9# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 59 %

This month leverage: 0 %

Rolling savings rate since February 2016: 55 %

Total value of portfolio: 721.000 DKK (108.500 $)

Years worth of annual expenses: 6.07

% Change since last month: 3,7 %  (+ 26.000 DKK / + 3900 $)

So What The F*** Happen This Month

  • Savings rate is back to something that seems normal
  • Years worth of annual expense is up again
  • Rolling savings rate has gone up 4%

Two Months of Mini Retirement

I’m two months into my mini retirement.

The first month went by with having a good time in Copenhagen.

Having a good time equals:

  • Seeing friends and family
  • Drinking (too much) beers
  • Renovating my dad’s (and my boat)
  • Doing some brazilian jiu jitsu

One Month of Folk High School

The first month of being at this new school where I would like to improve my sailing skills is gone.

And boy, there is a lot of impressions by being here.

I have already improved my sailing a lot by being here. Everything I know about sailing is something my dad has taught me. My dad is an awesome teacher, but I enjoy learning stuff from other people too. (I have already learned my dad something)

I do feel a bit old though. A lot of the people on this school is between 18-21 years. Which I feared would be an issue for me. Since I’m 28. Everybody is super nice, but I do get tired of playing beer pong third weekend in a row.

Even though I would like to sail more than we do at the moment. I would encourage everyone to try a folk high school (especially for foreigners). It is an awesome opportunity to gain a new skills fast, in a super cosy way where you meet many awesome people.

I pay 6000 DKK/month (900 $) for being here. Which is cheaper than if I just had my regular life back in Copenhagen. I have become a better sailor, awesome and organic food is cooked for us three times a day. And we do not have to do the dishes. It is a huge luxury to be here.

Blog Posts This Month

7 Benefits of Not Having a Mobile

School Project Video on FIRE

School Project Video On FIRE

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

The Video

They told me they got an A for the this project.

Unfortunately it is in danish with no subtitles.


7 Benefits of Not Having a Mobile

https://www.dbphoto.dk/

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.

SPOILER ALERT!

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.

5) JOMO

We all know the term FOMO.

Fear

Of

Missing

Out

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!

8# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 0 %

This month leverage: 0 %

Rolling savings rate since February 2016: 51 %

Total value of portfolio: 695.000 DKK (104.300 $)

Years worth of annual expenses: 4.87

% Change since last month: 3,2 % 

So What The F*** Happen This Month

I manage to save absolutely no money this month.

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.

But!

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.

+200 European FIRE Blogs

The other day FIREHUB.eu reached out to me.

They wanted to ask me if I wanted to be a part of their site. And I immediately said yes!

FIREHUB have collected +200 european FIRE blogs on one single page.

Including different podcasts, meetups and the list goes on. What they all have in common is that they are from europe.

I would love to meet up with some people outside of Denmark. So it is definitely a site I’m going to keep my eyes on.

Blog Posts This Month

Guest Post – Route2FI

The Minimalistic Way of: Pancakes

Why I Love Going Backward

The Shop Shelves Mentality

Ahoy! Mini Retirement In Sight!

Ahoy! Mini Retirement In Sight!

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.

The company is super cool, you can take a look at it here.

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 Worries

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.

AT ALL!

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.

What can I say? He is the bomb.

Wannabe Walden is Coming on Water.

The Shop Shelves Mentality

Imagine that you stand in the alley on the picture above.

There are some rubber boots on sale. I know your entire family has at least one pair of rubber boots. But hey! They are on sale.

There is the müsli your spouse love.

And it is friday, so you have to pick up some candy for the kids two.

While we are at the candy alley, lets just buy something nice for the adults too.

Let’s Scale Things Up

What if we replaced the rubber boots with an annual 4 week exotic vacation.

And the müsli is now a new car that your spouse loves so much (bought on credit)

And remember the candy? That is just some nice miscellaneous shopping. That can be the seventh pair of sneakers. Or the third “spring” jacket.

The Product We Don’t See

There is another product on the shelves that most of us don’t put in the basket.

We all want it.

It is the big box of FREEDOM.

The thing is that whenever we don’t pick something from the shelves. We automatically pick the big box that has the big FREEDOM letters across it.

Whenever we don’t pick a 20 $ product, we can reach for the “12 HOURS OF FREEDOM” box. (depending on how frugal you are)

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

How to get most bang for the buck is by focusing on these three things:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Food

Don’t try to be nitty gritty about a small purchase if you drive around in a almost new car bought on credit.

Minimize the cost on those three bullet points, and you are already 80 % of the way to become financial independent, and do whatever you like.

Why I Love Going Backward

I have been told that rowing is the only Olympic sport where we cross the finish line backwards. I don’t know if it is true. But I like the idea of doing something different than anybody else.

Our “Normal” Lifecycle

A traditional life would look something like this:

  1. Get born
  2. Go to school
  3. Get an education
  4. Get a decent job (For the next 50 years)
  5. Meet a spouse
  6. Get some kids
  7. Buy a house (We can’t afford)
  8. Buy a car (We can’t afford)
  9. Going on expensive vacations or getting expensive hobbies (Because your kids left the nest)
  10. Retire
  11. Die

The main thing as the we get a ton of debt in our young years in order to pay for a vehicle and a place to live.

But why do we do that?

Is it just because everyone else is doing it?

An “Optimized” Lifecycle

What if we turned our life around?

And started to go backward? Just like in rowing.

Yes – we might ending up being the only ones doing so. But what if it makes more sense?

An optimized lifecycle:

  1. Get borned
  2. Go to school
  3. Get an education
  4. Work (For the next 5 years)
  5. Semi Retire (Either work part time, or seasonal)
  6. Do whatever we like (Travel, start a business, etc)
  7. Meet a spouse and get some kids
  8. Have a 5 year maternity
  9. Buy a place to live (We now can afford)
  10. Buy a vehicle (We again now can afford)
  11. Keep working on projects we love
  12. Die

Can you see the difference?

Just Get To The First 100.000 $

Aim for the first 100.000 $ as fast as possible. Then compound interest is going to make sure that you are going to be more than all right.

From there we can do several things with the portfolio:

No Withdrawal

Work part time, or seasonal. And enjoy that you don’t have to work all day.

In 13 years your portfolio will grow to about 300.000 $, and you can now withdraw 5 % of it (15.000 $) which should would do for a semi frugal person.

Withdraw 3-4% Annual

If we feel like working just a bit less, then we can start withdraw a little bit of the portfolio.

3 % annual will make sure we have some passive income. And that we are more than likely to increase that amount every year.

In 30 years your withdrawals will go from 3.000 $/annual to 7.000 $/annual. (Adjusted for inflation).

And our portfolio will be about 230.000 $ instead. (Adjusted for inflation)

Withdraw 5-7% Annual

We can also withdraw even more. If we really don’t feel like working. Maybe because we are on the road travelling most of the time.

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.

The Minimalistic Way of: Pancakes

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!

The Ingredients

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 Banana
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar (optional, I crave sugar)

This portion will make you 3-5 small pancakes.

Price

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 $)

Mix It

  1. Put a pan on the stove, turn on medium heat and put some tasteless oil on (I use rapeseed oil) or butter.
  2. 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.

Like this:

Topping

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.

Enjoy

Having a boat load of these along with a good cup of black coffee is the best!

7# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 56 %

This month leverage: 0 %

Rolling savings rate since February 2016: 58 %

Total value of portfolio: 673.000 DKK (102.600 $)

Years worth of annual expenses: 6.42

% Change since last month: 3,2 % 

So What The F*** Happen This Month

Big things happen this month.

Both good and bad.

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.

Not Leveraging

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.

Charlie Munger

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.

If you want to participate read the details in the last 6# My Monthly Financial Independence Update.

Blog Posts This Month

My Wife Doesn’t Like FIRE?! Answered by Jacob Lund Fisker

I Will Work Till I Die

Want Become a Sponsor for 1 $?

I’m still trying to see if I can make any money out of this blog.

It is not going so well at this stage.

That’s why I have dedicated an entire page to blog sponsors. And you can become the first one for just a single dollar!

Take a look at the page HERE and see all of the awesome benefits you will get!