Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
European perspective
Old 06-16-2010, 03:36 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: France
Posts: 1,195
European perspective

Hi,

I'm a Brit, living in France, but I visit the US quite often and do not belong to that 90% group of Brits who think that Americans speak funny or Europeans who think that Americans are out to force-feed us all with bad food.

I'm 49 and my wife is 52. She's happy to work until she's 60, having had her years from 33 to 48 off bringing up kids. I've been working since age 21 and the BS is starting to get to me.

I work for an international organisation. That means a very nice tax-free salary and lots of BS. After 28 years in IT (which is also the field in which I got my degree) I've just been moved to HR (!). This is BS squared, because we can't fire anyone and there is no money to do anything about personnel development. So we spend all day fighting fires, most of them caused by irresponsible (in all senses of the word) management. This is not what I want to get out of bed for.

At present we make about 180K (net) per year (140K for me, 40K for Mrs BigNick) - numbers are in Euros but given the cost of living they might as well be in dollars. We rent our home (1600/mo) so we are flexible. We put about 65K/year aside in savings and another 20K goes on college expenses, which will drop off in a couple of years.

If I stay till 60 then with our savings and work-related pension, we will have at least much income as we currently spend. But here's my way of looking at it: I reckon that I can do what I like until I'm 75 (after which, I'll be very cheap to run: bottle of wine, cricket on TV, Skype to talk to the grandchildren). On that basis, I have 25 good years left. Why would I spend 40% of my available time working?

So, I have to decide when to cut loose. Every year I stay on will put 70K in the bank and 4K/year on my word-related pension.

In about a year I may have the opportunity to do some work for a small American company. I reckon they would pay me 50K instead of the 140K I make now but it would be a blast. Three or four years of that and we would probably be close enough to our overall savings goal.

But, if I walked away from 140K, I would start to feel guilty. If I stay on 5 more years, that's 350K in the bank. That would be a great start in the housing market for each of our two kids, both of whom are bright but unlikely to get jobs in corporate finance or anything else that pays big bucks. How far should I take that into consideration?

Thanks for reading, and for any comments. By the way, if anyone is thinking of retiring to France, I'd be delighted to help with any information I can give.
__________________

__________________
BigNick is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-16-2010, 04:17 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,031
Hi Nick,

There are quite a few of us Europeans lurking around here. Welcome!
__________________

__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 412
I think your dilemma is not international. I feel the same way here in the US. It's difficult to cut loose on your own when you are making good money, in my opinion. So, the fight is: $$$ vs. freedom...
__________________
wanaberetiree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 07:41 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,389
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick View Post
Hi,

I'm a Brit, living in France, but I visit the US quite often and do not belong to that 90% group of Brits who think that Americans speak funny or Europeans who think that Americans are out to force-feed us all with bad food.
Hey, thanks! We do have good food, you know. We are not force-feeding anyone, but some of us gorge ourselves on the bad food out of our own will. Free society, ya know?

And lastly, some of us do speak funny, particularly the naturalized citizens, like yours truly.


Quote:
...
In about a year I may have the opportunity to do some work for a small American company. I reckon they would pay me 50K instead of the 140K I make now but it would be a blast. Three or four years of that and we would probably be close enough to our overall savings goal.
That's a big pay cut! But that is part-time work, is it not?
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 12:23 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
check6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 383
"By the way, if anyone is thinking of retiring to France, I'd be delighted to help with any information I can give."

We are of the belief that the Europeans do a lot of things right and we would love to spend more than just a couple of weeks there. What part of France are you located? Would you retire in Great Britain or remain in France?
__________________
check6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 03:51 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: France
Posts: 1,195
Quote:
Originally Posted by check6 View Post
What part of France are you located?
I prefer to keep that confidential for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by check6 View Post
Would you retire in Great Britain or remain in France?
Definitely not the UK.

France is a high probability - we've been here 20 years, our kids are bilingual (daughter went and added French nationality which had no effect on her UK nationality), we know how to fit in. The way our portfolio is structured will enable us to pay very little income tax here (France has among the lowest income tax in Europe, especially if you know which vehicles to use, and can get them in place before you need them). On the other hand, there is a wealth tax on the order of 0.5%-1% which kicks in at around $1m of total assets, and if you're fiscally resident in France - which we're not now but would be in retirement - that means worldwide assets.

I'm also interested in learning about something I read about called "Perpetual travelling". I like the idea of spending 3 months in Costa Rica, 3 in Australia, 3 in France, and 3 somewhere else. We're not big homemakers, so a 3-month rental furnished apartment with a view somewhere would be nice. If our kids can hold off reproducing until we're 60 then I can see our years 55-60 being pretty cool.
__________________
BigNick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 09:58 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
ronocnikral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 852
welcome. i think it is tres generous to want to give your kids a start in the real world. it's quite the opposite between me and my parents, i worry about what they will do...

look forward to reading your posts.
__________________
ronocnikral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 11:30 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: France
Posts: 1,195
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
That's a big pay cut! But that is part-time work, is it not?
It would probably be fairly full-time, but I would be "their man in Europe" and part of the deal would be to set my own hours. I would love to be able to work Sundays, for example, and have my "weekend" at another time. There are few things better than a cheap, plat-du-jour lunch with a glass of wine on a day when everyone else is working.
__________________
BigNick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 12:17 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
vicente solano's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,116
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
Hi Nick,

There are quite a few of us Europeans lurking around here. Welcome!
Lurking..... What an ugly term, Fire. Mind the language, we are so sensitive!!
__________________
I get by with a little help from my friends....ta ta ta ta ta...
vicente solano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 12:38 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 731
Welcome! I think you have to weigh whether you can afford to stop working now, or in a year vs. having extra money later. If the work is taking a big toll on your energy level/stress level... money isn't everything.

OTOH, your plan of moving here and there for 3 months at a time might be expensive.

I hate working now, I have creative things I want to do (and no energy left to do them) - but I'm about to turn 62 which is a big difference. If I could have afforded to retire earlier, I would have.

So I'd vote for retirement as soon as you can.
__________________
Retired July 2, 2010 at 62. My only regret is that I couldn't do it sooner.
thinker25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 12:49 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,663
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick View Post
So, I have to decide when to cut loose.
It's no good trying to make these life-changing decisions on an empty stomach. So I recommend:

__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 01:39 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward View Post
It's no good trying to make these life-changing decisions on an empty stomach. So I recommend:


Talk about weighing the options!!!!!!!!
__________________
Retired July 2, 2010 at 62. My only regret is that I couldn't do it sooner.
thinker25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 07:20 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Thousand Oaks
Posts: 839
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick View Post
It would probably be fairly full-time, but I would be "their man in Europe" and part of the deal would be to set my own hours. I would love to be able to work Sundays, for example, and have my "weekend" at another time. There are few things better than a cheap, plat-du-jour lunch with a glass of wine on a day when everyone else is working.
( putting my devils advocate hat on ) If it were me , i would think long and hard moving to the 50k job that will be "awesome" from the 140K job that "sucks". the new job is likely not quite as awesome as you are imagining and vice versa on the existing job.

you can buy yourself two years worth of cheap, plat-du-jour lunches with a glass of wine on a day when everyone else is working by sticking w/ the
pain for "one more year"..

Then again as someone will point out soon after this post. you could end up with cancer a year from now and your bankage will have been for naught
__________________
mh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2010, 02:01 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: France
Posts: 1,195
Quote:
Originally Posted by mh View Post
( putting my devils advocate hat on ) If it were me , i would think long and hard moving to the 50k job that will be "awesome" from the 140K job that "sucks". the new job is likely not quite as awesome as you are imagining and vice versa on the existing job.
Absolutely. My portfolio planning is "roughly" based around the idea that when I quit the job that sucks, I will have enough in the bank that I don't need the "awesome" job. (I believe the expression is "---- you money", meaning that you can say "---- you" before you put the phone down.) It's just that the timing is such that the "awesome" offer, with a bunch of guys I trust, is more likely to come about 3 years before what I like to call "F-day".
Quote:
Originally Posted by mh View Post
you can buy yourself two years worth of cheap, plat-du-jour lunches with a glass of wine on a day when everyone else is working by sticking w/ the pain for "one more year"..
Yep, and another year gets Mrs BigNick a Jaguar convertible (she may have mentioned this at some point, I don't honestly remember ) and another three years will get us a small apartment in Palma de Mallorca, if we finance the other 40% with rental income... [/QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mh View Post
Then again as someone will point out soon after this post. you could end up with cancer a year from now and your bankage will have been for naught
Please please tell me that it's true that the one who dies with the most stuff wins.
__________________
BigNick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2010, 02:52 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
check6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 383
[/QUOTE]

Please please tell me that it's true that the one who dies with the most stuff wins.[/QUOTE]


That thought holds true earlier than later in life. As of late I have been selling my hanger and garage "toys" in favor of enjoying plat-du-jour lunches with a glass of wine in the country where they were meant to be enjoyed, France.
__________________

__________________
check6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The European debt crisis in 2:45 clifp FIRE and Money 1 06-03-2010 10:09 AM
European Debt Crisis donheff FIRE and Money 7 04-28-2010 12:11 PM
Google European Center in Zurich Eagle43 Other topics 2 07-15-2008 09:05 AM
european stocks and the dollar mathjak107 FIRE and Money 2 12-12-2006 06:47 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:20 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.