Happy 5th Birthday, EyesOnTheGoal blog!
Happy 5 Years of the Financial Independence (FI) in 5years Goal!
Happy 10th Year living in Berlin, Germany!
Exactly 5 years ago to the day, I wrote the first blog post in which I set the goal to become financially independent in 5years. A journey began: How did My Desire for Financial Independence Began? (Nov 2016)
Now, 5 years later I look back and I’m so thankful that I kept a record of my struggles, insights, and learnings. This is easily Learning #1 from the past 5 years: even if this blog didn’t serve any purpose (which it did big time), it is extremely valuable for me as a time-machine of a sort!
So, let’s go all the way to the cold, foggy November afternoon in 2016 when I wrote the first blog post.
What has changed?
- I am a mother now and my priorities have dramatically shifted, with that my independence … sniff
- I have explored the Financial Independence topic from a gazillion of angles, I have tried tested my ideas, strategies, and side hustles
- I am very, very close to my initial goal of FI (at 90%)
- I have transitioned from a classical career path to a custom setup which makes the best use of my talents and gives me flexibility: a combination of work in IT, coaching and this blog
- I am trained as a professional coach, which has been a tremendous experience in itself
- I’m in a better physical shape, a few kilos less and I have a more established sports routine despite the pandemic and the lack of access to a gym
What hasn’t changed?
- I still live in Berlin in the same rented apartment. Although my family is growing, and it’s becoming tighter and tighter, we’ve made a conscious choice to stay in the same place. Not only because we love it, but also because the rent hasn’t significantly increased in the past 10 years compared to the general explosion of the real estate market in Berlin.
- I am still employed (although part-time)
- I have made a big circle and ended up again with my initial job: front-end development
- Same marital status (not married), same partner, same goals
What happened to the Goal(s)?
5 years ago I set myself on a journey to free myself of the need to ever work again. I will have my basic expenses covered and I will have the freedom to work on whatever project I choose, with whomever I want, and to contribute to this beautiful world in whatever way I find fit.
Early retirement for me means to have my basic monthly expenses of €1000 covered for the rest of my life.
Here’s the slightly naive and very ambitious plan that worked for me:
Status as of today: The Numbers
- At 90% of my initial Financial Independence goal 🥳️There’s still a month till 2022, so let’s see what happens with the stock and crypto market.
- 185% net worth growth since I set the goal (5 years ago)
- 362% net worth growth since I track my net worth (since 2015, 6 years ago)
- ??% saving rate*
*My income has varied in the past couple of years, and I have become lazy with noting down every single expense in the Toshl app.
At this moment I can’t really say what’s my saving rate is. A point for improvement for the future.
What can I say?! With all these sabbaticals 👯, part-time work, a year-long maternity leave, and new side hustles, I didn’t manage to save anything close to 2k euro a month as the initial plan demanded.
Still, the stock market was performing extremely well, and I kept my automatic monthly ETF investments. The compound effect hasn’t yet kicked off yet, but those hand-picked tech individual stocks went through the roof. Hello Microsoft with 700%+👋
My ambitious, and naive plan is still working, and I can also enjoy my life (see Goal #2).
Compared to 2years ago, I’ve been doing some diversification and shifting assets. I continued my automatic monthly investments into ETFs. I added cryptocurrencies, and I did a much better job at investing my cash instead of leaving it just sitting there in the bank doing nothing.
- Stock Market: 68% Individual stocks: 26.5%
ETFs: DAX: 14.4%, Nasdaq: 13.9%, SP500: 13.2%
- Real Estate: 16.6%
- Cash: 8.5%
- Crypto: 5.1%
- P2P: 1.8%
2 years into the journey, in 2018, I had a shift of perspective and the initial goal of Financial independence changed to:
My 5-year goal is to design a life I don’t need a vacation from, to feel fulfillment and enthusiasm every day, to let my creativity flow, to be in touch with nature and to be part of a bigger purpose.
I’ve put a lot of thought and action behind this one. I realized building a life I don’t need a vacation from is a dynamic act.
Every time I reached the perfect balance between work, family, Me time, and I felt I could go on forever, even without a vacation, something happened and rapidly disrupted the balance.
Be it a worldwide pandemic, daycare closing, an employer deciding to restructure the org, leaving me out of the company, goals that suddenly lost their appeal and sense, a pregnancy, loss of a family member, even winter for God’s sake!….
So, on Goal #2: it’s a dynamic act, it doesn’t even have an endpoint. It will never be done. What I know is that I have the skills, experience, and consciousness to respond to the challenges Life throws my way.
Now what? (instead of What next?)
The journey continues…
Here’s how I was progressing through the FI journey: