Hello. I haven’t written in here for over a month. I was kind of inspired to write a blog post after reading an update from a friend’s blog.
I’ve been busy. Busier than I expected I would be. Which is strange, considering my biggest change in my life.
But before I get to that, I think the reason why I was hesitant to write in this blog was that I connected it to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, so that each published post is automatically published on my wall.
I had a big announcement to make. But I didn’t want my Facebook friends to know about it through a post because I didn’t want to deal with comments on it. So I kind of didn’t write it.
Then it occurred to me, why don’t I just disconnect the blog from Facebook? That did it. And that’s why I also disabled comments on this post. If you want to tell me something, then please choose another means of communication. Thank you.
So the big announcement is: I’m semi-retired.
I never really planned for this. My plan has always been to work till I’m 60 years old, before slowing down. But in April this year, I fell out with my business partner after working together for 1.5 years. I don’t really want to say more than this. But basically, it meant that my business needed to change direction.
At the same time, I did a financial check and I realized that my freegan way of life has dropped my personal expenses to about $50 to $100 a month (that’s not a typo, and it doesn’t include mortgage and insurance). In essence, I didn’t need to work for income for a while.
In essence, I didn’t need to work for income for a while. I can last at least 2 years without having any income. But because I do have several small streams of income, I can go longer if I wanted. So I decided to enter semi-retirement. It’s not exactly a sabbatical because I still want to retain my license to serve my loyal clients. But there’s a lot of other things that I would like to learn and do during this period.
What all this means is that I didn’t need to change business direction. I could just stop working for a while. Take a break, y’know?
I decided to enter semi-retirement.
It’s not exactly a sabbatical because I still want to retain my license to serve my loyal clients. But there’s a lot of other things that I would like to learn and do during this period.
For one thing, I want to explore a moneyless way of life. Basically, if I can figure out how to live without using money, I can immediately proceed to retirement. It’s a fascinating way of life and, truth be told, I’ve wanted to do this since before I started my first job. But only now, when I’ve ensured that my financial responsibilities are met, could I attempt such an experiment.
For another, I want to explore other aspects of finance, to put to use the deep knowledge and experience I have acquired in my 7 years of financial planning, and see how I can use it in other ways rather than the way this business is normally done, which is 1-to-1. I want to see how it can be done 1-to-many, or even many-to-many, which is something that today’s technology can enable us to achieve.
So… what have I been busy with?
Well, I went on a couple of holidays in May and June. I spent four days living in Singapore outside my home without using money (except for public transport). I wanted to see if it was possible to live in Singapore without money. I believe it’s possible, but I need to run more and longer experiments. And since each holiday costs only $12 to $15, I can easily do this every month if I can carve out the time.
Then I’ve also started doing pro bono financial planning — working with people who would normally not be able to afford my fee. I’m volunteering with PlayMoolah, a company that I’ve long wanted to work with because the people have such fresh perspectives on the familiar world of personal finance. However, the time has never been right for the both of us. But now, serendipity has led us both to work closely together.
So I guess you could say that I expected my semi-retirement life to be lazing around, but it’s just not in me. Haha! Whatever form it takes, it’s going to be a really great learning adventure!