retire2asia

job-free at 37

Category: Our FI Journey

Our Number

As you may have read, our current plan for achieving financial independence involves a move to the Philippines at some point in the medium term. I’ve posted a lot of net worth updates showcasing how far along we are, but what I haven’t really stated explicitly is exactly what we’re aiming for.

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Environmentally Independent

This is a blog about personal finance, particularly looking at financial independence. When you start cutting expensive waste out of your life, it’s impossible to not also notice that you’re being a lot kinder to the planet. Now, I don’t know that we’ll ever be what I suppose would be called “Environmentally Independent”, which would be a mixture of being zero waste and also having net personal greenhouse gas emissions of zero or less. But I can share some examples of how our journey towards financial independence has made us much less harsh on the environment.

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Our investments take flight

As anyone who’s read any financial independence blog will know, investing in index funds is the most surefire way to achieve reliable gains over time. But it can be fun to invest in the odd individual company on the side as a hobby or an experiment. I don’t recommend making such investments a large portion of your portfolio, but some people do try this.

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Can you eat your lunch and have it?

The conventional wisdom in the financial independence community is that index funds are the slow but sure way to wealth and I agree with that. Consequently, the vast majority of our investments are in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Because we are in “growth” KiwiSaver funds, our provider invests the majority of our retirement money in ETFs. The majority of our Sharesies investments are also in ETFs. But, we have specialised on a couple of companies recently and I want to share why.

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How We Budget – Part II

I previously discussed how we budget. I was going to include as part of that a description of what kinds of expenses we include in different categories, but that part of the post ended up being so long it made more sense to put it into a separate post. So below is that information. I highly recommend reading Part I for context.

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How We Budget – Part I

First up, just a bit of a notice. I’ve been trying to write a fortnightly post plus a monthly net worth update. So far I’ve been succeeding! I’m going to attempt to up this to weekly seeing as I seem to be able to stay disciplined, but let’s call it a trial and see how it goes 🙂

There’s plenty of opinions out there regarding budgets and whether they should be called budgets and whether you need a budget. Some people probably don’t. They’re just good at not spending. I’m not one of those people. I thought I was, but then I started tracking how much I was spending and realised I was spending hundreds of dollars every month on all sorts of crap. So unless you know that you know that you know that you are one of the most frugal people on this earth, it probably wouldn’t hurt to review your spending and consider whether you might need a budget.

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Why We Hold Bonus Bonds

If you’ve been reading my net worth posts, you’ve probably noticed we have $20 in something called Bonus Bonds. For the uninitiated, or those outside New Zealand, Bonus Bonds are not really bonds, at least not in the traditional sense. I’ll give a quick run down and then explain why we’ve decided to have $20 in Bonus Bonds but do not consider them an investment.

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Our “Retirement” Plan

So I figure a good way to kick off this blog is to talk about the situation we expect/hope to be in come age 37 (seven years away). I put retirement in quotation marks as there are possible outcomes where we end up not actually being retired in the binary sense people usually mean. More on those later.

The key pillar of our plan is geoarbitrage, i.e. spending our money somewhere it will go a lot further than the location in which we earned it. Essentially, we plan to move to the Philippines at the point at which we “retire”. This pillar rests on a foundation of property ownership.

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