‘For years I worked as a financial analyst and consultant, but I missed real contact. I wanted to help people, mean something to them. That is why I started in 2014 as a financial management teacher at higher vocational education. Four years later, I also started my own company as a financial advisor. My clients are mainly self-employed people, whom I help to make a good financial plan for their retirement, for example.
“Money is often put first in financial planning: how can you be smart with the money you have? I try to focus on life: how do you want to live, what makes you happy? Then I make a plan in which money serves that goal: what financial choices do you have to make to achieve it?
“I’m fine with my income as an entrepreneur, but I enjoy teaching in addition. The students inspire me. An additional advantage is the permanent contract that I have as a teacher. Last year we refinanced our mortgage, and that is a lot easier with such a piece of paper in our pocket.
“I invest a significant part of my income. With that I build up my pension and I have money to fall back on in the event of disability. I started this relatively young. As a result, and because investing is going well, I expect to have built up enough between the ages of 45 and 50 to be financially free. So I could retire if I wanted to.
‘I take a critical look at my expenses. Once a year I check everything: can things be done differently or better? Are my health insurance and mortgage still ideal? Every month I set aside an amount for various savings or reserve goals. For example, I have a digital jar for holidays, car maintenance and clothing.
“My wife and I have two joint accounts: one for fixed costs and one for variable expenses, such as groceries and going out. We spend a lot on catering. We live in Zandvoort and love to have lunch at a beach bar, drink a cup of coffee or go out for dinner. I think it’s fine to spend a lot on that, as long as we do it consciously. We can miss it and it makes us happy. Now that the catering industry is closed, we have a lot left over.
“One risk of investing my pension money myself is that I can always access the money. It takes discipline not to break it prematurely. Fortunately I have it. At the same time, it is also an opportunity. Once corona is over I want to go on a long journey with my wife. We do that partly from my pension money. That is also a deliberate choice: by taking a break later, I actually put a part of my pension forward. ”
A version of this article also appeared in nrc.next of March 22, 2021
‘Now that the catering industry is closed, we have a lot left over’
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