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Hello all!
Hello all,

I want to introduce myself on the forum. I'm Dutch, 36 years old living together with my wife and our little girl (10 months now).

We saved some money and have it on a bank savings account with abysmal interest rates. So I was searching for better ways to get some returns on it. After a lot of research I stumbled upon DGI, was directly interested and started to learn more about it. Now I wish I found out about this 10 years earlier, but as they say, better late than never, right? Smile

Since most people will be from the USA here is a little background on Dutch stock investing. In our country we don't have something like an IRA. Actually, I don't even know exactly what a IRA is, but I know it's something in which you can invest without paying taxes right? What we do have is the following:
- We pay 1,2% wealth tax over all the money we have above 42k in Euro's (for a couple that is)
- We can deduct all the taxes paid over dividends (to a maximum of 15% tax on dividends) from this 1,2% wealth tax. The Netherlands has a tax treaty with almost every country where you want to buy stocks which states that a Dutch person can request to get all the taxes back from that country if you have to pay more than 15% in tax on dividends. This makes dividend completely tax free, but we have to pay the wealth tax.
- We don't have to pay tax if we sell a stock with profit.

For the future I have some sort of financial plan. First of all, if we retire (age 67) we get a base amount of money paid by the government. It's called "AOW" and it's something like 730 Euro's for both my girl and me. Besides that, we build up a pension for each year of employed labour. This means that we don't have a financial problem after the age of 67.

We have bought a house with a mortgage of 260k in Euro's. We never have to repay 100k of it. The rest will be repaid automatically in our monthy payments in 30 years. Our goal is to repay 5k / year extra and we repay it on the part we don't have to repay. This creates a situation where we don't have a mortgage anymore after 30 years and if we continue to repay 5k/year extra, than it's repaid sooner. At the moment we pay somewhere around 700 Euro's month I guess. WE don't have to pay this anymore after the age of 64 since we have the mortgage for 2 years now.

Next to this I want to build up passive income. I started with 5k for stocks (just a month ago). I want to contribute an average of 500 Euro's a month, so 6k a year. I buy stocks with amounts of 1k per transaction, so 1k per stock until I build up a diversified portfolio of 30 stocks. After that I have to look at how to progress. The goal is to create as much passive income as possible and maybe stop working earlier (55 would be great? No idea if it's possible). Smile

Well, I guess that's enough of a story. Looking forward to this adventure and I hope everything works out as planned!
Your financial plans seem pretty solid. Getting the mortgage over and done with before retirement, and also having some DGI investments on the side... just with that 6k a year you should be looking at a portfolio larger than 250k before you retire.. that plus your pension should guarantee a nice life for you and your family. So sounds good.

On a more personal note. (feel free to reply with a pm if you prefer)
How's life in the Netherlands these days? I've visited many times but it's never the same as living there. And which city do you live in? Mainly asking as I'm pretty certainly moving to your lovely country myself sometime soon.. hopefully in 2016. Glad to hear the taxes on investing are looking pretty good compared to the rest of Europe, that should help both of us. Smile
Hello Crimson,

Where do you live now? What you think of another country will be largely dependent on the country you live in now and what you are used to.

Also, what would you like to know? I can tell you a lot ofcourse, but a little more specific would suit your needs better. Smile

In general, I like living in the Netherlands, but than again, I don't really have anything to compare it to. There is no real poverty in our country because we have a very good backup system (ofcourse there are poor people, but it's all relative). Everything is arranged quite good here and it's quite normal if you work part-time if that is something you like (my wife and I both work 32 hours a week for example).

On the other hand, I'm quite afraid of what is going to happen with the migration problems of refugees Europe is facing now. I feel that the EU and our government really underestimate the problems. They are not dealing well with it which results in a lot of people coming to our (and surrounding) countries that have a complete different culture. They say it's good for the economy and maybe, if you like at the figures only, it is, but they forget the social aspect and problems of having a lot of people with a different culture. That's not going to work and it will cause a lot of problems in the near and far future if you ask me.

Further, like I said, everything is arranged well, sometimes a bit to much. I would love to decide for myself what to do with my pension money for example, but we are not allowed to do that. Small problems, but hey it's there. Smile

I can probably tell you much more, but what would you like to know? What are you looking for? Why move to the Netherlands?
Well I've got a funny situation where it's a bit hard to say where I live. Basically traveling a lot... living in different places etc. Mostly France/Finland for the past few years though maybe about a third of that time has been in other countries, mainly western Europe/Africa/middle east. So I'm used to a bit of everything.

To someone visiting once in a while, the Netherlands seems really awesome. Beautiful cities, friendly people, nice cosy and relaxed atmosphere... basically I fell in love ever since I visited the first time. But I'm sure there must be some downsides... things that you don't notice until you've lived there for a while. But just the knowledge that you actually like living there (most Dutch people say the same) is already a big plus... often people always see that the grass is greener on the other side. But yeah, any info on the bad side of things would be more than welcome, no one ever tells you that!

So far I've been to Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Breda, Amersfoort... I think that's it for the larger cities. Not a big fan of Amsterdam but the rest seem pretty damn nice. Still not sure where I want to settle down though.. Leiden might be an option but I need to go and explore first.

Completely agree with you on the whole immigration thing but that problem extends around the whole of Europe right now.
As for my reasons. Well like I said, I fell in love with the country ever since I visited for the first time. And everytime I've been there it's just confirmed my thoughts... the Netherlands is definitely nicer than any country I've lived in the past. But falling in love with a Dutch girl is what pretty much sealed the deal. :p

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