boss was aware of my performance. I was the boss. Continue reading “Starting a new career”