Author: Early Retirement SG

Where does happiness or anger come from?

Story: The Empty Boat A monk decides to meditate alone, away from his monastery. He takes his boat out to the middle of the lake, moors it there, closes his eyes and begins his meditation. After a few hours of undisturbed silence, he suddenly feels the bump of another boat colliding with his own. With his eyes still closed, he senses his anger rising, and by the time he opens his eyes, he is ready to scream at the boatman who dared disturb his meditation. But when he opens his eyes, he sees it’s an empty boat that had...

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My wife is not frugal (part 2)

Adding on to my previous post. Over the weekend, we had a strongly worded discussion… well, not really a discussion. It was one sided. It started when she mentioned something about a watch… I forgot the actual comment. She has been talking about watches on and off and I thought that we had already settled that topic. So she had the impression or desire… That once you reach a certain level in your/her career, that the folks there would have at least a nice watch. Not too pricey. Around $2000, a Tag or Omega. And so she was like....

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If something is too good to be true…

We’ve all heard it before. If something is too good to be true, it usually is. There’s no free lunch. I’ve been thinking about this recently. My wife has received a free 3 nights stay at some hotel in Bali. For this stay, we just need to attend their timeshare presentation during one of the days we are there. They say it’s expected to be just 1 hour. To claim it, we need to give them a copy of our flight tix AND a credit card. (So they already have my cc details.) So I think… Yea right… got...

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What if you were happy at work?

Let’s assume we are all gym instructors. We all love our job, we earn $3k a month, and work 5 days a week between 8am – 8pm. The job is pretty flexi so there’s a lot of free time in between. We encourage people to achieve their fitness goals. And we really like what we do. There’s not much career progression but that’s pretty ok. Usually, as gym instructors, we do not have other qualifications to do other work. So we haven’t experienced a 9am – 6pm working culture in a political environment. We haven’t had the feeling of earning...

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Yay! It's the weekend again!

Ok hands up. Who’s super happy that the weekend is here? Not just glad. I mean super happy. You know you’re miserable at where you work. Those of you who are in a bad company, bad boss, poor working conditions, etc. Let’s not talk about those folks who are neutral in their job who don’t know whether they like it or not. I know there are some of you who are totally miserable. Saturday is here, but Sunday will come soon, and Sunday is miserable cos Monday is next. I was like that previously. Friday was great. By Saturday...

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Great Eastern 2.05% Plan

This is really a good plan. If you have a couple of thousand and you are planning on puttint it into a fixed deposit, you may think of putting it into this plan instead. It gives you 2.05% returns guaranteed. The difference is you can’t withdraw it without penalties unlike fixed deposits. But you get insurance coverage. ​ Nothing very much more to comment about. Basically, put in a few thousand, every year get 2.05% for 3 years. Better than fixed deposit rates. But cannot withdraw. But policy holder has insurance coverage during the period. Singapore Government Bonds are...

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3 stocks that I owned that are doing poorly now

I don’t really like to talk about investments. Different people different needs so… Anyway wanted to highlight a different point today. So… I haven’t looked at stocks for a while. Like I have my own investment style so… sometimes I look at them, sometimes I leave them for months without looking at them. Whatever. I used to own these 3 stocks. And now they are doing poorly. SPH – This stock used to be the baby for retirees. A nice stable stock which gives 5% dividend. It used to be trading at around $4 or so. Now it has...

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What are you buying when you buy a diamond ring?

So we’re basically buying the stuff which we eat when we get stomach upset. Or the stuff we put in our aquarium filter. But today’s post isn’t about dishing out about buying a lump of carbon. ​I’m not talking about the marketing aspect of it as well. That’s done and many of us are already sucked into it. Today’s post is about what I discussed with my wife when we decided to get her the ring. So I asked her… “OK fine. You want a ring. That’s ok. Tell me what you are buying?” The answer might sound simple?...

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Wah seh DBS steady la!

The only problem is the T&C, see the red text… – You must be a working adult of 18 to 30 years of age at the point of registration and with no salary crediting arrangement with DBS/POSB between 01 September 2016 and 28 February 2017. – Credit your monthly salary via GIRO, with transaction reference codes “SAL” or “PAY”, into a DBS/POSB account and select it as the debiting account for the monthly savings contribution into your SAYE Account. – You can save between S$50 and S$3,000 (in multiples of S$10) to your SAYE Account. Changed your mind? Just...

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Ever wanted to reset your life?

We’ve all played games. When we die, we reset, when we start poorly, we reset, when we don’t achieve whatever, we reset. In a game, it’s so easy to reset. Just press a button. Not so easy in real life. I’ve thought about it sometimes. Resetting my life. Like what would have happened if I studied a different topic and did not go into the finance industry? Would things have been different? Would I have been happier doing another job? Then this blog would not have existed and I might still be working happily? Then I thought, hey, what’s...

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What if we had no choice?

I always say, we always have a choice. Cos we can always decide whether to buy something or not. Decide to continue working or plan to leave. We can change our jobs if we are really unhappy. But what if we had not choice? Have you watched the “Last Samurai” starring Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe? When males are born, they become warriors, samurai, archers. Females tend to the farm and home. And that’s it. There’s no debate. The main part of the show is showing the lives of these samurai, their dedication to their skill, honour and pride....

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Why we should not use the words “Early Retirement”

It’s a touchy word. Not many people think about retirement, let’s not even talk about early retirement. ​This is somewhat a continuation from my previous post. Let’s look at the normal form of retirement. Usually someone works, employed or self employed for a number of years then at around 60-70, he “retires”. And then, they usually take care of grand children, or travel or play golf, essentially, enjoying the fruits of their work for the large part of their lives. At this point, they may or may not be financially independent. Then let’s look at all the other folks...

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The truth is, no one really wants to retire early

As I type and post and talk to more people, I come to better understanding of myself and new ideas and conclusions. And I see in Singapore, we have this frugal community where a bunch of people think that being frugal is good and we find that we would like to retire early cos we don’t really like the work that we do. But do people generally want to retire? Much less retire early? It may surprise many of you, but do people really want to retire? The truth, I think, is that no one wants to retire. Think...

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People usually don't think about this when buying insurance

Insurance is a very interesting topic. Why do you buy insurance? Does everyone need insurance? Usually people don’t think about this. Most of the time, the discussion is led by the financial adviser, cos basically, most people don’t know much about insurance to even comment. So why DO you buy insurance? Insurance companies say to PROTECT. Sounds nice right. That’s why some people mindlessly buy insurance. Cos they feel they are protecting something. Insurance is there to cover the estimated financial loss due to an incident. So when people buy insurance when they buy a car, they are protecting themselves...

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Any regrets?

End November, I would have been unemployed for 3 years. I do think about it a lot. Do I have any regrets? The truth is, I don’t know. I can’t confidently say yes, I have no regrets. I also know I can’t say no, I have regrets. I’ll explain what I mean. This is the 2nd time I’ve had a period of unemployment. So I understand what it feels like through the whole period. At the start, it’s always fun, there’s the freedom, then after a few months, there’s some fear and uncertainty, then that feeling will pass then...

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