This post will relate those points and how I am living my life.
I graduated with a degree in Banking & Finance and have been working for about 7-8 years in the finance industry. The pay has been quite good as generally, the finance industry in Singapore pays better than most other industries. I'm not particularly excited about my work but it pays the bills and it pays me a fair amount for spending and savings. I've also had experience working in the financial advisory sector where I provided financial planning to other individuals. I realized that I'm not particularly talented at sales as I believed in providing good financial advice to clients where most other financial planners typically hard sell products to clients who are usually not too familiar with the products they are buying. However, this experience has provided me with more insights in this industry and I have gotten more familiar with the types of insurance/financial planning products available.
I like the idea of retiring early. As mentioned earlier 33-35. Then to pursue other interests which may or may not result in me earning other forms of income. Based on my calculations, this target is achievable and both my wife and I will be able to retire in about 2-4 yrs time.
I just got married this year. My wife loves her job. So she's not too keen on retiring early. That's fine with me. (I'm sure there will be comments from readers that I can so choose to retire only because she is still working.) Pls note that the retirement planning WILL be able to allow both of us to retire and not work for money forever. But if she so chooses to continue working. I don't think I should stop her from working.
But neither do I think that due to her working I should continue working just cos some blokes think that I'm sponging off her. So for the negative readers out there. Just live with it. If you choose to stay working then that's your choice and you can continue working all you want. This blog is for readers who might not be financially inclined but believe that concept of early retirement is possible and are willing to make positive steps to achieve this. I hope that this blog will be an inspiration and guide for other like minded people who do not have the financial knowledge and are looking for reasonable financial advice or to them to know that there are other people thinking of the same thing and that we will all stand together to fight against the common society which forces us to conform or be ostracized/looked down upon.
Some will comment that "I cannot retire young cos I am unwilling to do the dishes myself, so I need to continue working to pay for my maid/helper to help me do the dishes/housework/etc". For people with this comment. Well, pls continue to work. I'm not stopping you. I'm talking to the people who are willing to put effort into the concept of early retirement. They recognize that certain trade offs must be made and are willing to make these trade offs to be free from continuous employment.
Ok enough ranting on negative folks whom I meet on a regular basis whom I try to share my ideas with.
More on how I live my life currently and how it impacts my early retirement and possibly yours too.
I have lived my life fairly simply. I don't have much special desires nor do I want luxury products. I live a fair enough life and I do not scrimp and save. I spend when I need to and don't spend too much. I do not have a monthly budget. I buy what I need for my daily/mthly consumption, nothing more. Thus, I do not need a budget. My spending has been relatively consistent for years. Even after annual increments my standard of living has not increased. I do not need to. It is high enough for me to feel blessed and already more than many others. But less than many many others. Increments and bonuses go directly into more savings and investments. I do not have an emergency fund. More on why in a future post.
My wife and my monthly expenses is approximately
Credit Card bill of SGD1500
(Food, handphone bill, clothes, qtrly travel expenses, any other thing that can be charged to a cc.)
2nd Credit Car bill of SGD100 (read the Credit Card page)
Basic Food SGD200
Car mthly payments SGD250
Misc gifts, monthly income tax deduction, unexpected expenses, etc, SGD250
Resulting in a mthly couple bill of about SGD2000-SGD2500.
No expenses from housing as we currently stay with my parents. This is somewhat normal in Singaporean society.
More details on the breakdown in a future post for comparison against the target of an early retiree.
If you notice, this spending for 2 of us is the salary of a typical Uni graduate. If you are a couple, you should be able to save the entire amount of your partner's salary. Or half of yours and half of your partners'. Not to mention some of the above mentioned expenses can be cut even more. Eg, the car, less travel, etc. This means a lot in the concept for early retirement as this means that there is NO excuse that you have no savings if you have graduated from University or are a Polytechnic gradate with some years of experience.
The only situation which you will have difficulties is if you have family issues, like uninsured medical problems, requirement to support the family due to low income background, etc. If that is the case, then early retirement might be more of a challenge. It is NOT impossible but it will be a harder journey.
(I would be glad to do some case studies on such readers who have difficulties in their finances as I personally have not had much interaction with people with such experiences.) Hopefully, we would be able to share with others what it is like and how we can help each other learn and spread more financial knowledge so that others can also get their finances into shape and look for an opportunity to retire earlier.
I will not reveal my current total invested assets as there is no meaning in what I own.
In a future post, I will cover more on that. To each person, the amount required is different. As it is determined based on what you want/need. Some want to provide more for themselves, as they want more luxuries during retirement. Others may want more sense of security, some might just be able to live on a bare minimum. So the magic number for everyone will be different and my number is not important. What is important is what are you willing to live on which will determine your expenses, which will be able to calculate your magic number and from there you can determine what you are willing to do to achieve this magic number.
Share your own expenses in the comments below. Do you upgrade your spending everything you get an increment? What do you spend your bonus on? Do you spend more/less than me?