Who would have thought that being benched for 3 1/2 hour on an airplane seat would lead to a minimalistic/financial independent blog post.
Nonetheless that is what happened yesterday.
I was in the middle seat, with my oldest on the right and middle one on the left. It got pretty boring, so at one point I remembered a personal development course I once followed, where the instructor said that driving represents the best “windows of opportunity” to talk, cause there is nothing else to do.
Well both my boys had their IPads firmly in their hands, but it did not deter me. So I started talking to my middle one – 9 years of age – and at one point I find myself asking him where he wants to live when he grows up?. Didn’t really think much over it when I asked, and figured he would mention some cool global city, like New York, London or similar.
He said he didn’t know, so I asked him if he wanted to move up to his grand mother who still lives in the small town where I grew up, on the outskirts of western Jutland in Denmark. (Background information – 2.800 inhabitants in the town, and tugged in between the North Sea, a national park and a lot of farming acres.)
I figured I would at least get a rapid “NO – I am not going to do that.” Instead I got a – “yeah, that might be a good idea”.
Me going – WTF – not really the expected reply – 🙄. But part of me is flattered that he would actually consider moving back from Copenhagen to my home town which I ditched 20 years ago.
I get a bit intrigued, and asked him a follow up question, in order to keep the conversation going, and to dig into it abit. His reply – “well the houses are much cheaper up there – like ~200k USD. It’s like 800k USD for an apartment where we live”
At this point I’m like – WTF – how does a 9 year old even know what houses and apartments cost in various parts of Denmark?
At this point I am a little bit out of my comfort zone, but still intrigued, so I just go along with his reasoning, and acknowledges, that yes that is a hole lot cheaper. Figured at this point I might as well ask him what he expected to make a month, just to see if he had the whole thing covered.
“6.000 USD a month or three about” was the reply. 🤔 I’ll be dammed. – I go – “yeah that sounds reasonable, and that’s not bad”, I tell him. “No, but you have to pay 50% tax on that” he goes on.
He finally concludes, that that 800k USD no one really can afford.
At this point I am completely lost, and try to cheer him up a bit with various solution alternatives, but inside me I am slowly resigning and quietly agreeing with him.
So I ask him about the game he is playing on his IPad. WTF. Nice dad move. 🤔
For the last two days I have been thinking about this small conversation. Off course he picked up the price level in Jutland from my mother who just remortgaged her house and had it valued in the process, and off course he picks things up over the dinner table. The thing with my middle one is that he is kinda sharp, but perhaps also a bit too sharp, if this is what he is picking up, and already worrying about.
Personally my conclusion is that the negative/ zero interest rate policy by various national reserve banks are wrecking havoc on our economies and has huge inter generational effects, that we may not even recognize currently. I am so saddened on his behalf, because with the climate crisis that he is also inheriting it is not like these young kids don’t have enough on their plate.
More and more I really thing societal change is urgently needed.
Have a happy Sunday 😇 and please do good.
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