Author Topic: Belgian Moustachians  (Read 17865 times)

Educated_Fool

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #50 on: July 30, 2016, 06:19:05 AM »
Thinking about doing my own blog (I have another one for the last 6 years about our move out of the city and buying an old farm house so I know what it takes). Would it be of interest to other Belgian mustachians?
Damn right! The more inspiring European roads to FI, the better. Like http://wegnaarzelfvoorziening.blogspot.be/
But I do not agree with your "I think a lot of Belgian rat's, 20 year in the race are realising that maybe they're probably not even half way". I really want to try to get there with just 20 years of working. Sure, the high tax rate works against us, but there are also a lot of things in our favour (low health costs, social security). And you know what they say: when the going gets tough, the mustachians get more badass!!
Srry but i didn't make myself clear. What I was trying to say is that your average middle aged Joe is realising that early retirement (goverment supported) doesn't look so promissing any more, after 40 years of work. Lets say your 40 and making 2100€/month and your new main goal is FI. Why not sell your (clown)car and that 300K home in the middle of nowhere with 150k left in debt and buy an appartment instead without a loan?
"I want money in order to get the things that money will not buy" Carl Sandburg

Educated_Fool

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #51 on: July 30, 2016, 06:57:50 AM »
I found it very easy to be frugal in Belgium since all the stores were closed by the time I got home from work.  I had a free apartment so I could cook at home and basically stashed my $80/day expense stipend to pay off a car loan, my wife's student loans, and European travel (stipend was conditional on me not being in the US, so I still got paid for vacation days I took in Europe).  That 6 month assignment changed my financial life.
Thx 4 supporting our economy !#*?!!
Just kidding. Nice job(s).
It reminds me of the MMM post; http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/11/11/are-you-giving-the-shaft-to-your-future-self/ "It still blows my mind each Monday that I never have to go to work: I can thank the 25-year-old version of me for that."
"I want money in order to get the things that money will not buy" Carl Sandburg

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #52 on: August 01, 2016, 01:53:11 AM »
Quote
Sorry but i didn't make myself clear. What I was trying to say is that your average middle aged Joe is realising that early retirement (goverment supported) doesn't look so promissing any more, after 40 years of work. Lets say your 40 and making 2100€/month and your new main goal is FI. Why not sell your (clown)car and that 300K home in the middle of nowhere with 150k left in debt and buy an appartment instead without a loan?
Well a lot of USA blogs speak about downsizing the house or moving closer to your work to save on the commute so yes it would definitely help to achieve FI. But this is something personal (having children, if you are a couple do you both work in the same city, family nearby, we Belgians have a brick in our stomach and usually buy for life ...) and real estate transactions do have a high transaction cost attached to them here in Belgium. Buying our house and the mistake it was from a financial viewpoint (but not from a 'enjoying your life' viewpoint) would definitely be one of the posts I would put up.
The bigger problem I see is that with an average wage in Belgium it takes about 20 years of working to get to FI. For most people who went to university that would be around 45 (kinda acceptable). If you only start at 40, well ok you probably allready have something saved up so it might only take you 15 years. that would put you at 55 years old. Starting at 40 years, it would indeed take some major life changes to be able to reach Fi before you are 50. It would make for an interesting post on the blog ...
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Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #53 on: August 03, 2016, 02:34:10 PM »
Hello,

I have been following the FIRE community for a while, started a blog and hope to be free in 2029. Yes, still a long way to go! Yet,  way, sooner than my pension documents tell me :-)
I am soon 40 years old, married and have 2 kids.
We invest now via ETFS, have a big part in mutual funds (I know...) and some tak21 from before. These last 2 do not receive extra money!

I am curious to hear about the approaches the Belgian people take to be FI. One of my plans is to work less (take regular long holiday for travel with the kids) and work a few years longer. Having quality time now is worth a lot to me!



Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #54 on: August 03, 2016, 02:45:45 PM »
Quote
In one sense I am not sure that a plethora of investment choices is ideal for me to move forward due to analysis paralysis. My idea of investing is to go into mostly passive mode otherwise I feel I will never start.
I'm probably pushing you to run and you just took  your baby steps. You're on the wright track with passive investing so maybe start with a book from the godfather of passive investing John Bogle, founder of vanguard. Then maybe you can look in to https://portfoliocharts.com/portfolios/ were you can find the most common passive investing portfolio's.

My personal steps in investing bigger amounts was via funds from mijnkapitaal.be. I know not everyone likes the costs of active managed funds. I see them as a part of my nest egg that follows a different strategy than my ETF portfolio. On paper, it is not the best solution. They do bring a piece of mind to me.
For the indexing part, I go 100 pct equity. I use 3 acc ETFs, all in EUR: IWDA, CESL and EMIM. This covers approx the whole world and provides a small bias to Europe.

Educated_Fool

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #55 on: August 10, 2016, 01:08:17 PM »
The bigger problem I see is that with an average wage in Belgium it takes about 20 years of working to get to FI.
True, if not the biggest problem. Let's say you can save 50% in Belgium and 75% in the US @ 5% Rate of return above inflation. That's 16.6 years compaired to 7.1 years. I see myself not taking a vacation abroad for 7 years but 16.6 year is a different thing.
"I want money in order to get the things that money will not buy" Carl Sandburg

Educated_Fool

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #56 on: August 10, 2016, 01:53:56 PM »
I am curious to hear about the approaches the Belgian people take to be FI.
I like to work with baby steps/goals to FI

1 buy an apartment, check
2 optimise  down payment to 3050€ / year (for max tax advantage), check
3 a 13K unlucky emergency fund (I'm not superstitious or am I), check
4 get a Financial Adviser degree  (for an investment strategy and the confidence 2 follow it), check
5 have more money in different accounts then debt, 2017?
6 have the ability to pay off debt without touching the pensionfund & emergency fund, ...
7 invest 250K in etf's (in today's money) for FI, ...
8 work for 8K(if still possible) of untaxed income yearly , ...

I only put my next goal on a timeline for motivation purposes.
"I want money in order to get the things that money will not buy" Carl Sandburg

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #57 on: August 11, 2016, 03:07:06 AM »
I am curious to hear about the approaches the Belgian people take to be FI.
I like to work with baby steps/goals to FI

1 buy an apartment, check
2 optimise  down payment to 3050€ / year (for max tax advantage), check
3 a 13K unlucky emergency fund (I'm not superstitious or am I), check
4 get a Financial Adviser degree  (for an investment strategy and the confidence 2 follow it), check
5 have more money in different accounts then debt, 2017?
6 have the ability to pay off debt without touching the pensionfund & emergency fund, ...
7 invest 250K in etf's (in today's money) for FI, ...
8 work for 8K(if still possible) of untaxed income yearly , ...

I only put my next goal on a timeline for motivation purposes.

I am also thinking you need about 20 years of working to achieve FI in Belgium.
Taxes on wages are high and that hampers the build up of a sizable stash in the beginning. But once the stash is a certain size the no capital gains tax comes into effect in Belgium and that does help.

We also have social security which you should take into account.

I see the lower end of Fi at 325.000 euro. 300.000 euro at 4% SWR gives you 12.000/year or 1.000 euro per month. You can add 500 euro a month of minimal unemployment money you can get in Belgium which then brings you to an average monthly income of 1.500 euro. And that is an amount you should be able to live of comfortably (if you got your mortgage or rent cost  around 500 euro/month) in Belgium. The 25.000 euro extra should cover living expenses for two years, assuring you can survive a market downturn where it is best to not draw on your stash. Vandevelde below 60 euro a share gives you a dividend pay out of around 4% by the way.

425.000 euro is better since then you get there with a SWR of 3% and there are quite a few companies paying netto dividend at around the 3% mark …
A bigger issue I find is that for a pension you need a minimum of 30 years work or ‘gelijkgestelde periodes’ (unemployment thus). This makes the extreme early retirement as done in the USA (quit working after 15 years, work 0 hours afterwards and then when one is over 65 still be eligible for social benefits) pretty impossible in Belgium. Reaching FI after 20 years means that you have been a pretty decent employee for those 20 years, which means that the RVA and VDAB are going to expect you to get another job pretty swiftly and if not it will raise issues. Issues you will want to avoid.

You could select not to go on unemployment but after 20 years of paying into the system I do not find this a very attractive idea (it also means your stash would need to be higher off course) and even at getting the 500 eur/month unemployment you will still be paying taxes, you have just reduced your tax bill to almost zero. After 20 years of paying a lot of taxes I am not going to feel bad about paying just 1% or 2% taxes for the next 40 to 50 years …


Tax calculations: gross dividend of 16.500 euro gives you an after tax dividend of 12 045 and you pay taxes of 4 455 euro.
Your yearly income is 12 045 dividend + 6.000 unemployment benefits (12 x 500euro/month) = 18 045
Lets say you spend 12 000 euro of that at an average VAT rate of 15 % (probably higher as most stuff is at 21%) = 1.800 euro in sales taxes + the 4 455 euro dividend taxes = 6 255 of taxes payed in a year against the 6.000 euro you received in unemployment money.

So you see, as a FIRE person you are not mooching of the system. Not collecting unemployment would mean still paying 27% taxes, year, after year, after year. Euh, no thanks.


Which still leaves us with the RVA/VDAB who are probably not going to stand idle by and let you collect unemployment uninterrupted for 20 or more years. Once after 55 years I think you are pretty safe but that would still leave a gap of 10 years to fill (probably only 7 in my case but one can dream right?). I have been thinking of going into security and then just do seasonable work during the festival season. When I was a student I very much enjoyed working back stage for festivals and rock show (did Metallica, Eric Clapton end Led Zeppelin, but also the Spice girls and Elton John, lol) so I do not think I would mind doing security for Rock Werchter, Tommorrowland and such. It is also a sector where they are always looking for people and several people do it as a side gig so it is pretty normal there for a guy to say he just does the summer festivals and such. When the RVA starts making inquiries you just pick up enough work to no longer qualify for unemployment and then after a few months you stop doing the work again but this way you are off the radar of the RVA/VDAB. Should be possible to fill the 10 year gap with like 8 months of unemployment and 4 months of ‘working’ a year. It will raise your tax rate to about 10% probably but hey, if it keeps the RVA quiet this seems preferably to having to do some menial interim office job for 6 months or even a year now and then, 16 years in and I am getting really tired of it…

I really should get of my lazy ass and start that blog, but hey I have sloth in my name for a reason …

PS.
Also very curious for nomorewaffles: he started really young and is doing almost everything right, I have hopes he will get there after only 15 years!!
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Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #58 on: August 12, 2016, 01:24:20 AM »
Great points/input that I read!

I like to work with baby steps/goals to FI

1 buy an apartment, check
2 optimise  down payment to 3050€ / year (for max tax advantage), check
3 a 13K unlucky emergency fund (I'm not superstitious or am I), check
4 get a Financial Adviser degree  (for an investment strategy and the confidence 2 follow it), check
5 have more money in different accounts then debt, 2017?
6 have the ability to pay off debt without touching the pensionfund & emergency fund, ...
7 invest 250K in etf's (in today's money) for FI, ...
8 work for 8K(if still possible) of untaxed income yearly , ...

I only put my next goal on a timeline for motivation purposes.



Nice to see the steps you have to build up towards FIRE.


  • We thought of reducing our mortgage even further. Given the low rate we have (1,14pct), I decided not to do and use some cash to invest (or keep it ready for a next correction)
  • What financial adviser degree are you getting? It is a degree that interests me as well. I have not found a good one. There is one in Antwerp but it was way too expensive, like 5K. Then there is syntra. In the long term, I would be interested to have a FSMA licence in order to freelance a bit in this area
  • 250K in ETF towards FI seems low to me. That is 833/month according to the 4pct rule. Even with 8 K extra, that is 18 K per year. Off course, I look at a family of 4 (we have 2 kids

Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #59 on: August 12, 2016, 01:34:45 AM »


We also have social security which you should take into account.

...

You could select not to go on unemployment but after 20 years of paying into the system I do not find this a very attractive idea (it also means your stash would need to be higher off course) and even at getting the 500 eur/month unemployment you will still be paying taxes, you have just reduced your tax bill to almost zero. After 20 years of paying a lot of taxes I am not going to feel bad about paying just 1% or 2% taxes for the next 40 to 50 years …


When the RVA starts making inquiries you just pick up enough work to no longer qualify for unemployment and then after a few months you stop doing the work again but this way you are off the radar of the RVA/VDAB. Should be possible to fill the 10 year gap with like 8 months of unemployment and 4 months of ‘working’ a year. It will raise your tax rate to about 10% probably but hey, if it keeps the RVA quiet this seems preferably to having to do some menial interim office job for 6 months or even a year now and then, 16 years in and I am getting really tired of it…

I really should get of my lazy ass and start that blog, but hey I have sloth in my name for a reason …

PS.
Also very curious for nomorewaffles: he started really young and is doing almost everything right, I have hopes he will get there after only 15 years!!



Good thoughts here. In my plan, I foresee to do something similar. Work enough per year to be in alignment with the rules for pension contributions so that I can have full pension at 67. This could be in interim of freelance with my own BVBA. freelance is most likely simpler to achieve.(you can accumulate money in the company and pay each month, even when not working)
Agreed, this is not pure FIRE. That does not matter that much to me. I would need to have some challenge anyway in my life, I would like the interaction with people at work. After all, most of my friends would still be working each day and as long as the kids go to school/university, my travel would be limited by that.


What are you waiting for to blog? I have one, it just depends how much time/effort you want to put in it and what you expect of it.




financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #60 on: August 12, 2016, 02:24:33 AM »
What are you waiting for to blog? I have one, it just depends how much time/effort you want to put in it and what you expect of it.

working full time at a new job (and biking to that job)
+ looking for a -better- new job (15 years of back office experience: 6 in mobile sector, last 9 in finance, if somebody knows of an open position let me know
   -not at ING, they just paid me a pile of money to NOT work there anymore, aaah, the power of FU-money ;-)
+ home renovations (kitchen and bathroom, it has been a few interesting months, also see big pile of ING money and where it went)
+ being a big SLOTH

if I do the blog I would like to do it properly = 2 posts a week and I know from experience that this takes time and effort + I am looking for a new position in the finance sector and although the blog would be anonymous there is a good change that legally speaking I would have to report it at the new job and I am not very sure I want to do that as I would be open about my savings and goal of FIRE on the blog. It all depends where I end up at. If it is a big organisation and you just have to fill in a form at H.R. but there are enough layers between those who know of the blog and the actual team I work at it would be ok. If it is a smaller organisation with a more flat structure I would not feel comfortable with it.
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Educated_Fool

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #61 on: August 12, 2016, 03:51:08 AM »
Nice to see the steps you have to build up towards FIRE.
  • We thought of reducing our mortgage even further. Given the low rate we have (1,14pct), I decided not to do and use some cash to invest (or keep it ready for a next correction)
  • What financial adviser degree are you getting? It is a degree that interests me as well. I have not found a good one. There is one in Antwerp but it was way too expensive, like 5K. Then there is syntra. In the long term, I would be interested to have a FSMA licence in order to freelance a bit in this area
  • 250K in ETF towards FI seems low to me. That is 833/month according to the 4pct rule. Even with 8 K extra, that is 18 K per year. Off course, I look at a family of 4 (we have 2 kids
Thx. Syntra mvl was +-350€, ok not a master degree but a good foundation. I think this year you can follow it in Sint Niklaas witch isn't that far from Antwerp. The course gave me a solid foundation and especially the extra motivation to read a lot of books on asset allocation, etf's and options.
If you live like a munk in an apartment without debt that needs only 4 months of heating, 450€/month would be sufficient in my eyes. On your own and without repair costs that is.

A bigger issue I find is that for a pension you need a minimum of 30 years work or ‘gelijkgestelde periodes’ (unemployment thus).
Thx for sharing. An issue I didn't know of. Maybe If you aim for the extra safety net of pension, you could work 104 days a year. It counts as a full year.
http://www.abvv.be/web/guest/files-nl/-/file/2548900/
If you take the RVA route, you can't legally exit the country, because your 'looking for a job'. Ok you have your vacation days but if you didn't work the year before, you don't have any the next.
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financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #62 on: August 12, 2016, 06:09:01 AM »
A bigger issue I find is that for a pension you need a minimum of 30 years work or ‘gelijkgestelde periodes’ (unemployment thus).
Thx for sharing. An issue I didn't know of. Maybe If you aim for the extra safety net of pension, you could work 104 days a year. It counts as a full year.
http://www.abvv.be/web/guest/files-nl/-/file/2548900/
If you take the RVA route, you can't legally exit the country, because your 'looking for a job'. Ok you have your vacation days but if you didn't work the year before, you don't have any the next.
The pension/unemployment is an extra safety net but also a way to lower your tax rate. If you do not do it then as a mustachian you are condemned to always pay a lot of taxes. Over 50% when you are working and then when 'retired' still 27% on dividends and then VAT on everything you buy, so still more than 30%. Over 50% during your working years and then around 10% for the rest of your FIRE live is kinda acceptable to me if the 10% gets the VDAB/RVA of my back (personally, that 10% after FIRE feels to me as a tax for being smart!). It is the best I can come up within our system (you could avoid the dividend tax by playing with options and via that way generate a cash flow from non-dividend paying stocks, it is something I know how to do but it is also sometime that takes time and effort. You might be ok to do it during a few years of early retirment but at a certain moment you are probably going to make the switch to dividends as travelling and option expiry dates not always mix very well ...) Tax optimizing is part of FIRE, a lot of american posts are about their 401k and how to use them to lower your the tax bill while working, how to access them in FIRE without raising the tax bill, how to get cheap health care ....
It is something you need to take into account. The Belgian situation is just ... well different ...and in some regards more challenging but well, we just have to be a bit more creative  ...

104 working days is almost half a year! Too high for me!! Going to aim for max 4 months working and 8 months unemployment. Except if I could find something I could do from anywhere in the world. But if it involves physically having to go to work, nope, not going to happen for more than 4 months. It is also one of the reasons security work during festivals is something that I find attractive: I prefer 3 days of working 12 hours to 5 days of working 7u12 to get to the 36h work week ...

For the moment, this is my general plan. But I definitely need to investigate more of it (our Belgian pension system is very complex). It is on my list off stuff to sort out before quitting. But I have a few more years of working to go. When I get closer to my FIRE goal I will dig more into it. For now I know enough to know it is something to pay attention to.

If you take the RVA route, you can't legally exit the country, because your 'looking for a job'. Ok you have your vacation days but if you didn't work the year before, you don't have any the next.
You apparently always have a right to 24 holiday days. You just do not get vacation money but you do get your normal unemployement money (https://www.acv-online.be/acv-online/Ik-zoek/werkloos/Rechten-en-plichten/Vakantie/vakantie.html).

Since you do not have to say anything before you go on holiday the legal obligation to stay in Belgium seems to be almost impossible to practically enforce. Just go on holiday, the card thingy can be done on line now apparently (http://www.abvv.be/web/guest/stempelkaart. I really, really love the internet!!) and if you have the misfortune that the VDAB/RVA is contacting you during your travels and they want to fix an appointment with you in person (I hear more and more is being done via phone and internet/e-mail as well) you just reply you happen to have left on holiday the day before and will only be back in Belgium three weeks later. That gives you plenty of time to arrange cheap travel back. I think the only reason why this rule is there is to avoid having people be on Belgian unemployment and then having them relocate to a cheaper country in Europe (or the world): 500 euro's a month gets you a lot further in Portugal/Vietnam then it does in Belgium. But other than that I really see no way how this would stop somebody from travelling for 1 or 2 months.
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Educated_Fool

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #63 on: August 12, 2016, 10:19:43 AM »
You apparently always have a right to 24 holiday days. You just do not get vacation money but you do get your normal unemployement money
Srry my mistake. I worked for a half year once, the year later I recieved half the vacation days at work...

I can't see why you would pay dividend tax if you got accumulation etf's. you just pay (tax wise) 0.27% or 1.32% when you sell them during FI.

I can't blaim you for a payback from the system. Few people get much bang 4 the buck in Belguim. Personally it would have an impact on my level of happiness. I doubt I will get much admiration from friends and family.
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financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #64 on: August 12, 2016, 11:38:28 AM »
I can't see why you would pay dividend tax if you got accumulation etf's. you just pay (tax wise) 0.27% or 1.32% when you sell them during FI.
With accumulation etf's you off course have no dividends, hence no dividend tax. Since I am still in accumulation phase I hardly buy any dividend stocks (yes I am one of the fools that tries to beat the market, index investing is the best choice but I like the challenge) because off the tax on dividends but I can see myself at a certain moment switching over to dividend paying stocks. Even during the financial crisis of 2008 several quality dividend paying stocks in Belgium didn't even have to reduce their dividend. It would give me a lot of peace of mind (alternative is, like I mentioned to generate a cash flow via options). -I like to plan for several different scenario's and to have a plan B (or even plan C and D).

I can't blaim you for a payback from the system. Few people get much bang 4 the buck in Belguim. Personally it would have an impact on my level of happiness. I doubt I will get much admiration from friends and family.
It is not even a payback from the system. I would still be paying into the system, just severally reduce the bleeding. Personally I would be a lot happier with a tax rate of 0 ;-) Even among friends (and especially among family) I have been the odd one out so I am used to getting strange looks or not being understood by other people. Ethically I really have no issues with it. The Belgian government will get about 400.000 euro in taxes during the 20 years I will have worked and after that we will probably be break even towards each other. With no kids, good health and no criminal behavior the strain I put on our public services is minimal. That puts me ahead of a whole lot of other people whose contribution to the finances of the government is deeply negative.  The reward in Belgium for studying, working hard and behaving like a decent human being is high taxes. If, on the other hand you screw everything up and are a general nuisance the government will give you money. For me, that is the sign of a broken system and having to pay into that system does not bring me much joy. I also do not see it change, no matter who is in the government we always seem to be getting more of the same ...
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Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #65 on: August 12, 2016, 12:33:19 PM »

if I do the blog I would like to do it properly = 2 posts a week and I know from experience that this takes time and effort + I am looking for a new position in the finance sector and although the blog would be anonymous there is a good change that legally speaking I would have to report it at the new job and I am not very sure I want to do that as I would be open about my savings and goal of FIRE on the blog. It all depends where I end up at. If it is a big organisation and you just have to fill in a form at H.R. but there are enough layers between those who know of the blog and the actual team I work at it would be ok. If it is a smaller organisation with a more flat structure I would not feel comfortable with it.


The compliance part is indeed a hard one. I worked at a bank before and compliance knew about my blog, and my blog and some colleagues...so far anonymity.... That is why I do not reveal real numbers of mine, except option income and dividend income and a percentage of progress towards my goal.
Posting 2/week is ideal and indeed a hard one....

Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #66 on: August 12, 2016, 12:37:22 PM »

Thx. Syntra mvl was +-350€, ok not a master degree but a good foundation. I think this year you can follow it in Sint Niklaas witch isn't that far from Antwerp. The course gave me a solid foundation and especially the extra motivation to read a lot of books on asset allocation, etf's and options.
If you live like a munk in an apartment without debt that needs only 4 months of heating, 450€/month would be sufficient in my eyes. On your own and without repair costs that is.



350€ is not too expensive. Do you have the exact name of the training? I can then look at topics covered. I am looking more for a course on the planning side, nit the product side. Due to my background and reading the last year (and investing), asset allocation, ETF and options are quire clear to me.


We are not as mustachios as a punk. We have still some "fat" in our budget to enjoy the current live, have a rest, some vacations,...

Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #67 on: August 12, 2016, 12:44:58 PM »
I can't see why you would pay dividend tax if you got accumulation etf's. you just pay (tax wise) 0.27% or 1.32% when you sell them during FI.
With accumulation etf's you off course have no dividends, hence no dividend tax. Since I am still in accumulation phase I hardly buy any dividend stocks (yes I am one of the fools that tries to beat the market, index investing is the best choice but I like the challenge) because off the tax on dividends but I can see myself at a certain moment switching over to dividend paying stocks. Even during the financial crisis of 2008 several quality dividend paying stocks in Belgium didn't even have to reduce their dividend. It would give me a lot of peace of mind (alternative is, like I mentioned to generate a cash flow via options). -I like to plan for several different scenario's and to have a plan B (or even plan C and D).

Same plan here: while in accumulation phase, buy ETFs (I admit, I have some tak21 and some mutual funds....). I do have some dividend stocks. Mainly to get a feeling with it, to see what it takes. When approaching FI, I will slowly switch a part to DGI. I do not like the idea that much to sell a part of my portfolio...
I also try already to make an extra income out of options monthly. Just finished my first year and learned really a lot. A rental property might be plan C, then again, it would mean investing now and potentially a lot of hassle...



Educated_Fool

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #68 on: August 13, 2016, 12:40:02 AM »
350€ is not too expensive. Do you have the exact name of the training? I can then look at topics covered. I am looking more for a course on the planning side, nit the product side. Due to my background and reading the last year (and investing), asset allocation, ETF and options are quire clear to me.

We are not as mustachios as a punk. We have still some "fat" in our budget to enjoy the current live, have a rest, some vacations,...
Beleggingsadviseur St Niklaas 335€
http://www.syntra-mvl.be/opleiding/beleggingsadviseur

I'm not that hardcore either, just making a point. I realy need 80€ extra / week for a comfortable life. If you gave a 16 year old that allowance, it would be a luxurious lifestyle.
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EdenHazard

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #69 on: August 13, 2016, 03:05:40 AM »
The only reason I can think of why you would want dividends is psychological. When getting dividends you feel this is "free" money, while when you selling a part of your portfolio you feel like you are becoming less rich.

Rationally this doesn't make sense though. The profit when selling accumulating ETF's is tax free: 0%, dividends are 25%. So both in accumulation phase and when approaching/being FI, accumulating ETF's are always superior compared to distributing ETF's. So the feeling of receiving dividends "yeeey free money" is actually a sub-optimal approach and gives you 25% less profit.

If you are really convinced that DGI gives better net returns than a total index fund, you should do it your entire life, and not just at the end. Otherwise admit to yourself that you leave money on the table in exchange for a nice feeling. In the US capital gain taxes are not 0% and accumulating ETF's are not allowed legally.  Because most blogs and forums are American, people tend to copy the dividend growth investing approach from them, but this isn't the best giving the Belgian fiscal climate though.

When you are out of the accumulation phase, you should change your asset allocation to have less risk.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 03:20:17 AM by EdenHazard »

Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #70 on: August 13, 2016, 04:35:10 AM »
The only reason I can think of why you would want dividends is psychological. When getting dividends you feel this is "free" money, while when you selling a part of your portfolio you feel like you are becoming less rich.



Spot on with your remarks. For me, it is the psychology of not having to sell that would push me there. The current taxes indeed guide you towards accumulating ETFs as they are by far the most tax efficient way (I have IWDA,CESL and EMIM as my core set of ETFs). They are chosen for the tax optimal effect they have, according to my insights. I would be curious to discover the ETFs of others.


For me, it is important to find the right balance between sleeping well at night and optimising the the returns. Not easy and it is a continuously evolving insight.
I expect that same process to impact over time the size of our emergency fund: I.E.: lowering it compared to what we have today.

Educated_Fool

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #71 on: August 14, 2016, 02:45:40 AM »
I would be curious to discover the ETFs of others.
EU portfolio
IE00BKWQ0D84   SPDR® MSCI Europe Consumer Staples UCITS ETF (EUR) | STS 1/3
IE00BSPLC298    SPDR® MSCI Europe Small Cap Value Weighted UCITS ETF | ZPRX 1/3
GB00B00FHZ82   ETFS Gold Bullion Securities ETC (EUR) | GBS 1/3

After a -30% correction I'm building a US portfolio with technical analysis
IE00BWBXM385   SPDR® S&P® U.S. Consumer Staples Select Sector UCITS ETF (USD) | ZPDS 1/3
IE00BSPLC413           SPDR® MSCI USA Small Cap Value Weighted  ETF USD | ZPRV 1/3
GB00B00FHZ82   ETFS Gold Bullion Securities ETC (EUR) | GBS 1/3

Although the Consumer Staples multinationals give some global diversification, I'm adding 10% EM
SPDR® MSCI Emerging Markets Small Cap UCITS ETF (EUR) | EMSC

10% rebalancebands so if the 1/3 weighted etf hits 23% or 43%, I'll rebalance the portfolio
Contribute 2K to the worst performer (A way of buying low more often without paying to much costs % wise)

All physical etf's + the low correlation and standard deviation should give me a good night sleep or maybe 2 ;)

Apparently a licensed financial advisor can only advise you FSMA approved products. So if you do it yourself and buy etf's like mine that aren't listed, that's a 1.05% discount on taxes when you buy or sell.
http://data.kbcsecurities.be/documents/Beurstaksen.pdf

Disclaimer; I'm not a licensed pro, just an educated fool with freedom on my mind ;)
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financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #72 on: August 14, 2016, 10:20:15 AM »
When you are out of the accumulation phase, you should change your asset allocation to have less risk.
I agree with you. Taxes make dividends less attractive. But once out of the accumulation phase it is, as you say, about having less risk. If you look back at 2008 several good steady dividend paying companies like GBL in Belgium kept there dividend at the same level. Keeping accumulating ETF's probably will deliver more money in the long run but when I am FI, I allready have enough money then. The peace of mind then becomes more important. But while building the stash, avoiding dividends is the financially/fiscally better way.

There is off course also the psychological aspect. For me, trying to get to FI or FIRE is a personal journey, it will be different for everybody and although mathematically some ways are better of quicker then other ways it also has to fit you and your personality. Like we mentioned, in Belgium it will probably take 20 years so it has to be something you feel good at for all that time. That is not only on the savings side (I most definitely also have some fat in the budget) but also on the investing side: it has to be an approach that makes you feel good, keeps you motivated for all that time! And for some people, dividends help with that. Or having mutual funds ...
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financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #73 on: August 14, 2016, 10:29:51 AM »
Same plan here: while in accumulation phase, buy ETFs (I admit, I have some tak21 and some mutual funds....). I do have some dividend stocks. font]
I also try already to make an extra income out of options monthly. Just finished my first year and learned really a lot. A rental property might be plan C, then again, it would mean investing now and potentially a lot of hassle...

I would take a long and hard look at that tak21 and mutual funds. Most of them suck, big time. Even on a 5 year periode most will lag the index (mainly due to the costs they charge). 2% less return, year after year will add yearsbefore you can FIRE. Most of them also lock your money up for several years (selling early involves penalties). Rental, even with the low interest rates just isn't worth it in Belgium in my opinion. At current house prices and rent levels the returns in my opinion are just to low to justify the risk and the hassle that go with it. One bad renter can destroy the return of years. Fiscally it is not the most interesting route to follow either...
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financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #74 on: August 14, 2016, 11:01:29 AM »
I would be curious to discover the ETFs of others.
I am atypical. Always interested in finance and the stock market I discovered Warren Buffett and value investing in 2001.
Not being overly confident I then put half my assets in Berkshire Hathaway and with the other half I went stock picking.
Learned a lot. Fast forward 14 years later and thank to new rules of our government I felt the need to change broker. It was december 2015, and most of my positions stood at a pretty high level. I also did some checking and turns out that Berkshire was still about half my assets. With my individual stocks I had more or less kept pace with Buffett (it actually was a little bit less). Meaning I could have saved myself all the trouble and chucked everything in Berkshire 15 years before (it off course also meant that I had indeed beat the index for the last 15 years, a proud and humble moment: better than the index, not as good as Buffett)! I then decided, both to make the move to another broker easier and as a defensive measure to indeed sell most stock positions and put everything in Berkshire and then move the portfolio to a new broker. January, february proved me right, some of my old positions have not yet fully recovered from the dip then. Berkshire is doing fine.

So no ETFs for me: I am fully (well 95%) invested in BRK.B

I now dabble a bit with options and special situations via CfD's (a special situation was the take over of SABMILLER by AB Inbev, SABMiller for weeks stood at 40 GBP with an offer of AB INBEV for 44 GBP on the table so I went in heavy: profits went into the acquisition of more Berkshire).
New rules by the Belgian government now prohibit CfD's as of 18 august so I unfortunately will have to stop having fun with CfD's or move my portfolio to another country. I am going to move my portfolio once again.

Having said all this, I do think ETF's are the best way to achieve FI. Just not for me.
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Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #75 on: August 26, 2016, 06:08:45 AM »
So no ETFs for me: I am fully (well 95%) invested in BRK.B

This is an interesting approach. How do you feel about the age of Warren? Or said differently: what when he steps down/dies?


I now dabble a bit with options and special situations via CfD's
Whta is you option technique? I write puts and had good fresults. Except for 1 month where I overplayed my hand on the VXX... Good lessons learned.

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #76 on: August 26, 2016, 07:53:24 AM »


This is an interesting approach. How do you feel about the age of Warren? Or said differently: what when he steps down/dies?

Do not see it as a problem. Berkshire is run decentralized: all companies run separately, what Buffett and Munger do is capital allocation: taking the excess cash generated by the companies the own and reinvest it profitably. They now have two younger persons doing that as well. So the companies they own are mostly excellent and throwing off a lot of excess cash and they have younger people already redeploying that cash. Berkshire will do fine without Buffett. If there is a dip when he dies it will temporary (and a great buying opportunity).
Whta is you option technique? I write puts and had good fresults. Except for 1 month where I overplayed my hand on the VXX... Good lessons learned.
I write puts or write covered calls. But only on companies I think are cheap (for the puts) or fairly priced (for the covered calls).
I also had some fun with ‘daytrading’ in CfD’s but it is not really daytrading it is more like I like the company at that price but since I am fully invested in Berkshire I do not have cash to buy the stock. So I buy CfD’s on that stock and try to make a small profit on it the same day as I do not like to have this margin position open. But if the stock moves against me during that day I do not mind holding the company at that price for several weeks as I am sure it will eventually go higher and I will make a profit (even after having to have paid the funding cost for the CfD position).
Example: I really liked google when it got beat down to 740 USD point earlier in the year. So I started day trading it. During several weeks I made 100 USD to 200 USD profit a day getting in and out the position. Then the stock moved against me and went even lower. I had to wait about a month before that loss position become profitable again. But once it did I was back at daytrading it (then had another month where the stock remained below my purchase price) then could do a few weeks of daytrading again until the stock moved to high where I no longer felt comfortable buying it on margin. Sure, buying and holding the position would probably have been more profitable than all the in and out moving but I do not feel that comfortable having the margin position, even if I am certain the stock is too cheap and will go higher. I did hold the SABMiller position on margin for about 6 months but that was a special situation where I was very certain the merger would happen and the 10% profit would materialize within the year (thanks to brexit it was a bit lower as my broker changed its margin obligation and I was forced out of the trade: still made a nice profit but could have been more).
CfD are now unfortunately no longer allowed for Belgian private citizens but I just received confirmation today that my broker transferred my portfolio to their parent company in another EU country so as from Monday I am good to go again!!
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Polaria

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #77 on: October 24, 2016, 01:23:56 PM »
So, I am back in Belgium. I read an article about the 2017 budget and how investors are going to be even more taxed. The conclusion was basically that insurance products from Branch 23 will then be one of the "best" investing vehicles in Belgium. What do you think about this?

Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #78 on: October 24, 2016, 03:36:34 PM »
So, I am back in Belgium. I read an article about the 2017 budget and how investors are going to be even more taxed. The conclusion was basically that insurance products from Branch 23 will then be one of the "best" investing vehicles in Belgium. What do you think about this?


This is hard to belief: Branch 23 is known for costing even more than Branch21. (I have a few Branch21 just to sleep well at night)


Hard to say what the real tax will be, I just dare to hope that this will not become a reality. That means we would be tied to big banks and insurers...


The way it looks now:
dividend at 30 in stead of 27 pct. The limit of acceptable for me
Proposal to tax capital gains at 30pct with 1 pct build down per year: crazy and would require a lot of planning like building up cash just before pension (Thinking while typing)  living off personal pension saving (pillar 3) and company pension (pillar 2) for a few years to save on tax, or switch from ETF at age 50 or so to build up a pile that can decrease the tax for a few years before being sold.


financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #79 on: October 28, 2016, 03:31:38 AM »
just dicovered this fun little tool on the wite of De Standaard: http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20161021_02532289
Personally it affirms that wealth building in Belgium is severally lacking, 220.000 euro net worth (for a family! inlcuding house!) would put you at better than 50% of the population!!
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Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #80 on: October 28, 2016, 07:58:00 AM »
just dicovered this fun little tool on the wite of De Standaard: http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20161021_02532289
Personally it affirms that wealth building in Belgium is severally lacking, 220.000 euro net worth (for a family! inlcuding house!) would put you at better than 50% of the population!!


just played with it, surprisingly indeed... Would that mean that there are a lot of families without a house and without assets?
350K puts you in the top 35pct
800K puts you in the top 10 pct


Educated_Fool

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #81 on: October 29, 2016, 01:09:03 AM »
just dicovered this fun little tool on the wite of De Standaard: http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20161021_02532289
Personally it affirms that wealth building in Belgium is severally lacking, 220.000 euro net worth (for a family! inlcuding house!) would put you at better than 50% of the population!!
just played with it, surprisingly indeed... Would that mean that there are a lot of families without a house and without assets?
350K puts you in the top 35pct
800K puts you in the top 10 pct
http://www.trans-immo.be/nieuws-detail/drie_belgen_op_vier_wonen_in_eigen_huis/5736
If 3/4 Belgian families got their own home, I think a lot of them lack other assets. And if they have something set asside, it's on a savings account gently melting away because of inflation.
It's a shame we don't learn anything about personal finance in school.
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financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #82 on: November 04, 2016, 01:35:18 AM »
http://www.knack.be/nieuws/belgie/academische-raad-kraakt-pensioenplan-risico-komt-helemaal-bij-werknemer-te-liggen/article-normal-772651.html?_ga=1.33401654.984149931.1462280329

This new pensionplan could be the beginning of a Belgian 401K-thing. As always, the devil is in the details and a lot will depend on the specifics. The article mentioning 'the insurers' as the party that will administrate these 'funds' does not instill a lot of confidence about the maintenance fees being charged ... We will see how this plays out in the coming 2 years.

For a mustachian there might be a fun little tax play possible: set the deductions so high that you only make minimum wage. Supplement this wage with cash flow from option plays. This would: lower your taxes on your wages since much is put in this pre-tax investment vehicle and option premiums are also not taxed. A gross income of 15.000 will give you a net income of about 12.625 euro (by 2018 the 30% tax level will have disappeared). Supplement this with an option premium income of 12.000 a year (5% on a 240K stash should be doable) and you have 2K net each month with an effective taxation level of 15%!
Fun little daydream!
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havregryn

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #83 on: November 04, 2016, 02:16:33 AM »
Hi guys...saying high from the neighborhood as there seems to be zero Mustachians in Luxembourg (doesn't surprise me the least though, people here seem to be really big on expensive cars). I work for the EU so it would just take an ideal combination of whining and lobbying to get myself a position in Brussels via internal transfers. Given that my income would remain the same, as far as savings rate is concerned that is a no brainer for me but I am not so sure that husband who is in the private sector wouldn't drop in salary enough to put us on equal standing..in which case I guess Luxembourg is slightly more convenient as it feels safer with kids. So posting  here to follow to have more information about Belgium to guide any potential decision making later on (it's not just the COL, any kind of a real "dream" job for me in this system would be based there anyway).

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #84 on: November 04, 2016, 02:47:20 AM »
Hi guys...saying high from the neighborhood as there seems to be zero Mustachians in Luxembourg (doesn't surprise me the least though, people here seem to be really big on expensive cars). I work for the EU so it would just take an ideal combination of whining and lobbying to get myself a position in Brussels via internal transfers. Given that my income would remain the same, as far as savings rate is concerned that is a no brainer for me but I am not so sure that husband who is in the private sector wouldn't drop in salary enough to put us on equal standing..in which case I guess Luxembourg is slightly more convenient as it feels safer with kids. So posting  here to follow to have more information about Belgium to guide any potential decision making later on (it's not just the COL, any kind of a real "dream" job for me in this system would be based there anyway).
Welcome! I always thought taxes to be lower in luxemburg? At the very least it is a lot more stable on the fiscal front and government debt is a lot (A LOT) lower so future wise Luxembourg is a 'safer bet (off course, once FIRE that doesn't matter a lot anymore since you then are free to go wherever one wants ...)
But luxembourg is an example of lifestyle inflation I guess: the high wages and low sales taxes should make it an ideal place for FIRE but indeed, not a lot of FIRE sounds coming out of Luxembourg ...
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havregryn

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #85 on: November 04, 2016, 03:21:07 AM »
I think the main problem in Luxembourg is the cost. Taxes are low and salaries surely higher than everywhere around us but so is the cost. Housing is beyond expensive. We just bought a completely non-spectacular apartment for 500 000€ as renting was getting too expensive and too inconvenient with small kids. The market really is all about ripping off the expats and with current interest rates, low first acquisition costs and likely resale or renting out value it only makes sense to buy if you actually can (since clearly it takes some financial muscle to do this in the first place).  So we figured oh what the hell.

I think the problem is I don't really enjoy Luxembourg as much as I thought. It feels like some sort of a rich ghetto. And I'm really becoming worried that not keeping up with the lifestyle is actually going to be a problem when kids start school.
Here everyone seems to be expats, half really rich and half really trying hard to appear really rich.
Plus living without a car is suboptimal and I hate that (we're from Stockholm, there having a car is more a nuisance than not having it). We don't want to get one, I am afraid of driving and Swedish husband never even got a license.

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #86 on: November 04, 2016, 05:51:03 AM »
I think the main problem in Luxembourg is the cost. Taxes are low and salaries surely higher than everywhere around us but so is the cost. Housing is beyond expensive. We just bought a completely non-spectacular apartment for 500 000€ as renting was getting too expensive and too inconvenient with small kids. The market really is all about ripping off the expats and with current interest rates, low first acquisition costs and likely resale or renting out value it only makes sense to buy if you actually can (since clearly it takes some financial muscle to do this in the first place).  So we figured oh what the hell.

I think the problem is I don't really enjoy Luxembourg as much as I thought. It feels like some sort of a rich ghetto. And I'm really becoming worried that not keeping up with the lifestyle is actually going to be a problem when kids start school.
Here everyone seems to be expats, half really rich and half really trying hard to appear really rich.
Plus living without a car is suboptimal and I hate that (we're from Stockholm, there having a car is more a nuisance than not having it). We don't want to get one, I am afraid of driving and Swedish husband never even got a license.
I had a friend who lived in Monaco for some time and hated every minute of it. Rich ghetto was the description he sometime used also (wel, rich ghetto full of Russians to be 100% correct).

Thing is, I am not sure Brussel would be a big improvement for you. From what I have heard expats tend to live in their own little world which will probably look a lot like your current Luxemburg world and the rest of Brussels is French speaking and in some parts a poor ghetto. Most Belgians commute to Brussels but if you wanted a commute you could have bought a much cheaper house in Belgium or France and then commute to Luxemburg city … . Resist the lifestyle inflation and use all that sweet Luxemburg money to achieve FI as soon as possible!

And hey, silver lining, there is always the possibility of the EU imploding on itself and thus giving you the possibility to return to Sweden! See, it’s not all bad ;-))
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havregryn

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #87 on: November 04, 2016, 07:27:25 AM »
You know what, I think you're probably right. I think the main reason I am even considering it is the daydreaming about what we could buy for the price of this apartment here (hint, in Brussels this would buy as at least something of a house and I'd love to have some place to let the kids out and put up a trampoline..but a house here is one million and upward and while we could have financed that in theory I'd rather just live in a hole in the ground than put everything we have and will have for many years to come into a house in a place like this). And there are in theory better jobs for me. Now I do something relatively repetitive, I'd like to get involved with something more challenging ..policy development etc. It's easy to get an internal transfer but all those posts are in Brussels.

But I don't know, we're getting settled here, probably gonna end up staying as long as it takes to build a stash we are comfortable with.We haven't really decided on that number yet but I am going with 500 000€ and both apartments paid off. That is quite possibly an overkill but I am the most anxious person on the planet so...it's a miracle I am even considering retirement ever. At the current rate I guess it would take 7-8 years to get there. Which is sort of surreal in itself and makes me wonder shouldn't I be prioritizing being at home withkids while they're small and build the stash a bit later.

It's nice to meet European Mustachians as I am under the impression that a lot of basic premises for FIRE are different compared to the US where most people seem to live. I guess it does vary a bit from country to country but for example in Sweden healthcare is free based on residence so if we move back there that is never an expense nor contingent on us working, most of these countries pay child allowances (Sweden pays peanuts but here for 3 kids you can get cca 1000€ a month and it's paid out until they're 27 if still studying, it was my wtf moment of the year when I read that) etc...so in many ways the fact there is less of a salary range are offset by all this.

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #88 on: November 04, 2016, 07:49:27 AM »
At the current rate I guess it would take 7-8 years to get there. Which is sort of surreal in itself and makes me wonder shouldn't I be prioritizing being at home withkids while they're small and build the stash a bit later.
With that time frame of 7 years it is something to ponder over. Half time work till they are 12 years old and thus spend more time with them when they still want to spend time with their parents. Then 7 years of full time work to build the stash and FIRE when the youngest is 19 and off to university.
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havregryn

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #89 on: November 04, 2016, 08:31:36 AM »
It would be a no brainer if it weren't for my extreme anxiety over EU going belly up and me being out of a job as well as out of any realistic job prospects after such a long break (and history of being primarily a bureaucrat for something that failed :D). But sometimes it really does feel like my anxiety is becoming something I should get treatment for. To miss out on the opportunity to be home with kids without going broke just because I am afraid of a large cataclysmic event...I am on fully paid maternity leave until March so I have some time to ponder all this.
The fact that we are taking on this enormous mortgage doesn't exactly help but there is definitely wiggle room to consider. For as long as the EU lives my job is more secure than many.

I keep telling myself I will reassess the situation next summer, once we settle in the new budget with the mortgage, run out of childcare at home options (we don't want to send the little one to daycare before September 2017 so we have created quite a complex schedule of leaves, vacations and family coming over until then)..if it will feel like the stress of having two of them in daycare and its associated cost, which is not small in Luxembourg is really not worth the quicker FIRE then screw it, I take parental leave. I would get about 1900€ a month for 2 years, it is really just unhealthy anxiety that is putting this off the table. Now I feel almost embarassed for actually telling this to people..like, "you know, I could be at home with my kids for 2 years and get paid a perfectly decent salary in most of Europe and my job will not go anywhere unless the EU falls apart but this is an expensive place, we have a large mortgage and I am anxious like hell so I might pass".. gaah

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #90 on: November 04, 2016, 09:15:43 AM »
I have around 800 euro in cash in the bank at the moment (renovation being a bit more expensive than anticipated).

Am working on temp week by week contracts for the moment (luckily they already said they want to keep me until end of year) and am only eligible for unemployment benefits as off 9 December. The previous job paid out 9 months of severance, which went completely –and a bit more- into the renovations. Lots of free money but downside: not eligible for unemployment benefits for those 9 months. Spending it all on the renovations perhaps not my smartest move ever!.

The stash has a nice and very profitable option structure thing on it (at 2 times margin actually, lol) which effectively blocks it until January 2017.

So almost no cash, the stash locked up and in uncertain job situation. But of the two of us, you are the anxious one? Silly girl!
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havregryn

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #91 on: November 04, 2016, 10:59:26 AM »
Well now I actually have a reason to be anxious. We are supposed to sign the notary deed on the 15th. Our loan was already approved and everything set and initially we assumed only the husband would have to insured for "assurance solde restant dû" as there is a hefty insurance on me inbuilt into my EU civil servant status. The bank however wanted us both on it as they are not the direct beneficiary of my statutory insurance. Sounds benign enough but the problem is I have a history of stroke. And while young and healthy and all that it will probably cause a bit of a drama with the insurance.
I just really, really hate stress and even though I can rationally see that this will not be a disaster (the insurance will probably just charge an extra premium which is annoying but doable for us or it would probably be negotiable with the bank to let me off the insurance entirely as my husband can pay it off if I drop dead) all my brain can think is a total and utter disaster in which we can't complete the transaction, have to pay a huge damage to the owner (10%) and agency (2.5 + TVA) and, which actually almost bothers me more than the prospect of losing 70000€ to this (lol), have no fixed place to live next year.
And now all the maniacal googling of the problem found me loads of Belgian websites telling me there is even a law protecting people from this kind of a situation which tells me it must had been quite an issue and to the best of my knowledge Luxembourg has no such thing.
I think this will drive me insane this weekend.

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #92 on: November 06, 2016, 03:49:48 AM »
Well now I actually have a reason to be anxious. We are supposed to sign the notary deed on the 15th. Our loan was already approved and everything set and initially we assumed only the husband would have to insured for "assurance solde restant dû" as there is a hefty insurance on me inbuilt into my EU civil servant status. The bank however wanted us both on it as they are not the direct beneficiary of my statutory insurance. Sounds benign enough but the problem is I have a history of stroke. And while young and healthy and all that it will probably cause a bit of a drama with the insurance.
I just really, really hate stress and even though I can rationally see that this will not be a disaster (the insurance will probably just charge an extra premium which is annoying but doable for us or it would probably be negotiable with the bank to let me off the insurance entirely as my husband can pay it off if I drop dead) all my brain can think is a total and utter disaster in which we can't complete the transaction, have to pay a huge damage to the owner (10%) and agency (2.5 + TVA) and, which actually almost bothers me more than the prospect of losing 70000€ to this (lol), have no fixed place to live next year.
And now all the maniacal googling of the problem found me loads of Belgian websites telling me there is even a law protecting people from this kind of a situation which tells me it must had been quite an issue and to the best of my knowledge Luxembourg has no such thing.
I think this will drive me insane this weekend.
Simple, don't tell the bank about the stroke. The only consequence is that if the bank ever has to pay out they will not do it. But since you do not need the pay out money that doesn't matter ..
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WhenDoYouRetire?

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #93 on: November 06, 2016, 03:55:46 AM »
Hello fellow Belgian investors,

After searching for internetforum with other Belgian like-minded people, I finally found this section on the Mustachian forum :).

I'll introduce myself a little:

I started investing last year when I turned 20. My first investments were rather speculative and didn't turn out very well as I didn't know shit back then. I read several books to gather knowledge, my favorite was 'The Intelligent Investor'.

I study/work in Brussels and my paycheck goes almost straight into my investments.
I set the goal to achieve FF at the age of 35 in 2030. I try to find fair value premium stocks or rather undervalued premium stocks with a solid dividend history and long-term perspective. My favourite sector is consumer staples.

I already know some other Belgian people (and their blogs) whose name I saw in this section.

Here is a link to my blog:

https://whendoyouretire.wordpress.com/

Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #94 on: November 13, 2016, 01:35:42 AM »
Hello fellow Belgian investors,

I already know some other Belgian people (and their blogs) whose name I saw in this section.

Here is a link to my blog:

https://whendoyouretire.wordpress.com/


Welcome here...!

Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #95 on: November 13, 2016, 01:42:08 AM »
At the current rate I guess it would take 7-8 years to get there. Which is sort of surreal in itself and makes me wonder shouldn't I be prioritizing being at home withkids while they're small and build the stash a bit later.
With that time frame of 7 years it is something to ponder over. Half time work till they are 12 years old and thus spend more time with them when they still want to spend time with their parents. Then 7 years of full time work to build the stash and FIRE when the youngest is 19 and off to university.


Hey Havregryn,


Interesting story to read...
Over the last 2 years, I have evolved from reaching FI as soon as possible to enjoying time with my kids (4 and 6) and wife as much as possible NOW. Even when this means we have to work way longer. I do not hate my job, I kinda like it. IT is a matter of finding the right balance. My 2017 goal is to take one additional month off to go travel. This will reduce our stash, extend our FIRE journey even more. In exchange, we will bond a lot as a family, and that is priceless...!


I wrote about it here: https://ambertreeleaves.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/does-semi-financial-independence-exists/

Amber Tree

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #96 on: November 13, 2016, 01:43:34 AM »

The stash has a nice and very profitable option structure thing on it (at 2 times margin actually, lol) which effectively blocks it until January 2017.



What do you mean with this?

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #97 on: November 14, 2016, 12:02:04 AM »

The stash has a nice and very profitable option structure thing on it (at 2 times margin actually, lol) which effectively blocks it until January 2017.



What do you mean with this?
i'll send you a mail about it. In general I prefer to explain it in person as there are a few things one should really, really pay attention to when doing this ...
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TheCyclingInvestor

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #98 on: December 10, 2016, 07:14:07 AM »
Hello, I am also a Belgian MMM follower and a huge fan. I am a teacher in Economics in a secundary school, I am 46.

A lot of intresting posts already in this "belgian" part here..

Concerning investing in ETFs I read here the names that I have already in my allocation: IWDA en CSPX are some of my favourites (ishares core S&P 500 in EUR on the stock exchange of Amsterdam)

What I also like a lot and haven't seen here yet (maybe I missed it) are the holdings. Holdings like Brederode, Hal trust, Luxempart, Compagnie desBois sauvage, Ackermans and Sofina are, in my opinion very useful in a FI investors portfolio. The returns are in most cases higher than any ETF in the long run. And the long run is what we all are going for, isn't it?

A short list of returns in  10 years between 2005 and end  begin 2016 annualized and incl dividends:
1. Ackermans=18,1%
2.Brederode=8,5%
3. Sofina=7,9%
4. Bois Sauvage= 7,3%

These holdings are in fact like ETF's but without any cost. Not even the small cost of Ishares or Vanguard.
(The taxes on dividends are, I must admit, very ennoying and may not go up anymore I hope)

Over 20 years Ackermans had an annualized return of 12,27%, Sofina 11,33%, Brederode 10,55%, Luxempart 10,44%, Sofina 7,9% and so on......

One of my favourites is Hal Trust on the Euronext Amsterdam. Over 25 years they had an annualized return of 20% each year. More or less the same as Berkshire Hathaway from Buffet. But above that return they pay each year a dividend of 4% of the average stock price in december of each year.
Warren Buffet does not pay a dividend I think.

So my portfolio consists both ETF's and holdings. I am looking forward to read your reactions.

In the mean time I keep on reading and looking for inspiring stuff in order to meet our goal...

Being in this forum gives a calming effect , like always when you meet soulmates...;)
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 07:26:35 AM by TheCyclingInvestor »

Pro_Amateur

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Re: Belgian Moustachians
« Reply #99 on: December 11, 2016, 02:16:54 AM »
Has anyone else followed Bacquelaine's plans to buy into the Belgian pension system? In short, between 2017 en 2020 you get an opportunity to buy extra years of pension at a bargain. At the moment, people in the private sector can't use their the years they spent in college towards their pension which means they start later to get their full pension at 45 years worked. For government employees, the time in college  is automatically covered, meaning they don't have to work that long to enjoy the full pension benefits.

The current plan -which already has been voted on but has to be put into law- is to offer people a grace period between 2017 and 2020 during which they can buy into the system for the time they spent studying (diploma-bonificatie in Dutch). The cost would be 1350 euros per year, at a maximum of 4 years. For each year invested, you would get 250 euros a year once you retire, 1000 euros a year if you do the full thing. With the payments being partially tax deductible, you'd only have to enjoy a few years of pension to have your investment pay itself back. With some play money now, you could gain yourself a nice holiday every year.

I'm not sure whether I would qualify - I have been living in Belgium for a long time, also studied there some time, then spent a number of years abroad and now I work in the Netherlands, even though I moved back to Belgium a number of years ago.

The only question is if the government will have enough money to pay these pensions in the future. And I'm not sure whether the pensions in Belgium are inflationproof.

Any thoughts on this? It seems to me like a good investment, if you can make the payment.