FIWE Is Back – This Time with a Twist
2020 was to be the fifth year that we were running a FIWE event, and we decided to spice things up a bit. We were super excited about the event, but unfortunately it was not to be and we ended up having to cancel FIWE 2020 due to the covid restrictions.
Nevertheless, here’s a summary of how the event has evolved and what our plans are for the future.
Problem: Demand for FIWE Has Outstripped Our Capacity for Supply
I.e. loads of people want to come to FIWE. Which is fantastic, but also presents some problems that we need to overcome. One major thing we learned from FIWE 2019 was that the demand for this type of event in Europe is way higher than we can supply ourselves.
In 2019 we were overwhelmed by the number of applications we received and our solution was to hold a much bigger event than we’d originally planned, with 42 participants instead of the usual 25.
While we’re glad we tried that solution, we’ve decided that we prefer to hold smaller events because it gives everyone more time to talk to everyone else individually and it’s way easier to plan the logistics for a smaller group.
So if we want to keep our events small but also cater to the increased demand, we basically have two choices: run several smaller events throughout the year, or
force strongly encourage other people to organise similar events.
Since organising FIWE is a lot of work and we have small kids, the first option is out for us. We’re happy to organise one event a year for 25 people, and also FIWE Family in the summer at Lake Balaton for families with kids. But that’s our limit. We just wouldn’t be able to take on any more than that.
Solution: Hold More Events
So that leaves us with the second option: get other people to organise similar events to cater to the increased demand. The first of these events was FIRE in Madrid, which took place in October 2019 and was organised by two FIWE 2019 participants. We went along as participants and it was lovely not to have to organise anything or worry about logistics!
We’re happy to announce that the Madrid event will be happening again in the future. We’re really grateful to the guys who organise that event. If you can’t make it to one of our events, maybe you’ll be able to make it to FIWE Madrid instead.
One of our FIREhub co-founders is trying to put together a FIWE event in Austria or Slovenia. This could also be an option for you if you can’t make it to the other events.
Cheesy Finance also planned a similar event called Castle on FIRE in France.
The idea is to give you guys more options – more events at different times throughout the year in different locations throughout Europe. We hope that this way, you’ll be able to find an event that suits you so you can meet other FIRE enthusiasts to inspire and be inspired.
Why Not Organise Your Own FIWE?
We know it sounds daunting to organise your own FIWE event – it’s a lot of work. But we’re creating a blueprint to make it easier for people to organise their own FIWE. We’re putting together some introductory material about the basic values of FIWE, a step-by-step guide to all the things you have to think about, and a package of template e-mails and documents you can use to make the whole thing easier. If you’d like more information feel free to contact us – we’d be happy to talk to you about creating another FIWE event!
FIWE Is Moving Under the FIREhub Umbrella
For a while now at FIREhub we’ve been thinking about holding our own events, both bigger FIWE-style conferences and smaller local meetups. Since the whole point of FIREhub is to have a central place for all things FI in Europe, it makes sense to run the events under the FIREhub umbrella. That explains the FIREhub branding on FIWE 2020 and why we’ve moved all the FIWE information to FIREhub from its original home over at What Life Could Be (which we’ve since shut down completely).
The First Themed FIWE
We’ve been thinking about having themed FIWE events for a while now, and this year we decided to finally do it. We chose three hashtags for FIWE 2020: #liveFIbeforeFI, #whyFI, and #FIforimpact. We feel that these are incredibly important topics that don’t get enough exposure in the FIRE community.
Live FI Before FI
It’s tempting to put your life on hold and throw everything at reaching your magic FI number rather than working out how you can make small changes to your life now to make yourself happier.
One of the conclusions many participants came to during FIWE 2019 in Budapest was that it’s never too early to start living your life as if you were already FI.
No matter your current situation, there will always be small steps you can take to make your current life a little closer to your dream post-FI life. This could involve testing out new hobbies, taking mini-retirements, or simply putting aside some time to work on your dream projects.
What’s Your Why for FI?
There’s a lot of focus on the financial side of FI, and rightly so. But it often seems like people are so focused on the financials that they lose sight of why they want to be FI in the first place.
FI isn’t about spreadsheets and safe withdrawal rates. Money is just a tool. If you want to reach FI because you hate your job, fine. But you need to work out what you’re going to do once you reach the magic number. Maybe you already have thousands of ideas and couldn’t imagine being bored for a second. Or maybe you’re struggling with exactly this issue at the moment and you’d like some feedback and inspiration from the other participants.
FI for Impact
Sébastien Aguilar from Impactivated argues that FI is a superpower that we can use to make the world a better place. We couldn’t agree more! This is a topic that deserves a lot more exposure in the FI community so we thought we’d take the opportunity to discuss it during this year’s event.
Plans for the Future
It’s difficult to make any plans in this crazy new world we’re living in, but we hope very much that we’ll be able to offer a FIWE event in 2021. Obviously it’s only fair that we give priority to the people we were looking forward to meeting at the 2020 event, but I’m sure there will still be spaces available for completely new people. Whatever happens, we’ll keep you posted here and in the Financial Independence Europe facebook group. We hope to see you very soon!