For a month ago I said yes to participate in two young boys school project about financial independence.
I said yes, because I know how important the youth is.
In every single rowing club I know, the future success of the clubs determines on how big (and good) of a youth department they have.
All of the rowing clubs who neglect the young ones, is slowly digging their own graves. As time past by, there will only be grumpy old men back at the club. And that is not to appealing to anyone (sorry old men).
FIRE and Kids
Sometimes I feel frustrated about that I never got introduced to FIRE as kid. I’m quite sure that I would have been mature enough to see the benefits of that lifestyle, and probably be financial independent at my current age.
That’s why I would like to give my knowledge about FIRE to as many kids as I can.
They should know from very early age that we are able to shape the life we want, and not what society expect from us.
And that the road to happiness is not filled with mindless consuming.
I told the two boys that I was willing to come a make a presentation about FIRE on their school if they wanted to.
If you read this as a kid, and think it would be fun for your school to hear about FIRE. I’m willing to come and tell about it. For free.
Feel free to contact me on: Loui@wannabewalden.com
I haven’t had a mobile for the last month. It happen by an “accident”.
For a month ago I got fired from my job. And when had to have a phone for my work, I decided to ditch my private one.
The last day I had to deliver the phone back.
So there I was. Without a phone.
A bit shocked about being fired from my job, I didn’t feel like going to town to shop for a new phone. I just wanted to take a some days off, relax a bit, and then shop for new phone.
A couple of days into my “I-have-no-phone-at-the-moment” life, I started to enjoy feeling unconnected.
From days, to weeks to now a month without a phone, I have no desire of rushing into buying a new phone anytime soon.
Here is the list of things I enjoy the most of not having a phone.
There is one thing I hate by not having a phone.
1) Being More Present
This might be a obvious one.
But by not having a phone, and being with somebody. I force myself to interact with the person on a deeper level than what I normal would. If this person starts to bore me, it is the easiest thing to grab my phone, and start scrolling.
I have started to notice that some of my friends can take up their phone and start scrolling for a couple of minutes in the middle of our conversation. Which is so ignoring!
The most scariest thing is that I’m 100 % certain that I have done that way too often myself.
2) Less Stress
I could feel a vibrating item in my pocket for weeks after I got rid of my phone. But I had no vibrating item in my pocket.
It was like 5 % of my unconscious mind was alert about my phone.
That “alertness” is gone after a month of not having a phone.
3) Reaching Out More
When was the last time you asked someone:
“Excuse me, what time is it??”
The only wrist watch I have had for years, has been a heart rate watch I used for my rowing training. And I kept breaking them. So the last time I broke the watch, I didn’t feel like turning it in for a new one. Just like the mobile, days without a watch turned into weeks, and then months. And now I just like not having a wrist watch.
That means I constantly ask people what the time is.
And that act alone, has made me talk with 10+ people I wouldn’t have.
4) No Stress About Battery
The feeling of plugging an almost dead phone into the charger is so satisfying.
But why is it satisfying?
Because we have stressed about that we need to find a charger soon, because the world is coming to an end if I don’t have my precious phone.
We all know the term FOMO.
I started to enjoy a new one.
Joy of missing out.
There is direct correlation of me being surprised about my friends telling me stuff they have been doing. And me not having a phone.
I spent less than 10 minutes a week now on instagram, which would be my main source of my friends “gossip”.
When I don’t get this gossip, and just don’t know what my friends are up to. Except if I meet with them. Which is an awesome feeling.
6) Doing Nothing
I have completely forgot the feeling about being bored.
The last time I remember being bored was back when I was a kid.
Sitting down, maybe waiting for the train and doing absolutely nothing.
Is super nice!
7) Saves Me Money
No need to think about cell phone deals.
Or worry about breaking the screen.
My Main Problem of Not Having a Phone
As the avid reader knows. I will be spending the next 3 months on a school where I’m going to sail, and just have a good time.
The “Just-have-a-good-time” part often involves beer.
And the only payment the bar accepts is through an app.
Not having a phone, means that I currently have no apps. So I can’t pay for my beers! Which is a pain in the ass!
Which is catastrophic to some of the parameters I use.
I didn’t manage to save anything because I have signed up for a sailing folk high school. Where I’m going to stay for the next 3 months.
Yes – I did manage to go from 102.600 $ to 104.300 $ without doing anything. This can still amaze me.
My rolling savings rate from February 2016 to this date went from:
58 % to 51 %.
YIKES! It dropped 7 % because I had one month without saving.
And my years worth of annual expenses dropped from:
6.42 to 4.87.
YIKES YIKES YIKES!
Last month I would be able to live almost 7 years from now. And this month I’m only able to live 5 years from this date. (Including my leverage)
BECAUSE OF ONE MONTH!
While it does bother me a. I probably won’t have expenses like this in the future. So it doesn’t make to much sense to include a month like this in my calculations. But I will. It gives me some motivation to save more.
The Reason Why I’m Deleveraging
As the avid reader might knows. I’m not going one but two mini retirements. Said in another way. In 2019 and 2020 I’m going to take 13 months off from work.
First I’m going to a folk high school to sail and have a good time.
And then I’m going to Indonesia and the Philippines to sail again.
This means that I won’t make any money for a couple of months.
Worrying about my leverage while I’m cruising on some of the most exotic oceans in the world, is one of the last things I want to do. If I had the guts, it could probably make sense in the long run (20+ years from now) to leverage more now. But I’m prioritizing peace of mind higher than my portfolio at this stage.
I’m going to keep the leverage I have now. But I will be investing normal, and this means my stock allocation will go up, while my leverage will stay at 200.000 DKK.
So my 2019 and 2020 is going to be way different than I initially thought it would be.
I do not have one, but two mini retirements in sight.
The decisions I have made is with super mixed emotions. On one hand I look so much forward to do it, on the other hand I see all of the “downsides” and potential “risks” of doing so.
From April 2019 and until September 2020 I’m going to take a year off from work.
I have never done anything like this. I started rowing when I was 19 years old (I’m 28 years today). So the last 10 years of my life has been all about competitive rowing, and some work. There has not been much time off during my adult decade. I have been travelling a lot with rowing, and I feel very privileged that I have had all of those experiences.
But compared to how my other friends have been travelling. My travelling has been a bit more boring. It is not unusual that a rowing season has between 60-100 days of traveling. But often we would go to some places that we had been before. And the places always involved a big lake. We would stay at this lake for the entire trip, with a weekly half day off, to do some sightseeing.
So even if we got to a place for the first time, it was pretty much the usual stuff.
Sometimes we had a cross country skiing camp which I loved! It was different and fun. But it was not every year we went on that camp. And boy it was a tough camp.
1# Mini Retirement
This was not at all planed.
As the avid reader knows, I work in the construction sector. I make construction models on large buildings, and go on site to make sure that they have made it as I have drawn. The thing is. Working in construction sector is a volatile job. Sometimes there is too much work, and other times there ain’t so much. This means it is not unusual to get fired semi often. Which happen to me about three weeks ago. This is my very first time experiencing it as a building constructor, but I have tried it several times as a mason.
The “luxury” of getting fired as a building constructor is that I have three months of salary where I can do whatever I want. As a mason I had two days. Yikes!
The three months of salary has made room for my first mini retirement.
Which is a three months sailing course on a folk high school*.
So from april to start july you will find me at Oure folk high school. Cruising in ships, training my ass off, drinking some beers, see if I can find a brazilian jiu jitsu gym and just have an awesome time.
2# Mini Retirement
2# retirement is not that “Mini”.
This retirement is the reason why I will go on the first one.
I have applied for a “job” to become captain on a 50 feet sailing boat cruising around in the Philippines and Indonesia. Which I got.
It is close to be a volunteering “job”. But as I see it, it is more like a 10 month free vacation.
In november 2019 I will go to Sorong in Indonesia. From there I will board the boat “Orbit” as a guest. There will be another captain from november to february. What I will be doing in that period is to dive everyday. I have to get 100 dives in order to become a dive instructor. Which is a must as crew of the boat. And then the captain will teach me all of the things that he knows about the boat.
In february 2020 we will get the boat out of the water in the Philippines. Renovate it. And the captain will go home, and I will board the boat as the new captain.
I will have three sets of guest from february 2020 to september 2020.
My first retirement is about 10 days from now. And I can slightly feel some worries luring around the corner.
Too Old For a Folk High School?
I’m 28 years now, and I don’t know why. But I really dread that if I end up with a punch of kids in their late teenage years. I know it sounds silly but that’s a concern that suddenly came to my mind.
Goodbye Olympic Dreams
This is one of major worries. Whenever you say yes to something, you also say no to another thing. And by sailing so much. I’m not going to be a part of the team for the Olympic qualifications. The truth is that I got kicked off the national team in november 2018. But I have tried that before and worked my way back again. But as the Olympics come closer, the window of getting back in the boat is getting smaller and smaller. So it becomes harder and harder for me to claim a seat in a boat.
I have not completely retired myself from competitive rowing. I could see myself aiming for the 2024 Olympics if I felt like doing so. But it is with mixed emotions that I have decided to say yes for another great opportunity.
Do I Enjoy Sailing That Much?
This is also a ridiculous thing to “worry” about. Because I do love sailing. But I have never been away more than a couple of weeks with my dad, sister and stepmom. This time I’m going to be away for almost a year, with about 5 x 10 different people I do not know, on tiny boat. Problems will occur. And there will be people I like more than others. This time I will be the one dealing with the problems and not my dad. (He is the captain whenever we sail together)
No Income For 10 Months
When I go for my second retirement. I won’t have any income. It is not going to cost me anything either. But my contributions to my investment account is going to be about 120.000 DKK (18.000 $) less than if I just would have worked.
What If a Recession Occurs?
Recessions are a really good buying opportunity. What if I end up buying all the way to the top, to then go away for 10 months and not buying while the markets is on sale? That would be kind of ignoring.
999 out of 1000 Worries
The thing is with worries. Almost none of them is going to happen. And the ones that do happen, is not going to be as bad as we thought they would be.
So no need to worry.
However, My Former Boss is the Shit
The other day my old boss reached out to me because he heard that I got fired from my job. He has now started his own business and has become 40 employees in less than two years.
He wanted me on board.
He is the best boss ever, so I would love to go work for him again. But I told him about all of my sailing plans. And he completely understood why I wanted to do it.
He is a former Olympic sailor and is still an avid sailor, winning all sorts of World Championships and similar.
He would do his very best to see if he had some work for me between my two “retirements” and if I did a great job during those months. He couldn’t see why there shouldn’t be a job for me when I come back from the trip in September 2020.
By doing so we are risking the whole portfolio is going to vanish within a couple of decades.
And our withdrawals are less likely to increase from year to year.
If we withdraw 5.5 % annual, we will keep up with inflation. And should be able to withdraw about 6.000 $ annual every single year.
Which can make you live like a king in asia for 6-10 months.
After 30 years our portfolio would still be around 100.000 $ adjusted for inflation.
Freedom When it Makes Sense
It makes sense that we have all (or most) of the time in the world to do whatever we like when we are young.
When there is no kids around we literally take the bag, and go for journey tomorrow. And stay away for the next 5 years. If we feel like it.
Being Around Your Kids When it Makes Sense
The only thing kids needs when they are small is attention from their parents.
When they start in school, their friends starts to be more exciting than the parents. Slowly and steadily the will become more and more independent. And in 18 years they will more or less handle things themselves.
Being around our kids when they are 0 to 5 years is not only nice. But a necessity. They can’t survive without their parents at this stage. So why not maximize the time we spent with them when they are small kids?
Buying Stuff When We Have the Money
If we wait to buy houses and vehicles to when we have the money (thanks to compound interest) makes so much more sense.
Our portfolio should grow at about 7 % annual, while the real estate market will grow the rate of inflation 2-3 %. That’s why we theoretically should come out ahead in the real estate market if we have a medium size portfolio as young.
Vehicles are also getting cheaper every year. And with the environmental problems we have at the moment, I personal don’t feel like contributing to that, by buying a gasoline fueled vehicle.
It is time for Wannabe Walden to write about a less critical topic. And how about a “recipe” for the most delicious, yet super simple pancakes?
I have learned this “recipe” from a friend of mine from my rowing club. And I have made them every single day since the first time I got them.
I use them as breakfast, dessert or just a snack.
I freaking love them!
As rule of thumb, this is the amounts you are going to need for a single person. I just had triple that amount myself, but that was because I was hungry, and I have a hard brazilian jiu jitsu session later today.
For 1 person:
1 Tablespoon of sugar (optional, I crave sugar)
This portion will make you 3-5 small pancakes.
The price of the ingredients are the following:
1 x banana = 2 DKK (0,3 $)
1 x egg = 3 DKK (0,5 $)
1 x tablespoon of sugar = 0,25 DKK (0,05 $)
A portion will cost you = 5,25 DKK (0,85 $)
Put a pan on the stove, turn on medium heat and put some tasteless oil on (I use rapeseed oil) or butter.
Take all of the ingredients and mix it in bowl, and mash the whole thing with a fork.
*LIFEHACK* Crack the egg on a flat surface (your kitchen table) instead of the edge of the bowl. You are more unlikely to have egg shells in the mix by doing so.
It is not super important that you get every single banana chunk mashed out. It is okay if it is a bit chunky.
Fry Those Sons of B*tches
Go for medium heat, and give them 2-3 minutes on each side.
They can be pretty hard to turn over if they are to big. What I do is to make three small pancakes at a time.
At the moment I top them off with peanut butter and jelly. My little sister is super allergic to peanuts, so I never had peanut butter as a kid. This has resulted in me having a small addiction to it. But I also like to top them off with nutella or something similar.
Having a boat load of these along with a good cup of black coffee is the best!
I need to reevaluate on how I’m going to write about it.
But I will write about it, that is for sure!
So stay tuned for some juicy blog posts the coming period.
One of the (well maybe two) things that happen to me this month made me stop leveraging. Not that I will ever do it in the nearest future. But as things are right now, I will not be doing it.
What I’m going to do is deleverage a little bit. Not that I’m going to pay off my debts. But I will keep the amount on 200.000 DKK (30.000 $) that I have now. And then invest regular in my stocks. By doing that. My stock allocation should increase a bit each month (if the market stays >0%) which means that my 200.000 DKK will be smaller compared to my stock allocation.
I will tell you why I’m doing that in later blog post.
The First 100.000 $ is a Bitch
Believe it or not.
That is a quote from the famous Charlie Munger. He said it in the book Charlie Munger: The Complete investor.
This month I managed to cross that line.
Yes – I still have some debt. But the debt that I have should be working for me, and not against. I’m still young, and that kind of debt is peanuts against to what I can earn in the nearest future.
And statistics says that if I just leave for a long enough time, it will benefit me.
The first $100,000 is a bitch, but you gotta do it. I don’t care what you have to do—if it means walking everywhere and not eating anything that wasn’t purchased with a coupon, find a way to get your hands on $100,000. After that, you can ease off the gas a little bit.
CPH FIRE MEETUP
Is going down this week.
I can feel as the date come closer, the more nervous/excited I get.
But it is a feeling I’m completely familiar with, because of my rowing.
There is a lot of talk in the danish media at the moment about retirement age.
It seems like nobody wants to work till they are 75 years old. (Not even the politicians who makes the rules, and they retire way younger than the rest of the population)
I don’t blame them. Neither do I.
I want work for the rest my life.
“Oh my god?! What did Loui just say?! I thought he wanted to quit as soon as possible?!”
I took part in a documentary where a clever fella named Svend Brinkmann commented on the whole concept of trying to “retire” as early as possible.
“I don’t think that any people is trying to live a life completely unbounded from everything”
And I think he has a good point.
I’m an extrovert person. I love being around people. And I love being in exciting projects. The most important thing is that they cannot drain me.
My work needs to be fulfilling, fun and making a difference. And I would like it to be that all the way till the day I die.
Why does work has to drain? The vast majority of people I know think work is exhausting, and they would rather be free.
Why can’t we find work that gives our life purpose but without the stress, and lack of energy when we arrive home.
I think one of the major reason of why work is draining us, because we do it to much. Elite sportsmen doesn’t train 8 hours everyday because it doesn’t make sense. If you had to workout for 8 hours a day, the intensity and focus would be so low, that you would have way better results by training 3-4 hours/day. Then we can throw in some interval work, while we are super sharp on the technique.
And I can’t see why work should be any different from sports.
Imagine if you knew that you only had to work from 8 AM to 11 AM.
Would you work differently than you are today?
I think most of us would.
If you think about it.
Isn’t super weird that we work all of life, and then suddenly we don’t?
If we tell ourself that our work is so meaningful for our existence. That we need to do it for +40 years, why don’t we do till the day that we die?
As I said earlier. I can’t never imagine not being committed to something in my life.
I can still see myself as an 80 year old, fooling around in a rowing club (or something similar). Making sure that everything is ok.
How We Should Work
Let’s just take up work that makes us excited.
We don’t have to sit at desk for for 40 hours/week in order to make a change. In fact, every single one of us is replaceable. We don’t like to think it that way, but it is the truth.
So just take up work that sounds like fun. Do it for a couple of days each week. Or do it a couple of hours each day. And then leave the rest of the day with doing things you love to.
I look at the people who bring out food on their bike and admire their work. It looks like so much fun.
I really do think that we can have a work that we love. But I also think that doing the same thing year in and year out, for the vast majority of the day, can be killer to anything that we like.
In sports it is very acknowledged that in order to become better we need rest. And it needs to be good. The same goes for our working life. And there is no rest in working from 8-4, picking up kids, try not to argue with your spouse and then crash on the couch in front of the tv in order to “rest”, so that we can be ready for the next day.
Rest should be the majority of the time, not the 1 hour crash in front of the tv. In sports it is even normal to have a “rest season” after the olympics. I have never heard of someone who would take every 4th year off from work, just to have a nice time.