Bloggers on FIRE – MoneyMow

In our Bloggers on FIRE series, we interview European FI bloggers to find out what makes them tick. Our aim is to build up a “who’s who” directory for the European FI blogging world. We hope you enjoy the series and discover some new blogs to follow. You can find a full list of our Bloggers on FIRE interviews here.

MoneyMow Bloggers on FIRE Profile Card exp

Please briefly introduce yourself to readers

My name is Carl (actually, it’s not, but I blog using a pseudonym) and I blog about financial independence in Denmark. At the time of writing, I’m 28 years old, live in Copenhagen and last year I got married to my lovely wife who is currently pregnant with our first child.

I work as a management consultant in an international consulting company. This means I spend quite some time working during the week. The plan is to work a lot less as I reach financial independence.

What’s your backstory?

Nearly three years ago my wife (back then girlfriend) shared an article with me from a Danish newspaper. The title was “Become financially independent before you reach 40”. Back then I had never heard about the concept of financial independence. I knew I wanted to live a different life than most people. I honestly thought I would live a digital nomad lifestyle, but this article changed my life.

The article was about Jakob Lund Fisker, the Danish author of Early Retirement Extreme, and the concept of FIRE instantly resonated with me. I quickly bought his book and I remembered I read it in a matter of days while on vacation that summer. I was super excited about the concept and not long thereafter I discovered Mr. Money Mustache.

At the end of 2016, I decided I wanted to create my own blog and on January 1, 2017, I decided to publish my first monthly update, which I have kept going for more than two years now.

I am so happy my wife shared that article with me – it made such a big impact on our lives.

Why do you want to reach Financial Independence?

My wife and I are working towards being more free. We both like our work and we do not want to retire fully, however, we want to take control of our lives. We want to work with exactly what we want to do – when we want to do it.

I do not see us quitting work and lying on the couch all day. We are not those kind of people. I see us working on a lot of passion projects once we reach financial independence, but even more importantly spend a lot of quality time together as a family.

How much is your “enough“?

Good question! We actually have three FI goals. Our first goal is to reach three years of savings. This would give us the flexibility for one of us to quit our jobs and spend some time on a passion project and hopefully generate an income from it.

Our next goal is to become financially independent using an “optimal withdrawal rate” rather than a “safe withdrawal rate” meaning we don’t mind taking on some risk and potentially might have to return to work if the markets are not in our favour. Here we use the assumption that we will generate some income in retirement and use a high withdrawal rate of 7%. We would rather use a high withdrawal rate and take on some risk to get more freedom faster than spending ages achieving a very conservative financial independence with 0% chance of having to go back to work. We don’t mind having to go back to work for a while if that is the case (although we would of course prefer not to).

Some people would probably call us fat FIRE, since we have quite high incomes and a relatively high monthly spending, but we love being frugal and saving money too. We just have some high expense categories (e.g. food and travel).

Where are you on the road to Financial Independence?

Being a fan of data, I can tell you exactly where we are on our journey. We are still in the first years of accumulating net worth, but we are 45% of the way towards three years expenses, 31% of the way towards financial independence with 7% withdrawal rate and 8% of the way towards financial independence with 4% withdrawal rate.

What do you want to do with your life once you reach Financial Independence?

We know that there’s three things we want to do more of when we retire. We want to spend more time with friends and family. We want to work on our passion projects (the blog, volunteering locally and internationally, etc.). Lastly, we want to travel more and spend some of the months of the year during the cold Danish winter in a low cost of living country.

What is your strategy for reaching Financial Independence?

We are continuously investing in stock index funds, peer-to-peer lending, bonds and real estate to increase our net worth.

What will be your financial strategy after reaching FI?

We are quite certain we will be able to create several passive income streams from our passion projects to cover (most of) our expenses.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Taking on debt at a young age to finance stupid purchases. I didn’t know what to save for (I lacked a purpose), so I just ended up spending all my money instead.

What advice you would give to your younger self?

Don’t take on debt, and go online and search for Mr. Money Mustache before you start college 😉

What’s your wildest dream?

Throwing out our alarm clock and tailoring every day to exactly what we want to do in the moment.

What’s your favourite just-for-fun activity that brings you joy?

I love to brew beer together with a couple of friends – the results vary a lot, but the process is always fun!