The Netherlands: the next generation is WNL’s Economic Research Program, created by three young television makers with an insatiable interest in economics and money. Elaine Demir, Jill Pelixot and Raquel Schilder are looking for amazing developments on every economic level in our country. This summer, WNL is taking a look at the stories from season one.
Merijn Heijnen lives in a beautiful apartment near the beach in Goa, India, with his wife. Best of all, he and his wife are already retired. “I created this by not always spending everything I earn, saving and investing, investing, for example in our house,” he says in the economic research program Stand van Nederland: Generation Next.
Heijne, who stopped working at the age of 42, is a supporter of FIRE. This is a movement that came from the United States and is growing in popularity in the Netherlands. FIRE started with Mr. Money Mustache, a pseudonym for a Canadian who worked in the IT field. He retired in 2005 at the age of thirty. According to him, we overestimate how much we need so we don’t have to work again.
Financial independence, early retirement
FIRE stands for “financial independence, retire early,” and believes that if you take care of your pension yourself, you really don’t have to wait until you’re 69. By cutting your expenses as much as possible and investing the remaining money, you can generate returns and save enough in the end to be financially independent. Each participant makes their own assessment when it comes to exactly what they are investing their money in, but the thing they have in common is that they live as frugally as possible and customize as much as possible.
“We have invested a relatively large amount of our money in expanding our home,” says Heijnen, who has written a book on FIRE himself. With the extension, he made his home in Amsterdam suitable for renting out to an expat family. Moreover, he and his wife can do more with their money in Goa than in Holland. “As a result, we can live on less money here, and on the other hand, we can live a luxurious life and have a swimming pool in our apartment,” he says. “But even here we are structurally spending less money, we are fully aware of that. We are also consciously choosing not to own a car, motorcycle or scooter.”
Presenter Jill Blixott is 27 years old. Sure, it will take another forty years before you retire, but will that still be possible? ask the next generation. Coverage rates are declining and the number of self-employed people is increasing. Jill is considering alternatives and also looking for the engineer behind the new pension system: outgoing Minister Water Colmes.
You can watch this episode Here Looking back.
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