Author: Early Retirement SG

An Emergency Fund : Revisit since 2013

It’s been a long time since I talked about financial topics. Since a reader asked about emergency fund, I thought to talk a bit about it again. https://earlyretirementsg.weebly.com/blog/emergency-fund-do-you-need-it-or-not-and-why Long long time ago, in 2013, I discussed about it. 2013. It’s been 7 years. I was still working then. So many things have changed. For us, I don’t really keep an emergency fund. We keep around S$5,000 in cash for living expenses. Any additional cash due to dividends, incomes, etc. Is all available to go into investments. The thing is, for emergency funds, we need to understand ourselves and our...

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Being diligent with electricity

Over here in US, we signed up for a unique power provider. Usually, most people will sign up 6 months, or 1 year contract for power at a fixed rate. Same as in SG. We pay, maybe $0.20 per kilowatt hour, and we just use electricity anytime without thinking. However, we selected a billing company which allows us to buy electricity at wholesale prices. The price moves every 5 minutes. So sometimes it is $0.02 per kwh or it could be $0.011 or it could be $0.15 per kwh. After reading reviews, it appears that generally, the price of...

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Being Prepared

I read about the situation in SG during this Coronavirus phase… People stocking up on face masks and food supplies… It’s understandable. There are a few ways to look at it. 1) People want to do “something” it makes them feel like they are more secure. Doesn’t mean it will work, but doing “something” makes them feel better. 2) It’s better to have something and not need it, than to need something and not have it. IF I were in SG, would I stock up on food? Well, it depends. I wouldn’t need to. I always have stocks of...

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Managing my spending in the US

There has been little change to how I spend in the US as compared to SG or Paris. When I was in SG, I basically used my UOB One card to spend. I get 3.33% rebate for spending S$500 per month, for 3 months in a row. I also get around $150 per month due to the bonus interest generated by the UOB One account. I attribute the $150 return to the credit card spend. Cos, IF I don’t spend S$500 on the card, I won’t get the bonus interest. The bank account would just generate the base pathetic...

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How to be at Peace with Yourself

I find a lot of mental stress comes about when we aren’t at peace with ourselves. This happens a lot when we have conflicting feelings vs thinking. Example. Using my mind, logic, I think I should have enough to retire. The maths work out. However, maybe in my heart, I feel that it is not enough. Now, this is a conflict within myself. And it will be there forever until it is addressed. So either, I continue to work until I earn enough until my heart feels that it is enough. Or I overcome my heart and address the...

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Estimated Expenses in Houston

I’ve been here for 13 days. I’m starting to get a sense of my expenses for my stay here. All numbers are in US Dollars. Food expense is expected to be high. It’s only been 13 days and we’ve spent over $200. We do expect to be eating out on weekends and that’s quite expensive. Around $30-$40 for 2 pax, depending on where we eat. A Korean meal for 2, bibimbap & seafood tofu soup is around $35 after 15% tip. US Dollars! Groceries aren’t too expensive. We can buy meat and stuff in bulk. $30 worth of beef...

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Feeling Guilty for Retiring Early

I haven’t talked about this before. Or maybe I never even thought about it before. But now that I think back, I did experience this. We all know that retiring early is not normal. And it’s ingrained in us that we need to work til we are old. So much so that this expectation becomes the norm. The idea is so normal, that even I, myself, have it ingrained in me. And the thing is… when I left my job. I did feel guilty being unemployed and not being “productive” in the traditional sense. When I was young, my...

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Money vs Security

Many people think that with money they will be secure, or feel secure. This is not entirely true. With money, you can feel secure, or you can feel insecure. Without money, you can also feel secure or insecure. There is also a potential false sense of security. Many people are insecure. Cos we have never been taught to feel secure. Just look within the FIRE community. There are folks with a million or two in their assets and they still don’t feel secure enough to FIRE. Whereas some people may feel $500k is enough to FIRE. Others may feel...

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The Price of Convenience in Texas

I’ve moved to Houston, Texas. Life is pretty normal. Nothing out of the ordinary for the first few days. Just settling into my temporary accommodation for 2 weeks before we move to our rental apartment. We went to do some grocery shopping at Walmart over the weekend. The thing that struck me was that, unlike Singapore, the supermarkets are consistently cheaper as compared to another supermarket. For example, in Singapore, NTUC is cheaper than Cold Storage. Sheng Shiong or NTUC is pretty comparable, but we just go whichever is more convenient cos we usually have only one supermarket around...

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A Simple Life

I watch YouTube a lot. It’s my main activity for the day. I watch about investments, other people, other cultures, other lifestyles, etc… And I chanced upon this very simple vlog. About this guy who moved to Thailand from US. And he says it very simply. And I think it’s useful for us to learn As I clear my mind from clutter, I also realize I have less to write about. What’s been said has been said. Some people will learn. Others won’t. I’ve tried talking to people about their lives and lifestyles and choices. I’ve learnt that many...

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The People Around Me

I am interested in more of your specific thoughts on how to assess and decide whether someone is ‘toxic’ and ‘negative’. How soon do you decide and are you often accurate? Do you have some unique tips and practical ways of identifying these people? ​-Kuriko Kuriko asked a very interesting question and I’d like to address it as a post. Cos the answer is long and I think it’s important. As we/I go through life, I realize that the people I hang around are very important. Values, ideas, mentality, encouraging, negative, positive, sucks my energy or gives me peace....

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Thoughts about Singapore

I don’t have the answers. I’m just pondering about these thoughts… First… There are little avenues for Singaporeans to show displeasure with what the government is doing. CPF withdrawal age was raised from 55 to 65. And instead of taking out the full sum, Singaporeans need to take it out in drips. Good or bad, it’s up to each person to determine. But I compare it against what happened in France. The people went on strike/protest when the government wanted to increase the age of the pension of some classes of government workers. Everyone has different views on strikes...

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A Consolidated Post on Insurance

Ok, so… I got a request to talk about insurance. So I’ll share a whole bunch of ideas from previous posts and maybe add on some new stuff. Here’s some of my older posts on insurance Insurance – Types of Insurance Hospitalization plan and Eldershield Why do you buy insurance – what people don’t think about.  Why I think an endowment plan is a good product ​Is healthcare cost too expensive in Singapore? ​​ There are so many types of insurance, but actually, insurance is pretty simple. All insurance are actually term policies, then they package it into something complicated....

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Do You Talk About Money?

Do you talk with your kids? Have you had a financial discussion with your parents? Do you talk with your friends? How many people actually have a honest discussion with their financial adviser? But then again how many financial advisers can be trusted? How did you learn about money? How did you learn about savings and investments? I think for many of us we don’t talk with many people about money matters. I learnt about savings from my dad. He talked to me about saving for a rainy day, being frugal, assessing the value of things and asking me...

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Spending €848 in a blink

That’s S$1,272. Not too long ago, maybe just a year or so back, I would have thought a lot about it before I went ahead with the purchase. However, my mentality has changed quite a lot since a year back… So… I just booked my tickets to Germany and 3 nights hotel stay. It’s a really short trip. With only 2 full days. The arrival and departure dates are basically almost useless cos I arrive very late and leave very early. The train tickets were really expensive cos we booked really really late. I’m leaving in 3 days time....

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