Reader Case Examine: Working to FIRE in Finland

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Jen and her husband Marc reside on the west coast of Finland together with their two-year-old son. They lately purchased their dream house close to the ocean and are having fun with their new way of life exterior of the town. Whereas Jen likes her job as a product champion engineer, she has aspirations to achieve FIRE (monetary independence, retire early). She’s additionally occupied with pursuing an actual property portfolio, beginning by renting out the cottage on their property by way of AirBnB. Jen would really like our assist figuring out learn how to method actual property investing in addition to when she and Marc would possibly attain their FIRE quantity. Let’s journey to Finland as we speak to delve in Jen and Marc’s questions!

What’s a Reader Case Examine?

Case Research tackle monetary and life dilemmas that readers of Frugalwoods ship to me requesting recommendation. Then, we (that’d be me and YOU, pricey reader) learn by means of their state of affairs and supply recommendation, encouragement, perception and suggestions within the remark part.

For an instance, try the final case examine. Case Research are up to date by individuals (on the finish of the submit) a number of months after the Case is featured. Go to this web page for hyperlinks to all up to date Case Research.

The Objective Of Reader Case Research

Marc and son on the seashore

Reader Case Research are supposed to spotlight a various vary of monetary conditions, ages, ethnicities, geography, targets, careers, incomes, household compositions and extra!

The Case Examine sequence started in 2016 and, up to now, there’ve been 62 Case Research. I’ve featured people with annual incomes starting from $17k to $200k+ and internet worths starting from -$300k to $2.9M+.

I’ve featured single, married, partnered, divorced, child-filled and child-free households. I’ve featured homosexual, straight and trans individuals. I’ve featured males, girls and non-binary people. I’ve had cat individuals and canine individuals. I’ve featured people from the US, Australia, Canada, England, South Africa, Spain, Finland and France.

I’ve featured individuals with PhDs and folks with highschool diplomas. I’ve featured individuals of their early 20’s and folks of their late 60’s. I’ve featured people who reside on farms and people who reside in New York Metropolis.

The objective is variety and solely YOU may help me obtain that by emailing me your story! If you happen to haven’t seen your circumstances mirrored in a Case Examine, I encourage you to use to be a Case Examine participant by emailing

Reader Case Examine Pointers

I most likely don’t have to say the next since you people are the kindest, most well mannered commenters on the web, however please be aware that Frugalwoods is a judgement-free zone the place we endeavor to assist each other, not condemn.

There’s no room for rudeness right here–the objective is to create a supportive setting the place all of us acknowledge that we’re human, we’re flawed, however we select to be right here collectively, workshopping our cash and our lives with constructive, proactive recommendations and concepts.

A disclaimer that I’m not a skilled monetary skilled and I encourage individuals to not make critical monetary choices based mostly solely on what one individual on the web advises. I encourage everybody to do their very own analysis to find out one of the best plan of action for his or her funds. I’m not a monetary advisor and I’m not your monetary advisor.

With that I’ll let Jen, as we speak’s Case Examine topic, take it from right here!

Jen’s Story

Forest in entrance of Jen & Marc’s home

Hello Frugalwoods and Frugalwoods nation! I’ve so seemed ahead to this and it has already been a lot enjoyable composing this text. I’m Jen, a 38-year outdated engineer dwelling on the west coast of Finland. This little nation of almost six million inhabitants in northern Europe is likely to be fairly unknown to most Frugalwoods readers.

Finland is a welfare state and apparently we’re the happiest individuals on this planet (which we ourselves discover a bit stunning!). It’s certainly not good, however on common it’s actually good. It’s a secure and safe setting through which to lift a toddler. Our little household consists of my hubby Marc (who turns 40 this 12 months) and our 2-year outdated son. We’re each bi-lingual in Finnish and Swedish and each languages are used at house. I discovered FIRE and minimalism again in 2017, which can also be once I began investing on a bigger scale.

Jen’s Profession

Honeymoon Jen looking on Florence

Whereas I’m penning this, I’m on trip. I give up my job as a manufacturing facility supervisor to return to R&D, which is best suited to me. In the course of the winter I used to be very drained and was really pondering of making an attempt to change into self-employed. After some calculations, I concluded that such an endeavor would drastically push again my FIRE date and after testing it out, I spotted I felt too alone. As an alternative I began looking for a sustainable job, someplace that I’d be challenged however that wasn’t too irritating and the place I’d have nice colleagues.

The constructive facet of dwelling in Finland is that firms normally supply a great work-life stability. On common individuals don’t work additional time. The white-collar work week is 37.5 hours. On the back-side, the wages are nowhere near what you guys within the US make. It’s nonetheless sufficient to reside a great life. I obtained a brand new job as a Product Champion, which is able to entail managing the options (capabilities) of a management system. As a social being, I like the potential of having a job the place I’m required to work together with our stakeholders regularly. Since work is such a giant a part of my life, it must be technically fascinating and stimulating for me.

Marc’s Profession

Marc mountain climbing within the Swiss Alps

Marc completed faculty a 12 months in the past and obtained a job as a software program check engineer at an organization making apps. He studied Industrial Administration and is hoping to take the leap into that area after getting some engineering work expertise first. His present employment is just not his dream job however the firm has been good to him and he has nice teammates.

He was lucky to get a job whereas being newly graduated within the midst of the pandemic (in December). The remainder of final 12 months he was on parental go away taking good care of our son. The 2 bonded on a deeper stage throughout this era.

Childcare in Finland

Now that each of us dad and mom work, our son goes to daycare three days every week. Childcare is supplied, and controlled, by the state. In our county, the daycare price is 216 €/month/3 days for us. The price is calibrated on the dad and mom’ earnings and we pay the utmost quantity. Marc stays house 1 day every week and in my outdated job, I used to remain house sooner or later.

As I transition into my new place, I shall be working full time and his grandmother will care for him sooner or later every week. I’ve plans to possibly return to a 4-day week someday sooner or later. Right here in Finland you might have the lawful proper to take action till your youngster begins third grade. And, a small allowance is paid by the state till your youngster turns three.


Marc and Jen’s new home

In no matter free time we’ve got, I attempt to work out. Working has been a steady companion for me all through my life. I did determine skating earlier than my being pregnant, let’s see if I get again to that. Marc enjoys laptop video games. A brand new pastime is exploring our new environment by bike and path operating for Jen. Simply as we speak we discovered a brand new playground and different fascinating issues in our widespread (geographically) village.

Jen and Marc’s Residence

Final 12 months we discovered our dream house located subsequent to the ocean. It is a place for having fun with–mountain climbing within the surrounding forests, swimming within the sea on the opposite facet of the highway, doing backyard work and renovating the home.

Transferring out of the town allowed us to offer our son the posh of exploring nature and having a slower-paced life. The neighbours are nice and the group is unusually energetic. It’s a true luxurious having an intensive backyard with fruit timber and berry bushes. We sit up for having a small kitchen backyard. The yard additionally presents an enormous potential for a change from workplace work. We’ve got grand plans to construct a small greenhouse, storage, swing set, and so forth and so forth. The chances are certainly countless. This summer time will deliver roof portray and fixing the terrace railing.

Right here’s an inventory of repairs and upgrades we plan to do within the near-ish future:

Upcoming home prices Schedule Estimate
Portray roof

Rain gutters & window sills

New terrace railing

New washer

New fridge/freezer

New oven, range & kitchen counter

New entrance & balcony doorways (6 items!!!!)


Hearth improve

Renovate upstairs toilet

This summer time

This summer time

This summer time

When it breaks down (from 2003)

When it breaks down (from 1995)

When it breaks down (from 1995)


1-6 years ( we received’t change all at one time)

In 2-10 years

In 2-5 years

In 3-5 years












The AirBnB Potential

Snow-covered Future AirBnB

Our property additionally homes a small cottage that we’ve got been renovating. Proudly owning an AirBnB has lengthy been a dream of mine and with this set-up, that shall be fairly simple to understand. The constructing also can double as my workplace. Doing the renovations has been a pleasing enterprise, in reality, it stunned me how a lot I’m having fun with it! Let’s see what the following “industrial” challenge might be.

In any case, I’m additionally wanting ahead to testing out my landlady skills this summer time. Tough calculations estimate that we may gross about 50€ per evening. Based on AirBnB I can gross round 500€/month in my space for a home this dimension, so let’s price range for 300€. We shall be paying earnings tax on this earnings.

Jen and Marc’s Method to Funds

Jen and Marc’s son

In a strict sense, we don’t price range. We’ve got separate funds and on payday, we each switch cash to our shared accounts for payments. As the principle breadwinner I additionally switch a minimum of 400€ to our grocery and fuel account, which normally isn’t sufficient. We then generally use our private cash to cowl the remainder. Investments are made presently as nicely.

Marc’s financial savings price has been low because of research and parental go away. Now, he’s hopefully getting again within the sport. We’ve got had just a few cost-cutting initiatives by means of the years and our prices have decreased. Transferring to a giant home has elevated prices. Nonetheless, we all the time have cash left in our non-public accounts when a brand new paycheck arrives.

Our FIRE journey additionally set me on the course of buying used issues. I didn’t understand how good I’ve gotten at it. Trying round our home, most every thing is used. Our child can also be free to mess around as he needs in his used garments. This has drastically decreased our spending. We attempt to hold our grocery prices low, however fail every so often.

My essential objective presently is to not throw something away. We attempt to create recipes round what we have already got at house and I deliver lunch to work most days. We’re capable of save for greater purchases prematurely and usually have steady funds. However we don’t price range and though we’ve got a hunch on how massive our mounted bills are, we have no idea what the precise quantity is. Prior to now, that’s 🙂

As for saving and investing, I began that journey comparatively late. After I obtained my first actual job at 28 I put a whopping 50€ a month right into a particular financial savings account for first time house consumers. It was 5 years later that we opened our first funding account, which is now 6 years in the past. Although we by no means overspent again within the day, we additionally didn’t have a lot left to avoid wasting. These days, it’s one other story and we make investments a good portion of our earnings.

Issues Which are Completely different in Finland

There are just a few country-specific facets I assumed it good to say.


State pension excerpt

There are not any 401K’s or comparable tax-free retirement saving choices right here. We’ve got a public (obligatory) pension system, which in itself is comparatively good. Nonetheless, we’ve got an enormous downside with an growing older inhabitants. Too few new Finns are being born, which implies that there isn’t a one to pay for future era’s pensions. The system is poor since a big a part of pensions are paid instantly from the present workforce’s paychecks to as we speak’s pensioners. There is no such thing as a approach to choose out of this technique. At proper is an excerpt from the state pension supplier.


Presently the healthcare system is sort of good, however massive structural modifications are coming. As talked about, our growing older inhabitants is a giant burden. Anyhow, solely our son has medical health insurance and even he may do with out it. It’s a comfort because it permits him to see non-public medical doctors extra shortly. My employer additionally has worker healthcare, which provides entry to some primary non-public well being care companies. All of us have some congenital well being points and the general public sector takes care of us fairly cheaply. A specialist appointment is simply 41€, together with all procedures or assessments that is likely to be wanted earlier than the appointment. I predict we will reside for the longterm with out non-public insurance coverage–it’s simply an inconvenience.


Increased training is principally free in Finland and so we won’t be saving any cash for our son’s training. I studied for 7 years and by no means had any debt. I did work within the summers, however don’t have anything money-wise to indicate for that. I used to be a giant spender again within the day! We’ve got an funding account for the prices our son will incur in his teenagers (akin to his driver’s license, which prices round 1800 €).


Taxes are excessive in Finland. The taxation is progressive on earnings, however as a result of marginal tax charges, some earnings bracket teams’ internet earnings would possibly in some situations lower though your incomes go up!

Unemployment and Sick Depart

We’ve got fairly a small buffer in money. However unemployment in Finland is sort of good. If I misplaced my job, I’d make about 70-80% of my wage for 500 days, which is greater because of funds to the unemployment fund. If I obtained actually sick, the social insurance coverage establishment of Finland would pay some type of illness allowance. Prescribed drugs value a most of 580€ yearly and after that, you pay 2,5 € per drugs bundle you purchase. Hospital prices max out at 683€.

What feels most urgent proper now? What brings you to submit a Case Examine?

Jen & son going to the grocery retailer with kick sled

I discovered the minimalism and FIRE motion in 2017 and labored onerous at getting began. I now really feel a bit caught and unmotivated. I believe one motive for that is our lack of any concrete milestones. The one fuzzy objective we’ve got is FIRE, which won’t occur within the close to future. I’m additionally uncertain what our FIRE quantity must be.

We don’t actually price range both. I’d additionally prefer to dip my toes into the pool of actual property, however am a bit afraid. As I’ve thought of what to write down in my Case Examine I’ve realized that I don’t actually know what I’d do for work if I retired early. What would I prefer to spend my days on when I’ve carried out the enjoyable stuff, the initiatives and the way would I substitute my social life {that a} common office gives? There doesn’t appear to be that massive of a FIRE group in our neighborhood.

What’s one of the best a part of your present way of life/routine?

We love the elevated alternatives to spend time exterior with our son. On daily basis after daycare we take his tricycle and head out to the shore. We nonetheless can’t consider we had been so fortunate to discover a good home proper subsequent to the water! Having nature proper exterior our door is nice and final fall it was beautiful to select wild berries from our personal yard. I’ve loved having a number of renovation initiatives to dig my tooth into, and Marc has loved collaborating in these, however a bit much less. This winter we beloved mountain climbing on the ice as nicely and located a bunch of mountain climbing paths within the forest. Marc enjoys instructing Alex new issues (or a minimum of every thing there may be to learn about area 🙂 ) He’s additionally the chef within the household and tries out new gourmand recipes in addition to makes a Spaghetti Bolognese to die for! Collectively, we get pleasure from discussing politics, investments and pondering science/engineering matters.

The monetary stability we’ve got constructed up over time possibly doesn’t elicit pleasure however gives a way of stability and peace of thoughts.

What’s the worst a part of your present way of life/routine?

Gross sales image from Jen and Marc’s former condominium

Our former strolling way of life was nice! Transferring away from the town middle and bus routes has compelled us to make use of our automotive extra. We’re additionally unable to stroll to wine bars and eating places like we did earlier than (earlier than a toddler and COVID, that’s).

I additionally want I had extra time and power to train and work out (which might give me extra power, I do know!). Although we solely work 80% we’re very drained within the evenings when our son wants a whole lot of love and a focus. Working life is tough and for me I’d like to be extra free and never so caught to the 9-5 schedule. I’d prefer to have extra time (and power) to work on initiatives in our backyard in addition to initiatives round the home. There are such a lot of initiatives I’d like to start out that I really feel like I don’t know the place to start out. As we work regular jobs, we’re not free to take off on journeys and such with out rigorous planning.

The place Jen and Marc Wish to be in 10 Years


  • Our mixed internet price must be a minimum of 600k-800k euros
  • Jen wish to personal a number of leases and/or AirBnBs



  • Marc sees himself progressing in the direction of a barely extra profitable profession with extra obligations.
  • Jen sees herself both in a cushty professional job, working part-time, or in an fascinating director’s place working full-time and being close to the top of her profession.
  • We might more and more like to enhance our salaries with earnings from an actual property portfolio. We wish to purchase flats, row homes, or a cottage to lease out. One other various can be AirBnB-ing a cottage by the ocean. To maximise earnings we’re aiming at buying fixer-uppers.

Jen and Marc’s Funds

Word: all quantities are listed in Euros (€). The Euro to US Greenback trade price as of as we speak (July 16, 2021) is $1.18 to €1.


Merchandise Quantity Notes
Jen’s earnings €3,124.00 Web wage with taxes, unemployment & pension charges already deducted. Consists of 2 bonuses. Labored 80% for the start of the 12 months, sick go away when about two months of earnings was at 70%. New internet wage shall be about 3600-3900 € / month + bonus relying on taxes.
Marc’s earnings €1,268.00 Revenue from parental go away, unemployment and now half time wage. New internet wage shall be about 1750 € / month + bonus relying on taxes. He works 80%.
Baby profit €94.00 All guardians in Finland and Sweden get this for kids underneath 18
Month-to-month subtotal: €4,486.00
Annual complete: €53,832.00

Mortgage Particulars

Merchandise Excellent mortgage stability Curiosity Fee Mortgage Interval and Phrases Fairness Buy value and 12 months
Mortgage on main residence €191,426 0.6% 25-year mortgage €87,574 $279k; bought in 2020

Money owed: €0


Merchandise Quantity Notes Curiosity/kind of securities held Identify of financial institution/brokerage
Jen’s funding accounts €55,115.00 After-tax funding account, shares, ETFs and index funds Nordnet
Jen’s funding accounts €20,189.00 After-tax funding account Seligson
Jen’s pension account Sweden €10,000.00 Accessible at age 62 or later as month-to-month pension
Marc’s funding accounts €5,500.00 After-tax funding account, ETFs and index funds Nordnet
Jen’s financial savings account €3,573.68 That is my emergency fund Earns 0.75% curiosity Financial institution Norwegian
Marc’s checking account €3,000.00 Sparbanken
Marc’s cryptocurrency account €2,500.00 As , extremely unstable so this is likely to be completely completely different tomorrow 🙂 Coinbase
Jen’s checking account €2,308.00 Main account for paychecks, and so forth.  0% curiosity
Joint checking account €1,775.00 Joint account for payments Sparbanken
Jen’s financial savings account €1,005.00 That is my emergency fund Earns 0.08% curiosity Sparbanken
Joint checking account €977.73 Joint account for meals and fuel S-banken
Co-op shares €400.00 Proudly owning shares in 4 completely different co-op retailers. They used to all make 5-20% curiosity. Now I principally make curiosity on the one the place we store, eg. this 12 months we obtained 5% curiosity + bonus on every thing we store. S-banken
5g of gold €229.45
Whole: €106,572.86


Automobile make, mannequin, 12 months Valued at Mileage Paid off?
Toyota Avensis 2009 €10,000 100,000 Sure, paid in money. Did we point out that automobiles are tremendous taxed thus tremendous costly in Finland.
Ford Focus 2007 €3,500 50,000 Sure
Whole: €13,500


Merchandise Quantity Notes
Prices for getting home €975.00 One time prices. Taxes, house inspection and so forth.
Meals and family provides €752.00 Consists of family provides, hygiene articles (e.g.diapers) etc-
Mortgage €502.00 The low sum is as a result of transfer final 12 months, we lived mortgage-free July-October. New mortgage is now 722,2€/month.
Prices for promoting condominium €470.00 One time prices. Realtor, lawyer, house inspection and so forth.
Renovations & furnishings €352.50 New home, small renovations & some new-to-us furnishings. This shall be drastically decrease subsequent 12 months
Utilities – Electrical energy €179.67 This can go up as we lived in an condominium till June. Within the winter the worst month was 360€. We’ve got a hearth we will repair as much as relieve a few of the value. Firewood is free for us. Our essential hearth would value 4200 euros to retrofit a casette that allows the hearth to really warmth the home.
Fuel for automobiles €159.00 Fuel is much more costly in Finland. Hopefully we will scale back this value, my new job is 50% nearer to house + I shall be allowed to make money working from home a part of the week post-pandemic. I can bike and Alex can be biked to daycare.
Garments and sneakers €113.00 For complete household, most are purchased second hand. Some new garments for submit pregnant Jen.
Insurance coverage €108.00 Residence, Alex’s well being, 2 x automotive & accident insurance coverage
Alcohol €105.00 Yikes, it is a lot. Consists of good wines and speciality beers. Alcohol is notoriously costly in Finland, a giant a part of the value is tax. Alcohol drinks containing extra that 5,5% of alcohol can solely be bought in shops appropriately named Alko 🙂
Baby care €92.90 Began in October. The actual month-to-month value is 216€
Restaurant & Café €76.00 Decrease than pre-baby and pandemic. We most likely will improve this as we love consuming out and experiencing good meals
Instruments for house €59.00 New instruments primarily for yard/backyard. Most instruments have been discovered from my dad and mom as they’ve a number of of every thing 🙂 As that is one time investments these will go down
Medicines €56.00 Meds for Jen’s persistent sickness, nutritional vitamins and so forth. Some is reimbursed by insurance coverage.
Housing affiliation price €54.00 Has been 0 since July 2020.
Residence Electronics €52.00 Primarily new audio system, plus new cabling and so forth. for brand spanking new home.
E-cigarette  – Marc €49.00 No remark
Presents €39.00 All presents for household and buddies. Am making an attempt to be artistic right here, however there may be solely a lot time
Automotive tax €38.00 Yearly automotive tax for 2 automobiles.
Commerce union price – Jen €37.00 Unemployment fund price + commerce union price. This might be lowered as I don’t use might of the commerce union companies. However they do a whole lot of good.
Misc. €34.00 Marc’s Visa CC invoice. In all probability accommodates e-cigarette purchases, laptop video games and so forth. He doesn’t know 🙂
Alex’s stuff €33.00 Toys and different issues a small child wants
Healthcare (Hospital charges and massages) €26.00 Hospital visits for all of us. Some is reimbursed by insurance coverage. Alex has a congenital sickness.
Rubbish assortment €25.00 The precise value shall be 30 €/month. Waste bins are emptied each 2 weeks. If we might deliver all our plastic to the recycling the waste bins might be emptied each 4 weeks. Features a new waste bin.
Utilities €17.00 Emptying sewage, chimney sweep
Haircuts & colour €17.00 One hair reduce + colour for Jen + 2 haircuts for Marc. MIL gave us 100€ present playing cards every for Christmas, which we’re going by means of.
Property tax €16.00 For This fall/2020. Month-to-month value from 2021: 42 €
Charity €14.00 Kiva and an area charity. I’d like to extend this however am but to seek out one thing efficient and significant.
Trip €14.00 Rented a cottage for 2 evening final summer time with buddies. We ate on the cottage meals half is included within the Meals class. Additionally went to Zoo, which I may pay with Well being cash from work.
Water €12.92 All water together with ingesting water
Streaming – Netflix and e-books €12.00 0 proper now. Acquired a 6 month free streaming service as workplace Christmas present
Bike reparation €11.00 Retaining the two bikes rolling
Excessive pace Web €10.00 Finland is the promise land for reasonable web!
Marc’s cellphone invoice €10.00 As low-cost as they arrive
Jen’s weblog €9.00 Enjoyable challenge that makes no cash
Unemployment fund membership price  – Marc €7.00 Marc has shopped round and that is the most cost effective one. The unemployment profit is as excessive as with the opposite choices.
Yoga & memberships €5.00 Pre-pandemic charges.
Jen’s cellphone invoice + cell phone €0.00 Work profit, I pay about 5 €/month in earnings taxes.
Month-to-month subtotal: €4,541.98
Annual complete: €54,503.76

Credit score Card Technique

Card Identify Rewards Kind? Financial institution/card firm
Visa credit score/debit card None Nets
Debit card Money-back S-pankki

Jen and Marc’s Questions for You:

1) Do you might have suggestions/examples on learn how to divide the journey to FIRE? Having an end-goal of FIRE in 12-15 years appears so daunting.

2) our price range, do you might have any suggestions for a way we will save more cash? We don’t have time for small particulars. The financial savings must be worthwhile.

3) I’d prefer to be financially unbiased, nevertheless as many people do, I’d nonetheless prefer to dedicate a few of my time to some type of work. How ought to we go about calculating our FIRE quantity? Are these of you who’ve a mortgage together with that within the annual bills for calculating the quantity? This value will disappear sooner or later.

4) We may have some type of pension (however I’m not holding my breath there). How will we add that into our FIRE calculations, if in any respect?

5) I really feel that getting into the true property market is a bit scary. What are good first after which later steps for getting ready and truly getting into that market?

6) To the AirBnB homeowners on the market – what are your suggestions for managing one? Do you might have any particular classes realized or methods of the commerce to share?

Liz Frugalwoods’ Suggestions

Jen and Marc sound like a lot enjoyable! They’ve managed to purchase their dream house, begin their household, and create a way of life they get pleasure from–all with out going into debt. Hooray and cheers to that! In some ways, my recommendation to them as we speak facilities round persevering with to do what they’re already doing: improve incomes, lower bills, search for methods to enhance and diversify their investments and luxuriate in life! I’ll be addressing Jen’s questions out of order, however solely as a result of that’s how my mind was working as we speak…

Jen’s Query #2: our price range, do you might have any suggestions for a way we will save more cash? We don’t have time for small particulars. The financial savings must be worthwhile.

Sanding kitchen doorways within the spring solar

It is a considerably difficult time for Jen and Marc to do a Case Examine as a result of: they lately purchased a brand new house, their bills are in flux they usually’re each transitioning their ranges of employment and earnings.

When every thing is in flux–each earnings and bills–it’s tough to make projections. Nonetheless, the excellent news is that Jen and Marc now have the Case Examine framework to make the most of as their circumstances settle out.

Right here’s what I recommend they do:

Monitor Bills

  • Monitor their bills carefully each month, utilizing no matter system works greatest for them. I take advantage of and advocate the free service from Private Capital, if that’s your jam (affiliate hyperlink).
  • In the middle of monitoring their bills, they should take away the earlier one-time bills, such because the charges for buying their house, and so forth. The objective is to get a practical, holistic view of how a lot they spend on an annual foundation.
  • Monitoring by month is a begin, however the really informative information factors come from annual monitoring.
  • Jen notes that the “financial savings must be worthwhile” and I agree! Nonetheless, it’s additionally true that one’s price range is usually made up of a bunch of smaller bills. Most of Jen and Marc’s bills are lower than €100, however they add as much as quite a bit in the long run. Typically you will get away with just a few magic bullet expense cuts, however extra usually, it’s the buildup of a lot of smaller bills that get you to a better financial savings price.

Decide Revenue

  • As soon as their new incomes come by means of, with taxes and different deductions, file these totals.
  • This info, together with a transparent expense record, will assist Jen and Marc decide how a lot cash they must work with each month.

Jen’s Query #1: Do you might have suggestions/examples on learn how to divide the journey to FIRE? Having an end-goal of FIRE in 12-15 years appears so daunting.

In some ways, Jen and Marc are already doing the three issues I all the time advise:

  1. Discover methods to make life significant and gratifying on the journey
  2. Dive into in depth analysis on what your post-FIRE life will seem like
  3. Develop a transparent sense of what you’re retiring TO, not simply what you’re retiring FROM

Marc fishing in a close-by lake

In my expertise and opinion, profitable FIRE has two elements: the funds and the plan. You’ll be able to’t work in the direction of FIRE with ONLY the objective of quitting your job. You’ll be able to’t work in the direction of FIRE with solely a greenback quantity objective in thoughts. As a result of sooner or later you’ll attain that quantity, you’ll give up your job and…. then what? You’ll nonetheless be the identical individual. Figuring out what you’re retiring TO is simply as essential a component of a FIRE plan because the financials.

I sense some uncertainty in Jen’s aspirations and I wish to level out that it’s completely wonderful to FI and never RE. In different phrases, you may attain monetary independence and select to proceed working–both full-time or part-time or on seasonal, hybrid initiatives. There’s no FIRE police who will come take away you out of your job when you hit your quantity ;). What FIRE does present are choices and freedom. FIRE frees you up to decide on learn how to spend your two most useful assets: your cash and your time.

Jen’s Query #3: How ought to we go about calculating our FIRE quantity? Are these of you who’ve a mortgage together with that within the annual bills for calculating the quantity? This value will disappear sooner or later.

Selecting blueberries just a few years in the past

So this query shall be, partly, calibrated on what Jen and Marc’s earnings and bills settle out to be. With out realizing their precise financial savings price (or their precise spending), it’s robust to calculate this quantity. Nonetheless, these two variables are simply recognized. As soon as they’ve solved for these two elements, there are a variety of on-line calculators Jen and Marc can use to reach at a sustainable FIRE quantity. Listed below are two assets that’ll be useful to Jen and Marc (and anybody occupied with pursuing FIRE):

#1: Early Retirement Now’s detailed, well-researched sequence of posts titled The Final Information to Secure Withdrawal Charges.

#2: Participating Knowledge’s “Wealthy, Useless or Broke?” calculator, which I’ve gotta say, is just about one of the best title ever for a calculator. Jen and Marc can enter their numbers, mess around with the variables, and get a fairly good sense of how a lot cash they’ll have to final them for a protracted and glad early retirement.

To Jen’s mortgage query, so long as they’re nonetheless paying it off, it’s nonetheless an actual expense. As soon as it’s paid off, they will take away it from their month-to-month stability sheet. However so long as you’re nonetheless paying it off, it counts.

Jen’s Questions #5 & 6: Actual Property Investing + the AirBnB

I believe Jen is spot on that actual property investing IS certainly scary. However, she and Marc have a unbelievable, ready-made funding: the cottage on their property. Since they already personal this factor, I believe their intuition to lease it out is ideal. If it had been me, I’d concentrate on getting this property up and operating. Hire it out, handle tenant transitions, clear in between friends, handle maintence and repairs and… see the way it goes!

I’d do that for a minimum of a 12 months earlier than making the choice to purchase extra properties. Managing leases isn’t for everybody and it’s not “passive” earnings. In truth, it may be fairly energetic and fairly costly. That stated, it may be profitable and a very good diversification for an funding portfolio. This year-long trial interval will enable Jen to find out her precise income (after bills) and provides her a really feel for the work of actual property administration.

Jen’s Query #4: We may have some type of pension (however I’m not holding my breath there). How will we add that into our FIRE calculations, if in any respect?

Sundown on the seashore in the course of the winter

Sadly, I’m supremely unqualified to reply this query. Their old-age retirement hinges on their state pension and I don’t know sufficient about Finnish politics to make an evaluation right here.

I believe the excellent news is that Jen and Marc produce other financial savings and investments, though no employer-sponsored tax-advantaged retirement accounts, like I’m used to coping with right here within the US.

I want I may supply one thing concrete right here, however we’re nicely exterior of my information base. I recommend Jen discover this query with Finnish FIRE teams on-line–I’ve to think about somebody has carried out an evaluation of this country-specific query.


  1. Start monitoring bills and construct up a 12 months’s price of information.
  2. Decide their new take-home salaries.
  3. From these two information factors, work out how a lot they will save and make investments every month.
  4. Proceed with the plan to lease out the cottage on AirBnB. Collect information on bills, income and whether or not or not they like managing a rental.
  5. After a 12 months or so of renting out their cottage, make a willpower about investing in extra rental properties.
  6. Analysis the viability of Finland’s pension system and whether or not or not they’ll have to self-insure their old-age retirement.
  7. Mess around with the FIRE calculators I listed above to assist deepen their understanding of how a lot they’ll want to avoid wasting as a way to safely retire early.
  8. Develop a transparent roadmap of what they’re retiring TO after they attain monetary independence.
  9. Benefit from the journey and hold us posted!!

Okay Frugalwoods nation, what recommendation would you give to Jen? We’ll each reply to feedback, so please be at liberty to ask any clarifying questions!

Would you want your personal case examine to look right here on Frugalwoods? Electronic mail me ( your temporary story and we’ll speak.

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