How to achieve financial freedom and retire at 33

The best thing that money can buy is time and you have to start seeing money as potential time.

This purchase has cost me so many hours of my time or this money can give me so much time of freedom living in Thailand or wherever. Perhaps a purchase of 20 euros may seem little. But if you compare it with one more day of life in Thailand, perhaps it is easier to make the decision to make that expense or not.

— Jesus Arroyo

Jesus Arroyo (@alfinlibre_if) is a fellow student who, after 10 years working as a computer engineer, achieved financial freedom and decided to retire early.

Since then, Jesús has lived off his investments, and spends his time traveling, learning new things, meeting interesting people, and sharing his knowledge about personal finances and other topics through his personal blog:

In this interview, Jesús and I cover his entire career, from his beginnings as a junior programmer in a “software factory” until today, who owns his time and has been retired for 4 years, and we talk about topics as interesting as…

  • What did Jesus do to go from earning less than €800 euros a month to earning 5 times more?
  • How Jesus managed to travel the world for 599 days and return to Spain with more money than he left
  • What is according to Jesus the most common mistake that people make with their personal finances and that prevents them from achieving financial freedom?
  • What investment strategy does Jesus follow today and how to easily implement it?
  • Or why Jesus thinks financial independence should never be your ultimate goal, and how to approach it right

Jesus is one of the few people I know who really He is financially free and lives without working, so if you are one of those who dreams of following in his footsteps, I think you will love this interview.

But hey, I prefer not to anticipate anything else and let you discover it yourself, so without further ado I leave you with the great Jesús Arroyo.

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Episode Links

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quick index

0:59 – Presentation of the guest

2:21 – Start of the interview

2:27 – How I met Jesus

5:06 – Where does Jesus’ fondness for learning about world heritage sites come from and how many he has visited

7:50 – What is your top 3 world heritage sites

15:00 – Why did you study Computer Engineering and why did you do it in Cáceres despite the fact that they also had a degree in your city

18:07 – Jesus tells if he liked the race or not

19:59 – What did you do after finishing university?

20:49 – How was your experience working in a software factory?

12:52 p.m. – What was the proposal of your company to go to work abroad?

27:54 – How were things for your colleagues who went abroad?

29:16 – What plan did you have when you decide to leave the factory?

36:12 – How did your new job for the consultancy go?

37:56 – What was the straw that broke the camel’s back to leave that new job shortly after starting and how was the conversation with your boss

40:08 – How was life in Milton Keynes and was it still the same as when you first visited your friends there?

41:59 – What was it that made you start traveling and why did you start to like visiting new places so much?

44:44 – Why do you return to Spain when the UK project ends instead of looking for another and how was the return

47:06 – How is life and work in Brazil compared to England and Spain?

49:04 – How Jesus managed with the Portuguese

50:11 – Why, when the project in Brazil is over, you decide to return to England despite the fact that you did not like life there and what about that second stage?

53:23 – How was your first solo trip and what was the experience of traveling alone like?

57:43 – How you approached your research to decide where to invest your savings and what you discovered

1:05:47 – What strategy did Jesus follow in terms of focusing on increasing his income or, on the contrary, on optimizing spending and savings?

1:06:50 – What was the investment strategy you followed when you started on the stock market and why?

1:09:33 – What were the first shares you bought and how did it go with them?

1:11:32 – What was happening to Jesus at that time that he was not happy with his life despite having a good job and generating a lot of money?

1:13:27 – What did the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari teach you and why did it impact you so much?

1:16:22 – What did Jesus do to try to find the purpose that was missing in his life?

1:17:58 – How finding purpose changed the way you feel

1:19:49 – What is the happiness course he took on Coursera and why was it so important to him?

1:22:56 – What changes did you make as a result of the course and what effects did they have on your day to day

1:25:26 – How did you feel the day you left your job to go around the world?

1:27:39 – What was your economic situation at that time before starting the trip and if you could already live fully on your dividends

1:30:05 – How was the travel style you chose for around the world: backpacking and sleeping in hostels, staying in hotels or something in between

1:32:34 – How were your first months of travel and if it was difficult for you to adapt to not having to work

1:35:22 – Did Jesus have a project or personal blog during the trip or were they 20 months of pure leisure

1:38:38 – Jesús tells some curious anecdote of the many that he lived during his almost 2 years of travel

1:41:59 – Which of the 26 countries you visited surprised you for good and which ones you would not return to?

1:44:43 – How much did you spend on average per month on the trip and if you were able to cover it entirely with dividends from your shares

1:47:55 – Why did you decide to end your trip after 599 days and return to Spain?

1:48:50 – How was the transition from living traveling to returning home and what were your feelings

1:54:11 – Why after the return you decide to restructure your investment strategy if it had worked well for you

1:59:41 – What it is, how it works and why Jesús likes the permanent portfolio strategy

2:04:35 – Jesus tells if he plans to go back to work or not

2:08:26 What is Jesus up to today?

2:09:44 – What is a normal day in the life of Jesus like?

2:12:50 – Jesus explains if he is happy or not with his life

2:14:37 – How Jesus defines financial freedom and what it means to him

2:16:34 – How much money do you have to accumulate to have financial freedom?

2:20:54 – What do you recommend doing to generate income that helps someone living in Spain achieve financial freedom?

2:26:01 – What is the profile of other people that Jesus knows who have also achieved financial freedom

2:30:15 – Where does Jesus recommend starting to control expenses?

2:37:33 – What is the secret to control expenses without diminishing our quality of life

2:42:432– Why it is necessary to invest the money we save and it is not enough to put it in the bank

2:45:44 – What profitability should we look for in our investment strategy?

2:46:45 – What is the best way to create a permanent portfolio in Spain

2:51:41 – On which of the 3 legs that make up the financial activity should someone who wants to achieve it focus?

2:58:14 – How Jesus recommends managing not to get stuck in the loop of always looking for more security and never taking the step of leaving someone who has worked for years to achieve financial freedom.

3:06:00 – How does a person manage to live on income once he leaves work when he has everything invested in a portfolio and does not have a monthly salary

3:11:12 – In the experience of Jesus, which problems does financial independence solve and which does it not?

3:20:54 – What other challenges are faced by people who achieve financial freedom and leave their job

3:23:02 – Since financial freedom does not bring absolute happiness, Jesus thinks it makes sense to set it as a goal or it is better to choose to look for a job that we like more instead of retiring

3:29:45 – What future plans does Jesus have?

3:34:19 – What are the 3 books that have marked you the most?

3:38:30 – Advice, message or final recommendation of Jesus

3:39:41 – Where to find Jesus

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