‘You won’t be happy with the umpteenth tidbit of the Action’

September 9, 2020 by No Comments

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‘Regulating and organizing is in my DNA. That’s what I like and have always done, but as an office manager in paid employment I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It was comfortable and I had nice colleagues – but a feeling prevailed of: is this it? Do I have to do this for the next 40 years? I did tasks because they fit the strategy of the company; not because I was behind it myself.

“Two years ago I dared to take the plunge and start my own business. I am now independent virtual assistant: a remote office manager. My clients are mainly freelancers and small entrepreneurs for whom I manage the agenda, answer emails or organize events. As a mentor I also give courses to starting virtual assistants.

“Now that I’m an entrepreneur, I feel like I’ve come back to life. That may sound like I was half-dead before that, but it was a very safe and dozed picture. Now I learn new things every week and I have a thousand and one ideas. That is also my pitfall: in the beginning I just worked eighty hours a week. Now I know I can’t keep all the balls in the air. The first ball that always falls is the household. Fortunately, we have now outsourced that to someone who is good at that again.”

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‘About ten years ago I looked at my pension overview and saw that I can probably retire when I am 70 years and three months. I was very shocked by that. Surely life can’t be meant like that, that only then are you free to do what you want?

“At that time I also read for the first time about FIRE, which stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. It is an American movement in which extreme supporters set aside 60 to 70 percent of their income to be able to retire at 50. They live super frugal and self-sufficient. That is a bit extreme for me – I don’t want to have to turn around every dime – but I did find it attractive to be smarter with my money.

“So my boyfriend and I are now putting 1,200 euros a month aside in a mix of saving, investing and paying off the mortgage. I have taken courses in investing and am now working on a good long term strategy. We also took a critical look at our spending pattern. I was always quite easy with buying clothes, even for our two children aged 10 and 12. But you will not be happy with the umpteenth blouse or trinket from the Action. Now I only buy new pants when my previous one is worn out. Retirement will not work in fifteen years, but the feeling that we are in control ourselves is already very nice.”