Retirement strategy

It is everyone’s dream to achieve financial freedom and escape from the rat race as young as possible.  Like everyone else, I share the same aspiration. That is primarily one of the reasons for founding this wealth blog. In recent years, many local financial bloggers shared that they have attained semi-retirement status and left the corporate world for good. In this article, I will share my retirement strategy and how I aim to reach my goals.

According to BlackRock’s Global Investor Pulse Survey 2017, it was revealed that Singaporeans worry about outliving their retirement savings but not doing enough to prepare for retirement. Results showed 64% of Singaporeans worry about running out of money in retirement, the highest proportion in Asia-Pacific. Nearly nine out of 10 Singaporeans (87%) believe they are responsible for their own retirement income.

Retirement

Everyone has their pathway in life and one should not compare their financial status with others. My retirement strategy is very simple – I plan not to retire at all. This statement may come across as oxymoron but simply put, I hope to extend my career shelf life as long as possible. I don’t relish the idea of idling around and being seen as not contributing to the progress of the society.

Life is all about challenges and experiences. At the end of the day, I may not have accumulated sufficient wealth to have a comfortable retirement, but I certainly hope to lead an enriching life.

For those who hate working for money, ask earnestly whether you have a purpose that justify retiring without a job. Chances are, you would struggle to find other meaningful purposes or activities that can keep you occupied or active on a day-to-day basis for the rest of your life. You would find that time slow down when you reach retirement and the days become dreadfully long. No amount of hobbies, leisure travelling and rest would keep you engaged for long. After some time, you would be sick of idling around.

And then there is the issue of money. There are bloggers who claim to retire from the corporate world but find themselves struggling to cope with the daily expenses. They start to panic at the loss of income and then turned to become private tutors.

There is nothing wrong with being a tutor as it is a decent way of earning a living. But are they doing this because of their passion to teach or are they tutoring for the sake of easy money? I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt but the matter of fact is that the tutoring industry is not regulated at all. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can claim to be a professional home tutor. My question is if you have truthfully attained financial freedom, would you trade one job for another one?

Of course, there are many people who are forced to retire because of poor health or sickness. When that day come for me, I guess there is no choice but for me to [This is a premium article. The rest of the content is blocked and can be accessible by SG Wealth Builder Members only. To read the full content, please sign up as member.]

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Updated: March 22, 2019 — 3:01 pm

5 Comments

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  1. ‘…ask earnestly whether you have a purpose to justify in retiring without a job. Chances are…’

    I’m retired. If I have a job, I’m not retired. I know many of my retired friends are enjoying life, too busy in activities from minding grandchildren, social work, charity work, travelling, attending seminars to learn new things like investments,health, art, socializing, hobbies, or enjoying doing nothing. We stop work( retire) because we want to,and most importantly, able to.

    I always believe that when an employer pays you one thousand dollars, he will extract ten thousand dollars worth of sweat from you. If your lunch break stretches beyond the mandatory time, your pursed lips must align his temperament.

    Even if one wishes to continue to work till death, one must still need to plan for retirement. The contingencies are myriad in life, from poor health, corporate restructuring, disruption, redundancy and change of mind. You must position yourself such that you work because you want to, not because you have to. You may like your job but you may not like your boss or stand his nonsense. Or some other reasons that make you drag going to work. There is nothing worse than being forced into retirement when one is not ready, financially or mentally.

    If one needs to do something, do not work for others, it is pathetic and only for the young. It’s a manifestation of poor or no plannng. After forty or more years of working, if one has not accumulated enough to retire, at least employ yourself, run a business or be a Private Tutor.

    In these volatile economies, traditional or conventional jobs are unlikely to remain for decades. In one working span, probably forty to fifty years, he is likely to have two to four jobs. A basic degree is not enough, one needs to learn, unlearn and relearn new skills all the time.

  2. I stepped down from mgt post more than 10 years ago and opted for a support role in the company which happens to be my first job. I also told HR the salary grade (several levels down) I should get in the new role. I have achieved financial independence and have good passive income through the following means :-
    – Live simply – I live in HDB flats (I had 2 bites of the cherry, both 1st hand) , no car, never took loan since my 1st HDB loan
    – No maid, and my wife was homemaker till my children were old enough
    – Took educational insurance policies for my 3 children (all had/having U edn)
    – Invest simply only in stocks – found others too complex for my simple mind
    – Live below my means (but never scrooge) and invest my saving/reinvest my passive income -the magic of compound interest is real.
    – Leave CPF intact even though I could draw out the excess when I reached 55. More than 10 yrs ago, My wife and I used our CPF Ord to top up our SA. It was a good investment to us.
    – Use cash and not touch Medisave (4% is a lot of interest)
    – Optimise the tax reliefs given by govt e.g CPF cash top ups, SRS
    – For my parent/ parents in laws, with their approval, my wife and I put the monthly allowances into their CPF as cash top ups for the tax relief. They in turn get the allowances from CPF monthly. My working children are also topping the CPF accounts of their grandparents.

    The excess time I have is spent in my hobbies and going on tours with my family. Working at slower pace with comfortable financial backup, knowing any time I want to stop, I can, is satisfying. But it is important to continue in the social circle. Whatever we do, we must feel useful whether at active work or at retirement state.

  3. Hi Senang Uncle,

    You have the ideal retirement lifestyle I been dreaming of! Well I guess you have reached financial freedom and don’t work for money anymore.
    I have obviously not reached your stage yet but your story is certainly inspiring. Thank you for sharing the tips!

    Regards,
    Gerald
    https://www.sgwealthbuilder.com

  4. Hi Fred,

    Seem like you are enjoying life at the moment. Good for you. I trust that you don’t have to worry about money in your retirement.
    But on the point of working for ourselves when we are old, I guess not many people have the option to choose.
    Sometimes circumstances dictate us to work for money in our twilight age. But yeah, agreed that it would be terrible to slog even when we are old.

    Regards,
    Gerald
    https://www.sgwealthbuilder.com

  5. I have just retired 2 months ago, partly for health reason and the other part, age – having worked for 4 decades.
    Waiting to see if I can cope with retirement in the months ahead…..

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