June 2019 Update – MillionEUR!

Hi dear readers, I miss you so much 🙂

June has been a very intense month for RIP family. A good month overall. I feel much better now compared to a month ago, when I wrote my previous update. I know, many of you would like to read more personal stuff, but since I’m still facing a delicate work situation I’d rather keep most of my thoughts to me until my situation gets resolved, which I think is happening sooner than expected. So please, be patient. There will be fireworks at the end.

On the “financial update” itself: I have mixed feelings about these posts. One one hand it’s my accountability tool and my “heartbeat” posting schedule. Posting the F.U. forces me to behave well financially (else I face public shame) and forces me to write even when I’m not in the mood to. I guess without this blog I’d be much less wealthy then I am, thanks to accountability. I owe you 100k at least 😀

Another positive aspect of posting a monthly update is that I keep track of what happens to me. Each 1st of the month I start a draft email where I add relevant information for the monthly update and send to myself at the end of the month. It’s a one pager monthly review. I like it and find it very useful.

Connected to the previous point, keeping track of what happens helped me facing market downturns from Brexit onward. The 2018 Q4 (October-December) 20% loss has been the worst so far. I think the total portfolio drawdown was in the range of 70-80k, mitigated by high savings. I must admit it was not easy to stomach, but the fact that I put my journalist hat on to document what happened and how I felt helped a lot. I forced myself to adhere to what I preach, i.e. keep greed and fear at bay, with good results.

And last, but not least, I think there’s some positive for you too. People like to compare my spending and my investment decisions to theirs. Plus I try to make it fun, which I think it’s well received.

On the “cons” side, it can be boring and not interesting for many of you. Sometimes it feels like a chore to me, especially when I have other topics I want to explore. And the FIRE metrics, the one I wanted to track closely and share the progresses publicly, they are becoming irrelevant now. Until I define what is FIRE for us, what’s our concrete plan, where we are going to live, what are our monthly real expenses and – more importantly – what I plan to do with my skills and my time, and the likelihood that I can generate money… until then, FIRE metrics are meaningless.

But I think the pros outweigh the cons, so I’ll keep writing my monthly updates, sorry if you’re getting bored 🙂

As a dear friend (and reader) suggested to me, it may be possible that the financial update would become a separate section of the blog in the near future, a static page continuously updated, while the blog remains more “meta”.

For now, as a minor format change, I try to make the updates shorter and less data intensive.

So… let’s get started!

Net Worth

Full Net Worth document is available as always on Google Drive.

Note: I had to disable comments on many of my spreadsheets. Apparently some people can’t help but spam any available surface. Sadly, it’s enough to have a handful of spammers to destroy a tool. I use comments on my spreadsheet as complementary information attached to the material I share. Sadly, Google docs doesn’t allow to only give permission to read comments. If I share a doc with commenting rights, everybody can read AND write comments. Google, here’s a feature request for you!

Yes, it was an awesome month! Mr Market reached all time high, and all my funds except IPRP (real estate Europe) gained between 4 and 6%. More on IPRP below 🙂

NW Delta is +51.9k EUR, all time high! NW Delta in USD is more than I value my flat in Milan. I could have given away my flat for free and still be above the water in June! More on my flat below. Spoiler: we’re there, I’m close to sell it!

NW in EUR crossed 1 Million, making us MillionEURs! The last comma! I expect this to not last, a financial crash might be behind the corner and I don’t think I’m going to keep earning like this for long. In USD and CHF we seem to be better positioned into the permanent millionaire status, even though anything could happen. I never said that words, you’re all witnesses 😉

Cash Flow – Income

Obviously Mr Market alone wouldn’t have been enough for such a spectacular month. This was a “fat month”, thanks to a huge stock vesting event, a 26.5k USD (gross) one.

Total estimated Net Income (after tax) is: 35.4k CHF.

Income streams breakdown:

  • Salaries: 13.8k CHF (gross, pre-tax). A normal month. My base salary plus Mrs RIP unemployment benefit.
  • Hooli Stocks: 26.5k USD (gross, pre-tax). A very nice month. In case I’m still around, next vesting event is in December, roughly same size of this one.
  • Dividends: 1735 USD + 625 EUR (gross, pre-tax). Many ETFs I own distributed dividends this month. Some others will in July. Paid some US withholding tax, will get it back and pay Swiss taxes on it. Business as usual.
  • Mr RIP Pillar 2 Contribution: 2652 CHF. As usual.
  • Expected Income taxes: -9266 CHF. According to my 22% average tax bracket estimation.
  • Expected Lump sum Tax on Pillar 2: -159 CHF. According to my 6% lump sum tax estimation. Maybe I should raise this one.
  • Gift to BabyRIP: 50 EUR. From a family member.

A note on the huge June NW Delta and Income: in the past I used to account for pro-rated expected income as “virtual”, like not-vested-yet stocks and yearly bonuses. In that case the “rich” months were not special in terms of expected NW Delta compared to the “poor” months. Starting in 2019 I don’t account for pro-rated compensations anymore, since I don’t know if I’ll get them (the only exception is the pro-rated 13th month, since that’s guaranteed in any case). That means that cashflow-rich months impact the NW Delta more than they used to be in my spreadsheet in the past. I know, it should be the norm… but I don’t like spikes in my metrics due to arbitrary paying dates. The yearly bonus reflects a yearly effort and should affect each month proportionally, I think. Why am I not pro-rating stocks and bonuses anymore? Because I get the bonus by end of January 2020 and next huge stock vesting by end of December 2019 if and only if I will still be a Hooli employee on these dates… and I’m not sure I’ll still be around.

Cash Flow – Expenses

Total Expenses: 6966 CHF.

It’s been an expensive month, mainly thanks to vacation planning and advances for scheduled vacations. That 2.8k CHF in category Travel is a punch in the stomach – and just the tip of the iceberg, we’re going to travel a lot!

Some travel highlights:

  • 874 CHF – Abruzzo in August. We’re going for two weeks in Abruzzo, an Italian region in the east coast, the Adriatic sea. The expense amount you see is just for the flights (in August…) and a lodging reservation advance. Another 2-3k is expected here. It’s not a kind of vacation I’d do regularly, but we wanted to join a couple of very close friends and they only have availability in August – like many Italians. It’s a super expensive vacation and I also expect it to be barely acceptable in terms of quality and crowdedness.
  • Image result for TuWass640 CHF – Black Forest (twice) in May-June. At the end of May / beginning of June I had a personal retreat in Black Forest (Germany) alone, to think and write. Future, midlife crisis, decision making etc. It was very fruitful and I took many important decisions (will share in future). I picked a crappy room on Airbnb and a train from Switzerland. I spent 6 days in Tuttlingen, walking along the Donau river and relaxing in TuWass, their SPA. Amazing time alone, I really needed it. Then I wanted to show my new magic place to my family and brought Mrs and Baby there a couple of weeks later, in mid June. We stayed for a weekend and had great time together. 640 CHF is the total cost of both vacations. Totally worth it!
  • 524 CHF – Croatia in July. We wanted to take 10 days for the three of us and head to the beach. This is just the price of the flights from Switzerland in July. I know, it’s expensive, but flights from/to Switzerland are f***ing expensive all the time, and 10 hours of train/car with a baby is not an option. While I write this post (July 8th) we’re 99% sure we won’t go to Croatia and lose the flights money. But that’s for a good reason: I’m 99% close to sell my Milan’s Apartment in Mid July. one of the potential buyers got a delicate mortgage approval and we should Carpe Diem and not postpone the sale date, sadly right in the middle of our planned vacation. It means canceling our vacation, which hurts, but there’s no rose without a thorn they say.
  • 433 CHF – Milan. Mrs and Baby went to Milan for few days and – as always – spent money on relatively cheaper items and services compared to Switzerland, like getting a haircut and buying clothes. I didn’t itemize their expenses, everything went into “travel”. A thing I might change in the future.
  • 313 CHF – Relatives. Mrs’ mother and my father came visiting us (not at the same time) for few days in June. We paid them transportation costs and maybe a dinner out. I consider these expenses as travel.

Excluding travel, the other expenses worth mentioning are Italian housing taxes (348 CHF, I hope it’s the last time), groceries (<700 CHF) and not much more. Excluding travel and Italian housing taxes (getting rid soon) this would have been a cheap/standard/below-4k month.

Why is our grocery spending going up? I don’t know… btw, do you want some tomatoes? They’re cheap! Just 26.50 CHF/Kg 🙂 – before you ask, of course I didn’t buy this piece of jewelry at the supermarket!

Cash Flow – Savings

Total Savings for the month: 28.4k CHF. Veeery good.

Saving rate for the month: 80.3%.

Saving rate so far in 2019: 76.3%.

The green pac-man is reassuring 🙂

FIRE Metrics

Another month where I didn’t work on my “I should review my metrics” TODO item.

I’m transitioning toward a “build the life you want, then save for it” approach instead of “suffer, save a shit-ton of money, then you’ll be free“. Anyway, I’m a number nerd so I still want to keep track of my progresses toward big goals. According to the spreadsheet we’re 84.90% FI (assuming 3.5k EUR initial gross withdrawals and a 3.5% SWR). Fun. But meaningless. But fun.

The sheet says 12 months to go 🙂

Swiss metrics are less optimistic, even without considering the inevitable growth of our future expenses.

I recently added a graph to my spreadsheet that gives meaning to these seemingly meaningless numbers. Take a look:

Here you can see current expenses in CHF (blue), ideal expenses in CHF (orange, going down over time because in the spreadsheet they’re expressed in EUR), what we could afford to withdraw each month according to our SWR (red). The closer the red line gets to the other two, the closer we get to FI 🙂

Financial Facts more or less in chronological order

Final calculation for Staat und gemeindesteuern (city and cantonal taxes) arrived mid June, and it was how I expected, i.e. better than expected! Got 10.3k CHF back instead of the planned 8.9k. They didn’t tax virtual dividends on some of my accumulating ETFs. Well, thank you so much Switzerland!

Pillar 3A for me: I deposited the 2019 jackpot of 6826 CHF on my PostFinance Pillar 3A account. Didn’t buy any Pillar 3 fund, just keeping it in cash. My Pillar 3A with PostFinance totals to 51.2k CHF (7 years of maximum contribution). current breakdown is 14.4k cash and 36.8k invested in Pension75. Mrs RIP Pillar 3A is 15.2k CHF, all invested in Pension75. Total size of our Pillar 3As is north of 65k CHF. Maybe it’s time to pick a better provider like VIAC?

I would also like to deposit some money into Mrs RIP Pillar 3A for 2019. I will do it in July once we clarified if her tax advantage cap is the regular one for employed people (6826 CHF) or 20% of her salary (max 34k CHF), like self employed people. At the time of writing (July 8th) I called her unemployment insurance and clarified that her limit is 20% of her salary because she doesn’t have a Pensionskasse (Pillar 2). Will deposit 20% of Mrs RIP’s January-June unemployment contributions in mid July.

Needless to say that today I would put as much as I can into tax advantage accounts: we earn a lot, are into 30+% marginal tax bracket, and may leave Switzerland relatively soon (thus getting contributions back soon). Things may change if our income would drop (it will) and we’d decide to live in Switzerland for the foreseeable future. In that case pension contributions would no more be high priority.

Dividends! End of quarter dividends started flowing into my IB account 🙂

VYM, VYMI, IPRP, and WING announced and paid dividends in June.

On VYM and VYMI (high yield stocks US & International) I paid the usual US withholding tax:

Total withholding tax paid in 2019 so far is 480 USD, I expect to reach 1k by end of year and I also expect to get it back by filing taxes for calendar year 2019. Let’s do some math. I will file 2019 taxes in summer 2020. Give them a couple of years to react, that means I’ll get my money back in… 2022? I expect my spreadsheet to have more rows for handling taxes than other assets 😀

IPRP (real estate Europe) and WING (High Yield Corporate Bond) are Ireland domiciled, so I have no control over eventual withholding taxes on each involved state.

VOO and VB (US stocks large and small cap) also announced dividends at the end of the month. For both ETFs Dividend-Ex date happened in June but payment date will happen in early July. I accounted for dividends in June as “others” and they’ll appear in July cash flow (but no impact on NW growth next month).

About IPRP, it seems to be inversely correlated with my other investments, which is nice:

And guess who sold 236 shares at 42.345 (10k EUR) at the end of May and forgot to tell about it in last month update? Yep, the good old Mr RIP, the market timer 😀

Rationale behind is that I moved REIT inside stocks ideal Asset Allocation and reduced its weight. And it was the only ETF in the green in May. Needed to sell.

About selling, I was also overallocated in European Large Cap, so I sold 101 MEUD stocks at 156.95 (15.7k EUR) in June.

I’m selling and not buying much. I’m accumulating cash due to uncertainty in my near future and maybe as a subconscious effort to time next market crisis. I’m holding more than 90k EUR cash/other/taxes.

Speaking about taxes, I did a stupid thing and missed Italian property taxes deadline (June 16th) by 5 days. I hope they won’t come and torture me. Or worse, fine me for billions Euros. There’s no such thing as “low enough expectations” for Italian stupidity and bureaucratic complexity.

The day after I paid my property taxes my Italian realtor told me: “one of the desperate offers for my flat has been approved for mortgage, we should be able to sell the flat next month“! That’s great news! I try to keep my expectations low since things can go wrong at each step and the machine is full of broken cogs, but at the time of writing this post (July 9th) it seems I’m really REALLY going to sell that shitty apartment!

Time to celebrate!

… and now it’s time to clean the dishes!

Some Personal facts & Blog & Midlife Crisis

Ok, let’s add some personal update too, but don’t expect the full story here for now 🙂

I’m on sick leave. Burnout. Since forever – it seems to me. The likelihood I’d be back to work at Hooli after my sick leave ends is low.

At the end of June I went to my doctor and told him:

I feel better, much more relaxed 🙂 but I still can’t function normally in front of a source file, a compiler and an editor. It feels like these things are so distant from me. I shiver at the idea of having to spend dozens of hours to find which code to cut&paste to patch undocumented code written by someone who left the company and other stuff like that… But as I said, I feel much better now. What if I just quit? 🙂

He suddenly replied:

No no no you MUST recover! if you quit now, you are not ready to get a new job… Then what you’d do? So let’s do this: take another month off and try to resurrect your passion for software engineering! Write some code, I don’t know… Else the only option is to quit and get unemployment benefits…

Well… it starts to feel like cheating, but there’s some truth in his words. Maybe he’s right. But I don’t know, I think I need a real break from software engineering. I also have a Smithereens interview scheduled in October, but I don’t know if it makes sense. I’m still burnt out and I probably want to try new roads, like writing/blogging/financial advising/tutoring/whatevering. Anyway, I don’t want to add much more to this for now. I’m happily taking another month off. In the end, I asked for a three months unpaid sabbatical few months ago, who am I to reject money for the same thing after they declined my request at Hooli?

As I told my doctor, I feel much better now. June has been a very good month from so many angles, and I need to thank those who took time to help me. I’ve met friends, readers, friends who read my blog, colleagues, colleagues who read my blog, colleagues who are also friends who also read my blog and any combination of the above. Many of you reached me out and wanted to help. It seemed like a reverse group therapy session, where I was the sole patient and had many therapists helping me 🙂 I took notes and I’m going to publish a couple of “meetings” in the future. I had one of the most fruitful sessions with the blogger behind KM Finanzen, whom asked profound questions and dug very deep into my situation. Thank you so much! Another one I had with one of my former managers at Hooli, which is also a reader of my blog and a dear friend. He’s the best manager I ever had (I know you’re reading!) and helped me getting promoted back in 2015. He reached me out and we had an hour long video call. I’m going to publish some of the key take aways from that call soon-ish too. Thank you all, sincerely!

In mid June I also hosted my father, which I pictured many times as my frugality hero, and reviewed my situation with him. He’s more risk averse than me, and he lived in an era where people worked for the same company for their entire life. We had deep and meaningful conversation on the meaning of life, work, family, future, death and so on.

Maybe it’s just the weather. I enjoyed this sunny month off with my family in Switzerland (and in Germany), hit the water each day (river, lake, swimming pool, SPA), witnessed first steps of Baby RIP and many more volatile moments, which helped me making decisions.

I feel much better.

But I didn’t blog, I had to focus on other things.

But now I’m ready to kick your financial asse(t)s again!

About blogging… as I said I almost didn’t blog at all. I found some time to write an expert roundup for debt.com and I apologize with The Poor Swiss for not having found time for his. Sorry friend, keep up the good work, your blog is awesome!

But I miss you, my readers, as I said at the beginning of this post… it feels like “disappearing from the internet” after few months of low presence. I met many of you in June, and you helped me a lot, but I miss being helpful. I’m not used to “take”, I prefer to “give”. One of the most fulfilling days in June has been meeting a colleague/reader who proudly showed me how he copied my NW spreadsheet and adapted it to his own situation. He wrote his IPS, started tracking his expenses, his assets, and finally heading somewhere. He thanked me. He didn’t know how much his family was spending and where the money was flowing to. He now achieved first step in the financial freedom ladder: financial intelligence. Awesome! This is the impact I want to have (but I want it on a larger scale)! Knowing my situation, this colleague/reader is doing his best to keep me at Hooli, suggesting potential team/role changes. I really appreciate that. That’s the power of reciprocity, networking.

That’s all for now.

More will come.

I hope you enjoyed my personal updates!

That’s all for June 🙂

40 comments

  1. I recently started reading your blog and enjoy your updates. Keep them coming.
    Also, I can’t believe that you visited Tuttlingen, that’s my hometown! Not a touristy spot for sure (the surrounding area is amazing though) but I am glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Thanks Jazz, will do!
      What surroundings are awesome? I walked the Donau from Moeringen to Muehlheim and loved it!
      Next time I’m in TuT we’ll have a Fürstenberg beer together 😀

  2. Congrats on your progress.

    I am surprised you don’t mention wealth tax, as it can be an extra expense: 3000 and 12000 CHF in your case.

    Also the FU numbers between Italy and Switzerland are remarkable. However, you should also add the AHV contribution if you retire early in Switzerland, which is again based on wealth: 2400 CHF in your case, but it could be 4000 based on your FU numbers ( https://www.ahv-iv.ch/p/2.03.e )

    Switzerland is really not an optimal place for early retirement.

    1. This is a good point, I thought about mentioning wealth tax in my NW.
      right now, I’m considering it in my expected effective tax rate. In future I’ll add an entry for vermögenssteuer 🙂
      I don’t think it’s even close to 3k, mind that a good portion on my net worth is in Pillar 2&3 (no wealth tax). I expect somewhere between 1-1.5k for tax year 2018 (growing fast though).

      Another good point is to consider Pillar 1 pension. I wrote an article about that in the past and I may add it in a future review of my doc. Anyway that’s not based on wealth but on contribution years.

      1. My message was not clear but if you retire early in Switzerland, you still have to pay/contribute to AHV until you have the legal age to retire. In the context of FIRE, this can be a high burden because the yearly payment are based on your wealth (3k for a wealth of 2M, or 23k for a wealth of 8M). Most people don’ t know this.

        Personally, if I wanted to retire in Switzerland I would need to payan extra 40kCHF – 70kCHF of taxes per year in wealth tax, dividend tax and AHV contribution until I am 65. No way…

        1. It’s true that AHV is a major cost that needs to be considered, but you should call it AHV and not wealth tax as that is typically the name given to vermögenssteuer even if the assessment basis of AHV has a wealth aspect.

        2. Also, I’m not sure how you calculated your numbers. I thought that the maximum AHV you needed to pay was capped at around 2’000 CHF per month if you have ~8M of ‘wealth’.

          Or do you mean you have ~24k of AHV and the rest is tax on dividends etc.?

          1. In my kanton, I would have to pay around 10k of wealth tax (one of the cheapest kanton), 20k of AHV and 10k in income taxes (I can recover most of the dividend taxes at source and have low taxes because I have no other income). So I would pay 40k of taxes and contributions/year if I retire in Switzerland. In my previous kanton, this number would be above 70k/year.

            In a tax heaven, my wealth tax would disappear and I can move some of my assets to accumulating funds to avoid the 35% dividend taxes on my swiss assets. Instead of paying 40k/year in taxes, I would pay 10k/year (30% flat on my US assets). By moving, I save 30k and can enjoy a cheaper cost of living (cheaper housing, cheaper healthcare, no more need to go on vacation to the sun). I would need an extra 2M saving in Switzerland to afford a good retirement.

            BTW, I just FIREd and I am leaving Switzerland to move to my house by the beach.

            1. Good points, but what’s your definition of a “tax heaven”?
              I’m not aware of any European country with better taxation than Switzerland for the wealthy (no capital gain tax).

              What’s your tax heaven if you can share it?

          2. Be happy you are not living in my canton of Basel-Land where wealth tax is outrageously high! I may have to look into moving into a neighbouring canton for retirement! 😛

          3. If you live in Basel Land and are wealthy, you should really consider moving to Dornach, SO. However the best place in Switzerland for retirement is Nidwalden, considering the low wealth tax, lower cost of living and proximity to the lakes/mountains. Many people assume that Schwyz and Zug are best but this is only true if you have a high taxable income.

          4. Switzerland is in no way a tax heaven if you pay the ordinary taxes (35% on dividends + 0.5% to 1.4% of wealth tax/AHV).
            The best countries in Europe for the taxes of the early retirees are Malta, Bulgaria and Belgium (no taxes on dividends, capital gain and wealth). Portugal is also a good choice. Even France is a good choice because you only pay 30% on capital gain and the cost of living is low.

            Personally I move to the Bahamas because I like the sun and the island style of living. There are no taxes, but the cost of living is almost as high as in Switzerland, due to the import duty (direct taxes)

            1. I’d love to see these numbers backed by data and links though.
              It’s not true you pay 35% taxes on dividends, that’s just withholding (you pay real taxes based on your income tax brackets at tax declaration time).
              I don’t think it’s true that you pay up to 1.4% wealth tax!

              Anyway, Bahamas sounds much more fun to retire to if you have connections there 🙂
              We’re realizing that retiring to a country where we don’t have enough connections is very hard. If you have friends, family, experiences, been there several times already, moving because of a job… at least one of those must be true, else it’d be a jump into the void for us

          5. I hate the current hot weather and so Bahamas is no place for me! Pre-kids, I had considered Malta and Portugal (at least while the incentives last) but now with kids in school, moving is not really on the cards. A friend took the Malta route. I would also consider the UK (as it is my home location).

            I had looked at a potential move to Dornach as that may be feasible when the kids are a bit older. When kids are independent, then Nidwalden would actually appeal, not just for the taxes, but mainly (as you mention) for being closer to the lakes and mountains.

          6. Regarding swiss taxes:
            – There is indeed a 35% withholding tax on dividends. If you are resident in a country without dual tax treaty, you cannot recover it. If you are swiss resident, you actually pay income taxes on it (i actually used to pay 42% on my marginal tax bracket), but If I had to retire in Switzerland, this would be close to 10% because I avoid dividends through accumulating funds.
            – Regarding wealth taxes. If you live in Geneva, you would pay 0.94% or 0.14% in Stans (https://www.expatica.com/ch/finance/taxes/an-expats-guide-to-swiss-taxes-101589/).
            – In addition if you don’t work, you must pay an extra 0.28% on your wealth toward AHV (progressive taxe). You get some of your money back at 67+: In my case, I would need to contribute 20k/year for the next 35+ years to get an extra 12k/year for 15 years, if I live till 80.

            To summarize:
            – Retiring in switzerland: 10% dividend taxes and 0.42-1.26%, depending where you live
            – Retiring abroad in a tax heaven: 30% of dividend taxes (USA) and 0% wealth tax.

            I indeed save approximately 50k of taxes compared to living in my latest cheap canton (wealth in 4M-8M range). If I factor the high cost of renting/health insurance /other spending in Switzerland, I gain 70k/year of purchasing power by moving to an island paradise. And 70k/year is about what I expect to spend to live the good life. Hard to beat…

        3. Ok, now I see what you mean.
          Btw the amount of “3k for a wealth of 2M” is monthly or yearly?
          Maybe there are smart ways to also get something back, like becoming a self employed and work just a little bit…

          In general I agree that Switzerland is not meant for early retirement, unless you inherited a windfall of at least 5-10M, but let’s wait for MustachianPost’s book, since he claims that 2.5M should be enough 🙂

            1. My German is not good enough to fully understand that thing. I see that the base to calculate your contribution is “Vermögen und mit 20 vervielfachtes jährliches Renteneinkommen”, and I don’t know what “20 vervielfachtes jährliches Renteneinkommen” means (and Google translate doesn’t help much).
              But I also know that Pillar 2&3 are not considered Vermögen, so wealth is also lower than I expect.

              I see that 1M CHF means 2k per year, but then there’s a progressively increasing taxation which sucks.

  3. I’m quite sure you are already being very helpful to many! That’s the advantage of having so many posts over the years, collecting so much information, that even when posting less you are still having more and more impact. For me it has been useful even as someone already familiar to FI, since I had to learn all the swiss intricacies. So thanks for the blog! I hope you figure out your situation soon.

    An observation. When you mention the tax withholding recovering only until 2022. If you mean the US part from ETFs that you get back with the DA-1, you actually get that quite fast, like in O(days) from sending it, or at most a few weeks. It’s not related to the actual tax filing that goes to a different office. At least it was like that when I file in Zürich.

    1. Thank you RC 🙂
      So you get the money back from IRS very fast? Awesome! Good to know, I didn’t file any DA-1 so far (and won’t do for tax year 2018, so another year art least without knowing)

  4. Hey Mr. RIP, if you are unsure about Switzerland and Italy, Ticino is a good compromise, especially as FI. You get swiss taxes and stability AND you can enjoy Italy every day. Let me know if you would like more info.

    I would like to take the occasion to thank you for all your articles. I’m sure that they are helping a lot of people. Can’t wait for the rest of the articles from the ETF list series.

    1. Thank you Paolo!
      We didn’t consider Ticino because it’s still “Swiss expensive” (maybe a 10% expenses haircut compared to where I live – which I think it’s obvious even if I never mentioned in my blog) and we have a lot of connections here where we live today. If we’re going to make a giant move because here’s expensive, I guess we want to go somewhere that’s no more that 50% as expensive.

  5. Sad to hear about the acknowledged burn out, but – then – maybe it’s a good opportunity to do something about it and not linger any more (says the lingering guy … ).

    One thing, though: how difficult it is to find a doctor that can obtain for you months of paid sick leave? I guess every one of us is burned out to some degree and I could also use some paid time off to rediscover myself.

    1. Indeed it is!
      Let’s not procrastinate. Let’s act today! Well, maybe not today, but… 🙂

      About the doctor: I don’t know. Well, being a theater actor helps! I’m joooooking 😀
      Seriously, I don’t know. I’ve been sincere and told the truth. Your body – more than your words – will tell them how severe your situation is.

  6. Hi there MrRIP! Long time reader, first time commenting here 🙂 You have all our respect for all the work you are doing on this blog to enlighten us (not only on finances and investments topics, I personally enjoy quite the same the posts about life philosophy). Keep it up and hope you can get over the burnout asap 😉

    One quick question regarding what you wrote above (“They didn’t tax virtual dividends on some of my accumulating ETFs.”): Is this the case for all your accumulating ETFs? If not, could you please share your opinion on why virtual dividends from some accumulating ETFs are taxed and from others not? I am thinking of buying some accumulating ETFs (I don’t currently own any), but I read from various sources that maybe it’s not worth the complications (compared to distributing ETFs, where you have a clear statement what dividends you received and therefore what needs to be taxed). Thanks!

    1. Hi Christian, thanks for the nice words!
      The fact is that at the time of tax declaration some of the virtual dividends were not available on ICTax. I couldn’t have declared them. So I put ZERO as dividends for those ETFs (I don’t remember which ones though). I assume they didn’t double check my tax declaration (they can’t double check each one) at a later time, thus confirming my numbers.
      I didn’t have the information I needed at the time of tax filing, I didn’t evade taxes.

  7. Hi Mr RIP, for years I have been reading here. Too bad about the burn out. 8 Years ago I found myself burnt out and my takeaway from that time is that may be its not the best time to make important decisions. Once youre starting to recover thats most likely the time that things look much clearer and youll find your way. Good luck from a Dutch fan.

    1. Thank you Ingrid, I really appreciate your nice words 🙂
      Apparently you’re not the only one who suggested me to “not make important decisions while burnout”. The fact is that I’m getting out of that state thanks to the fact that I’m making important decisions… It’s not a state that is going away on its own. But I guess my burnout/depression is very lightweight and it’s just a strong desire to change something and the fear of leaving one of the supposed “best place where to work” in the world.

  8. “One of the most fulfilling days in June has been meeting a colleague/reader who proudly showed me how he copied my NW spreadsheet and adapted it to his own situation.”

    This is exactly what I’ve done and I’m really grateful for! In my case I’ve moved everything into Excel – as an IT person, I’m still not very trustful in keeping my files in the cloud…;)

    Having said that – I’m grateful not only for the spreadsheet, but for everything you were doing so far. Fingers crossed for taking the right decisions as regards future!

  9. Hey MR RIP

    It was such a pleasure to meet you. Thank you again for your time and I hope I could help you with some thoughts. At least you have to know, that you have already a huge impact on every reader. You made already a great job and made our lifes better 🙂

    I‘m looking forward to meet you again.
    Enjoy your Free-Time 🙂

  10. Hi Mr RIP,
    I’m a recent reader, enjoying your blog so much!
    I think it is very brave that you are posting exact amounts for net worth. I’m not this brave! 😀
    Honestly, I really feel for your burnout, went through it a few years ago. For me quitting made everything worse. Because I felt I lost my identity in addition to being uneployed. Part of my solution was to take a new job that was well paid enough but was not demanding. I was able to recover while working very little. 🙂 And no, your monthly updates are not boring! 😉 Keep them up!

    And maybe it is weird to comment, but I love the progress bar….looks like a computer game from the 90s!

    1. Hi Mocsi, thank you for your nice words 🙂
      I’m always a bit scared by posting my real numbers, considering how weak my anonymity is, but I think there’s a lot of value in doing that so I keep doing.

      ’bout brn’out: I don’t perceive my identity connected to my job anymore, but I fear that it’d be hard to tell people what I do in case I quit. I fear that social pressure would make a breach and that won’t help me moving over. “Did you really quit Hooli? and what are you doing now? What?? Why??”. Answering tons of these questions can be depressing. Right now everything is easy: “hey, what do you do? Do you really work at Hooli??? Holy shiiiiit that’s awesome!! Tell me, is it really that good??” and the conversation with random people goes without saying. Not that I care much, but it can hurt if I’m not in good mood.
      Anyway, things are changing. There are a couple of options on the ground. It’s an intense period 🙂

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