Hello and welcome to yet another personal finance blog dedicated to financial freedom and early retirement.
I am a 42 years old guy living in Belgium (the country with the highest tax rate in the world), making an average wage, who would like to achieve financial freedom by 45. And I hope this blog will help me stay the course.
The ‘living in Belgium’ part is also the reason why I am doing this blog. The personal finance community might have grown quite a bit in the last years in the USA but in Belgium Europe even) personal finance blogs are pretty spars. I also think my perspective will be different than most. And who knows, we might be able to learn a bit from each other!
So goal number one is achieving financial freedom before I turn 46. I will go more in depth in a follow up post what financial freedom means exactly for me. But my investments will have to go up.
Goal number two, but equally important is getting back into shape. Young mr financial freedom sloth was a dashing young man 😉 in excellent shape. Current mr FFsloth is an overweight slob (1m78 height and 105 kilograms, not good by any metric). So the weight will have to go down. Achieving financial freedom without good health would be a shallow victory. Also, getting in shape might actually help becoming financially free as it will give me more energy to explore new money making side hustles.
Goal number three of the blog is to keep me on course. As you will discover in the following posts, I am a bit (ok, a lot) of a slacker: hence the average wage, hence the being fat (I am also brutally honest ;-). Being disciplined over a longer time period isn’t exactly my strongest point. My style is more that of a sloth for long periods, intersected with short bursts of intense activity and then retreat back to sloth. (Little side note: by typing the last sentence I stumbled upon the name for my blog! I was going to go for financialfreedomat45 but financialfreedomsloth is so much better. As a bonus, sloths are cool animals!!)
Being a sloth isn’t necessarily bad as it did get me a university degree. With honors even!! How I loved the old annual university system in Belgium: muck about till the first of May, then one month of intense studying, another month of exams and 1st of July I could be full on sloth till 1st of October. Sigh, the good old days.
It also got me an investment account approaching 240.000 euro. A sloth does not spend much. And value investing can be very sloth like, even Buffett loves a sloth : Lethargy bordering on sloth remains the cornerstone of our investment style.
And I am the proud owner of a charming old farm house approaching a value of 300.000 euro where the mortgage is currently around 130.000 (having a partner helped here, so only half of that is mine).
Yes, this sloth has done a few things right. But it could have been so much more had I been a bit more disciplined and focused!
So this sloth is counting on you dear readers to keep me disciplined and honest. In exchange you will get a brutally honest report on how a lazy, overweight (no it is not the waffles or the beer that got me fat), middle aged Belgian guy goes about achieving financial freedom in a country with one of the highest tax rates in the world. Trust me, it’s going to be a crazy ride.
Nice to see you finally got off your lazy fat ass and started writing the blog 😉
Looking forward to read more about another Belgian FF chaser.
Wait what? No there are also going to be comments? And I have to reply to them? And what are all these widgets to choose from? Will the work never end!?
Is it ok for a sloth to have a blog? 🙂
He can if he is lazy abouth it and like,just copy paste somebodies disclamer ….
Hey Buddy, good to see that you have decided to write down your thoughts too! Good luck and (as noted by AT above) have fun trying to keep that sloth at bay when blogging 😉
Well, this sloth was a bit slow in checking his spam folders where for a mysterious reason, both your comments ended up in….
Hi, great to stumble upon your blog as it is indeed hard to find relevant Personal Finance blogs that not only state to max out your 401k, IRA, Roth,… and what not that they have in the glorious US of A. What interests me most when I want to follow a blog is the story of how it all started out. So I read your first post and it says the it got you to an investment account of 240.000 Euro. But I wonder how you got there. Because not everybody will have this gathered by the age of 42 of course :). Did you start out with investing with 10k at the age of 21 for instance and build up the amount year by year, was there a heritage maybe that helped for a good part?
I’m always interested in blogs that start at the beginning so I can follow the historical journey to what it has become today :).
Thanks in advance!
Hi Ken, I tried to give an overview of how I got there in this post: https://financialfreedomsloth.com/2016/12/30/stash-origin-story/
But I am a lazy sloth whose record keeping skills have been severely lacking so it is a general overview. In a nutshell it boils down to : keep living like a broke student even when you are working and invest the difference