Family on the road to FI

Hey people!

I am a 33 year old dad and husband, living in the greater Zurich area.
My wife is from South America and we raise our kid bilingual (German/Spanish).
Currently I am working full-time, whereas wifey is studying dentistry to become a dentist.
Looks like from September 2023 on, we will both be working and therefore eligible to contribute 14K/year to our 3a-depots.
Ive been contributing to my 3a since I was 20, but have only started investing in early 2021.
Outside of that I am also on IB, investing in some US-factor-ETFs.

By far our biggest investment is the private school of our kid though. We feel very fortunate to have this opportunity and I dont mind delaying our FI-Day, to give our younster a head start in life (plus a third language).

Still in 2022 we were able to save almost 20% of our net income, so as a rough estimate I would guess, that we will reach our FI-goal at the age of 50, but let’s see…

Are there any couples/people out there, that are at a similar point in life and would like to exchange experiences? If so, don’t hesiate to contact me. I speak German, English, French, Spanish.

Thank you for reading.
Im hoping for many interesting discussions on this forum!

Best regards


hi @Luk_nuts

There are lot of people/couple/families in this forum in similar situation, however topics have been discussed multiple times, thus people unlikely will engage now.
If you want to spark discussion, you would need to give bit more details.
For me it’s interesting how you plan to achieve FIRE with 20% saving. Seems bit low, unless you already have big portfolio or your income is bigger than average, but this would imply big expenses.
Another interesting point is kids private school. Especially since you mentioned greater Zurich and not city itself. Fancy to give details on school, how much it costs and what benefits you see in this?



Hi @monkk

Thank you for your reply and remarks.

20% savings-rate was this year on one salary only. Depending on how you calculate it, for example if you deduct taxes from the net income, it’s probably more like 25%.
Once we become a dual-income household, this rate will go up to maybe 40-50%. That being said, our expenses are rather high IMO with most of it going towards housing [well located, modern apartment, which we love] and private school.

Yeah sure, it’s called «LFZ», located in Dübendorf. A french school with quite a long history in Zurich. They offer a bilingual system (French/German) from nursery school up till grammar school.
It also has a daily structure with lunch and afternoon activities in-house, so all in one place.
Depending on how many activities or after-school day care you utilize and whether you get financial aid from your employer, the cost heavily varies. In our case for this school year, it is about 2k/month. Happy to share more details if needed.
The biggest benefit we see in this is the natural learning of foreign language (French in this case). I know how beneficial it is in Switzerland to be able to speak multiple languages. And as I had to do it the hard way, working in Geneva for almost four years to learn French, I am now trying to give my kid the opportunity to master that skill way earlier in life.
Other benefits as mentionned are to have everything in one place and a great infrastructure.

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I would like to use this thread to share a thought, that suddenly hit me today.

According to today’s calculation, I would need about 51K per year to cover my expenses. With a SWR of 3%, this would result in required assets of ~1.7M.

But what if I want to continue working? I like my current job, but there would definitely be alternatives that would appeal to me more, but are less well paid.
So what if I quit at a certain point, start a new, more fulfilling job and earn maybe 45K a year with a 60-80% workload?
Wouldn’t I then have to have significantly less than the 1.7 million to reach the “FI day”?
Is this even a variant of Cost-FI, where I simply don’t have to save anything from that point on, but instead of continuing in the same job, I can take another job where I earn less and have to work less?

I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Thank you!

In my opinion, if your current wealth allows you to make up for the shortfall you have by changing jobs, and this job makes you happier: go for it.

The goal of this path to FIRE is to be happier. I’d rather put off my FIRE day for a few years but enjoy my day-to-day work more than work for years at a place I don’t enjoy to the fullest.

If it wouldn’t change the level of your expenses, it wouldn’t change your FU number. What it would change is that it would allow you to have some taste of FIRE right now by pushing forward the date you’d be able to fully stop working by having reached your number.

Personally, I’m all for it. I am convinced that by working less in positions where we are mainly for the salary and dedicating more time for discretionary activities, we build skills and opportunities that can turn into gainful activities that are more aligned with our own terms than 100% employment potentially was. This may take away the need for RE completely.

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Barista-FIRE maybe? Or as you more correctly suggest it should be “Barista-FI”.
I’m not a fan of the term, barista is, for me, a “tough job” :expressionless:

Oh yeah, I forgot about Barista-FIRE.

Barista is indeed a tough job, but I think it could be any job that you actually enjoy.
Apparently in the US it’s called Barista, because the part time employees in Starbucks still get health insurance paid, which isn’t common there for part time jobs.
So here that wouldn’t matter and it could be any job that supplements the difference of the PF withdrawals and life expenses. :slight_smile: