Josan Jarque (Valencia, 1968) and the followers of his method have given a new twist to Aesop’s fable. This graduate in Economics, who finished his degree when he was already working in a savings bank, has been able to live first as an ant and then, from the age of 43, as a cicada. His dreams of traveling or volunteering have come true thanks to this method, learned in an online community, to live without working. The method, and his experiences and reflections, are told in How to live on income (Ediciones Martinez Roca, 2020).
–When did you start planning that you would live on the income from the age of 43
-Now people are very lucky because they have the internet and access to what I call the treasure map: the experience of many people, books, blogs… In my time there was none. I look for my way by my means and also making mistakes. There were sections that I had to retrace. The method now, doing things right, can be achieved easily in 15 years. I did it all my life. Always lead a standard of living below my income. It was easy for me not to fall into the traps of money, not to see myself enslaved by the need for money. Spending on appearances or to possess, when those things are the ones that possess you, or falling for the friend of the bank.
-Why do you fall into what you call money traps
-There is a significant lack of financial culture. That is in the interest of the banks, to sell financial products to everyone.
–Living on income is available to everyone
–Without a doubt. It is available to anyone who knows how to have a certain discipline and not fall into money traps. That they are psychological traps that make us fall into the rat race, in which we spend all our salary and do not make it to the end of the month.
–If I have understood correctly, your method consists of living with what is truly needed, saving a part in the productive phase and learning to invest the savings so as to live the same from a certain moment of income. is it so
–It is so. But we do not fall into lonchafinismo. That is what I call that economic school that said that if we cut the slices of choped thinner it gives us more sandwiches. We don’t have to fall into being stingy. It is enough to live below the income and, of course, learning to invest, which is something that nobody is born knowing and that if we do not do it, we end up falling into another common trap: letting the friend of the bank invest it for us.
–And that is a problem, isn’t it
When crises arrive, and we are entering one, there are savers who find unpleasant surprises in the financial products they have trusted.
–Financial products are often zero-sum mathematical games. In such a way that the more interesting it is for the bank, the more detrimental it is for the client. We can measure the evil of financial products based on the effort with which bank employees try to sell them.
–Is it frowned upon to live on income
–There is a lot of misunderstanding about it. And a lot of disbelief too. It is perfectly possible to do it.
–And don’t they live off of those who produce, who continue to be enslaved, falling into the traps of money
-No. I could have spent my money on a Ferrari, in the middle or on the wheel. But my savings finance millimeters and millimeters of electrical networks, highways or gas pipelines made by companies that generate wealth and to do so they need capital. Investments like the ones I have made are necessary.
–If one follows the method from a young age, it ensures a mature age without working
–If you follow it from a young age, what it allows you is to achieve financial independence and be free to do what you want. Be that to continue working, get involved in politics, travel or make auteur films. Financial independence would create a society of happier people who would be better distributed.
–Where is the border of sufficient capital to be able to live on the rents
–There is nothing more relative than establishing the necessary level. For each person it is different. There are those who spend the month with 400 euros and those who do not arrive with 6,000, due to that effect that we call the rat race. It doesn’t matter how much money you make. For many people nothing is enough.
–Doesn’t the method fix it
–No. Because it depends on many things. We say that it takes between 10 and 25 years to achieve it, depending on your saving capacity and the level at which you satisfy your needs.
“If I had more money I wouldn’t do more things, the limiting factor is time, which is much more valuable”
– Is there a war on consumerism behind this movement that he has captured in his book
-No. Absolutely. What is important is to have a good relationship with money, which is essential to survive. From a certain level, having more money does not change us at all. And that level is not that high either. Even if I had a lot more money, I wouldn’t do more things than I do. There comes a time when the limiting factor is time, which is much more valuable than money.
–The greatest value achieved with this life is time
–Without a doubt. Be free of your time. Most sell much of their time, along with their effort, to earn money. And the trap is such that many people run from one place to another and do not make it to the end of the month.
–How much time do you spend on making a living
-Little bit. About 20 days a year. I have a portfolio of stocks with a good dividend that does not need much attention. Although I really like the current economy. But reading the press is not a job.
–Is this a good time to follow your method
–Crises are sources of tremendous opportunities. They allow you to buy shares of consolidated companies that pay good dividends at bargain prices. Or compute tax losses when making the income statement.
-With the current hope you have half a life left, do you expect to live it like this
-This method allows income to be increasing. Because despite crises, the economy always ends up growing. In the last century I calculate that at an average of between 2% or 3% per year.