“I believe that the current Pension system in Europe is not viable anymore by the time people from 1980+ will retire. I took matter in my own hands and started investing for my own retirement using a Dividend Growth investment strategy.”European Dividend Growth Investor
The above quote is what i told my friend the other day. I truly believe in that and that’s one of the reasons why I became so passionate about Financial Independence and Retire Early (FIRE).
I am 38, married with a lovely wife and we have two young kids. You could call us a typical middle-class European family.
In our case it means that we still need to work for at least 30 years and sometimes this just feels like a rat-race to me. I am often longing for more freedom and freedom means to me just doing what I aspire and what I am truly passionate about. Unfortunately this is not working for a boss, but rather doing something for charity.
At the same time I am also a person who is risk averse when it comes to income. This is for instance stopping me to start my own business. I have experienced true poverty in my youth and I guess that this is one of the root causes for it.
Having said that, unfortunately the European Economic and Policy trends are neither in our favor. People are getting older and our demography is becoming more “grey”. This has already resulted in increased retirement ages across the European continent (i.e. from 65 yrs to 68 yrs). By the time that I will reach retirement age, the expectation is probably that we will work until the age of 72.
At the same time more and more pension funds have not been able to fully cover their future obligations due to the low-interest environment fueled by ECB policies. This has led to many of those funds re-indexing their future pension payouts. This effectively means that I expect less retirement income than what was promised to me when I joined the workforce.
If you don’t believe me, just look at the below table. It shows in the left column the amount of re-indexing by the National pension fund and in the right column the inflation number. Ideally these are in sync with each other.
But as you can see, we lost approximately 19% in just 13 years. So for every 1000 Euro promised when they took our money from our salary back in 2009 we are only going to see maximum 800 Euro. Who knows how much less it will become over the next decade.
Anyway, longer working, less income at retirement…. You get the point!
When I started realizing that, there was only one solution. Don’t wait and count on the government and start taking matters in my own hand.
This is when I found out about Dividend Growth Investing. It resonated very well with me, because it allows me to invest for cash flow with the expectation that it will compound over time at a higher rate than inflation.
This leads me to my big hairy audacious goal which is to retire at 45 and spend my time in a more purposeful manner, while off course not forgetting to enjoy life now.
Having said that, I have been investing since late 2014 and the snowball definitely started rolling. My dividend income is already covering ~20% of my monthly expenses. Just realizing this makes me feel very confident and at the same time very humble about what the future may bring.
I started this blog to document my journey, which is one of ups and downs. It’s a continuous learning with the goal to become a better investor every day.
Because of being a Dividend Growth Investor living in Europe, I have a strong incentive to also invest a considerable amount of my portfolio in European stocks. This mitigates a currency risk for me and at the same time I get to explore companies that are typically better known to me.
I noticed that European stocks are generally undercovered in the FIRE community, so with this blog it’s my goal to expose the community a bit more to the European Dividend Growth stocks (aka European Dividend Champions).
Besides stock information you will find on this blog also a European perspective to other related FIRE topics which are typically part of my journey.
With that I hope to share with you my learnings, provide you with insights and due to your feedback and engagement: become a better investor.
Thank you for reading this far 🙏 and I hope to see you around!
With best regards, Mit freundliche grussen, Met vriendelijke groet, Cordialement, Pozdrawiam, Saludos,
— European Dividend Growth Investor