About me/the blog

Hi there and welcome to my early retirement blog. My name is Benjamin Davis and I am 27 28, single and very frugal. I am working towards achieving my early retirement and financial freedom. I grew up in Portugal and Italy, but I am currently living in Germany (where salaries are way better). Before, I spent 4 years in Canada, which I miss very much. My main goal is being able to retire (in Portugal) between age 33 (aggressive goal) and 36 (conservative goal). I chose Portugal as I like the country very much and the cost of living is way lower than say in Canada or the US. At the same time, the weather, the people, and the food are just from a different level:
Portugal early retirement and financial freedom on my early retirement blog

Another awesome spot in Portugal

To retire early and achieve financial freedom at 33, in Portugal, I will need a net worth of about €670K, which should generate a passive/mostly passive salary of about €2500 a month. It is possible for me to retire as soon as I generate a passive income of €1650, though. The reason why I want to retire early is because at this point I feel like I am dragging myself to the office every day. Sadly, I was diagnosed with the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in 2012, and I feel tired and exhausted on a daily basis. I will report all the steps of my journey in this early retirement blog.

After retirement, I plan on having a frugal life, living in a small condo in my hometown, and continue to save and invest, to grow my wealth and never put my retirement at risk. During retirement, I hope I can spend more time in nature, exercise, read, watch movies, meditate and spend time with family and friends. Of course that I won’t simply veg out, as I will continue to look for investments and do the things I like the most in life. As said by many in legendary bloggers, my retirement will be a full-time job. 🙂 Even after I retire I will have to manage this early retirement blog, which will certainly consume a lot of time.

My second goal is to become a millionaire after retirement, and before I turn 40. Once I reach this goal, and I have the means to maintain this level of wealth together with a passive salary, I will stop thinking about money for good, and I will truly achieve financial freedom.

I like my job very much, but I like other things even more, and I don’t know how long I will be able to work, so about 6 months ago I decided that I will retire early. This was sort of an epiphany in my life, as I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue (a mild version), which makes me dragging to the office on a daily basis. I want to live a life in which I don’t have to set up the alarm in the morning and I get to do what I want when I want. For example, I love to read, workout and spend time with my friends. I have noticed that since I started my job in Germany, I have progressively done these things less often.

In October 2015 I had some cash (about €30K) saved up and I started to invest it… I will report all my financial decisions in this blog, so stay tuned, because if I do well, you can simply replicate my strategy and live the good life: no alarms, no boss yelling at you and no dependency on a boring and/or stressful job.

About me

– 27, single, and very frugal (I too think twice before spending €2 on an espresso)
– Work in IT
– Love hitting the gym, reading and watching movies
– Mild version of the chronic fatigue syndrome and close to burnout due to my PhD
– No addictions, but OCD
Type A personality

Stock Strategy (my portfolio here)

– Well-diversified portfolio of good quality dividend stocks
– Diversified on the sectorial and geographic levels
– Reinvest dividends into more dividend stocks (see my posts about portfolio re-balancing)

Real Estate Strategy (my portfolio here)

– Buy way undervalue, renovate (if need be) and rent out
– Get my investments back in less than 10-15 years
– Ignore appreciation when doing deals
– Buy close to colleges
– Multi-unit homes
– High leverage (<=5% fixed, long-term mortgages below rents, so I still put money in my pocket every month)
– Extra cash from rents (see point above) is invested in very liquid bonds to pre-pay mortgages and create maintenance fund reserves
– Address mass markets
– Buy all my real estate across Portugal (probably the cheapest RE in western Europe), in at least 4 different cities within a radius of 300km
– 75%/25% commercial/residential properties

Goals of this blog

– Update my portfolio, net worth and monthly balance every month
– Provide financial knowledge (read the disclaimer on the menu bar though!)
– Interact with other bloggers

My Financial Goals for 2016

– Increase my net worth to €115k (DONE – grew to €246k)
– Increase my net monthly income by 15% (DONE)
– Get a new job in Portugal for 2017 where I can make at least €35K/yr after taxes (DONE – found one flexible job at 18k net a year)
– Sell all my assets in Germany at market value (Partially DONE)
– Live off €800 a month (DONE)
– Improve my financial IQ (DONE)

My Financial Goals for 2017

– Increase my net worth to €300k
– Increase my net monthly passive income to €1200
– Live off €800 a month
– Make €20k in rental income
– Make $40k on my investments and businesses
– Pay RP#2 entirely
– Improve my financial IQ, reading 80 books

The rest of my goals for 2017 were presented on this post.

Last update: February 2017.

Disclaimer: Everything you read on this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional financial advice. I am not a qualified professional in finance or investing, and this site and author are not responsible for anything that may occur (such as losses or traumas) in your own investing. Please seek professional help if you fell you need it.
early retirement and financial freedom