Europeans on FIRE – Gus
In our Europeans on FIRE series, we interview people living in Europe who don’t blog to find out what makes them tick. Our aim is to give non-bloggers a voice and hear what they have to say. We hope you enjoy hearing from people you’ve never heard of before!
If you’d like to take part in Europeans on FIRE, contact us at hello[at]firehub[dot]eu and we’ll send you the details.
You can find a full list of our Europeans on FIRE interviews here.
Please briefly introduce yourself to FIREhub.eu readers
Hi, I’m a 34 year old male from Valencia, Spain, married with one kid. I’m in technical support and an administrator.
What is your backstory?
I come from a very frugal family, not spending too much, saving and investing. I found Robert Kiyosaki in 2004 thanks to a roommate from my university flat. When I read his book, it made a lot of sense. But I didn’t have money to invest in real estate, the stock market was too tricky and expensive, too. So seven years later I began to invest in what I know, real estate. It was more natural to me than stocks, but now I invest in both.
I found FI thinking about Kiyosaki’s strategy. And searching through the internet I discovered a book: “FIRE Extreme”. This book blew my mind totally. It has a lot of crazy and open minded ideas. Then I began to read a lot more, research, watch videos and podcasts, and got involved more and more in the community. I find people here who have similar problems, doubts and objectives as I, which feels good because until then I felt a little bit lonely or crazy 😉 .
Why do you want to reach Financial Independence?
To free my time – a job is a life sucking machine and will destroyer. There are lots of things to do in life. But timing is very important: Not just having time but having it at the right moment. For example, there are fantastic days here in Valencia but just at that moment I’m working. There are days I get excited about a technology or a personal project, but guess what, I’m working. I’m tired of those lost moments, and I want to be free to do what I want at the moment when is is necessary.
How much is your “enough”?
Half a million Euros will be a perfect figure for anyone wanting to retire in Valencia. You could live very well with 2,000 Euros a month, even without been frugal. Being frugal, you could live perfectly with 1,000 Euros in a small town. But I don’t just want to stay at home doing nothing. I want to work on projects, learn, create a company, solve problems … In the end these things bring in money, so I suppose it wouldn’t be necessary to have a cash flow of 2,000 Euros, I could be free with less.
Where are you on the road to Financial Independence?
At this moment, I’m able to cover all my basic expenses with my investments, I could be free from a job just by being frugal. But I’m at the point where you say “just one more year”. It’s just a psychological issue, nothing real. Being free is also a mental thing: You could have millions but not be free. So I’m trying to take baby steps to taste the freedom like taking more holidays than usual, going to places or doing things that I want, simulating I am free. But as always I want a bit more :D. I have a scapegoat for delaying considering myself FI, the Trinity Study, I have less than 24x my expenses … But this is about stocks, and I’m investing mainly in real estate, bye, bye, scapegoat, I will find another one XD.
What do you want to do with your life once you reach Financial Independence?
I want a year just to read books, exercise, learn to cook, travel to near places and research whatever I want, and focus on personal projects. After that I don’t know, maybe create a company, work again, never work again, study… who knows.
What is your strategy for reaching FI?
Invest a big chunk in real estate, and a small part, 10%, in stocks and ETF’s. I could change this in the future but now I feel safe this way. Real estate is a thing I know pretty well, and to invest in stocks and ETF’s I feel I still need to study a lot.
What will be your financial strategy after reaching FI?
Real estate and buying stocks for the long term. This is not 100 % passive, real estate takes time and picking stocks and choosing the moment to buy also takes time. But I feel safer this way, and I enjoy this kind of work, so no problem for now.
What was your biggest financial mistake?
My first piece of real estate. It was expensive, and I also pay for the loan when I could have bought more for less.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be frugal just to a degree, experiences matter more than money, invest your time in big things not in saving small quantities of money.
What is your wildest dream?
Buying a flat in Chiang Mai and using it as a central place to travel all over Asia to countries like Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, China, Sri Lanka … What an amazing journey that could be.
What is your favourite just-for-fun activity that brings you joy?
Listening to music while relaxing on my sofa.
What are you currently struggling with, or what would you like some advice on from the European FI community?
I would like to reach out to people who share my interests, so we can interact more easily.