Today we hear from Vince Doherty from Ignite My Fire and the popular meetup group, FI Ireland.
I asked the exact same 3 key interview questions to Vince and you will see how Vince utilises the pre-tax compounding effect of his pension contributions, whilst having a sharp and very clear vision of how to get to FI and what life look like afterwards.
The very interesting full Q & A is below:
Who are you and how did you discover fire?
I was born and raised in Ireland but I have been living abroad since I was 17 years old. I lived in a few different countries and moved back to Ireland for good in 2015. It was at this time that I started to realise that I was heading for my retirement age rapidly and I was not financially prepared for it. I had very little pension, no savings, and no plan.
I started tracking my expenses and found some surprises there. It was about this time that started discovering FIRE. I was reading blogs, books, and watching videos. However, I could only find U.S. based information, I could not find anything that was Irish based.
I decided then to set up a meetup group, Financial Independence Ireland, in order to possibly meet others that were interested in FIRE. I hold a meeting once per month and have around 40 people show up. This really helps me to pass on the information that I have learned and also build a community around FIRE.
What is the backbone of your fire strategy?
The backbone of my FIRE strategy is a strong pension. I get 8% pension from my employer and I also put as much as possible towards Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC). I focus on AVCs because it is one of the most advantageous investments in Ireland. Very few investments in Ireland allow you to invest pre-tax, which means that for every €1,000 that I put into my pension actually costs me €600. The way I see it, is that I am getting 66% instant interest on my €600. On top of this, I also get to grow the money invested tax-free until I start to withdraw it. When I do retire I also get to take out 25% lump sum up to €200,000 tax-free.
I do realise that our Government could also make changes in the future and possibly start taxing pensions or some other non-desirable attack. But that is a risk I am willing to take in order to grow my pension pot. I also invest in the stock market but that is very much a secondary strategy.
How do you plan to spend time when you are FI, and any plans?
I tend to focus on financial independence, more than retiring early. I am hoping to be financially independent when I retire though. I have been thinking about what I will do when I retire, I have made a list of what is important to me. I may not do all on this list but this is a good start to my plan.
Spend lots of time with my daughters and partner
Travel more, stay in different countries to absorb their culture
Run a small profitable business or businesses
Go hiking and walking more, possibly join a hiking group
Dust off my golf club and take some lessons, golf at least once per month
Volunteer, something to do with either kids or animals
Grow vegetables – be self-sustaining
Brilliant and thank you Vince. It is so refreshing to hear all the different strategies and intentional living that so many of us are adopting in the FIRE community. Vince is doing incredible things, bringing people together with a common interest in FI, living life by design and all things related.
You can follow Vince or reach out to him Ignite My Fire
As always, feel free to leave your comments and get in touch if you have specific questions you would like me to ask our interview guests.