Mustachians, introduce yourselves!


Hi all,

I’m slowly dipping my toe into the idea of FI. I’m 23, and a PhD student in Zurich. My main challenge at the moment is knowing how to plan for the future when there’s a very good chance I’ll move countries a number of times in my lifetime. If anyone has any tips in this direction, I’d be very grateful!

Looking forward to learning from this forum :slight_smile:


Hey Zebra & Krunch,
welcome! cool you found your ways here.
please open threads with your question, as i wont engange answering technical details in the introduction thread!


Hi Folks,

My name is Mr.RTF. I am 25 y/o optimist and am passionate about personal finance topics. I managed to save 20K during my time at the university by consisently working part time and stashing some cash. I first invested when I was 19 and since then I didn’t quit investing (yes, I made stupid mistakes :wink: ).

I just started working 2 month ago and aim to keep a decent saving rate. “Working, saving, investing, repeat” will be my motto for the coming years.

I will launch a blog in the near future about my personal approach to FIRE and also show you how everyone can achieve to retire early by cultivating good habits. I really enjoy seeing the blogosphere popping up in Switzerland. You guys are a great source of inspiration and of knowledge. I want to contribute to make Swiss people and Swiss residents more aware about their financial situation.

Thank you for having created such a cool and interesting forum!



Welcome to the forum ! :+1:


Hi guys,

I have been reading the blog and the forum for a while but not yet introduced myself, sorry.

I am in my late 30’s, in Zurich for a while now. Not long ago I managed to buy a house, with that decision out of the way, next goal is FI as soon as possible, and therefore increased frugality and stock market investing.



Hey Mustachos and Mustachas!
Been reading the forum for a while, so a short intro is long overdue.
~40 professional.
My father was an ultimate frugal Mustachian who went FI before 30 (with absolutely no start-up capital except what he had earned himself). How: 98% in shares, some clever stock picks, emigration from CH to a cheap country and a very frugal lifestyle… so frugally that I, for many years after leaving home, was against the ideaology. Now as I get older, I am more and more open to it :grinning:
Mustachian interests - cheap brokers, efficient ETF’s, 3A solutions, …
Regards :tipping_hand_man:


Wow, that’s so cool to meet a person who is, if you will, a “second generation mustachian”. Retiring before 30 sounds truly impressive. May I ask what did your father do for living before retiring? (his “career” was not very long :smiley: ). Where did he decide to emigrate? How did he spend his free time, live his life after retiring?


Haha, a secondo mustachian! Made me laugh :joy:
He was a civil engineer, started work in the sixties in CH, it was a unique and very long “Hochkonjunktur” time until the oil-crisis in the seventies, I’m told. Bridges, tunnels, Autobahns, not exactly huge bonus package potential, but one did have a lot of leverage as an employee to get the salary that you wanted. Nevertheless a “career” of <10 years is special, and it must’ve been a brave step to go for FI and put it all in stocks. Who knows, maybe he had some sleepless nights in those first few years post-FI, which coincided with the oil crisis crash.
The country was South Africa, a cheap place back in the day. He invested internationally long-term (buy and hold) and apart from a fair bit of travelling (backpacking of course) he spent most of his time I remember reading newspapers and magazines, financial but current events as well, but of course in a frugal way, i.e. at the library. I remember once a week he went to this small room at some place downtown and read printouts from a noisy printer printing out telegram style financial/stock news. It was printed on endless paper rolls, and the paper was cut when the printout reached two metres length. The 2m printouts were then were hung up on the walls next to each other, all around the room, so that you could read back about a week’s worth of “financial news” in one visit. You tell that to the kids of today and they won’t believe you! :wink: He sometimes dragged me with, and I found it the most boring thing in the world! :sleeping:


Cool dad! Can you imagine in the 60s, he had no internet, he figured out everything by himself. Find a good paying job, save like crazy, buy and hold stocks, relax :sunglasses:

South Africa still seems like a good bet for retirement. I’ve been there, it’s an interesting country. So you grew up in SA?


I guess at the time there were no index funds and cheap internet brokers. Did he used a Swiss bank as a broker and managed the stocks by phone?


Yes, alas, ETF’s and internet brokers were not invented yet :slight_smile: He stock-picked blue chip companies (mainly old-school industrials, mostly US) and kept them long-term (mostly >10 or even >20 years). Telephone would’ve been an option, I imagine, but he corresponded with his foreign house-bank in writing / normal post, I guess when holding something 10-20 years, a week or two more or less doesn’t matter much. Helped prevent making hasty regrettable “Sells” during nervous times too, I’m sure :wink: More relaxing investor times…(?)


Hi ppl!
Great community from what I’m reading here! wow! I’m a newly convinced heading towards FI… will start right away investing with Degiro on an passive index ETF like Vanguard WORLD or S&P500…
Can’t wait to contribute as well.
To start with I can confirm that also DEGIRO will do prepare for you a W8-BEN5 form ready to be signed just in your message area after account creation: great!
I think my biggest doubts and missing readings are in the taxation area, on frugality and investments I think I’m at a good level now… :wink:

Greetings from Zürich!


Thanks for the insights - funny enough, I’m Swiss have also been living in SA for the past 5 years. Great quality of life if one is nature-driven, and (still) very affordable!


I am a 51 year old project manager in banking and have managed to save more than 50% in the last 12 months. Financial independence is not my main concern - it is just a nice additional option. What I’m really interested in is personal resilience. The mental and physical framework that’s allowing us to withstand shock and traumatas. I’ve started out learning survival skills and moving into bushcraft, only to find out that my body is way too weak and my mind needs training as well. I’m sharing my journey on and as on Instagram, in case you’re interested


Super Website, thanks for sharing!


Hello all!

Austrian, mid-30s, moved to Lausanne a year ago (after 6 years in Dubai :flushed:), married and a dad of two (infant and toddler stage :crazy_face:). Still a weird feeling, the wife and I were classic for many years.

With Dubai being tax free and cost of living 46% cheaper then Lausanne (!!!), I can highly recommend it as a pre-FIRE location, if you can deal with all the bling, racist society, and >90% expats… we could, for a while (sweet sweet salary statements) but felt like it was time to leave and go back to Europe.

We arrived here and learned that we had smuggled a little human being from Dubai without knowing (wife pregnant) and so decided that we prefer for the mum to be at home with kids and spend some quality years with them for a solid foundation (we still pay for part-time childcare - these costs were the biggest shock for me when arriving here :scream:), instead of working.
First year here was terrible saving-wise, but getting back on the horse now. Of course I just opened an account at Swissquote before stumbling across this webpage and forum :roll_eyes:.

I wouldn’t call myself a Mustachian and I like some aspects of the lifestyle we grew accustomed to too much to seriously consider FIRE-ing at 40-ish (hedonistic adaptation I guess… :neutral_face:), but maybe around 50, so I’ve been following the Mustachian way for a couple of years now and picking and choosing aspects that are compatible with our lifestyle.

I’ve been getting heavily into Cryptocurrencies in early 2017 and the 10x-ish increase was fun to watch. All the scams ans pump&dump aside, I do believe in decentralisation and blockchain have the potential to change the world as we know it and that it would be silly not to try to be part of it in the (still) early days. Will closely follow crypto discussion on this board for sure :slight_smile:

I now work for a large NGO and have two additional income streams (excluding crypto-investment-adventures): lecturing at an academic institution and as an Expert for the EU Commission.

Anyhoo - great blog, great forum, quality content! Looking forward to read up on all the discussions.

A :kissing_heart:


Welcome to Switzerland Alexej! We did the pre-FIRE pumping and saving in Taiwan and Singapore. Was great and learnt tons of stuff. Back with family with two kids to Switzerland since summer 2017 - once your kid reaches Kindergarten age the Swiss school system is my preferred one.


Hi Matt! Welcome back to you too! Tried Singa for a little bit, never did Taiwan but will probably spend a LOT of time in Asia in the next couple of years (work…).
Glad to hear that Kindergarden age and after will help with the kids! After being spoiled with an live-in Nanny in Dubai, getting back to ‘normal’ life has been tiring.

Your profile reads great and makes me want to reinvent myself financially. Too much time spent on slaving away, not enough sense of freedom at the moment, but I guess that is a common issue and driver for FIRE desire :slight_smile:

If you’re ever in the Lausanne area, please let me know. Would love to hear more how your expat experience was in Asia and how life is in Switzerland for you guys now.


Hi @Alexej, cool story. I was in Dubai last year for holidays. I resented the old town, was not very fond of the area along the Sheikh Zayed Road, but I liked it a lot in Dubai Marina. I guess that’s the only place I could consider to live for a short period of time.

In my short personal experience I consider Switzerland as a wonderful place for a frugal person. The salaries are the highest in the World, and the high cost can be helpful in staying frugal :smile: .


Dear @Alexej

For the school system I do like to refer to this article and especially chart: - this was about the key graphic that convinced me a move back to Switzerland (home for me, not for my Taiwanese wife though) would be best. Singapore, as you can see on the graphic, has the best PISA results overall (dark blue dot) but its students are under heavy pressure, are anxious and are highly competitive at the same time. Our kids went to the Swiss School in Singapore which costed a bomb and is for many expats a true FIRE-extinguisher (we paid about $60k per year just for schools… if you add this up and compound it with 7-8% over 20 years… you’ll got another FIRE-work). Many 6 year olds wear glasses already and know how to write and read. But they never go into the woods, hiking or skiing. Here we allow our kids a completely different childhood.

Similar to you guys we also had to let go of our live-in maid which was available 24/7 and taking back all the household chores and now gardening work, shopping, cooking, laundry and so forth was a point we underestimated somewhat. But hey, our kids don’t just listen to how we tell them life should be, they watch us and learn from us. So, I’m happy they can watch me doing laundry, shopping and cooking - I’ve seen some incredibly spoiled brats abroad who terrorize their maids in ways you don’t even want to know.

Re-imagineer yourself financially! Oh yes!!! It takes a time of increased focus and frugality as compared to your peers but it’s oh-so-worth it. Once comes day X, your Findependence Day, you can still continue to work but you wouldn’t have to, you could if you wanted. I like the notion of FIRE vs. FIRO (retirement optional) and am currently studying lots of stuff around staying young and healthy, the Japanese Ikigai concept, longevity and enduring happiness about which I plan to blog about during 2018.

We sometimes travel to Western part of Switzerland, will send you a PM for exchange of details. My grandmother (94 years young, still agile and driving her car between Spain and Switzerland) lives partially in Vevey and I might go see her once in a while. Would also love to meet up with similarly minded FIRE-fighters!

Cheers, Matt