Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Early Retirement Through Finding Work That You Enjoy Doing

How many times have you heard people complaining about their work? I'm sure almost on a daily basis be it your family members, your friends, your colleagues and maybe even your boss complains about work to you.

This is why early retirement and financial freedom is so popular. In Singapore, we probably need about $1 Million to retire comfortably. But the bad news is its extremely hard to save this amount of money in a very short time.

In my previous post, I introduced the 30 years retirement grid:

In this grid, it shows how much we need to save and invest to achieve whichever amount we desire for retirement. I figured out we need to save consistently $1500 every month and invest at 4% return for 30 years to achieve $1 Million. 30 years is honestly too long a time if you hate your job every single day. This is 10,950 days of your life!

You can read more about the 30 years retirement grid here.

Introducing the 10 years early retirement grid

In this case, can we achieve retirement in 10 years instead just to get out of the rat race? Let me introduce you the 10 years early retirement grid.

Sadly, you would realise that it is extremely difficult to achieve a desired sum of money for retirement in 10 years even if we invest at 8% return. We need to save $6000 per month to get $1 Million dollars, which will definitely lead to a poor quality of life (unless your income is extremely high). For most of us, even saving 100% of our salary will not lead us to retirement in 10 years.

Introducing the sustainable way to early retirement

The truth is, we don't need to save till we drop to achieve early retirement. Most of us think of retirement as quitting our jobs completely. This shouldn't be the case for early retirement as I can guarantee you that you'll be too bored in a short while.

A financial blogger, Zack from four pillar freedom, who's based in the US, recently quit his job and achieved early retirement before his 30s. Now, he focus his time on his blog which generates a decent $3K plus per month. He mentioned work feels like play for him now which is early retirement to him.

While in SG it may be different for us, I'm sure we can also find something we like to do and still create some sustainable income. It is never an easy journey as income outside of work also takes time to build. The key is doing what we like to do.

Building income outside of work requires times and effort. We need to create value to generate sustainable income. Some ways to create sustainable income outside of work are:
  • Start an online blog writing content which you like
  • Investing in good dividend stocks
  • Providing consultancy services on your expertise areas
  • Providing professional services such as playing musical instruments, singing or doing emcee for events
  • Start a part time business
  • Providing freelance service such as website programming, content writing, design etc
You can see in our world today, there are endless opportunities to create income outside of work. Everyone can do it. 

If creating income outside of work is too tough, we can also find work which is more meaningful and let us feel more fulfilled. Since we are spending so much time at work, it is quite important that we do not work in a job we hate. While we can't totally like our jobs and there will always be conflict, we can at least find some work which we like a bit more. Its just like relationships where there will always be conflicts but we resolve it and get stronger.

Rethinking retirement

If we create income outside of work which we enjoy doing and the income can sustain our monthly expenses, then we have achieved early retirement.

If we work in a job we enjoy and feel fulfilled then perhaps thinking of quitting work totally for retirement is not so critical anymore. If we have enough money, we can even consider slowing down by taking on part time or freelance roles instead of totally quitting.

The end goal is that we feel more fulfilled in life and able to spend time on the things that matter to us more. If you're stressed up having to plan for retirement, perhaps its time to rethink how each of us see retirement in life. Perhaps its time to lead a more purposeful life, creating value and doing more meaningful work in our lives.

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